“Turn an old 3D printer into a CNC machine
Well yesBut there are issues
I made a video sponsored by Banggood who have given me a $100 CNC spindle and some tooling to try and make my old Prusa i3 3D printer into a CNC.
The 3D printer Ive a few years now just sitting in the shedas I have my nice Lulzbot Taz 3 so its about time I gave it a new lease of life.
It was a good printer for its time and as I built it myself Im very familiar with the design so itll lend itself perfectly to this project.
My first thought as Im sure many have considered before, there isnt much difference between a 3D printer and a small CNC machine.
They typically both have small stepper motors that drive a tool end of some kind along several axis to reproduce a digital file.
3D printers do additive manufacturing using a plastic extruder usually and CNC machines a rotary cutting tool to do subtractive manufacturing by carving away the unwanted material.
Surely its as simple as swapping out the extruder with the spindle right?
On both a CNC or 3D printer something needs to tell the motors exactly what to do.
In this case an old RAMPS board with an Arduino mega controls the various motor directions as well as telling the extruder motor how much plastic to squirt out and when.
This would probably work just fine with a bit of reconfiguration.”