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An implementation of Nikodem Bartnik’s 3D printed dremel CNC with a 500W spindle and a PocketBeagle.

This semester I decided to pursue the idea of building a desktop CNC router using BeagleBoard’s PocketBeagle as the gcode processing unit. My intial attempt was to use MachineKit, a fork of LinuxCNC, as my gcode processing software, but after exploring the option for a while I determined that it was no longer supported to the extent that I would need to complete the project. I was able to successfully implement BeagleG, a gcode interpreter built by GitHub user Henner Zeller.

The Process:

I started the project with the mechanical side. After ordering the variety of linear motion guides and lead screws, I started printing the necessary PLA fixtures. Using a Prusa i3 MK3 printer, I printed the parts with 40% infill and an increased wall thickness (6 layers) to increase the strength of load bearing parts — this part takes a minute, about 85 hours of print time with the way I had my parts sliced. I could then assemble, using Nikodem’s project as a guide. I ordered longer lead screws and linear motion rods than I needed, so I used a chop saw to cut them to length.”

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