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Cutting Edge

(3 Axis CNC Wood Router)

For the final project in a course in Integrated CAD/CAM/CAE, I designed and manufactured a 3-Axis CNC wood router. This project was done in collaboration with Julia Lin, Ben Bernstein, Enhui Zou and Eloisa Baez Jones.


This project was designed and manufactured in 5 weeks with a budget of $1700. The router can achieve a repeatable tolerance of 0.015", and is easily controlled using an open source web interface (ChiliPeppr). We also designed a tramming system that allowed to calibrate the router bit in two axes to achieve desired perpendicularity tolerances.

My primary mechanical responsibilities for this project were designing and manufacturing the Y and Z axis gantries, as well as selecting and mounting the motors. On the electrical side, I wired, calibrated and programmed the motor controller to effectively translate GCode from SolidCAM into the router's Cartesian axes. We used NEMA 23 motors and a common hobbyist motor controller from Tiny G for linear actuation.

This project gave me experience in small-scale project management, as it required tolerance stack-ups, component selection and communication with suppliers. It was also a great experience in designing for manufacturability and assembly of a robust mechanical system.

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