My Zenbot mini CNC refurb

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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:41 am
Location: Bunbury, WA

My Zenbot mini CNC refurb

Post by seaton » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:11 pm

Ive had my ol trusty Zenbot mini a number of years, about 7-8, but has not been used alot as it was a bit cumbersome to setup, it never had limits, ran from an old parallel port controller, needed a PC running MACH3 and used some clunky Stepper drivers (will post some pics to the blog soon of before and after soon)

However this week Ive been refurbishing so its much easer to use:

Added Limits on all axis so now it knows where it is most of the time :)
Added Arduino with CNC Shield with integrated Stepper DrIvers allowing up to 1/32 micro stepping, running latest GRBL (CNC shield is $6 from aliexpress, can't beat that value)
Added PWM and Spindle control so speed and spindle now is fully controlled through the G-Code :)
Added Tool probe for helping with zeroing and best of all auto levelling for PCB routing
Now using chilipeppr as my control interface (

Heres a taster of it doing an auto level with chilipeppr the autolevel is for doing PCB routing (just no board)

One last issue I'm having is the very first touch probe on auto levelling is out so I'm just tracking down that problem. (you can see it in the video)

Next step to build a sound/dust proof housing so I can run it in the house at any time and also use a raspberry PI as the host controller talking to chilipeppr

I'm really excited to start getting back into the small CNC as the software tools are so cheap, i.e. free

Autodesk Fusion 360 for Cad and CAM $0 for makers.....

I've just did a project to test out and learn Fusion 360 and I'm very impressed with it, next is to mill it on the Zenbot, so I'm learning how to use the CAM features.


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Location: Busselton

Re: My Zenbot mini CNC refurb

Post by parkview » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:53 am

Hi Stephen,

thanks for bringing it along to the Sept. 2016 meeting. I was surprised how quiet it was doing the test PCB mill out.

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