Semi-Automatic Milling Machine Control with Pair of Arduinos




Semi-Automatic Milling Machine Control with Pair of Arduino Nanos

The type of CNC machinery that you’ll generally find in garages and makerspaces use stepper motors to position a cutting tool with respect to a workpiece. This is normally controlled with a computer or Arduino setup, which generates movements in a pre-programmed path. Usually this works just fine; however, YouTuber Electronoobs decided to make a sort of semi-automatic machine where movement is still controlled by stepper motors, but instead triggered manually by a series of buttons.

His configuration uses an Arduino Nano and a pair of A4988 stepper driver boards to produce the proper pulses, while a second Nano keeps track of motor rotations and displays distance data via an LCD screen. While — at first — it seems like a strange solution, at around $2 for a second board, it’s actually a pretty cost-effective way to keep track of everything.

As for why one would want this kind of control, it could be a great stepping-stone for learning how a CNC machine works, or for controlling other stepper-driven inventions. One could also image a machine that implements more advanced functionality in this type of machine, such as carving curves in pre-defined diameters, and other functions that extend what a “manual” machine is capable of.


Semi-Automatic Milling Machine Control with Pair of Arduinos was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: Semi-Automatic Milling Machine Control with Pair of Arduinos
Author: Jeremy S. Cook