Large Gantry CNC router

Ok so I’ve been working on this machine for nearly a year, as a continuation of my 2015 new years resolution to stop playing minecraft.

This machine runs an Arduino Uno  a cheap arduino uno clone with GRBL 9.0c firmware.  For axis drives, I’m using a heavily modified fork of ServoStrap that runs on three more breadboarded arduinos, plus some MOSFET driver boards I got from  Instead of steppers, I’m using DC brushed motors as servos, with optical encoders that are read by the extra arduinos.  This is called closed-loop control.  It’s accurate, whisper-quiet, reasonably fast and never loses steps.  (Well the router and dust collector set up a commotion, but the movement is practically silent.)

According to my records from 2015-2016, I’ve spent around $350 on this project and the smaller CNC machine you’ll find elsewhere on this site, combined.  I depended a lot on salvage and surplus for nearly everything, and scrap aluminum for the castings.


My son Keith designed this logo in Blender3D and I modified it for CNC routing in MDF.  I used BlenderCAM to produce the toolpaths.

Here are some more things I’ve cut:



…and the arduino logo after some finishing.  (Yes, the CNC machine carved the tiny “TM” letters in the upper right.)


Some mottos.  These mottos were done with F-Engrave from bmp images, although the Arduino logo above was done with BlenderCAM in v-carve mode. (This picture was taken with my fisheye lens.  The CNC machine is so big its hard to get in frame with my ordinary lens)

The green rails you see are standard P1000 Uni-Strut(tm) sourced from my local Menards up the street.  I started with a theory about making ball bearing slide castings specifically for a CNC machine using Uni-Strut, and the rest is history.


Dust shoe detail.  This is a piece of 1/4″ acrylic with a skirt of heavy duty window film.



Dust shoe attached.


Another dust shoe with bigger 1.25 hp router.


Home made drag chain of 0.020″ aluminum flashing.

More pictures coming soon.


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