Freesteel Blog » Mini CNC milling machine

Mini CNC milling machine

Monday, October 10th, 2005 at 9:23 pm Written by:

We had been thinking about getting one for a long time, a desktop sized 3 axis cnc mill to play with and demonstrate Freesteel and the adaptive roughing. A visit to a friend in Norfolk who owns such a machine made us more determined to get one, and his advice was very valuable.

It seems that Germans build these machines by the dozens in their garages and then auction them off on ebay. I tried to bid for numerous machines, and finally we could buy a modified Proxxon milling machine. The guy who sells them, modifies these hobby machines with stepper motors and controller card. Sadly, when the machine arrived it was damaged: one axis was bent so much that the poor motor could not turn it. Well, the machine is now in parts, and if all goes well a friendly technician at the uni here in Liverpool will manufacture the replacement part, and then we can try this little machine for real. I had some test runs on it using a DOS software called PCNC that came with the machine. Ultimately I want to use EMC, a Linux based machine controller, and I hope that all I need to do this is configure EMC for our machine, stepper motors and interface to the controller card. We’ll see.


  • 1. Bob replies at 12th October 2005, 8:45 am :

    I saw a reference to this site last night (on CCED,… then I started reading this blog entry about the damaged machine. I was about to suggest EMC… but I see you have seen the light already 😉

    Other software you may find useful/interesting…

    The AXIS frontend for EMC, written in Python –

    FreeCAD, a Python frontend to OpenCASCADE –

    OpenCASCADE, opensource CAD/CAM/CAE/etc backend –

    SALOME, “The Open Source Integration Platform for Numerical Simulation” – i.e. FEA – written in Python, uses OpenCASCADE –


    I’ve thought about trying to write a *simple* CAM program, never got far. Here are some documents, both about CAM and about EMC:


    If you find your mill to be too easy, then you can move on to something like this:

    (Click the English flag, then “Modell II”, then More Pictures)

  • 2. Martin replies at 12th October 2005, 6:58 pm :

    Thanks for the links. Just so that you dont get too frustrated: The online version of our programme is still work in progress. If you (or others with a genuine interest in our software) would like to have a demo version that you can run on your own computer, please leave a message here. What yu would get is a lighweight application that can load an stl file, then you specify your machining parameters, and it can calculate and show a solid stock model, and you can get a Heidenhain tapefile or GCode tapefile out. Furthermore there is a cutter simulation, that visualizes the cutter engagement dynamically. Not to forget, it is much faster than the online version.

  • 3. simulation software replies at 14th February 2006, 11:32 pm :

    Came across your blog by pure accident but thought whilst i was here i could tell you about this simulation software site i found.

  • 4. Bruce replies at 8th August 2007, 10:11 pm :

    Thanks for the links

  • 5. sajith replies at 15th September 2007, 6:46 am :

    There are lots of information regarding cnc milling and cnc turning in the following link, . Just go through it…

  • 6. felbamate message boards&hellip replies at 28th April 2008, 11:04 am :

    […] machine… demo version that you can run on your own computer, please leave a message here. […]

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