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Lets jump right in here. We’re getting close to the end! Start by attaching the motherboard and stepper driver boards to the right side of the CupCake CNC. Make sure to use the included plastic spacers to keep the electronics away from the wood.

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Now you can connect the four-pin Molex connectors from the power supply to all the boards, along with the power supply to the motherboard.

Note: You did check that you power supply is set to the proper voltage, right? (115V for the US)

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Next, wire all the stepper boards to the motherboard. Easy!

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Follow this by attaching the stepper motor wires to the stepper motor boards.

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Last but not least, plug in the extruder cable to the motherboard. That’s it! Your build is done. DONE!

Note: You can attach the endstops, and wires now, too. I added the endstops to my machine, but I didn’t wire them up to the controller. I will always be with the machine when it’s running, and it’s one less thing to worry about for now.

Software:

software 1 CupCake CNC build, part 12: Installing the electronics & software

Since it’s launch, the software for the CupCake CNC has evolved a lot. Early versions of Skeinforge and ReplicatorG were a bit difficult to use, but not any more. The software installation process is a snap. You can download the latest versions of all of the software here. Also note: you no longer have to download the programs separately, they come bundled in the (1) ReplicatorG download. Nice!

After installing the software, you need to run through the calibration process. It’s a fairly lengthy one that’s documented really well.

That’s it! Next up, my first prints!

Ask questions! Do you want to see a better picture of a particular part, a different camera angle, a video perhaps? Maybe you have a suggestion for a cool mod or hack? Let me know in the comments. I’ll try to answer them as best as I can. Thanks!

Want to know when my next build entry is done? Follow me on Twitter @devinck!

Build history:

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    Having just arrived home from a quick trip to the hardware store, I was pleasantly surprised to see a large, unmarked, cardboard box sitting on my front steps. This isn’t an uncommon event, since I am constantly checking out cool products and projects for the Maker Shed, however this box was a bit larger than normal.

    Oh wow, it’s the CupCake CNC kit from MakerBot Industries! I’d ordered it weeks earlier and had completely forgotten about it. (The truth is out: I have an atrocious memory, sad but true.)

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    And so the adventure begins! I’m going to document my “out of box experience” with a MakerBot. How many posts will the series be? I’m not sure since I’ve never built one. How often will I post about the build? Again, not sure, but I’ll try to do at least one a week, maybe more, it all depends on how much free time I have between all my other maker-ly projects.

    A little background: My CNC experiences

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    I’ve been tinkering with CNC for about 10 years, and consider myself an enthusiast, not an expert. I do own a few CNC mills, routers, and lathes. I have retrofitted old mills, and even build one from scratch. Pictured above is my mobile CNC machine, dubbed the “MobileC.” I stuffed all the components into a mobile tool cart so I could bring it to hackerspaces, workshops, and events, all in the hopes of helping out fellow makers.

    4077680467 119b920a82 b CupCake CNC build, part 12: Installing the electronics & software

    The mill is a Sherline 5400 that I retrofitted for CNC. Also, I added a few extra parts to make it even more useful. It has a longer reach, thanks to the headstock spacer block on the column, and a larger table that I simply mounted to the stock table. It’s a sweet machine. I love my little Sherline!

    4077673575 d8fc55c17d b CupCake CNC build, part 12: Installing the electronics & software

    All the electronics are housed in the cart too! There is a 19″ LCD monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, desktop computer, and CNC controller. It’s a tight fit, but it works perfectly. There is even an extra full-size drawer for tooling and accessories.

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    I’m thinking of replacing the computer, keyboard, and mouse with an HP TouchSmart, but I have to save a few more pennies for that upgrade.

    Does anyone want to know more about my MobileC? Let me know in the comments. After I build my CupCake CNC, maybe I should do a series of articles on CNC machining?

    Disclosure:

    I purchased the CupCake CNC kit with my own hard-earned cash. I waited several weeks for it to arrive, just like everyone else that placed an order. No favors, no freebies! Why did I buy one? Well, for two reasons.

    • Reason #1 – I like what MakerBot Industries is doing for the open source community and open manufacturing, so I wanted to support them!
    • Reason #2 – I am going to document the build for Make: Online, and if I like it, I’ll let you know, and if I don’t… well, I’ll let you know that too! No biased reviews here.
    • Reason #3 – I am a CNC junkie, and I had to have it, even if my wife was questioning whether I really needed another machine in my studio! “Ha!” I said, “You can never have too many machines!” Oops, only two reasons, right?! :)

    Questions & suggestions:

    Ask questions! Do you want to see a better picture of a particular part, a different camera angle, a video perhaps? Maybe you have a suggestion for a cool mod or a hack? Let me know in the comments. I’ll try to answer all of them as best as I can. Thanks!

    Build history:

    Marc de Vinck

    I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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