For his final project in the course How To Make (almost) Anything, David Carr designed and built this
3-axis CNC milling machine
. It’s probably not the most precise or powerful device, but it costs less than $90 to build, and can mill PCBs, wood, and even light steel. Drawings and schematics are available on his website.

  • Joe Zimmerman

    I’m thinking a real stepper driver might be safer on your parallel port. Any more details how you plan to keep your PC isolated from damage would be nice.

  • tigerzero

    Impressive results! This kind of makes me wonder how well mine would machine PCBs/steel. Well… now I’m going to have to try it :-) Kudos to David for his economical design!


    I’ve been wanting to try my hand at building a *cheap* CNC machine for quite a while. This looks perfect (apart from the lack of build explanation and/or detailed docs).

    However, I’ve looked at the parts list but I can’t figure out the supplier codes. Anyone have an idea what these refer to?


    Including the part numbers was a nice touch!

    Good job, David!

    • tigerzero

      Hmm, I know SDP-SI is stock drive products (, I bought my toothed belts and pulleys from them.

      VXB appears to be a skateboard bearing company (, I know I was originally looking at rollerblade ABEC bearings for some of my parts, they’re very reasonably priced.

      And I’m guessing McM is McMaster-Carr (, which is pretty much the best site ever ( I <3 ).

      Hope that helps!

  • Jeremy