CNC Master Checklist
Do you have all the bases covered for your CNC conversion or refit?
Here is a master checklist I drew up to try to organize things from a top down list oriented perspective. Where I have some deeper information to contribute, I’ve tried to provide links to some of the other pages on this site.
For a breakdown on what all these components do, what the terminology means, and hints on how to make the best choices for your CNC Project, see our CNC Milling Machines Parts Guide.
|Motor Type||Stepper||Usually cheaper, simpler, can lose steps. Power peaks at 1000 rpm.||Stepper, Servo &
|Servos||Higher performance, more expensive, more complex. Power well above 1000 rpm, fater rapids, greater accuracy due to closed loop operation.|
|Encoders||Separate shielded cable from motor power cable? Connector type? CAT-5? Microphone? DIN?|
|Transmission||Direct Drive||Coupler: Helical Beam, Oldham, etc.||Simple. No torque or resolution multiplication.||CNC Lathe Conversion Direct Drive Details|
|Timing Belt||Most common. Allows torque and resolution multiplication.|
|Gear Head||Harmonic Drive||Need to make sure its a low/no backlash drive type such as a harmonic drive.|
|Chain||Usually found only on lower resolution systems such as plasma tables and routers.|
|Motor Connectors & Cables||Got shielded cables? Connector type?||CNC Lathe Conversion Driver Electronics & Motor Cables|
|ACME Leadscrew||What’s already there. Likely to have significant backlash. Some backlash can be adjusted out with a split nut and Delrin nuts have pretty low backlash.|
|Ballscrew||Low or no backlash. What the “pros” use.|
|Proper Leadscrew Mounting||You have to use angular contact bearings to properly mount the leadscrew.|
|Usually found only on lower resolution systems such as plasma tables and routers.|
|Belt Drive||Usually found only on lower resolution systems such as plasma tables and routers.|
|Chain Drive||Usually found only on lower resolution systems such as plasma tables and routers.|
|Ways||CNC Dictionary discusses different types of slideways|
|Rails||Usually found only on lower resolution systems such as plasma tables and routers.|
|Linear Slides||Very high precision, lower rigidity tha nconventional ways. Most common design for the average machining center.||CNC Lathe Gang Slide|
|e.g. Dovetail and Box Slideways||Less precision, more rigidity. Common on older manual machines and very heavy duty CNC machines.|
|Are you going to combine home and limits to save inputs?||Optical Limit Switches|
|DC Power Supply||CNC Lathe Conversion Driver Electronics Page|
|Breakout Board||CNC Cookbook Breakout Board Article|
Industrial, or Just a Basic PC?
Notebook? Notebooks have problems with a lot of breakout boards.
|CNC Lathe Rackmount PC|
|Machine Controller||Mach 3?||CNC Software Overview|