# Printer to CNC

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#### Dragon Tamer

##### Member
Question if i take apart two printers, and i provide you with the model numbers can anyone write a program to control the printers like a CNC machine? the control method would be wired communication through the parallel printer port and it must be able to work on X,Y,Z,A,B (5 different axises).

Leave a reply if you can help (i have no programing talent at all), and if it is okay if i send you private messages with questions or ideas. the program must work on windows XP, must be user friendly, must have some basic form of simple design editing (like Google sketch up), and don't worry i wont sell your program (as in $) without your permition, and you will receive some of the money (and vise versa) NO SERIAL OR USB TO PARALLEL CONVERSIONS PLZ! Thx. the debt star is irrelevant, i just thought it would be funny #### Attachments • SuperCam_pinouts.gif 21.2 KB · Views: 914 • The Debt Star.jpg 37.1 KB · Views: 815 #### Sceadwian ##### Banned How do you intend to physically connect them to actually produce those axis? That's not a simple problem there the code to control it is the last of your problems till you have the mechanisms made. #### 3v0 ##### Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter A pattern has emerged DT. You want to do things which are only realistically done with programming , but for some reason are not willing to learn. Does that sum it up ? 3v0 #### tcmtech ##### Banned Most Helpful Member There are a number of good actual CNC programs out there for free is you spent some time looking. My brother built a 3 axis CNC router table and both the drafting and the CNC control programs are free off the Internet. They are the basic versions but still capable of far more that what you can do with your approach. #### 3v0 ##### Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter @tcmtech This is a case where DT wants to build a CNC using junk and that only goes so far. He says he is too poor to buy chips to drive steppers and want to build the stepper controller from TTL chips. At some point you need stop the madness and ground these people. #### tcmtech ##### Banned Most Helpful Member If your too poor to spend time searching for free download software your about as grounded as you can get! I am not sure how you would even be able to convert any CAD files to work with printer drives in order to do any practical CNC type mechanical operations. You dont just toss a CNC anything together over a weekend. My brother has about$1000+ and most of a years worth of spare time into his CNC table and its all hand built custom made everything on it.
Stepper motors that drive printer cartridges dont have enough power to drive anything else and neither do their driver boards.

Heres the basics of what his system looks like.

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#### Dragon Tamer

##### Member
hold on a minute, i did not say that i was poor, that was an assumption that was made by 3v0. If you may recall I said that I was 17 with no current job and no credit card or credit history, suddenly that makes me poor? that doesn't seem fair. besides i have looked on multiple web sites and most either want you to make the circuit by hand (i have neither the time and/or money) or they want you to pay for their circuit or software, my idea would have 2 printer circuit boards (with motors and what not) connected together sharing one parallel port. and when I'm done with the printers the steppers will have plenty of torque to run everything needed. If you can provide a website that provides everything i need for free, then please let me know.

and it's not that using programing is inevitable (for the stepper circuit that 3v0 has so kindly posted), it's that I don't want to use any programs, computer interface, or human interface for the circuit. All I want it to do is open some vents a certain distance base on the speed of the fan that they cover (it's for a housing unit for a Wii).

if you are just joking with me 3v0 you need to give me some sign, because you really hurt my feelings with some of your posts (not really), but i do feel like I'm being overly criticized. could you at least put some smiles in to make your replies more friendly?

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#### gabeNC

##### Member
@TCM... that's a nice looking home-grown CNC system. What does he use it for? I see a R/C car in some of the pics, is he making his own parts?

#### tcmtech

##### Banned
if you are just joking with me 3v0 you need to give me some sign, because you really hurt my feelings with some of your posts (not really), but i do feel like I'm being overly criticized. could you at least put some smiles in to make your replies more friendly?

No ones being mean. We simply see too many people with little or no practical knowledge wanting to build overly complicated, inefficient, unnecessarily complicated, time consuming and expensive stuff they dont fully understand that many times already has a far better factory made solution available out there for far less.

CNC anything is one of them.

Are the smiley faces doing it for you now?

TCM... that's a nice looking home-grown CNC system. What does he use it for? I see a R/C car in some of the pics, is he making his own parts?

Well right now he is using it to make replacement parts for itself. Its sort of building its own replacement of sorts. It had some severe stability issues!
He went too cheap on everything and used undersized aluminum and motors which gave it too much flex and not enough power to work accurately.
He is rather typical of some of the posters we get here as well. I told him he needed much heavier and stronger material for the frame work.
But he just knew that this aluminum was going to be plenty rigid and more than strong enough but.... Not even close! It had .0005' step rates and about .350" of flex!
This made it very slow moving and rather unstable when it was cutting. Hence the rebuild.

He does wood working and is into model planes big time! Eventually when he has the rest of the accuracy and stability issues resolved its going to be set up as a three axis wood router and light aluminum mill, and adaptable to being a four axis hot wire cutter for doing foam wings and such parts.

Since the pictures where taken the Z axis has been redesigned and it can do basic aluminum milling now. It still flexes a bit but not nearly as bad. Plus the travel speeds can go up to 90 IPM which is about 10 times faster than before!

We are pondering on converting my lathe and mill over to full CNC drive this winter now being they are built for actual metal work!

Once he gets the system debugged I am building a 6 foot by 12 foot CNC plasma torch table system. I may build it as a multi purpose machine and make it capable of wood router work and water jet cutting too. The cost of the water jet system may prove to be too expensive at this time though.

#### Dragon Tamer

##### Member
No ones being mean. We simply see too many people with little or no practical knowledge wanting to build overly complicated, inefficient, unnecessarily complicated, time consuming and expensive stuff they dont fully understand that many times already has a far better factory made solution available out there for far less.

CNC anything is one of them.

Are the smiley faces doing it for you now?

yes thank you for the smileys and thank you for giving me a reason for the translations of 3v0's posts. My problem is that I do have too much time on my hands (that's a pretty good song by the way), what I need a circuit that is cheap, efficient, and pretty easy to build. Like I said, it's for a housing unit on a Wii (if you have not seen the post here it is https://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/stepper-motor-ideas.100614/), what I need it to do is open a set of flaps to a certain distance based on how the fan is operating (4 different fan speeds not including the heater) and I need the circuit to automatically close the vents if the heater comes on, or if the fan is turned off by the circuit, and I need the circuit to need as few internet purchased parts as possible. If you want the circuit diagram then let me know, and I can have it ready in a few days or so.

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#### 3v0

##### Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
hold on a minute, i did not say that i was poor, that was an assumption that was made by 3v0. If you may recall I said that I was 17 with no current job and no credit card or credit history, suddenly that makes me poor? that doesn't seem fair.

So we need a new word for poor so as not to offend you ? If you can not afford the driver chips you are poor. If you can afford them but are unwilling to buy...

if you are just joking with me 3v0 you need to give me some sign, because you really hurt my feelings with some of your posts (not really), but i do feel like I'm being overly criticized. could you at least put some smiles in to make your replies more friendly?
I do not recall if you posted it or said it in chat. But your point was you want to do things using just what you already know. You do not want to learn new things like programming.

A lot like chopping off both legs and then going for a run.

Not totally unlike asking a stranger to fix your flat tire when you are too cheap or dull to carry a spare tire and jack.

yes I am grumpy
3v0

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#### BrownOut

##### Banned
Don't be discouraged by the ney-sayers. I've seen CNC machines built from everthing from plumbing parts to everything else imaginable. There is a good web based community that takes inexpensive Chinese machine tools and adds CNC capabilities to them. The latest issue of Circuit Celler has such a project. If you're really serious, there is lots of support and information available. The programming isn't all that hard to learn, you can get by with pretty basic skills actually. My CNC design is based in, of all things, a garage door opener.

PS: I also recommend the book "CNC Robotics" by Geoff Williams. This author build a CNC routing machine and he has absolutely no programming knowledge.

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#### tcmtech

##### Banned
Some times they apparent "Ney-Sayers" are just the "been there done that and learned the hard way its not worth the effort for the results" guys who are just trying to convey that there is a better way for a little more thought and less work!

And like 3v0 said,
yes I am grumpy
Can explain a persons views on a subject as well.

#### BrownOut

##### Banned
If they, in fact, put forth a better way, then I agree. Personally, I believe there are many ways to build CNC machines with satisfactory results, and are thus worth the effort. If the OP is serious and determined, he can most likely get good results pretty easily, as there are lots of products and support for this sort of thing, and many are cheap to free.

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#### 3v0

##### Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter

My poking at DT is an effort to get him moving in a useful direction. We chatted today and it looks like he is making headway on a project in another thread.

3v0

#### BrownOut

##### Banned
tmctech; Looking at your brother's machine, and it's beautiful work by the way. But it looks to me as though he is more focused on crafting every single part by hand rather than just getting something that works. He is obviously a skilled metal worker, and that makes him an idol of mine, of sorts. But if I were to see a model of this machine before hand, I could just tell it was not going to be very sturdy. I look at youtube, and there are all kinds of CNC machines on there that seem to work fairly well, though many are butt-ugly. Bottom line is just because bro spent alot of money and time to build something that's not sufficiently sturdy to be useful, that doesn't mean it has to be that way.

Oh and BTW, I also have a CNC plasma XYZ table in my drawing board. I have most of the parts, it's just having the time to put them all together right now. I'm in the middle of a major rennovation of my house that will list well into the Spring. My design won't use a water jet though, it will just use the conventional air shield.

EDIT: I re-read you post and realized your water jet idea is not a flow jet plasma system. Pretty good idea though if you can get it working. Good luck!

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