CNC Machine Prototype

The prototype of the CNC Machine is completed! This prototype allowed for the team to learn the functionalities of the CNC machine. Using grblSoftware, the team was able to test the CNC machine and its microcontroller to understand the flow of the software.

Team Member Spotlight: Simon Lee

Working on the Makerspace CNC project allowed for Simon to learn a lot about designing and planning for a project. As a Computer Engineering major, he mostly worked along side other Computer Engineers. Given the opportunity to work with Mechanical Engineers allowed for him to expand his knowledge as well as learn to work well with people from different fields.

Learn more about Simon and the rest of the team at

Design Review – Results

The team found the design review incredibly helpful and have decided to implement a feedback loop for better accuracy and repeatability. To do this, the project will utilize a closed loop linear encoder on the slide bar which will measure the position of the end mill and avoid thermal expansion deviations of the lead screw that tend to cause problems with accuracy when a rotary encoder is used. In addition, the team plans to turn more focus on safety concerns. The plan is to reach out to small startups in San Jose with similar projects in hopes of discussing their learning curves along the way to implementation and gain the knowledge necessary to avoid safety issues as much as possible with end use of the CNC. The team is grateful for the advice and hope to improve on the project with the insight gained from community partners.

CNC Machine Prototype

Parts for the CNC Machine Prototype

The project aims to create this CNC by building a prototype early on in the design process. By constructing a prototype, the team hopes to gain a better understanding of how the machine works, both in mechanism design and software design. After the prototype is made, the team will modify the design to accommodate a laser cutter and safely scale the product to the desired specifications.

Currently, the parts for the prototype of the CNC machine have been ordered and received. Using the prototype, the parts were measured and added to the bill of materials for preparation to create the CAD (Computer-aided design) of the parts for the final product. The prototype of the CNC machine will be assembled and programmed to test the design and functionalities of the CNC machine.