Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

rBot - fully 3D printed CNC

by reitter_m, published

rBot - fully 3D printed CNC by reitter_m Dec 12, 2015


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73684Views 9052Downloads Found in DIY


More videos and instructions and end effectors will follow soon.

Bill of materials is now available!

Min. build volume needed: 15cm x 15cm x 15 cm
Everything except Part_X_4 and Part_MM_1 can be printed without supports.
It is mounted on a Ikea MALM

Use at your own risk.

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love it!

Can you upload a step file to allow modifications?

Where is this project at? Can it be constructed and operational?

It's a masterpiece

Heya, is the "6x Reely Bearing 19mm x 5mm x 6mm" a 635-2RS (or any 635) bearing?
Also it's hard to find a 920mm x 10mm Shaft, can i use a longer one and clamp the ends?

Hey @reitter_m I am really interested in building this and was going through the list of components for the rbot and had some questions.

the "12x LM8UU Bearing and the 4x LM10UU OP Bearing, what are the dimensions that I need to purchase for this build.

second question is when do you think the 3D Printer Tool instructions will be ready? I couldn't find them, but maybe I am just blind.

Thanks for any help you can give,

Hey Stuart,

I'm collecting all the parts for this at the moment and this is what I have measured (and sourced - hopefully they are correct :D ) from the prints I have completed (and general researching);

LM8UU - ID:8mm OD:15mm Length: 24mm
LM10UUOP - ID:10mm OD:19mm Length: 29mm

If anyone want to know my sources, DM me and ill send a list back.

Hey, maybe we can exchange! :)
This is my list (on german, but I'm updating it soon): https://www.dropbox.com/s/skhd74stjcz314z/CNC%20DIY.xlsx?dl=0

Not a complete BOM but here is mine at the moment; will be updated as I assemble parts and move on to other sections


Nice list!
I already talked to Michael (creator of this thing) and he gave me some extra info:

  • He used a 3-4 mm milling cutter, although he prefers the 3mm
  • wood and plastic works good, he hasn't tried aluminium yet
  • do not print the T5 Toothed Pulleys, but rather buy them out of metal
    It was a pain in the arse to find all the resellers, I hope my information helps a bit atleast :)

Thanks; so's yours. Hopefully these help out other potential builders :)

Hi wow i am going to nuild one but what about software to run it please

Mar 19, 2016 - Modified Mar 19, 2016

This looks very nice. I have a few questions:
1) Have you done any accuracy tests? What is the theoretical and the real optainable accuracy? (x,y,z)
2) What about backlash in the toolhead (z-axis)? Is there backlash compensation or is it done via software?
3) Would it be possible to drive the z-axis (tool height) directly? Why did you use gears?

Hallo Michael,

ich habe vor, diese CNC-Maschine mit einigen Mitschülern zu bauen. Ich habe eine Kostenübersicht in Excel gestaltet, in der auch Links zu den jeweiligen Verkaufs-seiten sind. (https://www.dropbox.com/s/skhd74stjcz314z/CNC%20DIY.xlsx?dl=0)
Nun ein paar Fragen:
Welche Materialen konntest du bis jetzt fräsen? (In deinem Video ist nur Plastik zu sehen, geht auch Holz oder Aluminium?)
Welchen Fräskopf hast du benutzt? Welchen sollte man benutzen? (Preis egal)
Gab es bis jetzt Probleme mit deiner Maschine? Irgendwelche Komplikationen?

Danke für das Projekt und noch ein schönen Tag :)

Danke für das Interesse! Bis jetzt habe ich nur Kunststoff und Holz probiert. Beides hat problemlos geklappt. Zurzeit benutze ich einen 3mm und einen 4mm Fräser. Ich würde allerdings eher einen 3mm Fräser empfehlen. Das einzige Problem das bisher auftrat war, dass die T5 Zahnriemenscheiben, die den Fräser mit dem Brushlessmotor verbinden, bei langer Nutzung schmolzen. Daher würde ich eher eine Metallvariante vorschlagen.

Tut mir leid, dass du solange auf eine Antwort warten musstest. Ich hoffe ich konnte helfen. Bin gespannt welche Ergebnisse ihr erzielen könnt! :D

Danke für deine informative Antwort. :)
Nach Gesprächen mit meinem Lehrer, hat sich ergeben, dass das Projekt möglich ist, und nach den Sommerferien das nötige Kleingeld da wäre. Ich werde in der Freizeit bis dahin noch die Kostenübersicht updaten. Ich bin definitiv auch gespannt, welche Möglichenkeiten die modularen Aufsätze bieten (3D-Drucker o. Lasercutter).
Unserer Fortschritt und Komplikationen im Bau werde ich dokumentieren und auf Nachfrage deinerseits oder anderer User gerne posten. :)

tl;dr for english users:

  • I will build this thing with some classmates
  • Starting in late summer
  • T5 Toothed Pulleys in the milling machine are recommended to buy (out of metal)
  • I made a chart displaying all the costs (currently only on german, going to make one in english with european shipping infos)
  • I will make record of all the things, problems and recommendation we come up with during the building process

If you have any questions (either in German, English or French), just ask! :)

Nice job! Can we get more info on that spindle? What bearing are those,is it an 8mm ER11 collet and how does it fit in those bearings? I had a plan of making that kind of a spindle, but my 608ZZ bearings were not tight enough for an 8mm ER collet, they were just sliding freely on it when i test assembled it. Should it be like that or it is ok if it was a very loose fit?

There are other DIY CNC's you could use their electronics setup.
I bought a DIY Shapeoko2 used for $200 and used it for a couple CNC milling projects and got totally hooked on CNC!
So I am now in the final stages of rebuilding this machine as 1000mmx1000mm Xcarve.
Check out inventables.com
There is plenty of instructions & forum there on how to setup the electronics (arduino Uno based) & Firmware.

Software tool chain:
Hands down the best free CAD/CAM software is Fusion360!! It is free for hobbiest and businesses <$100K.

Here is my work flow:
Design your new 2D or 3D part in CAD software (Fusion360, Solidworks or PTC Creo are what I use).
Generate tool paths using a CAM software (Fusion360, Vectric Vcarve Desktop or Easel)
Easel is free as well...I didn't like it so much but it does work!

The Vectric CAM software is awesome...however it is several hundred dollars, but is very easy to use and works VERY well.

I have not tried to generate tool paths with Fusion360 as of yet but I would suspect it to be on par with Vectric since Autodesk is behind it.

So your CAM software will output G code file(s) to CNC your part.
Then you need a little piece of software to spool that Gcode file to your machine.
I use Universal G Code Sender...it is very basic but it works to jog your machine around and then feed Gcode to your machine.

Hope this helps!

BTW Thanks reitter_m for spending the mass amounts of time required to bring such an awesome 3D printed tool to life!!

If mounted to a larger table can you lengthen the table from 300 to 700 or more cm easily?

Nice! I'm ready to jump in and print one. But what about firmware/software? Michael, please talk a bit about the hardware and software needed to run the rBot with the various attachments. References to source/obj code would be fantastic. If the software isn't yet ready for release, please talk a bit about your plans for the software, including if/when it might be released.

Thanks again,

  • Bob
Feb 15, 2016 - Modified Feb 16, 2016

Hey man, great work! I'm super keen on building one.

Couple of questions:

  • Is there an alternative to the LC6650GP3 power supply? that one seems localised to Europe (thinking of getting a EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1 650W Power Supply)
  • What software does this use end to end?

first off, don't use an evga, they will melt throughly through anything
and also u can use any cnc cam software

hi, retter.
i am having problem with Milling_Machine (Part_MM_1.STL)
i opened with simplify3d the Milling_Machine part is not completed?

Can it mill aluminium ?

Feb 3, 2016 - Modified Feb 3, 2016

Did you considered replace belts with lead screws? It would add rigidity the CNC need.

Can you make an Instructable of this CNC?

this is genius!!!

This is amazing work! I plan on building this as well. I actually may have most of the parts needed for this lying around... have a couple left from building my 3d printers. Thanks again bro and I look forward to future updates!

Dude, you're flipping awesome. Have you done any tests on the resolution of the machine? If not- Any estimates?

Jan 23, 2016 - Modified Jan 23, 2016

Has anyone assembled one of these yet? I have an ox cnc on order, but this looks like a great project for the time being.

I think the biggest hurdle to overcome for me, would be getting all the electronics working together with no instructions. Is there any detailed write up anywhere for learning about getting everything "talking together" correctly? I can handle computer/software side of things. Gonna start printing this out tonight!

Hey! this is wonderful, I printed all the parts out, had to repair MM1 STL file but otherwise they all sliced fine. I did 60% infill for nice sturdy parts all in PLA to prevent warping. It took ~ 2.5 KG of filament to print out the parts total print time was around 125 hours on prusa I3, with a handful of parts taking over 10 hours each. I am purchasing rods and other various parts tomorrow. My questions are really pertaining to software and electronics. I see Arduino is noted in BOM, unless I missed something it appears there is no directions about firmware, software and whatnot. I see KrazyJim posted a recommendation but my immediate thoughts are to go with arduino/ramps setup and search for some appropriate firmware that I have some familiarity with. My question is, what would you suggest.

Jan 13, 2016 - Modified Jan 14, 2016

In the US you could use the GeckoDrive G540, which is a 4 axis stepper motor driver. http://www.GeckoDrive.com. The software to use, to drive the G540, could be Mach3 from http://www.machsupport.com. The free version of Mach 3 is limited to a certain number (500) of lines of G-Code.

I have used both on several CNC router/drill units I have made.

I have bought steppers from https://www.automationdirect.com in the US. Another supplier for steppers is http://www.kelinginc.net/

I am tempted to start printing this in ABS and / or Nylon.

Very elegant design of some of those parts. They show a good understanding of some of the limits of 3D printed parts.

Thank you Michael.

One of the best CNC projects I've seen!
Congrats and thank you for sharing.

What firmware do you use? Is there a Git repository?

Very Nice, really want to make this.

Schönes Ding. Respekt dafür. Darf man fragen wie du den Spindelmotor ansteuerst? Könnte man auch den Dys be2208 1800KV Motor nehmen (mehr Drehzahl)?

Dankeschön. Also der ESC, der das Signal über die Pins am Flansch bekommt wird derzeit über einen Arduino nano angesteuert.
Der DYS BE2208 1800KV passt von der Größe her auf jeden Fall. Allerdings bezweifle ich, dass die 3d gedruckten Zahnriemenscheiben mehr Drehzahl aushalten. Aber wenn du stattdessen metallische Scheiben verwendest wird das höchstwahrscheinlich sogar um einiges besser funktionieren ;D

This comment has been deleted.


what price is for construction without electronic?

The Filaments was something about 80€ I guess and all the mechanical Parts 50-100€. I can't tell you the exact price because I already had most of the parts.

looks amazing thanks for sharing!

The truss idea is truely inspiring... I will post a remix if I end up getting it to work in another project.

Watching this closely.

What exact model of ikea malm did you use for yours?
and what working area did you get from it?
Great job.

It's called Ikea Malm 3 drawer chest.
The working area is around 700mm x 300mm x 55mm
Thank you for your interest!

What would be your thoughts on doing a laser cutting tool head instead of the mill one?

A laser cutting tool would be absolutely awesome. The next thing in line is a 3d printing tool.
After finishing that i definitly want to add a laser cutting tool.

Let me know when you add the laser cutting tool, i will download and print it immediately!

Nice looking machine.

Thanks :D

Did you print with Pla or Abs ?

All parts are printed with PLA.

Wow, amazing machine! Thanks for sharing!

It looks amazing! I'm going to start printing this project next week. Absolutely beautiful.

Thank you!
If you need any additional help feel free to ask ;)

Great Project!

Amazing machine and thank you very much for sharing this :-)

Thanks for your support!

Nice gadget but description is half ass. How r we supposed 2 know how to build it without plans

First sentence on the page: "Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!"
Second sentence on the page: "More videos and instructions and end effectors will follow soon."

The attentive reader will be fully aware that more instructions will follow.

Thank you!

Dec 25, 2015 - Modified Dec 25, 2015
David794 - in reply to reitter_m

Actually, "Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!"
is not just one sentence. That means that "More videos and instructions and end effectors will follow soon." is not the second sentence. Learn to count.

Hey, @Davaonizdashit and @David794, how about stop being jerks and appreciate the work that @reitter_m has provided for all to share in?

I am excited to hear that more instructions will be released. It looks like an awesome project! What types of materials will it be able to cut through?

So far I tested wood and acrylic glass and it worked perfectly ;)

Dec 17, 2015 - Modified Dec 17, 2015

This is some amazing work! I will definetly consider building this!
Do you have any drawings of the machined spindel?
A bill of materials could be awesome too! :)

Thank you!
I uploaded a drawing of the machined spindle and I'll upload a bill of materials after this weekend :D

OMG this is simply amazing work!

Have you any idea how much filament is needed to print it?

2kg-3kg of filament should be enough. I needed 4kg but I did some parts twice to get them perfect.


Would love to have my own CNC machine, but not sure my wife would like for my Duplicator I3 running for 250 hours :) hehe

Are you going to put up a BOM list for all the electronics as well?

Could you post some examples of what you have used the CNC for?

That is awesome. Well done dude :)

Thank you ;D

Damn this looks awesome!!!!!
I really like the idea how this is 3d printed at whole.
How many hours of print time did you put into that? i guess weeks :P

thank you!
it was something like 250 hours of printing XD

This machine looks awesome!!!
I really wanna build it!
I can't load this PDF or the other file??? I guess it's a BOM???

I do have one question though...
How rigid is that long X? Axis truss???

Can't wait for updates and instructions!?.....

Thank you for your feedback. Which file you can't download? The PDFs are detailed building instructions.
The truss is surprisingly rigid. You can place several kilos in the middle of it. If I find a method to show that without destroying it i will post a video ;D
So stay tuned and thanks for your interest!

Dec 14, 2015 - Modified Dec 14, 2015
KillerDave - in reply to reitter_m


Thanks for getting back...

I think it's just the PDF (Plan Truss) in x-axis MACOSX
When I try to open them they say the file is damaged...

I'm sure the others open ok....

Ok i uploaded the PDFs again. I hope it works now.