This build was my first attempt at a 3 Axis CNC and at the time i knew very little about them and because of this i made lots of mistakes. The biggest mistake was that the Astrosyn y129-5 12v 0.16A Nema 17 stepper motors where really under powered but i still managed to get the machine to engrave the road runner that came with mach 3 CNC software.
The Stepper controller is the Tachus42 3 Channel Discrete Unipolar from PMINMO.com which i built using the instructions on the site and only cost £12 for the parts. The Tachus42 it a good simple controller to start with and because of its simplicity if you let the magic smoke out it can be fairly easy to fix. As with many simple things they lack the more advanced features such as micro stepping and current control, so if you wanted to increase the voltage to the motors above their rated voltage you had to use resistors to dump the extra power which is very wasteful and also very quickly needed very high wattage resistors or build the additional chopper board but this has been known to come with its own set of problems that can be difficult for beginners like my self at the time.
The wood i used was from an old TV cabinet that my next door neighbour was chucking out and i purchased a few drawer slides from ebay i also purchase some 6mm all thread rod from ebay which was another mistake, threaded rod that small just really sucks for a make shift lead screw. i used a cheap dremel type rotary tool as the spindle which worked well when the machine wanted to work.
I learnt a lot from building this machine and although it did not work very well it only fuelled my thirst for a well built CNC so i set about reading everything i could about CNC Machines and started planing my next build Big Red