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Arduino CNC?


Dec 3, 2023
Anyone have experience with a Arduino CNC setup? I may eventually convert my lathe over to a cnc. Right now Ceteroid looks like the best bet overall. I can probably get it done for about a grand with Ceteroid but the temptation to go with Arduino for maybe a few hundred is interesting. One thing I am not sure of with Arduion is will I be able two thread on my lathe with it. I dont see any info on useing a encoder with Arduino so cutting threads might not be possible. Also not sure if there is a size limit on the stepper motors that can be used with Arduino.
You'd need servo or stepper drives for each axis, an Arduino can't run it directly, neither can a Centroid control on its own.

Based on the basic questions you're asking, I have to assume you don't have much background in the matter so you should ask yourself what the goal of this project is.

Do you want a CNC lathe that can thread? Go buy a cheap used one.

Do you want to learn more about how all this stuff works but don't care about cost or time? Then do whatever sounds like the most fun with the expectation that the end result is will most certainly be more expensive and lower performance than having bought a machine.
Can Arduino run a cnc? Yes. See most 3d printers today. Can you run encoder (one not multiple quadratic) yes.
Can you program one to do all that? That’s some work. Hmi on top of that? There is an industrial control line from arduino that has more everything, still would take lots of work programming it and user interface.
Centroid, messo, planet, et al come with a nice software interface and instructions how to wire- for a very fair price. Why struggle with all that part when store bought is readily available?
Enough to figure out on a machine, save the software end for a new machine/ not a gantry, lathe, or mill.

As said- it will cost more than you think and not work as well as store bought nc machine.
Arduino isn't really the best route to run down. Get a raspberry pi, or any of the other $50 single board computers, and run LinuxCNC.
I've built cnc machines with both. Anything more than basic, fairly slow, stuff I'd go with linuxCNC. Arduinos use an ATMega processor which typically runs at 16MHz and is an 8 bit processor without floating point and has very limited internal memory. You can get arduino based gcode controllers, but they are limited and I wouldn't want to run a full sized machine tool with them.

I was going to use one of those Arduino controls on a Hardinge TM conversion that I'm setting up to cut spur gears, but decided to go to LinuxCNC instead. Just an all around better solution.

LinuxCNC on a Raspberry Pi is about the cheapest CNC control you can get that has any capability. There's also a good support community.