My Makermade CNC Adventure: Adding the Electronics

My Makermade CNC Adventure: Adding the Electronics
Electronics Assembly

I was a little apprehensive about setting up the electronics for the Maslow. I’ve been an occasional reader of Make magazine, I’d heard the term Arduino, but I’d never seen one in person. I like to make things, but that’s mostly been rough woodworking, fiber related, or graphic design- nothing with electronics or chips of any sort. But the Maslow designers really made the process easy. I sat down at my kitchen table, laid out all the parts, and was done in about half an hour.

I had a few hiccups, like not realizing I was supposed to open a program once I’d downloaded it, so I tried to make sure the instructions I wrote for the manual spell out details like that.

Assembly 1.2 Adding the Electronics

Click PDF image to download these instructions in PDF format

Frame with Electronics

Tools Needed

  • Power Drill
  • Screwdrivers
  • Safety goggles
  • Computer or tablet
  • Internet connection

Materials List

  • Part #1 AC Power Cable
  • Part #2 Arduino with Heat Shield
  • Part #4 DC Power Supply
  • Part #9 USB Cable
  • Part #10 Flash Drive (optional)

  • Part #11 X and Y Motor Cables
  • Part #12 X and Y Motor Mounts
  • Part #13 X and Y Motors
  • Hardware Bag #5
  • Hardware Bag #6
Electronics Step 1

STEP 1: CONNECT THE MOTORS

  • X and Y motor cables, as well as motors, are interchangeable at this point
  • Insert one end of a cable into each motor
  • Insert other ends into to Ports 1 and 3 on Arduino with yellow wire at bottom as shown
  • Port 3 controls left motor Port 1 controls right motor as viewed when facing the Maslow CNC
Electronics Step 2

STEP 2: CONNECT THE POWER SUPPLY

  • Plug DC power supply into shield
  • Arduino also has a power supply port, plugging power supply into it will not damage it, but will not provide power to motors
  • Connect power cable to DC Power Supply
  • Plug power cable into surge protected electrical outlet
Electronics Step 3

STEP 3: CONNECT THE USB CABLE

  • Plug USB cord into Arduino
  • Plug other end into your computer
  • USB light will come on to indicate that board is connected and receiving power from your computer

STEP 4: DOWNLOAD THE ARDUINO IDE

  • In your browser, navigate to
    https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
  • Download latest version of Arduino IDE
  • Note: Some users have reported problems with “Windows App” version
  • Open zip folder
  • Install program on your computer
  • Open program

STEP 5: DOWNLOAD MASLOW FIRMWARE

  • In your browser, navigate to
    http://github.com/MaslowCNC/Firmware/releases/
  • Download latest version of firmware
  • Open zip folder
  • Install program on your computer

STEP 6: SET UP FIRMWARE

  • Click File -> Open
  • Select cncctrlv1.ino
  • Click Tools -> Board
  • Select Arduino/Genuino Mega or Mega 2560
  • Click Tools -> Port -> Your Port
  • Select port- on Windows, COM3, on Mac and Linux computers dev/tty/
  • If unsure, disconnect USB cable from Arduino, check which option disappears
  • Open program

STEP 7: ADD FIRMWARE TO ARDUINO

  • Click upload button in top left corner
  • This uploads firmware to Arduino
  • Linux users: if getting timeout or permissions errors, try adding username to dialout group then logging out and back in
  • When upload finishes, close Arduino IDE

STEP 8: INSTALL GROUND CONTROL

  • Go to the Ground Control page on Git Hub
  • Download latest version of Ground Control
  • WINDOWS USERS
  • Open zip folder
  • Click Launch Ground Control” shortcut
  • MAC USERS
  • Install Ground Control by moving it into your applications folder
  • Click icon in applications folder
  • Select “Open”
  • Linux and Raspberry Pi users:
  • Reference instructions on Maslow website

STEP 9: CONNECT GROUND CONTROL TO MASLOW

  • In Ground Control, click ACTIONS on top left
  • Click PORTS, a list of ports will appear
  • Select same  port you used in Step 6
  • Click CONNECT

THAT PART’S DONE! YOU’RE NOW READY TO INSTALL THE ELECTRONICS ON THE FRAME. BEFORE PROCEEDING DISCONNECT POWER CABLES, USB CABLES, AND MOTOR CABLES.

STEPS 10-12 TAKE PLACE ON THE TOP BEAM OF THE FRAME, REPEATED ON EACH END
Electronics Overview
Electronics Step 10

STEP 10: INSTALL MOTOR MOUNTS ON FRAME

  • Position motor mounts on beam flush with front and side edges
  • Using two screws per slot on base of each motor mount, fasten motor mounts to beam with wood screws
Electronics Step 11

STEP 11: ATTACH MOTORS TO MOUNTS

  • Place one motor in each bracket
  • Slide lock washers over screws
  • Fasten screws through front of motor mount into aligned holes in motor
Electronics Step 12

STEP 12: INSTALL SPROCKETS ON MOTOR SHAFTS

  • Insert set screw in hole on side of sprocket
  • Screw in slightly with allen wrench
  • Place sprocket over motor shaft
  • Tighten set screw with allen wrench
STEPS 13-14 TAKE PLACE ON THE BACK OF THE FRAME
Electronics Steps 13-14

STEP 13 ATTACH THE ARDUINO

  • Gently remove shield from Arduino
  • Position Arduino in center of plywood
  • Insert screws through holes
  • Slide standoffs over screws
  • Screw into plywood
  • Re-attach shield

STEP 14 RECONNECT ELECTRONICS

  • Attach Arduino to motors with cables
  • Connect power supply to Arduino
  • Connect USB cord to Arduino
  • For more details review electronics setup guide
Creative Commons LIcense Image

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