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Name DIY Lil' CNC
Zone CNC Shop

Owner Paul Kerchen
Make Model
Part Number
Date Acquired
Storage Location No longer at i3.
Authorization Required No
Status Departed

Documentation * EMC2 Documentation
Other References DIY LIL CNC site


A three-axis CNC-controlled Dremel tool.Built from DIYLILCNC plan version 1.0.3; the Dremel tool is a 300 Series.



Do not apply any OS updates; the Ubuntu distro that runs on the box is a specialized CNC distro that has certain critical timings that could be disrupted by arbitrary package updates.


This machine has been removed from i3. It is no longer available. The machine is password-protected. Username and password are both 'i3detroit'. Please make your own directory in that account's home directory for any files you want to keep on that machine.

Once you power up everything (computer, monitor, and controller [which is the masonite box that the monitor is on]), log in and double-click on the 'tremblor' shortcut on the desktop (looks like Tux the linux penguin). That will start the AXIS software, which is what Paul recommends. From there, you can follow these instructions:

Maintenance Info

There is no routine maintenance required other than cleaning up after yourself. When you're done with it, be sure to power down the controller box AND the linux box (it doesn't automatically power down on shutdown).

Due to an oversight while building it (forgot to put a flat on the acme rod that the set screw screws into), the axis couplers may become loose over time. If this happens, you'll need to remove the appropriate access panel and tighten the set screw.


  • Can I mill printed circuit boards on this thing? Hasn't been done yet, but should be possible. However, due to slop in the gantry, it's unlikely you'll be able to get very thin traces reliably.
  • Can I drill printed circuit boards on this thing? Yes! Basically, you just need to translate your drill file to the lingua franca of the mill, G code.
  • How do I secure my work piece when milling? The base has a (removable) piece of MDF with several 1/4-20 blind nut inserts embedded in it. Using 1/4-20 bolts and fender washers, you can secure your work piece fairly well.
  • How fast is the spindle on the Dremel tool? It's variable from 5,000 to 35,000 RPM.

Last edited: Amelia Meyer Mysterious Paul 13:05, 30 May 2013 (EST)


  • Tie into shop dust collector
  • Fix the acme rods so that they have a flat on the end that is connected to the shaft couplers.

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