Christmas is in the Air….

Today I designed two new Christmas decorations for 3D printing and another one to cut on the CNC.
The 3D prints took ~2h each. I changed the filament in the middle to print in two colors.

XMAS Letters with 2 stars using 2 different filaments
XMAS Letters with stars infill
Wooden XMAS cut on my shapeoko CNC

3D models can be downloaded from Thingiverse:

GCodeCNC App – Work in Progress

Launch Icon

This week I made some progress with the GCodeCNC App. The App will be a fork of the GCodePrintr 3D Printing App, but optimized for CNC machines running GRBL. Icons, splashscreen and basic App customization work is done.


The layout for 10″ tablets looks good now, but there is still a lot of work . Many 3D print specific functions need to be replaced or removed. Special GRBL commands need to be added and parser for the response written.

But nevertheless, I can already use the App to control my Shapeoko CNC ! If you are interested in testing the beta, feel free to contact me by email.

Mini Lathe

I got a mini lathe for Christmas from ebay (~35€). It can be used for small wood pieces only.

Mini Lathe

Product description (in German):

Dies ist eine Mini-Buddha-Perlenmaschine, kompakte und tragbare Größe, leistungsstarke Holzdrehmaschine und schönes Aussehen. Mit erschwinglichem Preis und hoher Qualität ist es eine notwendige kleine Maschine für Buddha-Perlenliebhaber.

Speziell für Heimwerker, kleine und tragbare Größe mit starker Leistung.
Transparente organische staubdichte Glasabdeckung mit super konvektiver Kühlöffnung.
Die Schweißlinie ist mit einem vollen Schrumpfschlauch abgedeckt.
Mit 7 Stufen des Netzteils können Sie die Drehzahl einfach anpassen, um unterschiedliche Schnittgeschwindigkeiten zu erreichen.
Hochqualitative Aluminiumlegierungsbasis und reines Stahlstrukturbohrfutter.
Super großer Drehmoment-Kugellagermotor, maximale Drehgeschwindigkeit bis zu 7000 RPM, die ultra starke Schneidkraft mit niedrigem Geräusch zur Verfügung stellt, können Sie es zu Hause verwenden.

CNC Wood Turning

After doing some manual wood turning, I tried the lathe together with my Shapeoko Mill to do some CNC wood turning.

Mini Lathe mounted on Shapeoko workspace

In a few weeks I can post more about CNC wood turning…. stay tuned

CNC Christmas Decoration

For Christmas I made some nice home decors using the Shapeoko CNC mill. I used Easel to design them and generate to tool path.

Small Star (two wooden sheets glued together)
Cut wood from a pappel tree using a chainsaw. Milled out a star from one piece and it with walnut oil. Then cut a star formed pocket in another piece and put the star in the pocket.
My Shapeoko while cutting a plate with a star ornament. (tablet running early version of GcodeCNC)

Shapeoko Spindle upgrade

As written in the previous blog post, I have bought a new CNC spindle motor for the Shapeoko. The old spindle was a cheap rotary tool (like a Dremel rotary) which was very inaccurate and loud . (use with earmuffs only !). Another disadvantage was the 3mm collet, it did not hold the drill bits very well.

Old spindle motor

In order to install the new spindle, a adapter plate is needed. I read a few posts about drilling a adapter plate but I decided to try a 3d printed plate. It took me a few tries to find the right material thickness and infill settings, to avoid bending when milling.

Designed with OpenSCAD and printed in PLA on my Multec Multirap 3D Printer (Using GcodePrintr App). Please contact me by email if you need the STL or OpenScad file.
Carrier with adapter plate
Carrier with adapter plate and spindle

Once assembled, the new Spindle sits tight and does its job very well.

Spindle Motor mounted with adapter plate

The new Spindle Motor is much quieter and more accurate. I can highly recommend the upgrade !


  • Quiet
  • Accurate
  • ER11 Collect (up to 6mm)
  • Variable Speed (3000-12000r/min)
  • Speed control through GRBL (optional)
  • Inexpensive (99€)

New spindle for Shapeoko arrived

0.4KW Spindle Motor (from ebay)

Product Description
The wide voltage PWM DC brush motor speed controller applies to DC 12-60Vlow voltage permanent magnet brushed DC motor. The operating voltage is wide voltage (DC) DC12V-DC60V (Max 65V). The default potentiometer control is 5K-100K, the defaults is 10K. MACH3 -PWM speed control signal input, external PWM input requirements: level 3.5-12V VPP, frequency 1K-10KHZ, suitable for MACH3 spindle speed control. Soft-start function. Prevent excessive current caused by the motor and power damage (default 0 seconds soft start), 0-5 seconds adjustable. Control power: 12V120W, 24V240W, 36V360W, 48V480W, 60V600W.

13pcs(13 size ) ER11 PRECISION SPRING Spannzange set:

Gripping Range 0.5MM to 7MM (3/128″ to 17/64″)
Run-Out Tolerance 0.015MM (0.0006″)
First Class 1065 Carbon Steel
Hardened & Precision Ground
  • Condition: New
  • Input:AC110V/AC220V±10%  50/60Hz
  • Output: DC48V 10A
  • Adapter power: 480W

Spindle Motor:

  • Work voltage: 12-48VDC
  • Rotation speed: 3000-12000 r/min
  • Power: 400W
  • Torque: 500mN.m
  • Insulation resistance: >2 Megohm
  • Dielectric strength: 186mm
  • Diameter: 52mm
  • Axis collet Length: 48mm
  • Diameter of Axis collet holder: 16mm
  • Repeat accuracy: 0.01-0.03mm
  • ER11 collect: 3.175mm
Package Content
  • 1 x 0.4KW spindle motor with with ER11 3.175 collet
  • 1 x Mach3 PWM speed controller( include potentiometer )
  • 1 x  Mount bracket with screws
  • 13 pcs (different size 1mm-7mm) ER11 collets
  • 1 x Power supply 48V 10A


Shapeoko CNC Mill Kit

Beginning of this year (2018) I joined the club of Shapeoko CNC machine owners 🙂

Assembled CNC Mill

I got mine from here in Germany. It took me a few days to assemble the kit.

Assembly in pictures in my Google Photo Galerie

My first test was some plotting using a pencil.
It took me a while to find the right cnc tools to generate the toolpath.
Most cnc tools (CAM) require Windows but I only have a Linux PC in my workshop. Pycam worked but crashed when reading a SVG file. I ended up using FlatCAM for Linux (meant for PCB milling) to do the plotting.

I designed a simple pencil holder with OpenSCAD and printed it with my 3D printer.

Luckily my GcodePrintr 3D Print App required a few modifications only to work with the GRBL firmware running on the Shapeoko electronics. My goal is to publish a modified version of the App for CNC milling (App name will be GcodeCNC). I’ll keep you posted.