Denford CNC Controller

I was given a Denford CNC machine that is in amazing condition. It used to be in a school so I think no one had time to learn how to use it properly.

It was controlled through a proprietary software that is no longer maintained. Instead of reverse engineering the serial protocol that interfaces to it, I decided to make a new controller.

The new controller is based on GRBL and is a drop in replacement for the old one. It sits on the 36 way header and uses a cheap microcontroller board that is compatible with GRBL.

All inputs are protected with clamping diodes to protect against voltage spikes. Additionally there is an RC filter which debounces the switches and a buffer.

Because I didn't want to make a USB cable to hook it up to a computer I decided to add a Bluetooth transceiver to the board. This lets me connect to it using my phone and this works amazingly well. I do all the homing and Gcode streaming through an app called GRBL Controller.

You can order a fully assembled and tested board on my Tindie Store.

If you want to build your own, here is the project repository.