Modified X-Carve and Custom 4-Axis CNC Controller

Here is my fully customized X-Carve!
I originally bought it in 2015 but I didn’t do much with it during College. Fast-forward to 2017, I found myself wanting a machine capable of handling demanding production run, better 3D carving, and to do it all on an Open Source platform as to make future expansions possible.

I quickly ditched the TinyG GRBL shield w/Arduino Uno and pick up some control cards from Mesa, specifically the 7i76/5i25 card combo.

With Mesa cards, you need to run LinuxCNC or MachineKit to talk to the FPGA controlling the CNC. so I download a 32-bit kernel of Linux (Wheezy 2.7.14) to an older dual core Pentium II PC with a trivial amount of RAM.

The design files can be found by going to my GrabCad and Thingiverse pages –

The bill of materials is listed below –

1 7I76-5I25 PLUG-N-GO KIT
1 DROK LM2596 Analog Control Step-down Regulator Module
1 DC Fan (120mm x 120mm x 25mm 24V)
1 Mesh Dust Filter for 120mm Fan
3 DIN Rail
1 IEC320 Inlet Power Socket
4 KL-5056 Stepper Motor Driver – 32 bit DSP Based
1 Emergency Stop Button Switch
25ft 4 Pin Cable
1 Antek Linear Power Supply – 500W 30V 16A Peak 25A
3 Wall Outlets from Home Depot Find ones you like / feel are safe enough using
16ft Led Strip Lights
1 Misc. Hardware Nuts, Bolts, Standoffs, Crimp Connectors, Spare Fuses, 2 Extra Limit Switches
2 Ogrmar SSR-25 DA Solid State Relay with Heat Sink
1 18 AWG Gauge Stranded Hook-Up Wire Kit
~30pcs Heat Shrink Tubing
1 Shop-Vac
7 Uxcel 16mm Thread 4-Pin Panel Mount Wire Connector
2 8 Circuit 20A Terminal Block

If you’re considering this upgrade, you should know that LinuxCNC is VERY picky about the computer hardware you run it on.

My advice advice to you would be to go read through all the forum posts on

Pay special attention to all the information about GPU compatibility. Also, disable your computer’s power saving features and start with a computer that has only the bare essentials in it.

Getting stuck for three weeks because you didn’t notice how the after-market sound card was trashing your latency numbers isn’t a good time.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions about my X-Carve or LinuxCNC, you can comment here or email me, and I’ll do my best to help!

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