how to hack cnc

[Patrick McCabe] enjoys the challenge of playing chess against the computer but he wasn’t satisfied with the flat experience of on-screen gaming. No problem, he just built his own that he can play against. Don’t be confused, he stilill doesn’t have to touch the pieces, but instead uses the dedicated control board seen on the left of the image above. The robotic arm that is mounted on a gantry takes care

of moves for both players.

It’s a pretty normal CNC build, using four stepper motors to slide the moving bits along precision rod. An Arduino Mega drives the system, with a PC doing the heavy lifting using a program called

We certainly like it that [Patrick] spent a little bit of time making the cabinet and visible parts look nice. Chess is a civilized game and unfinished parts would be out-of-place. We didn’t see it in his writeup, but the one feature we’re really hoping he has implemented is the ability to have the robot automatically reset the board at the beginning of a game.

As you might have guess, you’ll find embedded video after the break.
Looking for more ways to enhance his 3D printer, [JJ

thing to make the link with his laptop.

They came as surface mount modules, so the first thing he had to do was develop a breakout board that he could patch into his

opportunity as he needed to do some level converting to make the 3.3V module play nicely with his 5V CNC electronics. The first version of the board turned out well but he had really a poor communications range. The second version, which is pictured above, hangs the module’s antenna off the edge of the breakout board and works a lot better.

We’ve embedded a clip after the break that walks through the development of this board. [JJ] shared the Eagle CAD files as a megaupload link, but we’ve also mirrored the file after the break for your convenience.

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