Vex CNC machine

Is it possible to build a CNC machine with vex parts
Using linear slides

Possible? Mostly
Practical? No.

It would cost way more than a CNC machine from Banggood or something similar anyway


possible yes, practical no.

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But why would you want to do that?

Possible, no.
Practical, no.

Vex metal is too soft for that stuff. You’d grind away the cutting tools faster than you grind away at the target metal

Agreed, but still why???

If i do build it i don’t intend to use it on metal
I would probably use it on lexan the or plexiglass

The biggest issue you would have is tolerances. It is possible, but VEX parts are made for competition robotics aren’t made to give you the very precise 0.1mm movements you would need for CNC. I think slop would be your biggest hurdle to overcome. You could easily use the VEX control system, motors and structural parts to make a frame, but perhaps use some different linear motion parts.


Once again, if you want to do this to save money over buying a real CNC machine, this will absolutely not be the right option. The brain alone costs much more than a cheap CNC machine, let alone the motors and all the rest of the parts.

This is a more expensive, less effective and much harder to use/build option than buying a cheap CNC machine.

Furthermore, you would have to do some pretty advanced programming to convert standard g-code into something your machine can execute precisely and even more importantly, accurately.


It’d be pretty sick if you did but it’s not at all practical and would cost more than buying a better one lol

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While @djavaisadog is 100% correct that if you compare the prices of vex components required to build it, with a price of an entry level CNC that you can buy online, it makes very little sense to do so.

However, if you consider the sunk costs of some old 393 motors, linear slides, and steel c-channels that many teams have lying around then, given the high educational value of such project, it may not be a bad idea after all.

I would love to see somebody getting a cheap Arduino CNC shield to drive 393 motors. Then build a 3-axis contraption that drives a cheap Dremel rotary tool to carve custom shapes out of Lexan or Derlin sheets.

There are a lot of CNC software options for those Arduino shields, so it comes down to finding a good mechanical solution to minimize free play in the moving parts and increase feedback and control precision.


Now that I think about it I might take it on as a side project since I’ve got some spare parts and a dremel. Getting the precision will be the hard part but theres plenty of options to minimize play; buying industry gears, axles, and bearings is a start. Just use the vex parts for structure

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