Marauder DIY CNC

I am just putting this post here with my notes about the project. The project is in the queue but I may use the parts for one of my first painting robots. Will assess and make a decision soon.

Marauder CNC is a simple-affordable machine that anyone can make.

Design and construction of the first one is in progress and your comments are welcome.

If you want to make an inexpensive CNC machine for home/hobby/experimental use, please get in touch.


-Fabrication from common tools.
-Inexpensive and available parts.
-Cutting area 12x9x1″ or 12x12x2″.
-Small enough to tote around.
-Support simple spindle such as a dremel.
-Ready for a makerbot style plastic extruder or YAG laser.
-Enclosure for dust and noise control.

Why another design? There are good designs out there already but they are expensive or difficult to make. Affordable ones such as Mantis have a small cutting format and the plans have gaps. Owning it is not compelling enough for the average person to go through the trouble to make it.

DIY CNC Bill of Materials (rough)

Linear Bearings

I have come up with a solution for bearings and guide rails that costs about $125. I did a more rigid solution that came up to about $170 but I don’t believe it’s necessary. I have considered ball bearings but I’m not convinced they are a good solution for a small cutting area.

Current estimate: $125

Apparently metal suppliers may have cheaper “linear round rail” that may work. I’ll take a look at that the next time I’m at metalsupermarket or superior metal.

Linear Actuation

I found an inexpensive solution for actuators. It is based on 3/8 ACME threaded rod, delrin flange nuts and some ball bearings.

Current estimate: $40


A dremel is a good spindle since most people have them or something similar. I’m also considering a spindle made from radio controlled airplane parts.

Current estimate: $40


I found a complete Nema 17 electrical kit for about $150 (more pictures).

Current estimate: $150


MDF and acrylic can form the structure of the machine. The bill of materials forĀ fasteners has not been looked at yet.

Current estimate: $50

Control Software

EMC2 is open source software that runs in Ubuntu Linux.

Design Software

This will be more of a personal choice for Marauder CNC makers but this is what I’ve looked at so far.

Total Cost Estimate: $405

Plastic Extruder

The plan is to come up with a plastic extruder that can be made by the Marauder CNC.