Okay Jeff, question for you... Now that I have this Probotix CNC mill and controller, wouldn't be a fairly straightforward conversion to remove the router and replace it will an extruder? The CNC USB controller already understands G-Code, so all I should need is to change software to build instead of cut correct? I could use my 4th axis output to drive the extruder, I think. Am I missing something?
Hi dog-one, yes in theory you are very correct . I don't remember how many steppers move the three axes XYZ, I think it's one for each. If the 4th axis is not being used, you would need to go into the software and see if you can activate the 4th axis and also have calibration perimeters, speed and direction, also is there a 4th driver board for the stepper and of course the 4th stepper motor. Next thing would be to have some way to control the temperature of the heated bed and the extruder. Also a way to hold a 15 lb. spool of filament above the extruder. One word of caution though, if in fact there is a driver board installed already and not being used, do not
activate it unless you have a stepper connected to it correctly, otherwise you will blow the board.
There is a friend of mine who just joined the forum, who has built a cnc router from scratch and who recently built my 3d printer [with a little different twist, called the Prusa air], to do upgrades to his router machine and lathe. Now he's building a printer for his son. He is very knowledgeable as well, here is his YT channel.https://www.youtube.com/user/ricochetproducts
He made the frame of the prusa air with his cnc router [files for g-code can be downloaded from thingiverse.com for free], then used my plastic parts kit to build the printer, here's a video he made of it printing, just want to make it very clear though, in no way is this a sales pitch, it's merely just to show what you could do with your router. Here is the wiki page for it and what Joe Prusa say's about it I do not believe, especially when the frame is made from plywood. Here is an improved version on thingiverse.com, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:14204 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGYrDFXmZtc&feature=plcp
Well hope this helps dog-one. :cool::D