Pre Build Advice

Just joined the forum after spending the last few weeks browsing. I’ll start with a little background about myself. I have a bachelors in mechanical engineering technology which gave my some experience writing G code as well as using mastercam, my background is mostly in CAD design (Catia & NX). The last few years I’ve dabbled in wood working and me and my wife started selling some projects here and there on the side.

I’ve been in the market for a while now for a CNC but was having a hard time justifying the cost of an X-Carve or Shapeoko. I stumbled upon a MPCNC on craigslist which stirred up my interest. Unfortunately that unit sold so now I’m working though everything I need to get for my first build.

I’m looking to do a 24in x 48in x 3in workspace, I understand I will need mid rail supports. I will be purchasing all of the parts since I don’t have a 3D printer. My biggest question is which board to buy, my understanding is it mostly depends if you are planning on running end stops? Should I just go for the basic control board? Get the board with the provisions for end stops incase I decide to add them later?


Here my current list of what I need to order or pick up:

  • Parts Bundle (unsure on which control board to go with)
  • 23.5mm Printed parts
  • .75in EMT Conduit
  • Additional Belt
  • Dw660
  • E-Stop
Anything I am missing? I'm excited to place my order soon and get started on my build.





You may want to look at the Low Riders instead, with that 48" axis. It’s sort of their raison d’etre.

As for the board, it sounds like the Rambo 1.4 is a good choice, although technically, any board could drive the hardware. The Archim and other 32-bit boards sound very promising, but still a little new to the game. Unless you’re a real tinkerer, you might want to wait for them to settle in (note that some people have great success with them, it just feels like everything is quite new and getting patched into the firmware nightly). Regardless, I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone to help you if you run into any problems, no matter what board you end up getting (or from where).


+1 to this. I’m not saying LR2 is absolutely the way to go, but it is worth a look depending on what sort of projects you anticipate doing. The big advantage the LR2 will have at 4’ wide (even if you still have a very short Y axis) is you can end-feed sheet goods into the machine without having to break them down to <2’ to fit them between the MPCNC center supports.

1 Like

Thinking about it a little more I probably don’t need a full 48in of working space, honestly i probably wouldn’t need anymore than around 36in. So realistically I could do pretty much everything i would want with a 24x36x3.

With the lowrider would you put a high priority on dust collection? Seems like you could have some issues with waste material at your outer wheels?

I did a 36x36 side conduit build and while the mid spans work ok, it is a bit because I can’t slide bigger material in. It’s a pain. Didn’t think of that.


Shop vac with the lowrider is a really nice to have. I’ve run it without and so far haven’t had anything big enough to screw with anything get under the wheels. Generally I use dust collection with both machines though. Keeps the crap out of the air.

Well just placed my order. I don’t think I want to dabble with end stops and since this is my first build I decided to keep it as simple as possible and just went with a mini Rambo board. Worse case if I change my mind down the road there’s always the option of switching out components. Looking forward to getting started once my order arrives!

The current plan is a 24x36x3 working area. This should account for pretty much every project I have in mind.

Since I don’t have a printer, I may be in the market for a set of mid rail supports as well as a case for the LCD if someone is able to help me out.

I know the mini Rambo is significantly lower in price sot that is a benefit. I got the Archim 1.0 board which is currently out of stock. I found the wiring very simple because it was one stepper, one cable, one socket. And the end stop wiring was fairly simple. I made a bigger machine so the standard harness wasn’t enough so I had to do a bit of wire splicing.

I really like the end stops. It works great. I am surprised at how many times I bump the axes and knock it out of square or I do some bonehead move and crash into something, causing it to go out of square. The auto home does make it easier to manage those difficulties.

It all seems fairly worked out now.

Actually you get a best case… When you decide you want end stops on the MPCNC, you can re-purpose the Mini for your Low Rider. The LR is easier to get square before each job, so less incentive to go with the dual end stops.