Zenworks CNC (re)Build

My buddy just moved into a new apartment and was forced to downsize his workspaces. As a result, he sold me his partially assembled Zenworks CNC for CHEAP. I immediately set out to get it up and running.

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How I Got This Machine

A buddy of mine just moved into a smaller apartment downtown, and was forced to downsize his workspaces. As a result, he sold me his partially assembled Zenworks CNC for cheeeeap, and I immediately set out to get it up and running.

For $260, I Got…

Preparing For Refurb

When I got the machine, it was a spider web of cables and crimps. Step 1 for me was to strip all of the pieces off to begin cleaning it up.

Running New Wires

Building a Base Cabinet

The Power Supply

Designing an Acrylic Carrier

Laser Cutting the Acrylic Carrier

Installing & Wiring Components

Cost Breakdown – Power Supply

48VDC 7.5A Power Supply $35 Provides primary power to spindle + feeds the Arduino DC Buck Converter.
12VDC x 8A Power Supply $14 Provides primary power to DC stepper controllers,
DC to DC Buck Converter $10 Steps the 48VDC spindle power down to 5VDC for the Arduino.
4-Pin “Aviation” Connector $3 4-Pin Connector: Ground + 48VDC + 12VDC + 5VDC
M5x15mm Brass Standoffs $4 M5x15mm Brass Standoffs
M3x5mm Brass Ferrules $3 M3x5mm Brass Ferrules
M3 x 10mm Alloy Steel Hex Bolt $3 M3 x 10mm Alloy Steel Hex Bolts

Arduino & Motor Controllers

Pinout & Wiring

Helfpul Pinouts at Grbl Github.

Designing & Laser Cutting Carrier

Cost Breakdown – Arduino & Controllers

Arduino Uno r3 $25
Stepper Driver (x3) $105
M3 15mm Brass Standoffs $0.153/ea
M3 Knurled Nut Threaded Insert $0.05/ea
Wire ~$6
Scrap Acrylic $1.40/lb (€2.61/kg)

Final Assembly

Limit Switches

Helpful Limit Switch Docs on the Shapeoko Forums.
About Arduino Inputs
Zenworks suggests NC wiring.

Stepper Motors

Thanks, Inventables
Thanks, Inventables

200 Steps/Rev. (1.8deg/step)
But what about polarity?


The spindle arrived largely intact. There’s a very small amount of runout, but I’ll wait to pass judgement until a few projects have come & gone.

Firmware & Calibration

Flashing The Arduino

GBRL, available via Github.

Setting GRBL Parameters

Reference: GRBL Settings
Reference: Grbl’s Settings and What They Mean

Calibrating The CNC

How to Set Your GRBL Feed Rate

GRBL Settings 101: A How to Guide


First Cut

Generating The G-Code

Sending G-Code > Arduino

Leftovers & Total Costs

Initial Purchase $260
Power Supplies $72
Control Systems $140
eBay Sales -$230

Full Disclosure This page contains links to products I’ve purchased at full price & use myself. When you buy something from a link on this page, I earn a few pennies to help pay for my cheap-and-completely-okay web hosting.

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