Arduino Mini-CNC Plotter

I hope everyone has had a good start to 2021. I decided to start the year with a project I have had on hole for a while. I am building a 2D mini-CNC plotter using 2 steppers from old DVD drives and the Adafruit Motor Controller Shield ( with the L293D chip).
I need someone who has a good understanding of stepper motors who would be willing to sit with me for an hour or so to go over the project with me as I am getting unexpected results. When I run test codes the steppers run through the routine just fine, going in the right directs and through the full travel for each axis. After I have loaded the mini-CNC sketch I am able to jog steppers through their full travel.
However, when I load an image to be printed ( I am using Pronterface) the plotter draws gobbly goop. I have also used the ‘Processing’ sketch and other programs other people are use and I get the same result. I have swapped around wires for the steppers and tried changing settings with no success.
My mobile is xxxxxxxx. Please message me privately for my number to call or text if you have a bit of time to spare.

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Hey Adrian,

Can you post up your code and some photos of what it’s plotting?

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Hey Guys, thanks for getting back to me and I appreciate you trying to help via the blog. However, this is a learning project and I was really hoping for someone to sit with me and go through it and explain where I’d gone wrong and different ways of getting it going.
I am pretty certain now it it the sketch I have down loaded from Github. It isn’t translating the code from the printer interface. It also randomly causes the steppers to clash causing the control board to freeze and overheat the shift register.
So have am constructing a sketch from scratch in the hope of teaching myself how to code steppers rather than relying on a sketch from online. Wish me luck.


Hi Adrian,

I’m confident that if you give our forum a chance by sharing your code and photos of your setup/wiring we can do just as good a job of helping you out :slight_smile: That’s what we’re all about!

That said, we don’t have a free one on one support service. If you don’t want to give us a shot, I’d suggest getting in touch with a local maker space to see if you can find some support there. There seems to be one in pretty much every town these days.

FYI, I’ve also removed your phone number from your post - it’s not a good idea to post it publicly on the internet as it can lead to identity theft. If someone feels they can help they can always send you a private message for your number once they’ve made a few posts to get their trust level up.