Fully Automated CNC PCB Drill Press

Difficulty: Star LitStar LitStar LitStar LitStar Unlit (4/5)

This might be a bit overkill but here it is. A sneak peek of my Computer Numeric Controlled Printed Circuit Board Drill Press, better know as my CNC PCB Drill Press.

CNC PCB Drill PressCNC PCB Drill Press - Back

Drilling tiny holes in custom etched circuit boards can be tough considering the boards are made of fiberglass. It’s nice to have a helping hand to keep these tiny bits at the right angle while automatically raising and lowering at a feed rate set in the Arduino software.

The rigid frame is constructed with square  1″x 1″ steel tubing with an aluminum carriage bolted to it. Sitting on top of the z axis is a Nema 23 Stepper Motor for accurate control.

The High Speed Spindle’s RPM are controlled with an Arduino Pro Mini using one of it’s PWM pins giving you full control of speed.

It features a fully Custom USB Jog Wheel that uses the inexpensive Rotary Encoder, a Custom Spindle Mount, TB6560 Driver Board,  sitting on a Custom PCB.

CNC PCB Drill Press - Custom Jog Wheel RenderCNC PCB Drill Press - Jog WheelCNC PCB Drill Press - SpindleRotary Encoder

For operation you use the jog wheel to bring the spindle towards the board until it lightly touches or just about. By quickly pushing down the jog wheel you can select the speed for raising or lowering the z-axis.

When set to fast (5mm increments) the WS2812B RGB LED shines green , and when set to slow (0.5mm increments) it shines red. Once you are ready you simply hold in the jog wheel until the program begins and you can tell because the light will blink blue.

The Nema 23 Stepper Motor is controlled with a TB6560 single axis driver board receiving step signals from the Arduino Pro Mini.

If you’d like to see more please drop a comment below, email me directly using admin@triplemike.com or hit me up at any of my social links with your comments and suggestions.

Cheapest Digital Constant Current Power Supply 50V 5A

Difficulty: Star LitStar LitStar LitStar LitStar Unlit (4/5)

New CC PSU v18 My latest model is a Constant Current Power Supply that can handle 50 volts at 5 amps. The model in the picture was rendered in Autodesk Fusion 360 and can be easily printed on almost any 3D printer, I used a PrintrBot Simple 100mm x 100mm. This model has enough space to fit a DC-DC Boost Converter that takes a 12 volt input and boosts it to 35 volts. The 35V signal is then fed into the DPS5005 Constant Current Power Supply (PSU.) The manufacturer offers this unit in a range of different voltages and amp ratings and this model fits almost all of them. Mine can handle up to 50V at 5A allowing me to upgrade the 35V Boost Converter in the future.

Cheapest Digital Constant Current PSU 50V 5AIn this picture you will see my working unit that utilizes an Arduino Pro Mini Micro Controller (MCU) with two thermistors to monitor temperature and  controls a small 40mm X 40mm x 10mm 12V Computer Fan with one of its Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) pins. I have also allowed for enough room in the case for the Power Supply Unit (PSU) that comes with a Bluetooth Module used for serial communications. The add-on allows you to control it by turning it off, on, and change various settings wirelessly as well as a program for your PC. I haven’t used this feature yet but imagine it could come in quite handy.

Cheapest Digital Constant Current PSU 50V 5A - Standby
Standby – Fan Off
Cheapest Digital Constant Current PSU 50V 5A - Cool
Cool – Fan Slow
Cheapest Digital Constant Current PSU 50V 5A - Hot
Hot – Fan Faster






I added a pair of the WS8212B RGB LED‘s which shine white when the temp is below 30ºC on either of the two heat sinks. Two 10K thermistors are used to sense if the temperature hits 31ºC. When it does the light changes blue and gradually to red as it reaches the max of 70ºC. The fan also speeds up using the same scale. I took the above photos while testing my unit with a car headlight as the dummy load.

Constant Current Arduino Pro Mini Hat v2I designed a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) in Autodesk Eagle that lines up perfectly on top of the Arduino Pro Mini. Keep in mind this part is completely optional, and might be for the slightly more advance maker. I combined all of the components required to connect the two temperature sensors, all the LED’s, and control the 12V cooling fan. You print the layout on a laser printer or any professional photo copier that uses toner and transfer it to a copper clad board using the Iron. I may create a separate post for the Ferric Chloride etching process that I use if there is any demand.

Parts List

If you’d like to see more please drop a comment below, email me directly using admin@triplemike.com or hit me up at any of my social links with your comments and suggestions.