Mini CNC Machine - Isel CPM 2018

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  • This machine should not be operated without induction.
  • This machine should not be left unattended during operation.

Isel CPM 2018 - Desktop CNC Milling Machine

The CPM2018 is a computer controlled milling machine with three linear axes.


Movement areas X/Y/Z [mm]

Clamping table [mm]

The machine is suitable for milling, boring, cutting, engraving, proportioning, metering, positioning, and many similar applications.

Allowed Materials:

Suitable tooling materials are:

  • Wood
  • PVC
  • Glass
  • Plastics
  • Printed circuit materials
  • Aluminium

Any other materials, please ask @cnctechs for approval before milling!

Condition Notes

Donated to the space September 2018 not working, control system replaced with LinuxCNC / Mesa setup - Q1 2020.

Induction and Training

Mini CNC Induction Waiting List

Description of task

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining is a subtractive manufacturing technology. This means that parts are created by removing material from a solid block (called the stock, blank or the workpiece) using a variety of cutting tools.


A CNC machine removes material from a solid block using a variety of cutting tools to produce a part based on a CAD model.

CAD / CAM experience is helpful, but we will give some basics of how to mill a 2.5D design using VCarve - additional tutorials are available online for more advanced techniques.

Induction will cover:

  • Risk assessment and safety
  • A brief introduction to milling
  • Coordinate systems, work holding devices, tools and types of cutting
  • Basic use of VCarve Pro to generate tool paths
  • A brief introduction to LinuxCNC
  • Overview of our Isel CPM2018
  • Loading your GCode onto the PC
  • Homing the machine
  • Securing the stock to the CNC bed
  • Fitting the collet and cutting tool to the spindle
  • Touch off the axes on the stock
  • Running your GCode
  • Cleaning up



Risk Assessment

Isel Desktop CNC Risk Assessment

Before Use

  • Power on Isel CNC machine from power socket switch
  • Power on PC using front power button on the PC case
  • Login to Linux with username: cnc password: cnc
  • Start LinuxCNC from desktop shortcut ‘CPM2018’
  • Touch your keyfob in to the tool control box on the right rear corner of the machine to begin your CNC session
  • Release the Emergency-Off switch on the front panel of the machine by turning clockwise
  • Power on the machine with the green POWER button next to the Emergency-Off switch
  • Copy your GCode onto the PC from a USB stick
  • Home all the axes
  • Insert cutting tool and appropriate collet for the desired operation and snug down

During Use

  • For emergency situations, you find an Emergency-Off switch on the front-panel of the machine.
    It interrupts the power supply to the power module and tooling machine.
    However, the software - machine communication remains possible for fault tracing
  • Opening the COVER while machine is in motion will abort the program and stop all movement. Even pressing the COVER button will cause movement to cease.
  • Run your program with no stock well above the bed to make sure movements look correct
  • Firmly mount your stock to the mill bed using appropriate work holding devices
  • Touch off the tool in the corner or middle on all 3 axes on your stock, depending on where you set the XY datum position in your design software.
  • Run your GCode program while paying close attention to machine movements, speed and chip buildup

After Use

  • Press in the Emergency-Off switch to disable the machine
  • Close LinuxCNC application
  • Safely shutdown the PC
  • Remove cutting tool and collet and place back in their appropriate locations
  • Clean the machine carefully and remove chips and dust deposits with a vacuum and brush, the axes can be moved by hand when the machine is powered off to get underneath the axes
  • Power off the Isel CNC from the power socket switch
  • Ensure the cover to the machine is left closed

Reminder: Carefully clean all the chips out carefully with a vacuum and brush after use!

Maintenance (@cnctechs only)

Maintenance - To be done only by @cnctechs

Open the hood before switching off the machine using the mains switch, as once the power is off the door can no longer be opened.

Switch off the mains switch before any cleaning and any maintenance. Also, pull the power plug in order to prevent an inadvertent starting.

Clean the machine regularly with a broom or vacuum cleaner of all chips (no compressed air). That protects the mechanics against early wear.

  • With frequent machining operations and very fine chips (dusts), you should regularly remove the cover plate of the Y-axis below the T-slot plate and remove possibly penetrated chips and/or dusts.

  • The sealing lips include a Teflon component and require no special maintenance.

  • Clean the perspex windows with a non-abrasive fluid cleaner.

  • The shaft guides and drive shafts are provided with a long-term lubrication ex works. Depending on the load, you should grease the shaft guides and drive shafts approx. all 500- 1000 operating hours. Use usual rolling bearing grease for that purpose.

See Isel manual below for detailed instructions.

Autodesk Fusion 360 Machine Profile (3.3 KB)


LinuxCNC Axis Interface

Isel CPM 2018 Original Manual (3.0 MB)
MS 135 HT-2 Stepper Motors (122.2 KB)
UFM 500 Milling Motor / Collets (171.1 KB)
Mesa 7i76e Stepper controller / Daughtercard (441.3 KB)
DM542T Stepper Drivers (687.0 KB)