Upgrade a 3018 CNC Machine to a 5050 by Building a New Rig
Outgrowing a small CNC machine is common for engineers and makers, and sometimes buying a larger rig isn’t feasible. There’s always the option of upgrading, which RP HOBBYIST decided to do with their 3018 CNC machine, transforming it into a larger 5050 with additional features.
The build process is pretty straightforward and involves taking the 3018 apart and discarding the aluminum profiles and rods, as they won’t fit the larger 5050 frame.
Once the breakdown is over, the base assembly uses 6T slot aluminum extrusion, aluminum rods, anti-backlash spring-loaded nuts, and lead screws. The plate is built using MDF and aluminum for stability with the larger frame.
The X-axis and spindle module assembly are then added, along with the wire harness. Of course, the larger 5050 requires updated code, including changing the threaded rod from two-start to four-start on the X-axis and Y-axis.
RP HOBBYIST added features that don’t affect the 5050 CNC machine as well, including a 3D-printed V-slot cover for dust collection and a large emergency shut-off button.
They also added a Bluetooth module for wireless connectivity, a laser module for engraving, a bit holder, an end-stop switch, and an ESP32-based camera.
RP HOBBYIST has uploaded a detailed walkthrough, complete with BOM, schematics, and the code needed to get up and running on Instructables for those interested in recreating the project.