MPCNC build in Montreal, CA

Hi all!

So I’ve finished printing all the part for the MPCNC
All printed on an ender 3, PLA, infill as per V1’s part sheet. It took me a lot longer than his printing time tho. It took me 158 hours, and didn’t print the tool mount yet. But, I’m pretty stock with the quality and the finish of the part that I’ve printed this in!

So I’m at ordering stage. But I’m afraid that I don’t fully understand all the option that is offered to us.

I use my Ender 3 with an micro SD card, but I also can hook a PC to it. Even maybe I’ll set a server up for both my MPCNC and ender 3 (don’t even know if it’s possible or not, just thought of this yesterday)

Can someone help me understand all the option in the part ordering section?
I still need to figure out: dust collection: hose and dust collector, what are you guys using ?



Looking good!
As for the parts bundle in the shop You 5 options:

  1. Mini-Rambo bundle - Good basic controller
  2. Rambo bundle - Allows much more expandability, and is a better option if you want to be able to add other features.
  3. Rambo dual endstop bundle - Same as above, but allows you to use dual endstops for auto squaring. Much more advanced setup, so not for beginner.
    4&5. Parts bundles without a controller so you can use a different controller if you want

Also, if you want to run it like your ender, you will need to buy the “Full Graphic Smart Controller” which has a SD card slot, and lets you run it without hooking it to a PC (This is the way I run mine, and my ender 3 as well)

As for a server setup for either or both, a raspberry pi should work. I’ve been looking at Jeffeb3’s v1pi image, thinking it was something I’d like to try.


Thanks for your reply.

If I don’t buy the “full graphic…” I need a computer to hook it up? I have one laying around so I could this one. What program would I use on the computer ? Fusion cam program? Pretty new to CNC.

As for the dual ends stop Rambo kit.
Could I order this, than when I’m not beginner anymore, connect the dual end stop?
Or should I buy the Rambo and then when I want to upgrade purchase the dual end stop “package”?

Maybe I’m mixing thing too, let me know if I’m clear!

  1. Yes, if you don’t buy the LCD screen, you will need to hook it up to a computer, rpi or the like. The screen is cheap (Only $15) and also lets you control the machine directly from it using the knob like you do with the ender, so is a worthwhile upgrade.

  2. As for dual endstop, if you just buy the regular RAMBO kit, then later decide you want dual endstops, all you need to do is get the wiring for it, and flash new firmware, but with the dual endstop kit, you need to have them wired up from the start.

  3. I use Fusion360 for 3d design work, Gimp/inkscape for flat work (letters, flat carves, etc), and then ESTLcam to generate the g-code for the machine. Works out really well, and you can get/use all of those for FREE! (ESTLcam starts taking longer and longer to generate the code each time you make one, unless you buy it, but for $59, it’s very reasonable as well).

Hi Sebastien, I am in Edmonton and was in the exact same situation you are. I will try to give you a detailed answer but need a bit of time to compose it. Stay tuned…

So to be clear, I started this adventure in October 2019. I new nothing, and I mean nothing, about 3d printing or CNC.

Here are a couple things that I learned as a newbie. I will of course try to answer your questions, but I think there are a couple good nuggets below. Anyone else reading is free to correct my misunderstandings.

Summary of Advice
I expand on each topic below, but here is the summary. I encourage you to review the details.

  1. Additional Components: IMHO if you want a sleek MPCNC setup, you will spend more time on the additions than the original build of the MPCNC. Just an FYI.

  2. Sizing: Really spend some time reviewing the sizing of the machine. Foot print and work area are of course not the same thing and affect the amount of belt you need to order. It tripped me up.

  3. Board & Dual End Stops: I choose not to use dual end stops and ordered the basic mini Rambo. However, I think that this may have been a mistake. I think it maybe too much work to change out now. It might be wise just to go with the “full meal deal” and order what you think you eventually want and do the work up front to get it going.

  4. Computer: Dedicated laptop/desktop.

  5. CAD/Drawing: I am using TinkerCad, , GIMP, and Inkspace

  6. CAM/GCode Player: ESTLCam, cncjs

  7. GST: I had to pay on my order when it was delivered to my door.

Current State Of My Project
So here is a picture of of MPCNC which is about 75% done I think. I post it just for reference for what will mention in the following sections.

Additional Components
Here is something to consider.

I suppose it very much depends on your personality, but I found the original MPCNC to be pretty quick to build and get operational. Maybe a weekend or a week of nights once you have your parts and kit. However, once you build it, you soon start looking at all the pictures of what others have done and added on. Then you start trying to do the same. For me, this is super fun, but that process takes 10 times as long as the original build. What do I mean? Once you build your MPCNC here are things you start researching: tables, cable management, dust collection, enclosures, lighting, spoil boards, hold down clamps, bits, v-carving, masking, etc.

For some of those, you might end up doing the following, which was true for me on numerous occasions:

  • Searching thingiverse and the internet forever to find a solution.
  • Printing things to try out and finding them not to work out.
  • Trying to design something yourself.
  • Trying and printing your design until it works.

My point is, in my opinion looking back, the MPCNC was the easier quick thing to build because there is a pretty clear road-map for that. The other stuff takes way more time.

If Later You Decide To…

So to be clear, I took the approach, “let me start small and improve things later if required”.

I think that may have been a mistake.

On many topics (or any topic maybe) I would see some advice that basically said “you can upgrade that later if you want”. Certainly, that is possible. However, I think you need to know your personality on this. I lied to myself and thought I would upgrade things later. Look at my current project. Am I really that likely to change out my controller board now? Knowing me, probably not.

Really think about sizing. I mean really look at every result of the calucator. Here are a couple gotchas related to that.

  • The community here (I think) talks in foot print dimensions not usable work space dimensions (i.e. how big of an area can you cut). This was a bit confusing to me and I did not notice that at first.

  • Because of the above, when I ordered my kit from V1 Engineering, I did not get enough belt. There is a note on the order page that says ”GT2 Belt enough for any combination of 48" of X and Y axis length, if you would like a larger machine please see this for how much extra belt and rail you will need. If you need more add it to the cart at the same time and it will be combined.” I made the mistake of thinking this was usable workspace dimensions not footprint dimensions.

  • Why would I make that mistake if everyone talks in footprint? Well, I wanted to make sure I did everything perfectly. So I basically just started my sizing journey with the calculator link on V1 site and really only looked at that ( This calculator starts with “work width” not “foot print width”. As such it tripped me up.

  • Finally, it’s not that major, but if you add dust collection to the MPCNC you might loose additional working area. This was not obvious to me at the start. The reason being that that dust hood on the tool no longer allows (or may not allow you) to get the tool all the way back to the X/Y origin. This might not be a problem for those with a “tall” MPCNC, but it was for me.

Board & Dual End Stops
Because I took the approach “let me start small and improve things later if required” I happened to purchase the “Mini-Rambo Series Wire Kit”. This might have been a mistake because I cannot use dual end stops.

Does it matter? I am not sure yet. I read a lot of older posts that said you don’t need them. However, I get the feeling that the current way of thinking is they are a good idea. I have not done that much cutting but I use the following to help me manually put the gantry at the origin:

I use a dedicated laptop to control my MPCNC. Here is how I came to the conclusion of doing that. It just so happens that before I started these projects I had a spare desktop and a spare laptop.

  • When I first started 3D printing, I used the LCD and an SD sard on my AnyCubic Mega. I used this to print all of my MPCNC parts. However, this got old quick. I saw many people use an OctoPi but I though why do I need another piece of hardware. So I setup my spare desktop to run OctoPrint essentially using these instructions ( and (

  • For my MPCNC I simply decided use a dedicated laptop to run it.

  • In both cases the advantages for me are that if needed, I can install any type of software that may be additionally convenient to have (7Zip, Inksacpe, whatever), easy access to all my network shares, and easy access to the internet.

CAD/Drawing Software
I am using TinkerCad, ESTLCam, GIMP, and Inkspace. I am not very good with them but learning.

I get the impression that if you want to do thing “professionally” or want to interface with the professional world, Fusion360 is the way to go but harder to learn.

Lars Christensen ( seems to be a good and fun teacher for Fusion360.

CAM Software
I switched to CNCjs the desktop app ( Here is why, at least for me. I personally think this is very important but maybe others have a better explanation or solution.

After much searching, at least without end stops, the concept of starting your MPCNC job is:

  1. Move your gantry (typically manually) to what you want to be the origin.
  2. Tell the system that you are now at the origin.
  3. Start the job

Frankly, I could not reliably figure this out quickly in Repetier. In theory you would issue the following to “tell the system that you are now at the origin” see (,120561):

G92 X0 Y0 Z0


G92 X0 Y0 Z0

I could not get this to work and also saw this post that made me switch (starting job: G92 doesn't work in Repetier so I disconnect/reconnect)

The G92 X0 Y0 Z0 command works fine for me in CNCjs.

I had to pay this to Canada Post at the door.


I already found some thing on thingiverse that I’d like to print to “upgrade” the CNC

I’m going with a 18"x30"x3" working area. it fitted on a single 20’ stainless steel lenght which the shop I bought it from cut to my size spec.

think I will go with dual end stop and make it work from the beginning because I will not disassemble the CNC to install new parts very often.

As I said, I have a pc laying around which I dont mind leaving in the shop. Would like it to be connected on some server to be able to design in the house, and download the design from the shop on the PC.

I use illustrator, sketchup (very beginner), and fusion360 (pretty much very beginner too, but got a little more time to design in this software) for designing

I had no idea I needed another program.

Are those sale taxe ? So I will pay my taxes with canada poste when the parts get here ?!

thanks for your reply. Lots of thing to consider!!

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other feature like ?
Kinda curious!


Whats the difference between Rambo and Archim board ?
if I buy the Rambo Kit dual endstop, do I need something else ?
I think I must add FULL GRAPHIC SMART CONTROLLER, BIG even if I want to connect it to a pc, i will be able to use it if they’re not linked together when im ready to cut.

if I watn a drag knife/ vinyl cutter, I guess I need a 4 stepper motor to make the knife turn and follow the design, Am I right ?

thanks for all the reply! It really helps me!

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Things like a laser, extruder, automatic tool mount, dual endstops, the sky and available pins are the limit.

As for the drag knife, you just need to print the mount and buy the drag knife holder from the shop here. No extra stepper needed.

Among other things on the board the Archim has a 32 bit processor.

So much useful and relevant info @thejat ! Where were you when I had to make all those decisions?! :slight_smile:

I’m a little miffed about the sales tax. It never crossed my mind, so thanks for the heads up so I won’t look shocked after they hand me the bill.

I’m down in the Calgary area by the way. :slight_smile:


Excuse my non-knowledge about the subject, but how does the knife turn to follow the design?
I used to work with a vinyl cutter and the knife was rotating.

Oookkk… and for the mega newbie as myself, what does this bring me ?
Why would I want that instead of the Rambo dual end stop kit ?

Yes! Incredible info!

32 bit boards are “faster”, but Marlin supports both, so it isn’t actually any faster. The one place it would matter is if you had to do a lot of steps in a small amount of time. For example, if you had a high number of Z steps, you could drive it faster with a 32 bit board.

It is easy to think a faster processor matters, but in a microcontroller, the extra speed can’t help you unless your code uses it.

The Archim 2 does have tmc drivers, which give you smoother operation and feedback on errors.

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There’s some work on powered cutting knives, but most are drag knives, so they rotate into the direction of cut, but aren’t powered, kinda like grocery cart casters.

Ohh! Gotcha! Totally makes sens! That’s must have been it with the vinyl cutter