Prospective New User - Questions

Hello Everyone,

First of all may I say a big hello to everyone and Happy New Year.

I would like some help deciding which hardware/software/functional route to follow. I have no 3DPrint or CNC experience. I am an electrician with many years of electronics and IT experience.

I’m currently researching a basic routing machine for wood (ply) for a one-off narrowboat (Google it) internal fit-out project in the UK.

I have already completed the required design in Fusion.
I have the remains of an original Prusa Explorer (
I have an Arduino Uno, Nano and Mega Pro available
I am basically starting from scratch with no working mechanical hardware!

From what I have seen here I think a LowRider or variant, suitable for apprx 6’x2’finished wood size, would solve a number of my problems!



  1. If I repaired what I have with new a controller and driver boards, would your software work in both applications.
  2. What ‘aftermarket’ hot end could I use - to make what I have work - any issues or suggestions
  3. I have seen 2.2KW cooled spindles for approx. the same price as the suggested Dewalt/Makita routers, would these be better and would the gantry be strong enough not to flex?
  4. As mentioned, this is one off, could a normal router be utilised - implications?
  5. Could, say, TB6600 driver be used (just asking)
  6. The finished machine needs to be as quiet in operation as possible. Normal routers can be horrendous, what is your recommended router like for noise in use. I’m guessing a spindle would be quiet y/n

7) I am concerned about rigidity and possible flexing of the gantry as I have joints to cut in specific areas. Could someone comment about this?
8) In practice how precise is LowRider and is the carriage rigid when moving, travelling etc
9) Software wise what comes in the kit?
10) Could I use UGCSender or UGCsender + GRBL but use your printed parts.
11) I would be interested in hard-stops on the long axis to help alignment, tool zeroing and E-stop etc are these sort of things easily achievable with LowRider.
12) What sort of changes are made with your software when compared to ‘pure’ Marlin code
13) How does the carriage stay parallel to the table - I cant see any guide rollers on the sides
14) Lastly, because of import taxes, taxes and duty to the UK, it wouldn’t be cost effective to buy from you directly. Would you be open to a donation to come under the V1Engineering wing and access help?

Thanks in advance

1-Barely what you have sounds old, and the steppers are probably very small. You can try but quality these days for the price is insane.

2-same as above.

3-No, you still need the VFD to drive it and that is very expensive.

4-Yes and is recommended the 611


6-Vacuum has to run as well. It is loud just cutting, I made a video demonstrating just this.

7-? what tolerances do you have to have, you are building it 6x2 it should be very solid at that size.

8-See 7 the firmware is set at 100 steps per mm so theoretical resolution is stupidly insane, practical, depends on how well you use the machine. we get from 1/4" to 0.1mm resolution depending on all sorts of things, mostly the operators experience.

9- nothing


11-built in

12-all available in the github page for you to look through yourself, that is a very open question.

13-it has no reason to turn

14-I have a donation page.


You might want to dig around a bit more. Those are a wide range of very broad questions, from seeing those you should really follow the standard build hardware and software as I have laid out in the main menus for each machine. If there was a better way I would recommend that any deviations should be very deliberate and intention with full understanding of why you are doing it. Asking about different drivers and software sounds like someone on some forums somewhere said it is better.

I recently built a LowRider v2 to cut full 4’x8’ sheets of plywood. I used everything that Ryan supplied (except the 3D printed parts, a friend of mine printed those out for me) and the machine works great! I’m new to the CNC world as well and within a week of having it built, I easily routed out a 40" diameter circle out of 1/2" maple plywood that came out as a perfect circle - no deviation that I could detect. One of the keys is to build your table as square as possible - I think that is paramount to a good end result. I worked on my table until I had it to 1/64th of an inch square over a 10’ diagonal measurement. Basically, I got it as square as my tape measure could graduate down to. I then leveled the top of the table as much as possible. Is it perfect? No, but for under $700US into the machine it is within about 98% of the accuracy of a $100,000 Haas CNC Router. I’d say that’s a win all around!!

The community here will be more then willing to help out with advice and solutions - I turn to them all the time!!

I cannot say enough how excited I am to have discovered V1 and all Ryan has to offer! I just finished my LR2 last week and I’m already designing my MP3DP and once I have that, I will be making a ZenXY table… lol.

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The way this machine is designed, you can vary almost any conponent on it’s own. Each machine is conpletely unique. But to make things easier to support and just easier in general, there is a common way to do everything. If you stick to the recommendations, you’ll have fewer problems and find quick answers.

Things like grbl and chinese spindles are common for cnc but not the standard around here for various reasons. There are a lot of v1 machines with these options in the wild though.

You’d be pretty happy with a 2’ wide low rider of any length. for #13, If you’re worried about it, you can add some runners that will keep the wheels from driving inward. There are a lot of things you can edit and most of them don’t require any destruction.

I would love to see more details on your build. That seems like a dream project.

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As always, more eloquent the me. Thanks fellas. I think I will give others a chance to answer before I swoop in and sound like a punk as a rule in general now…My short and hurried answers come off with the wrong tone reading it the second time around.

I keep seeing posts on people getting very technical with these machines which is awesome but it’s because that is their passion not because it is necessary. When I first built my machine I was way over thinking it, then my friend reminded me to keep it simple stupid. A lot of the programming I see being done seems to be more tinkering. If you use an LCD, home is wherever the spindle is when the machine is powered on which is awesome once you learn to work with it. The multi thousand dollar cnc at the local high school is very nice but setup takes forever. Once material is placed the machine has to jog around and detect edges and material height and perform its voodoo. I lock material in, move my spindle to where I want home to be, power on and start cutting. As far as rigidity goes please dont try comparing this to other machines. I recently read a post about being disappointed his first machine was an MPCNC, after upgrading to a much much more expensive machine with proprietary software he was happy. Good for him.

This is an extreamly 3D capable CNC built with 3D printed parts and conduit with unlimited dimension possibilities. It’s not going to muscle through projects but it does everything it’s designed to do amazingly well! Plus the customer support is second to none!

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LOL! Too funny! I always look forward to your answers - short and to the point (goes without saying considering you are trying to pack too much work into too little time!!). I try to jump in when I can to add some VERY newly acquired personal experience. Having answers from the guys that have been around a long time is great but sometimes some basics might be missed because they seem so basic. (if that makes sense). lol

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You covered all the specific questions and made a very good observation. I thought there was just a little context missing, but I didn’t have to this morning to answer everything. So please continue youe to the point responses.

It makes a lot of sense to me and I appreciate it.

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We ought to put Heffe’s answer into a macro, so it can pop out with just one key…

Prospective new builder here.

Forgive my ignorance - I just stumbled on this site. Assembling the materials and building the machine looks simple enough (I did say simple, not easy.)

What is everyone controlling the Lowrider with? ie what software are you using to map out your project to send to the CNC?

There are a couple components:

  1. Design your dxf or svg file in inkscape, onshape, fusion360, or just find a design you like. This is the CAD step.
  2. Create a gcode file with the toolpaths. Which lines you you want to cut. Which areas fo you want to pocket. What speeds and depth do you want to use, etc. This is called CAM. My prefetence is EstlCAM. There are some tutorials on this site for it and some youtube videos.
  3. You need something to send the gcode during the cut. There are three typical options:
    a) Put the gcode on an SD card and put that I the LCD connected to the machine, then pick the file from the display.
    b) Connect a raspberry pi and load the file using octoprint or cnc.js. look at v1pi for this.
    c) Connect a comouter via usb and use repetier host to send the file.

V1Engineering is Ryan, and has information about all these steps from the drop downs above. Check it out and post more questions here.

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Now that the laser page is almost done next up is a controls page, I am going to cut and paste your reply…

I have to say for the gigantic increase in traffic there are not nearly as many information weaknesses as I expected. We done good everyone!

Maybe fix some of the typos in before you post it. :slight_smile:

Oh, come on. Isn’t “comouter” a valid spelling option?

That’s where I do all of my comouting.

Lol - I had to go back and read the post again to find that error. When you and Bill started talking about it I didn’t know if you meant computing, computer or commuting. lol.

Isn’t the comouter the device that communicates with the router?

Technically, it communicates with switches, but it’s a common mistake.

Jeffb3 - thanks for the simple straightforward explanation. The software doesn’t look too complex to run either.

I am using apple at home so ideally, I’d like to stay with what I have. I see inkscape will work with my macbook but EstlCAM will only work on Windows. The pricepoint for a hobbyest and the simplicity look great. Maybe I’d just have to partition my mac and run EstlCAM.

It looks like Fusion 360 does both CAD and CAM, runs on a mac and is a free download for hobbyists. Is there a reason you’re not recommending it?