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Redefining Precision in Desktop CNC Machining

Introducing CHOX—an exceptional desktop CNC machine designed for precise cuts in wood, acrylic, soft metals like aluminum and brass, and even routing of PCB boards. This compact powerhouse reshapes the desktop workspace, offering unparalleled versatility and exactness for elevated creative endeavors. Join the journey as we explore the capabilities of CHOX, where every cut and routing exemplify precision crafted right on the desktop.

This project marks the genesis of my fascination with numerical control machines, manufacturing, and various realms of knowledge. Serving as my introduction to the world of third-party work and project development, it holds a special place as the emblem of my initiation into a journey that has unfolded over the years.

This endeavor kickstarted my career, representing the starting point of a long road that has evolved with time. While the destination remains uncertain, one thing is clear curiosity, much like the spark ignited by this project, will continue to open doors, shaping my path in unforeseen yet exciting ways.


Project Description

This project undertakes the meticulous development of a desktop CNC machine, driven by the core objective of transcending its role as a mere tool. Instead, the aim is to craft a versatile apparatus capable of serving as a facilitator for a diverse range of project endeavors. A pivotal requirement in this pursuit is the machine’s ability to handle aluminum effectively.

This CNC machine aspires to be more than just a workshop component; it aims to establish itself as an indispensable resource, particularly in the realm of precision. A notable feature is its capacity to achieve precision levels necessary for printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication, allowing for a remarkably low deviation of merely 0.01mm. This stringent precision requirement is instrumental in ensuring the machine’s efficacy in producing intricate PCB designs, contributing to the overall versatility and reliability of the tool.


Start date:01/10/17
Duration:2 months

My Role

  • Project management.
  • Mechanical design.
  • Electric design.
  • Manufacturing and set-up.

As we delve into this endeavor, the focus remains on engineering a CNC machine that not only meets immediate project needs but positions itself as a cornerstone for precision-driven creative pursuits, catering to varied requirements with utmost accuracy.



The journey of the CHOX project has been a dynamic evolution, marked by a commitment to refining its capabilities and addressing specific challenges. The initial iteration, CHOX-V1, boasted rapid XY movements facilitated by timing belts, accompanied by side-mounted stepper motors. Its work surface comprised drilled wood, and it featured a compact 100V DC 500W spindle.

While CHOX-V1 excelled in speed, it encountered limitations when dealing with stiffer materials, lacking the necessary force and inertia. This realization prompted a transformative overhaul, giving rise to CHOX-V2. In this enhanced version, the timing belts were replaced with power lead screws, prioritizing increased XY force, albeit at a slightly reduced speed.


A pivotal upgrade in CHOX-V2 was the replacement of the spindle. The new AC 3-phase 2.200 W air-cooled spindle, coupled with a dedicated speed control inverter, signified a significant enhancement in performance and versatility. This strategic modification aimed to overcome the limitations of the previous spindle, ensuring optimal efficiency across a broader spectrum of materials.

Key Features

High-Speed Spindle

An efficient, high-speed spindle enhances cutting performance, reducing processing time and increasing overall productivity.

Rigid Frame Structure

A stable frame minimizes vibrations, ensuring consistency and accuracy, especially crucial for intricate designs and tight tolerances.

Integrated Cooling System

Featuring both fluid coolant and air cooling, the integrated cooling system is essential for temperature control during machining. It prevents overheating and ensures optimal performance.

User-Friendly Control Interface

An intuitive control interface simplifies programming and operation, making the CNC machine accessible to users with varying levels of expertise.

Dust Collection System

A dust collection system, depicted by a cloud download icon, contributes to a clean working environment, preventing debris buildup and ensuring the longevity of the machine, crucial for maintaining accuracy in cuts.

Versatile Material Compatibility

The CNC machine should accommodate a range of materials, from softwoods to metals like aluminum and brass, broadening its application possibilities.

Technologies Used:


My design journey commences with Autodesk Inventor, a pinnacle of design software. Every nuance of Sophia’s blueprint is meticulously crafted using Inventor’s versatile tools. This includes intricate components tailored for both CNC manufacturing and Lase Cuting. The software ensures that each design element aligns seamlessly with our vision, setting the stage for a successful manufacturing process.


The transition from digital blueprint to physical reality unfolds through cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. Laser cutting adds finesse to specific elements, while CNC machining forms the structural backbone of our system. These manufacturing techniques synergize to manifest our project’s form and function with an unmatched level of accuracy.


With the physical components precisely defined, the spotlight turns to GRBL firmware. Skillfully compiled using PlatformIO in Visual Studio Code on the Arduino platform, GRBL takes center stage, meticulously orchestrating the movements and functionalities of our project. This seamless integration of GRBL ensures that our CNC machining system not only meets but surpasses the demands of innovation.

To further enhance the user experience, calibration and operational control are seamlessly executed using the online software, Chilipeppr. This intuitive platform adds an extra layer of accessibility, providing a user-friendly interface for fine-tuning and managing the intricate operations of our CNC machining project.

Built by Juan C Botero with | Power by Main 12