Learning to properly use a lathe properly takes some time to master. If you’d like to use a CNC machine, you also need to learn to work with CAD (computer aided design) software, design proper tool paths in CAM (computer aided manufacturing), and actually run the machine using its computer hardware and software. This presents a huge gap between simply turning down a piece of stock and making something with complicated modeled curves.
To bridge this gap and still maintain his machine’s manual capability, YouTuber and mechanical engineer “Wade’o Design” took matters into his own hands, augmenting a Grizzly G0752 with Arduino and stepper motor control. While not a full CNC machine, it allows him to program in drawing points using an interface consisting of only 3 buttons and an LCD screen. An Arduino Uno then commands the X and Z axis to cycle through these points, progressively cutting the part down until the desired shape is made.
Use as a manual lathe is still maintained, but instead of directly turning either axis, the hand wheels are now hooked up to encoders, instead via the servos for direct control. This has the added benefit of being able to display the cutter’s position on the interface’s LCD screen.
Be sure to check it out in action in the video below!