For many years now a source for some of the smallest and cheapest home made CNC mechanisms has been the seemingly never-ending supply of surplus CD and DVD-ROM drives. The linear actuator that moves the laser may not be the longest or the strongest, but it’s free, and we’ve seen plenty of little X-Y tables using CD drives. It’s these mechanisms that [Nemo404] has taken a little further, freeing the lead screw and motor from the drive chassis and placing them in a 3D-printed enclosure for a complete linear actuator that can be used in other projects. (Video, embedded below.)
There seems to be no positional feedback, not even the limit switch that would grace a typical CD drive, but aside from that it makes for a compact unit. There are two versions, one for a linear bearing and the other for the brass bushes found in CD drives. It’s unclear how strong the result is, but it appears to be strong enough to demonstrate lifting a small container of screws.
Should you need to make your own actuator then aside from the easy-to-obtain old CD drive the files can be found on Thingiverse. And introduce yourself to the world of CD drives for CNC machines by taking a look at this mill.
Thanks [BaldPower] for the tip!