Modified CNC Mechanical Tester

Problem Statement

Our goal is to increase the accuracy and efficiency of The Cooper Union's open source mechanical tester by integrating the system with a Roland CNC machine. This will result in:

  • Accurate position detection
  • The ability to test multiple samples in one session
  • A cheaper alternative to mechanical testers

To learn more about this project, you may continue reading, or go directly to our website at

To meet the team and learn a little bit more about the project, you can watch this video.

Click here for a brief description of this project.

What will you find on the Website?

There you will find a comprehensive instruction manual for testing the mechanical properties of biomedical material within a Roland CNC Machine

  • This includes:
    • Instructions for making a physical connection between your load cell and your CNC machine
    • A guide to download Python 2.6, and the supplementary programs needed to run a mechanical test
    • A guide to download NIdaqtools for communication between the signal conditioner, DAQ board, and the Python program.
    • Programming that uses user's variables to create g-code, run mechanical tests, and save the data that is collected in an excel file. This will be done through one Python generated homepage, which calls upon various sub functions.
  • You need:
    • A Load Cell
    • A Roland CNC machine
    • A signal conditioner
    • NI DAQ board


The new program to run the CNC machine is now under the programming page. The tutorial to learn how to run the program can be found on that page, or right here. Other tutorials, including video tutorials may be found on our website.

Schedule and Minutes

Find out what is planned for the near future in the team's schedule, and what has already been done in our minutes.

Background Research

Group Work

Looking Ahead

Ideas for the future:

  • Create a reproducible program that is easy to use
  • Automated sample tests (such as in a conveyer belt)
  • Automated load cell changes
  • Creating and maintaining a sterile environment
  • Testing samples from various angles and axes

DAQ Organizer Box

The SolidWorks part files for the box

The drawings for the box

Here is the connection between the load cell and the CNC machine

  • A design table was created to simulate different radii and heights for the load cell mount.


start/classes/principlesofdesign/cncmechanicaltester/start.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/04 17:00 by nmuir
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