A few years ago my father built a neat little desktop CNC machine capable of engraving plastic and cutting thin materail with a Dremel tool.
As with most DIY CNC machines the control of its steppers relied on a computer with a parallel port. Obviously this is an issue for people who like to use modern computers!
I have decided to tinker with the machine. The plan is to program an AVR micro controller to interpret G-Code fed to it over USB or read from an SD card. The setup would be nearly identical to the controls of a reprap 3d printer.
In the embed video you can see how I have programmed an ATMEG168 micro controller interfaced with a Pololu A4988 Stepper Driver to drive the Y axis of the desktop CNC into a micro switch endstop.
I am not sure how far ill take this project but it sure is fun to play with different things.