Top  »  Catalog  »  ZEN Support
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is a CNC machine?
  2. A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine is a mechanical tool that shapes, carves, and cuts several different types of materials. A simple CNC machine moves in 3 directions, up and down, left and right, forward and backward. An advanced CNC machine offers different ways to move the cutter or work piece for 3 dimensional cuts that can not be done with a 3-axis machine. These machines receive instructions (where to move) from an attached computer. The computer positions each axis and controls (if applicable) the spindle (cutter) in order to cut or carve shapes with absolute precision.

  3. What is the Zen Toolworks CNC DIY kit?
  4. The CNC DIY kit provides you with the prefabricated frame pieces for a CNC carving machine and it includes 3 powerful motors to power and control movement along each axis.

  5. Does the DIY kit contain a CNC Milling machine or a CNC Router machine?
  6. As we currently understand it -- our kit is considered both a milling and a router machine. Like a milling machine, our CNC moves the work piece forward and backward along the Y axis. But like a router, our CNC machine moves the spindle along the X (side to side) and the Z (up and down) axis.

  7. Does the DIY kit contain everything I need to start cutting and carving?
  8. NO! The kit requires that you have some way to power and manage the motors that comes with it. The most common way to do this is with a motor driver card and a power supply which we also provide in our Products section.

    You will also need a cutter and a way to fasten it to the Z-Axis plate we provide. You can use anything from a Dremel tool to a hand drill, as long as you can keep the motor running while it cuts. If you do not have anything readily available, we also sell a Spindle Kit that comes complete with a Spindle motor and frame brackets that are custom built for our CNC kits. We also give you a durable V-shaped carving bit just to make sure you can start using it right away.

    Another common requirement is that your PC must have a parallel port (also known as the Printer Port). This is where the Motor driver card will connect to in order to receive instructions from the computer. Our Motor Driver kit comes with a parallel cable you can use to connect the card to the PC.

  9. Do I need special tools to assemble the machine kit?
  10. We have designed our machine kits the way that will require minimum number of tools to complete the assembly. If you have a bench vise, it will make some steps a little easier. As long as you have a screw driver(electrical screw driver is preferred, it does save you quite of muscle power), you should be just fine. Of course, you will need all kind of tools to be a hobby machinist, but not for assembling our kits.

  11. What kinds of payment method you accept?
  12. We have two (2) forms of payment right now: Credit Card and Check or Money OrderrnrnIf you select "Credit Card or Debit Card (Securely processed by Authorize.Net), your payment will be confirmed and queued for delivery within the next business day. If you select Check or Money Order, you will need to send this to Zen Toolworks, LLC at the provided address. The products will be delivered after your check or money order has been received and cleared.rnrnWe are also willing to work with those who have other preferred methods of payments. Where we can, we will oblige and honor these payment processes allowing our customers to benefit in the most convenient way possible...

  13. Why you need to buy the 3D printer conversion kit if you want to do 3D printer?
  14. Basically, our original 7x7 model was developed for engraving and milling purpose, so it has limited Z travel and clearance under the cutter is also limited (only about 2 inches). From time to time, our customers asked whether they can use the machine to 3D printing, and we developed this 3D printing conversion kit. The taller gantry will sacrifice some overall rigidity, but it will depend on what kind of operation you nomally do. If you want to do both milling and 3D printing, I will suggest you just increase the Z travel, until you really need the space under Z to be increased. And one more, our F8 lead screw upgrade is much suitable for 3D printing purpose because it will give much higher feed rate that you normally see on 3D printers.

  15. Do you combine shipping for multiple item purchasing?
  16. We do our best to combine the shipping for our customer. Sometimes, the system is not smart enough to calculate the final shipping cost if combined shipping can apply. We manually verify the cost and will refund to our customer if we can combine multiple items.

  17. Do you deliver overseas?
  18. Yes, we do. But the cost for shipping overseas are getting higher and higher, which is out of our control. We usually ship our oversea purchase with USPS Priority Mail with insurance or DHS. That is the cheapest way we can find at the moment. Be aware of that custom duty fee may apply when you receive the package, and that is your responsibility.

  19. How do I figure out the wiring on my Stepper Motor by hand?
  20. You will need a multimeter and know how to use the resistance functions on it

    On a 4-wire motor -- The circuits between A and B are not connected. So resistance output between the two would be infinitely large. This is how you can tell which wires go together (whether they are phase A or phase B). Now, ignore the polarity of the phase group (whether a wire is - or +). You find that out by plugging it in and testing the motor. If it runs backwards, then the polarity is backwards -- switch the wires. Do the same for the other phase group and you should have everything wired up correctly.

    On a 6-wire motor -- our boards only use A- and A+ (not the Acom wire). So you are still working with a 4-wire setup but you need to figure out which wire is which on a phase group. Using the same process as the 4-wire with a multimeter - the resistance between the two different phases are infinitely large. So separate your two groups in this manner. Afterwards, you need to identify the Acom and Bcom wire that is not used: the resistance between A and A- is almost double that of the resistance between A and Acom (or A- and Acom). You should be able to figure out which wire is the Acom using this method. Do the same with the other phase group and you can follow the rest of the instructions in the 4-wire motor to finish wiring it up.

  21. What are all the things I need to have a working CNC system?
  22. While there are many custom features you can add to a CNC system, the bare minimum is the following list:

    1. CNC Framework - the body or skeleton of the system
    2. Guide rails and Lead Screws for each axis - a basic Zen Toolworks kit comes with these
    3. Axis motor for each Lead Screw/Axis - a basic Zen Toolworks kit comes with these
    4. Spindle/Cutter and Mounting brackets - even a Dremel or similar could be used but it needs to be mounted securely so that it does not move when in use
    5. Controller Board (Driver) that controls inputs and outputs from PC, Sensors and to Axis motors
    6. Parallel Port on PC and Parallel Cable - driver boards are usually connected by a parallel port connection. Make sure you have a Parallel port on your PC and that your parallel cable is the correct kind (Male to Female, Female to Male, Male to Male, or Female to Female)
    7. Controller Software (Mach3 or EMC2) that is your interface to the controller card and job queue management
    8. Power Adapters for the Controller Card and Spindle - make sure you get the correct Voltage and Amps; axis motors are normally powered through the driver card but other items like the Spindle may require an additional power source

  23. When I place an order using credit card, will you store my credit card information.
  24. We will never have or store customer's credit card information. The card inforation will be directly passed on to for processing. It is not visible to us.

  25. Why my credit card order gets rejected?
  26. The credit card information you provided will be authorized by There are many reasons to get a rejection. Make sure the card information you provide are match, especially billing address to the card.

  27. We are ordering for our high school class, is there any discount?
  28. Usually, we do give discount to educational institutes, high school, college or adult education. Please contact us for detail.

  29. Which model I should purchase to fit my project needs?
  30. We have created this ZTW buyers' guide to help you make the purchase decision. rnZen Toolworks Buyer's Guide

  31. What is your foreign shipping policy?
  32. Please read the statement below:
    We will not make false statements on Customs Documents. When you buy an item it will not be listed as a \"gift\". It will be valued at exactly the price you paid.
    YOU must be aware that customs duties (Import Taxes) could be due when the shipment enters your country. YOU are responsible for those duties/taxes; know your own country\'s rates/policies before you buy.
    Due to the various levels of service and care provided by the different postal services around the world, we cannot guarantee delivery outside the United States. Insurance is required and included in the shipping cost for all oversea purchases.
    If the item is returned/rejected from your country for any reason, we are happy to refund the cost of the item only, less any shipping costs. If you still want the item, we are willing to try and re-ship; this will require you to pay the applicable shipping costs again.
    Buying the item confirms that you have read, understand and agree to be bound by our terms for a foreign sale.

Available Support

Zen Toolworks LLC. provides user support in several areas. The chances of your question being asked and answered already are very high. User problems have a tendency to group together in common where one answer will apply to all related issues. Instead of contacting Zen Toolworks first, it is recommended that you try to find the answers to your question or problem using our online resources: GENERAL PRODUCT & ASSEMBLY SUPPORT

  1. Get first-class support at the Zen Toolworks Community Forums >>
    The forums are the best location to find discussions on common problems experienced by our customers. If you cannot find your problem, create a new topic in the relevant forum. We (and the community) will respond within 24hrs to help you track down the solution.
  2. For online documentation, the community helps maintain our Wiki Website >>
    This site has assembly instructions that have answered typical questions for many of our customers

  4. For account and order information use our Contact Us submission form >>
    Zen Website account and order support should be handled through our internal support forms

Visit us on Facebook
Check out our YouTube Videos
Follow Us on Twitter!
Visit us on Amazon
Zen Toolworks On Social Networks
0 items