Cheese Embosser Project Part II…

… Show me the cheese!!

I thought it would be fitting to show a picture of the cheese made with the embosser created on the DIYLILCNC. So here it is. I made this Queso Fresco last evening from 2 gallons of pasteurized whole milk. It was pressed overnight in the cheese press with one of the milled followers on either end of the mold. This weekend it will be used in some Chili Rellenos and I suppose some other Mexican treats!

Cheese Embosser Project

I was going to just cut some circles in scrap HDPE to make followers for my cheese press. The followers are used on top of the cheese in the mold while the cheese is pressed. Usually the last pressing is for several hours and then you remove the cheese to age. While I was learning the CAD/CAM software, I thought I might as well up my game a little and make it interesting. So I put a ‘J’ on top of the follower in reverse so it shows up on the finished cheese roughly 1/16″ deep in the surface. Here are some pictures of the finished product. I might have to do a little surface cleaning prior to using. For the mill I used an off the shelf Dremel 1/8″ router bit. This tooling doesn’t make for the prettiest of surfaces but it definitely gets the job done.

DIYLILCNC embosser made for pressing cheese.

DIYLILCNC embosser made for pressing cheese - Profile view

Here are a couple of videos of the cutting process.

DIYLILCNC working its magic doing the horizontal roughing.

Final Profiling and cutting out the circle from the stock.

Now just to clean it up and get some cheese made!

It’s Alive… and long overdue!

Well after a very long (almost one year) hiatus my build is complete. I apologize for having big intentions but not following through very well. Well over the past couple of nights I decided that I needed to just get after it and get it done. There really wasn’t much left, however I was trying to video every step along the way. In between work and family, the video part just became too daunting and kept putting off the build because I had to wait for the video equipment to be available and it was when I wasn’t, etc.

I do plan to go back and add a little post-build commentary on the design and construction and hopefully provide some useful knowledge for those attempting the build. However, with V2 on the horizon, it may or may not be as useful as it was once thought! 🙂

Here is a quick video of the DIYLILCNC in action. I quickly and crudely affixed a Sharpie to the z-cart and loaded the spiral example from the EMC2 samples and let it run…. well not quite that easily. I did have some learning curve to the homing of axis and just giving a quick crash course in CNC in general. Here is the first CNC to be performed! I don’t know about you but I was quite excited about it coming together!

HobbyCNC driver board assembly

Electronics are progressing along and I gather some good footage for the instructional video that will accompany this build (albeit most likely following the build or at least lagging the progress here).

Nothing too alarming here other that if you open up the ‘kit’ for HobbyCNC and see that it truly is a kit… that might be a little alarming. There is a fair amount of soldering involved and so it would be advantageous to have a good soldering iron or station. Component placement is very straight forward. The only suggestion I had for the instructions was to better describe the placement of the three jumper headers. It talked about J1, J2, J3 & J4 but each header block is a set of those four jumpers and there is one block for each of the axis of the kit. Pretty straight forward but could provide a point of confusion.

I didn’t receive my transformer yet so I hooked up a 12VDC power supply temporarily to verify the wiring was correct as stated in the instructions. I measured 5.01V at the test point which is right on the money (acceptable range for the drivers was 5.0 to 5.2).

I’ll start with the preparation of the metal pieces for the gantry next…

LILCNC Project Begins

… and so it begins!  Over the course of the next few weeks I will hopefully complete my build of the open-source DIYLILCNC mill.  I’ve been ordering parts from the suppliers listed in the instructions and have received many of those.  During the course of the build I will be adding videos for each step along the way and with any luck I will have a fairly complete build on video.

A little background on me.  I have a degree in Electrical Engineering but have not been practicing for many years other than in the workshop and backyard.  I own a company that builds custom video conferencing solutions for healthcare as well as produce some media and online content.  I have a DIY’ers workshop with nothing fancy in the lines of tools but have a good selection of them to choose from and so hopefully that will not prove to be too big of a challenge in building this mill.

I want to first and foremost give credits where credit is due.  I’m merely one individual building the very slick and straight forward design by Taylor Hokanson and Chris Reilly.  They really get all the credit for the design and instructions associated with this mill.  The website for the mill is and I’ve purchased the laser cut parts for the mill directly from them.  But we’ll get into that a bit more later.

I hope this resource will prove to be beneficial for someone out there and will inspire others to take on this project.


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