Swiss type Mill Turn center


Hi Oscar and everyone!

I’ve been stalking you all since early 2016. Prior to that I thought I would have to make my own closed loop BLDC controller, but then I found ODrive, so I scrapped what I had on the electrical side and focused on the mechanical stuff. Long story short, this project is the version 2 prototype swiss mill turn center.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, just youtube some videos of swiss cnc lathes and mill turn centers.

The reason I’m posting now is because I’ll be launching a kickstarter for this machine fairly soon, but I don’t yet have all the information I need about the ODrive and what I can expect. Right now the machine uses dual shaft steppers, with the spindles being powered by 63mm outrunners. I planned on integrating this machine with the ODrive controller from the beginning, so the motor shafts are 8mm to fit the CUI AMT series encoders.

The ultimate goal is to have the machine capable of running O-Driven motors on all axes, especially the spindles, which will give it the same capability as the full sized industrial machines. Rigid tapping, spindle orientation, and synchronized skiving / hobbing (for gears) are attainable with the ODrive. The positioning axes would also benefit from slightly improved resolution, but speed and linear thrust would be greatly increased. Steppers can’t rotate the B axis mill head and C axis workpiece fast enough for most simultaneous 5 axis machining operations.

Sadly my machine doesn’t have an O Drive right now. I was a couple clicks away from buying one in late November, but then v3.3 sold out and I couldn’t wait until the end of December. Also there is no bootloader yet (I think?) and I didn’t want to gamble on my ability to flash firmware with 3rd party linux software.

The plan is to use 1 or more O Drive controller[s] (48v) that take commands from some type of 3d printer controller (smoothieboard, azteeg, duet, ect) and send data back that can be displayed on a touch screen. Right now I have to use a VESC to control the spindle motors because ODrive doesn’t have the communications and the IO stuff isn’t quite where I need it to be. But I know it will get there soon enough, so it’s my top choice.

I can only upload one picture since I’m new on this forum, I’ll get a bunch more in subsequent posts.
Can’t wait to get it working with an ODrive!

Check out this forum thread for more pictures;


That looks frickin amazing!
Please keep us updated on the Kickstarter and good luck


Wow this machine looks super awesome! From the point of view of me personally, I want this machine; I think if you can make some cool demos, your kickstarter will go well, other people will want it too.

Also from the point of view of the ODrive project, this kind of machine would be a very good fit. There has been a lot of interest for using ODrive with machine tools, but this is really next level. I think this is really exciting and I want to help make this happen. I would be happy to spend extra time supporting this project, since I think the outcome would be a very good showcase of the ODrive too.

To get the collaboration rolling, I’d be happy to send you a free 48V ODrive. I would also be happy to do a call to discuss what your needs are, and to go through the current capabilities of ODrive and what the roadmap and timelines are. Feel free to email me at to schedule it, if you are interested.

ODrive already supports step/dir input, and can output various feedback over either UART or USB. But there may be other options too, so I want to know what the requirements you have for the interface to your machine?


Hi GenericDefault, this looks amazing, and I wish I had this 20 years ago when I was Making gold and platinum watches by hand.
Man that would have make a huge difference; I would have spent 150 hours on a custom design, this would have saved me a great deal of time!

I wish you all the best in this project.

Regards Jerry.


Still filming the kickstarter video, here’s a demo part I made a few hours ago;

Parts like this are single point broached; the tool tip shears off a little bit of material by moving along the side of the part. It’s one of the more time consuming operations since the spindle motor does no work. This one was done with steppers, it took just over 8 minutes to cut 18 spur teeth.

This is the type of part that would benefit greatly from a fast Odrive servo. Having more torque means the machine axis that is doing the work (cutting) can take heavier, deeper cuts. With a servo, it could also cut much faster. I’m guestimating that with an Odrive on the X turret and Z headstock axes, this spur gear could have been done in under 2 minutes rather than 8.

One of the clips I want to get in the video is a comparison of a machine axis moving with steppers vs ODrive servos so you can see for yourself!


Wow, this is just AWESOME!
Shut up and take my money NOW!