How many Roland MDX-20 still exist in the world

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How many Roland MDX-20 still exist in the world

Post by cunningfellow » Tue May 03, 2016 5:06 am

Hi All,

I've just built myself a new little device that plugs into a Roland MDX-20 which I acquired. (Pic attached)
My new MDX-20 plug in
It plugs into the RS232 port of an MDX-20 and the USB port of a computer to bring the little MDX up to the 21st century.

However it packs a few other nifty features.

- It has an SD card and can cut/print without a need for a PC connection.
- It has a Joystick to work as a manual controller for the mill
- It has an LCD (320x240) screen that works as a DRO when not being used for menus/file browsing
- It has a Z sensor for automatic tool height setting after tool change
- It can trick the MDX into thinking a spindle motor is attached when there isn't and then drive an external spindle motor
- It has the ability to set a new home position (think G92 in G-Code)
- It has a built in "surfacing" function to flatten of the top of your unevenly cut renShape/Sanmodur
- It can do a dummy run through code and then show you on the machine how big a chunk of renshape you need
- It COULD possibly be used as a G-Code to RML-1 translator (I have no plans for this as Fusion360 does RML-1)

All of this was feature creep from wanting to have [automatic Z-Height after a tool change] that I was doing in "hyperterminal" with RML-1 code prior to this.

Anyways - that brings me to my question. When I showed this off on the Roland Yahoo group I got quite a few emails/messages of people asking if I was going to sell them.

I had no plans to do this as I did not think many people would still have an MDX-20 running. It seemed that "all the peoples" with still working MDXs wanted one. So I am asking here in the most active looking Roland forum I could find - How many people still have one, and how many people would be keen on a device like described above ?

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Re: How many Roland MDX-20 still exist in the world

Post by pix » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:52 am

At least one ;)

We have an MDX-20 at our Hackerspace in Adelaide, South Australia (

To be honest it hasn't seen much use since we got it almost-donated back in 2010 as I am forever procrastinating by trying to get it to work with free software on Linux (mostly hacking with various code from the MIT FabLab).

We use an Arduino Leonardo acting as a very, very cautious USB-Serial converter to avoid angering the very unforgiving UART in the Modela ;)


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Re: How many Roland MDX-20 still exist in the world

Post by mrtn » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:16 pm

Awesome stuff :ugeek:

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Re: How many Roland MDX-20 still exist in the world

Post by Andrew Dudley » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:22 am


This is amazing, a really novel idea.
When we were looking at updating the MDX-20 a few years ago, we did put a port on the mainboard of the SRM-20 that allows you to plug the audino in.
We had a lot of interest from people wanting to do some crazy things, but to be honest most users are using it as a milling machine at the moment, and maybe will look to do 'something else' with it at a later date.

So you know, globally there were about 4,500 sold of the MDX-20 and the same number of the MDX-15 between 1999 and 2013.

We did ship the machine with a USB-SERIAL cable in the latter years, once PC's stopped including Serial ports, so many of those would have a solution that they are happy with.
Andrew Dudley
Business Manager - 3D & Dental
Roland DG (UK) Ltd

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Re: How many Roland MDX-20 still exist in the world

Post by Poogene » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:40 am


I've managed to get my hands on an MDX 20 here in South Africa that was still in the box, never been used! Unfortunately some of the components seemed to have disappeared out the box. I stumbled across this forum looking for help, but will post queries in appropriate boards.

Nice to meet you all.


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Re: How many Roland MDX-20 still exist in the world

Post by 3dfreelancer » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:43 pm

Hi Cunningfellow

I have an MDX-15 (so the same -only smaller area) and I am very interested in your board!

I can tell you that until last year when the SRM-20 replaced the MDX-20 in the hardware specification of the machines for the global network of Fablabs (more than 1000 labs in the world) - every new lab has bought a MDX-20. So in that regi - a lot of them exists and are used daily I guess.


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