It is about time we get the ball rolling on our CNC project. I know from the conversations I have had with people, either here or in person, that there is a lot of interest in building and using CNC machines. I think a CNC router would be a great project for us to start with. We need to work out a lot of the details, so I will update this post as we go along. At the very high level this is what we need to do:
- Define what we want to build and create the plans
- Come up with the list of parts and purchase them
- Assemble the frame and mechanical parts
- Assemble and test the electronics
- Put it all together and test it with a control software
Because we are putting the effort to build this machine almost from scratch, we should go big and sturdy to make it worthwhile.
- Minimum 4’x4’ cutting area
- Steel frame
- what else?
List of parts
- stepper motors
- motor drivers
- control board
- what else?
Who is going to build this?
While we are designing it, we should think about the possibility to extend the design to build a laser cutter or other CNC machines. I also would like to explore the idea of making the cutting instruments interchangeable. For example we could design our own magnetic mount, or a bed that can change to support both laser and the router.
We still have to do a lot of research and refine this project further before we can order parts and start building. We are also looking for ways to pay for the parts. Since we don’t have the donation process setup for Kamloops Makerspace, we may just split the cost among the makers (unless we find a company that would sponsor this project). We will use this thread to post updates and organize meetings to work on this project. If you are interested in this project, reply here so that you stay in the loop!
Lets do this!
@Bishop sent me this video as an example of a CNC machine built using steel:
I know most DIY or Kit CNC projects use extruded aluminium frames, but after talking to @Bishop I realize there are a lot of advantages in using steel such as making the frame more rigid and less vibration. It is also cheaper to use steel, but it is harder to work with. Luckily we have some talented members that are very good at welding, and I am sure we can pull this off with their help.
I am going to try to CC everyone that I think might be interested in this project to get their attention a bit more @dhylands @craigscott @pierre @burak @Chris @sireatalote @hdsheena and all the @Founder group (sorry if I missed someone)
Looking forward to hear everyone’s ideas and suggestions!
I don’t know whether I know enough to be helpful, but I’m interested and will do what I can!
Not sure what time I have but I am in if you need me
I’m willing to help
Hackaday just posted about a home-built machine (welded frame) at:
This guy built a larger version of what I have been planning in my head. youtube
He also mounted it on a wall which is an interesting concept. I would put holes in the table for dowel pins to help loading the material but great idea for a small shop. Bolting it together makes sense, at least for the top rail. Any misalignment or twist could be shimmed out that way, prior to mounting the linear slides.
@Bishop that is cool, 4x8 would be super nice! This is the first time I see a wall mounter CNC router, not sure how I feel about it. I really like to be able to drop a piece anywhere on the table and be able to hold it there with a bit of double sided tape or just some masking tape and do a light pass on it to see where your shape is going to be – then secure it.
How well do you think the pieces will hold up when the table is mounted on the wall? What about small pieces when they get cut? I just imagin pices falling onto router bit and go flying across the room. Maybe I am missing something important about how the pieces will be help up on the wall.
Also, with gravity always working against the positive Y axis, do you see any potential for some of the components failing faster?
That is a nicely built machine!
it looks like he bolted most if it together which would definitely make it easier to move if required, and make it easy to shim the linear rails as you say. It is hard to make out from the video but it looks like the large tubes on which the linear rails are mounted are themselves adjustable up and down? It looks like a well thought out setup … relatively easy to get it setup.
It looks very solid but also looks heavy … could the bed be made with smaller tubing?
This would be an amazing shop tool!