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How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily)
by Stuart.Mcfarlan on June 29, 2007
Table of Contents
intro: How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2
step 1: Specs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2
step 2: Required Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3
step 3: Required Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4
File Downloads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4
step 4: Printing Pattern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5
File Downloads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6
step 5: Gluing Down the Pattern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7
step 6: Cutout Pieces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7
step 7: Cheating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
step 8: Hole Drilling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
step 9: Assembling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
File Downloads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9
step 10: Software, Wiring and Configuring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9
step 11: Finished . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
step 12: Others Who Have Finished . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Advertisements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
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Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
intro: How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily)
The idea behind this Instructable was to fulfill my desire for a desktop sized CNC machine. While it would have been nice to purchase an off the shelf unit the issue of
price as well as size proved prohibitive. With this in mind I endeavored to design and build a three axis CNC machine with the following factors in mind:
-Use Simple tools (needs only a drill press, band saw, and hand tools)
-Low Cost (this kind of got away from me however with everything bought off the shelf the cost for all parts is under $600 (significant savings could be made by skillfully
sourcing some pieces))
-Small footprint (30" x 25" footprint)
-Usable working envelope (10" X-axis, 14" Y-Axis, 4" Z-Axis)
-Relativly fast cut rate (60" per minute)
-Small part count (fewer than 30 unique parts)
-Easy to source parts (all parts available from 4 sources (Home Depot + 3 online sources)
-Ability to cut ply-wood (Succesful)
Lets get started...
UPDATE: - Coming soon the ability to order pre-cut MDF pieces from oomlout
step 1: Specs.
I'm afraid I don't have the space (or the expertise for that matter) to go into the fundamentals of CNC here but there is one websites in particular I found quite useful in my
research.
CNCZone.com - A discussion forum which has a DIY machine section which is a wealth of knowledge ( direct link )
Machine Details:
Cutting Head: Dremel or Dremel Type Tool
Axis Details:
X Axis
travel: 14"
Drive: Toothed Timing Belt
Speed: 60" min
Acceleration: 1" per second2
Resolution: 1/2000"
Pulses Per inch: 2001
Y Axis
Travel: 10"
Drive: Toothed Timing Belt
Speed: 60" min
Acceleration: 1" per second2
Resolution: 1/2000"
Pulses Per inch: 2001
Z Axis (up down)
Travel: 4"
Drive: Threaded Rod
Acceleration: .2" per second2
Speed: 12" min
Resolution: 1/8000"
Pulses Per Inch: 8000
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
step 2: Required Tools
The goal was to try and keep the tools required within the realm of an average handyman's shop.
Power Tools:
-Band Saw or Scroll Saw
-Drill Press (drill bits 1/4", 5/16", 7/16", 5/8", 7/8", 8mm also Q (5/16" closest imperial drill bit)
-Printer (seemed like the right category)
-Dremel or Similar Tool (to attach to the finished machine)
Hand Tools:
-Rubber Mallet (to provide "persuasion" when neccesary)
-Hex Keys (5/64", 1/16")
-Screw Driver
-Glue Stick (UHU) or spray adhesive
-Adjustable Wrench (or 7/16" socket and ratchet)
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
step 3: Required Parts
The attached PDF (CNC-Part-Summary.pdf) provides detailed cost and sourcing information for each and every required part. Listed here is only a summary
Sheet Stock --- $20
-a 48" x 48" piece of 1/2" thick MDF (any 1/2" sheet stock can be used I have plans to make my next version out of UHMW but cost was prohibitive this time around)
-a 5"x5" piece of 3/4" thick MDF (this is used to make spacers so any piece of 3/4" stock found around the shop could be used)
Motors and Controllers ---- $255
-An entire instructable could be written on chosing a controller and motors. In short what is required is a controller capable of three axes of control (with pulsed step and
direction inputs) and motors with about 100 oz/in holding torque. I sourced mine from http://hobbycnc.com they have worked well and the kit was quite easy to solder. (
direct link )
Hardware--- $275
-These parts can be acquired from three places. The conventional items can be acquired at Home Depot, the specialty drive products are easy to find at any industrial
supplier, I used McMaster Carr (http://www.mcmaster.com) (I chose them because they have a nice online store), and finally because of the large number of bearings
required I found the best price from an online seller (http://vxb.com) which sells 100 for $40 (leaves quite a few left over for other projects) ( direct link )
Software --- (free)
-What is required is a program to draw your designs (I use CorelDraw), and a programme capable of interpreting these files into pulses to be sent to your controller. I'm
currently using a trial version of Mach3 ( http://www.machsupport.com )but have plans to convert to LinuxCNC (An open source machine controller which uses linux) (
http://www.linuxcnc.org )
Router Head--- (extra)
-I attached a dremel type cutting tool to my machine however if you are more interested in additive construction (like [email protected] or RepRap) you may wish to look into
their deposition tools.
Details
-the metric components and especially the cross nuts aren't very popular and I had to visit several Home Depots in my area before I had enough.
-I couldn't find a way to link to parts directly on the MCMaster Carr site. To find them go to www.mcmaster.com and search for the part #
File Downloads
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
C:\Documents and Settings\Aaron\My Documents\Plotter Stuff\00-Active\Instructable Files\CNC-Part-Summary.pdf (162 KB)
[NOTE: When saving, if you see .tmp as the file ext, rename it to 'C:\Documents and Settings\Aaron\My Documents\Plotter Stuff\00-Active\Instructable Files\CNC-PartSummary.pdf']
step 4: Printing Pattern
I had some experience Scroll Sawing pieces so I choose to use a glue on pattern method. What is required is to print out the PDF pattern files onto tiled pages, then glue
on each pattern, and cutout each piece.
File Name and Material:
Summary: CNC-Cut-Summary.pdf
0.5" MDF (35 8.5"x11" tiled pages): CNC-0.5MDF-CutLayout-(Rev3).pdf
0.75" MDF: CNC-0.75MDF-CutLayout-(Rev2).pdf
0.75" Aluminum Tube: CNC-0.75Alum-CutLayout-(Rev3).pdf
0.5" MDF (1 48"x48" page): CNC-(One 48x48 Page) 05-MDF-CutPattern.pdf
(note: I've added a DXF version of the 0.5" MDF pattern to this step (DXF-05-MDF-SimpleDXF.dxf) I have removed the cross drilled holes and writing from this file to
make it a manageable size, if anyone would like any of the drawings in a different format or including different information please just drop me a line and I'll do what I can)
(note: I've included the original CorelDraw format drawings in a zip file (CNC-CorelDrawFormat-CutPatterns(Rev2).zip) for anyone who wishes to do some editing)
(UPDATE: There is now a choice in patterns for the 0.5" MDF layer, you can download one file (CNC-0.5MDF-CutLayout-(Rev3).pdf ) with 35 8.5"x11" pages tiled, or you
can download one file (CNC-(One 48x48 Page) 05-MDF-CutPattern.pdf) which has the entire layout on one 48"x48" page to print on a large format printer or tile yourself)
(Step by step)
1.Download the three layout pdf files
2.Open each in Adobe Reader
3.Goto the Print Dialog
4.(IMPORTANT) in the page scaling dialog select "none"
5.Check to make sure the file didn't accidentally get scaled to do this measure the printed ruler on page one of each pattern (make sure it matches up with a ruler you
trust) (I didn't do this the first time and accidentally printed out a copy at 90% size more on this later)
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
File Downloads
C:\Documents and Settings\Aaron\My Documents\Plotter Stuff\00-Active\Instructable Files\CNC-Cut-Summary.pdf (263 KB)
[NOTE: When saving, if you see .tmp as the file ext, rename it to 'C:\Documents and Settings\Aaron\My Documents\Plotter Stuff\00-Active\Instructable Files\CNC-CutSummary.pdf']
CNC-05-MDF-CutPattern(Rev3).pdf (317 KB)
[NOTE: When saving, if you see .tmp as the file ext, rename it to 'CNC-05-MDF-CutPattern(Rev3).pdf']
CNC-075-MDF-(Rev2)CutPatter...pdf (13 KB)
[NOTE: When saving, if you see .tmp as the file ext, rename it to 'CNC-075-MDF-(Rev2)CutPatter...pdf']
CNC-075-Aluminum-CutPattern(Rev3).pdf (18 KB)
[NOTE: When saving, if you see .tmp as the file ext, rename it to 'CNC-075-Aluminum-CutPattern(Rev3).pdf']
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
DXF-05-MDF-SimpleDXF.dxf (988 KB)
[NOTE: When saving, if you see .tmp as the file ext, rename it to 'DXF-05-MDF-SimpleDXF.dxf']
CNC-CorelDrawFormat-CutPatterns(Rev2).zip (925 KB)
[NOTE: When saving, if you see .tmp as the file ext, rename it to 'CNC-CorelDrawFormat-CutPatterns(Rev2).zip']
CNC-(One 48x48 Page) 05-MDF-CutPattern.pdf (72 KB)
[NOTE: When saving, if you see .tmp as the file ext, rename it to 'CNC-(One 48x48 Page) 05-MDF-CutPattern.pdf']
step 5: Gluing Down the Pattern
Next step is to Glue the pattern to the MDF stock and Aluminum Tubing
1.Glue the tiled pages to your sheet stock (MDF) ensuring the edges match up
2.For the aluminum tube the pattern must be glued to two sides. If the Tube is laying flat on a table and you glue the side A patterns to the top side B can be glued on
either of the side faces.
Tips:
-Use lots of glue
-Have something near by to help push down each piece
-Patience
(if anyone else has tips on doing this I would love to hear them)
step 6: Cutout Pieces
Not too much to say for this step simply cut around each outline.
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
step 7: Cheating
I must apologize at this stage I succumb to the desire to cheat. As mentioned earlier I accidentally printed out my initial pattern at 90% size. Unfortunatly I did not realize
this until this stage. So left with a 90% scale set of pieces and having moved across country I was now within reach of a full size CNC router table. I gave in and cut my
pieces using this machine. However it was unable to do the drilling of holes so back to the real steps (this is why all the pieces from here on out do not have paper
patterns glued on them)
step 8: Hole Drilling
I have not counted but this project requires a lot of holes. The holes which are drilled into the edge of the material are particularly important so just take your time, you'll
appreciate it later when you need to use the rubber mallet only sparingly.
The areas with holes drilled overlapping are an attempt to create grooves if you have a table router that would work much better for this.
step 9: Assembling
If you've made it this far I must offer my congratulations and suggest it only gets better from here. Looking at the pile of pieces picturing how it manages to become a
machine may be a tad abstract so I tried my best to create instructions as close to those produced by LEGO. (downloadable in the attached pdf CNC-AssemblyInstructions.pdf). But in the interest of amusing along the way here is a timelapse of me putting my machine together.
Video
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
File Downloads
C:\Documents and Settings\Aaron\My Documents\Plotter Stuff\00-Active\Instructable Files\CNC-Assembly-Instructions.pdf (786 KB)
[NOTE: When saving, if you see .tmp as the file ext, rename it to 'C:\Documents and Settings\Aaron\My Documents\Plotter Stuff\00-Active\Instructable Files\CNCAssembly-Instructions.pdf']
step 10: Software, Wiring and Configuring
Almost there. All that is required is to wire up your motors and controller following their instructions, and to set up your control software using the included instructions and
the machine specific details included here in step 2.
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
step 11: Finished
There you have it hopefully you are finished and ready to go into production. I hope I have not left out any crucial details but if you think of something you'd like to know
which I have omitted please just ask. Finally to demonstrate that it all works a video of my machine cutting out a pattern in pink foam.
Video
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
step 12: Others Who Have Finished
A salute to those who have laboured through to this point (and to demonstrate that it is reproducable) Here are some (at the moment just one) pictures of other peoples
machines.
Photo 1 - Sam McCaskill has finished his desktop CNC machine and it's looking really really nice. Super impressivly he also resisted the urge to cheat and cut all his
pieces by hand. I'm really impressed.
Photo 2 - Angry Monk's - With MDF pieces cut on a laser cutter and drive converted from toothed belts to threaded rod
(If you have built one and would like it featured here, please send me a PM and we can arrange for the sending of photos)
Image Notes
1. Photo 1 - Sam McCaskill's Finished (handcut) Machine
Image Notes
1. Photo 2 - Angry Monk's Finished Machine.
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
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Comments
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view all 340 comments
galaxyman7 says:
Dec 18, 2008. 5:37 PM REPLY
I am almost finished with this project. The only thing I changed was the y-axis. I made it using threaded rod instead of the timing belt. The one thing I need
help with, though, is transferring the rotation of one threaded rod to the other. The timing belt I have is already cut, and I don't think I can make it into a loop
again. This is what I have already built, and it has worked on and off, but it has a tendency to get off track. It is made of MDF
Snaptastic says:
Oct 23, 2008. 8:22 PM REPLY
Would this be capable of cutting thin (eg 0.1") aluminium sheet? Would it be able to do fine enough detail to mill a PCB? AWESOME job by the way, and
good on you for sharing your work!
AllenKll says:
Dec 18, 2008. 8:05 AM REPLY
Wow... .1" is rather thick for aluminum. I used to build electric signs and channel letters, we use.063 aluminium sheet, as most in the industry do. When
"thick" stuff was required we went to .080". At .1" I think you can start to call it "plate"
Stuart.Mcfarlan says:
Oct 26, 2008. 12:33 AM REPLY
Hey Snaptastic;
I'm afraid this machine is better suited to cutting wood and foam than aluminum. Consider how hard it is to cut your desired material with a dremel tool
and that will give you a good idea.
That said if you mount a more powerful cutting head (small router) and cut at a slow enough rate it would be more than able to.
In terms of being precise enough for PCB's, I have yet to try anything this detailed however I think it would be able to cut larger traces on through hole
designs, however anything surface-mount you would definently want more precision.
This is a good starter CNC machine to play around with and experiment and if you find you like it all the motors and electronics can be used on a larger
more precise machine in the future.
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
Snaptastic says:
Oct 26, 2008. 5:34 PM REPLY
Hey - thanks for the reply! Sorry I should have been clearer, I meant whether the rest of the assembly would handle cutting aluminium (ie the
steppers and the framing etc), aside from needing a suitable router and bit, and whether it could route a simple through-hole pcb. I guess the most
detail I would need would be a dual in-line through-hole IC for op-amps etc. If you ever try anything like that I would love to see the results. Thanks!
AllenKll says:
Dec 18, 2008. 7:53 AM REPLY
For sticking down the paper, you could use rubber cement. I used to use it all the time for temporary gluing of paper patterns. It works quite well, and peels
off with no residue. I've used it mostly on sheet metal, so the MDF may react differently. But it may be an option.
outland86 says:
Dec 15, 2008. 4:33 PM REPLY
All Parts Hardware Kits. LIMITED NUMBER AVAILABLE!!!
check pictures below !!
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This kit brings together all the other associated hardware so you can purchase it all in one kit.
These parts have all been cut on an Industrial Komo CNC Router and are very accurate. All the difficult edge-boring for the cross
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As I said, I have only made TWENTY of these kits and I am selling them at my production cost. I am doing this because I wish
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There are no returns, but I will replace any defective parts.
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This kit does not include the electronics. (That means stepper motors, driver boards or power supplies)
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Check my 5 Star Ebay feedback rating. My user name is pcampbell2767, as a reference to the fact that I deliver what you pay for!
GOOD LUCK AND ENJOY!
woopy says:
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http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
Dec 9, 2008. 11:10 AM REPLY
Doveman says:
Oct 17, 2008. 6:10 PM REPLY
Um im not for sure what a CNC dose but i think i do...
but i thought it cut out things in metal, because i have a friend whose dad happens to be a machinist. I got to see his huge CNC.
zimmemic25 says:
Oct 24, 2008. 6:33 AM REPLY
some CNCs cut metal, some cut wood, some cut all u feed em with :-P
depends on the device. (metal cutting CNCs do cost more money..)
Dodgy says:
Nov 2, 2008. 2:33 AM REPLY
Couldn't you use any CNC to cut metal, by simply running the milling bit faster, and moving the stage/workpiece slower?
dung0beetle says:
Dec 4, 2008. 2:35 PM REPLY
it depends on the torque that your milling bit has. If you are using a dremel type tool to do the milling, it would burn out the motor.
rahmansaid says:
Oct 13, 2008. 12:46 AM REPLY
I need to work on small cylindrical stuff. Can this system be modified to do that?
GandLBassman says:
Oct 16, 2008. 8:13 AM REPLY
The only way to do cylindrical work on a 3 axis cnc is difficult, at best. What kind of work do you want to do in the interior of your cylinders? For the O.D.,
I would use a lathe...?
rahmansaid says:
Oct 16, 2008. 6:01 PM REPLY
I plan to do carving on wood handles, no interiors.
Can u pls point me to where I can get help?
Thanks so much.
thrudd says:
Nov 27, 2008. 7:04 AM REPLY
It will take some creative modification of the design but it can be done.
Your 3 axis will be slightly different than in this design. Yours would have to be lengthwise along the handle, height/depth and lastly the rotation of
the handle.
So your modified design would look something like a lath but would not work like one if you can picture what I mean.
There won't be much in the way of changes to the contoller system, just the way the drives are hooked up to your system.
jeff-o says:
Oct 29, 2008. 6:52 AM REPLY
Yeah, the right tool for that job is a wood lathe. They can be very inexpensive, look for sales at hardware stores and for used ones for sale in
classified ads.
GandLBassman says:
Oct 21, 2008. 9:49 AM REPLY
That could be done on a 3 axis, but your carvings would be straight down into the handle, rather than following the exterior contour of the handle.
2ManyProjects says:
Nov 19, 2008. 5:04 AM REPLY
I am curious, is this an original design? I am considering proposing a few changes and I want to make sure I talk it over with the right person.
Torito says:
Nov 17, 2008. 5:21 PM REPLY
Well, I have made this far. Still need to cut some pieces but I am going to change the rail system.
¿Is there any specification about the belt? I mean that I don't know the strength it needs to support.
I have been searching over the web and found that the only parameter you can choose is the width and not thickness for example.
What is the recommended width of the belt for this particular machine? Remember that the belt helps the machine stay on the rail. anyway you can solve
that somehow but I like this design. :-)
cnc_machines says:
Nov 14, 2008. 12:12 PM REPLY
Though building a cnc machine under $600 seems to be almost impossible I'd say that I'm very impressed how smart people can do it possible. Thanks you
for so grate Instructable information.
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
industrial_machines says:
Nov 14, 2008. 12:29 PM REPLY
I'm agree with you about this interesting site and I wonder how cheap could be automating an old sewing machine for embroidering work? Could that be
possible?
Industrial Machines
Torito says:
Nov 4, 2008. 11:41 AM REPLY
Are the y axis rails round or square? I couldn't find that out...
galaxyman7 says:
Nov 5, 2008. 9:22 AM REPLY
They are round. The only parts that needs square tubing are the "bearing blocks". These are what will have bearings attached to them so that they can
slide along the rails.
Torito says:
Nov 5, 2008. 2:13 PM REPLY
Thanks GalaxMan7!! I understood the bearings system, kind of autocenter rail and hard to move perpendicular to the rail. Excellent drawing! :) Do
you have/know/test the diameter of the rail? What is the material of the bearing blocks, aluminium or wood? Thanks for your time.
galaxyman7 says:
Nov 8, 2008. 9:57 PM REPLY
The diameter of the rod is .5" DIA (aluminum). The square tube is .75" square (also aluminum). The bearings are 8 mm ID and 22 mm OD. Also, I
forgot to draw the nuts on the end of the bearings that keep them on. I hope that answers your questions ;)
Torito says:
Nov 10, 2008. 2:43 AM REPLY
Excellent, more than I expected. Thanks.
TheNotchJohnson says:
Nov 6, 2008. 3:41 PM REPLY
is this machine as designed capable of cutting cast aluminum. if not what alterations would be required, increasing the scale, materials, or cutting tool? how
is the tolerance? thanks.
galaxyman7 says:
Nov 8, 2008. 10:01 PM REPLY
as long as you have a sharp enough bit, you go slow enough, and you do multiple passes, it should be able to cut aluminum. I don't think you would be
able to use an endmill to face it, but I do think you could make 2d cutouts with a small pointed bit.
Torito says:
Nov 4, 2008. 11:43 AM REPLY
Sorry for no positive comments before. EXCELENT work. I'm starting out by compiling files. I have been reading a lot and found out that this is my hardware
option.
galaxyman7 says:
Nov 3, 2008. 10:49 AM REPLY
I heard from some other people that a usb to parallel port cable will not work for controlling a cnc machine. Do you know if this is true? If it is, does this mean
I have to get a PCMCIA card for my laptop so it can work? By the way, I am planning to use Mach 3. Thanks.
jaypp says:
Oct 6, 2007. 1:10 PM REPLY
great this is just what im looking for. is this "Three axis" CNC machine capable of making 3d prototypes? or is it just a 2d cutting machine? thanks
Stuart.Mcfarlan says:
Nov 1, 2007. 9:25 AM REPLY
The machine is capable of cutting three dimensional jobs. However the cost and complexity of the software involved with creating the files to cut them is
prohibitive for me so I have only experimented with 2 dimensional cutting
Regards
Stuart
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
Dodgy says:
Nov 2, 2008. 3:43 AM REPLY
aren't there freeware 3D programs available??
Dodgy says:
Nov 2, 2008. 3:34 AM REPLY
Have you read up on Tom McWire's design?
What do you think of it?
How does it compare/contrast with yours?
Did you know of Tom's when you started/finished making yours?
Is it easier to copy someone elses design or make you own from scratch?
vuego says:
Jan 3, 2008. 8:36 AM REPLY
Looks good!
Does anyone have made inch --> mm conversion? Any PDF? Where I can find similar timing belts and pulleys in Europe (webshop)? McMaster doesn't ship
to Finland.. :(
Dodgy says:
Nov 2, 2008. 3:28 AM REPLY
vuego: I made a program that lets you type in a value in mm or thou, and it converts to the other.
If you enter 1000th it gives 25.4mm and vice versa.
Does this help ?
Stuart.Mcfarlan says:
Apr 6, 2008. 7:50 PM REPLY
The design was actually made using both inch's and mm so if you measure some of the pieces you get rather random sizes however if you print out the
pattern and cut the pieces out it should work fine. In terms of drilling holes bolts and pulleys in almost all cases the nearest metric equivalent should work
(it might take some experimenting though).
Sorry I'm afraid I don't know of any European industrial suppliers.
galaxyman7 says:
Oct 1, 2008. 2:19 PM REPLY
I'm almost done making this milling machine. I have all the parts cut out and drilled, and I would like to know which parts have to be exact for the milling
machine to be exact. I'm making it by hand, so I'm not talking about .001 tolerance. However, I would like to create semi-perfect gears with this, and not have
them be elliptical. I might have to redo some parts, but thats ok. Thank you.
Stuart.Mcfarlan says:
Oct 2, 2008. 2:48 PM REPLY
Hey galaxyman;
If you pay special attention to ensuring the rails on all three axises are parallel, and that any hole which connects one piece to another (ie. where the bolt
goes through not where the hole hut lives), and finally any hole which has a bearing connected to it. You should be laughing.
I hope your build continues well, would love to see the finished result.
regards
Stuart
Dodgy says:
Nov 2, 2008. 3:18 AM REPLY
Stuart: OT: I started making a large wooden pantograph over a year ago. It will be using big, 42mm OD ball bearing races at the 5 pivot points.
I would like to be able to draw something with the stylus, and get the other end (milling bit?) to reproduce c. 100 times smaller. How does this sound?
galaxyman7 says:
Oct 22, 2008. 9:01 AM REPLY
Hi again. Can I use McWire's cnc controller for this board, or does it work with a different type of motor? Many thanks. :)
Stuart.Mcfarlan says:
Oct 26, 2008. 12:36 AM REPLY
Hey galaxyman;
You can use McWire's controller for this however his board offers only half stepping where the hobbyCNC board allows for dividing each step into 16ths.
Due to using belts rather than leadscrews, the precision available using half stepping is closer to a hundredth of an inch rather than thousandths. But for
most purposes that should be just fine. (it's also possible to easily upgrade in the future).
Regards
Stuart
Dodgy says:
So are you saying that leadscrews are always better than timing belts ?
(if I need more resolution)
I'd like to make a CNC machine based on Tom's, as I think the leadscrew method is easier.
Thanks.
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/
Nov 2, 2008. 2:20 AM REPLY
kingsuv says:
Oct 29, 2008. 6:17 PM REPLY
Can this be modified to cut a larger footprint?
galaxyman7 says:
Oct 29, 2008. 10:54 AM REPLY
By the way, Gorilla glue works great for gluing in the rods. Just make sure you don't put too much, because the glue expands and gets on everything. I used
gorilla glue to glue a deck to its foundation, so it's pretty strong. :)
bidouille72 says:
Oct 15, 2008. 2:02 PM REPLY
Hey guys,
Nobody interested to help me ?
How to fix the X-axis rail (step 9 in the instruction manual) especially the one that is down? How to held it ?
Stuart.Mcfarlan says:
Oct 26, 2008. 12:39 AM REPLY
Hey bidouille;
Galaxyman is right the x-axis rails are held in place by the x-axis cart squeezing them together.
Once together this isn't a problem however it makes for some challenges in assembling. What I did was electrical tape the bottom one in place and once
the cart was installed removed the tape.
Regards
Stuart
galaxyman7 says:
Oct 22, 2008. 9:07 AM REPLY
I think both of the rails are held in just by being wedged between the two sides. I have built the base and put in the rails, and they fit very tight. As for the
bottom x-axis rail, I think it is held in by the x-axis cart. It goes around it and holds it from both sides.
galaxyman7 says:
Oct 22, 2008. 9:16 AM REPLY
Btw I'm almost done with this project! I will send pics after its up and running. I just finished building the y-axis cart, and I put a level on and it was perfect! It's
a good thing, because I had to make many of the holes a bit bigger because of many errors on my part. My machine is pretty ghetto so far. I hope the x-axis
cart goes well too.
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http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Three-Axis-CNC-Machine-Cheaply-and-/