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Old 8th May 2012, 10:19   #1
praneetn7
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Mini Desktop CNC Machine Build!

A bit about myself, I am 16 years old and for my senior project for high school, I plan on building a small CNC router.

The CNC router will be used for; PCB's, wood work, plastics and (hopefully) Aluminium.

The main base frame is made from 40x40 and 40x80 extrusion and the Z axis is made of 12mm aluminium. The side plate are made from 12mm steel plate.

The linear rails that are going to be used are the 16mm supported rail type that you can get from ebay.

The proposed working area is 300x200mm with 110mm z.

So here is the initial design:





Every week I get three 70 min class lessons to work on this.

So here are some build pictures!

I first stared out buy cutting out the side plates. I had originally planned to get them CNC cut but the cost was just outrageous! So I decided to go the hard way and plasma cut them.





So here is the cut piece.



The cut wasn't very pretty and a lot of milling/grinding will need to be done for a nice finish. But hey, it was my first time using a plasma cutter and it is a learning experience so I'm happy with that.



So after both pieces were cut, I spot welded them together ready to be clamped onto the mill.



So I got it clamped and started to mill. (Yes I know that it isn't the greatest way to clamp it but that's all we had at the time )



So after a few passes this is what we got. (Ooooohh, SHNINY )



It seems the cutter is a little out of alignment, but this isnt a very vital edge so it'll be fine.



So here are the pieces after milling. You can see that there are still pit marks and stuff from my shoddy plasma cutting but that's all i could do without milling off the whole piece! It is starting to get surface rust already so I better put some paint on it soon!



After that we realigned the cutter and went to mill the bottom edges.



Seems that there is a little bit of chatter on the mill but you can't feel it with your finger so it must be a few thousands of a mill.



So here are the completed side pieces! Just have to mark and drill them now.



So that's what I have done so far and and will probably get the drilling done tomorrow if all goes to plan.

Thanks

Praneet
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Old 8th May 2012, 10:58   #2
bluc
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Cool I want a cnc machine badly :-). I think I will go down the DIY route and am looking at a laser for cutting aluminium and plastic and burning pictures on wood. Will follow your thread to see how you get on :-)
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Old 8th May 2012, 15:55   #3
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great start. i will be watching this closely. going to start my own build of cnc very soon too.
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Old 8th May 2012, 21:25   #4
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Very nice, I will be following this as well. Out of curiosity, is there any particular reason you chose supported round over square rail?
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Old 9th May 2012, 07:16   #5
praneetn7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluc
Cool I want a cnc machine badly :-). I think I will go down the DIY route and am looking at a laser for cutting aluminium and plastic and burning pictures on wood. Will follow your thread to see how you get on :-)
Thanks for the support mate A good place to get more information is CNCzone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjay@TJ
great start. i will be watching this closely. going to start my own build of cnc very soon too.
Awesome! Make sure you make a thread so I can see your build.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Shadow
Very nice, I will be following this as well. Out of curiosity, is there any particular reason you chose supported round over square rail?
Thanks!

I chose supported round rails as they were significantly cheaper. The supported round rail comes brand new from china at a fraction of the cost of the square rails.

My total order for the supported round rails was about $95AUD plus shipping and the sqaure rail was over $350AUD!

I have seen large machines made with these types of rails and they worked great.

Thanks

Praneet
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Old 9th May 2012, 13:21   #6
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Old 9th May 2012, 22:37   #7
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Wow! Great to see you are making something as ambitious as this for a school project, when I was doing GCSEs I only made a crappy MDF box (though our school didn't have a mill or a plasma cutter). Can't wait to see how this progresses.
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Old 12th May 2012, 15:49   #8
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impressive for a school project, and musta been nice when you used the plasma cutter.

subbing also as i am kinda intrested in building a small cnc machine at some point
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Old 8th Oct 2012, 08:34   #9
praneetn7
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Update :)

Alright, update time!

Sorry for not updating this sooner. I was very busy with school work and actually kind of forgot about the thread!

So anyway let's get back to it

The side plate were drilled some cutting oil was used to cool the bit. Also a pilot hole was drilled for a larger bit.



The larger bit (25mm) was used to make a hole for the bearings that will support the drive screws.



Now the basic frame is laid out ready to be tapped where necessary for the connectors (more on that in a bit).



The extrusion has predrilled holes that are the exact size for a M8 thread.



The connectors are used to, well connect the pieces together! An M8 button head bolt is used to tighten the pieces to form a quick, simple and strong joint.

The connector assembly slides into the slots in the extrusion and is tightened with a through hole that is drilled where required.







Now to bolt other things to the basic frame these T nuts are used. Again they slot into the extrusion and a bolt is used to fasten the other components to it.





Once all of the T nuts are in place the whole frame can be squared and tightened.

When doing this make sure all of the T nuts are in place BEFORE tightening and squaring. I had to disassemble the frame multiple time because I forgot a nut here and there!



Now that the frame is complete I had to grind the welds off the side plates so I could separate and bolt them on!



That is it for now. I'll be back soon
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Old 8th Oct 2012, 08:42   #10
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Awesome you got any more details on the frame extrusion, what its called and where to get it?
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Old 8th Oct 2012, 08:57   #11
praneetn7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluc View Post
Awesome you got any more details on the frame extrusion, what its called and where to get it?
They call it Aluminum extrusion, T slot, Aluminium profile as well as some other things.

I got the stuff from an Australian company called AME System:

http://www.amesystem.com.au/

You can also get it from other places and I think there are a few manufacturers including:

http://www.8020.net/ (They are on ebay too)

&

http://us.misumi-ec.com/contents/mech/product/al/


It is made from 6063 aluminium and has a clear anodizing to it.

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Old 8th Oct 2012, 10:50   #12
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Ok cool also in australia will look into it. Thanks
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Old 9th Oct 2012, 07:35   #13
praneetn7
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So after the welds were grinded and the plates were separated and test bolted to the frame.



Now the next step was to fabricate the adapter plates that would allow me to attach the linear rails to the extrusions.



Now to prevent rust the parts were primed and painted to a grey colour that is called "machinery grey" so I thought it would suit well





Now the side plates could be square and mounted for real!



Here you can see the rails are mounted to the main body of the machine.





The Z axis componets were all made using the drill press. I had made engineering drawings of each part so that I could make it quickly and accurately.











As you all know doing things by hand it is expected to have a few minor accuracy issues. These hole are supposed to line up directly with the tapped holes in the bearings but are off slightly. However this isn't a huge problem as I can just run a larger drill bit through and give the bolt some extra room





After this we were all good and it all lined up. so i countersunk them for the bolts.







As I was very short on time to complete this project I couldn't wait for the shaft collars to arrive so i made some up on the lathe!

I have never used a lathe before and again this provided a great learning opportunity















Now I had completed all of the individual components for the CNC machine it is just a matter of bolting them up!









I got a Chinese industrial spindle off ebay and mounted it. I initially was thinking of using a cheap trim router but the noise they made was way to much. This spindle is so quiet it is amazing!



So now it is basically complete! Just a few small things here and there to adjust

I got a really nice trolley from eBay to put the machine on and I think it looks pretty good!



So the completed CNC Machine:















I am really pleased with the way it has turned out and my teacher is pretty impressed too!

Praneet
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Old 9th Oct 2012, 12:00   #14
praneetn7
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Video!!!!

A video of it working!!!

I made this to go with my project as it not only has to be marked by my teacher but also other teachers from other schools!




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Old 9th Oct 2012, 13:21   #15
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That's impressive. What software are you running to control it?
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