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Old 8th Apr 2005, 22:46   #1
JavaDog
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Project: Homebrew CNC Machine

Alternate Thread Title: "Why I haven't finished any mods in a while"

I have made another (complicated) project for myself. I am building a CNC Router!

For those not familiar - CNC is Computer Numeric Control. Through software, you PC controls Servo Motors to move a router in X- Y- and Z- axis (and more, but mine is only a three axis). This allows you to draw parts in CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) or CAM (Computer Aided Machining) and cut or machine those parts for a wide range of materials.

My machine will have a working range of 22in X-Axis by 22in Y-Axis and 5in Z-axis (Up/Down). I wll be using a Porter Cable Variable-Speed Router as my spindle. I should be able to cut Wood, Plastic, Aluminum (and case doors!).

I have some business uses that will generate income, and help offset the cost of the machine. Plus, I have thousands of fun ideas that I will now be able to build (including some kick ass case mods).

I will keep this thread updated with pictures, drawings and building photographs until completion, and a running cost tally:

Cost so far:

1) Two 26in Slide Assemblies: $130 (Ebay)
2) DeWalt DW618 Router: $168 (Check Froogle)
3) One IKO Linear-Rail (Z-Axis): $15 (Ebay)
4) Framing:
- - A) 80/20 Aluminum Structure - 47" 1515 x 2: $33 (Ebay)
- - B) 80/20 Aluminum Structure - 36" 1020 x 3: $36 (Ebay)
- - C) 80/20 Aluminum Structure - 36" 1530 x 4: $102 (Ebay)
- - D) 80/20 - Double T-Nut - #3279 - x 60pcs: $45 (Ebay)
- - - - I went a bit overboard on the T-Nuts.
5) 8in Ballscrew for Z-Axis: FREE!
6) CNC4PC Breakout Board, PSU, Charge Pump: $67 (CNC4PC Website)
7) Poly-Sci DC Servos with US-Digital Encoders x3: $321 (Ebay - HomeCNC)
8) Aluminum Plate - Assorted - For End-Plates and Z-Axis: $150 (Metal Supermarkets)

Total: $1067
Budget Max: $2000
Left to Spend: $933
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Last edited by JavaDog; 22nd Apr 2005 at 15:51.
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Old 8th Apr 2005, 22:47   #2
JavaDog
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As for the design, my machine is going to be VERY similar (with a few of my own tweaks) to the K2 KT-2514 in design. Although, it will be 22"x22"x5" (working area) in size.

the Frame will most likely be 80/20 or Similar extruded aluminum "industrial erector set".

The bed that the work material is clamped to will be MDF. When it gets cut up enough, I can just bolt down a new piece.

I already purchased some rail/slide assemblies from Ebay. These are about $2500 worth of parts new, I got them for $130 used. They are in perfect condition, almost no wear at all. Gotta love ebay.

Pictures:









These assemblies will be my X-Axis and my Y-Axis. They are approx 26in long, and will give me approx 22in of travel. They have a precision ball-screw will gives me excellent accuracy and very smooth motion.
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Old 8th Apr 2005, 22:50   #3
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I won an auction for a rail that I plan on using for my Z-Axis. It is wide enough and can handle a high-enough load that I won't need to use dual-rails. This will save me a few bucks...

I should get about 5" of travel with this. That means my router will be able to move 5" up/down. Generally, you want to set up the Z-Axis so that when it is all the way down the smallest bit you will be using will be touching the table.

Check it out:

Brandy new, not even opened. Not too shabby for $10.

Time for a wonderful MS-Paint "Cad" drawing (No access to my AutoCAD when I am at work!).



Now this is a very oversimplified drawing of how I am thinking of laying out my Z-Axis. Rail would be centered and the Ballscrew would be to the left or right of the rail. The plate the router is on (not shown) would have a block on the back for the ballscrew.

In case you are wondering where the servo driving the ballscrew would be:

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Last edited by JavaDog; 8th Apr 2005 at 22:55.
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Old 8th Apr 2005, 22:56   #4
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That's it for now, build pictures coming soon!!
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Old 8th Apr 2005, 23:00   #5
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wow...

now that's a hella cool project looking forward to this
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Old 9th Apr 2005, 01:59   #6
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you should give discount to bit tech ppl xD to use that nice cnc machine
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Old 9th Apr 2005, 03:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leviathan18
you should give discount to bit tech ppl xD to use that nice cnc machine
As a matter of fact...that is going to be one of my uses for this machine. A...side business...if you will.

I decided to play around and make a video of the THK Bearing/Screw assemblies being driven with my cordless drill. I'm such a dork, but I couldn't resist sending my camera along for a ride too.

Check it out. The jerkiness you see is an artifcact of shooting video on a digicam.

Nothing too amazing, but it sure is fun to watch them go back and forth!
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Old 9th Apr 2005, 04:36   #8
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Cool Looks like it'll actually be CNC and not "poor man's CNC modded drill press" Nice work so far!
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Old 9th Apr 2005, 04:47   #9
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This is awsome, the numbers of homebrewed CNC's grows fattier everyday, its just awsome that so many is taking the step into infinite power..drilling. :E
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Old 9th Apr 2005, 05:43   #10
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Very nice java dog. I was wondering when you are done will you be doing work for others? of course I payed work so you can make a buck from it as well.

BTW sweet parts.
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Old 9th Apr 2005, 06:48   #11
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Wow. I have always wanted to build one of these, but I dont think I ever will. Make sure to post lots of pictures.
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Old 9th Apr 2005, 14:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguarking11
Very nice java dog. I was wondering when you are done will you be doing work for others? of course I payed work so you can make a buck from it as well.

BTW sweet parts.
Thanks. Yeah, I plan on doing work for modders. I also have a TON of ideas for case-mods and other projects I want to do too. This machine will let me get the ideas from my brain...into something solid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by devenfore
Wow. I have always wanted to build one of these, but I dont think I ever will. Make sure to post lots of pictures.
Don't say never, I said the same thing a while back - but I saw others doing it and said "Me too!". Biggest thing is learning to use tools and measurement correctly.

I love taking pictures (other hobby) so you can count on that!
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Old 9th Apr 2005, 14:52   #13
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Suppose you have read this thread CNC uber router - Yay, update!, in this same forum; but just in case. . .
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Old 11th Apr 2005, 13:59   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream caster
Suppose you have read this thread CNC uber router - Yay, update!, in this same forum; but just in case. . .
Yeah, I had seen that. Too bad the guy doesn't do any case-modding anymore.

Well, due to some sickness in the family I didn't get a whole lot done this weekend (of anything). But, family comes first.

I did get my new Ballscrew for the Z-axis, as I said a few days back. Here it is in all its glory:





Ain't it sexy! The motion on it is tight, fast, and very smooth. Has approx 5.75in travel. Since my IKO rail for my Z-axis has 5.5in of travel, it is a perfect addition.
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Old 11th Apr 2005, 18:38   #15
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I soo want a project like that :-), I hope you post a very detailedlog, I wanna coppycat this project (If you donīt mind)

Cincerely ZeroHerO
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Old 11th Apr 2005, 18:58   #16
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Cool project
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Old 11th Apr 2005, 19:03   #17
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'Bout a roto zip?

Man you gotta keep up the progress on this one
I've been wanting to build a CNC machine for years

You might consider a Roto-Zip as opposed to the router you suggest
it's lighter and much faster (rpm) will cut metal as well....

Collets for 1/8-1/4 bits much better toll for this

What you doing for control software?

how you going from DesignCand/AutoCad into xyz
via DXF ....

Sooo many questions and very encouraging !
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Old 11th Apr 2005, 20:19   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowY
Man you gotta keep up the progress on this one
I've been wanting to build a CNC machine for years

You might consider a Roto-Zip as opposed to the router you suggest
it's lighter and much faster (rpm) will cut metal as well....

Collets for 1/8-1/4 bits much better toll for this

What you doing for control software?

how you going from DesignCand/AutoCad into xyz
via DXF ....

Sooo many questions and very encouraging !
Well, many people are using the same router as me for plastic/aluminum. It works fine, and is more powerful than the Roto-Zip. The PC router I am using is rated at 2 1/4 HP and is variable speed (10,000 - 23,000 RPM). It also comes with 1/4" and 1/2" collets. Larger collet lets me use larger bits.

So, the Roto-Zip isn't a bad solution, but I was looking for something with a bit more "umpf".

Software wise, I use Autodesk Inventor 5 for some of my CAD work. I will probably be using Artsoft Mach3 software to start. I plan on eventuall moving up to OneCNC-XR (Amazing software). The OneCNC-XR software is everything I need, but at $1500 starting, will have to wait a bit.
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Old 11th Apr 2005, 23:54   #19
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Very cool work man, you have some serious skill to take and make a homebrew CNC! Thats hardcore.
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Old 12th Apr 2005, 01:10   #20
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Good choice on the router, Porter Cable is a pretty bulletproof, but something from DeWalt has a longer duty cycle (meaning it can take more abuse). Something like this would be more ideal. And you can even upgrade the motor in case you cook yours. Not my intention to criticize, just giving syou something to think about. The mod looks like it's coming along nicely. I can't wait to see where it goes from here. Oh, and I agree, the Roto-Zip is not the tool for the job because, quite frankly, it's a peice of s**t. I used to be a tool saleman at SEARS and we saw more burned out motors from basic stuff than any other tool.
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