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Planning CNC router, laser cutter, or something?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Splynncryth, 2 May 2009.

  1. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

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    Right now, I don;t really have the space for a nice workshop with tools that make up for my general lack of coordination. So any attempts at modding tend to be really ugly, and I don't like sharing.

    But I figure I do have enough space for 1 larger piece of equipment, and I was thinking of looking into a CNC router or a laser cutter for this. I figured I would look at blowing what I was going to spend on an i7 rig, something in the neighborhood of $2K USD.

    Sears has something that looks interesting, but I don't know how well it would handle plastics like Plexiglas, Lexan, etc. But it is in the budget range. And I have no idea if something like a laser cutter can be had even close to this price. I have no idea if there are any other alternatives either, but I am looking for something I can just buy. If I have to fabricate something, it probably won't happen.

    I'm not looking for something that can do metal, but if there is something that can handle sheet metal too, that would be nice.
     
    Last edited: 3 May 2009
  2. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    A $2k CNC-Router is pretty ambigious tbh.

    Maybe you can provide us with a link of the CNC you're talking about.
     
  3. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    forget laser cutters, there too expensive and require a huge amount of maintance, replacement lenses are a common task and there stupid expensive.

    CNC router is by far the cheapest method, but you'll need a 450V line (2 phase supply) to run a good one.

    Find something thats easy to expand the bed on, its not difficult and allows for good expansion in the future. A 1x1m bed is generally good for items no bigger than 90cm square maybe a fraction bigger but the machine would be at its absolute limits then which isn't a great thing.
     
  4. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

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    http://www.carvewright.com/cms/machine
    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00921754000P

    These are what started to get the gears turning in my head.

    Burnout, you may be thinking too big there.

    At least currently, I am not terribly ambitious, I just am looking to cut flat pieces of material with a precision that matches what I can draft. Well, I'll settle for does better than I can with hand tools. Maybe I could use the advance capabilities later on. Right now, I see 1/2 inch as the thickest plastic or wood I would want to work in.

    I am not opposed to a kit either, I just don't want to be scrounging for parts or have to get any made. So the kit would need to be all inclusive. Otherwise it might get done on the far side of never :)
     
  5. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    If your going to spent money on a CNC you might aswell get one thats capable of cutting side panels of a case.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=19441&cookietest=1

    Could be done cheaper as a DIY project.
     
  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    The Crapsman machine is garbage. It uses proprietary software and bits. The work rests on a rubber treadmill mat, and is not clamped down.:eyebrow:
    -Let's not go into how bad Sears customer service has become...

    The Rockler setup is much better, but they skimped on the quality in places. -and other places have aluminum frame setups for the same price. :(
     
  7. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    A decent laser would be 10x the cost what you stated too. :(
     
  8. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    Making a CNC router really shouldn't be that hard if you look on sites like Instructables there are some desktop CNCs, plasma CNCs, laser CNCs....


    If you look them, they don't seam that hard to build and they list all the parts needed and where to find the parts
     
  9. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

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    I don't have the ability to machine any parts. That is why the DIY route is one I can't take.
    If it was an all inclusive kit, then it would be a different story, but I've followed some of the DIY CNC threads here n bit and looked online. I know I can't do what was done there.
     
  10. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    I don't think you had to machine any parts to build it
     
  11. Teyber

    Teyber ******

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    a 4'x4' or so cnc router would be ideal for modding. definately build it yourself and you could afford it

    check out:

    www.cnczone.com

    google:

    gecko 540
     
  12. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

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    The gantry for the router needs some sort of drive mechanism whether that be some sort of belt or screw drive. A belt drive would need guide rails and linear bearings. IIRC< a screw drive requires some fancy stuff like zero lash nuts.
    If the body is built from wood, IIRC, there are really bad flex problems, and accuracy is really bad. Combined with my craptastic wood working skill, I wouldn't expect something I built this way to work at all. I don't have the tools to begin considering using metal in the build, I have a hacksaw and some files.

    The electronics I am fine with, assuming I could acquire all the parts.

    My opinion is that saying I can build my own CNC machine is a bit like me saying you can use a hex editor to mod your BIOS and make your overclock more stable (PC BIOS is my day job). Now, given a box of parts Ikea style would be fine.

    Maybe I'm missing something, but the gecko stuff all seems to be related to the electronics and drive of a CNC system, not the actual mechanics or blueprints.


    So far, Burnout's suggestion seems to be closest to what I need. But maybe someone will be selling something in my neck of the woods on CNCZone.
     
  13. Teyber

    Teyber ******

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    Correct! a 4 axis driver system for $300 that will handle nema 23's the same as the gecko 203v's do, at $140 a peice + time + wiring + breakoutboard. Its a plug and play system and is a very high quality peice of equiptment.

    Im sure you have / can get old cheap computers, if so that loaded with EMC2(free) or mach3($150) you have your controller. Then you will need a breakout board, e-stop, drivers, motors, (of course just the main parts). www.kelinginc.net is known for high quality motors but ask him if he has what you have in stock before your order. Call this $350 for emc2, free computer, and a xylotex 3 axis kit or so + other stuff
    http://www.xylotex.com/
    or ~ $500 if you go gecko + other stuff

    I assume you will want ballscrews.

    Im guessing you will want to cut metal so a alu/steel/ 80/20 build would be best, not the mdf build.

    here are some plans btw

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17279

    For $2000 i imagine you could build a pretty powerful cnc router if you can snag some parts cheap.

    and FYI i don't have a cnc router nor looked into building one(yet :D ) but im doing a mill conversion and the cnc aspect is virtually the same...
     
  14. Volund

    Volund Am I supposed to care?

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    I've been looking into cnc too, but all I do is engraving in Plexiglas, any suggestions for automation? I do about 10 engravings a day (usually 2 or 3 of a single design) by hand with a dremel, but I'd like to increase my production speed, for as little money as possible.
     
  15. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    It drives me crazy that there's a jump from 1'x1' to 4'x4'. A two foot model would be perfect. I think I could even find room for it.
     
  16. barry99705

    barry99705 sudo rm -Rf /

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    Honestly, I'd go with a small epilog.
     
  17. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    yes and Ikea CNC router would be excellent :thumb:
     
  18. Teyber

    Teyber ******

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    cheapskate make your own :wallbash: you can buy ballscrews, linear ways, et cetera... its so expensive to buy a pre-made one
     
  19. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

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    I know from multiple attempts that with the tools and physical skills I posses, I won't be able to fabricate what is in those plans :(
    The whole reason I was thinking of this crazy scheme was to get a robot to do what I suck at :) But if I need a robot to build a robot, then I have a bit of a recursion problem.
     
  20. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    It's like the pickup truck question in our family.

    Do I go out and buy a pickup truck, put the tags and insurance and gas and maintenance OR

    Do I go to U-Haul and rent one for $20 a day for the 3 or 4 times a year we need a truck.

    Save the money from spending on the tool and use it to get the work done professionally. Save the space for "The Fridge". Best modding investment I made this year.:clap:

    john
     

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