View Full Version : BUILD LOG: Nooby Flying Gantry Rig

20-04-2009, 09:50 PM
Well i'd thought i'd start a log about it... Going to take a few months since the cash doesn't flow in as quick as i'd like... But that does give me plenty of time to get my head around CAD etc... The machine will be used initially for making computer cases from 5mm perspex.

My plan is to build most of the router from 18mm MDF. This will allow the less important parts to be nice and cheap. I will however be buying decent parts for the linear movement etc as I plan to migrate these to a better machine once i'm settled.

Minimum cut area will be 400x400, Z axis hasn't been decided yet, but will likely be around 50-100mm. I've purchased 500mm supported rails for the X axis and will be using 16mm dia rails for the Y axis ( as per design below). Z axis will probably be 12mm or so rails, but again i'm not sure on this as I havn't got my head around the z axis design.

I am planning ( at the moment ) on making the bed 700mmx700mm. This gives me a nice large working area and extra room to fit everything in. This shouldn't affect the minimum cutting area as i'll be using limit switches to ensure the the equipment is optimised. For drive i'm planning on basic M8 leadscrews, I was planning on delrin drive nuts but I dont have a pillar drill and my first attempt to drill/tap by hand came up a little off straight.

Thats it for now I think... Construction has started and i'll slowly keep this updated with progress. Diagram is to scale, however i'm not sure if the gantry's will remain that small (around 120mm high).


21-04-2009, 09:34 AM
I am considering fitting 2 screws, not sure if I'm able to get the structural rigidity to be able to have a single screw. So I think i'll be looking into a belt drive for the second screw since I dont think having 2 steppers on the x-axis will offer that much improvement.

Also got to increase the strength of the Y-Axis to increase tortion in the Z-Axis.

21-04-2009, 03:36 PM
Well I updated the rig a little, reinforced the gantry a bit and added the idea of a belt drive to the second gantry.


22-04-2009, 07:41 AM
I assume you mean driving the gantry using the belt....

Not too keen on the idea myself

23-04-2009, 01:45 AM
6 week old baby seems to be doing his best about getting in the way of that :P

Lee Roberts
23-04-2009, 11:02 PM
which you'll find out all about if you

tut tut tut....lmao ;)

16-05-2009, 03:15 PM
Very slow progress due in no small part to my new boy...

Which isn't a bad thing as I have to wait for funds to appear to get the expensive parts of the build!

Started the base today at least, rails are parrallel and 500mm long. Extra space is being allowed so the steppers sit inside the base.


Hopefully I'll get around to starting the gantry in the next couple of days. I've the stepper motors and leadscrews ready to mount, but i've no idea how i'm going to attach the leadscrews to the gantry (leadnuts????).

I've ditched the belt drive idea, going for dual steppers on the x-axis. Just need to get a 4 axis controller, power supplies and rails for y+z axis.

16-05-2009, 04:35 PM
Fair point well presented... It's not something I had considered, thought I'd get away with the pine as it was lying around....

Think i'll leave it asis for the time being till i've made the gantry and then I can go back and fix it.

16-05-2009, 05:13 PM
Got a table saw arriving in a couple of months and I doubt i'll have sourced the electronics by then, so i'm happy to wait as the table saw will give me the square cuts I need

Lee Roberts
16-05-2009, 06:48 PM
Kool will be keeping an eye on this one !

16-05-2009, 07:09 PM
Still yet to fully design the Y and Z axis, planning to use 16mm rails for both and a basic leadscrew system...

Trying to keep costs to a minimum whilst using premium parts so that they can be reused at a later date when I update the system.

Anyone experience with running 2 steppers on a single axis? I'm assuming I can run a 4 axis controller and use mach3's stepper synch functions.

16-05-2009, 07:38 PM
Well I have 4 steppers, so might as well set the system up to use them..

As for the router suggestion, I would do that, however my router collet doesn't grip the bit at the moment so I can achieve a good cut as after a short distance the bit will slide out.

My hand isn't stable enough to cut straight with a jigsaw, and there is no immediate rush.

16-05-2009, 07:54 PM
I have seen that before, and the theory of 2 steppers on a single axis seems fairly simple since the steppers will give mach3 feedback and error correction.

All I need to confirm is that a 4 axis stepper controller will be able to run 2 steppers on the X axis.

I also need to sort out power supplies... How much wattage am I going to need.... Dont you love electronics :P

16-05-2009, 08:19 PM
I'll be alright, play it safe and get something with more than enough power...

Depends on what controller I go for...

16-05-2009, 08:55 PM
I was thinking about using the routoutcnc boards or even taking a jump in the deep end and use a 4axis board from china...

Although I cant find much feedback on those for obvious reasons.

17-05-2009, 12:21 PM
Had some free time away from baby this morning so I cracked on!

Decided to get a shift on with the gantry, no real work in progress shots, but you can see where I am up to...



Next i'd like to sort out some nuts that I can fix to the gantry then I can mount the X axis screws and steppers.

17-05-2009, 01:24 PM
Hi Conan,

If you are still thinking of swapping the Pine for something more stable why not try


Its cheap, cut to length for you, Very accurate and very very easy to mount on also strong as hell due to the profile!


17-05-2009, 01:27 PM
Reckon since I've got a load of wood sat here, i'll push on with it for the time being...

With any luck machine #2 will be an aluminium machine :)

17-05-2009, 01:33 PM
It can get addictive, What are you using for lead screw /nuts?


17-05-2009, 01:57 PM
I've got 2 dead straight M8 studding bars for the X axis, I was going to use self made delrin nuts but i dont have any way of drilling perpendicular to the material.

So i'm on the search for some nuts that I can screw to the gantry.

I plan to use M8 for the Y axis and either M8 or M6 for the Z.

17-05-2009, 02:01 PM
I could turn you some 8mm Delrin nuts with a flange if you like?


17-05-2009, 02:41 PM
I might take you up on the offer in a few weeks time as i'm strapped now...

Been pretty much unable to find anything else suitable that is ready made....

17-05-2009, 04:07 PM
No probs just send me some material either delrin/ptfe when your ready and i'll make them, I dont want paying either!. Just a self addressed envelope to send em back.


Lee Roberts
17-05-2009, 06:15 PM
I would suggest going for a block type nut as mounting a round nut is a little bit more tricky.

Below is some pics of the ones i make for use with M8 Threaded Rod:




The above image is how they look in my ebay shop at 4.99 each with fixings. 15 will see you get all 3 nuts + fixings via Royalmail First class.

You can read how well they work here, :link: let me know if i can help you.

17-05-2009, 06:35 PM
Nice leadnuts, I agree for thiz setup they would be easier to mount.


17-05-2009, 07:23 PM
What i'm after (after a few minutes on sketchup)


Thought that would give me the simplest option for a drive nut... Although the delrins would be a backup due to how the system is going in my head.

17-05-2009, 07:33 PM
Hmm, Thats pretty much what I meant by a flange nut.
What do you mean by "The delrins would be a backup" ? Would you not use delrin for flange nut?

PM me if you want me to make em!


17-05-2009, 07:50 PM
I meant i'd rather have a flange nut, i'd use delrins if I couldn't find anything I liked.

17-05-2009, 07:59 PM
Sorry I'm confused.

The Sketchup image is of a flange nut, your other option was lee's block nut. I think both would be made from either Delrin/Acetal or PTFE?

Lee Roberts
17-05-2009, 08:31 PM
Yea i think your missing the point Conan, both types of nut would be made from lets say Delrin but they are diffrent in design, what was you thinking of using to make your own flanged nut ? :beer:

17-05-2009, 08:34 PM
I see where the confusion is coming from...

I'd like a flange nut, failing that i'll look into a delrin block like you are offering...

End of confusion.

Lee Roberts
17-05-2009, 09:57 PM
Yea its really quite easy to tap delrin mate, get yourself a bench vice and so on should be easy for you to do.

18-05-2009, 08:24 AM
The only thing i'm missing is a bench drill of some type, otherwise i'd do it myself...

Just dont have any way of drilling at 90 degrees... So for the time being i'll go for something pre-manufactured.

18-05-2009, 04:57 PM
I'll bet Michael will make you some for a few beer tokens :D

Offer still stands for flange nut like pictured! No probs.

John S
18-05-2009, 10:29 PM
Offer still stands for flange nut like pictured! No probs.


John s.

18-05-2009, 10:36 PM
Spank you very much!