PDA

View Full Version : Is it possible...



GoBo
16-12-2014, 02:56 PM
Good afternoon all.

Quick question that I'm sure I know the answer too really but probably dont want to crush my own dream, but its ok if you guys do.

I require a CNC machine because;
1) I have a practical use for it, making small signs and letters etc...
2) Because they are cool. ( probably more important than the first point )

I will need it to cut up to around 500mm x 700mm

Here’s the kicker : Can, at all, it be made from wood/mdf?

I have seen plans and kits etc that are made from MDF, but is it a reality? The reason I question it is that I nor any of my family are metal workers or have access to metal work equipment. Everyone I know are chippies. Also the cost, I am on a very tight budget, as this is for hobby only.


Thanks in advance.

kingcreaky
16-12-2014, 05:32 PM
Hi Gobo

once you have read a few posts on here you will appreciate how many times the same thing gets asked....

My first machine was made out of mdf, Drawer runners for linear motion; a dremmel for cutting and old printer stepper motors for drive...

There are many many videos on the web of people who have made wooden machines; thing is, most of these people end up starting again once they realise the draw backs to making machine out of these materials.

in answer to your question. Yes; it can be made out of MDF; dont let anybody tell you otherwise. but it does very much depend on what you are cutting out; how often the machine is going to be used; where is it going to be stored (MDF cant be kept in a damp garage)

If you are making a machine; as a proof of concept in a warm bedroom for cutting small signs; then I would encourage you to try... because you will learn so much along the way and id always encourage people to get into the hobby. if your anything like me, you'll learn a hole lot along the way.

Only thing I would say (before everybody jumps in) I would encourage to get the electronics right from the start even if you cant afford "proper" materials right now. DO NOT BUY anything before reading up on here first.

the TB650 driver on ebay is a classic example.

Matt

GoBo
16-12-2014, 10:11 PM
Hi Matt.

Thanks for the helpfull reply.

That's the kind of post I was hoping for. In my eyes this machine will be just a prototype for something a little more substantial.

Currently it's going to be used a few times a week. But if it actually works well then more and more hopefully. I want it as a tool to assist my wife in her craft business.

I work full time as an It manager but my dad who has his own wood working shop has offered floor space for it to go. He's offered to go "in" with me on the project too. Yes - I'm sure he wants to use it afterwards too.

I really want to keep the build to a few hundred pounds. But realise that there is goin to be a minimum that's going to need to be spent.

So hopefully a lot of advice and second hand components will be found here.

EddyCurrent
16-12-2014, 10:24 PM
I really want to keep the build to a few hundred pounds.

You may be overlooking the cost of electrics ?

irving2008
16-12-2014, 10:28 PM
Although wood is no substitute for a stable material such as aluminium profile which can be worked with simple tools (invest in a few sizes of decent drill bits) don't go down the mdf route. If you must use wood, use a decent quality ply and engineered wood techniques.

Swarfing
16-12-2014, 10:34 PM
If you really want to take the wood route then i would recommend 'bamboo ply', about the strongest stable wood you will ever use.

GoBo
16-12-2014, 11:44 PM
Hi guys thanks for your input. Seemingly one of the friendliest forums I have been on.

I know it's not going to be high end but I really do want to go down the wood route. As mentioned my dad has a wood shop so tools are at the ready.

Lol yes my costings a probably a joke at the minute.

charlieuk
17-12-2014, 12:10 AM
you can buy ali extrusion cut to length at no extra cost or cut it on a normal wood chop saw with a tct blade. Good quality wood/ply or mdf is not cheap ether and far harder to get accurate or make adjustments. From just completing my first built I could not see the point in trying wood when the aluminum extrusion to makes life so much easier during the build at very little extra cost on a small build and you will end up with a far better product. like said if you choose the right parts you do not need any metal work experience and can probably do it with just a nice set of drills and a drill press and possibly a chop saw with tct blade and get far more acuracey and easier to upgrade when you want to.

JAZZCNC
17-12-2014, 12:11 AM
Perfectly feasible to build a good machine from wood but not cheaply.! Or easily.

For a Good wood based machine the design needs to be very well engineered and the materials of high quality. MDF just doesn't isn't good enough for this country.

Electronics are the same wood or metal so don't scrimp here.

To be honest if you haven't got metal working tools or skills to weld the frame then I'd encourage you to pay someone to weld it up because it will work out cheaper in the end. Metal is relatively cheap and will cost less than high quality ply woods or man made boards which will be required for any decent machine worth the effort.

Regards the costs, wood or metal then unless your prepared to throw minimum £1000 at it then I'd suggest you leave it alone and save your money. Even at £1k it will be a challenge to build a machine worth the considerable effort required for any decent machine.! . . . . To try and build for less only leads to dissapointment in the end.!

GoBo
17-12-2014, 01:31 PM
Hi Gobo
My first machine was made out of mdf, Drawer runners for linear motion; a dremmel for cutting and old printer stepper motors for drive...


I would like to aim for somthing like this, but maybe using components that could go into the next version of the machine.


Hi Gobo
the TB650 driver on ebay is a classic example.


Im still in the process of haveing to google everything people mention at the moment. I amm assuming that these drivers are the main control for the motors, which recieve instruction from the PC/Software.

GoBo
17-12-2014, 01:33 PM
To be honest if you haven't got metal working tools or skills to weld the frame then I'd encourage you to pay someone to weld it up because it will work out cheaper in the end. Metal is relatively cheap and will cost less than high quality ply woods or man made boards which will be required for any decent machine worth the effort.

Regards the costs, wood or metal then unless your prepared to throw minimum £1000 at it then I'd suggest you leave it alone and save your money. Even at £1k it will be a challenge to build a machine worth the considerable effort required for any decent machine.! . . . . To try and build for less only leads to dissapointment in the end.!

Thanks Jazz. I think this will be version 2 of the machine. But who knows it may have to end up being done this way anyway.

GoBo
17-12-2014, 01:35 PM
you can buy ali extrusion cut to length at no extra cost

Thanks, defiantly going to have a look at these. ebay best place to start looking?

JAZZCNC
17-12-2014, 01:52 PM
Im still in the process of haveing to google everything people mention at the moment. I amm assuming that these drivers are the main control for the motors, which recieve instruction from the PC/Software.

Matt(kingcreaky) was meaning to stay away from these.!!

Honestly best advise is do or buy nothing yet untill you have properly researched what your doing and working with. Jumping in feet first is 100% guaranteed to waste your money and time.
Then hopefully after doing this you'll realise that MDF/draw slide approach isn't worth the time or money and go straight with doing it correctly first time. This doesn't mean throwing loads of cash at it either, it can still be done relatively cheaply with careful buying and patience along with a little help guidance from others.

MDF/Draw slides path is time & money wasted on what could be good cheap machine that will return any investment if no longer required which isn't the case other way around.!! . . .It's scrap bin fodder.!

kingcreaky
17-12-2014, 01:56 PM
As im being quoted, I feel the need to re-post for clarity

I stated my first machine was made using drawer runners, printer steppers and mdf... I didnt point out how shockingly bad it was!!!

think how much "play" there is in drawer runners.... then imagine what that would do if you were engraving on something mounted to them

Have a guess how long you think it would take before the screws holding the mdf machine together work there way loose in the soft mdf material and the entire thing starts wobbling.

and mentioning the TB650 driver; was meant, in a bid to try and warn you against it...

read carefully what people have wrote here; they are all right. Although it is "possible" to make a machine using household items... it may not necessarily do what you want it to do.

dont buy any electronics before reading and asking here first.

charlieuk
17-12-2014, 02:23 PM
Thanks, defiantly going to have a look at these. ebay best place to start looking?

kjn aluminium was the best place I found and the cuts were very accurate and square.

JAZZCNC
17-12-2014, 02:35 PM
kjn aluminium was the best place I found and the cuts were very accurate and square.

Nah too expensive try Motedis. http://www.motedis.co.uk/shop/index.php

Exactly same stuff and cut to same accurecy but much cheaper, esp the T-nuts etc.
Takes slightly longer to arrive due to being in Germany but not much longer and worth the wait for the savings.

Neale
17-12-2014, 04:10 PM
I'm another MDF router builder/user. Fortunately, I bought the steppers/electronics with a view to building a better machine later so the biggest investment is largely reusable. However, the MDF (plus added steel supports to try to keep the bed roughly flat) and the steel tube/skate bearing runners didn't cost that much. However, they did largely influence the incredibly slow movement of the machine, due to lack of strength and rigidity. The only thing moving faster than the gantry was the MDF bed (and the gantry, and the Z axis platform) warping...

Yes, it can work, kind of, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. It taught me a lot, and the biggest lesson was why I am now building a welded steel-framed machine. Welding (strong if not pretty) is not that difficult, and almost any welding problem can be fixed with a cheap angle grinder and rewelding. DAMHIKTIJKOK?

deisel
17-12-2014, 06:10 PM
Thanks, defiantly going to have a look at these. ebay best place to start looking?
same as Charlie ;) i doubt very much you would find cheaper the kjn if you went in and seen em with them being local to you,get your gear there n then also.

charlieuk
18-12-2014, 09:35 AM
Nah too expensive try Motedis. http://www.motedis.co.uk/shop/index.php

Exactly same stuff and cut to same accurecy but much cheaper, esp the T-nuts etc.
Takes slightly longer to arrive due to being in Germany but not much longer and worth the wait for the savings.

yes looks to be about 20% cheaper as you have to add vat to kjn prices but maximum length is 2m however that would be fine for the above build. Still if he is in Leicester it can be nice to support local and would be very handy for picking up those few fixings you all ways forget

GoBo
18-12-2014, 10:29 AM
I'll have a look at both, thanks guys.

EddyCurrent
18-12-2014, 10:48 AM
Aluminium cuts on my bandsaw just as easy as hard wood, it's no problem to work with in that respect, it goes a bit like chewing gum when you start machining it though, at least the way I machine it :highly_amused:

GoBo
18-12-2014, 11:02 AM
Aluminium cuts on my bandsaw just as easy as hard wood, it's no problem to work with in that respect, it goes a bit like chewing gum when you start machining it though, at least the way I machine it :highly_amused:

LOL..

Yer we do have the kit to cut Ali no problems. Unless bolting this stiff together is good enough then its the welding and joining that going to be the problem.

EddyCurrent
18-12-2014, 11:18 AM
I can't imagine you would need to weld the aluminium but that's no bother too, take a look at these;

http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/engineering-tools/2013/durafix-aluminium-welding-brazing-soldering-rods-from-chronos/

Watch the video here; https://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/aluminium-repair-starter-kit#video

deisel
18-12-2014, 11:37 AM
gobo why not just go the steel route,i could lend you a 210 amp stick welder and auto mask..im local so could drop it off and get you started welding bits within minutes
you wont need to be a coded welder to make a table.im not great at it but managed to make this with the same welder.
14113

GoBo
18-12-2014, 11:52 AM
Ahhhhh.. that seems easy enough... he says...

GoBo
18-12-2014, 12:02 PM
gobo why not just go the steel route,i could lend you a 210 amp stick welder and auto mask..im local so could drop it off and get you started welding bits within minutes
you wont need to be a coded welder to make a table.im not great at it but managed to make this with the same welder.
http://www.mycncuk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=14113&stc=1

Wow, thanks for the offer. I may just take you up on that some time. I think thats just a little beyond me at present.

Your machine looks great BTW! What do you cut?

deisel
19-12-2014, 10:07 PM
What do you cut?
thanks, just plastics and aluminium.