View Full Version : My CNC build experience so far

17-02-2015, 06:33 PM
I just wanted to share my current CNC project mainly as when I ask questions in the future you guys will know where I'm coming from lol

My mission was to build a machine that I could use to cut aluminium/plastic parts for my various RC projects. I did a lot of digging about and spent many hours surfing the net. In a moment of madness I decided I didn't want to buy a pre built "kit" as I wanted something I could expand at a later date.

My CNC Adventure
I settled on a frame kit from cncdesign ltd as I don't have any experience building CNC's I wanted something that had the right parts and a refined design rather than me making costly mistakes (playing it safe I know). The kit went together in 2 days with me taking time to build it all true and square. I got a larger spindle holder for a 2.2kw ER20 spindle. One observation is the water cooling nuts foul one of the plates so I still need to drop it out and dremel some material away so its not going to damage its self. Another point to mention is none of the additional brackets are included so I designed and printed some to mount up the limit switches and to serve a a holder for my chip clearance/cooling.

I bought my electronics from the guys at cnc4you, granted their prices are a bit more expensive but their serves has been really good and for a noob like myself they have been patient and helped me when I got stuck with a few points. I opted for one of their 4Nm digital stepper kits as when I build my own machine later down the line I can just swap over the electronics without any worry ....... That and I like overkill lol

So as normal I got distracted for a couple of months (not putting it off honestly lol) while I worked on other projects ..... I eventually plucked up the courage to start sorting out all the electronics. Many meters of wires later and the odd bit of swearing I had mocked up my "control box" all bodged onto a chopping board lol ( I have just ordered an enclosure to do a proper job since testing things and making sure they worked first.)

I the mean while I designed a enclosure in CAD and had a friend cnc cut it for me ..... just as well as its in 25mm thick MDF and weighs a ton I would not have wanted to do that with a jigsaw haha. It also meant I could design it in a manor which allowed for a inspection window when its all secured.

So I went about gather more bits ..... A friend of mine was on business over in the states so I he kindly picked my up a fogbuster system while he was over there. I have paired that up with a Bambi silent compressor, its not heavy duty but enough to run the system. Ohh I also invested in a UC300 motion controller ..... which so far has been a god send as the first tried I tried to control the CNC via a old machine wit ha parallel port it was jumping all over the place. Im currently using a i7 latop with 8gb of ram so i don't expect mach3 to have any stability issues lol ..... I know laptops aren't ideal but space is a big issue for me.

I must add at this point how awesome my wife is as she has let me set this monster up in the corner of the living room tucked out of the way while I get used to it ........ I knew i picked the right woman lol

Here is the project as it stands currently:


So what next?
I'm still a small way off from the finish line but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I still need to pad the inside out with some acoustic foam mount the door up, some lighting seal the interior and find a low profile clamp for when I'm working on smaller parts ....... oh and slap all the electronics in a proper enclosure.

I was watching a video the other day about laser edge finding so I picked up a cheap laser for peanuts so i can design and print a bracket for that ....... edge finders is something I need to do more research on ...... forever learning atm

Its been a bit of a roller coaster of a build I cant wait to finally start cutting on it. I will keep this topic up to date as i finish the project and get to grips with my new tool porn :)

17-02-2015, 10:08 PM
looks great, keep at it.

trained the dog well. Attention !! ready at the E stop