Thread: Evening All
I've been having a look through the builds people have done and I'm starting to think I may be out of my depth a little with designing my own machine aspect as most of the builds I've seen look very professional and not in a league of something I think I could do (although could be wrong )
Your needs are not exactly challenging so the level of accuracy doesn't need to be massively high and like Neil says you can get away with lower grade components to some degree.
Don't be put off when you see people talking about Epoxy leveling etc. For Wood router going to this level isn't required. With carefull attention when building and with design that allows for adjustabilty then it's very possible to build machine without doing any of this and still give more than enough accuracy for routing wood and plastics.
What is more important is repeatablity and Stiffness. Repeatabilty mostly comes from Component quality so going too cheap will cause issues. Stiffness is soley down to design and materials used.
This is the Issue with those Kits. The design is weak and the Component level poor, ie V bearings running Soft aluminium = Wear and Slop = Bag of shite.!!
Nice stiff steel frame and Gantry running on Supported Round rail using Ballscrews not Timing belts will Knock those kits into Next month.
Steel is cheap and if you can weld then the design part is easy.? There's only so many ways to build these machines and there's no need to re-invent the wheel so just copy some buggers else design. That's what most on here have done.!!
Size will detemine the design to small degree but if your not wanting massive cutting area then design can be very simple and easy to weld up.
I'll gladly help you with design of machine and steer in right direction on the Key areas.
Electricly then again you'll see people going to great lengths building Control boxes. Again you don't need to go to this level at first. There is a minimum level that's required but it's not rocket science and again we can advise on this.
What is VERY important is the quality of the Electrics used. It's here were most machines are let down or fail. Again we can advise and with careful buying you can have quality electronics with reliable and safe control box for not lot money.
If you can weld and have little patience along with eye for details then you'll easily build machine that will do everything you require. Key is not rushing and Not buying anything without fully understanding what your buying and why it's right for your needs..! . . . If unsure the ASK.!!
I've helped many many people to build machines and If your prepared to Ask questions and LISTEN to what advised then I guarantee you will succeed and have great machine for same money as those kits.
If you are willing to guide me then I will be more than happy to listen to your advice on this as I want to do it right and as I mentioned earlier I've wanted a decent sized machine for years and if this means I have to wait a little longer it wont hurt as I've taken 6-8 years in total to get where I am and you made a good point that I would just just throw good money after bad with a off the shelf job.
I think my main concern though is not knowing where to source parts and in some instances the right name to search for for parts.
Also after thinking my other issue was making the plates to hold say the gantry, but then I remember this is a forum full of people who could cnc it for me for a price lol, and thinking of repairs would it be worth my wild to be able to mill aluminum too?
But yes if you are willing to help me I would be greatly thankful of this.
So the question is what would you need from me to start?
Ok Good you know it make Sense Rodney. . . Lol
Start by giving sensible cutting area and maximum material thickness you'll cut. Just realise that the larger you go the harder and more expensive it gets.
Wouldn't advise going larger than Quarter sheet for First build on budget. Even then I'd only go with this size if really needed and would be limited to soft materials only. Ie No cutting aluminium.
This is mostly because with low budget you'll want to keep the machine restricted to using Single ballscrew on the long axis. Going wider than this or wanting to cut harder materails will require 2 ballscrews. This means other than the extra Ballscrew and bearings you'll need Extra motor, drive, coupler and larger power requirements. These bump the price quickly.
If you go with smaller cutting envalope of say 900 x 600 or 600 x 400 then you'll build much stronger machine that is very capable Cutting aluminium.
07-09-2016 #25So the question is what would you need from me to start?..Clive
Thanks guys you know how to make a guy feel welcome and not as daft lol
I was hoping to do a cutting area of 1500* 1500 just for some of the arcade plans I had, mainly for the height but could look to see if I could reduce the width.
In relation to depth I'm not sure what's normal as I would use 20mm MDF for example but then thinking some hard woods would be thicker so would 60mm be overkill ??
Thinking about budget I did work out £1500 as a ball park but could add a bit as I go if really needed ( before wife kills me for it )
However the design becomes even more important and achieving accuracy becomes harder. That Said don't let this scare you and it's still possibly. So If you think you need the extra travel then go for it because no point building if it's not going to fit what you need but you need to be made aware going large increases the build process, slightly compromises strength and costs more.!! . . So be sure you really need it.??
Yay spend all of the monies lol..
Thinking I'm not 100% sure if I could get away with 610*1220 for my builds as larger cabinets could be a problem, but then I'm think howany will I make and I could always 2 part them..
I think I could get a bit more cash into this to get the better bits so I could do light aluminium work if it would work with the above size?
Here’s my tuppence worth on “low-cost” cnc’s. (my real life analogy) I bought a DSLR camera for £1,800 (sold along time ago) about 5 years ago because I fancied doing a bit of photography. Then I realise I actually liked making video’s just as much. The camera was amazing at photos but it had limited capability’s when it came to video. So by this time I was skint but really wanted to make some decent video footage. Now a half decent video camera or broadcast ready one would cost me about £2,000 + 2nd hand, that would produce really good footage straight out of the box. My budget was less than £300. So I hit google and spent a good 2-3 weeks looking for a solution. Finally, after many - many forum posts youtube videos and emails I bought the camera, a 7-year-old Cannon E50. I won’t bore you with the details, but with a bit of free software a couple of very cheap prime lenses (£20 each of fleabay) and decent CF card I could take RAW video the same as some of the much-much more expensive cine cameras. But no auto focus, limited continuous filming time and overheating problems just to mention a few. And the learning curve was steep because it involved a lot more post production with editing, colourisation software etc. If I was patient and took time to set up the shot and managed my expectations I could achieve, in my opinion, good results. I wasn’t going for an Oscar or a career in film making, it was just something I wanted to do. However, one day a friend of mine who has a web design company, had a client who was having a company intro video filmed by a professional production company. He had spoken with the film makers and asked if I could go down and watch, do a bit of filming pick up some tips and tricks etc. After spending the whole day with them and seeing the results I realised that there was a vast difference between, what I was doing and what professionals do.
But I realise my limitations the same as I realise the limitations of my CNC and work accordingly and know what results I will get. However, if I decide to move to a better video camera or a more expensive CNC I will take with me all that knowledge and I expect to build on the capability’s and produce better quality work.
You can make money out of the cheap Chinese CNC’s, I know I have done it. When I was totally skint about 3 and half years ago (under threat of eviction and not in a good place in my life) I designed a bit of a fancy bird box, that looked like an old clock. I used cheap ply and even cheaper external paint. I worked a good 8 hours a day and.. less overheads + 20% I was putting away for any breakage of the machine, I was bringing in on average of £100 per day. That got me out of the shit, but it was hard work and frankly the machine took a beating. People still ask me if make them even though it’s to replace the ones that had rotted to bits lol, and yeah I bang a couple out on a weekend just for the fun of it for them (that sounded rude).
I have an ambition now and I’ve set my goal’s to achieve it. I will be buying another cheap CNC and making a bit more money from that, then when I have scrimped and saved buy a half decent CNC and continue like that. Each stage with let me know if I’m on the right path, but nothing will be lost when it comes to experience. And of course I can always sell it and get some money back for the next project.
BTW I looked at making my own cnc, and rejected the idea, really because I don’t have the confidence. If JAZZ was my next door neighbour I would have no qualms about attempting to build one. And who knows, in the future I might go for it.
So that’s my story, hope this helps you towards your decision.
Fiction is far more plausible when wrapped around a thread of truth
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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