1. #1
    Hello everyone. I have been away from mechanical engineering for a while but recently got interested again, especially now there's a ton more information and good experiences to learn from before making the same mistakes as others. I came here purely by chance after viewing a series of DIY CNC router build videos on YouTube. My idea was to join, learn and then contribute back.

    I'm here to post everything I will be doing with my new CNC router build and share all my experiences regarding relearning all the basics I have long forgotten. Firstly though I want to pick all your brains for the juicy info on your experiences with DIY CNC router builds for wood and metal machining, buying parts, sourcing materials and getting bargains or at least good quality stuff that's going to last but not require a mortgage to buy.

    I'll be producing alsorts when my machine is built, metal plates, engraving, wood and metal furniture, PCBs, 3D parts and anything from maybe as small as 5mm up to about 1.5m square.

    If anyone here has advice on aluminium extrusion based DIY CNC routers builds then any info would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Blazing Black Beard; 05-09-2018 at 11:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Welcome BBB

    First advice I would give is be realistic and honest with yourself about what you will use the machine for i.e. a router if designed carefully will be good for wood, plastics and aluminium with some light steel milling. In general though the harder the material you want to cut, the smaller you want to make the bed for overall rigidity.

    If you want to cut metals all day log then I would say the best approach is to retro-fit or scratch build a turret mill.

    There are plenty of builds in the build log area to look at and a lot of videos online, but be careful about the latter when it comes to "selling" products....not all YouTube videos are what they seem, at first glance.

    There are a load of very helpful guys here, with way more experience than I have, that will give great advice on specifics.
    Last edited by Washout; 05-09-2018 at 12:40 PM.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Washout For This Useful Post:

  4. #3
    Thanks for the first reply @Washout. I have been very particular about what elements I would like to incorporate from each of the following videos:


    That's said I would eventually be upgrading to a much larger machine as per the concrete filled CNC machine in that playlist at a later date but the smaller CNC will still be used continuously.

    For a smaller starting build I would be looking for manual tool change, linear bearings, aluminium extruded sections with some high accuracy steel rails to about 1 to 1.5 metres, dual ball screws on each axis with decent accuracy and a high quality manual tool change head to finely machine anything up to the hardness of aluminium. There is the possibility that I would also be machining steel plate but this would only be on a very limited basis. I'm hoping I can keep the bed size small enough with a 1 metre or so work area that will keep rigidity high whilst also allowing me to machine larger pieces of wood and aluminium and some smaller steel parts.

    Does anyone think that's too much to ask of a well constructed small to mid size DIY CNC router? I know the smaller builds can make decent enough profiles in aluminium and steel as per the Open Builds C Beam machine and I was looking to increase rigidity and size based on that and the other videos for inspiration but also put in some more professional options like the dual ballscrews and more rigid body similar to the 20 part video series from routercnc.

    I've not been here long but from what I have seen, these beginners and seasoned DIY CNC router builders have certainly clocked up some experience and knowledge. I was just looking to combine the best of all of them :-)
    Last edited by Blazing Black Beard; 05-09-2018 at 02:07 PM.

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