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  1. #1
    I am wondering where you all are buying and what grade of aluminum you are using for CNC router gantry sides and such. I live in Germany and sourcing Alu plate 20mm thick in sizes big enough to build gantry sides and reinforcing structures seems I will have to sell one of my kids to have enough money! Although selling one kid is not so bad the wife wants to sell the one I want to keep. So it could cause family issues. 20mm thick by 1000x1000mm is over 800Euros. Is that what you all are paying?

  2. #2
    I got mine from Aluminium Warehouse, Ecocast (aka cast tooling plate) for the bearing surfaces, 6061 for bits where it wasn't so important like the gantry sides. I also got them to do the majority of the initial cutting to size, as they don't seem to charge a premium for smaller plates.

    Although 1000x1000mm is a large amount of aluminium..... £960 for cast Ali that size at 20mm thick from aluminium warehouse... Why do you need so much? I think I spent about £250 on all of the aluminium parts on my build.

  3. #3
    There are better cheaper ways of building gantry sides / risers anyway.

    Use box sections

  4. #4
    Aluminium is expensive and I think my build must have been a few hundred pounds. Mostly ecocast as it is worth the extra not to have to machine it flat yourself (assuming you have the ability to do that in the first place given you are building a milling machine)

    If you need something that big maybe go for heavy gauge steel section and make a welded structure, then plate over with thin steel panels. Steel is cheaper, 3 times stiffer but needs a different build process.
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  5. #5
    Some of the mbig netal merchants like Smiths can knock at least 40% off Aluminiumwarehouse prices, though their cutting to size is not nearly so accurate in my experience! Don't forget that a bit of thought and ingenuity in the design can save you weight of metal and hence money - for instance a side plate of 10mm ali can be made to be stiffer than a piece of 20mm by adding some vertical stiffening ribs

  6. #6
    Gantry sides from cast aluminum plate? What exactly are you doing?

    Use 30x30 or whatever profile from Motedis and mount it to box section. Or just make structure from box section 60x60 - 100x100mm

    Or use UPN rails for the sides
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

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