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  1. #1
    Hi Folks, My name is Rob.

    Years ago I completed a Degree In 3D Design. I became good at 3D Modeling in blender. When I say Modeling, I mean just that. Making a rose or a baroque flourish. Not the sort of CAD that enables me to draw a CNC router and, extrapolate the parts for manufacture. For years I wanted to build a CNC Router to bring my creations to life [Insert Dr Frankenstein evil laugh here].

    I decided I need a new hobby and years ago I joined this site. Unfortunately I lost my job and had to put everything apart from working as hard as I could on hold.

    Flash forward a few years and I'm ready to make 'the great leap forward'.

    During my time here, I would like to get working/modify a really crap reprap 3d-printer I bought from china. (someone here has to know something about these things)

    I would also Like to build my own CNC Gantry Router with a work area of 1220x1220 with a Z-Axis depth of about 150mm. My other requirements/constraints are listed below:

    1) It's for cutting wood 2d and 3d... ...maybe a little bit of aluminium for making machine parts.
    2)I really want to save money in the long run, so want tore use the electronics in a 1220x2440 machine one day.
    3)It has to run of household mains. (the shed)
    4) water cooled spindle must have beer cooling device attached.
    5) forget I mentioned number four

    Skills that may be handy:

    A)General Building
    B)I repair my own tools
    C)Build my own computers
    D)Blender 3D
    E)Vector Graphics in Affinity Designer
    F)Don't mind making something for hours and then realize It's the wrong size and then starting again.
    G)Love Linux (Running Arch on a Raspberry Pi and Mint on an Old Apple MacBook Pro, Also have a Windows 10 Graphics rendering Beast)
    H) Can Weld with a Gasless MIG and an ARC
    H)Love a steep learning curve.

    I suppose now I told you a little about me, Has anyone else been building something along the same lines? I must admit I'm a little stuck on spindle choice and stepper requirements. (I do like the look of the closed loop flavour, It seams with my limited knowledge to be the better choice for the type of gantry router I want to build)

  2. Hi Rob, welcome to the forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fozz84 View Post
    Years ago I completed a Degree In 3D Design. I became good at 3D Modeling in blender. When I say Modeling, I mean just that. Making a rose or a baroque flourish. Not the sort of CAD that enables me to draw a CNC router and, extrapolate the parts for manufacture. For years I wanted to build a CNC Router to bring my creations to life [Insert Dr Frankenstein evil laugh here].
    Sounds to me like you need to be sure that you're building a router with the correct number of axes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fozz84 View Post
    I would also Like to build my own CNC Gantry Router with a work area of 1220x1220 with a Z-Axis depth of about 150mm. My other requirements/constraints are listed below:

    1) It's for cutting wood 2d and 3d... ...maybe a little bit of aluminium for making machine parts.
    2)I really want to save money in the long run, so want tore use the electronics in a 1220x2440 machine one day.
    3)It has to run of household mains. (the shed)
    4) water cooled spindle must have beer cooling device attached.
    5) forget I mentioned number four
    Great, now I'm going to have to add a beer-cooler to my machine too.

    Whats the reason behind making the machine in two steps? It might just be better to build the big beastie, because by the time you've made the smaller machine you might find the only extra expense would have been some extra steel. At that point it would have been easier to level the whole thing at once...

    Electronics wise, shouldn't be a problem on household mains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fozz84 View Post
    Skills that may be handy:

    A)General Building
    B)I repair my own tools
    C)Build my own computers
    D)Blender 3D
    E)Vector Graphics in Affinity Designer
    F)Don't mind making something for hours and then realize It's the wrong size and then starting again.
    G)Love Linux (Running Arch on a Raspberry Pi and Mint on an Old Apple MacBook Pro, Also have a Windows 10 Graphics rendering Beast)
    H) Can Weld with a Gasless MIG and an ARC
    H)Love a steep learning curve.
    Great - all useful skills in a hobby like this. Apart from F. Don't do that. If you're a linux enthusiast you may be interested in looking up LinuxCNC.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fozz84 View Post
    I suppose now I told you a little about me, Has anyone else been building something along the same lines? I must admit I'm a little stuck on spindle choice and stepper requirements. (I do like the look of the closed loop flavour, It seams with my limited knowledge to be the better choice for the type of gantry router I want to build)
    The place to start is here:
    http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/253-DIY-Router-Build-Logs

    A typical spindle you'll find around here is the 2.2kW watercooled chineesey one, which seems to go for a reasonable price 200-300 with VFD. I believe theres now a 3.0kW version out and about which might be of interest. Beyond that it gets a little more complex - there is lots of fun stuff like easy change or auto change spindles.

    Stepper (or indeed servo) requirements really depend on your design and the gantry weight you need to throw around, and are usually only finalized when the mechanical design is sound. For now, find a build log with similar dimensions and steel their motor choice which will get you in the ballpark.

    Anyhow, looking forward to seeing your build log with some designs :) Usual advice is not to buy any bits until you're happy with the final design and no one on here has declared you to be insane.

  3. #3
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 20 Hours Ago Has been a member for 6-7 years. Has a total post count of 1,357. Received thanks 259 times, giving thanks to others 6 times.
    Rob - I'm based somewhere near Totnes, and have a steel-built router about 1500x750 cutting area sitting in my garage/workshop. Take a look at my thread on AVOR for an idea of what it's about. You are very welcome to come over some time for a chat, cup of coffee, and a browse round the workshop, seeing that you are only about 10 miles away!

  4. #4
    JAZZCNC's Avatar
    Lives in wakefield, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 10 Hours Ago Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 6,714. Received thanks 1,122 times, giving thanks to others 62 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    Rob - I'm based somewhere near Totnes, and have a steel-built router about 1500x750 cutting area sitting in my garage/workshop. Take a look at my thread on AVOR for an idea of what it's about. You are very welcome to come over some time for a chat, cup of coffee, and a browse round the workshop, seeing that you are only about 10 miles away!
    Rob. Take the man up on his offer ASAP because he will save you months of reading and in costly mistakes buying the wrong stuff.!. . PRICELESS.!!

  5. #5
    There is also another guy on the forum in Totnes that I delivered and sold my Warco to. Nice part of the country.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  6. #6
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 20 Hours Ago Has been a member for 6-7 years. Has a total post count of 1,357. Received thanks 259 times, giving thanks to others 6 times.
    Well, if whoever it is in Totnes wants to make contact, I'm always looking for an excuse to put the coffee on!

    Nice area to live, but when it comes to delivering machine tools, the fact that everything is on a 1 in 6 slope makes it all a bit more interesting...

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    Well, if whoever it is in Totnes wants to make contact, I'm always looking for an excuse to put the coffee on!

    Nice area to live, but when it comes to delivering machine tools, the fact that everything is on a 1 in 6 slope makes it all a bit more interesting...
    Yes and the very narrow lanes.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  8. #8
    Wow, your the exact type of person I'm looking for Neale. Thanks a lot. As jazz said this could save me time and . Again thank you.

    During my research I found that the yokels think aluminium extrusion is some sort of sex toy. (no joke). That's why I want to go for a steel construction plus the fact that I can weld. (when I say weld, I mean melt metal together so it looks like a stick chewed by a dog)

    What size steppers are you running and is it 240v?

  9. #9
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 20 Hours Ago Has been a member for 6-7 years. Has a total post count of 1,357. Received thanks 259 times, giving thanks to others 6 times.
    I'll send a PM with email address and we can arrange things that way.

    For public consumption:

    My welding is crap, people come to look and laugh. But the machine works and it hasn't fallen apart yet. No-one is going to mistake me for a certificated welder but it shows that it doesn't have to look perfect to work. Steel is very forgiving like this. BTW, my steel came from Austen Knapman who are even nearer you than me. Their online prices aren't too bad but call or visit them for better prices.

    My machine runs off a single 13A socket, control box, VFD, PC and all. Hasn't blown a mains fuse or tripped a RCD yet.

    I use 3Nm Nema 23, 2 on X and 1 on Y and Z. When I built it 4Nm weren't available although I might use them today. These motor sizing calculations are interesting but at the end of the day, it comes down to Nema 23 or 34 for typical "home" size machines, and given that Nema 34 will often reduce performance you don't use them unless you really need them. Big Nema 23 costs little more than small Nema 23, extra torque available more than makes up for extra inertia - no-brainer really. Just watch for low inductance and 8-wire so you can parallel-connect. 68V linear power supply, drivers to match - that bit of the design's done! Sometimes rule of thumb beats pages of sums....

  10. #10
    Exactly. Tried and tested works best. I took one look at the motor calculator and my brain fried. I'm just going to go with what works and not worry too much about the maths. I call this 'the Russian way'

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