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  1. #1
    Howdy..... I have made a decision that most on here would think to be a crazy idea. Totally strip down a full size and fully working home built 3m x 1.5m Cnc Router and build smaller machine !! Some may think it madness as most people tend to make their machines bigger over time. This is exactly what I did a few years back. I went from a small desktop machine bodged together from scrap and started building bigger better parts until I reached the point of a full size machine capable of cutting full sized 2.4m x 1.2 m sheets of mdf etc.

    The reason for my madness is simple...... Space!

    My machine has been pretty much Idle for two years since I completed her. It got to a stage that I had run out of space in my small garage. I had no room to move or to actually bring in full sized sheets due to the layout. Anything stored underneath the machine was getting covered in sawdust, metal shavings and cutting fluid.

    When I started this adventure many years ago I had this insatiable urge to have a full sized machine but when I got there I realized I did not have any need for such scale. What was I going to make with it??? I still don't know!

    A few words of warning to those who want to go big big big. Make sure you have the room to build such a beast and plenty of room for sheet storage and an assembly area for stuff you make on it, otherwise you will end up like me. One final word of warning. Make sure you can walk around or easily access all sides of your machine. One of my biggest issues was that i had built right next to two walls (Back and complete side of machine)and found I had no way to fix or lubricate should the need arise. "And it did"........ Given the fact the she was several hundred KG at that stage and impossible to move.

    With the above in mind I have made the decision to downsize and maybe make her 4 or 5 axis. For the moment I will concentrate on 3 axis as I would need a functioning machine to make parts for the additional axis upgrades down the road.

    Current spec.

    • Aluminum profile construction.
    • 3 Axis.
    • 3m x1.5m. machine size.
    • 2.4m x 1.2m cutting area.
    • 2.2Kw Water cooled manual tool change Spindle
    • Mod 2 Rack and pinion.
    • 25mm Round lineal rail.
    • Mist cooling.


    Aspirations for the down sized machine.

    • High speed.
    • Servo drive. ( steppers for the moment but design for easy swap over )
    • ATC.
    • Automatic tool height measurement.
    • Possible inclusion for plasma cutter/water table integration.(Maybe)
    • Ethernet control.
    • Video camera for remote viewing.
    • Lighting.
    • 1.5m x 1.5m (No larger and maybe smaller in one direction.
    • 5 axis. (Start with 3)
    • 800mm x 1000mm Cutting area( I will never need anything bigger) I think?? hmmmmm Might go bigger.
    • Ball screws.
    • Linear rails.( 25mm square but budget dictates ) I have some ISEL LSF 2x12 dual round rails and WS-5 200mm carriages (Salvaged) to try first.
    • Fully enclosed for coolant and swarf containment.
    • Flood and mist cooling for aluminum part cutting.


    It's a big wish list but we shall see.

    I'm going to stick with the aluminum profile as a build material as I can change the design should it be needed.

    I will attach some images of the current machine and update as I make progress. Let the fun begin!
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  2. #2
    Sounds good.

    ...........'Video camera for remote viewing'.

    Might need a remote Estop switch too then

  3. #3
    It's on the bucket list ! haha. Easy enough to implement via Ethernet. I don't fancy standing in the garage for 14-15 hours while milling out a statue!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mills View Post
    Howdy..... I have made a decision that most on here would think to be a crazy idea. Totally strip down a full size and fully working home built 3m x 1.5m Cnc Router and build smaller machine !! Some may think it madness as most people tend to make their machines bigger over time. This is exactly what I did a few years back. I went from a small desktop machine bodged together from scrap and started building bigger better parts until I reached the point of a full size machine capable of cutting full sized 2.4m x 1.2 m sheets of mdf etc.

    The reason for my madness is simple...... Space!

    My machine has been pretty much Idle for two years since I completed her. It got to a stage that I had run out of space in my small garage. I had no room to move or to actually bring in full sized sheets due to the layout. Anything stored underneath the machine was getting covered in sawdust, metal shavings and cutting fluid.

    When I started this adventure many years ago I had this insatiable urge to have a full sized machine but when I got there I realized I did not have any need for such scale. What was I going to make with it??? I still don't know!

    A few words of warning to those who want to go big big big. Make sure you have the room to build such a beast and plenty of room for sheet storage and an assembly area for stuff you make on it, otherwise you will end up like me. One final word of warning. Make sure you can walk around or easily access all sides of your machine. One of my biggest issues was that i had built right next to two walls (Back and complete side of machine)and found I had no way to fix or lubricate should the need arise. "And it did"........ Given the fact the she was several hundred KG at that stage and impossible to move.

    With the above in mind I have made the decision to downsize and maybe make her 4 or 5 axis. For the moment I will concentrate on 3 axis as I would need a functioning machine to make parts for the additional axis upgrades down the road.

    Current spec.

    • Aluminum profile construction.
    • 3 Axis.
    • 3m x1.5m. machine size.
    • 2.4m x 1.2m cutting area.
    • 2.2Kw Water cooled manual tool change Spindle
    • Mod 2 Rack and pinion.
    • 25mm Round lineal rail.
    • Mist cooling.


    Aspirations for the down sized machine.

    • High speed.
    • Servo drive. ( steppers for the moment but design for easy swap over )
    • ATC.
    • Automatic tool height measurement.
    • Possible inclusion for plasma cutter/water table integration.(Maybe)
    • Ethernet control.
    • Video camera for remote viewing.
    • Lighting.
    • 1.5m x 1.5m (No larger and maybe smaller in one direction.
    • 5 axis. (Start with 3)
    • 800mm x 1000mm Cutting area( I will never need anything bigger) I think?? hmmmmm Might go bigger.
    • Ball screws.
    • Linear rails.( 25mm square but budget dictates ) I have some ISEL LSF 2x12 dual round rails and WS-5 200mm carriages (Salvaged) to try first.
    • Fully enclosed for coolant and swarf containment.
    • Flood and mist cooling for aluminum part cutting.


    It's a big wish list but we shall see.

    I'm going to stick with the aluminum profile as a build material as I can change the design should it be needed.

    I will attach some images of the current machine and update as I make progress. Let the fun begin!
    Have you concidered flipping it on its side? It sounds like a waste to scrap the very good looking machine..

    Grtz. Bert.




    Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-A505FN met Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Hi Bert,

    Yes I did consider it but going forward I want to do more aluminum cutting using flood coolant and maybe one day 5 axis with ATC. I had no real need for a full sized machine to just cut large sheets.

  6. #6
    I actually have more than 300 mm space in the garage now !!! I didn't realize there were so Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mills View Post
    I actually have more than 300 mm space in the garage now !!! I didn't realize there were so Click image for larger version. 

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    NOOOOOO!!!

    :-)

    It does make an attractive pile of raw materials.

    Do you have plans drawn up for the new machine?

    Will be following this one with interest!


    Grtz Bert.



    Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-A505FN met Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Hey Bert, Yes it nice to look at and I am lucky in a way that a lot of the required tapping etc is already done. I'm guessing I made the neighbors a bit unhappy today with the metal saw!! The design is going to evolve.. I kind of have the idea in my head but because I am hoping to spend zero money on this make over it will change quiet a bit. I plan to use as much stuff as possible that I have about the place. Bits and pieces of older scraped machines and skip salvage etc.

    So today I started the base and at least I have some Idea of the dimensions. Although I had a good bit of profile to play with the sizes were not ideal.

    After a diet of tungsten carbide saw teeth she has slimmed down from 3m x 1.5 m to 1.450m x 1.2m Approx. This is a much more manageable size for me due to space restrictions.

    For now I have the base frame mostly done. ( bottom supports to be added shortly ) and as soon as they are added I will level and square off the base before proceeding with the table supports.

    The legs are higher than the base as i will attach an enclosure to stop coolant/chips flying out of her when cutting. This will happen towards the end of this phase of the build as it will help with access for the moment.

    That is it for the minute!!Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Looking forward to seeing this progress, I hope you don't inspire me to build a 5 axis before I've finished the current one.

  10. #10
    It's going to take a while!!! This dam lock down has me starved of materials. One of my main goals is to have flood coolant for this baby. I'm thinking about a fiberglass "Well" to cover the base just under the table to catch fluid. No idea how much this will cost as I have never delved into fiberglass before. There are several places in Dublin "All Closed" to get fiberglass materials. All going well I should be able to get something in a month or so. Plenty of time to design and build the other bits. Realistically I need to the the 3 axis setup running in order to make the 4th and 5th axis setup. Bit of chicken and egg at the moment. If I had of been clever( which I seldom am) I would of machined all the necessary parts BEFORE dismantling the working machine!!! DOHHHHHHH. Ooh well, thats the fun of it I guess. How is your base build coming along?

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