New member, Nearly 60, a lot of computer experience as both an engineer and programmer, and some of that in interfacing strange equipment to it, so that's going to help. Not as much work as I used to have, and getting back into things like model aircraft, along with a good friend of mine who's an aircraft engineer on full size aircraft.
No CNC experience at all, but have a reasonable workshop with a small Myford lathe, a reasonable pillar drill, 10" table saw, De Walt Compound Mitre saw, thicknesser planer and most of the "standard" hand tools like drills, saws, angle grinders and the like.
For all sorts of reasons, planning to build an 8' x 4' Table, with sufficient overhang that the tool(s) can be run over the edge of the 8 x 4 area, or parked out of the way.
Overhead Gantry, with a view to being able to put router spindle on it initially, and as part of the initial build, to be able to use the gantry Y & Z as the X1 & Y1 for a hot wire cutter, using a demountable pillar at the other end for the X2 & Y2 for the hot wire, for things like wings etc on aircraft.
Longer term, I'd like to be able to put a plasma cutter on the other side of the gantry, and maybe when it gets easier to do, a laser on there as well, so that it becomes a multi function machine. The main side rails will probably be very large, as I can get access to scrap fork lift masts, which means I can get a long and very rigid steel section that should allow me to make the thing with enough rigidity and accuracy to be usable for milling aluminium, and maybe even some light steel work. At some stage I may also consider a rotational axis to allow complex milling of things like turbine discs, my main interest at the moment is model aircraft, and I'd like to build a turbine engine at some stage.
X & Y will probably be rack & pinion driven, and I've got some slightly unorthodox ideas for driving the long (X) that will involve using a high level cross shaft on the gantry, and belt drive each side down to the pinion drive.
The rest of it will be pretty conventional. Y axis will also be most likely rack & pinion, and then the Z will be either ball or "normal" threaded bar of an appropriate size and type.
I'm sure there will be plenty of questions before long, if for no other reason that suppliers over here seem to be very thin on the ground.
Hi Steve and welcome to the site. Some interesting ideas there, we look forward to your build log and debating the whys and wherefores...
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