1. #1
    Afternoon all,

    As the title states i am a noob at this with what i guess is one of the most common Noob questions going :)

    Some background first.

    I am a Mech E/Designer with a good engineering background in everything from Military antenna to consumer electronics. Most of my time is on 3D CAE but i often escape back to the Bridgeport and colchester manual machines.

    I am looking to build something for home projects and would like open source plans or similar as i cant afford the huge time resource needed to develop the kit from scratch.

    I have the plan set for JoeCNC 2006 found on CNCzone but its too grand for what i want.

    What i am after is the ability to machine aluminium on a bed no larger than 300 x 300 (12" X 12")

    Anyone know of a set of plans that would suit?

    I want to build from scratch as A) buying a Denford style mill is more expensive and B) half the fun is building something.

    Budget restrictions at the moment (i say at the moment as i know once i start it will go out of the window) is approx 500 working, i have a laptop (mobile workstation capable of thrashing Solidworks). I am pretty good at scrounging so i would think the dearest parts will be the controller and motors (maybe servo and not stepper?)

    First things first is the chassis/bed/framework.

    Any help is grately appreciated ;)

  2. Rich,

    Welcome to the forum.

    I too looked for a set of plans for a similar machine and came up with a blank. So I decided to build a small 250 x 250 machine using MDF to my own design for PCB milling and as a learning solution. I am working on a bigger design for machining ali, but I am still debating using aluminium extrusions or a welded steel frame.

    I, as would many on this forum, would be interested in your thoughts, as a Mech E/D, on, and tools for, how to do structural analysis to avoid wasted build effort.

    Irving...

  3. #3
    Hi Irving,

    Looks like i have either a long development schedule ahead or build a monster :)

    As for FAE tools.

    I dont know much about any possible open source software but i use Cosmos in Solidowrks quite regularly.

    Its pretty good for tension, stress, deformation and heat dispersion but to expect anything less than 80% accuracy would be optimistic.

    The other issue is th epower needed to run such software. A simple heat transfer model on a heatsink will take a machine with 2GHz processor and 4Gb RAm approx 5 minutes. Doesnt sound much but add a few other parts and it raises that time quite a bit.

    As for my dilema. I may scale the JoeCNC to suit what i need frame wise. I dont like the idea of an MDF frame for anything other than maybe a small scale wood router. Aluminium or at a push HDPE or similar frame will do for what i am after.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kip View Post
    Hi Rich, Welcome to the forum.

    500 all up and running....Might be possible!
    Have you anything in the way of linear slides or bearings?....Your indication of a time factor is worrying....Everything takes too long to do :D
    Hey Kip,

    I am totally free from any hardware at the moment. I am pretty handy with most things so its a case of if i cant build it i will buy it ;)

  5. #5
    Hi Rich welcome to the forums mate !

    Take a look at www.slidesandballscrews.com i can offer the same stock for the same prices, let me know if i can help :).
    .Me

  6. Quote Originally Posted by richb77 View Post
    Hi Irving,

    Looks like i have either a long development schedule ahead or build a monster :)

    As for FAE tools.

    I dont know much about any possible open source software but i use Cosmos in Solidowrks quite regularly.

    Its pretty good for tension, stress, deformation and heat dispersion but to expect anything less than 80% accuracy would be optimistic.

    The other issue is th epower needed to run such software. A simple heat transfer model on a heatsink will take a machine with 2GHz processor and 4Gb RAm approx 5 minutes. Doesnt sound much but add a few other parts and it raises that time quite a bit.

    As for my dilema. I may scale the JoeCNC to suit what i need frame wise. I dont like the idea of an MDF frame for anything other than maybe a small scale wood router. Aluminium or at a push HDPE or similar frame will do for what i am after.
    I've been using Framework which is freeware but has some limitations. Runs fine on a 2GHz laptop and gives a good idea about deformation under load of a gantry for instance...

    I'm interested in your suggestion of HDPE... there was a recent discussion here about PVC v Ali for construction and a bit of research suggested that PVC was about as rigid as MDF but stronger in tension. When I looked at other plastics, including HDPE, I wasn't impressed by much of them as compared to thin-wall Aluminium box section which, weight for weight is more rigid and stronger. Can you shed any more light on this? PVC was much more expensive as well....

  7. #7
    i was thinking HDPE simply for cost. I would need quite a bit more volume of plastic compared to aluminium and to be frank i have more experience with aluminium and weight to strength it makes perfect sense.

    Corrosion shouldnt be an issue even though aluminium is extremely reactive it takes a long time ot corrode seriosuly.

    Although it may also mean i start a home anodising bath :)

    I shoudl add, I am still looking for a suitable plan set ;)

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