Thread: where to start?

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  1. #1
    Hey guys,
    I want to start my own DIY build so I've been reading the forums for quite sometime along with watching lots of videos on youtube but I'm still really pretty clueless about a lot of the terms and jargon that's being used.
    Is there anywhere I can find a "idiots guide" to building your own cnc machine? because it seems the more I research the more I find different systems that all seem to do the same job which ends up confusing me even more :confused:

    The machine I need will be mainly used for cutting 8' x 4' sheets of 18mm MDF using a 8mm bit and maybe thin perpsex but nothing more than that.
    I don't know how realstic my budget of 1000 is but that's really all I have to play with.

    Any advice or where I should start would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers in advance.

  2. #2
    Is there anything specific you would like clarifying?

    1000 sounds just about possible for that size machine.

    I would start by finding pictures of similar size machines and pick and choose from them. Please post a drawing before you buy anything...

  3. #3
    I agree don't buy a thing until you've got a good idea what you want.

    Because as I found out it's more than likely wrong,to small or to weak

    don't cut corners on the frame and ask ask ask away

    James & Luke

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by chip View Post
    is this what you had in mind jon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaRc8c4Qwn4 for a grand i,d like to see it done.
    Nah, can do better than that. Give me a grand and I'll prove it :lol: You and JohnS reckon I'll be a millionaire 'soon enough' so I'm sure you'd get the money back!

    The critical point is '18mm mdf ... nothing more than that', so the machine does not need to be massively rigid and a 50mm Z-axis should be fine. If you're sticking to that budget then start with a simple 8x4 rectangular steel frame mounted on a strong table or the floor which shouldn't cost much. Use linear bearings from ebay (linearmotionbearings2008), or to get it cheaper explore one of the other methods.

    No mention of required feedrate, so I'm sure 3nm motors would be plenty... I reckon it's possible though in my opinion you'd be much better off in the long run spending more to start with.

    Quote Originally Posted by luke11cnc View Post
    Because as I found out it's more than likely wrong,to small or to weak
    don't cut corners on the frame and ask ask ask away
    By all means cut corners, as long as they're square. :naughty: Not going to be much of a frame without corners. Mine was far too big and too weak to start with.
    Last edited by Jonathan; 05-09-2011 at 08:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Thanks Guys, been doing more research up until the small hours and starting to get a better undertsanding.
    Whats the general rule for frame size vs the actual cutting area? I'm limited for space so I'm hoping that 10' x 5.5 will be enough for 8' x 4. I only ask because I was looking at the linear bearings on ebay and the nearest size I'll be needing are 2750mm which is a fair bit past the actual cutting size.

  6. #6
    You can have them cut to size
    if you email him and give the length you want he will give you a price

    James

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by trounce View Post
    Hey guys,
    The machine I need will be mainly used for cutting 8' x 4' sheets of 18mm MDF using a 8mm bit and maybe thin perpsex but nothing more than that.
    I don't know how realstic my budget of 1000 is but that's really all I have to play with.

    Any advice or where I should start would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers in advance.
    Hi,

    First what tools do you have access too and what skill level or experience do you have working with metal.? . . . IE: Welding etc.

    Building what you want is just about do-able for a grand but will need you to have the right tools and skill level, OR friends that do.! . . Along with some savy purchasing. Plus you'll need a rock solid design that you know will suit your needs along with good plan of attack because you'll have no room for error if your wanting to do it for around 1000.

    Steel box frame and Rack & pinion on the X&Y Axis with ballscrew or lead screw on the Z axis is the route I would take for a Really strong accurate machine of this size.
    Belt drive would also be an option which is relatively cheap and very accurate and lends it's self well to machine this size.

    Best advice DONT BUY A THING untill your 110% sure the design you have choosen will do what you need, then have it checked out by others for reassurance.
    Then and only then start buying materials needed and even then dont buy to far in front because plans have a nasty habit of changing on the fly very easlily rendering some parts or materials unsuitable purpose. . . . . It's like eating an elephant.? . . . best done in small bytes.
    Like any good constructuion it all starts with good foundations(the frame), weak foundations will tranfer into a weak machine. . . . Equally poor materials will render poor results.
    Also like any other construction the methods and skill levels of the builder will have a massive affect on the end result. I've seen some very good strong designs built with very high quality components that have been completely FUBARD due to poor skill levels built with caveman tools.
    Equaly I've seen fantastic machines built with basic tools and cheap components when mixed with good skill and reasonabe tools, mix with a good dose of imagination and the results can even blow away some big buck machines.

    Don't rush and ASK Q's then some more Q's and then more Q's not matter how dumb you feel or think they sound, keep asking untill you fully understand and are comfortable to go.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Hi,

    First what tools do you have access too and what skill level or experience do you have working with metal.? . . . IE: Welding etc.

    Building what you want is just about do-able for a grand but will need you to have the right tools and skill level, OR friends that do.! . . Along with some savy purchasing. Plus you'll need a rock solid design that you know will suit your needs along with good plan of attack because you'll have no room for error if your wanting to do it for around 1000.

    Steel box frame and Rack & pinion on the X&Y Axis with ballscrew or lead screw on the Z axis is the route I would take for a Really strong accurate machine of this size.
    Belt drive would also be an option which is relatively cheap and very accurate and lends it's self well to machine this size.

    Best advice DONT BUY A THING untill your 110% sure the design you have choosen will do what you need, then have it checked out by others for reassurance.
    Then and only then start buying materials needed and even then dont buy to far in front because plans have a nasty habit of changing on the fly very easlily rendering some parts or materials unsuitable purpose. . . . . It's like eating an elephant.? . . . best done in small bytes.
    Like any good constructuion it all starts with good foundations(the frame), weak foundations will tranfer into a weak machine. . . . Equally poor materials will render poor results.
    Also like any other construction the methods and skill levels of the builder will have a massive affect on the end result. I've seen some very good strong designs built with very high quality components that have been completely FUBARD due to poor skill levels built with caveman tools.
    Equaly I've seen fantastic machines built with basic tools and cheap components when mixed with good skill and reasonabe tools, mix with a good dose of imagination and the results can even blow away some big buck machines.

    Don't rush and ASK Q's then some more Q's and then more Q's not matter how dumb you feel or think they sound, keep asking untill you fully understand and are comfortable to go.
    Thanks Jazz, that looks like a lot of great advice.
    When it comes my tools I don't really have that much in terms of metal working. I want this machine to cut out cabinet pieces for my arcade machines so I guess most of my tools are woodworking.
    I have experience with welding so that's not a problem, sometimes it doesn't end up looking that pretty but then I have my grinder to clean it up :tup:

    I have a 110 amp Mig welder, angle grinder, bench grinder and bench drill along with the usual hand tools, drill, jigsaw, sanders, dremel etc.

    I saw a very nice belt driven home build on youtube and I'm very tempted to use this on the X & Y axis, Im presuming that due to the size of my machine I would need two motors on the Y axis as apposed to just one on the machine I saw as it was much smaller?

  9. Yep a very good post and one which is very wise to listen to. I am right now designing machine number two (first was a kit) and wishing I had built from the start. Though I have learned a lot and the machine is right now cutting parts to be sold which is paying for itself slowly.

    Ask tins of questions. Get access to a CAD program (I would suggest ViaCAD as very affordable for the quality/support you get) or a lot of sketch paper and draw every detail out. Work it out then post it here and ask more questions. Trust me there is more then enough folks here who A) really know what they are talking about and B) really will try to help you get a good build for the money you put into it. Just remember that building slowly and with totally ridge mentality to precision will pay off for a very long time.

    Best of luck and keep going.

    Michael.

  10. #10
    Michael Viacad ??

    is it Viacad punch I need??

    what version are you using

    how much did you pay for it??

    James

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