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  1. #1
    Hey everyone,

    My name is Erik and I have been printing in 3D using a home built Reprap, and now I would like to take a shot at building a DYI CNC machine.


    I am currently doing poor man machining, with a drill press, jig saw, cutoff saw, grinder.

    I would like to be able to machine real parts out of aluminum.

    My main objectives would be able to mill aluminum, up to say 1" thick, mostly for parts for my robotics projects.

    Most parts would be smaller than say 150mm by 150mm, but I would not mind having a bit more capacity if possible.

    I would like to be able to design these parts in some type of software and have the G-code created to send to the CNC if possible, much like in 3D printing where you create in something like openscad or blender, slice the file into G-code, and send it with pronterface.

    Can someone point me in the right direction for where I can read/find instructions on how to build a machine to accomplish what I am looking to do?

    For 3d printing, the RepRap community was really amazingly easy, there were incredibly detailed plans that were very easy to follow.

    Having built a 3d printer, I am quite comfortable with the X,Y,Z axis concept, however I understand that for CNC, I will need to build something much sturdier than a reprap.

    To date, I have not found anything similar for DIY CNC, but I THINK that is because with 3d printing the technology for the DIY'er is almost all the same, whereas with CNC, everyone has different things they want to be able to CNC, and create machines accordingly.

    Any direction would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    First question you need to ask yourself is what do you want to use it for? from this you can then decide what you need to build?
    If the nagging gets really bad......Get a bigger shed:naughty:

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Swarfing View Post
    First question you need to ask yourself is what do you want to use it for? from this you can then decide what you need to build?
    I would like to be able to machine real parts out of aluminum.

    My main objectives would be able to mill aluminum, up to say 1" thick, mostly for parts for my robotics projects.

    Most parts would be smaller than say 150mm by 150mm, but I would not mind having a bit more capacity if possible.

    I would like to be able to design these parts in some type of software and have the G-code created to send to the CNC if possible, much like in 3D printing where you create in something like openscad or blender, slice the file into G-code, and send it with pronterface.

  4. #4
    A lot of people start off their build log with an outline of what they want the machine to be able to do & materials they want to be able to cut so if you have a look through some of the build logs you should be able to decide which are most relevant to your needs fairly quickly.
    Have a read through some of them as there is a lot of useful info which will help when you start to design your own machine.

    Best of luck with it.

  5. #5
    Well it sounds like you want to be milling rather than routing which is a good start. You may want to venture a bit more away from the 3d printing software as well. When you start adding forces (i.e cutters) into the mix then you will want more control of the CAM side of things. Like martin says have a good read through the mill threads..............and watch your budget run away with :-)
    If the nagging gets really bad......Get a bigger shed:naughty:

  6. #6
    Here comes my "bias" again. For the size and type of material you want I think you should be building a fixed gantry moving table machine. G.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by GEOFFREY View Post
    Here comes my "bias" again. For the size and type of material you want I think you should be building a fixed gantry moving table machine. G.
    With the sizes he wants would he not be better off converting a mini mill?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by AVRnj View Post
    Hey everyone,

    My name is Erik and I have been printing in 3D using a home built Reprap, and now I would like to take a shot at building a DYI CNC machine.


    I am currently doing poor man machining, with a drill press, jig saw, cutoff saw, grinder.

    I would like to be able to machine real parts out of aluminum.

    My main objectives would be able to mill aluminum, up to say 1" thick, mostly for parts for my robotics projects.

    Most parts would be smaller than say 150mm by 150mm, but I would not mind having a bit more capacity if possible.

    I would like to be able to design these parts in some type of software and have the G-code created to send to the CNC if possible, much like in 3D printing where you create in something like openscad or blender, slice the file into G-code, and send it with pronterface.

    Can someone point me in the right direction for where I can read/find instructions on how to build a machine to accomplish what I am looking to do?

    For 3d printing, the RepRap community was really amazingly easy, there were incredibly detailed plans that were very easy to follow.

    Having built a 3d printer, I am quite comfortable with the X,Y,Z axis concept, however I understand that for CNC, I will need to build something much sturdier than a reprap.

    To date, I have not found anything similar for DIY CNC, but I THINK that is because with 3d printing the technology for the DIY'er is almost all the same, whereas with CNC, everyone has different things they want to be able to CNC, and create machines accordingly.

    Any direction would be greatly appreciated!
    hey Welcome to the site, Well you posses the knowlege you need if you have build your reprap the next thing would be your budget, what is your absolute max budget, I only ask as there are several ways to achieve what you require but all start with how much you want to spend. The next thing to consider is what software you wish to use to execute the G-Code, there are many types but a high percentage use a piece of software called Mach3, you can download a copy for evaluation free with a 500 line G-code limit, i suggest you go get that and read the manual to familerise yourself with the differences between 3D printers And CNC milling machines. this is the link to their site:-
    ArtSoft USA - Home of Mach3 and LazyCam

    as a second reading source have a look at the build logs on the site and that will let you know what you are up against and show you what you can achieve if you are determined..

    Rick
    Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other - Abe Lincoln

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Philly View Post
    With the sizes he wants would he not be better off converting a mini mill?
    The original post indicated that it would be useful to be able to have the option to sometimes cut something a bit larger, so I was thinking of a working area of maybe 300mmx300-400mm - not possible with a minimill. G.

  10. #10
    Programming Arduinos and community built reprap software my money is on LinuxCNC??????

    Maybe build a cnc mill and plan the second 3d printer build and go for a REPSTRAP that can double as a cnc router?
    If the nagging gets really bad......Get a bigger shed:naughty:

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