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  1. #1
    Hello all, i haven't really posted much on this forum however i have browsed the many threads on here for a couple of years now.

    I've designed and built a router over the past 18 months and i am now at the point where i am ready to start wiring it up. its taken me this long because i have only been doing it during my spare time while at work where i have all the facilities, and also due to lack of money (have a 2 year old son, plus i'm saving to get married.....doh!)

    this machine has really just been a project for me to understand the basics of machine building, i'm not really too fussed on high accuracy just yet, i just want a machine that works! so that i can simply learn from it and maybe use that knowledge to build an even better machine in the future.

    here's where i am at now:

    yes i know, unsupported rails! noooooooooo! and they're not ballscrews, they are 16mm trapeziodal screws. i originally had in mind to use ball screws and profiled rails/supported rails all over but to keep costs to a minimum i just had to go with the cheapest option. like i said before, this is just for me to learn with, i can always upgrade later on or build a better one.
    i only plan on cutting wood and some plastics with this anyway so its not like it needs to be super rigid. i would like to one day be able to make some bespoke wooden toys for my son.

    anyway back to the build. like i said i am ready to start wiring it up, my only issue is i am not a big fan of electronics. i love doing mechanical stuff, but try to avoid electrical whenever i can. now i am at the point where i have no choice.

    i have already got 3 stepper motors (3.1Nm) from cnc4you, as i needed these to make the mounts. but now i'm unsure as to which components would suit my build best.

    i like the idea of sticking with cnc4you, as they supply all of the wiring diagrams on there website (which i need lol). so i was thinking of using the CW5054 microstepping driver with the HG08 breakout board. any concerns with these?
    also which PSU would be most suitable for my machine, would the 400W 36V be sufficient?

    oh and i havent got the spindle yet, i was thinking about just buying the little makita router i've seen on here a couple of times, however i do quite like the idea of making my own brushless motor as shown on these forums.

    apologies if i sound dumb.......... or lazy! i really have done quite a bit of research into which electronics i need, but i easily get bogged down by all the amps, volts and watts etc... like i said, electronics just isn't my thing! so i would rather ask first than get it all wrong!

    i plan on using linux cnc, because i hate windows, and linux is free!
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  2. #2
    Hi, that looks like a nice little machine you have built and should be well up to the uses you plan. I am sure that you will get plenty of help and advice to finish the machine. Well done. G.

  3. Good build M8
    That looks solid enough, and a good base to upgrade from later.
    Good Luck and hope you get it running(with a little help from our friends)
    regards
    Mike

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by thomashomer1986 View Post
    i have already got 3 stepper motors (3.1Nm) from cnc4you, as i needed these to make the mounts. but now i'm unsure as to which components would suit my build best.

    i like the idea of sticking with cnc4you, as they supply all of the wiring diagrams on there website (which i need lol). so i was thinking of using the CW5054 microstepping driver with the HG08 breakout board. any concerns with these?
    also which PSU would be most suitable for my machine, would the 400W 36V be sufficient?
    Ok well the Motors are Ok but if your looking to upgrade in the future then I wouldn't buy those drives or that PSU.
    I would spend a little more money and buy 80V drives has this would ensure you have upgrade ability. I would also buy Digital drives has they are so much better than cheap Analogue drives and with your machine which is mainly Metal and using unsupported rails it could resonate quite a bit so they will handle this much better.

    Regards the PSU then those motors are capable of handling 65-70v no problem and Voltage is key to best performance with steppers and 36V would be like running a Porche in 2nd gear only.!!
    The 80V drives go nice with these motors run at 65V and give plenty of safety on the drives without stressing them but still give excellent speed and torque from the motors. Because you are using Leadscrew and Not ballscrews then you'll need that bit more grunt to over come the lower efficiency of the Lead screws.

    Don't worry about the wiring has most drives wire the same and We/I will happily help you here. Best advise I can give is don't Skimp on the Electrics has it's the heart of the machine. This is esp true on the BOB has often most troubles come from this little Ba#''##rd. . Lol



    Quote Originally Posted by thomashomer1986 View Post
    oh and i havent got the spindle yet, i was thinking about just buying the little makita router i've seen on here a couple of times, however i do quite like the idea of making my own brushless motor as shown on these forums.
    Again Don't waste Money on a DC spindle ETC just save up and buy WC Chinese spindle they can't be beaten for the money.
    I understand Money is probably the Key but you'll end up spending more in the long run. Routers are Ok but noisy and the bearings don't last long in the cheap routers when used at CNC speeds & feeds, the better routers cost more than WC spindle and still can't match them.
    DC spindles have there place if you need very high speeds or Low speeds but again they won't take a beating for long in harder materials.

    Regards the Drives then Leadshine have just brought out a neat little 60V 3 Axis All-in-one board with Digital drives built in BOB and Spindle speed control. It's very neat and simple to wire just add juice and away you go. . This with an off the shelf 48V PSU will give decent performance for small machine and have all the benefits of the digital drives, again with plenty of safety overhead so not stressing the drives.
    MX3660 - 3-Axis DSP Based Digital Stepper Drive Max 60 VDC / 6.0A

    Yes it can be done separately for a little less but it's a great bit of kit for the new user and easy to get up and running. By the time you have bought the separate drives, BOB and Spindle Control along with shipping then wasted time shopping around for best prices you won't be saving a massive amount and with this your up and running in less than an hour.! and it will all fit inside a small BOX.

    It's Like Gecko G540 but on steriods.. .Lol

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by thomashomer1986 View Post
    i like the idea of sticking with cnc4you, as they supply all of the wiring diagrams on there website (which i need lol). so i was thinking of using the CW5054 microstepping driver with the HG08 breakout board. any concerns with these?
    also which PSU would be most suitable for my machine, would the 400W 36V be sufficient?
    I assume you meant CW5045, if you look at their kits they match it up to a 400W 38V supply, quote "for higher performance". Breakout board looks okay but I don't have experience with it.
    Good idea to use their drawings if you need that support.

  6. #6
    thank you very much for the comments, i am very pleased with my build. it is all steel, bolted and doweled together. the z axis is aluminium, and the base is steel 50mm box section.
    i used steel because we have tons of it at work, and 'acquiring' off-cuts is very easy! we also have a water-jet cutter, so cutting out whatever profiles i need is also easily done. i have access to millers, lathes, grinders and borers for finish machining. i also have access to welding and heat treatment. our workshop is pretty huge! basically, im a very lucky machinist lol.

    back to my machine, although it is using unsupported rails it feels really solid, and the trapezoidal screws have a lot less backlash than i was expecting (although i do understand that it probably wont take very long for backlash to wear in, im using delrin nuts atm). the working area is only about 300mm x 300mm x 75mm. so i can only assume that this will reduce the risk of any resonance.

    thank you JAZZCNC for your help, it is very much appreciated. i really like the idea of the all in one breakout board with drivers, so the MX3660 definately suits me. would this 480W High Power CNC Stepper/Servo Motor Driver Switching Power Supply 48V10A PSU | eBay be sufficient?

    also, with regards to the spindle, would a 1.5KW WC spindle be good enough? i cant see me using any bigger cutters than 6mm, plus its cheaper than the 2.2KW!

    i plan on getting 6 limit switches, and a fan for cooling, are there any other essential things i will need?

    thanks again

  7. #7
    Hi Thomas

    Since you seemed to have purchased stuff from CNC4you have you asked Brian for advice?

    In some ways I hesitate to mention this in a public place because I have found Brian to be so incredibly helpful
    that I actually worry that he is spending too much time helping his customers - how many suppliers can boast
    that level of client care, he really does want to make sure all his customers are happy bunnies and I count myself
    as one of the long eared breatheren.

    Kind regards

    Jon

    Regards unsupported rails and so on. What I learnt from talking to Brian is that its a matter of horses for courses. Supported profiled rails with carriages offer greater precision than unsupported round rails but the lack of "give" in such rails and carriages places a lot more empathsis on a precision build, a tiny mis-alignment or deviation from parallel can result in resistance which can slow the machine down or worse. For my large router bed I choose to go the route of supported profiled rails with carriages but I can see that a future project planned for a plasma table would ideally use a rail set up more similar to yours.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jonnie View Post
    Regards unsupported rails and so on. What I learnt from talking to Brian is that its a matter of horses for courses. Supported profiled rails with carriages offer greater precision than unsupported round rails but the lack of "give" in such rails and carriages places a lot more empathsis on a precision build, a tiny mis-alignment or deviation from parallel can result in resistance which can slow the machine down or worse. For my large router bed I choose to go the route of supported profiled rails with carriages but I can see that a future project planned for a plasma table would ideally use a rail set up more similar to yours.
    This is very true regards alignment of profiled rails but there's more to it than that really in real world use.! And the Horse's for course's only applies to a point.??

    The main problem with the Cheap round rail bearings, whether that be supported or unsupported is the quality. They are very poor and soon become sloppy and inaccurate when used in moderately harsh condition's, often needing regular or constant adjustment to keep good accuracy.
    Now has you say horses for courses can apply and for DIY level routers they are Ok to a point but in the long run they are More trouble some and Far far less accurate then Profiled rails so if your wanting or looking long term and accurate then it's worth spending the Money and slight extra care that's needed to use Profiled rails.
    For Machines like Plasma you'd say Unsupported are fine because there's no Cutting forces involved but Again Plasma can give off very Harsh dust that will Kill the Cheap Bearings in short order so it would be false Economy and more hassle in the long term.!!

    IMO and experience the Round rail are just not worth the Hassle and for just a Few dollars more profiled rail turns mediocre machines into Proper machines. This is also reflected in the Re-sale value.! They add far more Value than the sum of there parts and make the machine that much more appealing and sell-able.!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    For Machines like Plasma you'd say Unsupported are fine because there's no Cutting forces involved but Again Plasma can give off very Harsh dust that will Kill the Cheap Bearings in short order so it would be false Economy and more hassle in the long term.!!!
    Point taken regards dust from plasma but I would not undertake a plasma build without isolating the rails from dust, not only that I would also isolate myself from dust/fumes since (dependent on metal) these byproducts are not very nice for the lungs or general health either. I would follow advice regards rail choice from more experienced builders but at the same time I would always strive to isolate rails as much as possible from dust of any kind as I dont think that bearings and dust are great bedfellows period - ok metal swarf may simply be pushed along as the vee ways on my old Boxford demonstrate but instinctively I would not trust any linear bearing against the ingress of plasma or wood dust without secondary physical isolation.

    Thanks jonnie

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jonnie View Post
    I would follow advice regards rail choice from more experienced builders but at the same time I would always strive to isolate rails as much as possible from dust of any kind as I dont think that bearings and dust are great bedfellows period - ok metal swarf may simply be pushed along as the vee ways on my old Boxford demonstrate but instinctively I would not trust any linear bearing against the ingress of plasma or wood dust without secondary physical isolation.
    Yes that's good and should if at all possible be done but no matter how well you ventilate or try to protect them there's always a certain amount of dust that gets on the rail and my point still stands in that the cheap round rail bearings can't handle it for very long before getting baggy and sloppy. They wear quickly enough with wood dust but with fine metal powder dust they will run for the hills very quickly.!!

    Profiled linear rails have Wiper seals built into them that greatly protect the bearings, infact they are similar to the V wipers on the Boxford (I have one too) but much better. When you experience profiled rails you won't ever build another machine without them.!! . . . . I won't entertain building machine using Cheap Round rail anymore has it's more hassle than it's worth.

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