1. #1
    After lurking in the shadows for sometime I have finally joined up. I have been retired for 10 years but have kept up my interest in cnc machines. The advent of 3D printers to the market stirred my enthusiasm and so I am going to try and build a 1200mm x 900mm cnc router to my own design but with ideas based on about 20 others that I have seen on various sites. I am working with a budget of 450 in mind using moisture resistant MDF and engineered timber. The x and y axis will use Accuride linear motion track and carriages. The z will be good quality draw slides. I propose to use 3no. Nema 23 and 1no. Nema 17 stepper. All motion power will be by toothed belts and pulley. I am a complete novice regarding electronics but on the low cost theme I am drawn towards using an Arduino set up.
    In my past life as the part owner of a small sign company we started with an Isel machine with 4 x 3 bed we then moved up to a Pacer with a 4 x 4 bed. We kept the Pacer to do engraving work and bought a Multicam System 48 which worked well for some years until the electrics started to be a problem. The 48 was sold and a new low load bed Multicam 10 x 6 was purchased. The Isel was purchased with a DOS based software package that we found difficult to use so we linked it up to our Signlab package that drove our vinyl cutters and that worked well. The upgrades to the software enabled us to "V" carve lettering and to do 2.5D work with great results on all machines and we used that package from then on.
    Is there anybody out there in my area I would love to be in contact and exchange ideas.
    Finally all the later machines we had included a auto depth finder so that plunging into the bed was a thing of the past, is it possible to build one in.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum I for one will be looking forward to your mdf build on such a low budget I hope you start a build log with a cost of the parts as used. The only thing I can add at this time would be, is to use a power supply of at least 48V and better still 68V so try and make sure the drivers can handle that. Good Luck with the build. ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  3. #3
    You might just be okay if you know your materials
    Lightweight linear bearings and belt drives are okay for lasers, plasma cutters and 3D printers because there is little tool loading. You can come unstuck with a rotary cutter because the tool would rather rub than cut. If there is any flex in the system the tool can get left behind and then catch up in a rush when the driving force suddenly overcomes the resistance. This gives a stop-go effect which you counter by reducing the cut depth. So what, you have all the time in the world, what does it matter if it takes forever? Well, the longer it takes, the longer it has to go wrong

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