I do some woodwork as a hobby and have been looking at getting a CNC and have a million questions, but will be reading through the threads first to whittle them down.
Originally looked at X-Carve then at OX and currently looking at X3 from Robbocutters.
Welcome from another newbie--thats me,
Let us know what you finally purchased as thats where I'm also at right now trying to decide which way to go. Have you any feedback on the robocutters ? I was looking at their site earlier and price wise its what I had intended to spend.
All The best
Hi and Welcome but Both of you want avoid all those like the plague.
They are over priced and weak machines. Far better can be built by your selfs for same or less money.
I have also just registered to this site. Last September I bought an OX-type machine from a UK supplier. It's sturdier than the openbuilds standard model in that it has double plates on the Y axes. My experience is not too bad, but I believe I have exaggerated with the size (1000 x 1500mm). Its limit is visible in the design, especially the direct-coupling belt drive, where you have your steppers rotating very slowly compared to an architecture with acme screws, for example, or at least gearing on the pulleys. I refer you to the excellent post by JAZZCNC on http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/3823-...med-CNC-router . This specific shortcoming is my main concern, as it will not only limit resolution, but, because the steppers would be running slower than their optimal speed, it seems to me that this is also the cause of unwanted vibration at low feeds.
For me, coming from a software development background with occasional drifts into DIY building stuff (I build a trike bicycle a few years ago, arc welding it from steel tubes and also managing not to be run over whilst eventually riding it in the Italian crazy traffic -- that experience was enough to convince me to move to the UK, however ;-), building the OX has been an invaluable (albeit expensive) learning experience. I learnt a lot about basic CNC. The OX-like kit was a mechanical kit only, and I have interfaced it with the xPRO CNC v2 controller board from Spark Concepts, which integrates four stepper drivers. My CAD-CAM software is Fusion 360; it's now effectively free and, although it takes a bit more time to get to grips with, the effort is paid back in learning experience, as the CAM module is amazingly detailed. I then use Universal G-Code Sender to send the code generated by Fusion to the actual machine.
Whilst I'll be using my current machine for the time being (I am using my existing DeWalt 611 router on it, again not the best option ...), I am seriously thinking of building my own. If JAZZCNC is reading, I would really appreciate your input. I could design my new machine from scratch, but it seems to me that everyone is kind of duplicating efforts. Do you think there's a basic (strong, steel-framed) design that could be used as the basis for designing an industrial-quality DIY machine?
Again, I am new and perhaps you could point us to a thread with a particularly useful design ... ? It's a fascinating subject, and I can see CNC DIY-type machines are growing in popularity. They are more complex to manage than 3D printers or laser CNCs, but the ability to mill 'real' materials has no comparison!
Ciao // Enrico
Last edited by Enrico; 17-01-2016 at 11:55 AM.
Design wise then there you are correct in that there are many duplicates, mostly because there's only so many ways to do this.! But also because there a some designs with features that suit better than others.
Designs with frames with high sides which raise the rails and then sit Gantry directly onto the bearings are stronger than machines which use low frames with taller gantry sides. These take more work to build the frames but give wider cutting range of materials. But if the Machine is mostly used for wood cutting then Low frames with Taller gantry sides work perfectly fine.
Both designs have there purpose and each works well if correctly matched to application.
My suggestion is look around the Forum and see the difference. Then start a build thread stating your goals and requirements along with an idea for design. Then we'll come along steer you if looking wrong or suggest better.
Good luck and feel free to ask questions no matter how daft. If your on the shy side then feel free to PM me directly, that goes for anyone else reading this.!
Thank you JazzCNC for your words of encouragement! Very much appreciated!
I will certainly follow your advice and try to come up with a design to start the process... sounds like a good plan already! I will try and limit the daft questions to a minimum, but there are bound to be some ;-) ... in fact, I am going to start with one already: should I opt for a steel or aluminium frame? Aluminium would be lighter, but perhaps more expensive? Also, I can weld steel but not aluminium ... what would you suggest? This is a basic question for me, as it will steer my design in a specific initial direction. Thank you again!
First only Daft question is the one you don't ask.!!
There's no best really and both work but steel is most common because it's cheaper, stronger and easier to work with.
Most machines are built with a combination of both Steel and Aluminium. Steel for main frame and Aluminium for moving parts like Gantry, Zaxis.
Great stuff, thank you again, and I will certainly start a new thread for any further questions, you are right ...
Ciao // Enrico
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