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  1. #1
    robertlaurenson's Avatar
    Location unknown. robertlaurenson Last Activity: Has a total post count of n/a. Referred 5751 members to the community.
    Hi Everyone,

    New forum member as of today, to give a bit of a background, I have a Marine Engineering and Boat Building business I work with in my time home from offshore, but with the price of metal and everything else lately, the small boat's orders have dried up, I built a large workshop to do this in, and it is sitting empty. I have always done a lot with wood also, and wanted to build a CNC for ages, but have always put it off as i've had so much else to do.

    Anyway, i would like to now, but not certain where to start, i am pretty good at Rhino now and can design boats in it, and would be quite happy deisigning a CNC router, but the main issue is knowing what size the steelwork needs to be as a minimum before i start, so i thought i would join this forum and hopefully glean some advice from the people on here.

    The router i plan to build will more than likley be designed to take a 1.5 x 3m sheet of aluminium for cutting boat parts from, and other things, but will mainly be used for wood. I plan to use rack and pinion for the long travel and Y axis and to buy a pre made Z axis with ballscrew, also planning on using a 2.2kw water cooled spindle, but i'm afraid that's where the certainty ends, the rest of it, what type rails to use, electrics, breakout boards etc, i'm just not sure what to get, and then the steelwork, can easily build it in my workshop, but sizing it to be strong enough to resist the vibration and twisting is a concern.

    I suppose to help, i don't suppose there is anyone on here that has done similar that would be willing to sell a set of plans for it as a proven design?

    I look forward to hearing from you all


  2. #2
    Hi Robert,

    How are you getting on with this journey, have you made any advancements forward yet?

  3. #3
    Hi Robert,

    That's a BIG undertaking for a first machine so my first job is to try to talk you out of it...Lol

    It's a common mistake for new builders to think that building a large machine cannot be much harder than a small machine because let's face it they work exactly the same way don't they, which in theory they do.!

    However, the complications of building a large machine are much higher and the work involved is far greater. Error factors multiply greatly so any twist in the frame etc is amplified. So areas of the build like plane alignment that rails etc sit on have to be so much more accurate and as the size increases, this gets harder to achieve without expensive machine work on the frame.
    Likewise, Gantry alignment and stiffness all get harder to achieve and again any errors are amplified which ultimately shows up in the accuracy and quality of the cuts.

    My advice to you and any new builder is to start small but if you really must have a large machine then don't try to build one as a first machine, instead, look to buy a used machine or an old machine with older electronics and do a conversion on it, because the electrics are often the easy part of a large machine compared to the mechanical side.

    Think long and hard if you continue down this road and do lots and lots of research before buying so much as a welding rod because it's very very easy to fail and end up with an inferior machine that costs probably 2/3 the price of buying a machine.

    But if you do continue ask your questions and we will answer.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: [email protected]

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

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