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Thread: Homemade CNC router?

  1. #1
    Registered User Mac790's Avatar
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    Homemade CNC router?

    A few years ago I was happy with a simple Bosch jigsaw, and a wood/metal file, but it seems that I'm becoming lazy,
    I don't think I need an industrial router for home usage, and I noticed that there are a lot homemade routers, some looks better than other, I was wondering does anyone have any experience/opinions about homemade routers, I'm thinking about cutting mdf or plywood templates.

    just a few links which I found today
    Solsylva CNC Plans~ Home Page
    CNC Router Plans: Download free CNC router plans
    HobbyCNC - CNC Kits, Plans, Stepper Motors, Foam Cutting
    Xylotex

    Seb
    Amor Patriae Nostra Lex

    "Time, training, training, training and more training is the key to any success."
    Francis "Gabby" Gabreski

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    Registered User MadRocketScientist's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    Hi Seb,

    I have a couple of the hobbyCNC driver boards. I have them assembled and they spin motors. I ended up getting a commercial CNC router from China. A very good resource for CNC stuff is CNCzone.com. Something for cutting MDF or ply should be very easy to build, What size did you have in mind?

    Shannon.
    Building CriCri #706

  3. #3
    Registered User Mac790's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    Hi Shannon

    I was looking at the Solsylva plans, I think it would be nice to have something like 48x48, maybe even a little bit longer, but I still have to calculate it, last time I paid about 30$ for a two small laser cut parts (material was mine) I had to wait about 2-3 days for it, so I'm thinking maybe it will be cheaper to build own router. Thanks for that webpage, I've seen it before but I forget to bookmark it.

    btw Did you build something form these hobbyCNC boards?

    Seb
    Amor Patriae Nostra Lex

    "Time, training, training, training and more training is the key to any success."
    Francis "Gabby" Gabreski

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    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    Quote Originally Posted by MadRocketScientist View Post
    I ended up getting a commercial CNC router from China.
    Shannon, didn't you find it difficult to program in the Chinese sinograph characters (Han script)?

    Bruce

  5. #5
    Registered User MadRocketScientist's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    Hi Bruce,

    Luckily it had a manual in Chingish,

    Seb,
    I was building a CNC hotwire for cutting wing cores for my radio controlled planes. I have it around 80% done. I just need to drill and tap the holes to bolt it all together. I was also going to make a larger CNC router but that was before I decided to buy one.

    If you decide to build one remember that rigidity is your friend when it comes to CNC routers, and that the highest top speed isn't everything.

    Shannon
    Building CriCri #706

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    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    Are you guys using a metal frame? If so, how do you adjust for temperature changes (expansion)?

  7. #7
    Registered User MadRocketScientist's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    My CNC has a cutting area of approx 144"x60", I would be more worried about the expansion of the aluminium I am cutting than the steel in my machine as aluminium expands at a faster rate than steel. The temperatures in my workshop stays reasonably constant. It does get coldish sometimes but also doesn't get too hot in Summer.
    If the expansion of the metals were a concern I think then maybe a CNC router isn't quite the tool for the job. If the machine and the material being cut are close to the same temperature, then there shouldn't be too many issues.

    Shannon.
    Building CriCri #706

  8. #8
    Registered User Mac790's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    Shannon

    One more question to you, I'm going to check out CNCzone closely tomorrow, but those Solsylva routers looks good so far, I'm wondering do you know other good plans?

    Here is a nice video of Solsylva router in action I'm getting excited about it


    Seb
    Amor Patriae Nostra Lex

    "Time, training, training, training and more training is the key to any success."
    Francis "Gabby" Gabreski

  9. #9
    Registered User MadRocketScientist's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    At first glance the Solsylva looks to be a solid router, There are some plans for routers in the hobby section of CNCzone. I was in the progress of designing my own when I purchased my big one.

    The other thing I would check is that it may be cheaper to get something from China for a similar price as what it costs to buid one. Granted they may need a bit of tweaking to get them operating the best.

    Shannon.
    Building CriCri #706

  10. #10
    Registered User Mac790's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    Thanks again for info, I'll check out hobby section tomorrow, if I won't find anything better I'll buy Sylva plans.
    The other thing I would check is that it may be cheaper to get something from China for a similar price as what it costs to buid one.
    I'll checkt it out too, but I'm afraid that shipping cost will kill it.

    Seb
    Amor Patriae Nostra Lex

    "Time, training, training, training and more training is the key to any success."
    Francis "Gabby" Gabreski

  11. #11
    Registered User MadRocketScientist's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    Just watch out that the CNC build doesn't take over from aircraft building, DIY CNC is a great hobby in it own right.

    Shannon.
    Building CriCri #706

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    Registered User BoeveP51's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    Shannon,

    Do you have any web sites for the Chinese CNC routers?
    Thanks

    Merle

  13. #13
    Registered User MadRocketScientist's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    I would recommend Excitech, they seem to be the most reliable company that sells CNC machines out of China. Also try to get in touch with a guy called 'Taney' as he seems to be the most knowledgeable, he also lets you know if he doesn't know the answers to your questions. If you want his email, PM me and I will give it to you.

    Sh-CNC/Excitech website
    cnc router cnc

    Excitech forum at CNC zone here.
    Excitech routers - CNCzone.com-The Ultimate Machinist Community

    Shannon.
    Building CriCri #706

  14. #14
    Registered User K-Rigg's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    when i owned my last business we had a plasma cam cnc plasma table, it was easy to run, you import dxf files, hit a few buttons to get it into a cut path, and off it went.

    With these hobby machines, what software do you use, to you have to learn gcode? or is there software available that is a easy as the plasma cam was?

  15. #15
    Registered User MadRocketScientist's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade CNC router?

    I think Mach3 can import dxf files directly on a basic level, there is also some free software out there that can convert dxf files to g-code. I can't remember any of them off hand but I have seen them.

    Shannon.
    Building CriCri #706

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