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Homemade CNC router?

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Mac790

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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
 

MadRocketScientist

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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.
 

Mac790

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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
 

MadRocketScientist

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Hi Bruce,

Luckily it had a manual in Chingish:gig::gig:,

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
 

bmcj

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

MadRocketScientist

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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.
 

Mac790

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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
 
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MadRocketScientist

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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.
 

Mac790

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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
 

MadRocketScientist

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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.
 

K-Rigg

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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?
 

Mac790

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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?
I'm new to this but it seems like a Mach3 is the most common, you can use it up to 6-axis, it's very cheap I would say even too cheap, I'm wondering how much Rhino Cam cost, does anyone know? Should be a good idea for Rhino users.
two links for Mach3 software
Page Title
this one is probably in Hungarian language but it has a lot of print screens in English
Mach3 CNC Vezérlõ program

Some people use also software called CNC Toolkit up to 5-Axis
The CNC Toolkit
Ther is also CamBAm and probably many others
Welcome to CamBam


Looking for more homemade designs, I found interesting 5-Axis construction made by a guy in my country, personaly I would make it a little bit different, I don't think that those high columns are very rigid, but I'm not sure about construction details.
[video=youtube;gtcF5BxciCI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtcF5BxciCI&feature=related[/video]

I found also another interesting plans for 3-Axis router, that guy also sells parts with which you can convert 3-Axis into 5-Axis.
http://www.doughtydrive.com/products.html

With a 5-Axis router it would be possible to make foam plugs, it sounds very interesting, instead of cutting only wooden templates with a 3-Axis router.

With this spindle it's also possible to convert 3-axis router into 5-Axis machine, but I don't think it's a cheap part.
5-Axis - New Host

I've found also many links with parts, stepers, boards, etc. I can post them if anyone wants.

Shannon I was wondering could you post some details about your Router, like what type of step motors you have, I'm not familiar with those oz units, like 405oz, 250oz etc, do you have a router or a spindle, do you have water coolings, etc.

Seb
 
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Cy V

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I'm interested in homebuilt CNC equipment. I checked out CNCZONE.com but that web site is a mess! I've never seen a discussion forum with so many sub-forums. The one sub-forum I looked for but couldn't find was a forum for people new to CNC.

Does anyone know a good website or other resource for someone new to CNC?
 

Mac790

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I had a very similar opinion, but now I think that the CNCzone is a well orginized forum, keep in mind that cnczone is much bigger than this forum.

The first question is what type of information are you looking for? are you going to build something (if yes, what are you going to build, router, mill, etc) or are you going only to learn something. For example they have separate subforums for different software like EdgeCam, MasterCam, etc, so it's easier to ask a question and easier to get an answer.

Here is probably the best sub-forum for home made routers.
CNC Wood Router Project Log - CNCzone.com-The Ultimate Machinist Community
I found also other forums but I think that cnczone is the best, because it's the biggest.

Here is a link to Router desinged and built by one of our members, it's a small router mainly for RC planes parts.
Build Thread Well, why not - CNCzone.com-The Ultimate Machinist Community

Here you can download some free "plans"
Store: FLA100-00 : Fine Line Automation

Here is a link for a much bigger router, attachment
MechMate CNC Router - Build your own with free plans
here you can download free "plans" for it, but you have to register first, they have also a forum there.
Drawing Plan files for downloading - this is where you get the drawings - MechMate CNC Router Forum
here is a movie, seems really nice (it's a beast 2750mm x 1830mm:))

Seb
 

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