Homemade CNC router?

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by Mac790, Aug 18, 2009.

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  1. Apr 7, 2015 #101

    ultralajt

    ultralajt

    ultralajt

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    No plans. I made some drawings for me to help myseld fihuring out how to build it but they are not so refine to the every detail, bolt and nut.
    I use many of unique elements that are not available to everyone.
    The big aluminum profiles are actually the rails for the meat processing, while linear rails, bearings and stepper motors are from HP data library robot.
     
  2. Apr 8, 2015 #102

    ultralajt

    ultralajt

    ultralajt

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    Today I finished all of the wiring on the CNC machine (from controller to stepper motors, and to all home and end switches). Now the machine is is in full working order.
    Of course I play with machine and made some parts just to see how they will came out.
    Among others, I cut a wing rib for a giant vintage scale R/C Sailplane:

    20150408_193623.jpg
     
  3. Apr 9, 2015 #103

    ultralajt

    ultralajt

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    Milling a part from thin plastic:



    I am very pleased with a speed of machine. One can easily imagine how to cut various aluminum sheet metal brackets and parts for homebuilt aeroplane! :):lick:
     
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  4. Apr 19, 2015 #104

    ultralajt

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    Hi!
    Fun with CNC continues!
    I just build a test assembly of my next RC model project:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is build to see in real its rigidity, strength and weight, so I can instantly make redesign of the drawings...
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
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  5. Apr 20, 2015 #105

    ScaleBirdsScott

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    Those are some nice looking parts for sure. It seems super solid.
     
  6. Apr 20, 2015 #106

    ekimneirbo

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    Re: Router Bits

    Have you tried looking at some of the end mills that are available for milling machines? Also, using a longer cutting tool will put more strain on the router....don't know if it will make a difference or not. Has anyone ever tried using phenolic material for making rib forming dies? (I'm Going to ask that question on a new thread, so please reply there)
     
  7. Apr 22, 2015 #107

    ultralajt

    ultralajt

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    I made a pair of simple bike toys for twins of my nieces:

    20150420_194355.jpg 20150420_194334.jpg 20150420_145332.jpg
     
  8. Apr 22, 2015 #108

    Jay Kempf

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  9. Apr 22, 2015 #109

    ultralajt

    ultralajt

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    EstlCAM! The cheapest, yet powerfull.
     
  10. Apr 22, 2015 #110

    Jay Kempf

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    Doesn't look much more than barely more than 2D. What are you controlling the machine with for stepper motor tuning and all the machine level stuff.
     
  11. Apr 22, 2015 #111

    ultralajt

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    It is capable of 3D routing. I think it is the best solution for users as me. Fot that price you wont get anything close to that. And guy constantly work on better and better versions. I paid just 10€ for upgrading program from 2,5 to 3D.
    The controller I use is old H1 controller for unipolar motors, that I just remove from my previous DIY CNC machine, as I was not able to run cheap china 3 axis controller I purchased on ebay for 35€. And not to forget mention Mach3. It is the one who read G code and sent commands to controller on the machine.
    See my Blog for complete story about my old and new CNC machines.(you must go trough "See older Entries" to get to the very begining).
    Mitja
     
  12. Apr 22, 2015 #112

    harrisonaero

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    You're awesome Mitja and an inspiration to this group. You have crazy skills- now just quit building kid's toys and R/C planes and build a man-carrying craft already :)
     
  13. Apr 28, 2015 #113

    ultralajt

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    Thank!

    Today I went to test upper practical feed rate for 2mm mill bit and 3mm thick white poplar plywood.

    First cut was done at feed rate of 32, second at 42 and the third at 45 mm per second.

     
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  14. Oct 15, 2015 #114

    ultralajt

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    Couple days ago I try to cut aluminum on my CNC router, that I mainly build for cutting soft materials used in RC model designs (such as balsa, birch and white poplar plywood). I was amazed that machine is actually much stronger and firm than I expected!

    I mill 2mm thick aluminum. Speed was amazing 500-600mm/min with 3mm one flute mill bit at 8-10.000 revs/min. The acuracy is also pretty high, so I even manage to cut a small gears that work pretty smooth.

    I try also to engrave aluminum. As I didnt have engraving mill bit, I use a broken mill bit that I just shape in a sharp pointed spike. Regardless that spike didnt cut material, but rather push it away from the path, result was satisfactory. I was amazed with acuracy of the machine. I could even notice, that dots in the text were squared....just the way they were drawn in DXF file.

    So, now I know, that many tiny metal parts (brackets, levers and other hardware) I can mill by myself.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

     
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  15. Jan 4, 2016 #115

    BobbyZ

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    Nice work on the new mill and also thanks to all that added to the thread as it was great to read.I plan on starting to build a 3 axis pretty soon to help with my build and this saved me a lot of searching.

    One question though has anyone tried thin aluminum parts like ribs for example?If it is too thin I wonder if they could be glued together and run through like that.

    What is everyone using for hold downs?Has anyone tried vacuum assisted?
     
  16. Jan 4, 2016 #116

    ScaleBirdsScott

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    There was a bunch of discussion about this in another thread but yes, it's easy enough to cut thin sheet: anything from .016 up to .25. The key is to just not take passes heavier than your machine can handle and let it work its magic. I cut up to .032 6061 in a single pass with a 1/8 single-flute cutter without issue. I cut heavier thicknesses (a lot of .063 and .125 lately) in .025-.035 deep passes and it just takes a little longer to take multiple passes, but never had issues with it going out of alignment in doing so. Regardless of thickness and method, you'll want to dress the edges to take the burrs off but rarely is the surface finish on the edge of thicker material beyond the point where a quick touch to the belt sander won't make it look like precision-ground gloriousness.

    For hold-down I go low-tech and reliable: use screws to hold the perimeter down then start each sheet off with drilling some hold-down holes where it fits on the sheet, then cutting it all out and unscrewing. With a vacuum table one can probably make the whole process a lot faster but the math on cost and time to implement for me seems to not make sense when only cutting one or two sheets at a time as it only adds a few minutes of prep to each job. (though I am now looking at 30+ sheets of aluminum freshly delivered and wondering if I need to rethink that math)

    From what little I've seen, vac works if your parts are at least decent size and you use tabs so smaller parts don't go flying. If you do it, don't drill holes in the MDF, let the permeability of the material do its job. I've seen setups both ways so its possible regardless but I like the idea of no-holes if doing a full-bed sheet of metal.

    Another option I've considered but find would be messy for heavy use is some kind of spray mount. I can imagine that just being terror on machinery though without excellent venting as you apply it. Maybe lots of tape?

    I like screws. No muss, no fuss, can leave sheets locked down overnight and can mount smaller sheets like a 2x2 of heavier material, or a 3" wide by 72" long piece of bar that you're gonna turn into something, and aren't worried about efficiency loss. But having the option to use screws and/or vac would be likely the ideal. And then if you are fancy installing some t-slot into the bed for using clamping hold-downs probably won't hurt.

    If I build a new bed today, and had the budget for it, I'd use all 80/20 style extrusion to build a framework, and then maybe use a nice fly-cutter and surface the whole thing once leveled so I have a known machine-trued surface that won't warp over time like MDF, before mounting an MDF spoilboard which can be resurfaced as needed for sheetwork. I don't know if the fly-cutting step is common or encouraged by others, but it seems like it would be the sweetness.

    My biggest battles on the machine right now is having a dead-flat machine-trued surface that stays that way over time. I can flatten the thing then come back next week and something has swollen just so slightly and now I need to add some buffer room so I can account for whatever variation in height over the run. It's not ideal, and it's not the pro way, but it's down-and-dirty 'git-er-done' type cutting work that will make parts just as good in the end.
     
  17. Jan 5, 2016 #117

    BobbyZ

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    Scott,Thanks for the response as it cleared up quite a bit for me.I've really wanted to get started on a plane but I've still got a little bit more to go before I can get started.Family comes first ;) but I can build the CNC now and I think by the time I get finished it'll be time to get started on my plane.

    I think it should truly help in building as it should really keep things accurate and repeatable.Considering that the BearHawk is high on my list I think it'll really be a asset to be able to CNC all the form blocks and aluminum ribs and panels etc.

    As of right now Co2 lasers are still pretty pricey but ideally I would like to build the capability into my table.Or at the least maybe a plasma cutter,I know it'll require being able to change beds to some degree but I think it is doable.

    Has anybody else looked into laser and plasma cutters?How would the heat affected zones affect aircraft parts?Would it not matter too much on chromoly sheet stock?I know it's a long shot but it would be really nice to be able to CNC chromoly tubing for birds mouths and such.What about laser cut aluminum?I guess it'd be better to mill it but I figured I'd still ask.

    Thanks again
     
  18. Jan 5, 2016 #118

    sergiu tofanel

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    My brother and I built a 4'x5' CNC router for less than $1000. The most expensive items were the stepper motors ($100 each off Ebay). It has a bulky 5'x8' frame (which allows expansion to 4'x7' travel) made of 1/4" thick 4"x4" corner angle and the lead screws are basic 3/4" acme thread. Nothing fancy, but it has 18" vertical travel. The stepper motor controllers are custom built (by me) for about $10 each. Power comes from an Ebay sourced used lab power supply we picked up for $10. Computer is an old Windows XP machine that has been converted to Linux and is running an old version of EMC2

    Maximum axis speeds are 40in/min for x-y axis and 15in/min for Z axis.

    Next item on the list is to modify the controllers for 36V (now they run on 24V DC) and change the lead screws to 1" dia (they tend to be a bit wobbly)
     
  19. Jan 5, 2016 #119

    ScaleBirdsScott

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    Sonex has all their aluminum sheets laser cut. I don't know any specifics of the settings and such they use, but I've seen the blanks laser cut in big stacks during a factory tour. I suspect the HAZ is negligible based on what I saw, they looked very clean.

    Another big challenge I forgot to mention, and I don't know if you mentioned you have covered, is CAD/CAM. If you don't have a very comprehensive set of plans that includes (or lets you generate) actual to-scale CAD data, or a program to output some code to the machine, you're not cutting anything regardless of how capable the machine is.
     
  20. Jan 5, 2016 #120

    BobbyZ

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    That's a concern but I've yet to choose plans and it will weigh heavily in on my decision.I also might do my own design based on something else too.I've dealt with Solidworks in the past at a previous job and I play in Sketch Up to do stuff for home,so while it is a concern it's not a huge hurdle.I feel that once I have it built and running I should be up to speed and able to use it close to it's full capacity.

    My current job has me on a rotation for 30 days on ten off.I hope to do my computer work for the project during my down time away from home and it should allow me to zip out parts while back home.Although if our business takes off this could change but for now that is the plan.

    Thanks again
     

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