After many months of lurking here, planning, scrapping plans, planning some more, seeking advice, purchasing parts, etc., I finally started on my first machine a couple months ago. I chose the basic Solsylva design that has raised side rails, but that's about the only Solsylva design element left. Due to limited space in my workshop, my bed between posts is just over 24" wide, bed length is a bit over 51" and just over 48" between posts; this will give me around 18-19" x 51" capacity. Additionally, I will have the ability to run past the end of the bed by a couple inches to allow cutting endgrain, such as for dovetails or run full sheets through sideways (indexing required obviously). I also plan on bolting on vertical and horizontal rotaries at a later point. I'll probably start out using my Hitachi router for a spindle, but plan on getting a SuperPID and dedicated router (maybe Colt) fairly soon after I get this beast running.
My primary purpose for building this is to decorate various woodworking projects, to include new cabinets throughout the house (hopefully in '12), furniture, kids furniture, toys, gifts, etc. I could also venture into some lost-foam aluminum casting projects with son-in-law. May also see what collaboration I can do with brother-in-law's former girlfriend who is an artist and frequently paints on non-traditional media. I'll be ecstatic if I make any income from this, although I currently have no plans nor expectations of doing so.
Besides wood and other soft materials, I hope this might be strong enough to do some occasional light and slow work in soft metals.
I'm building this using 80/20 15-series purchased from the 80/20 Ebay store, quite a few parts from CNCRouterParts.com, Rollon TLV43 and maybe ULV43 rails and CDW43 190 trucks for X & Y, some 15mm linear rail and trucks for Z. The base area will have storage drawers for bits, tools, and etc. I'm using dual R&P on the long axis, 1/2-10/5-start Acme on gantry, and 1/2-10/1-start on Z axis.
For electricals, I'm leaning heavily towards Ahren's new 5 axis breakout board, G251 drivers, 48v/12.5a power supply, and 380 oz-in Nema23 steppers; I believe this will be cheaper and probably easier in the long run when I add the rotaries compared to starting with a G540.
I'm hoping I can use EMC2, as I'm a long-time Linux guy; prepared to go to Mach if I can't get the quality I'm wanting.
Sorry, I don't have nice 3D renderings, just a basic diagram I did in OpenOffice. The first photo is as it was this morning, the lower framework complete (as it has been for a few weeks--life got in the way of progress). As I'm designing as I go and limited to weekend mornings and early afternoons due to heat, progress will be a bit slow; I hope to have the design finalized and much put together during a very long Independence Day weekend although I'll have to get a few more parts to completely finalize the mechanicals.
More to come...