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Thread: Beginner CNC Enthusiast Questions...

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    Beginner CNC Enthusiast Questions...

    Hi All,
    I am looking into making a CNC router as a fun project to keep me productive outside of working hours.I'm a mechanical engineer in New Zealand and work as a designer in the composites industry. However I often wonder if I am in the right job as largely my interests lie in programming / electronics and robotics.

    That being said I am not long out of uni and don't work in this field so my knowledge of electrical / control components is very small (but I'm keen to learn!)

    The router I imagine making first will be small, something that doesn't cost too much to make, not too bulky to store and will more or less serve the purpose of teaching me about components eg. stepper motors,controllers...soldering??

    So I guess the point of this thread is: Where do I start? I am pretty happy with the mechanical side of things i.e. gantry/tracks/timing belts/pulleys etc...but where I am really lost is what electrical components I need?

    If someone could help me compile a list of what I might need, something like

    * 2x Stepper Motors - http://http://morestuff.biz/product/...ema-23-4-wire/

    * Stepper Motor Driver - http://http://morestuff.biz/product/...er-hi-current/

    *

    *

    *


    And any advice, links, or just a general description of the components I need and how they interact would be great.

    Cheers,
    Nick

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  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Bad links.

    Can you post some images of your design?

    Gerry

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://home.comcast.net/~cncwoodworker/2010.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


  3. #3
    Hi Nick,
    We would need to know some basics about your plan. If you want something built very inexpensive, to cut wood and plastic to .005" tolerance, I can give you suggestions on motors, controllers, power supply, computer, and software.

    Basically you'll need: (US prices)
    Power Supply 24VDC @ 10 to 20 Amps. Depending on what you can scrounge or buy, $40 to $200

    Controller board. Again cheap to tops. A Chinese generic TB6560 ($60) to Geko (around $250)

    Motors. 220 inch/ounce to 360 inch ounce $40 to $70 each.

    Dedicated PC with a printer port. You really don't want to use your general or family PC that has all the bloatware running in the background. Nothing fancy, I found a good used one for $40.

    Miscellaneous connectors ($20) wire 20ga or 18 ga, ability to solder, some electronic hand tools, provisions to mount your board and power supply in good ventilation out of the sawdust. If you need help in soldering, I was a NASA soldering teacher in a former life. Soldering is easy! Soldering to military specs isn't.

    Start off with the free trial versions of Mach3 and Cambam and see whee that takes you.

    If you want a learning experience, something medium-small, and cheap, made from wood and pipe...I just finished this for a little over $600.
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykBHGhjo3Qc"]‪More CNC Router‬‏ - YouTube[/nomedia]

    If that's similar to what you had in mind, just ask more questions.

    Tom



  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_M View Post
    Hi Nick,
    We would need to know some basics about your plan. If you want something built very inexpensive, to cut wood and plastic to .005" tolerance, I can give you suggestions on motors, controllers, power supply, computer, and software.

    Basically you'll need: (US prices)
    Power Supply 24VDC @ 10 to 20 Amps. Depending on what you can scrounge or buy, $40 to $200

    Controller board. Again cheap to tops. A Chinese generic TB6560 ($60) to Geko (around $250)

    Motors. 220 inch/ounce to 360 inch ounce $40 to $70 each.

    Dedicated PC with a printer port. You really don't want to use your general or family PC that has all the bloatware running in the background. Nothing fancy, I found a good used one for $40.

    Miscellaneous connectors ($20) wire 20ga or 18 ga, ability to solder, some electronic hand tools, provisions to mount your board and power supply in good ventilation out of the sawdust. If you need help in soldering, I was a NASA soldering teacher in a former life. Soldering is easy! Soldering to military specs isn't.

    Start off with the free trial versions of Mach3 and Cambam and see whee that takes you.

    If you want a learning experience, something medium-small, and cheap, made from wood and pipe...I just finished this for a little over $600.


    If that's similar to what you had in mind, just ask more questions.

    Tom
    I'm curious about what your machine is constructed out of, I can't quite see in the video... Is it PVC, or some other material?

    I would say that a good mid-range controller would be the HobbyCNC EZ stepper kit. It takes some soldering to assemble, but it is a much more reliable driver than the chinese made TB6560 boards.

    I'm really happy with my Geckodrive G540, and I'm glad I spent the extra money to get it, as I'm sure that it's going to last a very long time...



  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by aarongough View Post
    I'm curious about what your machine is constructed out of, I can't quite see in the video... Is it PVC, or some other material?
    ...
    Combination of solid wood, plywood, and MDF.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_M View Post
    Hi Nick,
    We would need to know some basics about your plan. If you want something built very inexpensive, to cut wood and plastic to .005" tolerance, I can give you suggestions on motors, controllers, power supply, computer, and software.

    Basically you'll need: (US prices)
    Power Supply 24VDC @ 10 to 20 Amps. Depending on what you can scrounge or buy, $40 to $200

    Controller board. Again cheap to tops. A Chinese generic TB6560 ($60) to Geko (around $250)

    Motors. 220 inch/ounce to 360 inch ounce $40 to $70 each.

    Dedicated PC with a printer port. You really don't want to use your general or family PC that has all the bloatware running in the background. Nothing fancy, I found a good used one for $40.

    Miscellaneous connectors ($20) wire 20ga or 18 ga, ability to solder, some electronic hand tools, provisions to mount your board and power supply in good ventilation out of the sawdust. If you need help in soldering, I was a NASA soldering teacher in a former life. Soldering is easy! Soldering to military specs isn't.

    Start off with the free trial versions of Mach3 and Cambam and see whee that takes you.

    If you want a learning experience, something medium-small, and cheap, made from wood and pipe...I just finished this for a little over $600.


    If that's similar to what you had in mind, just ask more questions.

    Tom
    My first CNC was a Solsylva design, and they're pretty good designs for the money. I ended up using a drive/stepper kit from Xylotex which eliminated most of the wiring/soldering. I made mine out of hardwood decking, with aluminum tube and channel, and some pieces of scrap aluminum sheet laying around.



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    Forgot the pic... The pic was also featured on the Solsylva.com gallery page (scroll to the bottom) with a link to a video as well.

    There's also am old book (2003) called "CNC Robotics", written by Geoff Williams, that actually discusses builing the actual drives from scratch, though the actual machine design is a bit dated...

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -sdc12282-jpg  


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    What a great response

    What a fantastic response! Unfortunately the day job is keeping me busy into the nights at the moment and I can't seem to find much time to sketch a design for you to look at. I will do my best to get something knocked up soon so that we are on the same page.

    Cheers



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