I kind of fancy myself as an inventor of sorts. I always new a CNC machine would help me bring my designs to fruition. Several years back I owned a Sherline mini mill with a CNC add-on kit. I had used that CNC to do some small repetitive work on plastic. Now keep in mind that back then there was not much available for the DIY CNCer, so I sold the machine.
A while back I started building PC cases, like the one shown here.
I spent hours working on the legs of this PC case. Later a friend asked me if I would build one for him. I remember all the time spent on the legs, and had to turn him down.
Knowing that building some of the parts for my PC cases would be perfect for a router based CNC, I started doing research. I was astounded at the information available for the CNC do-it-yourselfer. I decided to build my first machine.
I purchased several plans, a couple of books, and read several hundred posts on the various forums. While my first two machines worked. They had a difficult time creating consistent parts.
Building the first two machines was not a complete failure. I learned a log about CNC. My third build shown below was a complete success.
"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcJHmpaC_yc"]Build 3 Video
I could cut parts consistently, and was able to build complex projects like this clock.
In the early designs I had used a Bosch Colt router, but it has issues that left it far from ideal for use as a CNC router. In the third build, I used a Festool MFK700 router and it made all the difference. Using some of my woodworking skills I added adjustable fences.
I got quite a few requests for plans, so I decided to write a step-by-step guide on building it. In order to do this I had to re-build the machine in order to take pictures of the process. I also needed to make a couple small tweaks in the design. Build 4 was born.
I started the write-up. That's when I realized why there were no step-by-step guides on building a CNC.
IT WAS HARD WORK
I took over 2000 photos and honestly, I would get to an area of the documentation and the picture just could not convey the information I wanted. The other problem is that the machine was made from melamine coated particle board, the gantry shapes made the plans very complicated and difficult to reproduce. I was not happy with the quality of the guide. I needed to go back to square one.
I decided to build a totally new machine. The new machine would be pretty much bolt together. I needed to increase the table cutting size in order to build larger projects. I also wanted a lower gantry design for rigidity. That still left the problem of pictures.
I had access to an AutoCAD workstation so I decided to teach myself AutoCAD. This way I could create illustrations of any angle.
The KRMx01 CNC was born.
I designed and built the machine first, then modeled it. The model includes every single nut, bolt, and lock washer. With the model in place I could start the documentation.
Sooooo, here we are. A man and his CNC. I decided to create my first piece of furniture. I was working on a small table to hold my Oneida mini cyclone bucket, when I had an idea for a small end table.
Being my first furniture project with the CNC, I decided to use some scrap particle board for the project. Here is a video showing the process.
"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP3XuGGgaKQ"]End Table Video
My daughter quickly snapped up this piece and wants me to make a matching basin stand.
OK what about something a little more complicated. This piece was commissioned by a local coffee house. Its a pour over filter stand. A cup sits on the bottom shelf and a ceramic filter sits in the hole on the top shelf. Hot water is poured into the filter and it drips into the cup. This piece was cut with a 3/32" bit. The material is all 5/16" popular that has been dyed and gel coated.
What about something a little more utilitarian. This is a small outlet cover made from a solid piece of popular. It's a two sided cut. With two sided cuts an accurate fence system is invaluable.
This circuit board was cut and isolation routed with the KRMx01 CNC.
"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz-pUDt76wc"]See the complete process here
I’m working on a very large clock. This is one of 9 gears that will be on the clock. Its over 2 feet in diameter. The actual clock mechanism will be over 5 feet tall.
I designed and cut everything on these two robots. Including the gears and wheels.
Here is a RDS bot I am working on. All the parts were cut on my KRMx01 CNC.
"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOH7AckxQWc"]RDS Bot Video
The bot was stripping the main motor hub so I cut them out of aluminum shown here:
"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=374ePHwPOlI"]Cutting Aluminum Video
The KRMx01 has been my most versatile build to date. Since I have written the book I have made upgrades which can be viewed and downloaded here: