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Thread: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

  1. #13
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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    You could probably squeeze 300x500mm moving bed under a cheap £50 bench pillar drill. Adding a stepper instead of wheel for z. Weld the chuck shaft into the spindle. Would give you a form of cnc.

    Either that or a delta bot style machine. Probably wouldn't be as good though.



  2. #14
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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Some very good points mentioned indeed.

    A few of you have mentioned shipping costs for the finished machine, the idea was to end up with a set of plans that somebody that had a very tight budget could build themselves, not have to receive in the post.

    I was that person about ten years ago, with that tight budget so I built what I could, based on a few different designs from this forum and what I could source and do locally. If I was told the only way I could get into CNC was to spend 2-3 thousand dollars I would have shrugged my shoulders and done something else (some days I wish somebody DID say that to me !)

    Anyway I am going to have a crack at a design, it may take me twelve months but I am stubborn enough to give something a go. At the end of the day the cheapest/best/most practical option may still to buy an ebay special, keep the mechanicals and throw the rest away, then start from there.

    I just thought with the knowledge pool here we could come up with some innovative ideas for a cheap build, definitely wont be the prettiest machine on the block, but something that would work as an introductory machine for those that want to make something but don't know where to start.

    Think of it as a "first car" concept, you may get rid of it sooner or later but it did the job when you needed it to.

    Russell.



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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    A few of you have mentioned shipping costs for the finished machine, the idea was to end up with a set of plans that somebody that had a very tight budget could build themselves, not have to receive in the post.
    If you assume that low-cost Chinese machines are built relatively efficiently then making a better machine will require some strategy. Low sales volume, low cost, machinery that must be shipped over 10,000 kilometers to reach its market is going to have trade-offs in architecture and materials selection that don't apply to a DIY project where materials can be sourced locally. That's why I harp on shipping. Instead of paying for a machine composed of lightweight expensive materials, to optimize shipping, go for a DIY project with less expensive heavier materials.

    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    At the end of the day the cheapest/best/most practical option may still to buy an ebay special, keep the mechanicals and throw the rest away, then start from there.
    For my own project I've purchased the linear rails and drive components, sans nema motors, as a set with door-to-door shipping for US$250 all-in. I found a few nema 23 motors in a box of electronics in the basement. Not certain where I got them. Likely I will search for an electronics and spindle bundle as a complete set. You've mentioned electronics a couple of times. I'm interested in learning about your experience and guidance because this is exactly the next topic I need to research.



  4. #16
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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Ah I get where you were going regarding shipping, and good point.

    That is a pretty good price for linear rails and ballscrews, would be a good starting point for a build like we are describing.

    I don't claim to be an expert on electronics, but when I first built a machine, drives were quite expensive so I decided on building my own, then compared steppers to servos in terms of drive complexity and servo drives (brushed DC) are significantly simpler and easier to build than stepper drives, so I built my own version of the Elm Chan servo.

    Now I am currently building a much nicer machine and will be using the same drive firmware, with new PCB's.

    Not sure if I'd recommend this approach for everybody, there are some great offerings in the stepper drive world for very reasonable cost.

    Cheers.

    Russell.



  5. #17
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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    So can I enter my already completed design DIY CNC Router Plans | BootstrapCNC or do I need to make another one? I like the idea of a set of criteria to meet, are you talking about the Bulls sign VCarve Project? And how complicated an inlay are we talking, would something like one of points from this project https://goo.gl/photos/N2iszRXVxPT39ZZn9 be good enough?

    The whole idea of starting another machine design sort of makes my head hurt, but it cold be fun.



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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    That is a pretty good price for linear rails and ballscrews, would be a good starting point for a build like we are describing.
    There's potential but I'm certain to experience the same disappointment as those who purchased inexpensive fully assembled machines. I'm just hoping to get sufficient quality by tweaking and not have to replace too much.

    An example of quality: the final fabrication was definitely not done using precision machinery. I suspect a dude with a hand held grinder chopping factory supplied rail and base to order and then de-burring with the same tool. The supported rail has perfect 150mm spaced mounting holes (measured using 0.001 dial calipers) but the overall length is only within 1mm and overall positioning within 0.25mm. I have to remember not to use these edges when placing components during assembly.

    This specific example is not terrible but does set the tone. Again, not necessarily a bad thing when buying at the extreme low end. Just need to be aware.

    So, I have to decide weather or not to ask for a discount for the not-to-spec components. Hard to do with an AliExpress supplier where they may not even speak English and a numbered company with no brand reputation to protect.

    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    ... pared steppers to servos in terms of drive complexity and servo drives (brushed DC) are significantly simpler and easier to build than stepper drives
    This is a topic where I have not done enough reading. Would like to learn more.

    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    I built my own version of the Elm Chan servo.
    Thanks for the tip. I'll look at this project more closely.



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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpygeek View Post
    I like the idea of a set of criteria to meet, are you talking about the Bulls sign VCarve Project? And how complicated an inlay are we talking, would something like one of points from this project https://goo.gl/photos/N2iszRXVxPT39ZZn9 be good enough?
    I'd suggest something that requires precision and is useful in the workshop (i.e., common woodworking joints):



    Enclosed is my design and a jig for cutting the torsion box lap joints. The ribs are primed MDF with factory cut height (Lowes).

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!-gantry-png   Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!-jig-png  
    Last edited by volvox311; 03-28-2016 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Added pictures.


  8. #20
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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon.N.CNC View Post
    You could probably squeeze 300x500mm moving bed under a cheap £50 bench pillar drill. Adding a stepper instead of wheel for z. Weld the chuck shaft into the spindle. Would give you a form of cnc.

    Either that or a delta bot style machine. Probably wouldn't be as good though.
    Cheap drill press's seem to be wobbly to start with, but hey if ya wanna give it a go !

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpygeek View Post
    So can I enter my already completed design DIY CNC Router Plans | BootstrapCNC or do I need to make another one? I like the idea of a set of criteria to meet, are you talking about the Bulls sign VCarve Project? And how complicated an inlay are we talking, would something like one of points from this project https://goo.gl/photos/N2iszRXVxPT39ZZn9 be good enough?

    The whole idea of starting another machine design sort of makes my head hurt, but it cold be fun.
    I only had time for a quick look, will check it out in more detail later but that looks like the idea. Yeah the Bulls sign would be a good one, it is purely to show the machine is capable, the inlay is the same concept, though it could be as simple as some lettering as far as I'm concerned, and not everybody has Vcarve, so there might have to be some g-code sharing for a test.

    Remember I only suggested the "rules" as a guideline, nothing is set in concrete, if yourself or anybody has suggestions to improve them that would certainly be a good thing.

    I know what you mean about launching into another build, I am halfway through a not so cheap router build and a Mill retrofit, starting anything else is most likely a bad idea, but what’s the worst that could happen ? lol

    Quote Originally Posted by volvox311 View Post
    Enclosed is my design and a jig for cutting the torsion box lap joints. The ribs are primed MDF with factory cut height (Lowes).
    Looking at your design I see a common idea for a very cheap build, a moving table, this spaces the X axis bearings/skate bearings whatever so if they can be the ...erm cheaper variety if you know what I mean

    Also the classic timber/MDF/Hardwood Ply Torsion box is always a good way for cheap rigidity.

    Cheers.

    Russell.



  9. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    Cheap drill press's seem to be wobbly to start with, but hey if ya wanna give it a go !



    I only had time for a quick look, will check it out in more detail later but that looks like the idea. Yeah the Bulls sign would be a good one, it is purely to show the machine is capable, the inlay is the same concept, though it could be as simple as some lettering as far as I'm concerned, and not everybody has Vcarve, so there might have to be some g-code sharing for a test.

    Remember I only suggested the "rules" as a guideline, nothing is set in concrete, if yourself or anybody has suggestions to improve them that would certainly be a good thing.

    I know what you mean about launching into another build, I am halfway through a not so cheap router build and a Mill retrofit, starting anything else is most likely a bad idea, but what’s the worst that could happen ? lol



    Looking at your design I see a common idea for a very cheap build, a moving table, this spaces the X axis bearings/skate bearings whatever so if they can be the ...erm cheaper variety if you know what I mean

    Also the classic timber/MDF/Hardwood Ply Torsion box is always a good way for cheap rigidity.

    Cheers.

    Russell.
    I must admit I forget how tool quality has deteriorated over the years. Here in U.K £200 really wouldn't get you far at all, I don't think you could even print an entire machine with components or make an Mdf one for that. It's often cheaper to buy than build here which leads me to think adapting something that would be wobbly but is sturdy really possible on this budget.

    I look forward to finding out if anyone manages it I must admit.

    They will need to scrimp right down to the cables. Twisted pair for everything.



  10. #22
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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Locality could very much be a condemning factor in this challenge in regards to material costs.



  11. #23
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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon.N.CNC View Post
    Locality could very much be a condemning factor in this challenge in regards to material costs.
    Not just costs, for myself, I life in a tropical area, so MDF is not a good idea, with high humidity for most of the year and usually three months of more or less constant rain, bad things happen to MDF.
    I have heard of totally impregnating it in epoxy but who has the time for that ?



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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    Looking at your design I see a common idea for a very cheap build, a moving table, this spaces the X axis bearings/skate bearings whatever so if they can be the ...erm cheaper variety if you know what I mean

    Also the classic timber/MDF/Hardwood Ply Torsion box is always a good way for cheap rigidity.
    Seems like the fixed gantry design forgives a lot of errors. Maybe I'm wrong.

    The plywood is Baltic Birch 30in x 30in which is marine grade. Would that stand up to a tropical paradise environment?

    Really like where this thread is going : Need design input

    If the learning experience from my project transitions into something truly useful I can see myself re-designing the frame using steel. Regardless of the material, learning how to drill the mounting holes with precision is a challenge. Need good reference materials that show proper technique for placing precise holes in an X Y plane, how to recover from inevitable mistakes, and how to position and align the components. Started reading "Text-Book of Advanced Machine Work" by Robert Henry Smith, and "Modern Machining Technology - A Practical Guide" by J. Davim. They are great at putting me to sleep.



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