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Thread: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Hi all, I've just finished my CNC router and in all the mechanical side of things came to around £60 (not including wood for table or spindle), it is relatively easy to make with a jigsaw, hacksaw and a drill and has a build area of probably 800 x 800 mm. I have only tested it with MDF at relatively low speeds but i think it should be able to do some harder materials as it seems to be very rigid.






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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshMitchell99 View Post
    Hi all, I've just finished my CNC router and in all the mechanical side of things came to around £60 (not including wood for table or spindle), it is relatively easy to make with a jigsaw, hacksaw and a drill and has a build area of probably 800 x 800 mm. I have only tested it with MDF at relatively low speeds but i think it should be able to do some harder materials as it seems to be very rigid.


    Nice work!

    I wonder how your machine compares to a shapeoko. It seems like it would be at least as rigid for a fraction of the cost.



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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshMitchell99 View Post
    Hi all, I've just finished my CNC router and in all the mechanical side of things came to around £60 (not including wood for table or spindle), it is relatively easy to make with a jigsaw, hacksaw and a drill and has a build area of probably 800 x 800 mm. I have only tested it with MDF at relatively low speeds but i think it should be able to do some harder materials as it seems to be very rigid.


    Very good but £60 only!! I don't believe you. Can you list items and prices please.

    Cheapest nema 23 kit on eBay is £85. But fair play I suppose all in you probably could make that for £200.

    As someone mentioned tho is that Mdf doesn't really meet the requirements of the challenge being its no good in tropical areas.



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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    This is an interesting thread. While I’m not interested in building a CNC Router right now, it has piqued my engineer’s curiosity. What I think is needed is a clear set of judging criteria. So here is my two cents worth.

    First, what will be judged? My thoughts are that it should be the machine structure, minus electronics and motors. The reason I say that is that there is a definite cost/risk relationship for the electronics parts for these types of machines. What I mean is that you can buy something from an eBay seller in China that looks and is specified the same as a one that can be bought from a US dealer for a fraction of the price. What you are doing is taking a risk that it is the same as the one that can be returned if it craps out. So I would propose specifying a standard electronics package for a sizing and pricing standpoint in order to take the risk/cost/quality factor out. The builder could use any electronics they choose, but some deviations would incur penalties. So if the spec electronics package includes single stack NEMA 23 motors and the build uses NEMA 34 motors, then a cost penalty would be incurred, for instance. I would propose that the judging criteria be cost, ease to build and performance.

    I think the Omni machine is a very good baseline. Subtract the cost of the spec electronics package from that and that is your baseline judging cost. Other things that affect cost are location and season (for lumber). This is the part that would take some work. Lumber would need to have a standard price so that a machine built in Paris France can be compared to one that is built in Paris Texas. The same is true for other parts. Otherwise, regional differences in costs of various parts will skew the results. Once the cost of a given machine is calculated, it is divided by the baseline and multiplied by 100, to give a score. Outside work should be charged at a standard rate such as $75/hr with a 1 hour minimum. The idea is that anyone, even someone who doesn’t have a friend with a Haas VMC, could duplicate the effort for a similar cost.

    Ease of building would entail what tools and skills are needed to build. The baseline would be built completely with commonly available hand tools such as hand drills, jigsaws, hacksaws, files, etc. I would include some fairly common tools such as a drill press, chop saw and table saw in that list. These I would include mainly because they are time savers. They don’t do things you can do with other tools, they do it faster. Welding equipment and skills would incur a penalty. Specialized wood and metal working equipment would also, such as lathes, joiners, planers, milling machines, etc. These could be categorized with a point value for each. The project would start with 100 points and the list of tools used, specialize tools would be subtracted from the score. The final score would be what is left over. An estimate of time taken to complete might be incorporated in this, as well, such that more complex designs would have a penalty.

    There have been several good tests for performance thrown out already. I would propose progressively more aggressive cuts in aluminum until the machine deflects enough to lose a set amount of accuracy in the cut, the cut chatters severely or the machine fails. Also, a hole could be cut and checked for deformation and size compared with programed size. These are simple tests that require no specialize CAM software and give some idea of machine rigidity, backlash and accuracy.

    Overall, I think judging something like this would be fairly difficult, so whoever takes it on should be aware of that. I think it would be an interesting way of giving someone who is thinking about building a machine a more objective way to rank cost, ease of build and performance. The above is food for thought to come to an objective way to judge a given machine design.



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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    I would propose progressively more aggressive cuts in aluminum until the machine deflects enough to lose a set amount of accuracy in the cut
    I don't think the proposed machine would have any business cutting aluminum, and would likely be marginal at cutting hardwoods at decent depths and feedrates. We are talking entry level router, not milling machine.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
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    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cjtoombs View Post
    First, what will be judged? My thoughts are that it should be the machine structure, minus electronics and motors.
    I'd be happy if people could submit accurate information about rigidity and structural performance. I'm picturing something like a formal lab experiment with method, observations, results, and conclusions. Can't find the exact thread but JerryBurks did some analysis in his Big Bamboo - New Machine Project Started series of posts. Some easy experiments appear to be no more complicated than hanging differently weighted things from the structure and then measuring deflection using a dial indicator.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshMitchell99 View Post
    Hi all, I've just finished my CNC router and in all the mechanical side of things came to around £60 (not including wood for table or spindle).
    Good job! I'd like to learn how you got things going so inexpensively because I will probably have very litte budget remaining after buying a Chappell aluminum square, square fence, and optical center punch from Lee Valley Tools.

    Last edited by volvox311; 03-29-2016 at 08:10 PM.


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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshMitchell99 View Post
    Hi all, I've just finished my CNC router and in all the mechanical side of things came to around £60 (not including wood for table or spindle), it is relatively easy to make with a jigsaw, hacksaw and a drill and has a build area of probably 800 x 800 mm. I have only tested it with MDF at relatively low speeds but i think it should be able to do some harder materials as it seems to be very rigid.
    Two questions :

    1 : That trajectory planner looks familiar, is it Turbo CNC ? I loved Turbo, 3 second boot to machine operational, great features, lack of constant velocity toolpath was the killer for me.

    2: Is that job held down by duct tape ??? Awesome !!!



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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cjtoombs View Post
    First, what will be judged? My thoughts are that it should be the machine structure, minus electronics and motors. The reason I say that is that there is a definite cost/risk relationship for the electronics parts for these types of machines. What I mean is that you can buy something from an eBay seller in China that looks and is specified the same as a one that can be bought from a US dealer for a fraction of the price. What you are doing is taking a risk that it is the same as the one that can be returned if it craps out. So I would propose specifying a standard electronics package for a sizing and pricing standpoint in order to take the risk/cost/quality factor out. The builder could use any electronics they choose, but some deviations would incur penalties. So if the spec electronics package includes single stack NEMA 23 motors and the build uses NEMA 34 motors, then a cost penalty would be incurred, for instance. I would propose that the judging criteria be cost, ease to build and performance.
    Have to disagree on this one, the electronics will be a very integral part of the build, for instance a direct coupled small servo motor will be able to utilise very fine pitch leadscrew, basically threaded rod, with rpm range easily to 3000, this will give a 4500mm/min rapid rate, a stepper system won't stand a chance against that, and wouldn't be the correct choice for that build anyway. With costs so tightly linked the electronics and motors will be a major part of the build strategy, and resulting performance, to take them out would defeat 50% of the challenge. To try to compensate with a penalty wouldn't work either, even in the stepper world the choice of drives is overwhelming, there are several drivers that excel in the low current range that might be suitable for this. I think this challenge will require a kit of some version for the motor drives.

    Unless it is a TB6560 based design, then a plague will descend on your house, the sky will turn dark, earthquakes, famine etc...



  9. #33
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    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 ?
    Do you have 2 hours? That's all it really takes. After you cut all your parts, you brush a coat on all the edges, and then use a paint roller to coat the faces. Lay a $3 sheet of polyethylene sheet on the floor and place the coated parts on it, and they won't stick to it.
    This has the added advantage of making the MDF much easier to paint.
    It will add $50-$100 to the cost, though.
    For many people, with limited tools, MDF is much easier to work with, and cheaper than most alternatives.
    That's why 10-12 years ago, everyone was making MDF machines.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
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    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cjtoombs View Post
    I would propose progressively more aggressive cuts in aluminum until the machine deflects enough to lose a set amount of accuracy in the cut, the cut chatters severely or the machine fails.
    Second ger21 in that aluminium isn't a criteria for this build, we are going to have enough trouble getting decent(I'm being generous here) feedrates and rigidity, without bringing aluminium into the mix.



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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    Do you have 2 hours? That's all it really takes. After you cut all your parts, you brush a coat on all the edges, and then use a paint roller to coat the faces. Lay a $3 sheet of polyethylene sheet on the floor and place the coated parts on it, and they won't stick to it.
    This has the added advantage of making the MDF much easier to paint.
    It will add $50-$100 to the cost, though.
    For many people, with limited tools, MDF is much easier to work with, and cheaper than most alternatives.
    That's why 10-12 years ago, everyone was making MDF machines.
    Fair call, but I just really don't like the stuff.

    Though in its defence I have used a 10mm piece (untreated) for a bed top on my machine, with a grid pattern drilled through and inserts placed in the hardwood ply base underneath, the idea being the MDF could be removed after a while when it was damaged from use or swelled, and its remained there quite happily for a good few years now.

    Last edited by epineh; 03-30-2016 at 07:51 AM. Reason: the reason


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    Default Re: Cheap DIY Router Challenge !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    Unless it is a TB6560 based design, then a plague will descend on your house, the sky will turn dark, earthquakes, famine etc...
    Sure, drag the climate in your area back into the discussion again.



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