I am in the middle of constructing a 2'x4' router based on 1/2" black pipe and roller bearings. I was starting to question my sanity with this, but it is going well enough that I will probably finish in the next month or so, so I might as well see it thru to the end.
Thought I'd share what I have done so far and see what y'all think, attached a snapshot and you can see more details here: http://grumpygeek.com/?p=180
Wow, you really put some work into it. Looks great. I like the colors. I'm guessing you cut out all those parts with a router. I doubt I could do anything as clean by hand.
Don't question your sanity, it'll be all worth in the end. Besides, how will you build your second cnc machine without the help of your first? Haha... But by the looks of the one you are building, I'm guessing you will get plenty of use out of it before you build another one. Nice job.
Oh a quick Q, is that PVC pipe in the middle of the rails? If so, why didn't you go with a metal pipe?
Thanks, this is actually my second machine. The first is a Rockcliff model D that I built with basic power tools, clamps and glue; it works well, this is my first attempt at something bigger and faster.
I used the first machine to cut the pieces, which were designed in a very basic cad program (CadStd) and translated to G-Code with Cut-2d. The center pipe is pvc, it is actually used more for lining everything up and holding it in place while assembling the rails, it will also make a good conduit for running power and limit switch wires. I could replace it with metal pipe as well, and I might if I think it will help with the rigidity, but for now I think the 2 pieces of 1/2" pipe is doing a good job.
My next challenged is to complete the lead nuts and couplers. I think I have a good start on the lead nuts, I will either be using some nylon spacers, or some 1.5" acetal round stock that I will tap with a 1/2-10 ACME tap... I found that making a jig using a cnc machine allows very accurate placement of the needed holes in the spacers/round stock. Finding parts to build the couplers with is causing a bit of a headache, any suggestions would be appreciated, I am going from the 1/4" motor shafts to 1/2"-10 acme screws, I was looking to use a few tubes like this: http://buildyourcnc.com/diycoupling.aspx, but I am having trouble finding a supply of aluminum tube of the right diameters.
Time is not really the enemy here, the longer this takes the more likely it is that I will be able to buy new electronics rather then strip them off the first machine... of course this goes against the natural urge to get it finished and running NOW
Oh well time to do do the real job so I can afford to this in the first place...<*sigh*>
Last edited by grumpygeek; 10-05-2009 at 08:28 AM.
Reason: missing/wrong words
That's an awesome writeup and an awesome contribution for the diy cnc community. Thank you for sharing.
Looking at it, I don't think it would be too hard to add 4 slots on one end and add some clamping force to help with back lash. Just a thought. That's how cncrouter parts does there, but I have read a review where they did say there was some backlash with their nut. http://cncrouterparts.com/product_in...products_id=37
I noticed that it had been almost a year since I started work on this router, in fact it has been almost 6 months since I did much work at all on it. But that is about to change, I just finished assembly and I expect to have my first run within the week. If nothing tragic happens I'll post some video... actually if something tragic happens I'll post that as well
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu9t9p3yCxc"]YouTube - DIY CNC Router First Cut[/nomedia]
This was the second attempt, on the 1st attempt I didn't notice the Z axis was homing above 0. I managed to cut a nice line in the material and put 3 holes well into my spoil board, but not into the table before I stopped it. At least nothing broke.
The parts being cut are for the next iteration of this machine, I am hoping to make it easier to assemble, faster, and reduce the flex in the Z axis, which is no worse than the Mini Rockcliff model D I built (which is probably due to the maker not the model D design), but I thought it would be better.
I also added an entry on my site that covers the final steps of getting it ready to run, which included creating the vacuum shoe.
So less than a month after I finish my last machine I am starting to build the next iteration. I have modeled it in SketchUp and thought I would solicit opinions before I start cutting (for a change). Please take a look and tell me what you think, and any recommendations you might have. In particular I am looking for alternatives to cross dowels, not that I have anything against them, but a cheaper alternative you be nice.