After a bit of research I decided on the Solsylva 13x13 as my toe-in-the-water approach to building a CNC. I'm satisfied with the choice - the instructions are very clear, and I've learned a lot.
I've gotten the X & Y axis's complete and have uploaded a video to "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dplQAxvOm3g"]youtube
When I was doing my research on different builds and designs I was amazed to find out that the majority of builds tend to be "based on" someone else's plans, but modified by the builder for their own special reason. I wanted to build one exactly following the plans, and that's what I've done.
In the video I am running it at 8 IPM, but it worked equally well at 12 and 25IPM.
I have a pen attached in leiu of a z axis for now.
I have ordered a Bosch Colt and will look to complete the Z axis this week.
- CNCplans from Solsylva.com
- Unit is 13x13, uses 1/4" x20 threaded rod, fixed gantry / moving x axis table
- Frame is built from 1x4 and 2x4 pine, bottom is covered with spar varnish, gantry is blue solid color deck stain
- Steppers are 270oz bi polar / 4 wire
- Electronics are a kit purchased on Ebay for ~$200 for control board and power supply
- The circuit board design is TB5650
- Wire from power supply to board is 12 gauge (romex)
- Wire from board to steppers is 20 gauge
- Computer is a Dell OPTIPLEX GX280 P4 2.80 GHz / 1.0 GB / 40 GB / Windows XP purchased off Craigslist for $50 just for this application
- Mach3 in demo mode running the steppers
- Gcode for the spirograph came from the Spirocnc program I found here -- Thanks Steve/Spalm for that!
Overall, an educational and exciting project for me. I took the low budget approach with the driver and got a cheap kit off of Ebay. The instructions left a lot to be desired but I spent too much time worrying and thinking about it. Once I got it hooked up it worked fine.
I already have the wanderlust thinking about my next, larger build. But for now I want to complete this and get into some basics cutouts and routing, maybe try a carving bit and program too.
CNCZone is an awesome site, I've learned a lot an continue to find great info and helpful people here.
If anyone reading this has any suggestions for a 'starter' end mill that will fit the 1/4 collet on my Router, please let me know. For now my needs are simply cutting and drilling 1/4" to 1/2" plywood and MDF.