For the people with CNC experience, do you mind reading my post to tell me if I'm going in the right path for my needs? I greatly appreciate it!
I'm getting all my chickens in a row to build a CNC router table to cut mostly flat light foam and some light ply/balsa wood parts.
I saw the Phlatprinter (phlatboyz.com) kit and loved the idea right away, untill I researched it some more and found that the Phlatpriner is just built with parts from the hardware store, and if I wanted a more precise Phlatpriner I would have to mod it for better parts. That made me lose my interest in it. So I thought for around the same price as the RTR Phlatpriner kit, I can build myself a more precise CNC router table.
Like I said, I only plan to cut sheets of foam and balsa/light ply. I'm hoping it will handle up to 1/4" ply, but if not it's no biggie. For right now I want to just cut foam but I do want to build it so in time when I learn more about 3D designing it will be able to have the ability to shape foam parts (I.E. foam fuselages for RC airplanes, foamcore wings etc etc) But for right now my knowledge is only on 2D part cut outs.
My need is for something very precise, quick and easy to use, has the ability to precisely mill foam and wood and precisely cut foam and wood.
What I have in mind for the design: I basically just want an overhead gantry CNC table router that has a cutting area of about 45"-50" L x 25"-30" W, with the Z axis to move about 6"-10". I plan on building the CNC router structure out of aluminum and have it sit on a precisely built MDF table. To keep the cost down, I want to use a open ended belt drive system with pulleys to drive the X and y axis. Allthough, I have no CNC experience other than reading, I'm still unsure if the belt drive system would be good enough for the size of table I want to build and if the belts would possibley stretch under load. Or, the belts might just be enough sense I'm not gonna be cutting hard material.
Here are the parts I have lined up so far.
I wanna get these slides for the X and Z axis because the prices are right. Note: I'm not gonna get the 55" slide for the Z axis. I plan on getting around a 30"-40" slide: http://cgi.ebay.com/55-CNC-Router-Li...item5d262b2c1f
The question I have about these slides. For the size of CNC talbe I want to build would these slides sag? Would it be better for me to get the more expensive fully supported rails or would that not be neccesary for the type of material I will be cutting?
As for the drive system. I was just looking at the driver package Phlatboyz.com is selling for $224 bucks with 3 128oz stepper motors http://www.phlatboyz.com/phlatstore/...product=369624
Would this be plenty for the type of materials I will be cutting and does anyone know if this driver package is very precise? As you all know, there are hundreds of drivers and steppers to choose from on the internet, I'm struck as to which ones to consider. I don't want to spend $500 for a driver package when I could of spent $200 and on something that can get the job done just as good. What I'm looking for in a driver package is reliability, long operating life, and accuracy. I'm not sure as to how many OZ of torque I will need though.
This ebay store sells pulleys and belts. Here is the open ended belt I have found. http://cgi.ebay.com/TIMING-BELT-OPEN...item3ca16af801
Maybe some of you can tell me if this belt would be plenty for my needs? I really don't want to get into ballscrews or acmes screws, I choose the belt for simplicity and cost but if the belt won't do it I will resort to something else. I'm not stuck on this particular belt, some of you may know where I can get better belt drive parts from another website. If you can post up what you know of I would really really appreciate it.
For cutting, I just plan on using the regular Dremel or Rotozip.
Well I think that's about it. I'm gonna continue reading, I'm hoping some of you can guide me through this so I can hopefully do it the right way first without wasting money on parts that won't fit my needs.
All help greatly appreiciated!!!