start reading build logs on this forum
I am willing to build my own desktop cnc vertical milling machine. how do i start ?
just a guideline please
Last edited by axis_control; 02-01-2008 at 02:19 PM.
start reading build logs on this forum
1). Buy your stepper motors and controller. The best bet is to buy an all in one package. That is power supply, stepper motors, and stepper controller. In the long run it will save you time, money, and heartaches. I reccommend stepper world. I bought the hobbyist kit that came with everything I needed except the machine, computer, and software. No regrets here and I have had excellant support when needed.
2). Build the machine. I built mine from 1/4 20 all thread, roller skate bearings (EBAY 1/4 ID) and 5 sheets of MDF. It is 48"x24"x6". I built the mechanical part of the machine for less than $200.00. So total invested in my cnc router is about $600 which included 100.00 for Kcam Registered software and bits.
3). The hardest thng was getting started. Like I said I bought the stepper motors and controller firt and got that working Spinning and controlling the motors with a old computer then I built the machine. It took less than 40 hours to build a totally working accurate cnc router.
wow!..i have just been to the stepper world site & its something i was looking for it makes everything pretty easy to do. seriously this kit can be a good start for a newbiee as it makes everthing a lot less complicated
do u think the FET systems can be used to make a cnc machine that can mill pressure die casting dies? I am a newbiee & am not familiar with cnc`s. I know that milling a pdc die (like H-13 material)on cnc needs tough servos & machine. I have checked out the gallery section & haven,t found any one cutting steel & stuff except alluminium.
I would like to know what FET you have bought. Some pics are welcome
Thank you for ur reply as it has helped solve lot of complex questions in my mind before i knew about it..
i hate to say anything bad about the fet board because the guy was very nice and very helpfull , the fet3 is an ok board but you can get far better for roughly the same price or a little more
i quickly replaced mine with geckos and am using the fet to help my kid build a table ,its just too slow of a board and you need stove elements as resistors to push any heavy power thru them
A poet knows no boundary yet he is bound to the boundaries of ones own mind !! ........
So you buy your stepper motor system and then research, design and build your machine. Then you realise the stepper system does not have enough power for your new machine.
So just my opinion but I would:
1, Research machine designs that suit your requirements
2, Design or copy a machine to suit your requirements
3, Calculate power requirements for cutting and rapid speeds you are happy with.
4, Research stepper/servo system availability and cost.
5, Research other necessary electronics components.
6, Research software requirements and cost.
7, Buy necessary components
8, Build your machine
Like I said this is just my opinion
(Smile) The KISS method is "Keep it simple stupid" which applies to me.
I am a hobbyist and I use my home made cnc router for wood projects. As I said I am extremely happy with my FET 3 board and the hobbyist kit that I bought from Stepper world. No issues no headaches all PLUG AND PLAY. I hooked it up, it worked, I had a bad power supply (no 12v I used the 5v supply instead). I sent one email to stepper world and they mailed me another one free and I had it in 5 days. I emailed Curtis at stepper world and have had nothing but OUTSTANDING support and answers to all my questions when needed. The same with Kelly at Kcam....OUTSTANDING support from these two guys. I know a lot of folks don't like Kcam either.... But for me it works, it is user friendly and you don't need a manual or specialized training on how it works and it is reasonably priced.
Ok now for the answer to your question and more details on my cnc router. Using the 5v supply ( I can still move up to the 12v supply included in the hobbyist kit if I need more speed/power) but I would have to use the heat disapating resistors that came with the kit.
Not a biggy to me. My choice of using the low power 5v option means my motors will last longer, and I don't have to worry about overheating my motors/electronics and burning them up. (I am a electro-mechanical tech by profession 30 yrs exp). Right now I am cutting at roughly 12 Inches per minute and have stepped up to 17 IPM but the final cut results aren't as good as 12 IPM.
One thing that is bogging down my system is that the computer I am using is a antique AMD K6 333 mhz but the price was right...(FREE). I also had the extra hi powered FETS added to the FET board when I purchased it and it seems like my system has more enough power to do anything I want. Nothing in my system is hot I don't need to run fans or heat sink the motors/electronics due to the low power 5v supply I am using.
I haven't tried GECKO drives and frankly never heard of them. Sounds like they are better than the FET-3 system. But for me I wanted a plug and play system ready to go out of the box that I knew was bench tested before I got it. I suggest emailing Curtis at stepperworld and asking him any technical questions then doing the same for the GECKO drives. This will also tell you a lot about the company and who will give you support if and when you need it....
I do know that my FET 3 hobbyist system would drive a industrial mill with no problem or at least the mill I used in tech school which would cut stainless steel. So I think that the FET 3 system would drive anything you wanted to do. I also know that stepper world has other packages that have more power with bigger stepper motors. One thing I would mention is that If you are going to be cutting metal I wouldn't go with a home made machine. I would purchase a industrial mill and simply add the cnc system to the mill.
Here again is the KISS method. Keep it simple, cutting metal requires some serious torque which can only be achieved a geared system. Check out EBAY or harbour freight for mills. Also when cutting metal you need to run coolant for cutting fluid so you need a pump system so you don't don't burn up your end mills (bits). A home made system would not be as good as a store bought mill. Converting any industrial mill or lathe to CNC would be relatively easy. BUT making a home made cnc mill for cutting metal would take a bit of doing. I wouldn't re-invent the wheel in this regard. Buy a industrial mill and add a cnc system to it.
Good luck I hope this helps. Remember I am not an expert, just a hobbyist who loves to tinker. If I have the time I'll post some pics later this week. Right now I am swamped with orders... Good luck.
If you decide a scratch build is going to be too much you’re looking at converting a manual mill to CNC. So you want to be looking here.
Look through some threads and ask questions about other member’s machines. You will find most members happy to help out.