I know I should do an introduction so here's a quicky.
My name is Chris.. I was an apprentice during high school at a pretty well known press rebuild and tool making shop in the Midwest. After I graduated I ran a lathe cell at the company doing setup and running parts on a Warner & Swasey 24" chucking lathe (Original Allen Bradley NC unit, converted from tape to RS232), and a Bardons & Oliver 24" chucking lathe (Fanuc Controls). I did this for almost 2 years until I moved on to another career field.. I've missed the shop ever since.
I've gone back to school and now i'm in an Electrical Engineering program and do a lot of PCB manufacturing.. I thought with my knowledge of CNC, and my need for a way to make accurate and quick PCB layouts that making my own small machine would be perfect.. That brings us to now.
I've been working on my little CNC routing machine for the last couple weeks. I have a 40 hour job and a 17 hour course load at school so I don't have much time to dedicate to the project..
Here is my original design:
Once I started doing more research, I realized that I wanted a bit more accuracy out of the machine.. So I replaced the static slides with heavy duty drawer slides and started building.
Once I got to this stage, I realized that a gantry setup would allow me much more usable table area so I made a few mental design changes and started building the gantry setup.
This is where I'm at as of today. I'm stuck on a good way to work out the z-axis so any suggestions on bearing systems that are fairly slimline and will work good with my setup is much appreciated.
I've also got the electronics on order, and have figured out my software package. EMC2 for the human interface, a china 3-axis motor card for the hardware interface, and 180oz/" NEMA17 motors.
I will be running the table and gantry on 1/2" - 10 ACME threaded rod.
Once again any information regarding a good way to build the z-axis is much appreciated!
You can find more detailed information on the build at cmjDEV