View Full Version : Andrew's Viper XZ 30x48 build

12-27-2011, 01:21 AM
After some time waiting I've finally gotten the parts to assemble my first CNC.

I had originally intended to build a Solsylva 48 x 60 dual leadscrew machine. I even purchased about 80% of the materials needed to make it. The wood table the Viper XZ is on was to be the surface for the Solsyva but now it holds the Viper. I ran into this forum around May and was very impressed. I decided to swallow the loss and ordered a Viper XZ from George in July.

Building the actual machine from the parts is fairly simple and Chad's thread shows the steps where as I just spent 2.5 hours and put it all together. After putting one together I could probably assemble a second one in less than an hour. The machine is damn near Ikea-style in terms of difficulty in assembly.

Missing and on order are:

The bolts and what they screw into for the aluminum table surface.
The coupler for the Z-Axis stepper. I fouled mine up and George graciously offered to send me a replacement.
Cables and plugs for the steppers, drivers, power supply, etc.

I have a Intel Atom PC that I'm going to try running the system from. I'll give EMC Linux a go first to see if I can avoid having to buy Windows and Mach3. I have an unused copy of Windows here actually but it's version 7. Not so sure that would be okay.

Things I need to investigate:

Switches that turn off the system (or warn the PC) when an edge is hit to prevent damage.
A method to home the router.

Now a few pictures of what it looks like right now. Rio decided that the moment I wanted to take pictures was the same time that she needed to be sitting on the CNC.

Side view

Back view

Why isn't it finished yet?

12-27-2011, 11:24 AM
HA! George informs me that I've put the gantry on backwards but it will operate just fine that way. It just seemed logical to me to put it on that way. Oops!

Perhaps "Viper XZ" should be carved into that horizontal piece on the gantry?

12-27-2011, 01:36 PM
Things I need to investigate:

Switches that turn off the system (or warn the PC) when an edge is hit to prevent damage.
A method to home the router.

You're in luck - limit switches are often used for homing as well. I use hall effect but apparently the mechanical type work well too.

12-27-2011, 05:10 PM
HA! George informs me that I've put the gantry on backwards but it will operate just fine that way. It just seemed logical to me to put it on that way. Oops!

Perhaps "Viper XZ" should be carved into that horizontal piece on the gantry?

Looks like Kitty is laughing at you for it in that last picture! Mine are always doing that to me...

But congrats on the new machine--should do really well for you. Good looking shop helper too.


01-04-2012, 09:49 PM
Thanks to the recommendation by Pencil_&_Paper here http://www.cnczone.com/forums/1000497-post23.html I ordered the t-nuts and bolts from the same places. I received my order today.


A T-Nut being artsy

Installing them is easy. Drop in on on the edge.

Adjust with fingers.

Use a small screw driver to orientate it.

Then eye-ball the positions, lay the aluminum on top and adjust with a screw driver and bolt it down.

I ended up with a few spares. What can I do with these?

Oh nice! They slide right into the top. I can use these to hold down a sheet of MDF or the material I'm cutting. Nice!

This is where I am at now. I have a selection of plugs and cables coming from BG Micro and I still need to get a new coupler for the Z-Axis motor. I have the PC ready as well as the end mills, router bits, controller, and drivers.

I can reach up under the CNC because of my table design so needing to add lubrication to the ballscrew in the future will not be an issue.

01-04-2012, 09:54 PM
They are a lot easier than the side in ones. The drop ins will stay in spot ,slide in ones take forever to line up

01-04-2012, 09:55 PM
In couple weeks i will have the for the tops from me.

01-04-2012, 09:57 PM
Oh I know. You sent two of the slide in ones to hold the X-Axis to the Y/Z Gantry. Sadly I didn't see them until I built the whole thing. There's no dropping those suckers in. I had to disassemble an entire side to get them in.

They work well, just wish I had noticed that before.

I was happy that the t-nutz ones didn't need me to unscrew the ends to slide them in.

01-04-2012, 10:01 PM
I know i have done that so many times and i still forget, but i will also have the 10 series M5 dropins too

01-07-2012, 09:12 PM
And so begins the daunting task of wiring everything up. I had thought of building a simple box to hold all the drivers, CNC4PC C10, and the power supply but I decided against that. Instead I removed the ITX motherboard I had from the case and put it in a mid-tower. With the extra room it appeared that I could stick everything inside of the case so that I would have a single box. The stepper motors will plug into the front of the PC case using some professional microphone jacks/plugs that I bought.

I've stripped everything out of a Antec Three Hundred case:

Got the PSU and drivers mounted. The drivers will have two 120mm fans blowing across them. I don't think heat will ever be an issue.

Everything is installed. Yes it's a wire jungle, I'm not going to bother tidying that up until I get the drivers wired up.

Closer view. Parallel cable plugged in. What I have there is temporary. I plan on making a cable to go from the header on the motherboard to the C10 without looping back around the case.

The C10 will be powered via a 5v line from the PSU. Right now it's ugly but it should work.

Now I need to figure out how to wire everything up and how to install the limit switches. I have 6 microswitches but I haven't a clue about how/where to mount them to the frame just yet. Not

01-07-2012, 10:05 PM
Question on the T-nuts,

Are you talking about T-nuts that slot into the 80-20 frame to hold the table top on?, or T-nuts that slot into the table top to hold items onto the table top?

My last two of three boxes from George are due Monday, so I would like to order everything else I'm going to need to put this together.


01-07-2012, 10:07 PM
Thankfully the T-Nuts work in both so just order 50 and you're set.

01-15-2012, 02:44 AM
Installed the plugs for the motors. Using some mic connectors that I had found fairly cheaply. In the future I'll change them to screw on type plugs but these work well for now.

The case holds everything. Drivers, PSU for the PC and PSU for the motors, the break out board, plug, 3 fans to keep it all cool, and the plugins. Only the E-Stop and limit switches are missing from the case.

I connected all the wires but it was a horrible ugly mess and I was using 20 gauge wire for the power to the drivers. Over the distance not too big of a deal but still not good.

So I took everything out, replaced the 20 gauge with 16 gauge cut so that only a little slack exists. I replaced the 20 gauge wire jungle to the C10 board harvested PC PSU plugs that had nylon braiding on them. So much neater now.

I've not flipped the power switch yet. That's coming soon. I still have to install a set of optical limit switches. I have some physical ones but I don't like the way they work. The optical ones should be here in 3 - 5 days.

01-15-2012, 02:37 PM
I connected all the wires but it was a horrible ugly mess

Poaim, it's looking great! I bet your chewing your finger nails waiting to push that "Power On" button! On the wiring issue, I buy wire mesh guard to keep my control wiring looking nice and neat. It comes in various sizes and colors, the cheapest place I've found to buy it is from HobbyKing.com. Here's a link to their product: HobbyKing R/C Hobby Store : Wire Mesh Guard Black 3mm (1mtr) (http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=9551) that's for black 3mm but seach the site and you'll find all the sizes and colors.

Case looks nice, you did a great job. Look forward to more pictures.