View Full Version : getting serious about building CNC plasma

05-27-2006, 06:20 AM
I am in the process of acquiring parts and tools to build a CNC plasma cutter. I am currently living in Shanghai China, and didn't bring much with me, so I've had to pick up a few tools along the way :) . I'm planning to build a machine that is 1.5M X 1.5M, and I intend to build it out of aluminum. I want to use 40mm square tube with 2mm wall, and then double them up for strength. I purchased some supported linear rods and bearings today, they are 16mm diameter rods. Hopefully, those will be stong enough. They only cost me about $75 for a couple of 1.5M supported rods plus four linear bearings, so not too expensive here. I'm trying to decide between chain drive like several here have used, and timing belt drive. Timing belts would be a lot lighter, but the chains would probably be cheaper and more robust. Motors are easy to get and cheap here. Drivers will probably have to come from the US (Gecko or equiv), but I may be able to find some here.

Any feedback on my plans so far? Especially on using aluminum vs. steel and supported linear rod/bearings vs. pipe and inline skate bearings?


11-19-2007, 12:51 PM
Hi I spent a short time in Shanghai, as you say no shortage of parts especially on the Beijing Road, I have never seen so many engineering shops all selling the same stuff in one place. Personally having made over 100 machines I would go for the timing belt drive. Aluminium is very good with low cost linear slides, perhaps use a bit of steel on the bed but everythig else aluminium flat plate or extrusion.

Just noticed your post date - I think my reply may be a bit late you have most likely finished by now .