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twowalls
08-04-2008, 03:33 PM
Hello! This thread has been a long time coming. I'm sorry if this is long and boring as I'm not very good at organizing my thoughts into words. I've been wanting to document my build but for different reasons I haven't gotten around to it until now. I've actually been thinking about building a diy cnc machine for a couple of years now. I first saw one on our local RC airplane forum. I thought that it would be neat to have one. I surf'd the internet and saw many different ones. I think that there was one called "Pipe Dream" that I wanted to base mine off of but I only went as far as to buying a 2' x 4' sheet of particle board and some pipe.

We (wife and I) bought a house last year and met some people in our neighborhood who sold wooden letters and were looking for someone locally to cut them. With that I was able to convince my wife to let me proceed with building the cnc machine. I decided to go with the "buildyoucnc.com" design. While I was doing that I came across Joe's 2006 machine and thought that it was AWESOME! So I made some changes to my machine to include some of the parts of Joe's (because I knew that once my first one was made I would pretty much only use it to cut pieces for the 2006). I think that is when I became addicted to CNCZone.com. I have probably read all of the threads here in Joe's section of the forum and downloaded all of the pictures so that I could stare at them in my free time. I read everything and learned a lot. I finished my first one with a lot of loose ends intending to take care of them when the REAL machine was done. I downloaded all of Joe's files and imported the STEP files into Solidworks. I designed everything to how I wanted. My wife kept asking what I was doing and didn't understand why I was working on another machine. So I had to explain to her the shortcomings of my first one. She just rolled her eyes at that. I wanted to start a thread on the "zone" at that point but knew my machine fell short. Oh yeah it was amazing and neat to my friends and family who saw it, but I knew how it stacked up (or didn't stack up) to the ones that I read about here. Hmmm... I don't want this to drag on and on so I'll put up some pictures and continue in another post. I didn't take many pictures of the first machine because It wasn't that great. My first cut was the Bull's Head sign. It cut too deep and didn't come out that well.

Nate

twowalls
08-04-2008, 03:51 PM
Hmmm... I don't know why the picture of the Bull's Head sign didn't post. Oh well. The story continues...

As I was modelling Joe's 2006 in Solidworks I decided that I wanted a greater cutting area so I made it bigger. I know, I know. I'm pushing the limits. That is probably another reason I didn't post earlier. Everybody telling me that it is not a good idea to go much bigger. I guess that I'm stubborn that way. It's just when I get an idea in my head I just have to try it out for myself. So I designed a table area of about 36" by 66". Cutting the pieces took a long time. I screwed up a lot of pieces which meant that I had to wait to buy more MDF. It was really frustrating but just strengthened my resolve to finish. I quickly realized that I had to do something about the dust. It was everywhere! I had some painters plastic that I hung around the machne from the ceiling which did okay at keeping it away from everything else in the garage but the dust still got all over the machine. So I bought a Rigid shopvac from Home Depot. I made a cheesy mount for it and that helped. I actually never put a shroud around the vac mount which still let dust out. I should say that the first thing that I cut was the Z-axis of the 2006 so that I could replace the one that I had. Instead of pipes for my machine I had alum. angle so it worked fine. Here are some pictures that I snapped. You can see that I created a pocket on the inside of the outside gantry piece so that I could put a 1/4" flat steel bar before I glued the two pieces together. Hopefully this helps with bending. I also have alum angle on the outside too.

twowalls
08-04-2008, 03:59 PM
One thing that I was excited to make was this pinwood derby car. The men at my church decided to have a pinewood derby race as an activity. Unfortunately I don't have the means to cut a 3D model yet (I also didn't have a design) so I decied to do a different take on just the block. I used my router to pretty much hollow out the inside to make it light. With some wheel prep I actually didn't do too bad considering that I built it the day of the race. these pictures also show that my Z-axis isn't perpendicular to the surface.

twowalls
08-04-2008, 04:25 PM
So here is the stage that I'm at right now. It is upside down with the screw in place. I just need to have some friends come back over and help me turn it right side up. The pieces that are not painted are ones that I'm going to redo. My other machine did not have a flat table so some parts did not come out as well as I would like so I'm going to redo them with this better (hopefully) machine. I still have to make a stand to put it on and a variety of other things to do before I can sit back and say FINISHED! Of course then I would like to upgrade to a more aggresive screw and I need to replace certain MDF parts with HDPE parts. It's not in the budget for those upgrades yet. I still need to make some neat stuff so that my wife can see it's value. I have really enjoyed building this and I know that I'll have fun using it to make other stuff.

Feel free to ask me anything about my machine. I know that I left out a lot of details because I don't want to put anyone to sleep. I know that sometimes when I read a thread I scroll down to where there are pictures. So if anyone would like to know more just ask! I'll post more as I go.

Nate

teamtexas
08-04-2008, 09:36 PM
The build looks great so far! Only thing I see that you need is a place to put it, looks like its catching a little porch time :o Your not sleeping in the dog house yet are you?

Dan