View Full Version : My router project

05-27-2003, 05:28 PM
Here's my machine!

Got the frame almost finished. Gonna use 20 mm Hiwin linear slides.

Now, Gotta make the final decisions on the motion control. Thinking about 3/4" x 5 Acme leadscrews and 0 lash Supernuts.

For motors and drivers I am thinking about 600 in. oz. servos (500 cpr) and Gecko 340s. This should give me plenty of resolution at the single pulse per step rate and faster cutting speeds in the multistep mode (.00025" vs .0025"). Obviously a lot of other factors come into play regarding accuracy. But the drivers and motors area key factor, all other things being kept under a reasonable amont of control.

My goal is to be able to cut at high speeds at a modest resolution and high resolution at low speeds.

NC application will be Mach 2 and
CAM app will be Visualmill to take laser scanned inputs and create 3D surface cutting routines.

Does this make sense?.... Comments... Suggestions????

05-27-2003, 06:39 PM

Where does the z axis get fastened to? How large is the work envelope?


05-27-2003, 06:55 PM
Is your router based on plans from Campbell Designs? The frame looks familiar. You will not need very strong servo motors when they are running on ball bearing slides. Unless you plan to connect the motors at a direct drive. My 430 oz/in servo motors run my router with lots of power.

05-28-2003, 12:42 AM
Yes, it is a Campbelldesigns machine. The envelope is 36x24x6. The Z axis carriage is not built yet, but will be mounted on the 3x3 bridge on top.

I am planning to run it direct drive as originally designed, but I am open to suggestions as noted in my initial post. The original uses 520 in. oz. steppers and maybe I should follow suit. My consideration of servo motion control is to be able to do full 3d surfacing as efficiently as possible.

Again, comments are certainly welcome.

05-28-2003, 11:54 AM
Direct drive is fine. Steppers are also fine, but you will get much finer moves with servos and lots of power and top speed. Your description of the servos sounds like Camtronics servos. Dan has good products.

05-28-2003, 02:22 PM
Thanks Jeff

Glad to see your comments on Dan's stuff. Dan is a heckuva nice fella to work with. Definitely knows his stuff.They do look like real fine, well thought out, and cleanly executed products. Your website gave me valuable insight as well. Really provided some good pics of Dans servo controller, that really clinched the sale for me.

Even in direct drive it looks like a Dan's big servo system will have a minimum resolution of .0002 with a 5 pitch leadscrew.

Looks like it is time to put the old Paypal to work!!!

Got my lead screw bearings and bearing blocks machined and assembled last night. Will machine the motor mounts for one axis tonight. Kinda ticklish since I don't have a mill. I got a faceplate clamps and a spring loaded pump center for the lathe though!

Thanks again

Mike Twombley

06-04-2003, 12:02 AM
I am tring to make a list of things togather to get ready to build a cnc router. If I am wrong on anything please let me know. I am so impressed with all these cnc routers that I have to build one. I love wood working.

This is my list of items.

3 axis driver board
3 stepper motors
bazllest resistors
cooling fan
parallel port cable(DB25)
stepper motor cable
filter capacitor

If anyone can help with this list I would appreciate it.

06-04-2003, 08:34 AM
Some of that stuff can be bought as a package deal. Saves having to figure it all out.

See www.stepperworld.com, for example.

06-04-2003, 11:45 AM
Check out Dan at Camtronics


He seems to have a well designed product line in a range of capacities, reasonably priced two. My 600 oz in. oz. servo controller and drives should come in at about 1300 dollars.

Customers are giving him good reviews on the quality of his product. My experience is, he gives good feedback and tehnical advice as well. Stepper world has good selection of hardware as well.

Jeff Davis at:
www. Homecnc.info

has a very informative website and has posted to this thread a couple of times. I have gained a lot of insight there as well. I have a mill like his I want to convert once this first machine is complete.

Did some Business with OnlineMetals the other day. Pretty good source. Some prices werea little more than expected but some specialty stuff was killer priced, Great deal , fast service. Thumbs up!

Absolutely amazing how much is out there. Once ya start browsing around.


06-04-2003, 03:11 PM
Thank You very much for the info. I will check it out later. I am just trying to come up with a list so I can get everything right.

06-04-2003, 11:18 PM
What is good software to use to control a cnc router. I want to be able to use mastercam to make the program, send the nc code to the router, is this posible? I am learning so I am trying to learn more about cnc routers. I am thinking of making a router with a cutting area of 24" x 24" x 12".

06-05-2003, 12:14 AM
If in XP land I like Deskcnc (http://www.deskcnc.com )

For Dos you can use turbocnc (www.dakeng.com/turbo.html ) or Maxnc (www.maxnc.com)


06-05-2003, 08:32 AM
Yes Mastercam works. You may need to download a post proccesor. I think there is one for Turbocnc.


06-05-2003, 10:49 AM
Jimmy keep an eye open for Mach 2. It is in beta stage now but it looks like it will be a real professional controller when done. I also use MasterCam and ArtCam. Untill Mach 2 is done I am using CNCPro now. I have modified a post in MasterCam to work nice with CNCPro. You can do the same for other controllers.

06-05-2003, 11:27 PM
Thanks alot I will checkup on it.

10-04-2004, 06:46 PM
Too many projects too little time.

Got most all of the machining on the mechanism complete.

Rails and screws are complete and installed.

Built a stand to mount the machine on.

More detail to follow

High Seas
10-04-2004, 07:31 PM
twombo -
Gotta a quick question 9or 2) for ya:
did you make your own sldies for the X axis? - or are they "stock" 80/20 or bosch or??? Do they feel tight? Any impression on how they will work? Been waiting to try some myself - just would like to have a reference before I head down that track - Thanks - cheers - Jim
BTW NICE looking rig - like the set up - cool.

10-04-2004, 07:53 PM
If you look close (or read his first post) :D It uses Hiwin (like THK) rails.

10-04-2004, 09:52 PM
Yes. 20 mm LGH HiWins on x and y, 15mm THKs on Z.

Will get you the actual part numbers. Must clean up the spreadsheet and post it soon. I have complete cost figures.

3/4" drive screws with anti-backlash Supernuts on X and Y and 1/2" Supernuts on the Z. So far it seems very rigid. All 80/20 extrusions.
If I build another, I'll buy em pre-machined.

God, there is a lot of wiring! I used to work on B-52 bombers, not that bad but close. I am making a full set of schematics and a parts breakdown to document this mess!! Working on the last wiring bits of a Camtronics Power supply equipped with Gecko 320s and 600 In.Oz servos. Next comes the sensor, spindle control, and servo motor/encoder wiring

The electronics is based on a Camtronics power supply with a Campbell Interface board. integrating the two is a little tedious but I like the proximity sensors and opto isolation circuits, not to mention the "charge pump" circuit. It should make a nice reliable and well protected system using Mach 2.

Trying to figure out how to fit the Grizzly dust collector system now.

All I wanted was a little little wooden sh*t house, and I have a minor league Taj Mahal!!!

High Seas
10-05-2004, 08:33 AM
Oops missed that - the Hiwin rails - 1st post was a while back and Totally missed that one! The latest image at 2 to 3x shows it better Thanks guys.

11-04-2004, 01:30 AM
Your on the right track,but since your going whole hog use a finer tpi leadscrew. Your rapids will be up to it,and you have the repeatability with the encoders. You can get 0.5 micron resolution. The only error you will get is if the room temp changes. Just what the doc ordered for those big engraving jobs!!

11-05-2004, 11:40 AM
Ive been looking all this stuff over for several weeks now, searching sites and reading stuff in here. I want to build one of these machines but just did'nt know where to start. I think Ive settled on buying plans for Campbell designes and building a machine 34"x24"x6" just like this one. But as a total newbey, would you guys recomend campbell designes? Will they help me out along the way so I dont go off and buy a bunch of stuff I dont need and not buy the stuff I do. I'm looking for a recomemdation on how to get started. I'm sure I can figure this all out as I go, but dont want to stumble to much along the way?

11-05-2004, 12:40 PM
Bob's a good guy with good support, although I haven't built one of his machines. Be aware that a machine built from his plans is going to cost about $2000 or more. Depending on where you get your parts from.

11-05-2004, 03:54 PM
Excellent support!!! Two thumbs up. Premade parts are very reasonable. In fact your better get a really good deal on the raw stock before thinking of making your own. Nicely machined parts. It's not a cheap machine, but it's very rigid and I expect long and trouble free and accurate service.

11-05-2004, 04:16 PM
Pre made parts will be very important for me, as I do not have my own shop. I've been milling oiut wood parts with a homeade drill mill and I need far more acuracy for production, so I've decided that this is the way to go. But it will have to be done a piece at a time, paycheck to paycheck and thats probably good. So I can read and understand things before the money goes out. Thanks alot guys I'll be getting my plans within the next two weeks and speaking with Mr Campbell on how to proceed from there. Thanks again.

11-05-2004, 04:25 PM
That is what I have done.

A bit at a time.

I started with the frame and moving table, then the slides, then the screws and z axis carriage, then servos and power supply, finally the massive rolling stand and now I am doing wiring. Been at it for over a year but it is all paid for with no credit card bill and did not dig into savings even once.

I see light at the end of the tunnel and a digitizing probe is the last major item to order.

11-05-2004, 05:07 PM
Thats the only way to fly! Thanks twombo!