A little guidance, please!

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Thread: A little guidance, please!

  1. #1
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    Default A little guidance, please!

    I am an absolute beginner when it comes to electronics and CNC machines. That said, I want to build a CNC Router. I plan to use it to cut out things that I might normally use my scroll saw to cut out. I currently plan to use NEMA 23 stepper motors, ACME rods and backlash nuts for the drive system, round rods and linear bearings to guide it, and a wood frame for the machine. I'm an experienced woodworker and don't anticipate any problems putting the machine, minus the electronics and software, together. The electronics ans software are my areas of concern. II think I want to use an Arduino Uno with stepper controllers, along with grbl. I don't really know what else is needed.

    Where should I start my learning process for the electronics and software portions of the project? Can someone give me a rough outline of the steps I need to take once the CNC router is built? What electronics do I need? What (free?) software do you recommend? I've seen a few articles on the Internet, but, frankly, most of them go right over my head in the first paragraph or two. They also present too many options. I do have C programming experience, if that helps. I just need to have some idea on how to attack the learning curve.

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

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    Default Re: A little guidance, please!

    Just to give you a heads up, electronics on a CNC machine is considered "Basic" it`s only a bunch of switches (on/off , input, output, hi,low) on my opinion if you want to learn CNC machining dont assemble it, you need to have a practice unit first specially if you are still learning how program the CNC, the hard part on the learning curve is the programming of the G-code and the familiarity of the hardness in each material being cut, engraved, drilled, a $200 practice CNC unit is all you need to learn the basics, once you have the skills and wisdom you can now custom pick on what you want on your next CNC unit your planning to assemble, unless if you are used to manual machining and stuff that you are already familiar with the work basics.



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    Default Re: A little guidance, please!

    I think wooden CNC router is not very good alternative for the scroll saw because if we speaking about cutting something like 3/4" plywood it could take relatively long time if router is not beefy enough or underpowered. Wood tearout with spiral end mills could also pose a problem(down-cut bits are pricy), mills that has straight cutting edges are not good with chip evacuation when 100% width of cut and depth of 2 or 3 end mill diameters involved. Good place to start is to check for existing diy design that could do intended job...and that have video proving it :-)

    Software-wise everything is quite straightforward: Fusion360 is good as parts design software(youtube has thousands videos about it), bCNC has all features needed for everyday arduino/grbl cnc controller.

    Electronics is most difficult part because if router will have relatively big working area you will end up with 4 or 5 stepper motors eating more than 3 amps of power each and there no straightforward way to hookup all of them to arduino based motion control board. So again best place to start is to check for existing design and check what electronic parts are involved.

    ShapeOko wiki has extensive information about all aspects of router building https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/



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    Default Re: A little guidance, please!

    cnczone was highly recommended to me as a source of great information. It may be here, I just can't find it! Seems like everyone is into higher-end machines, not just a hobby cnc like me. Rather discouraged by the help.

    Please don't bother to respond to this thread. Bye.



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A little guidance, please!

A little guidance, please!

A little guidance, please!