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Thread: Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help

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    Registered saddlepiggy's Avatar
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    Default Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help

    Hopefully this is the right sub-forum to post in. Sorry if it's not, I couldn't find a better forum.

    Hello! I am in the process of building a CNC machine for routing aluminum. I have came up with a design for a budget machine with a little less than a 10"x10" cutting area. Links to everything will be at the end of the post. It will be mostly 1" welded steel square tube with .083" walls from McMaster. I found some cheap 1204 ball screws and linear rails from China. The up and down axis (Z right?) has a 1605 ball screw. It will use a Makita RT0701c router. It will run NEMA 17s since I have 5 left over from a 3D printer, with a 3D printer control board (probably Arduino based).

    I already posted once about my previous design (horrible) on Reddit, got a lot of constructive criticism, and redesigned it version 2. I only have a few questions:

    1. Do I need something to cover up the ball screws and linear rails?

    2. Do I need a 2nd ball screw on for the forward/backward (Y right?) axis, or will the one on the side be enough?

    3. The tubes with the 2 M12 screws will be to hold the wasteboard. Will that be enough?

    4. Will masking tape and super glue work for workpiece holding? I have seen it done on much, much nicer and more powerful machines on YouTube, but I just wanted to double check.

    5. Is there any way at all to make it cheaper or use less materials? Can I get parts somewhere else for less money?

    If I missed anything or you have any questions, please tell me.

    Fusion 360 Share Link: https://a360.co/2r9lGxS

    1204 Ball Screws: https://www.banggood.com/SFU1204-400...r_warehouse=CN

    1605 Ball Screws: https://www.banggood.com/SFU1605-200..._warehouse=USA

    Linear Rails: https://www.banggood.com/MGN12H-2503...r_warehouse=CN

    Thank you for the help. -saddlepiggy

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    Default Re: Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help

    Quote Originally Posted by saddlepiggy View Post
    Hopefully this is the right sub-forum to post in. Sorry if it's not, I couldn't find a better forum.

    Hello! I am in the process of building a CNC machine for routing aluminum. I have came up with a design for a budget machine with a little less than a 10"x10" cutting area. Links to everything will be at the end of the post. It will be mostly 1" welded steel square tube with .083" walls from McMaster. I found some cheap 1204 ball screws and linear rails from China. The up and down axis (Z right?) has a 1605 ball screw. It will use a Makita RT0701c router. It will run NEMA 17s since I have 5 left over from a 3D printer, with a 3D printer control board (probably Arduino based).

    [While it's always nice to be able to use things one has on hand, this machine will probably perform much better with NEMA 23 motors. NEMA 17s are good for 3D printers, which don't have to push through materials, just lay down a bead of hot plastic. CNC routers need more torque.]

    I already posted once about my previous design (horrible) on Reddit, got a lot of constructive criticism, and redesigned it version 2. I only have a few questions:

    1. Do I need something to cover up the ball screws and linear rails?

    [It's not strictly necessary, but would help keep them from clogging up with swarf.]

    2. Do I need a 2nd ball screw on for the forward/backward (Y right?) axis, or will the one on the side be enough?

    [On a machine as small as yours, one ball screw can work fine to drive the long (X) axis, either a gantry or a moving table. But put it in the middle; driving the axis from one side won't work as well.]

    3. The tubes with the 2 M12 screws will be to hold the wasteboard. Will that be enough?

    [It's hard to say, since you haven't shared a picture of your design. But if the board is thick and rigid enough on its own, then probably.]

    4. Will masking tape and super glue work for workpiece holding? I have seen it done on much, much nicer and more powerful machines on YouTube, but I just wanted to double check.

    [I think you'll quickly discover the limitations of that method of workholding.]

    5. Is there any way at all to make it cheaper or use less materials? Can I get parts somewhere else for less money?

    saddlepiggy
    [That's the wrong question. You should be asking "Can I use the same amount of money and make it work better?"]

    Andrew Werby
    Website


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    Default Re: Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help

    1) With Nema 17's and that choice of spindle, it won't have enough power to make "chips", so you'll want to keep the fine shavings/dust out of the screws.

    2) Probably, as the it will flex if driven from only one side.

    3) Maybe ??

    4) Most likely, as your cutting forces will be very low

    5) It's already not going to work very well. It needs to be more rigid, and have bigger motors.

    Gerry

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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post

    [While it's always nice to be able to use things one has on hand, this machine will probably perform much better with NEMA 23 motors. NEMA 17s are good for 3D printers, which don't have to push through materials, just lay down a bead of hot plastic. CNC routers need more torque.]

    Is there any way I could gear up the motors? Or would that slow it down too much? I really don't want to have to buy new motors, because I might have to buy new electronics then, which is money I would really prefer not to have to spend.

    [It's not strictly necessary, but would help keep them from clogging up with swarf.]

    What exactly would you reccommend? What are those things that fold up as they compress and look like an accordion called? Would that work?

    [On a machine as small as yours, one ball screw can work fine to drive the long (X) axis, either a gantry or a moving table. But put it in the middle; driving the axis from one side won't work as well.]

    Thank you for that. I was steering myself away from a moving table for some reason. It's good to know it won't be an issue.

    [It's hard to say, since you haven't shared a picture of your design. But if the board is thick and rigid enough on its own, then probably.]

    That's what the Share Link is for. Is it not working?

    [I think you'll quickly discover the limitations of that method of workholding.]

    Could you elaborate at all? Would the double sided tape people use double sided tape on ShapeOkos work? I think it has been used for aluminum. I could be wrong.
    Sorry for asking so many questions. Thank you for the answers though. I greatly appreciate it.



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    Default Re: Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    5) It's already not going to work very well. It needs to be more rigid
    What about it needs to be more rigid/how can I make it more rigid?



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    Default Re: Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help

    NEMA17's are going to be a major weak point, I'd make sure you at least leave room to upgrade to NEMA23's later.
    How good of a welder are you? How are you planning to deal with warping and keeping things square?



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    Default Re: Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help

    If you give us an idea of what you plan on doing with this (level of precision required), we can give you better feedback! The approach you are taking will certainly be a bit weak and wobbly, but not knowing what you plan to make makes it hard to render judgment.



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Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help

Custom Budget Aluminum Routing CNC Machine Questions/Help