Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?


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Thread: Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

  1. #1
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    Default Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

    I've been touch with some of my supplier to provide a good CNC-ready milling platform to DIYers. The design goal is to give you a solid platform that is easily customization and up-gradable.

    1. CNC-ready platform where you just need to add your own electronics and steppers. Comes with motor mount
    2. Ballscrews on all axis
    3. Linear rail on all axis
    4. Spindle wise, I'm considering either R8, BT30 with ATC capability built-in, or no spindle version.


    So far, we have settled on two platforms.

    Small Version:
    1. X travel: 220mm/8.7 in.
    2. Y travel: 120mm/4.7 in.
    3. Z travel: 220mm/8.7 in.
    4. Weight: ~70kg/160lbs


    Big version:
    1. X travel: 350mm/13.8 in.
    2. Y travel: 210mm/8.3 in.
    3. Z travel: 300mm/11.8 in.
    4. Weight: ~200kg/500lbs



    Price wise, it won't be as cheap as a mini mill or RF45 but I think it can be more competitive vs other commercial hobby grade machine.

    Nothing set in stone yet so I'm just throwing this out there to see if there is any interest in such platform or any input.

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by millerlite; 05-03-2019 at 12:39 AM.


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    Default Re: Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

    Not enough info. What are you trying to sell? If you're trying to appeal to the US market you should give imperial measurements as well since that's what most of us still use. Post some pictures of the cad design as well if you're serious about building something for resale.



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    Default Re: Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

    Thanks. I updated with the travel distance in inches. The goal is to create a plug and play CNC platform like the Taig CNC but more robust and equipped ballscrews and linear rail for higher accuracy and less backlash.



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    Default Re: Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

    Its an interesting idea.
    My first thought is what is the construction of the basic machine, because that would dictate the usage, so I'll assume cast iron, steel weldments? So milling hard metals?
    Next, If I am minded towards this type of project I would also consider other machines, so what makes your project a consideration? Ease of conversion? Cost?

    I think the DIY crowd here is very price sensitive and very likely to put the time into conversion rather than pay for convenience of a bolt-on project.

    Consider this thought experiment: If the most popular chinese imports made some slight modifications to the basic castings to allow bolt-on cnc conversions ( to make it easier than now with the kits available), How would your offering compare on a cost versus features basis? I'm skeptical, especially when economies of scale are factored in.

    I just converted an X2, If I had my druthers I would have bought it without the acme screws, and motor controller. It would have had a spindle and motor already fitted with pulleys. The spindle would preferably have a taper that I could hand tighten to start with, but convert to a pneumatic release later on. It would have had the mounting holes for angular contact bearings and NEMA motors predrilled and taped. The ways already machined and filled with gibs.

    (there was post on these forums on a similar topic about 6-9 months ago)



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    Default Re: Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

    From my perspective as a hobby user.

    Price and capability are the biggest concerns for me as a hobby user. Price is of great concern because this is a hobby for me and I don't make any money with my machines. I only have so much money to spend on this hobby so again price is very important. Capability is important because I tend to make parts out of steel a lot and need rigidity. Work envelope is also important and leads back to capability.

    As far as work envelope, your work envelope is much too small for my taste. You mention an RF 45 in your post, but even the travel specs for your "large" machine are less than an RF45 type machine. My RF45 clone has 22" X travel, 8.5" Y travel, and 13.75" Z travel. The travels you mention for the "large" machine are 13.8, 8.3, and 11.8 respectively. I can achieve those travels with my Grizzly G0704 which I would not consider "large" by any means.

    I recently bought a RF45 type machine with VFD controlled spindle for $2500 which included all taxes and delivery. Certainly the linear rails and ballscrews already installed is worth something, but if the price point isn't at least close to what an RF45 type machine is then I personally would not even consider it and it should be at least as rigid.

    As far as the linear rails is concerned, I personally think people put too much stock in them. Although they certainly have benefits, I have never had any problem with dovetails for my use and I doubt that most people really require them even if they have them on a metal cutting machine. Linear rails for me isn't a have to have by any stretch.

    I currently have my RF45 machine running under CNC in the X and Y axes and will have the z running soon. With all of the parts to put ballscrews, mounts, etc on, including all electronics and NEMA 34 closed loop steppers, I will be right at about $4000 when completed. If the machine you are proposing can't achieve the work envelope, rigidity and price then I personally would not consider it.

    If it were a money making endeavor where I was making money on the parts coming out of the machine, I would not even consider a converted machine and would go to a turn key machine.

    Just my 2 cents worth.



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    Default Re: Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

    Quote Originally Posted by 109jb View Post
    From my perspective as a hobby user.

    Price and capability are the biggest concerns for me as a hobby user. Price is of great concern because this is a hobby for me and I don't make any money with my machines. I only have so much money to spend on this hobby so again price is very important. Capability is important because I tend to make parts out of steel a lot and need rigidity. Work envelope is also important and leads back to capability.

    As far as work envelope, your work envelope is much too small for my taste. You mention an RF 45 in your post, but even the travel specs for your "large" machine are less than an RF45 type machine. My RF45 clone has 22" X travel, 8.5" Y travel, and 13.75" Z travel. The travels you mention for the "large" machine are 13.8, 8.3, and 11.8 respectively. I can achieve those travels with my Grizzly G0704 which I would not consider "large" by any means.

    I recently bought a RF45 type machine with VFD controlled spindle for $2500 which included all taxes and delivery. Certainly the linear rails and ballscrews already installed is worth something, but if the price point isn't at least close to what an RF45 type machine is then I personally would not even consider it and it should be at least as rigid.

    As far as the linear rails is concerned, I personally think people put too much stock in them. Although they certainly have benefits, I have never had any problem with dovetails for my use and I doubt that most people really require them even if they have them on a metal cutting machine. Linear rails for me isn't a have to have by any stretch.

    I currently have my RF45 machine running under CNC in the X and Y axes and will have the z running soon. With all of the parts to put ballscrews, mounts, etc on, including all electronics and NEMA 34 closed loop steppers, I will be right at about $4000 when completed. If the machine you are proposing can't achieve the work envelope, rigidity and price then I personally would not consider it.

    If it were a money making endeavor where I was making money on the parts coming out of the machine, I would not even consider a converted machine and would go to a turn key machine.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    I agree. Work envelope is way too small to get interest in these imo.

    I'll be at a similar $4,000 cost with my PM25 clone fully fitted w ballscrews + nema34's.
    Been adapted to give me the option of 200mm on the Y (185mm as is atm) and should get around 480mm+ on the X.
    Y= 7.2 to 7.8" and X= around 18.9". Weight = around 140kg.
    Table size itself is 180x700mm

    My Sieg X2 gets 152mm Y & 230mm X. Many things I end up struggling to fit hence me getting the new clone.
    The table tends to twist slightly due to it being only 100mm depth on the Y axis. Too short.



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    Default Re: Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

    If I was designing one I'd go for a table size of 180x700mm. The main areas I'd look at are:
    Have 190mm Y 475mm X travel at the very least.
    Have the base long enough so that on the Y axis the saddle doesn't overhang the machine at the extremes of travel.
    Have the table rear max travel to leave only a small space between the saddle and column.
    Have the spindle centre distance from column the same as the Y travel to have the table centred.

    When I got my PM clone the table was nowhere near centre to the spindle. At it's max rear travel it was over 35mm away from the column and overhung the front by at least 75mm! with 185mm travel overall. Hated it!

    Now with my adjustments it goes rear to a distance from the column of only 15mm and overhangs the front by 59mm at the forward extremes with an overall travel of 200mm. It isn't quite centred still because my spindle centre is only 185mm away from the column. A 10mm spacer behind the head will get it bang on if I need to.



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    Default Re: Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

    I can add my 2 cents to 109jb' ... for a total of 4 cents...
    All-in-all considered it would be hard to beat the machine I've just purchased recently as your "big category mill"- PM-727v - I got mill (not including stand) for under $2300 with shipping...
    I see it as a purposely built mill for CNC conversion.

    It's powerful spindle 1.5HP BLDC VF motor with potentiometer driven variable speed , in essence a conversion already done - driving it with DAC from the controller board instead of pot I see as almost "ready made". All specs are good for your "big mill" list. Though debatable but I think a well done double ball screws can be competing with rails for a low backlash... in terms of a price for these features ballscrews will be winners for sure...
    The only downside is this: Precision Mathews recently replied to my request for the VF schematic stating that manufacturing factory will not provide electric schematic of VF control to prevent the users from "messing" with it ! In other words they don't want users to buy their machine for a CNC conversion !!! According to PM you either do manual milling or don't buy it ...
    But this is a small hurdle to overcome if you have oscilloscope and multimeter...........
    On another hand I doubt a new "purposely built" CNC mill can compete in price of a larger size category mill with PM-727v ... and even harder in the smaller size mills for they are truly low for their value...
    Saying that, I am sure everybody will agree here that any newcomer to the DIY CNC market will be welcomed with hope and interest... it is hard to beat fun of this hobby...



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Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?

Any interest in CNC-ready milling machine platform?