Semi - DIY CNC Router / Mill Project Build (With photos)


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Thread: Semi - DIY CNC Router / Mill Project Build (With photos)

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    Default Semi - DIY CNC Router / Mill Project Build (With photos)

    I have a metal fabrication business and have been wanting to get a CNC router / Mill for a long time. I have been doing research for a few months and spent sometime at a few trade shows looking everything over. I have a lot to learn when it comes to routers and mills, just a little different from plasma.

    I decided to start out with a small bench top system and build it up as sort of a DIY project and see how it works and maybe expand to a larger table down the road.

    My goal is to make this a multi-purpose machine if I can. I want to be able to make signs out of wood and plexi, machine parts out of aluminum, cut sheet goods like vinyl and cardboard for prototypes, and if I can attach an extruder and make a 3d printer out of the same machine....

    So here goes I have been buying components as time and money allows and finally have enough to get started. I though I would post the build here and hopefully get some good advice along the way and share my trials and tribulations as I go.

    So day one got the table from Precision Plasma assembled it and attached the Porter cable 7310 router. I'm waiting on my steppers and controller which I hope will be delivered soon.

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    Desert Fabworks LLC -Fort Mohave, Arizona
    www.desertfabworks.com - Project Sites: www.cncplasmabuild.com - www.cncrouterbuild.com


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    Starting with a small kit before embarking on a large DIY machine is a good idea. It lets you learn the software side of it while you are making drawings, accumulating materials and building the larger machine. Even after completing the large machine you will likely keep and continue to use the small machine for things it can do better.

    You could even decide that this is just not for you if you just don't have the time or the interest to dedicate to it. The big machine just gives you room to create larger projects. It doesn't really do anything different otherwise.

    Check out Widgetmaster's 5' x 9' build log. I'm also getting parts ready to rebuild my 5' x 12' machine's frame using larger steel box tubing. There are other steel and aluminum machine build logs on this site to get ideas from. The MechMate plans are popular for building a steel machine without designing one.

    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com


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    Got the Controller package and stepper motors in from CandCNC yesterday. I went with the BladeRunner Package. Its the same package I use on my CNC Plasma System and it has worked very well. About the only difference is that this one does not have torch height control.

    The steppers are 300 oz - The router has a 2TPI screw for x and y, so the steps per inch is 4000. I use 50 for acceleration and can go 200 ipm or faster. The Z is 5 tpi, so the steps per inch is 10000. Acceleration 50 and velocity 100 or faster. With this setup I will have about 175 lb of cutting force on X and Y.

    I was not expecting the steppers to be double shaft steppers. My plasma machine uses single shaft steppers. I did some reading online and from what I read no real difference some people suggested adding a thumb knob on the end to allow for some fine adjustment when the power is off.?

    The case has two built in Aux power outlets. I will use one to plug my router into so that I can control it via the computer and the Mach3 interface.

    This weekend I plan on installing the software from CandCNC as well as Mach3 and Sheetcam, getting everything plugged in and do some test movements to make sure the basics are working.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-router_controler-jpg   Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-cnc_controler_power-jpg   Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-cnc_controler_axis_connections-jpg   Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-inside_cnc_controlelr-jpg  

    Desert Fabworks LLC -Fort Mohave, Arizona
    www.desertfabworks.com - Project Sites: www.cncplasmabuild.com - www.cncrouterbuild.com


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    I have been slacking on updating the build progress. Had to squeeze in a little vacation while I could.

    I was able to get all of the software installed and do some basic motion testing and configuration. I installed Mach3 for my machine control software which has custom screens from the bladerunner package. I also installed Sheetcam for 2d work. I use it all the time for plasma cutting so I though I would put it on this system since I'm familiar.

    I also installed Aspire and Photo V Carve from Vectric which I plan to use for most of the routing and carving.

    Program install was easy no problems. Powered up the the machine and was able to move it around the table using Mach3 No cutting yet.

    Anyone have another programs they think I should have or could use. I want to eventually add a rotary axis. I'm still reading up on aspire and getting familiar with all it can do.

    Next project is adding the home and limit switches along with some cable management to the machine.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-vectric_aspire_cnc_router_screen-jpg   Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-bladerunner_mach3_main_screen-jpg   Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-cnc_router_accessories-2-jpg  
    Desert Fabworks LLC -Fort Mohave, Arizona
    www.desertfabworks.com - Project Sites: www.cncplasmabuild.com - www.cncrouterbuild.com


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    Check out the Monthly Projects section of the Vectric site for some projects to get you started. Watch the tutorials on the Aspire CDs or on the Vectric site. The Vectric user forum has been very useful for ideas and get questions answered.

    My two build logs in this forum has lots of photos of things I've made with Vcarve Pro or Aspire. My website has some free downloads you might be interested in.

    Have fun with your machine.

    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com


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    Am I mistaken or are the correct number of steps for 2TPI 400 and 5TPI 1000.



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    Quote Originally Posted by CarveOne View Post
    Check out the Monthly Projects section of the Vectric site for some projects to get you started. Watch the tutorials on the Aspire CDs or on the Vectric site. The Vectric user forum has been very useful for ideas and get questions answered.

    My two build logs in this forum has lots of photos of things I've made with Vcarve Pro or Aspire. My website has some free downloads you might be interested in.

    Have fun with your machine.
    Thanks! I appreciate the info I will check that out. I really appreciate the tips, tricks, and info that I'm getting from the other people in the forum. I have lots to learn when it comes to using this machine. I have started watching the tutorials on the vectric site which is helping.

    Desert Fabworks LLC -Fort Mohave, Arizona
    www.desertfabworks.com - Project Sites: www.cncplasmabuild.com - www.cncrouterbuild.com


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    Quote Originally Posted by salzburg View Post
    Am I mistaken or are the correct number of steps for 2TPI 400 and 5TPI 1000.
    I set it up with 2/400 and 5/1000 I used a micrometer to verify the x and y but did not check the z I will check that

    Desert Fabworks LLC -Fort Mohave, Arizona
    www.desertfabworks.com - Project Sites: www.cncplasmabuild.com - www.cncrouterbuild.com


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    I got most of the cable management done with the Igus track I got of ebay and I mounted the Air system for the blow off nozzles for clearing the cut path. I plan on just plugging the system into the shop air and regulate it with the on off valve.

    Had a few people suggest the nozzle system for doing aluminum. I don't plan on running any type of coolant system. I would like to keep it all dry if I can.

    Its nice having the plasma machine in the shop. I needed some custom brackets and supports to mount things so a quick drawing threw some aluminum on the plasma table and made some bends and I had come custom brackets.

    Next project in this build was to start building the cart that all this will mount to and on. My shop never has enough room so I have to keep this project mobile.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-closeup_home_limit_switch-jpg   Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-cnc_mill_limit_switch-jpg   Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-bulldog_cnc_router_airline-jpg   Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-plasma_cut_alu_brackets-jpg  

    Desert Fabworks LLC -Fort Mohave, Arizona
    www.desertfabworks.com - Project Sites: www.cncplasmabuild.com - www.cncrouterbuild.com


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    Looks great! I do not use an air nozzle for aluminum; rather I brush on WD-40 or other lubricant. You don't need much, but I find when slotting it helps to brush some in the kerf as the router moves along. If you get shiny, smooth surfaces you're doing it right. If the surfaces are gray and dull, usually not so... I also find cast tooling plate to work best, though others say it gums up.



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    Quote Originally Posted by salzburg View Post
    Am I mistaken or are the correct number of steps for 2TPI 400 and 5TPI 1000.
    I double checked all of the settings and for the X Y and Z and the steps everything is setup and working correctly it is : The Z is 5 tpi, so the steps per inch is 10000

    Desert Fabworks LLC -Fort Mohave, Arizona
    www.desertfabworks.com - Project Sites: www.cncplasmabuild.com - www.cncrouterbuild.com


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    When I built up my plasma cutting system I built a custom cart / control center for it. I wanted to do the same for this project. Space in my shop is very limited so I wanted to put the entire machine and all of its components on a single cart and keep the entire project self contained and mobile.

    I think this is one of the fun-est parts of the project building and designing. When I'm done I hope to have the computer, Bladerunner Control box, vacuum hold down system and vacuum dust recovery system all built into the cart.

    The first couple of pictures is of the cart that I built for my plasma system. It folds closed and rolls neatly under the plasma table. Then opens up with gas assist shocks to expose the entire control center.

    If anyone has built something like this for their router / mill I would love to see it and get some ideas.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-desert-fabworks-computer-cart-plasma-jpg   Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)-finished-plasma-computer-cart-jpg  
    Desert Fabworks LLC -Fort Mohave, Arizona
    www.desertfabworks.com - Project Sites: www.cncplasmabuild.com - www.cncrouterbuild.com


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Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)

Semi - DIY  CNC Router / Mill Project  Build (With photos)