New Machine Build $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC


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    Default $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    I've been researching building my own cnc machine for about 2 weeks now and finally settled on a build plan : DIY CNC Router Plans | BootstrapCNC. This is a 2x2 router with plans for a moving gantry and moving table version. I haven't decided on a version yet, but the gantry is basically the same for both, so I can get started. I have some plywood, MDF, screws, and PSUs in the shop but besides that I'll be buying everything else. I want to see how decent of a machine a first timer can make with minimal investment. I think I can get a machine up and running for about $600 all in. I'll document my costs as I go along. Any help, advise, or feedback will be appreciated!

    High level plan
    • bootstrapcnc plans made from 3/4 plywood
    • 1/8 aluminum rails
    • GRBL on Arduino Uno
    • TB6560 stepper drivers
    • nema 23 stepper motors
    • 24 V power supply - 2 ATX PSUs in series
    • opensource software
    • router - TBD
    • lead screws - TBD




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    Default first step

    started on the linear rails.1/8 (11 gauge) 3/4" wide aluminum angle cut to size. Also cut plywood stock at 2" wide.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170305_105328-jpg   0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170305_105315-jpg   0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170305_105303-jpg  


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    Default bearing slides

    drilled out 5/16th holes on the bearing angles. I have decided to go for the moving table version, hence the 6" , 10" and 12" slides.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170305_161520-jpg  


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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    Build the frame first, before buying any stepper motors or drivers. In the meantime, read up on the electronic components and what's required for a system that works well. The control system you're outlining has nothing to be said for it but cheapness. But you're not saving money if you have to buy components twice, because the original ones just didn't work.

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    thanks for the feed back Andrew. I've already done my research on the electronic components and am pretty confident they will work out. Here is a link to the post that got me convinced on the GBRL and Arduino UNO route : http://www.cnczone.com/forums/bencht...ml#post1702476 And in event it doesn't work out, I'm down around $20 bucks and some time doing what I enjoy doing.. tinkering.







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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    If you don't have your TB6560 yet, I'd rather use separates TB6600 instead. The GRBL will hook up on these drives without problem that's what I'm currently using and it runs ok.

    TB6600 drives are dirt cheap and I've heard more horror story from TB6560 than 6600. The price is about the same.



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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    Thanks for the heads up. TB6560 and stepper motors have already been purchased. I'll have to give them a try and report back.

    I just subscribed to your current build thread. Do keep posting pics and documenting the process.



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    Default GRBL, Arduino Uno and TB6560 stepper driver

    Good news! I got the electronics working - (well - one motor with one stepper for now)


    1. flash GRBL onto Arduino
    2. wire up stepper motor to TB6560 stepper driver and the PSU
    3. wire up TB6560 stepper driver to Arduino
    4. install and run Universal Gcode Sender


    video link

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170306_210407-jpg   0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170306_210433-jpg   0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170306_210438-jpg   0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170306_210502-jpg  

    Last edited by junior2016; 03-06-2017 at 10:17 PM.


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    Default electronics cost

    1. Nema 23 - 240 oz-in motors 3 for $35 (used - ebay)
    2. Arduino Uno $4 (ebay)
    3. TB6560 Stepper motors 3 for $16 (ebay)
    4. Power supply - 2 ATX PSU (free from salvaged PCs)


    A total of $55 for the electronics - not bad.



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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    For a GRBL controller, give a try to bCNC or Chilipeppr. I've tried both and both have good GUI. I now use bCNC as it is standalone and seems less resources hungry than Chilipeppr.



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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    Thanks! I've checked out chilipeppr but haven't heard of bCNC. Will give both of them a try once the machine is running.



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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    I'm just using Universal GCode Sender on my machine. I've never had any problem with it.



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    Default drilling holes on aluminum angle edge

    drilling holes on the edge of the aluminum angle is a bit difficult. The attached images show my process on a drill press using a clamped piece of wood as a jig. Would drilling a pilot hole from the inside be easier and then following up from the other side for the recess ? any tips on making this process easier ?

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170306_190036-jpg   0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170306_190046-jpg  


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    Default Re: drilling holes on aluminum angle edge

    I actually use one of these: Self-Centering Drill Press Jig and drill in from the back side starting with a small bit and stepping up to the needed size. Can't believe I don't have a picture of that in the albums. You can easily make something similar... they probably make a punch... hmmm....



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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    You could always file down a flat spot at your hole location, then drill a pilot and work your way up to your desired size.



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    Default Re: drilling holes on aluminum angle edge

    Thanks for the tips.. both sound like good ideas. Build Jig for a pilot hole from the back side or File a Flat on the top.

    Don - Did the jig work for you even when cutting the steel angles ?



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    Default Re: drilling holes on aluminum angle edge

    Yes, I just made sure my drill speed was close to correct and used a little cutting oil and it worked fine. The only issue I had with drilling thru the back was trying to use too large a bit to start which would grab the sides of the angle before getting close to the bottom and cause material to move, which caused the hole to be in the wrong place, which sometimes matters.



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    Default Re: drilling holes on aluminum angle edge

    a simple jig did the trick. In addition, drilling the pilot from the inside also makes the drill bit self align to the center.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170307_185529-jpg   0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170307_185511-jpg   0 all in cost -  2x2 first CNC-20170307_185430-jpg  


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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    Interesting start. Unfortunately im on my cell phone at the moment so havent followed most of your links.

    A couple of things:

    1. The stepper drives you have are notorious with respect to their engineering. It is highly likely they will cause you trouble.

    2. Aluminum leaves a lot to be desired as a linear ail material. In one of your posts i saw the word "bootstrap" so maybe you are aware if this. Given that some designs are better than others.

    3. On a low cost build keep an eye on rigidity, a sloppy design or construction methods will resilt in a poor performing machine. I havent checked out the design you have selected but many of the examples floating about the net seemed to have ignored this. Dont be affraid to reinforce things. In one of your pictures you have cut a bunch of 2" wide slats, that worries me a lot.



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    Default Re: $600 all in cost - 2x2 first CNC

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    1. The stepper drives you have are notorious with respect to their engineering. It is highly likely they will cause you trouble.
    Yup - been warned by several people about the tb6560 steppers.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    2. Aluminum leaves a lot to be desired as a linear ail material. In one of your posts i saw the word "bootstrap" so maybe you are aware if this. Given that some designs are better than others.
    Yup - I think it should be fine for moderate use on cutting wood and plastics. Also, if it poses to be a problem, I can always upgrade it to steel. The word "bootstrap" is a reference to the website of the plans.



    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    3. On a low cost build keep an eye on rigidity, a sloppy design or construction methods will resilt in a poor performing machine. I havent checked out the design you have selected but many of the examples floating about the net seemed to have ignored this. Dont be affraid to reinforce things. In one of your pictures you have cut a bunch of 2" wide slats, that worries me a lot.
    Will do. The 2" slats are the backing for the aluminum rails (rail blocks). They are firmly attached (screws, bolts, glue) to the frame. It's best explained via pictures and plans from the website.



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