My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise


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    *Registered User* catad's Avatar
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    Default My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

    Hello everybody, I am completely new to this forum and the world of CNC.
    My ambition is to build a 1000mmx700mm CNC router that is able to comfortably mill aluminium. In order to do so I started learning Fusion360, and you can see how far I managed to get in the attachments.
    No bolts or electronics have been added yet as it is just an intermediary version. The thing that I am mostly concerned of is whether it would be a problem to have the X Axis linear rails as they are now, or if I should put them on top of the extrusions. I have bought a 4A NEMA 23 motor kit (4 motors) in order to power the router, and am planning on ordering a spindle once I have the design of the CNC finalized.
    At this point any advice is welcome. Please help out a wanna-be fellow of yours Promise to keep you updated on the progress and the build.

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    Default Re: My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

    Great start in my opinion. I like how the Y extrusions are higher than the spoilboard. That'll keep a lot of dust and chips off of the rails.

    Where are you getting your extrusions?



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    Default Re: My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

    I am from Romania, so sourcing components has been a little harder, as we don't have any big retailers that sell to small costumers like me. I managed however to find a place where I can get what I need



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    Default Re: My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

    This is a really nice start on a design.

    How well the design will work in aluminum depends upon your expectations. As such you will need to think long and hard about what those expectations are. The first thing to realize is that most DIY routers are not capable of competing with a milling machine. Once we agree on that it should be possible to determine if this design is good enough.

    Ultimately it comes down to this: is the machine stiff enough to do the machining you intend to do on it.



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    Default Re: My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

    For sure. You could use this design and add a few things that improves stiffness such as adding a solid front and back plate to the gantry bridge extrusions. Also beef up the side plates and make them thicker and more resistant to side loads.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    This is a really nice start on a design.

    How well the design will work in aluminum depends upon your expectations. As such you will need to think long and hard about what those expectations are. The first thing to realize is that most DIY routers are not capable of competing with a milling machine. Once we agree on that it should be possible to determine if this design is good enough.

    Ultimately it comes down to this: is the machine stiff enough to do the machining you intend to do on it.




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    Default Re: My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by fretman_2 View Post
    For sure. You could use this design and add a few things that improves stiffness such as adding a solid front and back plate to the gantry bridge extrusions. Also beef up the side plates and make them thicker and more resistant to side loads.
    From the homework that I managed to do, I know that milling aluminium is possible on flimsier machines by adjusting the rates. This being my first cnc router, I have lots of projects in mind for it, but some involve cutting aluminium, that is why I am designing it with this capability in mind.
    What do you have in mind when you say "beef up the side plates"? Currently all the aluminium plates on the cnc are designed with a thickness of 2 cm. I was thinking of adding 2 cross plates that would lie flat on the back of the y extrusion and perpendicular on the gantry plates for more stiffness.
    The thing I am more concerned with is what screw size and nut I should use for all the axis.
    Also, do you think that 3Nm Nema 23 motors will provide enough torque for the machine? (2 for the x axis, and 1 for each of the other)



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    Default Re: My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    This is a really nice start on a design.

    How well the design will work in aluminum depends upon your expectations. As such you will need to think long and hard about what those expectations are. The first thing to realize is that most DIY routers are not capable of competing with a milling machine. Once we agree on that it should be possible to determine if this design is good enough.

    Ultimately it comes down to this: is the machine stiff enough to do the machining you intend to do on it.
    Do you have any idea which aluminium alloy I should use for this project?



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    Default Re: My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by catad View Post
    Do you have any idea which aluminium alloy I should use for this project?
    6000 series is the most common. 6061 is very common in bar form. Mostly it comes down to what's available for a reasonable price. 7075 is stronger than 6000 series, but it's much more expensive, so impractical for a project like this.



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    Default Re: My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

    2cm is pretty thick for the side plates. Once you've constructed the machine, test it by pushing against it to add a side load and measure the deflection. You may have to add stiffners at that point.

    Yes...cutting aluminum is possible. I cut aluminum on my homebrew machine and my machine is made of MDF. But I've only cut 1/8" aluminum plate. It seems to me that deflection issues are probably more of an issue if you want to cut thicker plates.

    My machine is about the size of your machine and I use NEMA 23 motors...just get motors with low inductance. You'll likely run up against deflection issues before you run up against torque issues IMHO.

    I ran a project recently and the bit plunged much too deeply into wood and proceeded to cut. The NEMA 23 motors never hesitated, but the bit chattered like heck and I had to abort. Like I said...you'll run up against stiffness issues before you run out of motor power.


    Quote Originally Posted by catad View Post
    From the homework that I managed to do, I know that milling aluminium is possible on flimsier machines by adjusting the rates. This being my first cnc router, I have lots of projects in mind for it, but some involve cutting aluminium, that is why I am designing it with this capability in mind.
    What do you have in mind when you say "beef up the side plates"? Currently all the aluminium plates on the cnc are designed with a thickness of 2 cm. I was thinking of adding 2 cross plates that would lie flat on the back of the y extrusion and perpendicular on the gantry plates for more stiffness.
    The thing I am more concerned with is what screw size and nut I should use for all the axis.
    Also, do you think that 3Nm Nema 23 motors will provide enough torque for the machine? (2 for the x axis, and 1 for each of the other)




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My first take on a CNC router - Please Advise

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