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  1. #1
    Member JayneV's Avatar
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    Default My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi everybody,

    My name is Jayne. This is the first thread I've started on this forum and it will be a build thread for my first CNC build. I have read several of the build threads here and there are some great projects. I made the decision to build a machine based on the one built by @JermNZ here:
    https://www.cnczone.com/forums/momus...ml#post1549298
    and here:
    https://jeremyyoungdesign.com/category/diy-cnc-router/

    With so many different designs for diy CNC Routers all over the internet, each with its own pros and cons, it wasn't an easy decision. In the end, I settled on this design because I already have most of the materials for the frame construction and the design seems like it will work well for what I want.

    The machine will be used for woodworking projects, mainly building different stringed instruments. I am also hoping it will have the ability to experiment with some aluminium work. I don't have any specific projects in mind for aluminium, that will be mostly experimenting to test the limits of the machine and to learn some new skills.

    I have made some small modifications to Jeremy's design. The attached images show where the design is currently at. The biggest change I have made so far is adding a cutout into the front part of the bed to allow parts to be machined on their edge. I got the idea for the cutout from @Mac.CNC in his Momus build thread here: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/momus...ml#post1385334

    During the build, I will undoubtedly have many questions and thought what better place to ask the questions than in this forum. I welcome any feedback, good or bad, as long it is kept respectful. For me, this project will be as much about the enjoyment of building the machine as well as having the final product at the end of the build.It should be a fun and educational process.

    Similar Threads:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My CNC Router Build Adventure-image1-png   My CNC Router Build Adventure-image9-png   My CNC Router Build Adventure-image8-png   My CNC Router Build Adventure-image10-png  



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    Member John-Nicholas's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    I'm looking forward to following your build!

    Good luck!



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    Member JayneV's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi John, welcome to my build thread. Get comfortable because it will be a long build.

    I managed to move the heavy pallet racks out of the garage and into the shed. It will take me a few more days to finish moving things to make space for the CNC build. Can't wait to get started on the fun stuff.



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    Member peteeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Jayne - Great to have you onboard... I recommend you consider an apron vs a pit. A pit is limited in size. The forward stack depth of the spindle from the gantry means it usually can reach forward of the edge of the bench easily. So if you add an apron to the bench you can do large objects. My first router Scoot had an apron and I did dowels, edge drilling and tenons with it. Some people even put a hinge on the apron so they can bevel edges. Adjust to 45degs, 30degs etc... I also recommend that the inside "walls" come right up to the gantry. Either permanent or easily removable. This will control dust better, hopefully you will make lots of dust soonest... Peter

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My CNC Router Build Adventure-apron-jpg   My CNC Router Build Adventure-apron-jpg   My CNC Router Build Adventure-dust-jpg  


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    Member JayneV's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Peter,

    Thank you for joining my adventure.

    An apron instead of the pit is a great idea. I will need to adjust the gantry design a little because in the current configuration, the spindle does not reach beyond the front edge of the machine. In the attached image, the gantry is up against the forward stop. The CG of the gantry is currently a little behind the centre of the front and rear rail carriages, so there is some wiggle room without drastically redesigning the gantry. I'll work on that later today. I also really like the idea of making the apron angle adjustable, that will greatly add to the flexibility of what the machine can do.

    The Y rail guards were on my to do list. My original idea was to use some angle as shown on the left side of the attached image, to protect the linear rails from debris, but creating a wall up to the gantry should protect the rails and also help contain some of the dust. It just occurred to me that the rails will need to be accessible to periodically wipe them down to minimise wear and the chance of dirt being picked up by the carriage bearings. Using an angle to cover the rails will restrict access and put the rails out of sight and out of might where their maintenance could be neglected. A simple vertical wall is a better alternative. I want to also build an enclosure for the machine to help with dust control and also suppress some of the noise.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My CNC Router Build Adventure-image11-png   My CNC Router Build Adventure-image12-png   My CNC Router Build Adventure-image13-jpg  


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    Member peteeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Jayne - I wouldn't use the diagonal braced piece in the back, I'd keep it solid. The diagonals are fine for vertical bending (like a bridge) but a primary mode for a gantry is torsion and they don't help in torsion. A thick solid plate even is not good in torsion but that's what you will need to keep the two gantry beams co-operating and not leading separate lives and maybe vibrating...... Peter



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    Member peteeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Jayne - If you are going to use construction extrusions for things do not rely entirely on end bolts for stiffness/load transfer. Use the angle brackets available in the system as well. The end bolts pull up on thin edges and they generally are not flat enough unless set up and milled, even then the contact surface is not very good... Its done but it can be done better... Peter



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    Member JayneV's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Peter,

    I really appreciate the help you are offering. The rear bracing for the gantry is a single piece with triangular lightening holes cut into it. The holes don't need to be there so I deleted them.

    I had a look through my stash of aluminium and there is a length of C channel 80x40x6.5 that was used in the construction of a ute tray. I think it is 6061-T6 but not 100% sure. This C channel fits perfectly between the two t-slot extrusions so I added it to the forward area between the t-slots with the "C" opening facing forward for the ballscrew to sit in. See cross section view attached. I only have the free personal use licence for Fusion 360 which doesn't include the simulation tools so I can't compare numbers for rigidity with and without the C section, but I don't see any harm in adding it to the design. I also added angle brackets above and below the t-slots and a piece of the C-section between to better secure them to the gantry uprights.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My CNC Router Build Adventure-image16-png   My CNC Router Build Adventure-image17-png   My CNC Router Build Adventure-image18-png   My CNC Router Build Adventure-image14-png  



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    Member peteeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Jayne - The alloy won't matter. All alloys and tempers have the same stiffness. By including the Channel you now have a "closed" section which is better in torsion. Its not as good as a "full" section eg SHS or RHS as the loads have to go in and out and along to find bolts to transfer shear around the structure vs going straight around. A continuous structure is always better then a contiguous one structurally.

    Torsion is a shear stiffness issue. But better than thin single sheet. Now the columns have been cut as an L. Again if this was filled in it would be twice as stiff and there is no other reason not to have it filled. Every part needs to take advantage of its maximum envelope to maximise its stiffness/rigidity. If lightening is needed it needs to be from the middle and the parts purpose has to be taken into account.... Peter

    edit - CG of gantry. Don't get too caught up about the CG. It serves no structural purpose. It does represent where the average inertia loads goes through. But statically does not matter. The machine does balance a bit better if the CG and tool is between the gantry rail bearings. But if you do this their spacing is usually big and hence your footprint will be big and you will have lots of dead space at the rear of the machine. Its all a juggle...When you source linear bearings get medium or high preloaded ones. They make a big difference to the stiffness and anti wobble factors. That's more important then considering the CG.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My CNC Router Build Adventure-leg-jpg   My CNC Router Build Adventure-closed-jpg  


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    Member JayneV's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Peter,
    Thank you for your excellent feedback and suggestions, I really appreciate it. I want this project to be an interesting learning experience and I am learning so much already.

    I'm kind of torn about what to do with the gantry. I know there is a working version of this machine and has been performing well as is. But at the same time, I can't help myself when it comes to improving something where there is room for improvement. It's funny you mention the "L" shape of the gantry uprights. I was looking at those yesterday and started to change them to fill in the cutout part of the L shape but decided to put that on hold for the moment until I sort out the gantry beam.

    Filling in the "L" shape of the uprights and adding a closed in box section to the gantry beam both felt like the right thing to do but I don't have the mathematical knowledge to back that up with numbers. My calculations are limited to "that looks about right" lol.

    Thanks for the tip about the preload on linear bearings. The motion system components have not been sourced yet. I have read lots of good feedback for BST Automation on this forum so am currently leaning to purchasing the linear rails, bearings and ball screw assemblies from there. Stepper motors, drivers and motion controller are still not finalised. I really like the idea of a stand alone controller that doesn't rely on a PC. The Masso seems like a really good stand alone option and UCCNC if I choose a PC based system. By the time the price of purchasing a computer to run a PC based controller, it would be comparable to buying a Masso controller. I'm still a way off needing the controller so don't need to make a decision on that yet but I am open to any suggestions and experience people have with different controller options.
    Jayne



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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Jayne - you do not need a costly computer to run UCCNC or other CAMs/CAD / controllers. I buy refurbished laptops from reboot-it. Start at <$100 with 3 month warrantee. Bought many monitors, laptops and a workstation from them all good..

    https://www.reboot-it.com.au/used-la...y=lowest_price

    "That looks about right" is good enough here. If your going to go down a bad rabbit hole the forum will pipe up quick stiks!! If the forum is quiet then your doing it close to right. (There is no absolute right) Keep at the CAD better to design 10 machines in CAD to really sort it then commit to the "one" vs buying stuff early and getting stuck with the wrong stuff or realising its the wrong road. The machine is a Holy Grail and your first one is up a steep curve.......cheers Peter

    edit - if you want a non computer solution have a look at Buildbotics really good value, one box solution with lots of features.



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    Member JayneV's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Peter, thanks for the link to reboot-it. I hadn’t heard of them before. Also, thanks for the Buildbotics info, I’ll look into it.

    The main reason I’d like to avoid a PC based solution is because Windows and I don’t get along very well. Back in 2009 I made the move from a Windows PC to Mac computers. My desktop is still that same iMac purchased all those years ago and continues to work flawlessly, albeit a little slow now due to the outdated hardware. I have never owned a Windows PC that lasted that long and always had problems with drivers stop working and endless updates keeping me from doing what I wanted to do. The Windows operating system has come a long way since 2009 so I have not dismissed it as an option. I realise I could be opening a can of worms by starting a Windows vs MacOS debate, which I don’t really want to do here, so I will add that I am keeping an open mind about controller options. I’ve had a brief look through the Masso and UCCNC user manuals and really like what they both have to offer. What version of Windows gives the fewest problems with UCCNC? LinuxCNC is another option I have not yet looked into but have seen it mentioned several times throughout this forum.



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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Jayne,
    For what its worth, I'm also Mac based. However, to run the control OS that I chose (Mach4), I had to go to a Windows platform. Also, prior work requirements meant that Windows was what I had to work with. You need to think of it as just another tool.

    If you read many of the home built posts on the forum, you'l see tips on how to set the machine up in a way the negates all the bad behavior of Windows. Not saying that a PC is the only choice, but don't limit you control OS options because of Windows. Good luck with your project.



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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Jayne - I use Win10 and UCCNC. Can't comment on other solutions. UCCNC has worked out of the box and has been very good.... But Linuxcnc gets very good reviews and support and its free. Since your on a learning curve you may as well be on that bus? but you will have to load linux on your Mac... You will have to research all that lot... Peter



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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by MARV View Post
    If you read many of the home built posts on the forum, you'l see tips on how to set the machine up in a way the negates all the bad behavior of Windows. Not saying that a PC is the only choice, but don't limit you control OS options because of Windows. Good luck with your project.
    Hi Marv,

    Thank you for your comments, every bit of information is helpful.
    Are you referring to the CNC or the PC being set up in a way to negate Windows bad behaviour? I have an old Windows laptop that hasn't been used in a log time. It even has a parallel port, that's how old it is. I would have to check it's specs to see if it meets minimum requirements to run controller software. Is there much difference between the controller software running on a computer that only meets the minimum system requirements and a computer that exceeds the minimum requirements?

    I will have many more questions as the build gets closer to choosing electronics.



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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Jayne - When I look at your current design (based on others work) I see a mixture of philosophies and technologies. On one hand the gantry is a construction extrusion and this is usually chosen for convenience. It has suitable end holes and slots for mounting stuff. But all convenient solutions have down sides. Rails are mounted on thin pieces of metal, the section is not optimised for stiffness, its actually costly compared to a std SHS section, I could go on. Then the columns and other parts are nicely billet machined. This means they are many $$$ but being billetted can be optimized for their use so the $$$ are well spent. If you have access to billet machined stuff and its cost effective then flick the extrusions and go all the way.... a plate gantry machined will be stiffer and more accurate then a multipart construction extrusion ever will be.

    So I suggest you mentally summarise the resources and technologies you have available (or want to use) and use them to guide your production path. A common term in architecture at present is that summary will "inform" you of how to go about designing/building your machine. A construction extrusion machine is fine so I'd stay in that universe or the billet universe or whatever build space you choose. Peter



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    Member JayneV's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by peteeng View Post
    Hi Jayne - I use Win10 and UCCNC. Can't comment on other solutions. UCCNC has worked out of the box and has been very good.... But Linuxcnc gets very good reviews and support and its free. Since your on a learning curve you may as well be on that bus? but you will have to load linux on your Mac... You will have to research all that lot... Peter
    I had a look at the LinuxCNC user manual this morning. It's a 1000 page manual so it was only a brief look through a few of the topics. This could be a good option and will fit in well with wanting to learn as much as possible. I would not be installing Linux on my Mac though. Whatever controller solution I end up with, if it's not a stand alone system, the computer will be dedicated to the CNC and serve no purpose other than to run the machine. Both UCCNC and Linux CNC have a simulator mode which will allow me to practice using the software and see what suits me best.



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    Member JayneV's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by peteeng View Post
    Hi Jayne - When I look at your current design (based on others work) I see a mixture of philosophies and technologies. On one hand the gantry is a construction extrusion and this is usually chosen for convenience. It has suitable end holes and slots for mounting stuff. But all convenient solutions have down sides. Rails are mounted on thin pieces of metal, the section is not optimised for stiffness, its actually costly compared to a std SHS section, I could go on. Then the columns and other parts are nicely billet machined. This means they are many $$$ but being billetted can be optimized for their use so the $$$ are well spent. If you have access to billet machined stuff and its cost effective then flick the extrusions and go all the way.... a plate gantry machined will be stiffer and more accurate then a multipart construction extrusion ever will be.

    So I suggest you mentally summarise the resources and technologies you have available (or want to use) and use them to guide your production path. A common term in architecture at present is that summary will "inform" you of how to go about designing/building your machine. A construction extrusion machine is fine so I'd stay in that universe or the billet universe or whatever build space you choose. Peter
    Peter,
    It seems you and I are on a similar thought path. The gantry has been bugging me the way it is and I can't let go of the feeling that I can do better. I spent most of today tidying up the shed and also moved a few more things out of the garage. It was all very mind numbing work so the whole time I was thinking about ways to improve the machine. (I must give it a name so it is not referred to as "the machine"........something else to think about lol). There are two areas I keep thinking about changing.

    The first area I will work on is the base. The first build thread I read on this forum was a wonderful version of the Momus CNC built by @Mac.CNC. I really liked the raised sidewalls of that design and even purchased the plans for a more in-depth look at how it was constructed. Then I came across your YaG build thread which also has the raised sidewalls, which prompted me to follow your build. The YaG is looking great btw. After I finish typing this reply, I will spend the rest of the evening working on some ideas for the machine base and sidewalls, I'm thinking a torsion box construction with a steel inner skeleton would make a very rigid base for the gantry to operate on top of. More about this as I get my ideas drawn in CAD.

    The second area is the gantry. As previously mentioned, it's bugging me. I have some ideas for this also, which I need to model in CAD to see if they would work.

    This is turning into a major redesign of the machine, but like you said, it's better to design 10 machines in CAD than to build one machine I'm not entirely happy about. I'll post updated CAD images as I complete them.

    Jayne



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    Member peteeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Hi Jayne - some info for thought - Peter

    Attached Files Attached Files


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    Default Re: My CNC Router Build Adventure

    Thanks for the attachments Peter. Both were interesting and informative to read.

    Jayne



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