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  1. #1
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    Default Need help with designing and building a CNC machine

    Hi there,
    I have a project which "might" be too huge for 1 person especially with only industry (the machine will be used for) related skills - no CNC experience, no pneumatics knowledge, no engineering education just logical and problem solving one . It's an industrial CNC and pneumatics machine I am trying to design and build.

    I am struggling with the AutoCAD design of floor making pneumatics based machine made by my instructions and dimensions. It will be based on a walls making machine for which I have multiple pics and is manufactured by Homag. It will have several axes and a lot of moving parts. I am so bad in 3D cad environment so I've made a very rough timber model of the Floor making machine lol. Please contact me ASAP for more detailed information and when you can start if you think that we can draw (and then build) it.
    The way I see the things, i will need help with:
    1. Someone to help me with the design as I can't finish even all the structural non moving parts, not to mention drawing/inserting the motors, linear rails, pneumatic cylinders etc. And I am not talking about the actual ones calculate for the applied force, but even just for visualisation purposes.
    2. Structural calculations, integrity and the right steel and extruded aluminium profiles.
    3. CNC motors and pneumatic cylinders for the different movements involved.
    4. Encoders, sensors, drives.
    5. What operational system and software will be the most appropriated for the machine.

    Another bad news is that I can't hire a company to do all the above as I am just a not very well paid worker in our timber frame firm. All the initial expenses will be on me till I manage to convince my boss that this is actually achievable for the fraction of the price they paid for maybe the first generation of the Homag Frame Work Station FRAMETEQ F-500 machine for the walls like 15 years ago.

    The only good news is:
    A. That I know what the machine should do in every second, how will do it.
    B. I have some dimensions of most of the structure.
    C. If we are happy working as a team on this project there are at least two more we can team up on - automated feeder and stacker for this monster - Hundegger turbo drive 2
    D. There is no such machine anywhere to be able to make such a complicated Floor cassettes / panels, so no mater how tight this niche is there is still lots of money in manufacturing such a device for the UK and USA timber frame houses market.
    E. Inventor sounds nice in your CV



    Thanks,
    Caesar

    P.S. I am in Northern Ireland if it's matters to you.

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  2. #2
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with designing and building a CNC machine

    Having worked in the industry for many years I can assure you that such a machine exists. Insert wood into one end and out comes a house kit on the other end, floors, walls, and trusses, ready to load on a truck. The installation that i'm thinking about was many millions of dollars by the time it was done.

    The software is custom, there is no off-the-shelf software that would run a system like this. Mostly a combination of PLCs and PCs, several computers to run it. I was talking to the software developer on this project and he said it was about 600,000 lines of code to run it. The machine would automatically configure to build different size components.

    You are looking to take on a big project. I suggest you look at other machines and that will give you a pretty good idea of what components and materials are needed. Hint: Magnetic linear encoders work well in an application like this.

    Working in AutoCad 3D is difficult at best. Take a look at Fusion 360, the hobby version is free. A bit of a learning curve, but much easier to work in for machine design.

    Best of luck to you.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


  3. #3
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with designing and building a CNC machine

    I watched a YouTube video yesterday where a guy put a Subaru WRX engine in a VW Beetle. It took a VERY skilled fabricator 2 years to pull this off. What you want to do is 1000x more difficult, and requires a LOT of skill in a lot of different areas. The software alone could take years to write.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Need help with designing and building a CNC machine

    Thank you both for the encouragement lol, but this machine is going to be live in a few months one way or another... I hope :-)
    @Jim Dawson there are for sure floor making machines of some kind, but I have said something slightly different "There is no such machine anywhere to be able to make such a complicated Floor cassettes". I will be more than happy to be proven wrong.

    Jim and Ger21, it's not necessarily to be as complicated as you both say software wise to be able to nail a FC together (I am talking just framing so far). Sheeting the FC is different story, but there are tons of nailing bridges on the market, so not really focused on this part at the moment.
    As I said earlier I can't draw even a base model of this sadly, so we can get to a more constructive criticism point of this discussion :-(



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    Member peteeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with designing and building a CNC machine

    Hello Caesar - 1) I suggest you search for a commercial machine (even though you say it does not exist it may) to use as a benchmark or to buy or 2) talk with a company that can make the machine. The skills you need to learn to build such a machine and the skills you profess you don't have means the machine will not be live in a few months. If you look at some of the build threads here you will see it takes a year or more to get a design sorted and built even for a small machine. 3) So I honestly wish you the best as I like your enthusiasm and you'll need lots of input to get this rocket off the ground.. Peter



  6. #6
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with designing and building a CNC machine

    Caesar,

    I really want to encourage you to do this project. Having an end goal makes learning the skills to do it much easier because you have a good reason to learn a particular skill, if nothing else it will look good on your CV. That's how I acquired my skills. Every time I needed to learn a new skill for a project, I just sat down and studied what I needed to reach the end goal. I personally don't do well in a classroom environment, but I do learn on my own quite well...... if I have an end goal. And today with the internet at your fingertips, is it much easier to research the needed information.

    For industrial hardware there are two resources that I use a lot. Automation Direct and McMaster-Carr. Even if I choose not to buy from them for a particular project, their catalogs have a wealth of information including CAD drawings of their parts that can be downloaded and inserted in to a drawing. Industrial hardware is pretty much standard, so even if you choose to purchase from a different vendor, the drawings are generally close enough.

    https://www.automationdirect.com/adc/home/home

    https://www.mcmaster.com/

    Between these two resources, they pretty much have everything you could possibly need to build this machine. Spend some time just browsing their catalogs. For the frame components, steel and aluminum comes in standard sizes, so that makes things simple. Look at your local metal vendor catalog for specifics. Online Metal Supply is a good resource for looking at what is available.

    https://onlinemetalsupply.com/

    Again I will mention Fusion 360. https://www.autodesk.com/products/fu...obby%20license

    This is a full featured 3D modeling software package and is still free to hobbyists (even though the hobby version is somewhat broken). I started using it when my AutoCAD license expired and would never go back to a 2D drafting environment. There is a learning curve, but there is a lot of online support and tutorial videos. I can ''build'' a machine in Fusion 360 in about 1/10 the time it took to do in AutoCAD, and it looks better. I should say here that I'm 72 years old and have been using Fusion 360 for about a year. If this old dog can learn a new trick, then you can learn it also.

    You already know what the machine looks like and how it needs to work, so now it is just a simple matter of working out the details and putting your ideas into practice. I have neither the time nor the energy to directly help with this project, but I, like many others here will happy to offer guidance when requested.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Member Samrich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with designing and building a CNC machine

    Thanks to your answers, I solved my problem, thanks!



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