CNC Machine - kit

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Project by Rick posted 04-28-2010 03:07 PM 35287 views 63 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Machine body is made out of 3/4” cabinet grade ply. The track for the x,y & z axis are aluminum angles. Each gantry rides on these angles with some high quality V-bearings. The little black boxes are stepper motors which drive each axis. The belts translate the power from the motor to each gantry. The long x axis motor is located underneath the bed of the machine. The z-axis moves on a precision threaded rod.

The whole kit was easier to put together than I thought. I thought that assembling the electrical components was going to be the hardest part but it was actually the easiest and fastest part. Instructional videos are supplied on the kit’s web site.

You can mount the electrical components any way you want to. I chose to simply mount mine to a scrap piece of 3/4 ply I had. I mounted some of the components off the surface to ensure that they keep cool. I keep the machine in my basement woodshop and the computer and electrical components in the room next to it. I drilled a hole through the wall and used extension cables for the monitor, keyboard and mouse. I’ll have to put something around that hole to keep the dust in my shop though.

I decided to put this under projects because it was more of a fun project to build than it was a product.
I put the machine together, assembled all of the electrical components, built a table for the machine, a small shelf for the monitor, a folding table for the keyboard and mouse, built dust collection ducts, etc.
But yes, I did buy the cnc machine and electrical components in a kit. You can choose to use whatever router you want also. I wanted to use a variable speed bosch palm router I already had but I could have used my 2.5 hp bosch router also. Still could if I wanted to.

I ordered the smallest cnc kit (12” x 24” bed) mostly because I had very little room in my shop left. I’m still amazed that I was able to make room for it.

I don’t have anything made yet. Just got everything fully assembled last night, 4-27-10.
You can see more of my pictures here:

If anyone is interested in the kits or even want to build your own from scratch and need help, check out;

UPDATE: sort of. 4-29-10 I’m working in Mastercam on finalizing some tool paths for my first test of the machine. I’d be ashamed if I didn’t have a video to upload by monday. As long as I don’t somehow program it to cut itself in half.
UPDATE: 5-4-10 Well the cooling fan on my power supply wouldn’t run. So I’m getting that fixed but that also means I couldn’t run the cnc.

39 comments so far

View DaytonB's profile


154 posts in 3895 days

#1 posted 04-28-2010 03:16 PM

That is Awesome man!! I didn’t realize this was possible. I probably should have but you know how that goes.
Looks great. What do you have in mind for your first project?

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 3239 days

#2 posted 04-28-2010 03:19 PM

Well, my first project in mind is to make a small wedding ring box with miniature brass hinges. I think I’ll use amboyna burl.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3756 days

#3 posted 04-28-2010 03:44 PM

how does this compare to the cost of buying a machine? Is this a way to save a substantial amount of money, or is it more done for the fun of the build? Either way, it looks impressive. You should be proud!

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 3239 days

#4 posted 04-28-2010 03:50 PM

Good question. Ya #1 consideration of mine was cost. This was a substantial savings compared to buying any other machine I could find. Rocklers seemed ok but didn’t look like great quality for what they’re asking. And that one was the closest price.
I did not buy this so that I could put it together. It was fun and taught me new some new things. But my main reason was to have a quality cnc machine for a fraction of the price.
I had also considered and researched, for about a month, just designing and building it myself. But my figures showed I wouldn’t come out that far ahead, price wise, in the end and the kit was already fully designed and working.

View mafe's profile


11732 posts in 3118 days

#5 posted 04-28-2010 04:12 PM

Just way too cool!

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View jrempel's profile


1 post in 2979 days

#6 posted 04-28-2010 04:33 PM

Looks great can’t wait to see it in action

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3770 days

#7 posted 04-28-2010 05:42 PM

What kind of software are you using? If you haven’t yet, you should see SPalms blog:
He also wrote some software that creates Spirographs to test your machine.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 3239 days

#8 posted 04-28-2010 05:48 PM

Thanks. I’ll check that out.

Using Mastercam for my tool paths and I’ll be using Mach3 to run the machine.

View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4056 days

#9 posted 04-28-2010 07:00 PM

neat looking unit. build something so we can see how it works.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View SPalm's profile (online now)


5320 posts in 3910 days

#10 posted 04-28-2010 07:17 PM

Woo Hoo !!! You did it. Congrats. I know you have been researching and thinking of this for quite sometime.

Yes I wrote a little program to make spirographs and other geometric designs. This was in the early days before I could afford software that would generate G-Code. Since you have Mastercam, I doubt that you really need it. And besides, who needs spirograph designs? It is probably best to spend your time on something useful.

Next step is get it hooked up your dust collector. They make a huge mess.

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View toyguy's profile


1654 posts in 3866 days

#11 posted 04-28-2010 07:44 PM

Very interesting stuff…......... not sure if I’m ready for something like this unit, but I am going to mark it for future research.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3363 days

#12 posted 04-28-2010 08:30 PM

It looks like you did a great job on your project Rick. It will be interesting to see how popular this CNC equipment becomes in the future. It seems to me that with the amount of accuracy and control involved that some new types of products might be produced. Regardless, it should make routing a whole lot more pleasurable whether arty stuff or just making joints.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 3239 days

#13 posted 04-28-2010 08:46 PM

Thank you. I appreciate it.
Yes it will be fun thinking of new products and things to make with this.
It’s a challenge for my mind to let go of what it knows as a basis for what could be.

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3770 days

#14 posted 04-28-2010 10:08 PM

I just visited your link to the the supply site – Wow – they do not give those away do they? Keep us up to date on how well you like it. It has some interesting design choices that make me curious.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3224 days

#15 posted 04-28-2010 11:34 PM

Great setup.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

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