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Forum topic by DiggerJ posted 09-01-2014 07:39 PM 935 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DiggerJ

69 posts in 1003 days


09-01-2014 07:39 PM

I have been thinking of building a CNC router. Need to start smaller (maybe 2×4) as I am currently unemployed. I will use to learn the skills and make existing projects. There is nobody in the central IA area that provides this service. Hope to sell service to others and continue to grow the value of my builds. Here is the first of what will surely be many questions, and yes, I am on many different sites (cnczone, joe’s, maker sites, etc.) reading and learning.

Since many of you end up scaling up or better, would it make sense to build the smaller first version with drives, controllers, etc. that are big enough to take to a 4×8 or 5×10 if the need should arise? Then I would get most of the way there by making the new larger table.

Hoping to spend my money better now, rather than again later. Thanks in advance, and you guys are building some great machines!

-- Digger -- If you work long enough and hard enough to make it idiot-proof...the world will build a better idiot!


6 replies so far

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Ger21

1047 posts in 2597 days


#1 posted 09-02-2014 01:33 AM

I’d recommend buying the appropriate components for the machine you’re building now.
If you plan on making the existing machine larger, than the motors should still work with the larger machine.
If your business requires an entirely new, larger machine, than it should be able to afford the new machine.

To get the best performance from stepper motors, they should ideally be matched to the drive system, with the proper gearing to achieve the performance you want.

If you buy motors and drives to work with a future machine, it’s possible that they won’t perform well with the first machine.

Are you designing your own machine, or building from existing plans or a kit?

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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DiggerJ

69 posts in 1003 days


#2 posted 09-02-2014 02:41 AM

Thanks for the reply. I am not sure how it will end up, as there are so many ways to go. I like the extrusion frames and like the idea od the v-rails (makerslide or v-rails) with the wheels upper and lower for adjustability. Still trying to learn how to spec the motor system. I was thinking that these components could be reused if upsizing. I would like to cut wood, plastics, and hopefully with the right speed capability. So much to learn.

Would like to start around 2×4 and be able to cut the above. Any suggestions on hardware, drives, etc?

-- Digger -- If you work long enough and hard enough to make it idiot-proof...the world will build a better idiot!

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DiggerJ

69 posts in 1003 days


#3 posted 09-02-2014 02:57 AM

At 2×4 it can sit on a table and go into the basement to be used during cold weather. I could use the time this winter to work on being proficient with it. Hoping to use the first one to cut parts for a bigger one when/if needed.
I know I want something bigger that a dremel. How about a colt or a variable speed spindle?

-- Digger -- If you work long enough and hard enough to make it idiot-proof...the world will build a better idiot!

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DiggerJ

69 posts in 1003 days


#4 posted 09-02-2014 04:13 AM

Has anyone built the Open Builds “Ox”? Thoughts?
http://www.openbuilds.com/builds/openbuilds-ox-cnc-machine.341/

-- Digger -- If you work long enough and hard enough to make it idiot-proof...the world will build a better idiot!

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Ger21

1047 posts in 2597 days


#5 posted 09-03-2014 01:56 AM

Motors and drives really have nothing to do with the footprint of the machine, and what you’re cutting.
It’s all about how much weight your moving, and how fast you want to move it.

The best general purpose bang for the buck package would be this.
http://www.automationtechnologiesinc.com/products-page/g540-stepper-motor-kits/g540-3-axis-nema23-381oz-in-psu48v7-3a-with-single-shaft-motors

Your requirements are a little bit all over the map.
A Joes machine or CNC Router parts machine are in a different class than something using Makerslides, or an OpenBuilds OX. I’d consider those to be very lightweight hobby machines.

A Joes or CNC Router Parts is far better suited to woodworking.
The real question is, how much do you want to spend?

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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DiggerJ

69 posts in 1003 days


#6 posted 09-03-2014 05:09 PM

First, thank you for replying to my posts. I admit to being on info overload on this. Maybe some clarification will help:

My desire is something like a 2×4 size, 3 axis with maybe a chance to upgrade to 4th axis if desired. This will be to be able to learn and use for smaller projects like engraving, inlays, detailing projects, cutting out smaller items in plywood, plastics, 1/4” al plate and it would be great if I could use it to cut pieces for a building a bigger one later.

I would put it on a stand. I have a fairly well equipped home shop with metal and wood fabrication tools. I have designed and put to market things like custom motorcycle frames and suspension parts. I can handle a strong supportive table for the cnc to sit on. (read Mig,Tig, Oxy, Chop saws, metal band saws, presses, etc.)

I do understand what you said about the steppers and size, and did not mean to imply that there was a correlation. My question is what kind of motors, driers, power supplys could I use now, that could be used on a future machine, without having to start completely over. For instance:

Reading til I feel like my eyes are bleeding and see NEMA 23’s with many different performance specs.

What is the difference between skate bearings on a shaft (like yours) and solid wheels with skate bearings on a v extrusion supported by a solid base. I read more and more home/small shop builders going to the later for ease of adjustment and build.

Most builds that I seem drawn to use 3 steppers for the X, Y of the same size, and usually a slightly smaller on the Z. For 2 screws on the X and one on the Y to run either belts, screws, or a combination.

This will not be for a full-on shop tool, but to see if I can expand my skills and build prospects. I had thought of using a Bosch Colt to start, and if going to a bigger unit later to move to a spindle with cooling. If it ever grows to that point.

How would you build a smaller (2×4 unit to use for smaller things and to learn, with a chance to migrate some of the system to a larger faster unit later? I haven’t mentioned speed, as I don’t feel like I have enough info yet to make that choice.

As far as price, I think I will need to spend between 1k and 2k for the first build (without software). Keeping the price down would be a great thing, but would rather not scrimp on the core.

-- Digger -- If you work long enough and hard enough to make it idiot-proof...the world will build a better idiot!

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