Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

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Mingra
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Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by Mingra »

I realize this might not be the proper section for this question but didnt see another category.

I recently purchased an X-Carve kit and was really unhappy with the quality and sloppiness of the supports and overall strength. I'm planning to build my own cnc in the near future and wanted to ask this community for advice on either plans or maybe kits.

My goal is to build something to handle 24"x24" max sheet size but with a deep z height so I can carve thick sign foam like 6-8" thick. Maybe add a 4th axis lathe spindle at a later date.

Anyone here buy a cnc kit or chinese 6040 made machine and have good things to say?

My budget for the build is $1500 prefered. Wiling to go up to $2000 if im making custom cut aluminum parts. Price would include electronics too. I would like to have rack and pinion tracks over acme screws and definitely no rubber bult/pulley systems.

So far only the "Ox" by Ooznest seems to be built strong

JoeM
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by JoeM »

If you can weld and have access to some metalworking machines (surface grinder, milling machine) there are a lot of good heavy gantry plans on google. If you have to build from a kit or piece by piece, then Openbuilds C-beam kits might be something to look at, even if you just use it for the Z-axis. They had a video somewhere where they were cutting aluminum.

Make sure you get strong enough motors - NEMA-23 is a mounting size, not an indication of strength. There's a big difference between a 140 oz/in motor and a 282 or even 425 oz/in motor.
And get real drivers and a real board to control them - with a power supply strong enough to provide max amps to all of the motors at the same time.


If your only complaint about the X-Carve was the flimsiness, maybe you could build some better brackets or find some way to stiffen whatever parts are flexing.

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martin54
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by martin54 »

You really want to join a forum that is more suited to the question of building a cnc machine. There are obviously people here who have built their own machines but on a build forum everyone is doing the same thing so help tends to fit better.
Couple of problems I can see straight away is your budget is a bit on the low side if your looking to build a really rigid machine & also if you want a longish z travel to be able to cut foam then the machine might not be able to give you good results when cutting aluminium because of z axis/tool deflection.
Might not suit your requirements but another option rather than a long z axis is a height adjustable table. That obviously has it's own pro's & con's.

Oh yes, forgot that bit (thanks Joe) upgrading your machine may be another option :lol: :lol: :lol:

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martin54
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by martin54 »

Not been on there for some time myself but this was a useful site for information & asking questions, have a look through some of the build logs as it will give you a better idea. I know from your other posts you have a shopbot so you could use that to manufacture some of the parts you may need.

http://www.mycncuk.com/

Mingra
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by Mingra »

Thanks guys. I've been looking at build forums for a while, just havent found a perfect solution (as a kit). Most builders skip steps. I am mostly curious what you guys are using. I'm assuming you all didnt drop $5K on a Shark but maybe I'm wrong.

As for strengthening my x-carve, I actually have. made the rails solid and firm but don't like the rubber belts and gears system and think its worth selling rather than Frankensteining it with too many personal upgrades. Still kicking around if I want to sell it or fix it further.

I appreciate the advice.

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Adrian
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by Adrian »

Lots of people here spent far more than $5k on their CNC's. That's the great thing about this forum. There are guys with $500 home built machines and guys with $50k+ commercial machines yet we all help each other.

My first machine was a Mike Beck kit and I learnt an enormous amount from it and it was great if used with it's limitations in mind. If I was to build a CNC again I'd most likely go for a Joes CNC.

Mingra
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by Mingra »

There ya go Adrian. The Joe's CNC Titan desktop is what I'm after. That thing is built like a tank and it's 2'x2' desktop size. Perfect :)

ger21
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by ger21 »

Mingra wrote:There ya go Adrian. The Joe's CNC Titan desktop is what I'm after. That thing is built like a tank and it's 2'x2' desktop size. Perfect :)
I didn't think the Titan plans were available yet??
And I believer that it'll cost far more than $1500.
Gerry - http://www.thecncwoodworker.com

sailfl
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by sailfl »

Look at the Mechmate.com. You can build it any size you want to.

Samson
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by Samson »

Take a look at cncrouterparts. They have several options, but I think a $1500 budget will limit yourself. Especially if you want something ridged.
You can source aluminum extrusion and just add the electronics of your choice also.
I think cncrp has a couple of desktops, however, the less expensive one is about $2500 and I think it might need a few add-on's. I believe it might come with the electronics though.

charliem42
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by charliem42 »

You should take a look at Garageworxcnc. I have a 24X36 and it is a great machine. It is within your budget as well.

Mingra
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by Mingra »

Thanks guys,
These are all great leads. I'll take a close look at all of them.

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martin54
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by martin54 »

Mingra wrote:Thanks guys. I've been looking at build forums for a while, just havent found a perfect solution (as a kit). Most builders skip steps. I am mostly curious what you guys are using. I'm assuming you all didnt drop $5K on a Shark but maybe I'm wrong.

As for strengthening my x-carve, I actually have. made the rails solid and firm but don't like the rubber belts and gears system and think its worth selling rather than Frankensteining it with too many personal upgrades. Still kicking around if I want to sell it or fix it further.

I appreciate the advice.
As Adrian has said there are lots of people who have spent lots of money on a machine but obviously not everyone :lol: :lol: A lot will depend on what you want & expect from a machine, there will be people who have bought a kit or built a machine themselves on a tight budget & are very happy with what they have but it might not suit your needs, a lot will depend on what you are doing with it & the number of hours it runs a day/week/month :lol: :lol:

I was looking to build a machine from scratch but then heard about a guy that was getting rid of an old gerber machine basically for scrap money because it didn't work & he had already spent quite a lot trying to get it fixed. He had given up on it & bought a brand new machine because of the volume of work he was losing while he was trying to get it sorted. That saved me a lot of time & effort, the machine was basically sound so all I had to do was rip out all the electronics & replace them with up to date parts. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Would still like to actually build a machine myself but I never seem to be able to find enough time :lol: :lol: :lol:

ElevationCreations
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by ElevationCreations »

In your budget, you may want to consider the Shapeoko 3 XXL. This is the next version of the Shapeoko 2, which the X-Carve is based on and has a 33"x33" cutting area. The SO2 has documented righty issues.

The SO3 is much more rigid than previous versions with much larger rails, it's no shopbot, but for the money is a solid machine. For the added Z depth you would need to modify it, but would keep you under the $2K mark. It has 9 mm belts which perform much better than the 6 mm belts.

Have you considered selling your X-Carve to expand your budget?

seanm
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Re: Custom built cnc plans/suggestions?

Post by seanm »

Just thought I would give you my views since you mentioned the Chinese 6040 and thats what I bought to get myself into CNC at very low cost. They are very strong and sturdy, the spindles run upto 24000rpm and watercooled, the stepper motors are powerful nema23 too, put it this way, whilst helping a friend cut there project I didn't check over their tool paths and one happened to sink my 0.25 inch end mill into wood to do a profile by over an inch and it plowed through it without crashing or breaking the tool amazingly. Mine will do 120 inches per minute max on cutting speed and thats after much modification, including purchasing a power supply just for the steppers, a new usb cnc motion control board and individual stepper motor drivers capable of handling higher voltages.
As standard I couldn't get mine above 55 inches, which was mega slow but still faster than most of the small desktop machines I have seen in Vectric office.
I would love to build my own CNC, its just finding the room for it.

I really only use mine to create lithophanes though, but the machine does have a very high level of accuracy as they come out perfect.

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