Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and CNC machines are computer automated machines that can devise a range of three-dimensional objects. These highly capable machines are very complex and expensive to buy, so you can cut your costs and create your own. Here are a few steps that will help you build your own CNC router and allow you to work on intricate woodworking projects:
What specifications are you looking at? If the market for CNC machines are full of a wide range in size, you can choose to make your CNC machine from this range. Before you actually get down to making your own CNC machine, you need to be very sure of your objectives. For instance, you need to know if you want a medium-sized CNC machine that can easily cut plywood or a large one for metal-cutting?
Cut rate: This is another important consideration for you to make at this stage. The type of cut rate you want and the size of footprint it can accommodate are necessary to know now. To figure this out, measure the area at your workplace that can easily accommodate this machine. If you’re still not sure of the specifications you should be going with, look at a few available in stores, choose one that’s close to what you want and list out its specs so that you buy the appropriate plans.
Choose the right CNC machine plan: A typical CNC machine is a precision drill press with a range of other components. It shapes a three-dimensional object by moving its attached tables in two different directions. They are basically complex in nature, so building a CNC machine means having a detailed blueprint so that you can build it to size and use it successfully.
You can find some good DIY CNC plans that fit your needs by shopping around at good stores. It will have all the instructions you need to build one such machine along with a list of materials. It will also contain a licensing agreement that will tell you how many CNC machines can be built using that plan. There are some plans that allow you to make just one machine, while making more machines means that you need to buy more plans.
Of course, a thorough Google search will throw up many DIY wood router kits that could set you back by $200, but here’s a really good one that demonstrates exactly how to build your very own CNC router in way less than $70. If you want to download it Click Here!
Get all your materials together: Put together all your materials before you start working. Depending on the difficulty level of your CNC machine, you will need to invest in a spectrum of tools such as a band saw, drill press, laser cutter and a few hand tools. You might also need to invest in specialized tools such as drive positioning screws, linear slides, stepper motors and a 3-axis stepper motor controller.
Buy parts or salvage them from old devices: To some extent, the parts you need will have to be bought. For the rest, you can opt to salvage parts from old devices and save on your expenses.
Buy appropriate software: With so much already in place, it’s time to buy the most appropriate software that you can connect to your very own CNC machine. This will give you enough control over it. There are several types of software that can be used on CNC machine platforms. For instance, you can safely go with Mach3 to specialized versions of Linux. By and large, you can also use Turbocad for designing your device.
Skills required: Building a CNC machine presupposes that you have the required skills for it. If you have the right tools and know how to work at devising this machine, that’s fine. Your building costs will drastically reduce if you do it yourself.
Apart from this, you will also have to solder motor cables and stop motors. If you aren’t too confident about soldering, it’s best to ask a good solderer for help to make good solder joints. Another reason for this is that building a CNC machine also involves high currents that don’t really welcome bad connections.
Taking measurements accurately is yet another skill you will need to display here. By using calipers, dial indicators, and a machinist square, you will need to measure precisely. And yes, you will need to treat all the measurement tools you use with utmost care.
Tools required: Before assembling your machine, ensure you have these tools:
- A set of metric and imperial hex keys, 3/16″ and 5 mm
- A socket tool measuring 5/16″
- Wrench to tighten lock nuts sized 5/16″
- Two clamps, sized 3″- 5″
- A wide clamp of width exceeding 8″
- Machinist square calipers
- Dial test indicator of size 0.001″
- Soldering iron
- Lithium grease to lubricate bearings and keep them from rusting
- Silicon grease to lubricate steel rails and safeguard them from developing rust
This is the barest set of tools for a novice CNC machine-builder. During each step of building this device, you will need to use one or another of these tools, so go ahead and invest in them with confidence.
Some important links: When building a complex machine like a CNC, it’s important to have all the information and knowledge about it that you need. Only then can you successfully accomplish your task. Look up the links listed here and go through them for all the advice and information they give. By understanding how the processes of building a CNC machine work, you can accomplish building it faster and can later fine-tune it so that it works better for your woodworking projects.
www.cnczone.com: This is a good site to start with as you can get a backgrounder of milling machines, lathes and other CNC machines.
A first-time CNC machine builder like you can never be nervous to go about this task with so much help and information given here. Take all the advice from these sites and build your own CNC router that you so want.