DIY CNC routers/mills thread

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by Dorz, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Dorz

    Dorz Member

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    Hey guys, i know im not the only one here just finishing, or running my first cnc mill/router, so i figured id create a thread to post photos, information about general usage, hardware and banter.

    I am finishing my first machine, just learning how to use some software at the moment. it is a Microcarve MV3 chassis, with a chinese 800w spindle and huanyang VFD combo, k2cnc spindle mount, using a gecko G540 controller, and nema23 380oz steppers.

    using an old pc, mounted it all on the front of the case.
    built a new workbench for the shed to put the cnc in, and for general electronics stuff on the side.

    at the moment i am getting the hang of using mach3 to control the machine, and am starting to learn how to design my own parts in a demo of aspire. just bought the watercooling for the spindle, so im waiting for that to arrive, along with a whole bunch of bits off ebay (30, 60 deg, a few different size twin flutes, pcb drills and whatnot)

    here is my machine:

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    her first run, no cooling set up for the spindle yet. was a cool night, and it didnt get very hot at all.
    [​IMG]


    i used microcarve V4 for this. i ran into a few issues,
    1 holding down the acrylic, i was using duct tape, now using carpet tape. so much better.
    2 V4 has a watermark, which is basically a diagonal cut through the centre. damn!
    3) i didnt set the safe zheight high enough, and because of 1, it just rubbed the top.
    4) set my acceleration too fast, so it didnt cut as nice as i had hoped, all the cuts are on angles. have changed this now.
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    well, thats my cnc. ive used it for another job recently into particleboard, and wasnt particularly happy with the result. at the end of the day i would like to be able to produce lithoplanes, pcb's, and possibly machine aluminium parts with multiple passes. just need more bits and cooling!!

    post up what you've got, i know theres more here than just me!
     
  2. MetalPhreak

    MetalPhreak Member

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    I have a couple of videos of mine on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/metalphreakau

    eBay sourced chinese "CNC6040"

    Had a go at cutting steel a few weeks ago... you can see the results in the video :lol: Need bigger bits than 1/8" and you have to go really slow (spindle isn't an issue with 800w, but the bits snap). Aluminium is fine and pretty much any wood/plastics work great. PCBs are pretty easy to do but you really need to make sure you have a flat surface to put the PCB stock on, and that its held down flat too.


    Don't be afraid to experiment... bits aren't that expensive... :Paranoid: Safety glasses are a must :cool:
     
  3. mtma

    mtma Member

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    Out of interest how much audible noise do those table top machines make?

    Is it anywhere near the likes of a circular saw or much quieter?
     
  4. Ch4iS

    Ch4iS Member

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    This is mine, built from scratch apart from the Z axis which was purchased from K2CNC in the states, still needs a-lot of work before its finished but I'm building a larger machine so it's being put off till I finish up the larger machine.


    Click to view full size!


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    Try a straight 2-flute router bit, its what I use whenever machining wood, I've never had much luck with the spiral bits and wood.

    Mine peaks at ~ 90dB when machining aluminium.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  5. Kosti

    Kosti Member

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    These look great, can you guys list prices of these CNC mills?

    I was looking at purchasing one complete from fleabay, and a basic one is about 1K

    Keen to know the costing DIY vs Complete
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Dorz

    Dorz Member

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    Ch4is, how did you design the aluminium parts, with respect to bit size, number of passes and pass depth? what program were they modelled in?

    i have these: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/140692529533?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
    5mm twin flute HSS bits coming for playing with aluminium when the time comes :) theres a few things i would like to make, but i will probably model out of wood or something first.

    Kosti, the initial cost of my machine was probably a fair bit higher than the ebay ones, though in saying that most of those also dont factor in some parts.

    1) microcarve MV3 - $600 plus about 150 shipping, thats the frame, rails, screws, bearings, etc. John is a great guy, is always on the cnczone forums too :)
    2) 800w spindle and vfd - $400ish off ebay, requires watercooling and cable
    3) stepper motors, drivers, cables, power supply - $400ish - controls all the axis motion from a pc parallel port and software
    4) watercooling - i spent $300 but this is overkill for what it is.


    plus ive spent money building an enclosure/workbench for it, safety cutoff (remember this is dangerous!), shielding, pc

    then theres software costs (for some), which can get very expensive.
    finally there is materials and tooling, the cutting bits themselves can range from relatively cheap on ebay (couple of dollars each) up to the real nice bits which you pay 20 or 30 bucks for a single bit.

    keep in mind you're still going to have a lot of these costs whichever way you go (diy or prebuilt), i chose to go DIY as it was cheaper for the accuracy which was what i really wanted, plus i could set up the machine how i wanted it to be.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Dorz

    Dorz Member

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    mine is much quieter than a circular saw. i dont have a db meter to test it, but my spindle is quieter than the steppers. the loudest part of mine would probably be the actual cutting.

    i have a delta fan here thats louder than my machine :p
     
  8. Ch4iS

    Ch4iS Member

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    The first piece was done with a 3mm 2-Flute HSS endmill, and the 2nd piece was done with a 6mm 2-flute HSS endmill with the holes being drilled with a 2.5mm drill bit and drilled out on the mill post machining.

    With the 3mm bit I've been running at 800mm/min velocity, 400mm/min acceleration, 0.5mm per pass, with compressed air to clear the chips and cool the cutter, I can't remember what the 6mm was running at. (5083 and 6061 T5 Grades of aluminium)

    I've also got this guy down the road from me, I've used the 2mm carbide aluminium cutters he sells for some gummy aluminium and they cut great.
    http://www.carbideendmillsplus.com.au/

    2mm 3-flute Carbide Endmill @ 500mm/min velocity, 300mm/min acceleration, 0.5mm DOC, Inox Lanox used as a cutting fluid.

    I do all my designs in Sketchup pro, toolpath in Vectric Cut2D, and run the machine with Mach 3.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Dorz

    Dorz Member

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    thanks so much, that will help greatly when these bits arrive :D now i cant wait to play with some metal! :D

    i saw this the other night, almost drooling:
     
  10. MetalPhreak

    MetalPhreak Member

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    My machine was about $1800 all inclusive apart from the PC that runs it. The smaller ones are quite a bit cheaper if you don't need the larger cutting area. FYI, CNC 6040 means ~60x40cm cutting area, 3040 30x40cm etc.

    I basically bolted the gantry onto the base, plugged it all in, and it was all ready to go.
     
  11. RnR

    RnR Member

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    Any recommended guides for beginners out there? Very interested in this stuff but wouldn't have the faintest idea on where to start.

    Then again, if Ch4is can do this, how hard can it be... :p
     
  12. Ch4iS

    Ch4iS Member

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    Let me know after you build one of your own :D this is my second completed machine and it's not a weekend project.

    If you're wanting to build a machine maybe look around the net and find a design you like, I've always built from scratch designing it in sketchup to iron out the bugs.

    CNCzone has alot of builds you could get some ideas from.
    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/open_source_cnc_machine_designs/

    Or were you looking to import a chinese machine?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  13. RnR

    RnR Member

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    Signed up with cnczone... that place has a few posts :Paranoid: :D

    Also found this little number, http://booko.com.au/9780982110300/The-CNC-Cookbook and the associated website. Sounds like a perfect start for a nub like me :thumbup:

    Edit: no idea if I want to import. Probably want to build my own as I get a better understanding of all the parts that goes into CNC etc.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Dorz

    Dorz Member

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    RnR, i was a nub too when i started. this is the kit i got, made by John:

    http://www.microcarve.com/mcMV1.html

    worked out to be cheaper than i could buy all the parts for, and he gives a nice instruction guide, and is very active on cnczone. his build and design thread for these machines is over 100 pages long :D

    edit: i have been going through thecnccookbook stuff too, it seems to be extremely helpful. i have downloaded their gwizard milling tooling and speeds program trial, will probably buy it. have also had a bit of an email convo with Bob Warfield from there too, very helpful :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  15. Mathuisella

    Mathuisella Member

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    in your gearbox...grindin
    Dorz, can your machine do aluminum ?
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Dorz

    Dorz Member

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    waiting on the bits and cooling to arrive, i dont see any reason why it cant. am only going to go lightly on it though, pass depths of 0.5mm.

    hopefully my bits arrive before xmas :)
     
  17. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer Member

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    Haven't got anything myself but my old man has a home made CNC lathe and a CNC mill.

     
  18. OP
    OP
    Dorz

    Dorz Member

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    that would make a cool gearstick / shift knob :p

    made some progress on mine tonight! :D

    finally wired up the proper e-stop button instead of having wires on the floor twisted together (made it interesting when it spun the collet off!), and removed the shitty wiring and rewired the x and y axis limit switches. need to pick up some larger tubing for the watercooling tomorrow arvo from bunnings, and some power cable and switches from jaycar. tomorrow night i hope to have the watercooling running, and the limit switches wired up and working.

    pics tomorrow night then!
     
  19. The Touch

    The Touch Member

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    Gang Tooling, nice! :thumbup: Looks as if he's designed some options for flood coolant as well?
     
  20. BooY

    BooY Member

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    I"m currently building a CNC from the Mechmate plans.
    Going for a 10x5' table. 5' wide so that I can install an indexer down the length of the bed and still have room to place a full sheet of ply/mdf and 10' long so that once the indexer is in place i can turn some 10' posts for some projects
    www.mechmate.com

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    I have 5x OM motors. 2x for X, 1 for Y, 1 for Z and 1 for an indexer that will be incorporated from one of the 2 lathes I have.

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