modular diy cnc machine for ~$300

by:kingtool aluminium machinery     2020-02-27
The design is very old now, so take a look at the complete instructions I updated: modular DIY CNC machine!
There is a lot of information about how I design my machine for you to read and start making your own machine.
I am a college graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering and love architecture.
For my work, I can design and integrate parts for large expensive satellite components, but I don\'t have much work to do due to the size.
I \'ve always been interested in CNC machines and 3D printers, but I \'ve never really had the money to buy one myself.
I decided to test my engineering background and build my own CNC machine to be able to upgrade and use as few tools as possible.
This Instructure includes what I designed and how to create my own machine by following these steps.
Note: This is an ongoing work.
When I get the part and finish the build I am updating it with the image/change step. The following instructures and links are used for inspiration :-
Desktop size CNC milling machine from scratch-
Arduino Uno TB6560 stepping motor-Arduino CNC-
Build drawer slider CNC for less than $200!
I hope to be able to adapt to my CNC one day to make a laser engraver1.
Referring to 6 w laser cutting machine and EngraverAs, I want to make this CNC machine as proof of concept while creating something I can upgrade in the future.
Before I found something that could optimize the build area, I created my design using Solidworks.
I believe that the travel area of the cutting tool is about 19 in X, 10 in Y and 4 in Z, however, in some cases this is limited by the design geometry.
In all my iterations, I found that this iteration gave me the biggest cut area.
The workpiece itself moves along one axis (X)
, When the tool moves along two axes (Y and Z).
I originally had the workpiece move along the y-axis and the cutter move along the x-axis and z-axis, but I found that would greatly limit the size of the workpiece I allowed.
The cutting tool I currently design is not permanently fixed, so it can also slide along the guide rail to optimize the cutting area.
I have attached my Solidworks file to this structure.
This should include the whole model as well as any custom parts.
Note: Solidworks rendering displays custom 3D parts in cyan/blue while purchasing all other parts (
More information on the next step)
As a recent college graduate, I don\'t have much heavy tools or fancy workshops to complete the project.
I always have projects that I want to do, but it is difficult to complete them due to lack of tools.
So I chose my parts to minimize the overall cost of the machine while reducing the need for large tools.
This project may be cheaper by using your own saw, different suppliers or completely different materials, but I find this to be the easiest option.
The description of each sub-component is described below, and links/quantities for each material are listed later.
Frame: for frame I decided to use aluminum T-
The slot frame is easy to assemble because it includes built-in rails. I found 80/20.
Net to be the best supplier as most of their products include CAD models and can cut/end taps/counters
Drill holes for aluminum profiles.
They also cut the extrusion to the size you specified, which is perfect.
The extrusion can also be assembled together with small brackets and bolts, which makes it easy to adjust the geometry and even make it bigger if I want to in the future.
Electronics: Based on research on CNC designs and machines for other online sales, I decided to choose Arduino Uno as the brain.
I found a kit on Ebay that includes a generic Arduino Uno, a stepping motor shield, 4 motor drives, some limit switches and 3 stepping motors.
These parts can be purchased separately for cost savings, but this is handy as I know they are compatible with each other and have an extensive guide online.
Driving the train: for driving the train, I chose to use it with most other DIY guides.
I chose a stepping motor connected to the screw bar, which rotates to move the nut linearly.
The nut needs to somehow connect to the individual parts of the frame so that it really moves, so I decided to create custom parts that fit the aluminum extrusion track system.
These parts are designed for 3D printing or laser cutting, both of which are available online.
I used Ponoko before.
I have done laser cutting design before and I am impressed with the quality and speed of the order.
I chose to print these parts in 3D (
Shown in cyan/Blue in Solidworks Model)
When I purchased the Tiko 3D printer through Kickstarter, I thought I would put it into use. 80/20.
Net sales suitable for their T-
So I chose to incorporate these into my design.
The other options I consider are drawer sliders or linear rails, but the rails are expensive and I don\'t think I need that high precision when I first try a CNC machine.
As for the drawer slides, I\'m not sure how to attach them to the frame and worry about the deflection at both ends.
The Instructable listed in the introduction does create a valid drawer slider CNC machine, but I am looking for something with more build areas and adaptability.
Cutting Tools: I know I want to start with Dremel as my cutting tool, but I don\'t want to limit it to that.
I hope to engrave things with laser in the future.
Because of this, I know I want to have a simple installation interface that fits the purpose of the project I\'m working on.
Custom parts: I ordered a 3D printer on Kickstarter (the Tiko 3D)
And plan to use it to create custom parts for each part of the machine (
Cyan/blue display).
This includes the motor Holder, the components that drive the assembly, and the cutting surface itself.
The printer has been delayed, however, so I can\'t print the part yet.
Materials and links: 80/20. net ($134. 15)-$22. 62 -
24 \"aluminum double groove extrusion (x2)-$22. 52 -
16 \"aluminum single groove extrusion (x4)-$9. 88 -
13 \"aluminum single groove extrusion (x2)-$9. 42 -15.
5 \"aluminum single groove extrusion (x1)
On both sides of the end faucet-$14. 70 -6.
5 \"aluminum single groove extrusion (x2)
On both sides of the end faucet-$7. 40 -
Slotted inner angle bracket (x10)-$10. 80 -
Inner angle bracket with bracket (x6)-$10. 50 -Slide in T-Nut (x50)
, Only need 44, but ordered extra just in case-$16. 80 -
Linear sliding door (x6)-$9. 51 -
12 \"sliding outline of sliding door (x1)
, Only 4 \"is required, but extra order is required in case (
Need to use hacksaw for cutting)McMaster ($14. 38)-$5. 24 -1/4\"-20 bolt (50 count)
, Only need 44, but ordered extra just in case-$9. 14 -
M8 threaded rod (3 meters)
For 3 drive shafts (
Need to use hacksaw for cutting)
Home Depot/local hardware store ($2. 00)-$2. 00 -M8 Hex Nut (5 count)Amazon ($30. 79)-$11. 84 -
Flexible coupling 8mm to 5mm (4 count)
Only need 3 but this is the cheapest option$18. 95 -
24 V 15A power supply (x1)Ebay ($49. 40)-$49. 40 -CNC Kit (x1)
, Including 3 stepping motors, Arduino Uno counterfeits, step motor shield, limit switch, step motor driver components-Motor Mounts (files attached)-
Driver components (files attached)-
Cutting surface (files attached)
About two weeks later, the parts ordered from 80/20 came, and when they made a web Monday sale, I could save some money by ordering.
As for McMaster, the parts came in two days, but the shipping cost was $20 due to the size of the screw bar.
So I would suggest trying to find the parts locally, or order the rods of a smaller length so that the cost is not that high.
The Assembly frame itself is quite simple.
I found that the holder I purchased from 80/20 was not quite the same as the frame I imagined.
For this I purchased some smaller washers from Lowe\'s to offset the brackets.
The purchased bolts are also not suitable to go through the holes on the stand, so I had to use my drill bit to increase the size of the hole.
In hindsight, it might be best to buy the recommended stand hardware from 80/20, but I\'m trying to save some money.
It takes some time to expand the hole, but it doesn\'t work much in the end. Tips: -
As expected, the frame itself is not as easy to put together as it is in Solidworks.
After many repairs, I found the screw inserted on the stand and then at T-slot nut.
Then slide it into the aluminum bar and tighten it if necessary.
The first part I received was actually the CNC kit, which was fine as it gave me the chance to play with the motor and made sure I could move my CNC.
You also need the power supply, otherwise there is actually nothing to move the motor.
Make sure to connect the power supply correctly, otherwise you may short-circuit the assembly and possibly damage your electronics.
I plugged the power into the surge protector just in case.
To connect the power I took an old computer power adapter and removed the wire so that the positive, negative and ground lines could be displayed.
You can use multiple
The meter is used to determine which wire is which, or you can consult the online source as most cables are the same.
Once I \'ve identified which wires it is, I tag them so I don\'t mix them up later.
I then connect them, plug the power into the socket and measure the output voltage using a multi-power supply
Meter to make sure I get the 24 v I need.
I have a potentiometer on my power supply so I adjusted the power supply to get the value I want.
The next step is to load the GRBL onto the Arduino Uno as this is to communicate with the motor and transfer the G-CNC code.
I put the motor shield on top of the Arduino Uno and the motor driver on top.
It is best to test one motor and motor driver at a time to make sure GRBL is working properly.
Once you \'ve identified how GRBL works, you can connect the rest of the motors and play with them.
I think this step is cool because it is one of the main factors that make CNC a CNC.
These motors are then later used to turn the drive shaft that moves the corresponding shaft.
There are various programs online that can send GCode to Arduino.
Most of them are very simple and clear.
I like candles best. linked below)
, But you can find several other programs by quick search.
I have also attached some guidelines for installing GRBL and other electronic trouble shooting :-Using GRBL-
Connect to GRBL-
Arduino CNC shield description-
General Instructions for Arduino CNC shield-Candle-
The final step is to combine the electronics and the framework.
Because my printer hasn\'t come yet (
But it\'s coming soon! )
, I can\'t print my custom part.
The Dremel I received for Christmas also seemed to be used and went back to the store so we had to change it and I was waiting for it to be back in stock.
Anyway, I plan to test the CNC first using the mark as a \"cutting tool\" to make sure everything is OK.
This will allow me to calibrate everything without damaging Dremel or messing up the workpiece.
With the addition of my parts, I will continue to update the structure, including insights into anything that design changes or maps make it easier or cheaper to build.
I\'m still waiting for my Dremel and 3D printers to show up at the moment, so I can\'t go beyond test electronics and build frameworks.
Once the machine is manufactured and proven to be valid, I may play with the software side of CNC.
This includes the use of the limit switch that comes with the electronic kit.
I would also like to be able to create a system to quickly switch in and out of the cutter.
Specifically, my next step will be to try engraving or even laser cutting using a laser.
However, this is a road on a small road.
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