I am about a month into the design of a new CNC machine as my winter project. I didn’t know anything about CNCs a month ago really, but being able to do research 8 hours a day for the last 4 weeks, and reading everything I can on here has given me at least an inkling. The goal of the project is a very stiff and accurate large format 4×8 (approximately) machine. I thought about purchasing an AVID CNC, but it was going to be several months before delivery, and with time on my hands, I decided to DIY. Last year I built an Overland truck that I used to visit 29 states and ended up at Overland Expo West. I didn’t know anything about that before I started down that path either, so I’m familiar with being a newbie and soaking it in. This year, I’m a CNC noob. Haha!
I’m basing it on a CNC design from DamenCNC in the Netherlands. You can find a similar build from RoboCNC on YouTube. I am taking their design that is built to be stiffer than a normal tall gantry design and making it even stiffer with additional bracings and larger extrusions. The base of the machine will be 80×160 with cross bracing, and the legs are all 80×80 with cross bracing and redundant joining approaches for stiffness. I’m attaching a PDF of my final design to this post.
I will be using a number of pieces from Damen CNC including their minimal-backlash dual pinion R&P drives as well as their entire Z-Axis. I’ve also purchased all of their CNC’d parts for the drives and been working with them on all of the dimensions. I’ve now ordered all of the aluminum extrusion from my local T-Slots Rep (I got quotes from Parco, Item24, 8020, T-Slots, and Eagle.) Since I needed 8mm slots, Misumi was out. I ordered Hiwin Rails from Motion Constrained (who I can recommend wholeheartedly – they are awesome), and got my Rack from Damen.
Now I’m at the electronics, servos and spindle/VFD part of the build. I’m debating whether to get something already built from Avid CNC, or roll my own with Centroid Acorn at the center. I’m speaking with Clearpath currently to figure out the right fit for one of their servos, but that gets REALLY pricey.
I’m hoping to be able to ask a lot of questions about the build and the electronics. There is obviously a WEALTH of knowledge here. Currently I’m looking at steppers, CL steppers and servos trying to figure out which to go with. I’ve never done any wiring, but I’m game, and I love learning new skills, so I think I’ll be okay with some good guidance.
Anyway – just wanted to say hello instead of continuing to lurk in the dark. I appreciate all the great content here, and hope to share some trials and tribulations as I move forward!
Damen CNC Minimal Backlash R&P