As a runner up winner in the recent 'Real Challenge', I have been awarded with a custom 6x6x6 inch 3D print for my 'CNC machine for machining large pieces of polystyrene foam'. I realised what an opportunity this presented and thought of many things to do with it. Make a 3D print for something at work and impress the boss? Design a custom iPhone case, cram 30 cases into the print and flog them on Ebay? Print someone else's design?
I don't think so..
I desired a bit more of a challenge. How about using the 6x6x6 print to create all the custom bits for a simple, elegant and fully functional CNC machine? I am not talking about a conventional 3-axis gantry-type CNC mill, but something a bit more exciting. I set myself the challenge to design and build a machine based on the Delta Robot, capable of milling/drilling in soft materials, and have all the main custom components for the motion platform fit in the 6x6x6 inch envelope of the awarded 3D print.
This inctructable has initially been published after the completion of the design phase. The first few steps will discuss the objectives, background, software & electronics, mechanical design and conclusions. In addition there are several steps to be completed afterwards, showing the actual build of the machine. A change log is attached to this first step. Current version: V0.11
Step 1: Objectives
An important objective is to create a design for a Delta-robot based CNC mill, where the majority of custom components for the motion base will fit in a 6x6x6 inch envelope.
The components in the 6x6x6 envelope must be printable on one of the Objet 3D printers at Instructables.
Elegance is high on the agenda. Not only for the way the machine looks, but also in the way the motion base moves.
As I already have a large CNC machine, I will initially try to 'borrow' as many parts as I can in order to keep the cost down.
The motors must be powerful enough for the machine not to lose any steps, without having to resort to gearing.
Speed is not the biggest priority.
The accuracy of the mill should be sufficient for drilling small circuit boards (think free version of Eagle PCB) and milling small items.
Last, but not least, it should be fun to design, build, and use the contraption!