Already at the age of 12 I was dreaming of making a machine which could make things! A machine which would give me the opportunity to create products for in and around the house. Two years later I stumbled ont the words 'Computer Numerical Control' or more specifically the CNC milling machine. After I found out people were able to build one themselves in their own shed, I knew it! I had to build one, I yearned to have it!!
For three months I tried to find the proper parts (A dremeltool, drawer slides, pieces of wood, etc.), but I didn't really know how to build a CNC. The idea fell into oblivion.

In August 2013 the idea to build a CNC milling machine captivated me again. I just finished the first year of my bachelor in Industrial Design, so I was confident enough to start a build. The real difference between now and 5 years ago was, I learned to work with metal on manual milling machines and lathes and above all I had the right tools to design a machine.

This Instructable will show you how I built my CNC milling machine. I know a lot of CNC dreamers do not have the knowledge or tools to build a full metal machine. I still think and hope this Instructable inspires you to make your own machine. I include all of the necessary steps I went through in designing and building this CNC milling machine. All of the drawings I used to build my machine will be available.

Step 1: The Design and CAD model

It all started with a proper design, in my case a few sketches to get a good feeling for the dimensions and shape. Quickly after the sketching phase came the CAD model. I created my model in SolidWorks. If you plan to design your own machine I recommend a parametric CAD-modeling tool. Your machine will most likely have a lot of parts which have to fit together neatly, sometimes with some strange dimensions (for example pre-ordered parts). After all the parts were modeled, technical drawings were made. I used these drawings to machine all of the custom parts on the manual lathe and milling machine.

Since I'm a lover of good designed tools, I tried to make maintenance and the possibility to adjust things on the machine as easy as possible. Bearings could have been integrated in the machine, but I chose to place them in separate bearing blocks (in case it needs to be replaced in the future). Keeping your machine clean is very important too, so guiderails are all accessible (in case of the x-axis by detaching some cover plates)

De drawing above gives an overview of the main mechanical parts I will cover in this Instructable. I will of course also cover the electrical part of the machine. A PDF with the main dimensions is also attached.

could you please include the Parts list to buy?thanks
<p>Would a rotary cutter such as a Rotozip tool work as well as a Dremel for this project? My Rotozip has more lateral cutting bits available than I can find for the Dremel and the motor is bigger and seems to have more speed and power.</p>
<p>Guys is better to use steel and welding then aluminium? </p>
<p>From my point of view, welded steel is always harder to deal with on the tweaking and after fabrication stages. i prefer using aluminium with screws so my final product will be more flexible to work with like if i need to cut an oversized piece or anything else. so I vote for aluminium but you can always use the method you prefer.</p>
<p>Awesome Work... Thanks for sharing... My next Project </p>
great job!
<p>Please tell me what kind of Guiderails? Hiwin <b><a href="http://www.mooreinternational.co.uk/category-134/MGNR12M-25.html" rel="nofollow">MGNR 12 GUIDE RAIL - PITCH 25</a> of </b><b><a href="http://www.mooreinternational.co.uk/category-134/MGNR9M-20.html" rel="nofollow">MGNR 9 GUIDE RAIL - PITCH 20</a>.</b></p>
<p>wow, josh, that is excellent work on what you did. At 12 years old, I was taking electronics apart and made it better.</p>
<p>It also can be work with open source program code?</p>
<p>salute...., ..... you are shared that can inspire me and my college...</p>
It's amazing. I love the design is simple and clear. I was looking for something like that. Thank you for publishing it.
<p>By far one of the easiest to follow with plenty of drawings already done for you.</p>
<p>What else can you do with a CNC router?</p><p>Take a look at wood inlays with a CNC using ImagePaint software by Amazon Canvas <br>(www.amazoncanvas.com).</p>
<p>this is my final year project 5axes cnc vertical milling and i need your help .</p>
<p>i wanna get one</p>
Can you proved electrical items with software
Can you provide 3D Model File or 2D CAD file!? I need to modify some component.?
<p>Are you only using one linear bearing per side for the Y axis? Are those bearings stiff enough to resist the torsion of the gantry?</p>
<p>They are if you take light cuts, obviously it's not a machine for industrial use</p>
<p>What an elegant piece of engineering. Tell me you have a vid of it in action.</p>
<p>There are some video's on my Instagram</p>
<p>beautiful machine!</p>
<p>What Al alloy did you use for this?</p>
<p>some parts are made of 6082, some 7075 and some regular extrusion of which I don't even know the alloy</p>
<p>that is perfect.</p><p>i am going to work on it asap.</p><p>BIG LIKE</p>
<p>Much appreciated :)</p>
<p>Step one is that you have to have a degree in mechanical design.</p>
<p>And my step one is a degree in Industrial Design Engineering ;). I you have the drive to build one, you can build one of these</p>
<p>The only degree you needs to build one of these is the degree of comprehension it takes to follow directions.l</p><p>If you can bake a cake, you can build one of these, </p>
<p>Great project.</p><p>Just FYI for people reading this, you can buy a lot of really nice kits for under $100. The Shapeoko or the X-Charve are two nice options for under $1,000. A bit easier than sourcing parts from scratch.</p>
<p> if we are making program in NX(siemens plm) for a product. will this program work in above software to run the machine. please reply asap here &amp; on my e-mail id.</p><p>my id - ks9876kunalsharma@gmail.com</p>
<p>Well done <br>for you CNC router. (I think your wonderful <br>realisation have motivated me enough to try it on my side)</p><p>I have a <br>question about the linear guides you used. I see 6 guides of three different <br>types that reminds me this provider: <a href="http://www.misumi-europe.com" rel="nofollow">http://www.misumi-europe.com</a></p><p>I want to <br>know how much each types of guide cost you because 400&euro; for the 2 biggest <br>guides seems a lot&hellip; </p>
<p>very nice project i am working on it too</p>
<p>Can you use a 5 axis breakout board for a 3 axis cnc milling machine?</p>
<p>Yes. Depending on your build, you will use a minimum of 3 axis. </p><p>There are some builds that use multiple motors on a single axis. When doing this, one motor is made a slave one of the other motor on the same axis but electronically, they are connected to two different axis on the board. Typically, X is the axis with two motors.</p>
<p>Dear friend, I loved your ideia but when I try to draw in Solidworks software I had many problems with your drawings (PDF files). I note that some this files don&acute;t have some dimensions.</p><p>Did you have this files in *.dwg or *.sldprt?</p><p>Thanks.</p>
<p>beautiful work.</p><p>I also want to build a CNC for as long as i can remember, it sure makes prototyping easier or just making stuff.</p><p>Keep it up.</p>
<p>nice project, no doubt. Looks a little bit very much like this one: http://hackaday.com/2014/06/01/building-a-cnc-milling-machine-for-less-than-1300/</p>
<p>It's the same one</p>
<p>toujours de tr&egrave;s bonnes infos et de bonnesid&eacute;es </p>
<p>For those wanting a good sized home hobby shop machine, check out the X-Carve by Inventables. I just finished my build, and it comes with a free online driver/creator software package called Easel, which is super easy to configure and use. I have built both a very large unit from maple, and a smaller one from lexan, steel, and aluminum. A great source for most guide rails, etc. is McMaster Carr. Mine all run using the arduino uno platform which is very inexpensive, and lets you control all kinds of extra sensors, the spindle speed, and a whole lot more. One word of caution, and something I didn't see in your build. You need to have limit switches to keep from ramming the machine parts, by trying to make them move farther than they are physically capable of. I really like your design. Nice job, and very well explained.</p>
<p>Hello</p><p>What is the in your project stepper motor property?</p>
<p>the linear rails you use what are they HiWin 20mm, could you let me know for all the axis?</p>
<p>I'm attempting to do something like this currently, but with 6 axes. It's still in the CAD stage, being planned in SolidWorks. Thinking about using plasma-cut 1&quot; aluminum plate cleaned up manually on a mill, automotive wheel hubs as joints, ball screws for x, y and z axii, worm gears between the stepper motors and their individual axes (both to increase resolution and torque, as well as prevent weight from spinning the motors,) and 2.5HP water-cooled spindle to handle heavy cuts on steel. Would like it to have a 4'x4'x4' machining area, but that may be hard to accomplish.I would also like to make it modular, being able to go from 6 to 3 axes by simply unbolting the extras from the table.</p>
<p>can you contact me I am also building a 5 axis machine.</p>
tb6560ah based motor drivers are the way to go.
<p>Well done, and what a sweet project, one to make other projects come true!</p>
<p>I realy wish to implement a unit to my garage!</p>

About This Instructable


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Bio: Industrial Designer
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