How to make your own 2D CNC machine that converts into a 3D Printer and back to a CNC machine in less than an hour. Costing less than a CNC machine or 3D printer! (~$1,000.00) In addition, the design will go further than the traditional 3D printer printing ABS/PLA, and move forward to printing with new materials such as 3D Printing Nylon derivatives like tauman 618 as well as Acrylic and PET.

Latest Updates to this Instructable as of 2/28/2016:

1. Major Update.... We can not thank all of you enough as to your many comments, support and help/advice you've given to others here as to the 2BEIGH3!. We released this three years ago and in that time the technology has grown so much we want to take a sec and provide a short update.

With the release of the 2BEIGH3, we were able to start off with a machine unlike any at that time. One that would allow us unfettered control of the 3D Printer portion of the design. In doing so, we were, and still do, operate a similar 3DP configuration in our development of new polymers for 3D Printing. This has allowed us to bring more unique materials to 3D Printing, especially in the area of utility. If you visit our site today, you'll see an array of materials from Nylons to Co-Polyesters that are developed specifically for 3DP. All of these materials have gone through testing on a system exactly like the 2BEIGH3 or similar to it. We were never limited by special boards/controllers, thermal requirements, speed requirements, force requirements or anything that was, at that time, part of the few units available for 3DP. We also want to thank those that went before us in the design of CNC units that utilize pipe in their structure. After months of evaluation, these were the design types that inspired us on the CNC portion. While this unit was built using 2" pipe, we've heard from others that have built larger units with 4" pipe. Again proving the pipe design is still valid for low cost CNC. One of the main goals three years ago was to minimize price/cost. With the advent of low cost hot ends and extruders, now available, one would probably be better off going with one of the low cost CNC units now available and simply adding an extruder and hot end. Reduced complexity and ability to handle 1.75mm for 3DP would be initial benefits. Today you can purchase linear rails of several types at lower prices for CNC or 3DP units. We still suggest the 1/4 20 threaded rod for CNC as it's very powerful. We still use MACH3 as it works well for both CNC and 3DP. We have upgraded our thermal controller to our own design and may release it next year.

We wish all DIY Instructable users and others the best and again thank everyone for their support and great comments. Given the changes in the last three years, we believe the future is going to be impressive!

Our motto..."Give em the knowledge, Give em the tools, Give em the materials and get out of their way"

2. There is a full 2BEIGH3 update here, along with a source for Nylon 3D Printing material here.

3. If you have a new 3D Printing material, there is a Safety Test Procedure for any new and previously untested material here.

As a sample of the unique new properties of just one of these new materials, Here is a 3D Print of a Childs NYLON Prosthetic Insole on the 2BEIGH3 3D Printer.

With the 3D Printer configuration of the 2BEIGH3, you will be able to print parts that meet much higher standards for strength, flexibility and pliability. You will be able to design parts that can take 100's of severe strikes from a sledge hammer and still have a soft velvet like texture.
You will be able to print parts that are almost equal to Factory Die Extrusions. And in some cases, parts that can not be Die extruded due to complexity. The term "delamination" will cease to be a concern.
Nylon and it's derivative polymers have some great features that can be modified with fill density and layer height. Imagine being able to print a permanent coffee filter, bearings that need no lubrication, pliable IPhone cases, extremely tough bands that are so flexible you can tie them in a knot and they'll still support 200lbs!

My hope is that people use this guide to bring their designs and projects to tangible parts and objects as paper and CAD designs are great, but unproven, till built.
My goal for this guide is to take the mystery out of both CNC and 3D printing in such a way as to eliminate that….”its all to overwhelming” feeling or thought.
Because there are several other specific machine designs out there, both CNC and 3D Printer, please refer to this machine as the "2BEIGH3" or "2 by 3" as I will within this guide.

Step 1: Goals and Approach

As I read through the 2D and 3D blogs and sites, it’s obvious that people with 2D want a 3D and people with a 3D want to try and convert it to a 2D.  They are both limited because their machines were meant for a specific action.  While CNC machines work with large X-Y lateral forces (cutting bits) they are very powerful but move very slow and 3D printers have almost no lateral force requirement (other than the platform) and move very fast.  Because neither machine needs a fast “Z” axis, the 2BEIGH3 is designed to allow you to swap out the X-Y sections, recalibrate and back to cutting or printing in less than an hour.  Actually, my 2BEIGH3 takes 15 min including calibration.
The process is going to be that we build a machine, to make a better machine to then build a slightly different machine.  And while that seems complicated, it’s mostly nuts and bolts.  I will try to specifically show you how to create or build the parts you need and where appropriate, provide detailed drawings and CAD files.
You’ll see that I have borrowed some ideas from others here on the Instructables web site, and if I forget to mention an already published detail, please let me know and I’ll update.
So before we get started, what exactly does a 2BEIGH3 look like?
<p>I am curious about the taulman 4 orifice hot end. I've had a lot of issues with bubbling and filaments that vary in size slightly. How does the hot end address these issues?</p>
I'm interested in building your 2beigh3 printer. As I was looking into the software mention, I found that the mach3 seems to not be supported or recommended anymore as the mach4 is out with usb output. Also the lazycam is no longer available or supported. <br>So I have been looking into options. And as a novice it looms very bleak as construction of the 2beigh3 is close to $1000 and the software can easily run $1600. <br>I think I'm missing something! What software should I be looking at that can draw, convert (is it to gcode?) and then will 'print' and is not be limited in function/time/trial or break the bank? (Separate software is ok not just an all in one package)<br>I'm not having luck finding such a product. I hope you have some encouraging words for this newbie.
<p><em>NOTE (for anyone building their own 2BEIGH3 who - understandably - doesn't make it through all of my (rather verbose) post): The BOM and images all specify <strong>3/8&quot; rods</strong> for the high res table, but cutting the parts from the DWF files (and using 1.25&quot; rollers as pictured in the files) results in a roller arrangement that requires <strong>1/2&quot; rods</strong>. Considering how much flex even the thicker rods have, this is a good thing... but it might save a trip to the hardware store to know in advance.</em></p><p>Since I finished the low res machine some time ago and have the high res table very nearly finished, I figured it was about time that I set up an account here, say thanks, and report a little on my progress (and to beg for some help from anyone else who made it this far... and makes it to the bottom of the post).</p><p>I put a lot of thought &amp; research into picking a design before I started, and the 2BEIGH3 won hands-down - not only for versatility, but because it seemed like a platform where I could start off knowing absolutely nothing and learn enough through the process to eventually build it into a reasonably powerful machine, all on a low enough budget that I could afford to pick the wrong components the first time around, to break parts I was trying to modify, and generally just to make as many mistakes as possible before eventually moving on to buying/building a &quot;real&quot; (or real expensive) machine once I knew what I was doing &amp; what I actually needed it for... And, out of all the nifty things I've so far made with this contraption, mistakes are certainly the most prolific. So, while mine is still a long way from evolving into the hoped for &quot;reasonably powerful machine&quot;, so far it's fulfilling it's purpose admirably well - and considering I still haven't quite figured out just why I <em>need</em> a CNC rig or 3D printer (aside from the obvious: &quot;to make <em>parts for </em>my CNC rig/3D printer!&quot;) I figure I've still got time for a few more mistakes before I'm done.</p><p>Over the six(ish) months I've been working on it, I've made a lot of tweaks to my build (some of them minor, some ill-advised, and some probably downright unsafe), but I think my most notable deviations from the plan were : </p><p>1) After seeing reports of headaches with the assorted cheap driver boards, I splurged on a Gecko G540 right from the start (with the reasoning that it's the one piece that would almost certainly carry over to the next machine I'd buy/build, and that it would be cheaper to buy the Gecko than to buy a cheap Chinese board and <em>then</em> a Gecko). So far I've had absolutely no regrets (aside from the huge sucking sound coming from the black hole that used to be my wallet), and no problems with/relating to that end of the operation at all. Very possibly the <em>only </em>part of the project I can say that about. Right now I'm running it off 24V from a pair of ATX PSUs running (after severing the chassis ground on one) in series. The G540 and KL23H256-21-8B steppers (from circuitspecialists.com) could handle the 48V of another pair of PSUs on the stack, but seeing as the machine's structural limitations are already keeping me from maxing out the current speeds, I haven't seen the need for more power yet.</p><p>2) I replaced the 1/4-20 threaded rods on the X &amp; Y axis with 5/16-18, because with any bend at all or any radial/angular misalignment with the motor (more on my coupling woes later) the thinner rods would whip around enough to cause further bending (and a whole hell of a lot of noise). This wasn't the panacea I'd hoped for, but it did show some improvement (and it was far easier to find <em>straight </em>5/16&quot; rod than 1/4&quot; in the hardware store). To reduce the whipping a bit more I screwed some crude supports (basically just blocks of wood with leadscrew-sized holes in them) onto the top (for the Y screw) &amp; bottom (for the X screw) of the X plate, to restrain the movement of the free ends of the screws. Again, it still didn't solve the problem (and didn't do anything to stop the bucking when the nut would get close to the misaligned stepper) but it helped preserve the leadscrews and cut down on the vibration &amp; noise.</p><p>3) For a spindle I'm currently using a $25 Harbor Freight trim router (#61626) and $20 speed control (#43060). I started out using a cordless Dremel, but, while it performed better than I expected, it wasn't a viable long-term solution, and I wanted the ability to use 1/4&quot; shank bits. Unfortunately it turns out the HF router <em>only </em>supports 1/4&quot; bits - no one makes alternate collets for it, and all of the the 1/8&quot; &quot;adapters&quot; I've found (essentially bushings with slits) introduce enough runout that I can only get away with the very shortest bits. That said, for 1/4&quot; bits it's not bad at all <em>- </em>especially at that price point - and the runout is negligible relative to the tolerances of the rest of the machine. The nice cylindrical shape also means that it's much easier to design &amp; cut mounts for than something like a Dremel or Rotozip, and having a securely mounted spindle (whatever tool you're using) makes a big difference.</p><p>4) Added a PS3 controller for jogging &amp; job control (with <a href="http://joakim.dk/joypad/ " rel="nofollow">http://joakim.dk/joypad/ ) </a>- I can't imagine working without it anymore. The software isn't designed with the DS3 in mind, so it requires some awkward remapping and it's not a choice I'd recommend if you're going to buy a controller, but if you've got one kicking around it makes life <em>much </em>easier than being tied to the keyboard.</p><p>5) I've rebuilt and/or redesigned the Z axis at least four times - soon to be five, once I finish the new XY table. (Tip: Poplar is really cheap at Lowes/Home Depot. Don't use it. It flexes all over the place, and was giving me some nasty deflection along the Y axis). I added additional bracing to the Z axis support pipe (the triangular beams visible in the picture - I believe I ended up using 1/8&quot; thick 3/4&quot; aluminum L-channel) to try to reduce some of the tool deflection I was seeing along the X axis. While there <em>is</em> some wiggle at the end of the pipe, I've come to suspect that most of the problem is the result of play in the Z axis drawer slides (Tip: Avoid full-extension slides - the 3-piece construction seems to make the ends much less stable than the 2-piece 3/4 extension versions, even when only extended a couple inches).</p><p>6) Shaft couplings. The bane of my existence. These have been giving me headaches pretty much since day one. I started out with the rigid couplings specified in the BOM (McMaster 6412K11), but unless I managed to get the motor shaft &amp; leadscrew aligned <em>perfectly </em>they'd cause the end of the rod to whip around, and the motor to try shaking the whole contraption off the workbench. Eventually this would be followed by the setscrews working loose and the shaft decoupling. This was compounded by the fact that tightening a setscrew onto a threaded surface seemed to inevitably skew the alignment, so any time I had to change screws/motors or remove/replace/adjust the table I'd find myself spending the next hour or two battling to get things running smoothly again. I tried threadlocker, grinding flats on the screws, and drilling holes for the setscrews to mate into, but a large part of the problem seemed to be that to avoid wobble the shaft has to be precisely the same diameter as the bore of the coupling, or else tightening the setscrew will force it off-center - and the <em>nominal</em> 1/4&quot; threaded rod (measured at .225&quot; actual) was never going to be a close enough fit with the 1/4&quot; coupling (.246&quot;). I've since tried to work around the problem with various flexible couplings. The helical variety work well for angular &amp; axial misalignment (not parallel/radial), but introduce a <em>lot</em> of backlash, and even using Mach3's backlash compensation I still see some distortion from it. Lovejoy couplings - two metal hubs with a rubber &quot;spider&quot; in between (allowing you to mix &amp; match hubs to mate different shaft sizes) allow for a fair bit of angular &amp; just a little parallel misalignment, but have nothing holding the two ends together. A number of the other coupling designs (like Oldham or Schmidt) share this property - obviously they're intended for systems where the leadscrew is axially fixed and can't slide in &amp; out, but I have yet to work out an easy way of converting the 2BEIGH3 to function like that. The flexible disc design looks promising, since it seems to avoid all of these issues, but the cost has kept me away. So far the best solution (read: &quot;ugly hack&quot;) I've found is to sink a ring of four(ish) screws or posts into each hub of a Lovejoy coupling and then zigzag several small (~3/4&quot;) rubber bands back and forth between them. It keeps the ends from pulling out (unless there's a <em>lot</em> of drag on your table - it can also act as a safety valve if you crash into something solid, rather than destroying your motor mount/leadscrew/nut) and retains flexibility, without introducing any measurable backlash... but god is it ever <em>ugly</em> (see attached closeup). The wider diameter of the couplings (made even wider by the screws) also meant that I had to carve sections out of the stepper mounting brackets and depressions in the underlying wood. If anyone else has come up with a great alternative, I'd love to hear it.</p><p>7) I made a spoilboard to bolt onto the top of the Y plate out of 12x12x1&quot; oak with a 1&quot; grid of 1/4-20 threaded holes, which allowed me to use bolts with nuts and/or washers in place of clamps (which, with the narrow space above the X plate getting even more crowded by shims that I needed for the Y plate, often weren't practical) for securely holding small/medium workpieces down. Unfortunately another other long-standing problem I've had has been a skewed X/Y alignment. Despite much effort, it was always difficult to get the axes square to each other - something that, like the couplings, comes back to bite me any time I remove/rebuild/adjust the table. I thought I'd gotten this corrected before drilling, but the misalignment still came through in the grid, so, while it was a great help for holding pieces down, I wasn't able to use it for alignment. The <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/2BEIGH3-3D-Printer-Update-and-call-for-Testers/" rel="nofollow">2BEIGH3 Update</a> says there's a &quot;shear&quot; command to compensate for this (in Mach3? in CAM? in CAD/modeling software?), but I haven't been able to find it mentioned anywhere else. I was hoping to finally sidestep this issue altogether by moving on to the high res table - indeed, the fact that the upgraded table design promised to inherently resolve the issue was one of the main reasons I went ahead with it, rather than risk repeating the issue while trying to build something custom with fancy linear bearings &amp; pillow blocks.</p><p>That brings me to my current quandaries... Aside from the mis-sized rods mentioned up top, <em>most </em>of the high res table has gone together smoothly. Cutting the acrylic took some experimentation - I was surprised to find that a relatively high spindle speed/low feed worked best (maybe 10-15k rpm, or about half-power on the setup described above, and 10-20ipm - just adjust the rpm down to the make sure the plastic isn't liquifying), but the results are awfully nice looking - I wish I could've made cuts like this when I was working on my last batch of PC case mods. I did run into a couple problems, however...</p><p>A) I'm a little confused by the nuts. I had used the diagrammed Delrin nuts (as pictured in Step 11) on the low res table without issue (well, aside from having to blow a big wad of cash o̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶f̶a̶n̶c̶y̶ ̶n̶e̶w̶ ̶t̶o̶y̶ on a drill press, because I had to struggle to drill <em>a</em> hole - never mind a <em>straight</em> hole - in the stuff... but without <em>major</em> issue - they also worked well when tapped for the 5/16-18 rod). This instructable and the update both read like the same ones are meant to be used for the high res table... but they don't seem to fit. I could use the thinner Y axis nut under the X axis, but without significantly raising the 1/2&quot; guide rods the nut would have the leadscrew running into the side of the right leg of the pipe frame. The Y axis has the opposite problem - even with the Y plate sitting flush on top of the struts, using either one of the Delrin nuts aligns the leadscrew significantly <em>above</em> the level of the motor shaft (and lifting the whole axis, like on X, isn't an option). The <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/2BEIGH3-3D-Printer-Update-and-call-for-Testers/" rel="nofollow">2BEIGH3 Update</a> says &quot;There is a new dwg in the hi res section for this part&quot;, but all I could find were the two JPGs (the same than I used successfully for the low res table). The maintable* 3DM files from <a href="http://www.taulman3d.com/2beigh3.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.taulman3d.com/2beigh3.html</a><br> were helpful in understanding how a lot of pieces were meant to fit <br>together, but they're still based around the cut plastic &amp; T-nut <br>version. Is there something I'm doing wrong, or do the pictured nuts simply not fit &amp; I need to make my own? (I probably <em>will</em> make my own, at least to get up and running again, but I'm interested in knowing what the intended design was, and/or what viable alternatives other people have come up with)<br>.</p><p>B) Step 10 says &quot; <em>We will brace the X Axis as it's hard to believe how much a 3/8 &quot; rod will bend in just 28&quot; &quot;. </em>This would definitely be helpful (while th<em>e </em>1/2&quot; rod bends less than the 3/8&quot;, it still <br>seems to have at least as much flex as the aluminum U-channel from the <br>low res table), but I couldn't find anything else in the text, images, or comments discussing it. My only thought is to drill holes for vertical posts in the center - although the fact that my machine is currently supported on a pair of 2x4s laid across sawhorses would mean building some sort of fixed understructure to attach to and, while it would help with Z (vertical) flex, I'm not sure how much it would do for Y (horizontal) flex. Has anyone else come up with a useful method of bracing/reinforcing the rods?</p>
<p>Been reading and rereading this tutorial and it looks doable although I feel it skips some explanations/steps here and there. At least for my total novice level.</p><p>The above aside, this machine seems to Work by moving the &quot;table&quot; around while a lot of other CNC/3printers I've looked at Works by moving the cnc part above the board around.<br>Is there any reasons for going either way, or is it just coincidal how this particular machine ended?</p><p>Anyone made this in the EU with metric Measurements, or maybe even found Places to easily buy the items needed?</p>
<p>Hey dintid, the instructable builds on </p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-drawer-slide-CNC-machine-for-under-200/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-drawer-...</a></p><p>Helped me a lot, and I started out with very little knowledge, and no tools other than a mate's drill press(and the mate). Take it slow and buy the tools and components over time.</p><p>About the metric conversion, i spent a few hours at a big hardware store and found metric equivalents for everything. However, for the low-res table I chose 1/4&quot; threaded-rod for a bit more accuracy than 8mm, and a (tiny) bit more strength than 6mm. 6.35mm couplings are easy to get. Having said that, it's easier to find STRAIGHT 8mm threaded-rods than 1/4&quot; ones. Oh well.</p>
<p>Wow! Very nice, very professional. And, what is that CAD software you use to create the drawings, please?</p>
<p>First off, i can't make to make and hack this. one question though, did you seriously manage to build this for about $1000?! that is incredible. Also, is it truly capable of running the cnc router with an aluminum block?</p><p>Cheers to an incredible build!</p>
<p>I'm partway through and my cost so far including some tools is au$600. Estimate another au$200 by the time I've made the accurate cnc table, print table and print head. At current exchange rates that's about US$650 all up.</p>
<p>I can't believe this! I'm designing my own 3d printer/cnc mill and came up with the idea to use iron pipe as a low cost rigid framing material while installing a natural gas heater at my buddies dads house. I was 1&quot; off and was surprised how non pliable even 6 foot runs are, I had to move the heater! lol I googled iron pipe frame 3d printer and find my idea was already in use as a framing material. So cool! I'm building one with 24&quot; x 24&quot; x 24&quot; travel and also want to use a 400 watt liquid cooled spindle motor for some CNC mill/cutting/engraving action. Eventually I want to experiment with printing in carbon fiber by impregnating carbon fiber snippets 3 to 8mm long into both the hardener and resin then pumping them through a standard style mixing tube/extruder but designed in 2 halves made of highly polished stainless steel for easy cleanup. A laser cutting attachment would be nice as well but that is way down the road. Anyway, Great video, glad to see someone else had my pipe idea. Take care and keep experimenting. That's how progress is made... </p>
<p>any luck?</p>
<p>Can you use USB to lpt1 converter?</p>
<p>Canberra, Australia. Just starting out. </p><p>As I go I'll list the _metric_ BOM's</p><p>MOTORS: ebay - au$219 delivered: 4-axis ctlr/4nema23(283oz/in) steppers, PS &amp; parallel cable. Worried that these will be too powerful, but we shall see.</p><p>The only local who can supply the frame components is &quot;metalmart&quot; who will cut and thread but need a week's notice. </p><p>QTY; Desc; Thread<br>2;600mm pipe; m-m<br>3;300mm pipe; m-m<br>5;150mm pipe m-m<br>3;Elbow; f-f <br>1;Tee; f-f-f <br>3;Union; f-f - Unavailable - got 'sockets' which seem functionally equivalent.<br>2;End caps; f<br>1;Flange; f - could not get 4-bolt version, had to settle with 2-bolt.</p><p>frame: au$118:</p><p>metalmart minimum dia threaded rods are 10mm. Still looking but might just couple to the 6.35mm stepper shafts. Anyone think that's a bad idea?</p>
<p>Problem with my z-axis.</p><p>I have the nema 23 7.6kg.cm 6 wire from circuit specialists. 57BYG081</p><p>I'm using the Univelop tb6560</p><p>My wiring is A:R A-:G B:Y B-:B</p><p>About 15.5 volts and 12 Ohm across the pairs.</p><p>This is working well for x and y axis</p><p>I think that I burnt out the z motor because I'm getting R between pairs. I swapped out my 4 motor (for the extruder) but I'm not getting movement. I swapped for the spare driver board, but when I try to jog the z motor, I get a clacking noise and no movement.</p><p>I took the load off of my z-axis to make sure that it wasn't a power issue.</p><p>Is there a good way to isolate the problems. I think that my controller is okay. I swapped cables for y/z and the z-job moved the 'y' axis. When I connected the z driver/motor to the y controller cable I still got the clacking noise.</p>
<p>On the basic CNC table, I'm noticing a bit of flex in the y-axis. The lack of a rigid bracket and the wood extension from the y-plate seem to be limiting factors. I have backed off the velocity and acceleration of the y-motor to keep the movement smoother, but mounting the motors has been the most frustrating.</p><p>I notice that you mounted the X-axis directly to the pipe rather than to the aluminum brackets as the smaller source project did. Trying to bolt a plate tangent to the pipe and level was also a challenge.</p><p>Lining up the threaded rod with the motor shaft and the guide nuts fastened to the platform left me wishing that I had a way to make micro adjustments. I used some set screws to position the z-axis nut because I don't have tools precise enough to create that cut-out on the z-nut (At least until I get the CNC tuned).</p><p>This has been a great project, so thank you much for sharing it. </p>
<p>@taulman,</p><p>I am in the preliminary stages of planning my 2BEIGH3. I was curious if there is any more information on the new and improved Threaded Rod Nuts. In your update it says you have uploaded a dwg of them. I can not seem to find them. Any help would be appreciated.</p><p>Thank you,</p><p>Ryan</p>
<p>Thanks, thanks, THANKS !!!</p><p>I am wondering if I want to;</p><p>a) Go with the low precision table, then the higher precision, then the 3D printer in the standard size all on 1 inch pipe.</p><p>b) As above, but larger, perhaps MUCH larger on 1 1/4, 1 1/2 or even 2 inch pipe.</p><p>Are there any rules of thumb for this ? I suppose torsional stiffness &quot;matters&quot; somewhere along the line, but I'm thinking that MASS might also help a LOT.</p><p>c) Do the low precision, then the higher) precision tables, then do the 3D printer as a SEPARATE set of hardware, i.e. have both available at all times with no need to switch.</p><p>Part of my reasoning is that prints can take a long time, even a VERY LONG TIME and as an impatient fellow... I just might wanna MAKE something on a 2D table.</p><p>I know, more hardware takes more space and more money. This is probably something I should decide before I start, there are probably places to optimize for 2D CNC if I am not going forward with 3D printing on the same platform.</p><p>d) Fancy hardware; Are linear bearings THAT expensive ?</p><p>Are they worth it ?</p><p>================================</p><p>Thanks (yet) again.</p>
<p>I found linear bearings on amazon for $18 per 12 pack, which doesn't seem unreasonable (in the total scheme of things).</p><p>LM8UU - they seem to be packaged and marketed specifically for home built 3D printer projects.</p><p>http://www.amazon.com/Linear-Bearings-Printer-Mendel-reprap/dp/B00ED150S4</p>
<p>It's great!</p>
<p>Its superb<br><br></p>
Very creative. I'll build your system as soon as I have your design in <strong>Autodesk Inventor 2014 </strong>as a <strong>parametric model</strong>. Do you happen to have that? :-)
If anyone is having problems downloading the DXF files just right click on them, click save as and then add a &quot;.dxf&quot; at the end then press save.
If anyone is having problems downloading the DXF files just right click on them, click save as and then add a &quot;.dxf&quot; at the end then press save.
Ok, I have a question.... If the point of changing the XY table and drive methods is to exchange speed for torque, then aren't we making life way harder than it has to be? In my design, I can see a way to actually run both drive methods on the same table at the same time... well sorta. I could add a belt drive to both X and Y axis, which would be permanently connected. Then, give myself a way to disconnect the drive screw from the table and the X-carriage. It would then be run from the belt drives at high speed and low torque. The screw drives could be re-attached to run high-torque/low speed. The belt drives would not have to be disconnected at all. They would only have to have the power removed so the steppers can freewheel. The screwdrives would have no problem dragging the belt drives in tow, and I can't foresee any reason why it would hurt them as long as power was removed. <br> <br>Can your table be modified in this way? If it could, then, assuming you run dual parallel controllers, you could simplify the transition to inserting 2-4 bolts and the flip of a switch.
I too started with the same simple frame in mind with the intention of simply 'upscaling' it. However, mine morphed into something completely new and different. I also have the intention of switching back and forth between 3D printer and mill/router. I would also like to add the ability to do PCBs and laser. I didn't plan for mine to switch motion/axis to optimize motion for the different modes though.... bravo. I figured when mine didn't move on the X and Y fast enough, I would make some linear trucks for each, and switch to belt drive. I built it with that future upgrade in mind, and should be able to do it easily. Right now, I have a fried X stepper, and I'm awaiting the replacement..... <br> <br><div><a href="http://s1179.photobucket.com/user/thasatelliteguy/library/CNC%20Build%20as%20of%2011_3_2013" rel="nofollow"></a></div>
<a href="http://s1179.photobucket.com/user/thasatelliteguy/library/CNC%20Build%20as%20of%2011_3_2013?sort=3&page=1" rel="nofollow">http://s1179.photobucket.com/user/thasatelliteguy/library/CNC%20Build%20as%20of%2011_3_2013?sort=3&amp;page=1</a>
I dont understand why this hasnt been done. <br>Once you have you device with XYZ movement and a well thought out tool space, you can interchange any tool from router to engraver to extruder. <br>If your frame is rigid enough to handle router cutting a extruder will be nothing
Very nice instructable! <br> <br>Do you have any 3d cad models of the whole assembly? It would be nice to bring up a .step file to better understand how it all fits together.
Looks kike an idea whose time has come: <br>http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/327919589/the-microfactory-a-machine-shop-in-a-box
I have been following your Instructible for about 3 months and have constructed a low res cnc to cut parts for the high res table.
Congratulations, M D A..! You'll be pleased to know you're in good company. There are about 80+ (that I know of) makers around the world building or using/hacking the design. I will mention, that once I had the lower res unit working that I ended up actually cutting more parts on it, than I did when the higher res unit was up. Again, congratulations as I, and a lot of others here know, it takes interest and study to make these units work!<br>taulman
It has been a while since I posted so I will give another update. Hopefully this info will help with anyone who is having difficulties like I am. Here is what I have found in the past few weeks. <br>Missed steps: I scoped the outputs of the parallel port and the input to the stepper board. There was no missed steps at all. In my parallel interface board, there is a HC244 level converter connected to the lines of the parallel port. This does the 3.3V to 5V conversion so the rest of the downstream electronics are getting full 5V. Since this was not the problem I had to do some more hunting and found the decay mode drastically affected my stepper motors when running at higher RPM. I was running at 50% decay but I changed it to 100% decay and my &quot;missed steps&quot; problem went away. I hope this proves useful to anyone facing a similar aggravating situation. <br> <br>Drive rods: I have been having frustrating problems with my threaded rod coming loose from the motor couplers or the couplers coming loose from the motor shaft. It is extremely annoying. Everytime I try to cut the thicker plastics, the rod decouples and I ruin my part. I tighten the set screws as tight as possible. I have already rounded out the hex keys on two or 3 of the set screw because I am tightening them so much and so tight. The lateral forces just seem to be way to high and are pulling things apart. I actually ordered some of the special CNC shaft couplers that are helically slit to help with misalignment issues. They help to smooth out the motion but the helix acts like a spring and creates a big dead zone when you reverse direction just like backlash but worse. They clamped around the shaft instead of set screws so they held much better but I had to remove them because of the dead zone. I am not sure what I am going to do about this. Until I can get this solved, I am dead in the water! <br> <br>Slides: These have been a major thorn in my side. I know the slides were not going to be very precise but the ones I have are ridiculous. I already mentioned on my first post about the use of a tension spring on the Z axis slide. Well I had to do the same on one of the X axis slides. I noticed when I reversed direction in the X axis, they would shift in the Y axis as well!!! The farther they were extended, the greater the shift. At near full extension the Y shift just by looking at it was 0.050&quot; or more!!! This was showing up on all of my test prints when there was an X axis direction change. I &quot;solved&quot; this problem just like the other. I put a tension spring from the end of the slid and attached it to the opposite slides aluminum U channel via a nylon zip tie. This created a nylon loop that would &quot;slide&quot; up and down the channel as the X axis moved and provided a constant force in the Y axis and greatly reduced if not eliminated the problem. <br> <br>Plastics: When I was purchasing my raw materials, I was having a hard time finding the 0.220 acrylic so I went with 6mm polycarbonate from Amazon. Since it is a harder plastic, it is also harder to mill. I have checked out online for some tips on cutting this stuff and everything I read indicates you need low rpm and high feed speed. Wellllll, this setup is just not rigid enough to handle those kind of forces and my motors top out at around 22 in/min which is waaaaay below the recommended feed speeds of anywhere from 50 - 90 in/min from what I have read. The bit also seems to catch alot and pull into the plastic or pull the plastic up. I have these same problems with acrylic too. I have tried milling thinner acrylic and polycarbonate and these really cause a lot of problems because they ride up the helix of the bit and cause the thin plastic to vibrate a lot in the Z axis and just make a mess with the edge. I am experimenting with trying to do a 2 pass cut of the 6mm polycarb. If my threaded rod will keep from coming apart this might be a viable solution. Higher feed speeds seem to cause a lot more slop in the X and Y axis so I have been trying to keep everything running at 150mm/min or less. <br> <br>Dremel: I have been dissatisfied with my generic dremel. I don't know if the name brand will be better but I am unwilling and unable to spend the cash to find out. I am convinced that a generic &quot;rotozip&quot; or compact router is a way better option to get more torque at lower rpms. Mine has stalled out too many times when I turn down the rpms to keep from melting the edges of the plastic. Plus you get a 1/4&quot; bit capacity and likely a much better collet system to hold the bit. Anything has to be better than the one I have. It is a Genesis rotary tool from Amazon. Works fine as a dremel but the supplied collets don't hold worth a darn when you have high pull-out forces. <br> <br>Well that is enough for now. I hope this helps anyone else that may be running into brick walls like I am. If anyone has any ideas please let me know. One of these days or months I will get this thing working!
Hi, rt, First, excellent detective work on the driver board and drivers. That is the single point of issues with all of the electronics I've seen. <br>Next, on the coupler, while I didn't have any issues, I talked to one user that bulit a larger unit and he user a zero backlash from MMCarr <br>Coupling Hub 1/4&quot; Bore, 3/4&quot; Outside <br>PN 9845T102 using a red Durometer spider <br>Next is the speed of the dremel....Seems I lucked out finding the right speed to cut acrylic with mine, but it eventually died from over use: ) <br>I bought a cutout saw (dremel like) from Harbor Frieght But it didn't have speed control like the dremel. Runs way to fast. <br>I found that there's a certain speed for each type acrylic, so I bought a autotransformer that allows me to change voltage/speed $50.00 <br>http://www.mpja.com/500VA-0-130VAC-Variable-Autotransformer/productinfo/15162%20TR/ <br>Works great. But it does take time to dial in the speed. Both RPM and cut speed. <br>I found that the 1/8 bit got hot so the plastic melted to easy. I got a blower nozzle for my air comp and put it on to cool off the cutting bit. That really helps. <br>mail me on my website and I'll see if I can find any other tips. <br>taulman <br> <br> <br>
Update 2: <br>Tried the different motors. They give about 3x linear feed as expected. After trying to cut some test parts, I think I am going to reverse my thoughts on missed steps. The output with the new motors is all over the map. I think the missed steps weren't as obvious with the slower rpm motors but the higher frequency signals for these new motors is making the missed steps much more obvious. Parallel port card here I come!
Hello again! <br>Here is an update to my previous post. I checked my parallel port and it is putting out 3.3V signals but I also scoped the steps and everything looks good. I scoped the step signal coming out of the parallel port and the clock input pin to the stepper controller and they have been identical on every scope capture. So I would have to say that I am not dropping steps. I was able to get my hands on some different stepper motors and I hooked them up to the signal generator feeding the stepper motor controller and they top out at 25kHz. I think I am going to try them to give a little more linear feed speed.
Hello,<br> I have been following your Instructible for about 3 months and have constructed a low res cnc to cut parts for the high res table.&nbsp; I had some questions at the bottom but I also wanted to share some of what I have learned.&nbsp; I have even contemplated making a parallel Instructable on using LCNC for this project.&nbsp; But that is for when I am farther along.&nbsp; Here is what I have:<br> <br> To save some money, I went the LinuxCNC route since it was free to try.&nbsp; Getting the motors to run with LCNC was not difficult.&nbsp; Since there is not a standard CAM module to convert DXF to gcode I had to try third party software.&nbsp; Try as I may, I could not get any software to reliably read in the DXF files from this instructable.&nbsp; I don&rsquo;t know why.&nbsp; Sooo, I went the long route and re-drew the parts for the precision table in Sketchup and exported the DXF from there.&nbsp; I have made some minor tweeks to the geometry of the parts but nothing drastic.&nbsp; Then I used a free CAM program (HeeksCNC) to create the gcode.&nbsp; Works pretty well.&nbsp; I do have to tweek the resulting gcode a little since LCNC gives some error messages during the import.&nbsp; The messages are actually useful and point you where you need to make some modifications.&nbsp; LCNC has an excellent gcode reference in their manual.<br> <br> Another difference is the CNC controller I am using.&nbsp; I got mine from http://www.sainsmart.com/new-4-axis-tb6560-cnc-stepper-motor-driver-controller-board-kit-57-two-phase-3a.html<br> This is good for 1/16 microstepping which is what I have it set to.&nbsp; I haven&rsquo;t noticed any odd behavior with this controller.&nbsp; I am going to verify my parallel port is giving 5VDC and scope the output to double check for missed steps but after cutting many test parts, I am pretty certain that it is behaving well.<br> I can control the motors well from the PC but they have a limited feed rate before they start &ldquo;misbehaving&rdquo;.&nbsp; I used a separate signal generator to feed TTL square waves to the controllers to find the top frequency I can supply the motors.&nbsp; My motors top out at about 8Khz with the above microstepping and 24VDC supply.&nbsp; That equates to about 2.5 rev/s or 1/8 in/s.&nbsp; Not very fast.&nbsp; Since your video is time lapsed, approximately how fast is your linear feed rate??&nbsp; After some research, I found a nice site (http://www.daycounter.com/Calculators/Stepper-Motor-Calculator.phtml) that had good calculations to determine the max rpm for a stepper motor based on inductance and supply voltage.&nbsp; It looks like I picked high inductance low amp motors (57BYGH207 motor from www.circuitspecialist.com) that limit my rpm .&nbsp; I saved a few bucks per motor but I am paying for it in speed.&nbsp; I thought I would pass that along in case anyone else had the same problem.&nbsp; Which motors did you get specifically??? Item 57BYGH104??<br> I am using a similar type end mill it is just half the length and consequently half the price.&nbsp; It is from amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BIEUZY/ref=oh_details_o04_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1).&nbsp; All the specs appear to be the same other than the length.<br> <br> My main reason for writing (other than...&nbsp; Great instructable!!) is I am having problems getting good output on cutting the parts (at least I think so).&nbsp; I have test cut many of the Ystrut pieces on various materials to get a feel for the output before making the final pieces.&nbsp; I have milled the profile in wood to a shallow depth and it looks nice and smooth but when I get to milling the plastic, the edge finish is rather coarse.&nbsp; I am experimenting using thin acrylic and the cutter seems to catch and grab the piece causing it to vibrate in the Z axis.&nbsp; The milling direction is such that the finish edge is conventional milling and not climb milling.&nbsp; I have experimented with different rpm on the cutter but I can only go so low before my generic dremel will stall out.&nbsp; I noticed that you show two different cutting tools attached to your Z axis.&nbsp; The first looks like a dremel type rotary tool and the other looks more like a roto-zip or small router which is shown in your video.&nbsp; Did you need to graduate up to a more powerful cutter??&nbsp; I am feeding about as fast as my motors will go (110mm/min).&nbsp; I just get bad vibration.&nbsp; Even going to thicker material the bit will tend to grab but the thicker material doesn&rsquo;t vibrate as much in the Z axis.&nbsp; I have even had the bit grab so much that it pulled it out of the collet during the milling.&nbsp; I replaced the factory collet with an acual dremel collet and that seemed to do the trick.&nbsp; The surface finish is still pretty coarse.&nbsp; I did find that the center drawer slide that I have on my Z axis has a lot of play in the Y axis.&nbsp; It can cause my cutter to &ldquo;sway&rdquo; in the Y axis by 1/8&rdquo; or more!&nbsp; Maybe I have a less than ideal slide.&nbsp; This was causing a LOT of coarseness in the Y axis cuts.&nbsp; As the table would move in the Y direction, the flex of the slide would act like a spring and cause jerky motion.&nbsp; I have been able to compensate for this by putting a tension spring on the end of the slide and connect it back to the Z axis pipe to provide a constant back pressure on the slide.&nbsp; I just wanted to get your feedback to see if you had any tricks you learned and didn&rsquo;t document in the Instructable.&nbsp; About what would you call reasonable tolerance on the output for the low res table??&nbsp; 0.012&rdquo;-0.015&rdquo;??&nbsp; Thanks for the help!
Looks like I will also have to remove my Step Signal Opto chip. I scaled up the skull and crossbones test file, included in Mach3, to .5 on first test cut. Things looked ok until I tried a larger 2.5 scale up of the same file. Looks like Y is missing steps, BADLY. The eyes of the skull and cross bones aren't straight. I may also bump up my voltage to 24v after I've removed and jumper the chip location. <br>
It seems the Univelop tb6560 has changed their opto chips. I was going to remove it until I noticed they are no longer a 4 pin chip. It is now an Identical chip to the one next to it. Both are 6N137. I will do more searching. <br> <br>Also, I think I am doing something wrong converting dxf to g-code for the parts in the precision table. I tried to test a few cuts on wood after converting with lazycam but the bit seems to be constantly following the red travel lines between cuts and not following the blue lines to cut the part itself. <br> <br>I will search more and post back later. <br> <br>
I'm am going to post my embarrassing folly publicly, in case others can't seem to get there motors moving both directions. <br> <br>The first day that I got my machine wired up, Z axis, was the only one that wouldn't respond when pressing the page up key, in fact, when pressing page down, the motor would make z axis go up. X and Y worked, but it seemed rather sporadically. <br> <br>Following day, Z was still the same but now, x and y went in the same direction no matter which direction I pressed for the arrow keys. I searched some tutorials and even messaged taulman to let him know I had it Somewhat working. <br> <br>Today, I do want taulman suggested within his message and nothing different happened. While looking at a ribbon cable I noticed that I forgot to run a 9v lead to the interface board (board with parallel port). DERP. Made a lead and connected the 7v port, to the 9v bussbar, now everthing is moving as it should!!! <br> <br>Lost, 3, late afternoons of progress because I forgot to double check my wiring job on my boards. Check and double check your work.
I was wondering how flat the printer bed has to be. I have made my own 3d printer now and the bed is 0.2-0.4 degrees higher towards the left side and 0.3-0.5 degrees higher towards the front. Will this make a noticeable difference in my print product? Luckily I can correct this with some sanding but was wondering if it was worth the trouble. Any suggestions?
Hey taulman, <br>I used your picture as a reference and successfully removed (bypassed) one of the optocouplers but I'm having the same results. I max out at approximately 80rpm before the stepper just stalls and makes a horrible racket. I know your videos are all time-lapse, do you have any that aren't? As it stands right now, I could get the steppers working but movement would be at a snails pace. <br> <br>Any ideas on where I could look or maybe additional forums I could query would be most appreciated. <br> <br>Best, <br>Tim
what stepper motors and what is the power supply voltage?<br>If it's 12 volts, you may want to bump it up to 24 volts.
This all depends on a few items. What is your main power supply voltage? Is this the printer or CNC..? HAve you verified you can change steps?1/2, 1/4, 1/8<br>
Thanks for the instructable,,, you have ideas running through my head so bad right now its pitiful..... 3d plastic printer, saw the 3d metal printers on youtube... I want both... metal be similar but different... will have to see... I know from plastics and to metal, different heat temperatures for melting and such...may be hard for the cooling should hopefully be extremely fast to work as a printer.... so, that would be my biggest dilemma of figuring things out... unfortunately, it would have to cool pretty much as soon as it comes out of the nozzle... thanks again for the instructable....
tcase6, first, thanks for your comments! they mean a lot to all of us that place designs here.<br> As to the metals, yes , I found that I could melt them (Tin and Bizmuth) but couldn't control the cooling as well as I wanted. I'm sure it's doable, it just requires a knowledge of metal thermodynamics. If you do go the way of metals, you might try a system that extrudes an &quot;almost melted&quot; metal. Has a narrow temp range, but might just work.<br>Bizmuth is hard to control, but melts easy. Tin is probably the way to go.<br>taulman<br>
I have built and painted my frame. Scaling the 2by3 up to 48x48x24. Controller boards and steppers arrived a couple of days ago. Off to by my rods, channels, and slides. <br> <br>Thank you so much for putting this instructable out there for us. I have always wanted to build my own cnc and I never thought I would. Thanks taulman for all your hard work and documentation. I wounldn't be doing this if it wasn't for your great instructable
First, thank you for your kind words!<br>Wow.....that's a large machine, Joe!... You'll be able to make furniture , musical instruments and a small block engine..!<br>Good luck in your build, Joe and thanks again for your comments.<br>taulman
thanks for all the electronics info, scaling this up to a 30s30x30 square aluminim frame with linear bearings.
For anyone that reads through the comments and has similar problems due to 3.3v on the parallel port...If you don't want to remove the optoisolators there is something that I have found that works pretty well. From what I have looked at, it is hard to find out if a PCI parallel card will output the 5v necessary. I recently got this (http://www.cnc4pc.com/Store/osc/product_info.php?cPath=33&amp;products_id=203), an output buffer board. It is basically plug and play and installs right in line onto the breakout board. It holds the voltage right at 5 and I was able to get my basic CNC up and running.
Let me first say, awesome project. The plethora of information you have shared is fantastic. <br> <br>I've started to build my own 2beigh3. I purchased the 4/5 axis TB6560 stepper controller from cncgeeker and the 8kg NEMA23 steppers from circuitspecialists. I have them all wired up with a 15A 12V power supply and a 9V power supply for the logic side. All looks happy with LED's happily lit abroad. I connected it all up to a spare PC I had and tested out the motors. Here is where everything started going downhill. After many trials and tribulations, I discovered the parallel port was maxing out at 3.3V, so I ordered a PCI expansion port and now have it happily at 5V where it should be. Now, motor tuning... ugh. No matter what config I use, I can't get the motors to turn well. Using the example config you provided, they make a lot of noise, but very little movement, mostly jerky action. I've tried lowering the accel and velocity, changing the steps, adjusting the low active on the pins and changing the pulse widths, all with the same poor results. In idle, the motors lock up as they should be with remarkable holding force. I'm unable to turn by hand at all. I've tested the motor leads and I'm seeing 12V as expected. I have the DIP switches for the stepper drivers set at 0% decay, 20% torque and 1/8th steps. Any suggestions or ideas on what I can test next would be greatly appreciated. I'm thinking it may be the opto-couplers that I keep reading about, but I'm not convinced yet. <br> <br>Thanks again for all you have done. Not sure where else to turn for assistance quite yet as googling it provides a hodgepodge of results. --Best, Tim

About This Instructable




Bio: is an Engineer with a background in electronics, optics, mechanical designs, chemistry, plastic injection molding and plastic die tooling.
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