I worked with RS Components to highlight some things to look out for when building your own CNC machine. Most of it is common sense but it’s always worth discussing and mentioning safety guidelines. I present to you the DIY CNC safety guide in Instructables form. You can find the original guide here
If you currently have a DIY CNC or 3D printer without a shiny, red emergency button get in touch, I may be able to send you one.Dress for the occasion
• Always eye protection and closed-capped boots.
• Wood can often create fine sawdust, so make sure you wear safety goggles, as well as a half-mask to cover your nose and mouth.
• Never wear baggy clothes, neckties, and jewellery.
• Only wear gloves when your machine is not in operation and you are handling materials.
• If your machine is loud, wear hearing protection such as soundproof buds or headphones to prevent damages to your ears.Daily Checks
• Don’t use a machine before making sure that all machine guards, interlocks, and other safety devices are installed and fully operational.
• Before you turn on your milling machine, make sure that your materials are centred into the router’s chuck. Then lock the guard in place before turning on the machine.
• Check all motion control switches daily.Clean and Tidy
• Remember to completely power of the machine before deciding to clean it or perform maintenance.
• The area around the machine should be clear of oil and coolant spills. Keep the surrounding area free from obstructions.
• When finished, always clean debris from inside the machine before using it again. Avoid letting chips build up in the machine.Looking after your machine
• Don’t ignore maintenance! Try to stop all problems before they start.
• Check your machine for damage before you power on. A damaged part could potentially ruin your machine, or worse, injure you.
• Don’t put too much weight on the table. Excessive weight increases wear, and may even cause motion failures, affect accuracy, and damage the machine. Use your senses
• Illuminating lamps should be adjusted so that light is not directed into the operator’s eyes.
• If you are milling metal or another thermally conductive material, give the piece time to cool down before removing it from the vice.Electronics
• All CNC machines should have an emergency shutoff switch, preferably located on the control panel.
• Install a limit switch for additional safety. This will not only protect your hardware, but it will reduce the risk of fire.
• As your CNC machine will be wired to the mains power, there should be an isolator in the circuit to allow safe isolation from the power.