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DIY Drawerslide CNC Machine - Gantry Re-design

video DIY Drawerslide CNC Machine - Gantry Re-design
I built a CNC machine that used a small inexpensive rotary tool that rode on one drawerslide.  It was fun to see it actually work (this was the first CNC machine that I have ever built) but it was limited in its ability to cut larger pieces of wood.  The small rotary tool also lacked torque and had a tendency to wobble due to no bearing at the collet. 

So I redesigned the gantry to hold a router that could use standard sized 1/4" bits.

Here's a quick little video using Mach3, LazyCam, and some cheap stained pine.
mmcgregor45 months ago
How much time did you spend on this project? I'm trying to get my boss to let me build one of these for our prototyping workshop he likes the component cost but want an estimate for how many labor hours I would spend building it.
stangtime (author)  mmcgregor45 months ago
It's really hard to say. I nibbled away at it when I found time. I spent a lot of time thinking about it when I wasn't actually working on the project. As you've probably seen I did a lot of videos of the process - some things worked, some ideas didn't pan out, and other things I built for it weren't necessary for it's operation (such as the enclosure box - which really makes using the machine much more enjoyable). If I had to estimate I'd say a few months of just tinkering. Perhaps 60 to 80 hours of actual build time? If you go forward let me know how it goes. Thanks for your comments.
stangtime (author) 1 year ago
pfred2 - Cool. Good suggestions. For the time being ~ 3" of Z travel is enough for me. If and probably when I do a new build I'll give it some thought. I'll have to try burning the edges and see how it goes.
stangtime (author) 1 year ago
Electroncs Man - Thanks. There are a bunch of free CAD programs out there for design. I've tried a bunch of them. At the moment I'm using an old version of Adobe Illustrator. An earlier version of TurboCad can do the job also and doesn't cost much (I picked up TurboCad 15 for about $10 online a few weeks ago. There is also a free plug-in for Google Sketchup that will create g code. Just have to try lots of them to figure out what you like best.
Wow you did a great job on this and I really like your method of clamping your workpiece down. What program do you use for designing your parts? I am trying to find a good user friendly software that is free.
pfred21 year ago
Your design is disturbingly close to my super secret machine. This for instance is my Z axis mechanism:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHPKaHLzXes

That drives a nested square tube up and down. I don't use any drawer slides. My nested square tubes look like this:

http://i.imgur.com/PHZCW.jpg

I have six inches of Z axis travel.

For that fuzz you're getting in your cut burn it off with a torch. Burning the letters makes them stand out nicely too. It takes a touch to burn it right though. I've routed a lot of signs. Oh use a V groove bit too. Square is a bit much. Sanding is too tedious.
stangtime (author) 1 year ago
Thanks sleeping and ringai for taking a look and for the comments.
ringai1 year ago
I'm impressed. I am also glad that I held off on building the first versions of drawer slide CNCs that I saw. Your design is looking very appealing.
sleeping1 year ago
Nice job. Looking at the way you held the work piece in place, I was recently looking at vacumn devices that hold the project in place. They look nice and clean.
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