I always loved CNC machines! They are the future since they were first invented! I still believe that CADing and CNCing are miracles. When the first printer arrived to my home (I was about 10) I got really fascinated by the fact that I could print a paper about a hundred times by writing it just once!
Only recently I got comfortable with the parts and knowledge needed to built a CNC. I really needed a kind of plotter for my work. As you know a Commercial Laser Engraver is really pricey and a good one is simply out of reach...
To make a long story short I decided to build my own... The funny part is that when I started designing I didn't know Instructables so I reinvented the wheel in many cases...
So here we go: my Moving Gantry Arduino-Less Laser Engraver...
You can also use this machine to create PCBs. Here is my Instructable about it
Here is an Instructable with a better machine using the same parts: Repurposing my Laser CNC into a multi-mount CNC
Step 1: The Design
I had NO experience on such machines. I just liked them a lot. The only CNCish machine I had built at the time was a (Arduino-based) coil winder, with auto-traverse winding and (of course) winding counter. No axis, no steppers or servos, no gantry precision issues, no G-Code, no anything! It was a clean start!
The first Design had to be changed in the process (that is utterly bad sometimes) but at least was working at first glance. The "gantry", for example, has changed about 3 times since then (pictures on next steps)...
As you can see in the pictures it is a really budget (to cheapish) project. Axis drivers are bought at 1.50€ for example. But lets be more precise:
Axis drivers (that white pipe - "απλή ντίζα" in greek - no english translation but I got it at a shop selling paint) 1.50€ per meter Needed 2 meters so 3 €
Copper pipe used for plumber jobs (12mm outter diameter) 2.90 € per meter
Needed just one meter and I really have enough for at least another one built!
MDF wood Base-Frame about 10 €
All screws and anything else needed (and shown in the pictures) are things an average hobbyist have lying around. In any other case they can be easily found at paint shops and plumber shops (this metallic tape "τσερκοταινια" in greek- for example -that I have no idea about its english name-).
So the Sum for the Frame is 15.90€. It could be cheaper if I had replaced the wood with foil or something, but being functional was an expectation...