The CNC router was a multi-year project. Built out of 3/4″ MDF for ease of working with wood tools, here are some major pieces:
- HobbyCNC Pro (4 axis) driver
- AnTek toroidal power supply
- 3 NEMA 23 steppers
- 1/2-10 acme lead screws
- 3/8″ steel guides, pillow blocks
- approx 16x22x4 envelop
- LinuxCNC controller
- Rotozip router
The overall design was laid out using SketchUp (free version).
The final version looks pretty similar!
There’s a few things wrong with the setup as seen above: the Y axis has a large amount of flex running on the 3/8″ guides, and the router is not too secure with only the bottom clamped down. An attempt was made to keep the y-axis from rotating due to the flex, but didn’t address the unintended z motion. So, the y-axis was redone using homemade (of course!) v groove bearings (sandwiched skate bearings). The x-axis uses the same 3/8 guide bearing setup but since a ‘brace’ passes under the table, bushings are used to prevent up/down flexing. The router bit is centered on the ‘brace’.
An additional clamp was also fashioned to better hold the router.
As for design software, I have been using F-engrave to make signs and convert bitmaps to g-code. CamBam has also been used to make some basic designs for patterns to use with the foundry/greensand casting, but for a later post!
To be done:
- Add solid state relay for spindle switching. Currently using Harbor Freight router speed controller (set to 100%) as on/off manual switch. I have not used the speed control (yet!), and would like to have the router turn off after finishing job.
- Fix the x-axis – there’s something binding at full extents of travel causing some skipped steps.
- Better dust control. Using the hood from the portable dust collector, but still getting dust blown out by the router exhaust.
- Shield lead screws from dust.
- Use this to make the next one!
Here’s a den totem (Just alphabetical happenstance – not that I was subconsciously thinking of adult beverage!) that used the CNC and newly tried welder: