CNC Project Roundup

We asked for CNC projects, and wow did you guys deliver!

First up is [J-J Shortcut’s] MDF based CNC. He’s made three thus far, with the most recent costing about 180 euro and taking 2 months to build.

[Qwindelzorf] has also constructed a multitude of CNC machines including this industrial size router and this smaller miller.

Finally, [Mick’s] large steel CNC which just made its first cut only a week ago!

Keep up the great work guys, CNC machines are not easy to build and your accomplishments are ones for the record books.

10 thoughts on “CNC Project Roundup

  1. I agree about the bit about CNC machines being difficult to build! I tried for ages to use drawer slides as linear rails to make a machine, but I’m just no good at it – I used some rigid acrylic surfaces for X and Y, ended up weighing so much it sagged horribly when extended.
    Then I failed to find a good way to mount the vertical axis using what I had! I gave up.
    I’m now thinking of buying the fireball V90 from Probotix – anybody have one?
    And does anybody know if they’re still trading? – I dont want to send off my money then find out they’re not in business any more!

  2. With a typical homebrew CNC build, is it possible to mill a PCB with traces small enough for surface mount components? If so — are the homebrew mills we’ve seen on HackADay sufficient, or are more precise motors required?

    I’m also unsure as to whether or not the bits thin enough to do the job would snap while skimming across the copper.

    If this is feasible, I’d certainly love to build a machine rather than continue to buy etchant…

  3. It definitely is possible to make a homebrew cnc machine that can mill useful PCB’s, but the tricky part is to make the machine run nicely perpendicular and make it run the same depth every position. And it is important to use the right tool for milling.

  4. A CNC PCB board engraver might be one of the easiest types of CNC machines to build. Small work envelope, engraver and maybe three drill bits are all the cutters you need … disco!

    There are “spring tension” engraver bits that will just follow the board even if it’s not totally flat. That’s a good way to solve a tricky problem:

    As for precise motors, you will likely use a cog-belt pulley to connect the motor to the motion screw, so simply use small on the motor and large on the screw to increase “resolution”. More disco!

    I’m building a CNC milling machine, but on reflection I think I should have built a PCB engraver first to achieve some quick success for inspiration (and have a useful tool too).

  5. The “smaller miller” link gets a “page not found” on the site.

    My only exposure to a cnc machine was the cnc metal lathe back in high school. It was easy to use and great fun. I’d like to have some cnc stuff one day. Store brought or home made, either would be cool.

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