CNC machines are great at churning out custom parts, but they tend to make a mess in the process. [Darcy] has built up his own CNC dust collection rig to collect the dust and keep his workspace clean.
To capture the dust, a custom dust skirt encloses the cutting tool and directs the vacuum. This was made by gluing acrylic parts together, creating a box that contains the dust and provides a connection for the vacuum system.
For $1, [Darcy] built a cyclone dust extractor. This spins air around in circles, causing the dust to fall to the bottom of a container. The result is less dust reaching the vacuum, and much less money spent on vacuum bags.
Since the vacuum makes quite a bit of noise, a muffler was needed. This is just a simple wood box to contain the machine. It can also be used to vent the exhaust outside to further prevent polluting the workspace.
While we’ve seen some similar builds in the past, [Darcy]’s design could be helpful for those looking to build their own system. He also gives us a video which shows the effectiveness of the dust skirt, which you can find after the break.
25 thoughts on “DIY CNC Dust Collection”
From the look of things, Darcy forgot to turn it on.
You didn’t watch the video, did you… -_-
In the beginning of the video I a making the bottom of the skirt. Watch further and you can see the skirt installed. Silly goose.
I assumed so. Less than ideal showcase picture choice though :).
A cyclone dust extractor made out of 5 gal paint buckets?
I like that idea. I am keeping it.
They even sell off the shelf injection molded versions as well as larger 30+ gallon versions to use on trash can sized “buckets”.
http://woodgears.ca/dust_collector/cyclone.html here is another version, that if what I have read about Thien seperators is true, should be more effective.
When I saw the headline I expected someone that had a collection of dust from CNC machines. :-) It reminded me of those crazy people that collect theri navel lint in jars….
Your comment was probably in jest but just curious; why is it crazy to collect obscure things? The other day we had somebody who collected and cataloged batteries and flashlights. They didn’t appear particularly crazy. In fact, it was actually rather informative. I think the world is a better place with somebody taking on such a task and sharing it with the rest of the world.
Interestingly, belly buttons have a rather interesting array of quirks.
One person’s belly button “harbored a bacterium that had previously been found only in soil from Japan,” where he had never been. Another had two types of “extremophile bacteria that typically thrive in ice caps and thermal vents.”
I agree, the world is a better place because people are different and one person’s obsession can be a resource for others to enjoy, or not.
Your reference gives “contemplating your navel” a new meaning.
I’ve been looking at this recently- cut-up PET bottles make good collars to get the suck where needed – cheap, expendable and won’t damage anything they hit. However I’ve still to find a good hose – most stuff is too heavy/stiff – washer drain hose is about right, but it makes a loud whistle when the air is on! Anyone know any good light hose sources?
That blue hose I’ve got on the shoe is from a pool vacuum I think. I think I got it by the foot or something at a hardware or home depot store.
The best light hose I can think of is the stuff the ladies used to use in the old hair dryers…but I’ll be damned if I can find any. Been looking for my CNC. Also been looking for Cad Files to create the dust shield to save design time. Plenty of 3D printer plans, but not much for using the CNC to make its own dust shield. I’ll post mine once I get it done.
Look at hoses for dog grooming dryers. They are very flexible. K9II is popular brand
Now, the next step is to figure out how to mix the powder with a binding agent and print with it!
Great thought. There must be some use for all this dust.
Home Insulation? They used to use sawdust.
Ah the days when people would line their walls with fuel and layer their attics with kindling…
there is a skirt around the tool and there is a tube, supposed to collect the dust.
is it just me or the opening of the tube is _outside_ of the skirt? that does not look really smart… how much of potential dust collection is wasted?
The bottom of the shoe is closed except where the skirt exits…
Seems to me he could cut faster by having the machine NOT lift the Z axis up just to plunge it back down again -_-
Yeah, that’s a bit faster. But when you have it raise, then you can hit pause and the endmill is out of the way in case you need to make an adjustment.
I’ve built several that have worked ok, but the best dust shoe I’ve ever used is this one. http://www.kentcnc.net/nc/
I’m building a “Thien baffle” separator at the moment out of a 20L (5gal) paint can. Simple and efficient – well worth a Google. And I am using pool tube + old vacuum cleaner tube.
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