A Home CNC Built By Someone Who Knows Their Stuff

[thisoldtony] has a nice shop in need of a CNC. We’re not certain what he does exactly, but we think he might be a machinist or an engineer. Regardless, he sure does build a nice CNC. Many home-built CNCs are neat, but lacking. Even popular kits ignore fundamental machine design principles. This is alright for the kind of work they will typically be used for, but it’s nice to see one done right.

Most home-built machines are hard or impossible to square. That is, to make each axis move exactly perpendicular to the others. They also neglect to design for the loads the machine will see, or adjusting for deviation across the whole movement. There’s also bearing pre-loads, backlash, and more to worry about. [thisoldtony] has taken all these into consideration.

The series is a long one, but it is fun to watch and we picked up a few tricks along the way. The resulting CNC is very attractive, and performs well after some tuning. In the final video he builds a stunning rubber band gun for his son. You can also download a STEP file of the machine if you’d like. Videos after the break.

[via Reddit]

24 thoughts on “A Home CNC Built By Someone Who Knows Their Stuff

  1. Those are excellent videos.

    The humour in the captioned text (deliberate or not) adds a bit of spice. He says “it’ll work” the text says “it’s a dork” gotto love that.

  2. “You can also download a STEP file of the machine if you’d like.”


    Beautiful build, great process, entertaining video and great information.

    I also nominate [thisoldtony] for a “Bestest Dad in the World” award for interactions and toy making prowess above and beyond the norm.

  3. Well, if i had that garage with all the space and equipment around, i would have probably done something like that. But living in a rented apartment basically only got me to the point of having a 3D printer and drooling over table top cnc machines. ;)

  4. I think this is one of the best projects I’ve ever seen posted on HAD. Even if you never plan to build anything like this, you can learn so much from this video. Anyone that builds anything mechanical should watch this. It’s just awesome. My thanks to Gerrit for spending so much time and energy to produce such great videos and for being willing to share his vast knowledge during the build.


  5. WOW! What a great video and great instructions. Loved the annotations and video production, you underestimate yourself [thisoldtony]. Watched all the videos and I still want to watch move.

    Very nicely built, decorated and I love you got your son to help and you built him a sweet rubber band rifle… all I got was a wooden rubber band gun =(

    Great job again [thisoldtony], loved every minute of it, keep up the great work (mechanical, eletronics, videography and being a great Dad).

    — Rob R.

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