Getting Resourceful to Build A Home CNC

CNC really is a game changer when it comes to machining. If your motor skills or ability to focus aren’t all there, you don’t need to worry – the computer will handle the manual task of machining for you! These builds are popular for DIYers to undertake, as they enable the production of all manner of interesting and advanced parts at home once they’re up and running. However, parts to build a CNC machine can get spendy; [Brenda] decided to take a recycling-based approach to her build instead (Youtube link).

The build uses motion parts from an old silicon wafer fabrication machines, an IKEA table for the work surface, and a scavenged computer to run the show. Control is via the popular LinuxCNC software, a viable candidate for anyone doing a similar build at home. In a neat twist, the holes for hold-downs on the work table were drilled by the machine itself!

Overall it’s a tidy build, broken up over a series of videos that each go into great detail on the work involved.  Interested in your own bargain CNC build? Check out this $400 setup.

23 thoughts on “Getting Resourceful to Build A Home CNC

    1. Thank you.

      My purpose was not so much to entertain or even show a “process.” On the surface, I wanted to touch on some of the lesser discussed parts of making a CNC, and show I made the 10 aluminum plate parts with garage tools, lining things up, limit switches, cable management, and things to consider when mounting the z-axis.

      With this project and oddly more-so interference scanner, I hoped to inspire people to look at what they have on hand, a new way.

  1. I’ve been wondering about treadmill components to use and happen to have three systems now… though might be a bit overpowered. :-|) Still… definitely viable materials to use along with weight training items salvaged steel.

    1. The last couple of treadmills I figured I would use the motors of of for generators for my windmill project and the steel from for a log arch. I have been thinking the next two, one of them might be the bed for a drum sander and another may get gutted for it’s motor and controller and try powering a drill press. Those nasty sand wasps set up camp in the motor and I tell you, it is worse than water damage. Both bearings are gone, the centripetal switch is gone, I don’t generally give up easy but I think that motor is toast.

      1. I’m surprised I haven’t seen anyone use other than for windmills until you just mentioned. I’ve been thinking about making one into a longer conveyor also for underground work.

        Yeah… I’m thinking the smaller motor ones are more feasible for a CNC system unless the CNC system is really heavy duty designed. That’s why I am planning on using the metal from something salvaged designed for a heavier load also even if have to be trussed together for more directional loading support. The motor, power supply and controller seem like a no brain’er to re-use. Even the tilt/incline drive system for an additional head axis gets me thinking also. I just ran ozone to kill off an infestation of something that was biting me I think came in from the last treadmill I acquired that was full of spider webs… or I thought was spider webs. :-(

  2. Nice effort of her on the videos, but two things: 1- stop complaining about Youtube cutting out your monetization (everyone was affected, including myself and the rest of the world) and 2- your videos could be edited to become quicker (you have 1+ hour videos, jeez).

    1. Not everyone was affected. I do not abide dishonesty from a company.

      I am out of SSD space, and I might be homeless soon, and I don’t have the time to edit the videos…so they can be powerwatched.

        1. It appears that youtube wanted my channel dead. Other than a 27,000 views that I do not know where they came from, most of my views were from Hackaday.

          Personally, I could use the $80 that youtube stated they were going to pay me, and did not.

      1. I love the new speedup/slowdown features in youtube. I watch a lot of tech stuff at 1.5 or 2X. I can also watch guitar stuff at .25x and see what is going on. Still, a half hour is a chunk of change to commit to a video.

        1. As I stated, toward the end, the videos piled up on my notebook computer. I needed edit them and move them off. I am juggling several projects at once, while losing my home, so it was either long videos or none.

          Youtube became the short-attention span servant because it once prohibited long videos to keep people from uploading feature-length movies. As for me, when I find a channel, I power-watch everything they have.

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