A DIY CNC dust collector

DIY CNC Dust Collection

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.

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DIY CNC Dust Collection Really Sucks!


CNC Routers are great. If you’ve ever used one you know this but you also know that they will cover the machine and everything around it with a layer of dust. It is certainly possible to use a shop vac to suck up the dust coming from the router, however, the only problem with that is the shop vac’s filter will clog with dust and lose suction, defeating the intent of your vac system.

CNCdust-assembled2[Mike Douglas] was ready to step up his CNC game and decided to make his own dust separator. This design is extremely simple and only uses a couple 5 gallon buckets, a few PVC fittings and pieces of wood. To keep the cost down and the style up, the accompanying ‘shop-vac’ is also made from 5 gallon bucket with a vacuum lid. The project is well documented so head over to his site and check out the build process.


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Ketchup Bottle… Flexible Hose?

ketchup pipe

Need a corrugated flexible hose for your CNC machine? You could buy one… or you could make your own using tape and ketchup bottles!

One of our tipsters stumbled upon a very interesting hack on a Russian 3D Modeling website that sells 3D models ready to be CNC machined. They have a few articles on CNC machines, and this is one of them. An ingenious way of making your own flexible hose — in this case, used as a vacuum return on the CNC machine.

It’s pretty simple, although we would expect the labor involved quickly outweighs the cost of some cheap hose — but this is recycling so hey! You start by finding a source of cylindrical plastic containers, like ketchup bottles. You then cut a never-ending ribbon from said bottles, and then using a cylindrical template (like a can of spray paint), wrap packing tape, sticky side out, around the template. Now wrap your ribbon around the template, slightly spaced, and then cover the outside in tape as well. A one liter bottle of ketchup will make approximately a half meter of corrugated hosing. It’s not hard to continue doing this by sliding the hose off the can, and wrapping more ribbon and tape in place.

Now that’s a hack.

[Thanks Michael!]