Homemade CNC


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Steve Jones

Established Member
18 Dec 2007
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Not been around much on here over the last few months mainly due to designing and building my 'new toy' :lol:

The machine size is 1550mm long by 950mm wide giving a cutting area of 1270mm x 630mm, I decided on these sizes so I could get a quarter sheet size on the cutting area.
The 1550 axis is running on 20mm supported precision rail, the 950 axis and Z axis are both on unsupported rail. I used trapezoidal thread on all axis' which are tr16x4 on the X & Y and tr12x3 on the Z. I made all the bearing blocks which sit at each end of the trapezoidal thread and turned the threads down to fit, this was all a first for me after buying a Chester DB7 lathe as I'd never done any metalworking before.

Running all axis' are Nema 23 439oz stepper motors which also have M542h Steeper Drivers on them as well, power for all this is supplied by a 48V 10A power supply.

I couldn't have built it without the help of a very good mate who's an engineer but during the build there have been many 'tearing the hair out moments' and once or twice I've nearly scrapped the build but now it's up and running I'm so glad I didn't :mrgreen:

I use Vcarve pro for designing anything I cut and Mach3 for running the cnc.

Having done quite a bit of testing over the last few weeks the only things I would changes are the TR threads on the X&Y and use 16x8 instead of 16x4 and in the future I'd also like to use a Kress 1050 spindle instead of the old Bosch router that's in there now.

Anyway on with the pics, hope you like them.





Thanks Doug & No Skills for the comments.

In reply No Skills it's all 2D work up to now as I'm still coming to terms with using Vcarve properly.
Here's a few phone pics, the sign was done with a 90 degree V carve bit.
My advice is have a go and build your own, I almost hit the buy button twice on a ready made machine that was smaller than this costing around 3.5k, I'm not going to give exact numbers but lets just say this build was a mere fraction of that cost plus if anything needs fixing I'll know how to fix it :lol:


I want one! I you ever feel like documenting how it was done, you will definitely have an avid follower in me (and if you want to monetise it - I'd happily buy some of the components if you were to package them)
Taking the "Charlotte" sign, how long does it take you to write the program to produce it?
It took about 10 minutes in vcarve to draw up the sign, when it was cut I was only running the machine on a slow 30 ipm as I was still testing and it took 9mins to cut. Now I've seen more of what it's capable of I'm now running it at 70 inches per minute, if I change to tr16x8 thread at a later date then hopefully I'll be able to double the speed to 140 inches per minute or there abouts .

The door hanger blanks take 1m 20's to cut out of 4mm MDF


For anyone that's interested I've uploaded a cut down video to you tube of the 'Charlotte' sign being cut, as said above this was done at my testing speed of 30 inches per minute so is relatively slow compared to what it's running at now.



That's a project progress to be proud of Steve, quality where it's needed and practicality where it's sound enough.

Results are the proof of the pudding and to date it tastes good, can't wait to see the progress steps.
Thanks Chas, my seasonal day job is taking most of my time at the moment but rest assured it will certainly be getting some some serious use when work slows down

That's a very nice bit of work! I bought a used K2 some years back and that's been very handy, but I did have to rebuild the entire controller and rewire the whole machine; I do wonder if it would have been simpler to build from scratch.
Thanks, some bits I bought from China but most of the mechanicals ( rails and threads ) came from Zapp Automation and Cnc4you. A rough ball park figure for the build is between £500 & £1000 but I also spent extra buying the Chester DB7 lathe which I haven't accounted for in that price.

I'd like my next one built from aluminium, errrrrrr can't belive I just said that but it is addictive :mrgreen: