start the diy cnc machine ,from a few simple hand tools

March 18, 2016 · Posted in CNC machine · Comment 

my desire to hop on the bandwagon of this great hobby started as a means to an end.The end has not been realized because I became more interested in the CNC machine itself and want to provide simpler designs and instruction to others who would’t otherwise have the means to own a traditional CNC bending machine.
The DIY CNC community has been around for a long time;pretty much ever since the boom of the Internet.I learned most of what I know from the information on the Internet.With my prior design training,I spent quite a bit of time improving what others had created.
Througn my effort to create an initial CNC machine from resources on the Internet, Ifound that the materials did not hold up well with use and tended to exhibit undesirable flexing.I learned througn trying and experimenting… and discovered many things that worked and didn’t work.Iquickly learned,for example,to stick with MDF as the material of choice for making my CNC machines.
Over the years,I made hundreds of trips to the home improvement store (my laboratory of ideas).The components that I used to start my CNC journey included round metal bar stock and a bunch of very cheap MDF.I thought that the metal stock would have some pretty good rigidity–I mean… it’s metal! But I was very wrong. After putting an assembly together and using the bar stock as the rail,I noticed quite a bit of flexing in the assembly. This was not going to work,so I came up with a better way.(I was deathly afraid of trying something that was not illustrated on the Internet in fear that if it wasn’t done before,it wouldn’t work.But I did it anyway.) I used aluminum angles as the rails and MDF as the midsection between the rails to provide the necessary rigidity.Initially,I tried the bar stock with this technique,but the bars would still flex. The aluminum rails wrapping the MDF worked perfectly and the machine was rigid and stable–perfect! Well,perfect is a subjective word here, but it good enougn for me. And I think by the time you’re done following this book’s instructions and building your own machine,you’ll agree.
Everything from that point on became intuitive. The mechanics and motion of the machine well designed so that the parts could be cut,drilled,and assembled using nothing more than a few simple hand tools.(I’m not kidding– the early machines were cut and drilled with nothing more than a mitre box,a small saw,and a battery-powered drill.)

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March 17, 2016 · Posted in CNC machine · Comment 


Computer Numeric Control technology has been around for a long time. It’s at the heart of our 3D printers, laser cutters / etchers and CNC milling machines. They all work the same way — you begin with a CAD program and make some type of design. Then the computer converts the file into a set of XYZ coordinates and moves a tool head accordingly. Now let us pose to ourselves a most interesting question. What if you reversed the process? What if you could take a CNC’d object and convert it into XYZ coordinates?

This is precisely what [dave] is attempting to do. He’s made a basic CNC outfit and installed encoders on the steppers. He then manually moves the tool head to trace out an object. At the same time, the encoders are feeding the coordinates to a computer for recording. The idea is to replay the coordinates to see if the CNC can replicate the object.

Judging from the video below, the project is a success!