Pennock's Fiero Forum
  Totally O/T - Archive
  Anyone built their own CNC Mills?

T H I S   I S   A N   A R C H I V E D   T O P I C
  

Email This Page to Someone! | Printable Version


Anyone built their own CNC Mills? by 8Ball
Started on: 07-03-2011 01:12 AM
Replies: 31
Last post by: 8Ball on 07-09-2011 07:08 AM
8Ball
Member
Posts: 10865
From:
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 162
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 01:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 8BallClick Here to Email 8BallSend a Private Message to 8BallDirect Link to This Post
With the sale of my hot rod, I have been passing the time, day dreaming about my next project, and I think I have decided to build a CNC Mill when I get a garage again. I, being me will try to keep costs down by reclaiming as much of the needed parts as I can. Either buy them used, or take them out of something else or whatever...

However, I want to use my CNC for metal.. mostly aluminum, I would suspect. I will use it for wood some as well, but once up and running full steam, I would likely make mostly small batch specialty parts and prototypes. The majority if not all of the CNC plans I see, use wood or MDF as the structure of the CNC. Is this REALLY going to hold up, when I am carving a pulley out of a block of aluminum? They say it will, but I am dubious at best.

Does any one here have any experience with such things? What plans did you go by? How were the results?
The guy who built my hot rod designed his own CNC I believe. I think that is a bit over me at this moment

So I know how to USE a CNC? Not entirely. But I have repaired their software, and their hardware before... I have supported Autocad users for a decade+, I am pretty sure I can manage and get better as I go. The rest seems simple enough.

IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Mike Gonzalez
Member
Posts: 5093
From: Colorado Springs, CO. USA
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 130
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 01:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Mike GonzalezClick Here to Email Mike GonzalezSend a Private Message to Mike GonzalezDirect Link to This Post
I converted my Shoptask Bridgmill Lathe/Mill to a CNC. I dont know about building the machine from scratch, but adding the parts to a manual machine is not that difficult.
IP: Logged
maryjane
Member
Posts: 65997
From: Cleveland Texas
Registered: Apr 2001


Feedback score: (4)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 442
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 03:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
A CNC mill or machining center out of MDF or wood? Not sure which parts they mean to use the wood product on, but that sounds shaky to say the least. You won't be "holding" any close tolerances with it, and will be doing a LOT of zeroing and sweeping in the head just to hold .005 which is not considered precision tolerances at all. Last shop I worked at got jobs in with prints calling for +.0001/-.0000. Meaning the dimension could be over one 10 thousanth but could not be under at all. The MDF is going to give with temperatures, time, and humidity-swell, and shrink. Considering the fast travel speeds of the head, the vibration, and the abrupt starts and stops of the spindles, I would have a hard time believing it would hold in it's mounts, even using 1 1/2" thick MDF or even HDF. Better off building a manual mill out of steel and adding power to the table and an add-on DRO for all 3 axis.

[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 07-03-2011).]

IP: Logged
84fiero123
Member
Posts: 29950
From: farmington, maine usa
Registered: Oct 2004


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 325
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 09:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by maryjane:




Old timing man welcome to the 21st century.

Plasmacam will do it all for you, with attachments. It is made to run a plasma cutter for anything that will conduct electricity. And if you want to do wood products you simply replace the plasma cutter with rotary cutting tools.

And the best part. It is all run by your provided computer. No CNC knowledge needed. I have been trying to justify the $10K to buy one and just recently got a flier in the mail that they are on sale.

http://www.plasmacam.com/indexfla.php

Check on the CNC forums and you will find many people who have gotten them and like them. Mostly welders who know how to use a plasma cutter. Those who complain about having to clean the material up after the cuts have never touched a plasma cutter. So they need to learn how to run a plasma cutter freehand first before going to a machine.

The page that shows it’s wood, plastic, non electrical conducting materials options is here.

http://www.plasmacam.com/othertool.php
Steve

------------------
Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't.

Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

[This message has been edited by 84fiero123 (edited 07-03-2011).]

IP: Logged
Jake_Dragon
Member
Posts: 31121
From: Long Beach
Registered: Jan 2001


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 392
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 09:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonDirect Link to This Post
IP: Logged
Nurb432
Member
Posts: 33616
From:
Registered: May 2006


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 224
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 10:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Nurb432Send a Private Message to Nurb432Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mike Gonzalez:

I converted my Shoptask Bridgmill Lathe/Mill to a CNC. I dont know about building the machine from scratch, but adding the parts to a manual machine is not that difficult.


You *could* use Gingery's books to build one from scratch, use it to make a better one, then use forums like above ( i like www.cnczone.com ) to convert it to CNC.. but with a 'decent' small mill available for around a grand I am not sure its worth the pain and suffering to build it from scratch, other than the learning expirence and bragging rights of course..

i need to convert both my mill and lathe one of these days.

[This message has been edited by Nurb432 (edited 07-03-2011).]

IP: Logged
Zeb
Member
Posts: 4608
From: New Jersey
Registered: Jan 2008


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 53
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 10:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ZebSend a Private Message to ZebDirect Link to This Post
I had ideas to build my own CNC at one time. Even brought home plenty of hardware from when we moved the factory. Linear guides, complete X-Y Tables, entire axis assemblies. A few with size 23 steppers, most just needing motors. All top-quality stuff. I worked at a place that built semiconductor assembly machines, so it was all stainless ball bearing rails. Well, that never happened, due to lack of a garage.

Aside from the hassle of shipping, I'd be willing to part with it for next to nothing. It's just taking up space, and, realistically, this project is NOT going to happen for me.
IP: Logged
isthiswhereiputausername?
Member
Posts: 5398
From: PEI , KANSAS & TEXAS
Registered: May 2001


Feedback score: (2)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 155
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 12:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for isthiswhereiputausername?Send a Private Message to isthiswhereiputausername?Direct Link to This Post
I built my 5x10 ft CNC aluminum wood router. Not a mill, but I can get pretty tight specs when cutting.

MDF is used for a lot of cncs, the mdf is usually layered and glued up to make solid sandwiched chunks.

Only problem with MDF, you need to seal it well and it will move a bit sometimes due to heat/cold,etc..

My whole setup is aluminum that was cast into rough molds and I machined all the parts to work together after that.

Heres some of the work I did on the wood router. http://www.facebook.com/Cus...stomCarves?sk=photos

I may build another sometime (smaller) out of the MDF for doing dedicated 3D work. (its a pain to tie the main machine up for 1-20hrs during a 3D carving)

IP: Logged
87antuzzi
Member
Posts: 11151
From: Surrounded by corn.
Registered: Feb 2009


Feedback score:    (9)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 227
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 12:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 87antuzziClick Here to Email 87antuzziSend a Private Message to 87antuzziDirect Link to This Post
84fiero123 beat me to it. The plasmacam is a great tool for the price. The included software is super easy to use too.

[This message has been edited by 87antuzzi (edited 07-03-2011).]

IP: Logged
fierofool
Member
Posts: 11805
From: Auburn, Georgia USA
Registered: Jan 2002


Feedback score:    (13)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 151
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 01:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolDirect Link to This Post
I believe Pete Matos built his own CNC, too. In conversations with him, he has said that holding a plus or minus 2 was no problem. Pretty accurate, since the old Seiki CNC we had in our shop would only hold that MOST of the time but not ALL of the time.
IP: Logged
ray b
Member
Posts: 10002
From: miami
Registered: Jan 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 304
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 03:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ray bClick Here to Email ray bSend a Private Message to ray bDirect Link to This Post
old bridgeports are cheap
can one by adapted to CNC control

why reinvent the wheel when you can buy at scrap prices ?
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Zeb
Member
Posts: 4608
From: New Jersey
Registered: Jan 2008


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 53
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 03:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ZebSend a Private Message to ZebDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:

old bridgeports are cheap
can one by adapted to CNC control

why reinvent the wheel when you can buy at scrap prices ?


Old Bridgeports are heavy, and run on 220V, frequently 3-phase, power. Hard to install in your garage. Unless you have 9-foot ceilings. They're also described as "Rubber Machines", and have lots of backlash unless refitted with new ballscrews.
IP: Logged
8Ball
Member
Posts: 10865
From:
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 162
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 04:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 8BallClick Here to Email 8BallSend a Private Message to 8BallDirect Link to This Post
Great info Guys!! Zeb... WE may need to chat here soon!

I have the book from buildyourowncnc.com and just found that other CNC forum this morning.

The Plasma cutter would be awesome!! But I cant fork out 10 grand for a hobby any time soon.
IP: Logged
8Ball
Member
Posts: 10865
From:
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 162
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 05:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 8BallClick Here to Email 8BallSend a Private Message to 8BallDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mike Gonzalez:

I converted my Shoptask Bridgmill Lathe/Mill to a CNC. I dont know about building the machine from scratch, but adding the parts to a manual machine is not that difficult.


I AM considering a similar route...
I do not currently own the tools needed... But I can CL them I love buying or even better, hauling off broken stuff and fixing it
IP: Logged
MadMark
Member
Posts: 2935
From: Owosso, Michigan, USA
Registered: Feb 2010


Feedback score: (4)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 07:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkDirect Link to This Post
Well as someone who has made my own designed CNC control system to cut foam. I designed and then had the framework built at a large machine shop, then assembled it and did all the controls and other things that needed to be done. This was a foam band saw that could cut a 6 foot x 6 foot by 8 foot block of foam into any 2 dimensional shape you wanted to program. To make 3 dimensional shapes we would first cut one way and them flip the foam block 90 degrees. We were able to hold about 0.002 inches tolerance. I originally was going to use ball screws but decided to build the drives with a kevlar toothed belt instead. Since the Z axis was pretty heave I had to install an air charged counter balance on it to balance out the forces on the Z slide so that it would hold tolerances.

Just so you know there are several companies that make conversions for Bridgeport mills. These include ball screws instead of the lead screws along with either DC servos or AC servos. I have done a little research into doing something like that for someone else, but it costs about $7.5K or more to do this. There are a whole lot of other PC based CNC software and hardware packages out there too for just about anything you want to build or convert.

My own personal belief is that wood or MDF would not be a good material to use to make the base or the framework out of. In my humble opinion some of the best CNC machines were actually converted old gear drive systems since they had a cast iron base that was really solid and the servos, screws and slides were attached to that cast iron base. They held up very well and held great tolerances of 0.00005 inch for ID and OD grinding in the automotive industry.

Mark


 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:

old bridgeports are cheap
can one by adapted to CNC control

why reinvent the wheel when you can buy at scrap prices ?


IP: Logged
fierofool
Member
Posts: 11805
From: Auburn, Georgia USA
Registered: Jan 2002


Feedback score:    (13)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 151
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 08:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolDirect Link to This Post
Hey, 8ball, Pete over in Maryville has been talking about selling his unit so he can upgrade. Pete Matos on this forum.

Also, our old shop here near Atlanta has a CNC unit. When my former partner was killed in a plane crash, his wife started selling off the equipment. PM me and I'll give you contact info if you're interested. The machine is a standard mill and I believe it's the Seiki. Stands about 7 feet high. I believe there's still a CNC lathe available, too.

[This message has been edited by fierofool (edited 07-03-2011).]

IP: Logged
maryjane
Member
Posts: 65997
From: Cleveland Texas
Registered: Apr 2001


Feedback score: (4)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 442
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 10:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
Holding '2' is one thing, Holding 2 ten thousanths is different.
.002
.0002

[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 07-03-2011).]

IP: Logged
fierofool
Member
Posts: 11805
From: Auburn, Georgia USA
Registered: Jan 2002


Feedback score:    (13)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 151
Rate this member

Report this Post07-03-2011 11:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolDirect Link to This Post
A qualified machinist would understand 'plus or minus 2' For those that don't, it doesn't really matter

Zeb, when we first set up a shop, we were running off 240 V from the house, but we built a phase converter from an old motor and a few capacitors and ran a Webb mill and a Hendy lathe off it.
IP: Logged
8Ball
Member
Posts: 10865
From:
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 162
Rate this member

Report this Post07-04-2011 08:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 8BallClick Here to Email 8BallSend a Private Message to 8BallDirect Link to This Post
Maybe something along this design, but taller. And I can add a 4th axis later on!
http://www.cnczone.com/foru...2x3_80_20_metal.html
IP: Logged
MadMark
Member
Posts: 2935
From: Owosso, Michigan, USA
Registered: Feb 2010


Feedback score: (4)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post07-04-2011 05:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkDirect Link to This Post
Phase Converters are old school and only give you approximately 60% of the available power and don't really give you much starting torque either. In a previous application I used a cheap Variable Frequency Drive to convert the single phase 120 VAC to 240VAC three phase. You would need to install a VFD with a braking resistor on it to prevent over voltage faults if you slow down the drives or spindle. That way it can dissipate the extra power coming back to the capacitors that act as the power supply. If it is more than 1 horse power total you will need to buy a VFD with a 240 VAC single phase input on it since they don't really make any that go higher than about 1 hp from single phase 120VAC.

It is actually cheaper to do than to use a phase converter too, since you can buy one of the cheap ones for between $120 to $300 depending on the size of the drive. If you do this you just set it to run at 60 hz all the time and it acts as the power supply to your servos and spindle motor.

I have also set up several mills and lathes with these small VFDs too. That makes them infinitely more adjustable too since you can vary the frequency to get different speeds on the lathe head or mill spindle.

Mark


 
quote
Originally posted by fierofool:

A qualified machinist would understand 'plus or minus 2' For those that don't, it doesn't really matter

Zeb, when we first set up a shop, we were running off 240 V from the house, but we built a phase converter from an old motor and a few capacitors and ran a Webb mill and a Hendy lathe off it.

[This message has been edited by MadMark (edited 07-04-2011).]

IP: Logged
chester
Member
Posts: 4063
From: State of insanity...moved in and comfortably numb...
Registered: Jun 2001


Feedback score:    (42)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 153
Rate this member

Report this Post07-04-2011 06:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for chesterClick Here to Email chesterSend a Private Message to chesterDirect Link to This Post
Give datacop a buzz. He built a nice rig...
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
fieroguy123
Member
Posts: 1523
From: Indianapolis
Registered: Sep 2009


Feedback score: (2)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 62
Rate this member

Report this Post07-04-2011 06:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguy123Click Here to Email fieroguy123Send a Private Message to fieroguy123Direct Link to This Post
Yep. Datacop and I made some REALLY cool shiznit on his mill.
IP: Logged
8Ball
Member
Posts: 10865
From:
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 162
Rate this member

Report this Post07-05-2011 07:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 8BallClick Here to Email 8BallSend a Private Message to 8BallDirect Link to This Post
I believe i just found Datacops thread on CNCZone

Looks like a pretty nice setup. The major thing I have going for me is, my wife is super behind this idea
IP: Logged
Tom1968
Junior Member
Posts: 8
From: Gurnee, IL USA
Registered: Jul 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post07-06-2011 02:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tom1968Click Here to visit Tom1968's HomePageSend a Private Message to Tom1968Direct Link to This Post
I have built a http://www.probotix.com/Fir..._v90_cnc_router_kit/ that works perfectly. I have not used it in some time and includes the Bosch Trim router and attachment. I'd like to get $1,000, but will take lower offers. All you need is a PC w/Parallel port. I'm in NE Illinois and do not want to ship it.

Tom
IP: Logged
8Ball
Member
Posts: 10865
From:
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 162
Rate this member

Report this Post07-06-2011 10:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 8BallClick Here to Email 8BallSend a Private Message to 8BallDirect Link to This Post
That looks nice Tom, too bad it is too small for my needs and not in TN
IP: Logged
Zeb
Member
Posts: 4608
From: New Jersey
Registered: Jan 2008


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 53
Rate this member

Report this Post07-06-2011 10:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ZebSend a Private Message to ZebDirect Link to This Post
For software, Mach3 seems good, and cheap.

www.machsupport.com
IP: Logged
MidEngineManiac
Member
Posts: 25633
From: Deplorableland
Registered: Feb 2007


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 294
Rate this member

Report this Post07-06-2011 10:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MidEngineManiacSend a Private Message to MidEngineManiacDirect Link to This Post
Build yourself a Pietenpol.....
IP: Logged
8Ball
Member
Posts: 10865
From:
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 162
Rate this member

Report this Post07-06-2011 11:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 8BallClick Here to Email 8BallSend a Private Message to 8BallDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MidEngineManiac:

Build yourself a Pietenpol.....


What am I going to do with a



Zeb, I have looked at it and have it loaded on my laptop now.. Seems fairly nice and easy enough...
IP: Logged
eph_kay
Member
Posts: 925
From: Independence, MO
Registered: Apr 2006


Feedback score: (4)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post07-08-2011 12:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for eph_kayClick Here to Email eph_kaySend a Private Message to eph_kayDirect Link to This Post
Interesting timing on this, I just finished up building mine.

I got a Sieg X3 "small mill" from Grizzly, a CNC motor mount kit and ball screw set from CNCfusion.com, motors and a Gecko G540 controller from Kelinginc.com, and set me up this:

I guess it wasn't completely done when this picture was taken...

Anyway, here are a couple of action shots of it making an intake for a TDC swap:
This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.



And the finished product:
This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

I would highly recommend Mach3, and if you can justify the cost, which I decided I had to, I bought VisualMill, and it is amazing, over time you start learning all the tricks of the program and it is even better

If you have any other questions feel free to ask, I am very happy with the product I am getting currently, and once I get better at holding parts, I think I could almost guarantee anything built with less than .001 over sized precision, not sure if mine is capable of .0001 using the pitch of ball screw I have and the stepper motors I am running.

Chris
IP: Logged
ryan.hess
Member
Posts: 20784
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Dec 2002


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 319
Rate this member

Report this Post07-08-2011 01:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by eph_kay:

Interesting timing on this, I just finished up building mine.

I got a Sieg X3 "small mill" from Grizzly, a CNC motor mount kit and ball screw set from CNCfusion.com, motors and a Gecko G540 controller from Kelinginc.com, and set me up this:


If you don't mind me asking, what's the total "out the door" cost for your machine?

[This message has been edited by ryan.hess (edited 07-08-2011).]

IP: Logged
eph_kay
Member
Posts: 925
From: Independence, MO
Registered: Apr 2006


Feedback score: (4)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post07-09-2011 03:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for eph_kayClick Here to Email eph_kaySend a Private Message to eph_kayDirect Link to This Post
With all the end mills, clamps, and shipping, and enclosures, and power supply, and all the tid bits you don't always think about, I have less than $4000 into it, I bought the parts over time, and haven't totaled it up for an exact figure, but I think my same set up can be had for less than $3500 if you buy the correct things first, and build or have some of the little things I didn't.

You can buy prebuilt CNC X3 mills to your door for I think $6-7000, so you save some if you are willing to put it together yourself and modify the bits necessary.

Also that price didn't include VisualMill, that set me back another $1000.

Chris
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
8Ball
Member
Posts: 10865
From:
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 162
Rate this member

Report this Post07-09-2011 07:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 8BallClick Here to Email 8BallSend a Private Message to 8BallDirect Link to This Post
Very nice!!!

I think I have decided to build a Gantry Router for my first CNC. I can use it to get used to working with CNC software. Then when I get better at it, invest more money into a better setup.
I have been playing with the Mach 3 software for a few days. It and VCarve look like they will be awesome!
IP: Logged



All times are ET (US)

T H I S   I S   A N   A R C H I V E D   T O P I C
  

Contact Us | Back To Main Page

Advertizing on PFF | Fiero Parts Vendors
PFF Merchandise | Fiero Gallery | Ogre's Cave
Real-Time Chat | Fiero Related Auctions on eBay



Copyright (c) 1999, C. Pennock