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Author Topic: cheapest, easiest home CNC  (Read 3959 times)
davek
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« on: December 11, 2011, 16:29:11 pm »

What is the cheapest, easiest method of getting in to home CNC. I have been using Cam Bam programs on a machine at work and having a hard time finding time for such projects.

I would like to do some stuff at home, even if it is just wood routing and/or engraving metal. What is my cheapest route for a pre-built machine running on house current.
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atwooddon
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 16:47:21 pm »

How large a cutting area do you need?

Don
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Imagining
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2011, 22:52:49 pm »

This is a real bargain:  eBay Item number:   220891089978

Bit smaller, a bargain:   eBay Item number:   130614658612


Watch Craig's List too.

Go to CNCZone.com and read though the builds in the woodworking and metal working sections.


And "cheap" and CNC do not go together.

Cutting corners does nothing but:

1. Waste money [you will be buying replacement/good quality parts after the "cheap" ones break or do not function];

2. Waste time [unless you take some perverse joy in being frustrated], and;

3. Lessen your enthusiasm [might not matter if you are taking Adderall].


Forget easy too!!!  If it was easy there would be no Cam Bam forum or CNC Zone.


Remember:  Your free time has a value much greater than zero.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 23:29:16 pm by Imagining » Logged
blowlamp
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2011, 22:57:38 pm »

I'll take two  Wink

Martin.
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Imagining
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2011, 23:15:04 pm »

I'll take two  Wink

Martin.

Pad the walls, ceiling, and floor of your work shop then!!!!
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poly
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2011, 03:28:49 am »

Hi, I got myself a small router machine which im very happy with for a reasonable price.
ive set it up to cut alloy parts up to 5-6mm thick plate,and as such have made flood coolant kit with bath and pump etc.useing cam bam to program and solid wks to draw/design.
Pic part is a front brace for 1/5 scale HPI Baja 5b
rest is my machine

bought it here

http://www.craftsmancnc.co.nz/900st.html


* front upper brace plate.JPG (107.49 KB, 640x480 - viewed 210 times.)

* P121211_17.230001.JPG (95.31 KB, 640x480 - viewed 324 times.)

* P151111_20.320001.JPG (100.83 KB, 480x640 - viewed 224 times.)

* P151111_20.320002.JPG (97.91 KB, 640x480 - viewed 281 times.)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 03:41:58 am by poly » Logged
Bob La Londe
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 17:22:35 pm »

If you want to stick with wood, plastic, and MDF parts a home made MDF frame machine will do a lot very slowly.  

Do some searches for free cnc, and you would be amazed what some guys have scrounged up.  Don't expect much speed or performance out of the cheapest builds, but I have seen machines built with steppers scrounged out of old printers, all thread for lead screws, and skate bearings running on angle for linear bearings.  

Now if you just want to start cutting there are a couple guys selling basic aluminum frame works with ball screws on Ebay for a fair price, and if you want an established name K2CNC's smallest aluminum frame acme lead machines are decent.  

I think if you have some knowledge the best compromise between price and getting started is one of the "complete" machines from Ebay where you add your own steppers (or servos), controller, power supply, and spindle.  For your first machine that can be a bit daunting however.  

I wouldn't hesitate to build a machine if I had the cash and the need today, but 3-4 years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of it.  In fact I do have a plan worked up for building a multiple spindle machine to simultaneously cut both halves of symetrical molds at one time on one machine with one control computer.  Just haven't had the money to do it just yet.  I have other machine builds and retrofits to do first.  
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Getting started on CNC?  In or passing through my area?
If I have the time I'll be glad to show you a little in my shop. 

Some Stuff I Make with CamBam
http://www.YumaTackle.com
Imagining
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2011, 17:38:21 pm »

To see what is really possible for a creative person and CNC, go look at some of Bob's [Bob La Londe] postings on CNC Zone.  He is a clever guy!
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Bob La Londe
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2011, 18:24:25 pm »

LOL.  Thanks. I actually post more on tackleunderground.  There is a mass of info in cnczone, but I don't think I have done more there than ask questions. 

I also post occassionally on you tube or on RCM. 

Actually most of what I have done is recycled knowledge.  I learned it from others on the net.  Only a few small things have I figured out myself. 
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Getting started on CNC?  In or passing through my area?
If I have the time I'll be glad to show you a little in my shop. 

Some Stuff I Make with CamBam
http://www.YumaTackle.com
Imagining
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2011, 18:50:31 pm »

LOL.  Thanks. I actually post more on tackleunderground.  There is a mass of info in cnczone, but I don't think I have done more there than ask questions. 

I also post occassionally on you tube or on RCM. 

Actually most of what I have done is recycled knowledge.  I learned it from others on the net.  Only a few small things have I figured out myself. 


Yea, you do seem to like fishing..but we be talkin' CNC here!

Its the way you investigate and then formulate the questions and the way you put the "recycled knowledge" together that was the basis of my comment about you being a clever guy.

"Only a few small things have I figured out myself."   And please, no more "aw shucks"  and rubbin' yer boot toe in the dirt!!!

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Imagining
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 19:18:36 pm »

This is a real bargain:

http://www.cnczone.com/classifieds/machines/p6452-newromaxx-hs-1.html
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Dragonfly
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 19:25:38 pm »

Bob, I've missed you at the Zone, which is no wonder, since it's huge Smiley
I'll search by your name now Smiley I am in read-only mode there.

I started with a humble intention to make something small but enough to drill the PCB boards I make `cause got sick of manual drilling. Then, as we say here: appetite comes with the meal Smiley  I dug deeper in the net, looked at numerous DIY machines, but what finally came and still is, was a junkyard jump contraption from salvaged parts, common threaded rods and L-shaped alu profiles I got free from a neighboring construction company. The idea was to stay on the tiniest budget.
Miraculously Smiley it got moving and obeying the computer. And made parts for itself, becoming after every upgrade more precise and sturdy.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 19:36:56 pm by Dragonfly » Logged
coolant slinger
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 02:03:46 am »

I started with a Smithy 3 in one machine that I retrofitted steppers on X and Y. It got me by on simple engraving and hobbie work. I never liked the thought of putting a stepper on the quill. I saw a disadvantage of not being able to lock the quill after it was in position. And the overhang problem was bound to cause chatter. I sold it to buy a Tormach PCNC 1100. The reason I settled on it  was it would run on 110 or 220 power. It would fit under my 8ft. basement ceiling clearance. The quick change tooling system. And the Z-axis was not a quill design. I have been real satisfied with it. I wish, I would have skipped the Smithy step. Check them out if you are serious about metal cutting. There are tons of video's of them cutting metal on youtube. Was what got me hooked.

http://www.tormach.com/ 
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Coolant Slinger
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