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  1. #1

    DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    Hey folks!

    Been a long-time fan of this forum, and I have learned a ton browsing through the various sub-forums, and researching all the knowledge that this group provides. I rebuild custom, vintage motorcycles and always have the need to make quick, custom parts for the builds (mostly in aluminum). To fill this need, awhile back I built a small CNC router, based on parts and open source designs from OpenBuilds. I got bit by the bug bad, and while the parts I was able to make were satisfying and functional, the limitations of the machine (and open source cloud-based software) pushed me toward researching a larger, more rigid machine. I briefly flirted with the idea of a tormach, but the price felt expensive for a work area that's somewhat limiting for the type of parts I wanted to make. Also, I wanted to keep the footprint of the machine fairly compact.

    So after a massive amount of research over the course of a year, I found myself returning often to a machine built by a member here (@katran) named Gabriel. He built a meticulous machine based on aluminum profile and aluminum tooling plate. While nowhere near as rigid and heavy as commercial machines, it fit my footprint needs, and seemed to check the boxes of cutting area, and rigid enough to wok on the small aluminum parts and plate that I most often work with. I can't thank Gabriel enough for detailing his build. I did change a few things in my own design, but I hope that he subscribes to " imitation is the greatest form of flattery," because this build owes a lot to his vision.

    In addition to the aluminum profile and tooling plate, I went with Chinese ballscrews (dual drive on the longer axis), THK linear rails and trucks patiently purchased used on eBay (2 rails/4 trucks per axis), a Chinese water cooled spindle, Mach3 and Nema 23/600 oz size motors.

    I never started a thread while I was designing and building it - but I thought I'd post up, since I am now making chips, having a ball and already producing parts from this new machine. Below is a photo of the CNC once I began initial testing - although I have added some features and will be continuing to improve in areas that I find lacking. More photos are included as attachments. Thanks for all the inspiration! Hope you enjoy...

    Scott



    Frame coming together...



    Mock-ups prevent headaches...



    Tooling plate back from water-jetting...



    The gantry...



    Starting to look like a machine...



    - - - Updated - - -

    Custom ballnut blocks...



    Making parts for the new CNC on the old CNC...





    the little CNC worked well, but the vertical mill (Millrite) was priceless...


  2. #2

    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    Cutting some of the first parts to roll off the new machine.... Taking it slow!

    https://youtu.be/qO_lpGehLJ4

  3. #3
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    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    looks VERY sturdy. Well done.

  4. #4
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    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    I was looking at making one very similar to this design, do you have the links to where you sourced your parts / any of the CAD files you used to design this, I would love to get some inspiration from your really great machine!

  5. #5

    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    Quote Originally Posted by CS900 View Post
    looks VERY sturdy. Well done.
    Thanks so much CS900! It's been a while in the making, but very satisfying now that it's finally "done...." Is it ever really done?

  6. #6

    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_M View Post
    I was looking at making one very similar to this design, do you have the links to where you sourced your parts / any of the CAD files you used to design this, I would love to get some inspiration from your really great machine!
    Brian,

    I got the ballscrews from the eBay seller "soloarjean" (many reviews here on the forums) who was really great to to deal with, and very accommodating with custom sizing. I realize that these Chinese screws are not the same quality that can be had with US/Japanese ground ballscrews, but the price for those was not in my budget. The aluminum profile was purchased from 80/20 on their discounted eBay store. All rails were purchased used, so no help there other than the advice to be patient and wait for your size/price to pop up and then pounce.

    Let me know which parts you are still needing to source, and i will be happy to help if I can.

    I do not have any of the CAD files online - but I may be able to send them to you if they would work with what you are looking to achieve.

    Scott

  7. #7

    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    The machine at work today making a rear rack for a Triumph Tiger 800...

    Today saw the addition of a Fogbuster unit. I am using Kool Mist for the cooling (and supposedly the new formula provides some lubrication). It's nice to have something better than just air blowing through Loc-Line, and occasionally spraying some WD-40 in the direction of the end mill - which was what had as a stopgap before this arrived.

    https://youtu.be/yoRwas6VKuU

  8. #8
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    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    Thanks for the reply and all the info, but sadly I dont think any of these sellers are on Canadian Ebay, luckily I've found some good deals on Rails and Ballscrews on Ebay.ca. Since most my parts will be slightly different, I should probably CAD it on my own, I need some Solidworks experience anyways :P

    As for general recommendations, do you recommend a VDF Spindle watercooled / air cooled? I was going to get a standard router such as a Dewalt 611, but after watching videos of how loud they are, Im concerned, and after watching your videos of your machine being very quiet (For a CNC Router) I might switch to a VDF, which is what it seems you have. Another quick question is what size is your build volume, and do you recommend a smaller build space for more rigidity? I dont exactly need more than 500mmx500mm, and if more makes a large rigidity difference than I might just stay there.

  9. #9

    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    More than anything, it really depends on what you plan to use the machine for cutting. I knew that I would be working almost exclusively on aluminum. While steel framing would have probably been best, aluminum extrusion/tooling plate offers me what I need in this machine.

    If you are talking about a VFD with a spindle, then yes, I would recommend that route. My first small CNC ran the exact Dewalt router you mention - and while it was a great learning experience, it did not offer the variable RPM/flexibility that I wanted. And the water cooled versions, while adding complexity/cost (coolant pump) are much quieter.

    I built the machine with an actual work area of about 20"x20" which was big enough for the plate I work with (and plenty big for multiple patterned small parts), while still small enough to maintain a level of rigidity. The smaller the better in that regard, except for the lack of mass. So I went the route of small machine/footprint - built as much like a brick sh*thouse as possible .

  10. #10

    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    This is a shot of the CAD file when I was fairly close to finalizing the design....


  11. #11
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    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    Really nice build. Looks solid.

  12. #12

    Re: DIY Gantry-CNC heavily influenced by CNCzone...

    Quote Originally Posted by millhouse_ View Post
    Really nice build. Looks solid.
    Thanks so much! It's been serving me well.

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