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  1. #1
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    Jun 2017
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    MDF CNC Router upgrade

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    Excuse the pic with the beer. It sort of shows the set up lol.

    First off, I have built this 8 x 4 CNC Router, the mechanical side comes as a kit and I spec'd the electrical side of it. We initially got this set up due to price and we wanted to test the water before we went all in on an industrial machine. I fully understand we dropped the ball when getting this, its had no end of issues and lessons have been learned but in all fairness it works for what we need it to and has paid for itself already so I can't really moan too much.

    We use it mainly for template cutting sheets of 6mm Ply so for what we currently use it for, its fine. That being said, I recently added 25mm round linear rails to the z axis which has removed alot of flex. Im now thinking that I would like to build on that and add supported round rails to the X axis (8ft side).

    Im thinking of removing the current angle iron. Adding a steel C Beam 3 x 2" in its place (top side only) and mounting the supported rails onto this. This should raise the bearing surface up so its more in line with the spindle height effectively lowering the bed if that makes sense.

    To make this work I will need to remove the MDF side sections and create effectively a T Piece using 12 or 15mm Aluminium plate.

    I use the machine in the business so a complete rebuild, at least in one go, is out of the question. I also want to keep the possibility of gremlins in the machine to a minimum so I would be upgrading it in sections.

    X Rails
    Y Rails along with rebuilding the gantry in Ally/Steel
    Z Axis - replacing current MDF with Ally/Steel plate.

    I fully understand that Ply/MDF isnt the greatest. I want to try and stiffen the machine up and once this is done I will look to add ballscrews to both the X and Y.

    Does any of this sound as though I would be making a huge mistake? Any reccomendations on rail or ally plate thickness?

    I think ideally we will keep this machine until we have the money to go full industrial, vac table and a ATC. Another reason for pushing this unit as far as possible is that to get a bigger machine will require 3 Phase which will be another additional expense.

    Feel free to ask any questions.

    Machine needs are soft plastic, MDF and Birch Ply. V Carving in Oak/maple is the hardest job we would put through it.

    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
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    Re: MDF CNC Router upgrade

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    This gives you a slightly better view of the machine set up minus the can of beer!

  3. #3
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    Re: MDF CNC Router upgrade

    Im thinking of bolting the C Steel section to the Ply bed every 12-18" or so with M6 bolts. Would it be worth adding a piece of steel flat bar underneath for the bolts to spread the load on the 1" ply?

    Will the Ally T Section be strong enough?

    Apologies if I swap between metric and imperial, Im in the UK and work in both lol.

  4. #4
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    Re: MDF CNC Router upgrade

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    A few more pics to give you guys some more of an idea of the setup.

  5. #5
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
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    35012

    Re: MDF CNC Router upgrade

    Can't see any of your pics.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  6. #6
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    Re: MDF CNC Router upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    Can't see any of your pics.
    Same here.

  7. #7
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    Re: MDF CNC Router upgrade



    Any better?

  8. #8
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    Re: MDF CNC Router upgrade

    Just done a quick check on another browser and they seem to have worked so fingers crossed you guys can see them. Apologies for it taking a few days, we have been snowed under at work.

    I was using the machine this morning and now Im thinking that it might be worth getting the Y axis dealt with first, there seems to be alot of flex in those V Wheels and twist in the MDF frame. What do you think?

  9. #9
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    Re: MDF CNC Router upgrade

    Hi SA - I wouldn't upgrade the machine. Consider it a learner machine. Tune up the one you have then I'd use it to build a new machine like attached. Peter

    https://www.cnc-holzfraese.de/

  10. #10
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    Re: MDF CNC Router upgrade

    Hi, apologies as I've been unable to get internet access for a few days.

    Yeah, I understand what you are saying Peter. I know its polishing a turd to a certain extent I had hoped that I could get this one tuned up with a few modifications over the next couple of months and it would see me through until we buy one. Realistically the idea being that we will go full chinese, full industrial with ATC at some point in the future. It a lot easier for me in the current economic climate to take one jobs payment and use some of that money towards upgrading the machine, piece by piece effectively.

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