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  1. #1
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    Foam milling CNC machine build

    Hi, i would like to share my current build with you guys. It is pretty much DIY as it gets. It is for milling out foam blocks to create molds from. I ordered the 3 axis CNC kit from longs motors on Ebay, hopefully it is of descent quality. Im using the DIY gantry slide design with aluminum angles and skate bearings mounted on aluminum angles and threaded rod with a rod coupler to twist back and forth for each exis. It will be build mostly of 3/4" MDF wood. The over all cutting dimensions are

    X-3'
    Y-3'
    Z-2.5'

    Currently, I have mostly finished the stand and the base for the CNC machine. I received my 45 degree chamfer bit today so i can continue and start work on the slides. Im trying to save as much money as possible so i ordered it from ebay for 5 bucks instead of spending 18 dollars for one at a home improvement store. I actually could have saved 200 dollars and bought a 270 oz kit instead of the 425 but i guess its for the better since i can build a larger gantry next time and use the same CNC components.







  2. #2
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    Looks good so far. You should be aware though that with the larger stepper motors, they will lose torque faster than the smaller stepper motors, so they're usually coupled with with multi-start ACME screws instead of threaded rod.

  3. #3
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    looks good to me. can you please explain the double panels on the sides? i assume those are the side panels, not front-back ones. rigidity, design?
    best of luck!
    edit: hope your mom/wife/whoever doesn't kill you for making it in the kitchen

  4. #4
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    Hey guys, ive made a little progress today. Thought i was going to be able to create and assemble major parts for the X axis but ended up only getting the rails done. I spent 3 hours just getting the base and stand level, did alot of sanding on the part where the x axis rail will sit on so that when i screw in the rails it will be accurate and level. Got the rails cut, chamfered and glued the aluminum angle to the edges. Tomorrow i will be working on the slides.





  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamesh99 View Post
    looks good to me. can you please explain the double panels on the sides? i assume those are the side panels, not front-back ones. rigidity, design?
    best of luck!
    edit: hope your mom/wife/whoever doesn't kill you for making it in the kitchen
    Yes those are the side panels, they will be supporting the x axis rails, so i doubled them up. Yea my mom is a cool lady, she let me pretty much have her garage where i do all of my cutting and building, im sure if it was any other woman i would be ball-less right now. im only building it indoors this time because the garage is too cold and unlevel for a project like this

  6. #6
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    so i suppose this will be a moving gantry? IMO, good thinking on the side panels. i would maybe make them lower, closer to the base, but if the gantry risers are eliminated from the design (i suppose again), this seems like sturdy design. keep in mind one thing: if you are building this for foam shaping, make it a bit rigid-er. i was going for polystyrene cutting and milling, but liked it so much i just had to work on some MDF and HDPE. needless to say, i regretted not making it sturdier
    nevertheless, i'll keep an eye on this thread! good luck!

  7. #7
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    Did some work today. Got the side of the slides done.:cheers:

    Also got a surprise in the mail, the CNC kit....only took 5 business days to get here









  8. #8
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    Got some descent work done today. Made all the components for the X axis:cheers:






  9. #9
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    Cool rail design!

  10. #10
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    made some parts for the y axis. The rail and the tower. Im not good at terminology so let me know if i call the part the wrong word or know of a better word to call it. It does look a little weird because the tower is so tall and the gantry stand is shorter. I can still cut it down shorter so it looks better but as of now i will have 2'6" of Z milling.




  11. #11
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    Did alot of the harder work today. I doubled all the screws in all the parts, i had to brace the x axis bar to make it more rigid and i ended taking apart all the parts and adding wood glue to all edges to make the whole thing more rigid. Connected the towers to the y axis rail. Have yet to mount it on the slides. Tomorrow i will start the slide for the y axis and possibly get the z axis components done also. Im still waiting on my couplers to come in which might be the end of the week. Close to getting the gantry done, maybe 2 more days of work then i can put in the bearings threaded rods, couplers and mount the motors.

    if i were to redoo this though i would have definitely used 1" mdf wood, it would have been much sturdier and rigid. That was actually my original plan but i couldnt find the 1" mdf. Hopefully, the way it is now, will be strong enough to mil the foam with no problems.




  12. #12
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    what do you plan for the mold making? is there a ready-made epoxy you plan on using? i was considering mold making for small series production, but haven't been able to find the compound to make the mold, or the product itself.

    design looks good, but you will need to be careful with the X speeds, so the heavy z axis doesn't tilt the table.
    keep up the good work!

  13. #13
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    Looks good!

    Though I must ask with your build in the kitchen and another in the forum in the living room, your significant others must be angels!

  14. #14
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    sup young fellas. i havent updated u guys in a bit. since last update ive rebuilt the x axis slides so that it would work better, ive permanently mounted the y axis pillars and rail, built the y axis slide, and mounted the z axis rail to the y axis slide. Just alittle bit more work to be done and it will be done. I wasnt doing much work on it since last time since i was waiting for my shaft to rod couplers to come in and they finally did today. So i offically have everything i need to finish so i will be working hard for the next few days to get this done.





  15. #15
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    not all is good, but i got it done. Will need to tweak and redo some parts but will see how it does for now. i will see about wiring tomorrow and try to get in some test cuts in a few days.





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  17. #17
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    heres a video of the machine jogging. The only issue i am having right now is the backlash from the shaft and rod coupling.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z39RDk1J8w8]CNC Jogging. - YouTube[/ame]

  18. #18
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    Neat. That is one impressive Z range.

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