CNC router build #4: Using a CNC to make a CNC... the bots are taking over!

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Blog entry by Mainiac Matt posted 12-05-2017 10:25 PM 1308 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Electronic Package going together lickity split... Part 4 of CNC router build series Part 5: It's Alive (almost) »

The key to this design is an accurate solid model. Here you can see the riser plates for the gantry as part of the master level assembly. All the holes and relief cuts are transferred over from the mating components and should (knock on wood) line up perfectly.

Once I’m confident that all the required geometry is complete, I isolate the component to be cut.

For the Aluminum parts, I make a dimensioned drawing for use in the machine shop. But for CNC cut parts I make a 2D CAD file of the cut plane.

This file then gets imported into the CAM software and I get busy figuring out whether I have tooling to make the required cuts, and how to sequence the work. Here’s the final CAM file that shows the cutting lines.

I had to set up a couple tool holders for infrequently used cutters. All told the CAM and set up took about 90 minutes. Then I had the CAM software cook up the G-code and watched it do a virtual test cut on the PC. Next I loaded up a 1/3 sheet of CDX from the cut off pile and did a test run of the program. After measuring and tweaking some of the pocket depths, I went for it in the 3/4” Baltic Birch.

Here’s the parts, along with the 1×1 Aluminum bars I’ll use to stiffen them up. Cut time was about < 5 min.

I should have used a straight bit for the pocket walls, as the spiral up bit gave me some ugly tear out. But this is a functional part, and it may get cut again after we run the proto-type build and make any additional changes.

I also got to spend some time designing a plywood mobile stand. We ordered the leveling casters form McMaster and as usual, they were here the next day.

Next step is to mount the gantry to the raiser plates, and then mount the entire assebly to the linear bearings on the base.

Thanks for looking in.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

1 comment so far

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8762 posts in 3571 days

#1 posted 12-05-2017 10:37 PM

Cool build Matt….great you have the chance to do this….awesome.

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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