Building a DIY CNC

Thanks for jumping into the fray! Oh so many questions now!

First on the spindle, I like the idea of a spindle instead of a router, especially since learning that a fair amount of people have issues with the collets on the trim routers. Any concerns on the limited RPMs on the one you linked to? I thought you’d want to be able to take it up to 20k RPM for some bits.

Agreed on the frame/mechanics, and from what I’ve seen/read, NEMA17s at least 1.8a should have enough beef for a home cnc.

I hadn’t even looked into linear guides! Are they ok to be turned on their side? Do you recommend these for the Z axis as well? Nearly every Z axis I’ve seen has been a linear rail like this.

Lastly since @Clayton and I are both looking at the MPCNC… thoughts? Not really looking for something to compete with the Multicam, but not wanting to cheap out too badly either.

@mattarmstrong Although the MPCNC site is not well organized for the beginner, I’m finding a lot of good information on it, and have completely abandoned the Sienci product - although for less handy and inclined people, I still think the Sienci is an excellent product for what it is - 100% getting started and basic.

I am awaiting a pre-sales reply, and then ordering my 3D printer today. It’ll arrive in February. Once I get it assembled and calibrated, I’ll start printing my parts. You can order the printed parts as a set from MPCNC for $165,or print them yourself for about 2 spools of PVA and 120 hours printing time if using the recommended specs.

The spindle is quieter. But I came across a thread that said they still preferred the rotary tool, but I can’t find it to remember why they preferred it…sometimes I think the discussions geta little penny-wise and pound foolish in the long term decisions, but then that also depends on peoples budgets and their thresholds for tolerance.

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First on the spindle, I like the idea of a spindle instead of a router, especially since learning that a fair amount of people have issues with the collets on the trim routers. Any concerns on the limited RPMs on the one you linked to? I thought you’d want to be able to take it up to 20k RPM for some bits.

The 12k RPM is low and where you need the higher RPM’s is for smaller diameter bits like 1/8" to 1/16", but 8k RPM is not going to make a substantial enough difference to outweigh the benefits of having a quiet, rigidly mounted, concentric spindle in the same pricepoint; really for using small diameter endmills/engraving in most materials you want to be moving 60K RPM, the problem is the very high RPM spindles will have no torque at the RPM’s required for 3/16" to 1/4" end mills.

Staying within a couple hundred dollars, I have not seen the perfect option for smaller CNC’s outside of building your own spindle. Personally I would like the same formfactor as the spindles I linked with a good torque curve between 15k and 30k RPM; that would be a great general purpose spindle; in the meantime I have not been able to beat the price for performance of the 12K spindles and I have milled wood, carbon fiber, and aluminum at 12k RPM with good finishes.

I hadn’t even looked into linear guides! Are they ok to be turned on their side? Do you recommend these for the Z axis as well? Nearly every Z axis I’ve seen has been a linear rail like this2.

Yes, you can put them in a flat side by side configure or have them facing away from each other. Each axis should have 4 carriages and 2 rails. You can go look at the Multicam as an example. Most of the modern professional machines being built today use linear guides on all linear axis, that is because linear guides are better in every way (except cost) from performance to ease of implementation. The Multicam in woodshop and HAAS in machine shop are all linear guides.

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The recommendations for the Sienci CNC kits are showing Rigid and Makita palm routers with 10,000 - 30,000 RPM range, and MPCNC recommends a Dewalt Rotary (30,000 RPM single speed) and also had a spindle recommendation. All of which run $60 - $150 each. With either system, you could 3D print a mount adaptor as needed, but smaller body is better.

The Makita RT0701C that the Sienci recommends is identical in weight to the Dewalt that MPCNC recommends, and though twice the cost, it has variable speed 10k to 30k and doesn’t require surgery to remove the Dewalt’s problematic 1 touch collet. I’m leaning toward the MPCNC with the aliexpress spindle… this is a first CNC after all, and I already have the 3d printer ready to go.

@mattarmstrong AwesomeSauce…my 3D printer won’t be here until February…I will plagiarize all your great ideas and suggestions as you build! :wink:

I got the Sienci CNC with a Rigid router this last summer. It was ship in 7day & good doc. If you wish to see it/talk about the Shapeoko/Sienci or others I am normally here on Tue evenings. Also have you look at Thingiverse Mostly Printed CNC by Altedd or Root2 cnc or the Openbuilds C-Bean Machine?

Update:
Over half way though the MPCNC prints, and I decided on the kit from Vicious1 for simplicity and to support his work (arrived a few days ago). I went with the DeWalt DW660 and modded the end to get rid of the one hand tool change per recommendations. @Chris_Wischkowsky, I figure I’ll enclose it to help with noise and upgrade to a spindle when the finances are there.

Congratulations! See you back here in 3-4 years. :slight_smile:

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@mattarmstrong I pulled the trigger on my 3D printer a few days ago…hopefully will be here by end of February (on back order). I’ll start printing my MPCNC parts once I get it set up.

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Thanks, and dude, so true! The lack of time for DMS started with buying a 50’s house. Almost done with that one though

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Awesome! I’ll keep you updated. Next step, build the table while I wait for the remaining prints

@mattarmstrong What configuration size have you settled on? I’m debating between the 24” x 24” or 18” x 30”.

I decided to go 16" by 32", and… IT’S ALIVE!!! #protip just 'cause the ad says it’s red filament, doesn’t mean it won’t look pink when it arrives. C’est la vie. I wasn’t going to wait another 2-3 days to print something that big. I’ve since wired it up, tested it, and now I’m just in the calibration phase. Nothing cut yet. The only stepper that might get modified is that Z-axis one. It might need a little more beef to do the job.

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snif I always get a little choked up at birthings.

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Hatchbox has a true Red filament. It’s pretty.

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Warning: DIY printers may be associated with fertility. Although not sure which causes which.

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@mattarmstrong have you milled anything yet?

Congratulations! How is the DeWalt DW660 with the Mostly Printed CNC working?

My MK3 is assembled and working very well…I think its time for me to start this one…