My time in quarantine, combined with the potential reopening of DMS has sparked an idea. I don’t know about the rest of you, but at this point, I’ve almost forgotten how to run the HAAS and I don’t have any way to keep those skills sharp at home. While I do have a 3D printer, I’m woefully under prepared for machining at home and I’d like to kill both birds with the same stone.
With that in mind, I was considering building my own 3 axis CNC for home use. I’d like something that can be reasonably moved around, and not take up a whole room, but still be functional enough to so some light machining in metal (even if only aluminum).
I’d like this to be a collaborative project, with the project trying to get as many different backgrounds of people attracted to it, so we can get a maximum amount of learning from it, I’m open to ideas about the flow of the “classes” or “meetings” but my thought was a couple design meetings, some CAD/CAM work days, then some machining parts days, and finally some meetup and assembly/test operations days.
With the above in mind, I’m doing a call for research and ideas about a CNC machine that is:
- Open Source / Free Designs
- Small enough to be reasonably moved by one person and fit in a passenger vehicle. Ideally “3D printer sized”
- Can machine at minimum Aluminum, with at least enough rigidity to make a 0.010" depth of cut (so no Tormachs lol @michaelb )
- Must be primarily manufacture-able with the tools we have a DMS. Obviously, we’ll buy some servos/steppers and the linear rails etc, but the major chassis parts and bits and bobs should be machinable on our HAAS and lathes/mills
- Must not cost an arm and a leg. I’m flexible on this one, but designs over $1k will probably be a bad idea for group size, I was thinking of something in the sub $800 range. If the group is large enough, a group buy of materials will probably help this a bit.
- Have at least a 6" by 6" by 6" working area. We may be flexible on this, but we’d need to vote on it in the group.
- I’m In! Sounds fun!
- It’s a Pointless Dumb Idea
- Too much Money
- Too little build size