The shop gets a new DIY CNC…

The new DIY CNC had to start with a good base...

The new DIY CNC had to start with a good base…

MotoPreserve has been taking advantage of CAD design for quite some time.  Through the use of a 3D printer and a small DIY CNC, parts have been made for use on both shop and customer builds.  The old CNC was great, yet small and limiting.  Larger CNC machines are expensive, and often smaller than we need for some of the parts we make.  So a plan was hatched to design and build a new DIY CNC right here in the shop, to our exact specs…

Building the DIY CNC…

Cardboard engineering for a precise...of course!

Cardboard engineering for a precise…of course!

After about a year of research, and slowly ordering parts as they became available used – it was time to dive in.  The first photo shows the very beginning of the building process.  Like most projects, you need to start with a solid foundation.  So we began with the base, cut and welded using steel square tube, designed to fit the DIY CNC perfectly.  This helps give the aluminum-framed construction some rigidity, and some weight to keep vibrations out of the equation.

Above you can see the frame mocked up with the Y-Axis THK rails and trucks installed.  The THK gear is top quality, but super-expensive.  With a little patience, amazing deals can be found on eBay.

The frame of the DIY CNC mocked up with Y-Axis rails installed...

The frame of the DIY CNC mocked up with Y-Axis rails installed…

Once we had a solid base to work with, we began mocking up the basis for the DIY CNC, right there on the frame.  This allowed the design to be checked in a physical way, as opposed to relying strictly on the CAD design.  Measurements were triple-checked, and the design proved primarily sound.  A couple tweaks were made, and the cast aluminum tooling plate ordered.

Not all DIY CNC machines have to be quite this involved.  Check out the LINK to see some ideas for other machines.

Check back for updates on the build…

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