Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Your First CNC

by EasilyBuild Mar 17, 2017
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I know its been awhile on this, but im currently printing everything and would love some info on where i can find the zaxis you built utilizing the cheaper threaded rods from home depot!

Thank you for this thing! Thumbs up to you!

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Think it would work ok with PLA?

Hi. I'm new to 3d printing so I have a few questions.
1) Do I only print one of each file as your description does not state how many of what?
2) I'm slicing with Cura and all of your files except for two lay flat. These two are vertical. Should I print them this way or should I lay them flat?
3) Where do I find the file for the Z-axis?

Thanks for the great work and look forward to your reply.

Hi, do you have the Z-axis? Thanks

I separated the objects so that they may be rotated for those of us with smaller print beds.
Worked out great for me.
Hope the original author doesn't mind.

Hi,I have two questions:

  • Could it be possible to make extensions to use 3 or 4 length ?
  • Does it make a usable cnc to at least support a laser or a needle cutter ? Does it wobble a lot when moving ?

Can i put a drill on that without it getin bend to much?

cnc'ed something already ?

That's great work. Brilliant. I have some questions. Can you answer please.
Which program to use control this machine?
And when the z axis to be ready.
(Sorry about my English.)

This maybe a super dumb question, but if the airsoft pellets wear out, is there any reason to not use metal bbs?

So far I haven't seen any appreciable wear on the bb's. I have seen some wear though on the rail and had to tighten it about .2mm. I printed all the parts on the lowest quality setting so there was some stair step layering that was worn in smooth. On another project where the bearings were under a ton of mechanical load, the plastic bb's stalled and started to wear, but when I swapped them out for denser biodegradable clay bb's they stopped wearing down.

Hi dude!

Wondering if you have the Z axis files, I want this to be my first 3D printed project.



Its a shame that I cant print the xy axis as my print bed is 0nly 200 x 200 its a Graber i3 it over hangs a little so it wont print. It is a nice design though.

Would printing it on an angle help? the hypotenuse of a 200 mm x 200 mm right triangle is 282.8 mm

Thanks dude.
I'm not too familiar with that model, but I added a shorter versions of the rails, 150 mm rather than 200 mm. Is there a preferred length, the file is parametric so it as easy as typing in a new number? or maybe would the regular one fit if it wasn't grouped together with all the other parts?

A 180mm one would be nice. That should fit a 200mm bed just fine. Rotating the original as the ends still overhang in the “no go” zone. Also, could you break out the toothed rollers individually?

Great project! Can you explain a little about the slider block to rail interface? Is it just lubricated ABS-on-ABS gliding surfaces? I don't understand how the BBs come in...

Video Uploaded!
Check it out. It's a complete assembly guide to the axis rails

Nice, thanks! I watched it and the overall process was understandable with excellent technique tips on some details. But you skipped right over how the bearings work / are assembled?? That was what I was most curious about...

Had to refilm it oops.
Heres how to load the bearings into the slide

Thanks, much clearer now!

Comments deleted.

Video on how to assemble an axis is coming soon! I filmed it and editing it down. FYI I've never edited a video before so it's not exactly a Spielberg production :)

Printed rails and gantry don't seem like they'd be very strong. What materials can/can't this machine?

Interesting observation, although the rails are printed in ABS plastic they are surprisingly rigid for a couple of reasons. The gantry rails have a similar cross-section of an I-beam, where the vertical side rails act as a web and horizontal backing acts as the flange. In addition to the internal structure, the Y-axis is attached with the clamps to the waste board and then takes on the rigidity of the board. The X-Axis has some flex in it, which is purposefully. If you are new and learning on how to control the CNC, making mistakes is part of process and having a "forgiving" machine that can flex and bend without permanent damage can be very useful.
Because the Z-axis is still a work in progress I have limited test materials to reference, but I have hooked up a laser with great results, an extruder (which did a test pattern with .1 mm accuracy), pens/pencils (same test pattern), and a little rotary tool from Harbor Freight ( I used electrical tape to attach the router so it was a bit wiggly).
I'll have more videos and reference material on cutting speeds by the end of the weekend.

Hey thanks for your quick and detailed reply :) I guess my concern was force when routing thru materials. A laser or plastic extruder would be fine as they just have to carry the weight of the tool. I'm interested to hear how material tests with a routing bit go. Obviously this thing isn't going to mill 6mm aluminium in one cut, but I guess foam will be okay, and a 1mm pass thru MDF would probably make it fairly useful. Good luck and keep us posted!

I'm actually not that worried about the rights of the material. Especially on X axis, as the rails are fully supported by the base plate.
But to get a practical CNC router, I recommend massively reducing Z height. As low as you can go, like 25mm or lower. This would reduces the rotational force affecting the gantry massively.
We have also had success in making the gantry axis horizontal and milling through an opening in the center, further reducing the rotational force vector on gantry. https://github.com/fellesverkstedet/fabricatable-machines/blob/master/award-plotter/img/28Testing-reproduction-by-milling-new-Z-axis.JPG

Oh I like that design! Ya I think you're right about the height of the Z-Axis. I played around with putting the motor on the back and lower, but the setup has so much gear, pulleys, ect. the added weight offset the lower center of gravity. The home depot screw I have kind of wobbles so I was thinking about using a threadless ball screw. Have you ever played around with one of those?