Now we have reached a good stage in 3D printing, we begin our venture into CNC. Read along as we go through the story of how we do it and our plans for the future.
So firstly, why do we feel the need for our own CNC machine?
As Tim had explained previously, manufacturing our own printers is much more convenient. With the 3D printers we can print all the parts we require to very precise tolerances. The hardware is much more readily available than the printers and CNC themselves. PLUS! If we can build 3D printers to this quality, then why not a CNC machine??
So we begin researching the requirements we need from a CNC. This comprised of many reviews, many manufacturing websites and videos to be able to find the one we need. When looking on Thingiverse we found a few substantial designs that provide a full parts list and full build instructions. We found that this would be the best route as we can learn the machine when building along with localize future failures based on the design and improve on these with knowledge of how to do so.
So after choosing we began preparing all the printed pieces in STL files and grouping them into one plate to print as many at one time as possible to save time but keep quality. We kept track of all the printed parts and hardware using a spreadsheet so we could tick off the completed pieces.
While the printers were hard at work I got to sourcing the hardware and electrical components required to complete the build. The designer of the CNC listed parts at the cheapest and all from different countries. We prefer to buy from one place or at least all in one transaction if possible and from the UK. After purchasing if the parts and they begin arriving we ticked them of in the spreadsheet to keep track of where the progress was and the next steps.
So we come to the completion of the printed pieces and arranged them to double check we had all the parts needed. SUCCESS! We completed this part.
Now we are awaiting the final electrical components, (spindle with power supply, and one pair of belts in particular which are VERY difficult to source in the UK) and then we can begin the testing of the components and preparing them to be added to the build.
Unfortunately the main hardware being the frame and bed are the last to arrive delaying the build greatly. However this meant we could precisely pick the requirements for these as the company being used can manufacture to exact lengths, and required quality of material.
So now we await the final parts.