DIY CNC Router

A CNC router is an industrial sized 3d Printer.  CNC routers, laser cutters, 3d printers, and regular old desktop printers all use the same technology and it’s been around for a while without much hype until recent years.  The promise of the self-replicating machine has a science fiction quality that is meme-worthy.  Here’s a diagram I put together:

Stewart_Losee_TetraHouse_Joes_CNC_DiagramAt the time I built my machine, Joe’s CNC was the best DIY “kit” on the market.  It wasn’t really a kit though as I had to order parts from dozens of different companies.  Joe will cut the main parts using a similar machine, and mail them to your house.  It’s almost a self replicating machine.  Here’s some documentation of my process:

After building and using this I realize why the pros do what they do.  High end machines have auto-tool-changers, vacuum beds, a variety of sensors, and powerful spindles.

My main complaint is with the weak spindle.  I’ve burned through about 5 Hitachi routers now.  Every couple months I’ll make a mistake that drives the bit into a material too hard, then puts the motor-commutator out of symmetry which then causes the spindle to slowly self destruct.  Here’s different approach by Kronos Robotics:

Kronos Robotics CNC design
Kronos Robotics CNC design

With all metal parts the tiny little spindle on this guy is defiantly the weakest link.  More to come on this topic later.