KLKS CNC BuildLog 01 – The Plan
I’ve always been fascinated with CNC’s, so early this year I decided to take the plunge and try to build my own CNC sometimes also known as a Milling Machine.
If your interested in readin more about CNC’s here are some links.
This blog will document my (success or failure) of building a CNC which can mill PCB’s (This is the next step for me after doing the toner transfer etching). Each blog entry will document the small parts i have broken this project into and also how much i have spent. I am hoping to keep the build around the RM1500 (~500USD) price range and not take longer than 1 year to build. To start off, today i’ll be talking about the kind of CNC i want to build and what is available out there. There are 2 paths to follow, one is the Free path and the other is the commercial path.
The Commercial Path
With a budget of 1500, this option was out of the question but decided to have a look anyways. A commercial ready to go solution is anywhere between RM3000-5000 and this is before shipping and tax. From browsing the interwebs, talking with friends and reading on forums, I found that the Fireball V90 to be a good and solid machine to get.
The Free Path
Next I went down the free path. There are a lot of DIY’ers out there who have successfully built their own CNC. So why cant I right?. So i went off to YouTube in search of CNC videos that other people have posted, did a bit of googling and stumbled upon afew websites which give instructions and plans for building CNC’s. The first that caught my eye was the Mantis 9. A group of MIT students made available plans for the CNC machine which can be used to mill PCB’s.
I downloaded the plans and contemplated building it. But finally I didn’t because I figured that getting the wood cut to that specification will be very difficult here. I looked for shops which could process the DXF but found none. You can read more about MIT CNC machines here.
Next up i browsed one of the most popular CNC sites CNCZone. There i found out about some free and paid plans. One of the free plans was the JGRO CNC Router. I downloaded it and thought about building it. In the end I did not go with this either because the wood work would be very difficult to do. Measurements and cuttings were going to be the toughest challenge.
In the end I ended up buying plans from Solsylva. I emailed David and told him what I wanted to do and asked him to suggest a plan i could build. He recommended the 10×9 CNC because of its solid body. I paid RM31 (~10USD) and have no regrets buying them. The plans are were well thought out, the BOM was simple, no fancy woodwork, and it looked like I could get almost everything easily here. The plans have alot of pictures to guide you and also templates for drilling, which means any newbie could build it. So this is what i will be building over the course of the next few months….
Total time spent picking a design :- 3 Weeks
Total $ spent : RM31