Build log. Research time: 72+ hours. Make time: :30

Hello to all

Feel confident enough to start a build log with the certainty I have that this is the way forward for me.

I’m interested mostly in creative CNC, probably a lot of plywood based design and build. With that, I’m keenly interested in exploring the possibility of going large to accommodate the full 8x4 sheet. Currently researching all the solutions out there that might make this doable. In the end, I see myself having a few of these, perhaps a very small, super rigid one for cutting aluminium.

I’ve been dreaming of drag knives and laser cutters (and airbrushes, plotters, cake icing, etc) for quite a while now, but discovering this project has brought it all back with a bang. I have been calibrating and refining my old 3d printer with a new zeal to prepare for the mammoth task of printing the required parts.

BIG, BIG THANKS to Ryan. One hell of a design, you absolutely smashed it. You can be sure I’ll be supporting you by purchasing/donating. Since I’ll be printing the PLA bits, re-using the electronics I have, and getting the conduit here in the UK, all I need is the hardware. It would be good if there was a hardware kit available via your shop.


Hope it all goes smooth!

There is starting to be a lot of interest in a full sheet machine. I guess I will start jotting down some ideas and see what comes up.

Plywood is kind of a bummer to work with careful bit selection helps splintering and such but it also dulls them pretty fast from the glue apparently. At the hardware stores around here we have a lot of prefabbed panels available that aren’t actually much more expensive then ply, If you can give those a try.

I couldn’t Google any links for these prefabbed panels you reference. When it comes to engineered wood, I know of OSB, MDF, particle board/chip board and plywood. Plywood is the most expensive in the UK. Is there something I’m missing?

Going through bits is not a worry - there is budget for my hobby :smiley: +1 here on you pitching in on the full sheet design. Please do put your proven skills to work on this!

Pre made edge glued stuff, this search shows some but my local lumber store has a bunch and it cuts so nice. Not the same as plywood but if you can get away from it this stuff is cheap and convenient.

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Aha, edge glued panels. I had never considered cutting these as an alternative to ply. Very interesting idea.

I wonder how much they move seasonally. Somewhere between solid wood and ply? I suppose you do get cupping on some edge glued kitchen work tops.

I know you can super strong structure with this form of engineering - glulam beams for example. But for a relatively thin panel, I wonder if they might be weaker than solid or ply.

I made a desk out of those about 15 years ago. The top is very stable and doesn’t move. One of the doors on the desk though has no other support and it does flex between summer and winter and mostly from abuse. I’d think as long as it has other support it will be just fine. I haven’t noticed any movement at the edge. It’s more flexible than ply is.

Good to hear. This has got me thinking about getting set up to rip down reclaimed timber to create edge glued panels.

Lots of advantages it seems. Reclaimed, looks good, cheap, reasonable structural integrity, good to work with.

Just sold my table saw, but moving to a new house with a huge workshop space in the garden.

Following a house move to a renovation project, I’m finally setting up the new outbuilding as a workshop, so I’m back working on the MPCNC build.

I’ve had everything but the conduit ready and boxed up for several months, and it’s tormenting me that I had nowhere to progress the build.

All’s well that ends well - I now have a 21’ x 11’ workshop in my garden to continue the project.

I’ve been following the Lowrider progress very closely, and it’s marvelous to see. Especially great to see a couple of build logs, Jeff and Barry.

I now have space for it so as soon as I assemble the MPCNC and get that working, it’s game on!

Congrats, a new workshop is always awesome.

Quick progress update. Getting there!

[attachment file=35338]

I would appreciate some feedback about how freely the rollers need to move. At the moment, it’s not super stiff, but it’s not exactly gliding either. If I throw one of the rollers, it only travels a couple of inches before stopping by itself.

The bolts on the rollers were a bit of a tight fit, so boring them out a bit would release some of the tension. Even to get this freedom of movement, I’ve had to loosen the roller bolts so that the bearings have a little side to side play.

Perfect, you want a bit of tension.

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Ah, that’s why I got married.

The other issue I’m working on ahead of completing the steppers and belt assembly is that the threaded rod does not turn perfectly true when the pineapple coupler is rotated, so you feel a little patch of resistance with each rotation.

Taking it off and looking down the rod as I turn, I can see it wanders by a 5mm or so. I’m sure the stepper will overcome this easily, but part of me wants it to point straight up. I’ve checked the rod is straight, and the coupler looks good, but I’ve printed two now, and the both give me this slightly leaning rod. Although no complaints from the wife about this.

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Try turning the rod over, I ship them with the coupler nut at the bottom, usually one end is kinda tweaked. so chances are if you flip it over it will be good. I run them all in a cordless drill and if they wander by anything near 1mm I don’t ship it.

Wiring and belts done - I’m getting about 3 hours a week on this, so it’s going pretty well. Knowing Ramps, Arduino and Repetier very well helps alot.

So it’s alive, which is nice. I couldn’t really understand the series wiring diagram properly to be honest, so after getting it done, I made my own in case it helps anyone.

[attachment file=35912]

Just about to print a pen holder. Waiting for some braiding to tidy up the wires, then on to printing a mount for my Katsu trim router.

I’ll upload the standard plotting the logo vid soon I expect.

That works but you have an extra swap in there. Hard to put in words, but generally I would keep the black and green together on all three, and the blue and red. In your diagram you have them swapped between steppers, which is how I think you got your reversal. The other hard part is if you use colors that actually tend to be in steppers most will just match the colors, but in my experience even if they do have to same colors they might not be from the same coils as your.

Please don’t take it as a criticism I love the way it is depicted and if you don’t mind I think I should do something similar and try to make it a bit more clear.

No worries at all. You know more about these things thankfully.

I have a Gliffy diagram I can share with you, or I can do the changes. I was thinking that once someone confirms it’s right, I would add in the Y to make it idiot proof.

It’s just something I haven’t spent any time on since I had the harnesses made. Once I started selling them the wiring questions just about stopped.

Ok, well I don’t mind. I can correct it or I can take it down if you say it’s wrong or you want to do something similar, honestly no worries. Is there any reason I should change my wiring? It seems to work as you say.

I wanted to source everything myself for kicks. I do encourage others to buy from you or make donations.

The wiring kit was the one thing I was thinking of buying but it came to around $50 dollars with the shipping to the UK and I already had rolls of red, green, blue and black sitting here.

Also, I got the impression your kit was parallel and needed to be modified for series? Wrong? BTW, you have a 404 on your stepper wiring page:

I based my wiring on some of the images out there, which all seem to be based on colours, e.g:

When I followed that, both steppers turned the same way, hence my two additional swaps.

Careful shipping to the UK. I was charged about £100 in customs charges if i recall correctly.

No it’s fine keep it up, and yeah if it works no big deal. I just know I can’t use it as is. In the beginning people were using some crazy parallel diagram that was super confusing and it started arguments. So I know anything I put on the wiring page has to be very consistent. Having more info out there is good in my opinion. I was just excited to add it to the wiring page.

I have no issues with doing it yourself. You learn a lot, at least I did.

Where did you get that link? I thought I fixed them all. I used to have two versions, now I just have one (without the resistor and a little longer).

Ahhh, “two additional swaps”, to reverse one you only need one swap, meaning one of your swaps isn’t doing anything. No big deal it works.