This will be more of a recap than a live build thread since I am terrible at pausing during a project to actually take pictures and document my thoughts. So ill do my best to cover my build from memory. I want to share what my goals are, my results so far, and where I would like to make some improvements. Hopefully, this can help others as they start their projects and maybe help me as well as I receive feedback from the community.
So I have wanted to have a CNC machine since I was a kid. I grew up doing construction and computers, so its only natural to want to combine them. My dream was to have a machine that can fit a 4x8 sheet, from there I figure I can make anything, right? Alas, that dream will have to wait. My current house does not have electricity in the garage, and the space inside is limited. Due to these factors, I would need a small machine that was in an enclosure that contained the sound and dust.
I researched sound dampening and tried to design something that would be affordable and compact. Oh, did I mention I wanted it to be cheap too? I should also mention I don’t have any power tools other than a drill, so cutting up sheet material would be a pain. After a while, I realized I would not be able to achieve a ~40bd enclosure within the budget I had planned. In the end, I settled on an enclosure solution and machine that I am quite happy with considering all of my limiting factors.
My machine is built into an IKEA cupboard and has a working area of 250x250x30mm, I was aiming for 300x300 but missed. It uses a katsu router and Trigorila ramps clone that I salvaged from a broken 3d printer. The steppers are nema17 so nothing special. I sprung for Stainless Steel tubing 1”(25.4mm). Its setup with dual endstops and a Z probe touch plate.
The machine is working well enough, I think. I have done a few projects, and nothing has caught on fire yet. I am still learning the CAM setups. It seems like I either make the cuts too conservative and it takes forever, or I overdo it, and the router starts to bog down hard and chatter (I think that’s the right term). The machine has been flawless in the x,y never missing a beat, Z, however, kept giving me issues with missed steps, until I lubed the lead screw.
Areas for improvement.
I would like to stretch the working area to 300x300 somehow. I also need to improve my dust collection, I need to make/buy a cyclonic filter since my vacuum fills up in like half a job, and I need to route the hose in a way that I can close the door completely. Since I cant close the door due to the vacuum hose, I am not getting the full sound blocking benefit from the enclosure. Lastly, I want a better work holding solution; currently I am just screwing the workpiece to the spoil board.
So that’s where I am now with my MPCNC and how I got here. Hopefully, someone finds this interesting, and I would love to get some feedback and ideas on ways to improve my build.