I came across the MPCNC in March and thought wouldn’t it be nice to have a do-(mostly-)anything machine from hardware store stuff. So I got started building. First, thank you for this piece of art! Been lurking ever since and now I need the community’s wisdom.
(I also thought about the 2beigh3 but cost of threaded iron pipes totally put me off. )
I had no 3D printer to begin with so I bought a Wanhao i3 - $500 - which just about ate the price advantage - although it’s a fine, very hackable machine itself.
I sized it for 24"x18" after this guy:
Thinking I could just buy two 10’ EMTs and have my rails. Alas I botched one of the cuts and need a third. Plus it ruined my dingy tubing cutter from my plumbers kit, meant for copper pipes.
Anyway, I printed the parts and have the conduits, still waiting for the bearings and electronics from China, and actually got tired of waiting so I bought a RAMPS kit from a local shop. Still can’t really put it together until the bearings arrive.
Now it’s time to think about table, electronics box, spindle. And I need advice.
My goals out of this build:
Large format 3D printer (more on that later)
Light aluminum milling
Computer controlled mitre saw (no compound mitre though, lol)
Stretch goals: Laser, drag knife.
I’d love to have as much parts retail-off-the-shelf (that I can walk into a store, buy and take home) and reusable as possible. By that I mean it will share as much parts as possible with Wanhao and when it comes time to dismantle either, I can reuse the parts. That means I’ll move the Wanhao’s MK to MPCNC for 3D printing needs - or should I go the other way around, get an upgraded 3mm printing kit for MPCNC and move it to Wanhao when needed?
For hookups I can do either DB9 with plain old 24-gauge wires or RJ45 keystone jacks with Cat5e patch cords. This gives me provisions for 8 wires which should be enough for one axis.
Power is going to be from an ATX supply because I have so many left over.
First one I like the size and look and feel; second I like the ergonomics and 80mm fan, which I also have too many leftover.
I’d like to use one box for both MPCNC and Wanhao but I don’t think Marlin can switch hardware profiles on the fly… at least the hardware is or can be made common.
Firmware: Ryan’s. I haven’t bought a screen yet, but I was able to control the motors on the bench via RepetierHost. Does ours have all the latest upstream updates?
Have a 20yo Dremel variable speed rotary and printed a Hicwic-compatible mount for it. Needed to modify it to fit my older Dremel.
Got a Dewalt 660 for $100 on sale but also trying a $150 Makita RT0701C because of variable speed and possibility to use it on my router table (needs modding though). Dewalt 611 costs too much.
Both have 1/4" collet. Dewalt comes with a 1/8" collet. I would need to get one for Makita, if one even exists.
Tell me which one to keep. I’ll return the other.
This is the big one. I could just buy a piece of MDF and mount the build on it, leaving some space to the right for electronics.
But I like to have a motorized drop table with at least 180mm travel (Wanhao’s usable Z). My plan for this is to home and level Z with table fully up, power down, reconnect Z to 2-4 steppers with allthreads wired in series mounted to the table, so the table moves down as it prints. In CNC mode I would latch the table at the top. Optionally I can build a short, unpowered Z axis that just sits on the center, bolted to it by a short length of allthread, for use when the Z axis is rewired to this drop table.
There are two table designs that caught me:
I’m going to put wheels underneath. Tell me why I should pick one over the other or just go MDF board. For background: 3/4" EMT are $9/10ft, 2x4s are $3.5, 4x4s I haven’t got a price but they look to be all pressure-treated for outdoors.
How does my dream sound?