Start of new MPCNC build in Michigan

Hi everyone,

I’ll start out and introduce myself, my name is Brian Palmer and I’m located in south central Michigan. I work for an aluminum extrusion company as the Lead Tool Design Engineer where I’m tasked with designing fabrication tooling for the Aluminum extruded parts we make. Some of the parts we produce are automotive sunroof tracks which require extruding the profile, punch dies, milling, assembly and check fixturing. We design and build our own CNC mills in house for the parts we produce. Currently I’m working on a double head gantry style mill for a Mercedes sunroof tracks. I’m attaching a pic of the design layout. We have done four different complete builds of this type of CNC each at a cost of around 45k to 65k, not cheap.

I wanted to build a CNC for my own personal use at home and not take out a second mortgage to do it, 45k is a little munch for my budget. I did have some criteria for this new machine it had to be mufti-functional, light milling (alum & wood), 3d printing, and Laser engraving. So, I poked around the internet looking for a low-cost solution with the features I wanted, and I have to say there is not munch out there. Then I found the MPCNC. I almost passed it buy “3D Printed Plastic Parts” for a CNC no way. Now, I do have a couple of 3D printers at home that I have been playing with for the last year a “ANET A8” and a “Monoprice Maker Select V2” not the best, but get the job done with modifications. Both printers have plastic parts and new 3D printed parts added for improvements to them. So, stepping back and looking at what I have done to the printers and realizing that I am not looking to build a Haas CNC Machine, I’m building a home CNC, I decided to give the MPCNC a try. The build I’m doing is not complete yet, but impressed so far. Ryan, I have to say, “Great Job” this design is solid has versatile functionality and for the cost you can’t beat it. I am confident that it is going to due the job and due it well. “Never judge a book buy it’s cover or at first glance.”

For my build I am doing some things a little different from the original with the hope that I can achieve a good blend between milling and 3D printing but still keep the original design intact. So I am starting out with a frame size of 48” x 36” with 12” Z stroke for a rough machinable area of 37” X 25” - Z 6” & 12”. I making my table top movable with a travel of 6” so I can mill at 6” then drop down and 3D print at 12”. My Top plate is going to be a CMM Fixture Plate my company produces for a company called FixLogix here is a link the plates are expensive on their site. I will be getting the raw plate for material cost, 40” X 26” - $65. Then for the lift I am going to use a 12V electric scissor jack that I got on Ebay for $59. For the rest of the machine I have not made many changes. I added the 5/16 nut spacers to the XYZ top and bottom bracket prints since I’m using the lead screw setup and I chose the square corner blocks instead of the original, not that there any better just liked the look. I am also testing out duel bearing and lead screw nut on the Z axis, so far no binding a very little to no backlash when actuating it with the Ramps 1.4 board. I am using 1” .049 wall stainless tubing I got from Speedy Metals not bad on price and fast ship, 2days. Right now I’m waiting on my fastener order and the extreme cold here to break so I can get out in the garage and build the table and finish the assembly. My little salamander heater can’t keep up so I’m in my basement doing a mock setup. So here is some pics of where I am at and I hope to complete it soon.

For got Pic of the Duel ball nut setup.

So far it seems to be a crazy build, 12" is pretty much worthless though. Only with a bowden tube and really slow, all other times you have the 12" holding a big mass on top. I think you would be much better off building 2 machines. You will not be touching aluminum with that z and such a large surface area isn’t fun/fast.

Break it into 2 machines and decide what you really need, 12" Z? Even for printing I have very very rarely went over 5" way better off with multiple pieces and minor assembly.

I don’t want to knock it too hard but have a look through the faq’s, specs, and size page to clear some of this up. I don’t want you to go though all this effort and hate my creation, I just think you are pushing it too far the mods you made don’t effect the issues that a large build brings in. 2 ball nuts won’t fix frame flex.

That looks like a neat, detailed build and those plates are crazy cool. Glad your not paying full price!

The size is pretty crazy though. If it’s not up to your expectations, you should consider shrinking at least the Z. It’s going to work ok though, and you seem to have the mind for it. Keep us up to date. It does seem like a sharp build and you seem capable of some neat projects.

My first printer is the wanhao duplicator i3 (the first version), the brother of the monoprice maker select. It is a champ, although it is far from perfect.