Vertical CNC

Has anyone tried to build the Lowrider as a vertical CNC machine? I’ve been looking at things like and, but I’d really like to use open hardware for this tooling so that I can fix it when/if things go wrong. Maslow almost fits that requirement, but they use custom (i.e. impossible to source) motor encoders and driver boards. I’d really love to use standard Cartesian movements if possible (just for the sake of precision).

As far as I can tell, the only thing that’d need to happen to the lowrider design is a bit of modification around the rollers (so that they can support a vertical load instead of a horizontal one) and counterweighting the router carriage so the steppers don’t have to fight gravity.

Is this a reasonable thing to do or am I totally off the rails here? My goal is a full sheet CNC machine, but I cannot dedicate an entire garage bay to it. I can definitely spare a dozen square feet for a vertical machine, though.

We all hoped it was possible, I think it would work as is with small counterweights. I just don’t have the room, my garage is very short.

Not sure how much of an angle though, 90 is out of the question but I would say pretty steep will work.

It rides along the edges of the table, so if your table could be two sizes, then that should work. I’m still in the progress on mine, but I plan on using about 40" most of the time, then expand it to bigger by moving out the car, and adding some more surface.

Alright, I’m thinking I’m going to do a “conversion” from my MPCNC to a Lowrider (just ordered the missing parts that I can’t source locally - basically everything but some nuts and bolts). I think I’ll get it working in a normal horizontal configuration first, and then if that’s successful, experiment with making the entire setup vertical. At least with the Lowrider, I can disassemble the thing somewhat and gain back that bay in my garage!

Thanks for the input folks!

Think seriously about 45°, 60°, etc. before you try 90°. You can save a lot of floor space without going all the way.

Yeah, definitely wouldn’t want to do 90 degrees. I’m leaning more toward 60-ish. Even that reduces the footprint of a full sheet very substantially.

how would you do the counterweights?

I just thought of that, but if you want a lowrider who doesn’t take too much space when you don’t use it, then just purchase an el cheapo ping pong table.

Good things are:
-You can fold it
-It is cheap and easy to replace, can be found anywhere and the dimensions are usually standard
-You can still use it to play ping pong if you don’t ruin it with the CNC

Negative points:
-They are usually a bit weak, but they can be strenghtened pretty easily
-You need to use a sacrificial wood sheet that is a bit wider than the table, otherwise the rollers will hit the frame tubes. Don’t think that it is a big issue though.
-You may ruin it if you make a mistake, but this can be avoided by putting enough layers of sacrificial materials, so that they are actually thicker than the bit you are using

I don’t plan to build one at short term, but I thought I could share this idea, and maybe someone can test, see if this could work.

Hope this can help some of you!

Just a day ago, I thought I’d make a simple panel saw which would cut in just vertical, turn the saw around and push the boards through for a horizontal cut. Then the MPcnc i’ve been planning and saving a little for before I order the parts, why not do something simular, and then I noticed the LOW rider and then this thread.

Someone else will surley have it working before I do, but heres an interesting video… imadgine the top long rail is beefed up MPCNC rail and the bottom long rail is the wheels following. Anyway I was thinking about just making it without the CNC part as a vertical panel saw and later perhaps cnc…


You still have to counterweight the router. That’s actually not a trivial thing to do.

I think I’m going to steal your ruler idea. I’m having a hard time realigning after a tool change.

Three words on the balance issue: “Torsion spring counterbalance.” Not a lot of travel on the moving parts, and best of all: adjustable using a rotational adjustment that doesn’t require any swapped parts. Most modern garage doors use this system (as opposed to the old tension spring designs.)

Edit: After some more thinking, if you could hide a tension spring behind the bed, you may actually be able to get a better end result from an operation standpoint, because adjustment would be even easier than a torsion spring. (Something similar to )

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