Published: 23-01-2016
Research on existing CNC machines.
A lot of my projects require some sort of complex curvature which inevitably gets simplified due to a lack of machining resources. Considering this I have decided to have a crack at building my own CNC machine. Being me I wanted to make it from scratch so a bit of research was in order.
Existing Machines
A few 'mainstream' machines that have caught my eye so far:
  • Shapeoko 3
  • X-Carve
  • Openbuilds c-beam system
  • OX machine
Building the frame
The Shapeoko 3 frame looks the strongest and is beautifully elegengant compared to the usual aluminium T-slot extrusion. It is however a custom extrusion which means the machine cannot be easily expanded from the original size. The x carve uses standard T-slot extrusion which seems okay for the standard machine sizes. The gantry plates do not allow the size of the extrusions to be changed (2 20 x 40) which means that expanding the machine is also a problem. The original extrusion size cannot handle large distances without flex.