by Phunguss  

I have had some development projects in the works that I really needed my own CNC machine to complete.  Creating parts for prototypes is very expensive if you don't have the equipment or capabilities to create it yourself.  So, I Googled a little, and finally decided on some kits on eBay.  I purchased the hardware in 2008 and it sat in the garage for a year before I got around to assembling it all.

Original Setup

- MDF frame, metal rails with slider bearings, screw drive
- Dewalt Rotary tool, 10K RPM
- Old windows desktop with parallel port
- 3-axis control board with stepper motors
- Joystick


by Phunguss  

So the whole idea behind CNC is accurate control.   You can't get that with a joystick.  Seems the only good thing to use the joystick for is quick and dirty positioning for setup and teardown.

Test Run 1

Baby Steps

by Phunguss  

Starting a new skill always has some learning curve.  Finding open source software to do everything from design to control takes time to learn and tweak.

Try 2

That's not right

by Phunguss  

My project involved some planetary gears, and the first designs were too small for the router bits I had on hand.  It took time to get the right speed with the right bits.  My first attempts also had no milling removal methods.  I started by following the bit with a toothbrush to remove excess material.   This leads to the bit getting too hot and destroying itself before it can be too useful.

fugly gears

Backtrack to the 80's

by Phunguss  

If you grew up in the early 80's, you may remember the original Battlestar Galactica.  Old school.  The refresh with CGI is cool, but I wanted some mechanical work done.

80's cylon

So I wanted to build a head with working eye...

My version

These are two layers that I cut with the CNC.  The other Seven layers were cut with a regular upright band saw.


by Phunguss  

Here is the front of the head.  You really need to watch the video to understand it.

Golden boy


  Or see it on youtube... 


For more crazy gears, check out

Pics to explain later...

by Phunguss  

This is just a placeholder for some photos that need a little more descriptions...

3D simulation

3d more




by Phunguss  

This as far as the gears have come along... still not perfect, but eventually I will get what I want.

cell phone pic

Those bearings are from the armature on hard drives.  Pretty small.

Out with the old...

by Phunguss  

Out with the old...

Wood is good, but I need more.  That MDF router has limited cutting size and repeatability.  So, I ordered a chinese import from eBay constructed of aluminum and this is it, right out of the box.

Under the Table

by Phunguss  

Under the Table

The table is constructed of several lengths of extruded aluminum. While the line up at the ends, pressure and flex can cause them to misalign. My solution was to insert a 1/4" steel plate with holes tapped for threaded screws. Insert screws and add a little 'brake pad silence' glue (instead of locktite). Pretty solid now.

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