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CNC Router Design Overview

Here are the major components, with the wood frame design as seen in the image below. I am using Fusion 360 for the modeling and design simulations. I’m very impressed with the capabilities of Fusion 360, being that it is free for hobby use. I do run into quite a few bugs, but I can’t complain for the price I’m paying! Also, they are continuously improving, rolling out updates, and they respond in a timely manner to inquiries on their support forums.

  • HIWIN HGR15 linear profile rails (X=1200mm, Y=800mm, Z=350mm)
  • HIWIN HGH15CAZAH bearing blocks on Y axis
  • HIWIN HGW15CCZAH bearing blocks on X and Z axis
  • Ballscrews: 1204 on Z Axis, 1610 on X and Y axis
  • BK/BF 10/12 supports for all screws
  • NEMA23 381 oz-in stepper motors (4 total, 2 on X-axis)
  • Gecko G540 stepper drivers
  • 48 vdc power supply
  • Mounts for DeWalt DWP611 (shown) and DW618 routers
  • Linux CNC control software

The frame components and the machine base use a torsion box design and will be made from birch plywood and MDF webs.

DIY CNC Router Prototype

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Goals for the CNC Router Build

I was not happy with the performance of any of the CNC router plans currently available, nor with the prices of kits and commercial machines. So I decided to come up with my own design. Not to mention, it is more fun to design and build your own, right?

I laid out a set of performance and cost goals and then designed a machine to meet those goals. However, this series of posts is not about that exact machine. I am first building a proof-of-concept machine that is lower cost and easy to build (therefore the wood frame). This will allow me to learn and flush out any issues with the design before building a more expensive and time consuming version of it. I did however attempt to design the wood frame to be as strong as possible so that it will have enough performance to make parts for the originally designed machine.

My rough goals for this wood framed version of the machine:

  1. Working area of 37″ x 25″ x 6″ (940 mm x 635 mm x 150 mm).
  2. Accuracy and precision in the ballpark of 0.001″ over 12″.
  3. Performance – will leave this for later discussion.
  4. Learn and test the concepts needed to build my originally designed machine.
  5. Have a machine to start making parts for the next machine.
  6. Have fun!

I will give some design details in my next post.