Since we may be contracting 3rd party to make PCBs and supply parts for the CNC, I'd like to gauge how much real interest there is in buying one of these machines, when we're done.
Keep in mind that this is not a commitment, just think to yourself to see how serious you would be, and comment yay or nay.
Update June 8th, 20122:
Ok, just counting heads. So far it's 17 people. Let me know if I missed anyone.
My personal budget for this is $1000-$1200, so any higher, and I'm out, but of course would continue to do my best to get this done for everyone!
Here's a list of "yays" so far (again no commitment assumed):
Drive System Survey
Franco Scipioni has set up a survey to gauge interest in which system we want to have on the system.
Access the survey here:
Count me in too. I also like the idea having two options for motor selection.
In looking at the designs and the fact that Monroe said we could opt for a bigger version. What would the max size be (for the small vs big) for the project / usable space. There's probably a better way to phrase the question... but what I mean is this: Since the bed is movable within a frame, the max project size would be smaller than the bed. If we had a flat piece of what that we wanted to mill a picture / design onto, what is the max X and Y sizes that design / board could be for each of the two size options?
ie. size of 'cutting area'
Please count me in. I would be willing to make an initial contribution of $50.00 to assist in purchasing parts for test. I would suggest there be monthly dues to support this fine effort, maybe $10/month.
Incidentally, if these were dues for a professional group... they could be easily written off for anyone who itemizes their taxes.
I'll contribute to the test fund too! And I like Monroe's idea to keep a running balance sheet.
Sounds great. I'll volunteer to be the accountant, and keep track of funds sent to Monroe, or whomever is needing the money. We'll have to work out the logistics. Maybe we can start a discussion for keeping track of the contributions, where I can post balance sheets.
I'm not really clear on the status of the board design effort. Do we estimate a long timeframe for development and production of a working servo motor control board? If so, I personally, might lean toward buying some existing boards at a higher cost if it meant getting a CNC machine sooner. However, writing firmware for a created board is actually something I could help with, but how many people want this option? Do we have a count of how many people are interested in Stepper motors vs. Servo motors? Is there an easy upgrade path if we went with stepper motors now and servo motors later? Do we have an estimage (small vs big machine) of costs without electronics and stepper motors?
My personal 'fear' is parallel ports -- only because they are not widely available and in many cases, I've not seen reliable adapters for them. My ultimate goal would be wireless, or serial or USB (which I know can both be reliably adapted to wireless). That being the case, I don't want to make waves when adapter wise, where this is a will, there is a way (out there somewhere... and it's likely a matter of simply finding it) --- I just like some of the more modern forms of data transmission. ;)
I agree with one of the earlier posts that it would be good to firm up the software options (as this determines some of connection / communication constraints). Does anyone know the pros and cons of the various CNC software available?
Sorry, I know that's a lot of questions.
Dustin, if we go with stepper motors, then there are already existing solution. See the "Brainstorming" discussion for a list of ones we looked at. It's when we want to have servo motors, and position encoders, that we need to look at an open source design.
As for parallel ports, we can always use an Arduino to create a parallel port. Here's a link for an open source parallel port:
I would recommend a free tool like http://www.surveymonkey.com/ to gauge peoples interests over Stepper vs. Servo, etc.
Well, it's not really an exclusive decision. We can have both, but start with steppers for the prototype.
I suspect most people will be happy with steppers, but why don't you start a survey, just to see what the others think.
True, it's not an exclusive decision, but the pricing of a servo motor solution will be based upon how many people are willing to spend the extra money on it. If there are only a few, perhaps a pre-made servo solution may be a better option.