DIYDrones - CNC Project


DIYDrones - CNC Project

Well, it originated as a blog, and has grown into a DIYDrones attempt at creating a CNC machine.

This group is set up so that we can organize the activity.

For background, the original blog is located here:

Location: Cyber Space
Members: 164
Latest Activity: Sep 28

Discussion Forum

Progress on the Harp Fabricator

Started by Monroe King Dec 28, 2014. 0 Replies


New CNC website

Started by John Hestness. Last reply by Ruwan Jan 26, 2014. 1 Reply

I found a CNC related website that seems like a good fit for the DIYdrones culture.  http://www.openbuilds.comContinue

Brainstorming Specifications.

Started by Ellison Chan. Last reply by chewdonkey Nov 27, 2013. 278 Replies

Setting this discussion up to gather up and brainstorm ideas.LIST OF EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS UNDER CONSIDERATION:Motors/Controllers:…Continue

Gauging Interest in the CNC Machine

Started by Ellison Chan. Last reply by Allan C Oct 27, 2013. 174 Replies

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…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Monroe King on September 28, 2015 at 2:31pm

OK! I built a layout table today to layout the parts for the machine. I attached a hardpoint to the 3/4 inch thick steel plate I'm making the frame for the machine out of. That plate is very heavy I'm going to have to use my engine hoist to lift it!

Hey! Ruwan thanks, yeah it took me 9 months to build the shop and restore those machines. They are in better than new shape now and I can't wait to get this show on the road.

Doug, Yeah I've decided to just go with a NEMA 23 mount which is standard and that way you can go either way.

The containers turned out Awesome! That floor is 1" thick mahogany! I bolted them together using allthread to pull them together. I put a wood spacer at the top and used RV roof sealant over that.

It saved a lot of money over a foundation and metal building it also saved time. I am really pleased with the result.

Comment by R. D. Starwalt on September 28, 2015 at 3:54am

I thought the shop looked some form of modified trailer/container. Those things are legion, everywhere and quite affordable. A company was even considering modifying them for emergency housing for disaster relief. One of my RC Group friends (in Canada) is making his new shop from a recycled reefer truck box. Wood stove heat.

A couple weeks ago I reviewed all the previous effort on this project regarding motor drives. Servos are more affordable now but still way over the price of steppers. The low end market is even more cluttered with CNC kits, nearly all stepper based. The DIY servo drive projects are still limited in number or off-the-shelf kits or semi-kits.

The core problem with servo drives is the code for the micro. With Arduinos nearly as cheap as loose change in the couch cushions, there might be a project direction there.

Many things to consider...


Comment by Ruwan on September 26, 2015 at 6:13pm

Cool shop Monroe!! even though I have a Shapeoko2 CNC, I wouldn't mind building another, lol!! As RD said, your expertise would really help!! 
So glad to hear the progress.

Comment by Monroe King on September 26, 2015 at 11:08am

Yeah that is the prototype up there! I'm about to go cut some steel plate and mill it just like that. Lol well it took me 9 months to referb these machines and get this shop going so not sure I'm the ideal guy to help clean yours :) I did bolt and weld those 2 shipping containers together to build the shop. I had to get that 3 phase converter going too and everything else. Moving those 2 containers together by myself mostly was a real pain. I'll try to post some progress tomorrow!

Comment by R. D. Starwalt on September 26, 2015 at 10:37am

I think I see an early prototype of the harp sitting on the top shelf of the cabinet (in this view) right of the mill.

You should come help me clean out my shop. Plan to stay two weeks. LOL!


Comment by Monroe King on September 24, 2015 at 2:27pm

OK! I've finally got the shop ready to do battle! You should see progress on the CNC project very soon.

Comment by Monroe King on August 13, 2015 at 5:31am

Yeah! I'm still around and thanks! The main reason I'm doing this here is it started here we will probably do CNC Zone as well but it did start here.
There is still the rocket plane project that is moving forward. I've been busy with Ardurocket and the Pixhawk and keeping quiet for a while till we have that ready.
There is a new full duplex telemetry system in the works and a amateur tracking network still in the works and the ardupilot/Pixhawk space program using these in cubesats and much more going on so the next few years we plan on introducing a lot of really cutting edge stuff using the Pixhawk and ground control.
I really think you will like what we have in store for this CNC machine a Kit and all the instructions to do it yourself.
More coming soon! Gotta get back to work and I still don't have time to update but very soon there will be news :)
Looking forward to working with you guy's again and we will need the help of the original folks here to test and debug before we offer up the plans and kit.

Comment by R. D. Starwalt on August 13, 2015 at 4:48am

I thought I might be able to shake the bush and have something fly out... ;)

Good to hear from you RM!

I have not given up at all and am happy to help/assist anyone interested in building a machine.

The problem with this tech is the constant moving and improving.

The great thing about tech is the constant moving and improving. :)

With so many options and choices and actual machines available today, I question the need to start with a clean sheet. Just my opinion. Perhaps it is better to take an established/supported machine and develop from there?

This is as good a spot to showcase builds like Ruwan did below, but keep in mind the hobbyist here is looking for flying machines that could have some level of autonomy.

A professional machinist - like yourself - has another level of accuracy, precision, and maybe another order of magnitude more. CNC Zone has those systems and every possible variation.

Good to hear from you!


Comment by Monroe King on August 13, 2015 at 4:22am

Believe it or not there is new life coming to this project. I have been very busy over the last 2 years but this project is not dead!

Elliot Kulakow is in China right now looking for ballscrews, Servos and Drivers for this project. I expect we will revive it over the next few months.

Right now our machine shop is developing a turbopump for a Peroxide/Gasoline rocket engine and as soon as the machine work is done there we plan to restart this project. So don't give up yet! :)

Our shop grew quite a bit over the last year and we can now make quick work once we start on the next phase of this project.

Comment by R. D. Starwalt on August 13, 2015 at 4:07am

For those stumbling across/finding this group...

My Momus project is sorta back on track after I got distracted with a change in position in my company, getting reaquainted with fixed wing aircraft, and all the other things living in this world requires.

It is probably safe to say the DIYD CNC is a dead end, but the idea of using CNC routers for this hobby is still valid.

Depending on your location and resources, it may be best to partner with a group or someone that has the CNC resources. That way you can save your money and time for the flying machine.



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