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:


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  • 3702289437?profile=original3702274633?profile=original3702274571?profile=originalGetting a bunch closer to having some movement going on!

  • OK! The Frame finally made it to the mill. So now I'm working on the project again!3702131535?profile=original

  • Nice project Chuk.

    The 'erector set' 80/20 material is so very useful and can sometimes be found at reasonable prices. I kick myself for missing a huge surplus supply of it at a loca thrift shop.

    Some plant in the area had made rolling carts of the stuff each with about +30 linear feet of the material in about two sizes and dozens of connector plates with castors. The store was only asking $60 (US) for each cart. There were about 6 carts if I remember correctly.

    By the time I discussed it with my wife and went back to buy them all, two days max, they were gone.

    As they say, you snooze, you lose.


  • I started a CNC project last Dec, have nearly all of the hardware purchased - used heavy duty slide rails, new screws/motors, mostly from eBay/China. But kinda stuck at the chicken/egg problem of needing a CNC machine to make the parts to finish the CNC machine. I do have access to a small mill, and have roughed out some of the parts from flatbar. Since it's mostly 80/20, I just need some heavy connector pieces. But the head is all custom.

    3HP motor, 24K RPM, with variable speed constant-torque drive. It's about 2 ft sq, and should work on 20" x 20" x 7+" area. Plan to use it with LinuxCNC... someday... eventually!3702106511?profile=original.

  • 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!

    3702100336?profile=original3702100580?profile=originalHey! 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.

  • 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...


  • Moderator

    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.

  • 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!

  • 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!


  • 3702098778?profile=originalOK! I've finally got the shop ready to do battle! You should see progress on the CNC project very soon.

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Need some help with the following for my designs. Telemetry, GPS, barometric leveling, altitude hold

I have been using kk2.1 boards upgraded with stevis 1.9 firmware.The highest motor I have used is 800 kv with 30 amp simonk flashed firmware.I have created new styles of power distribution boards for each one of the designs.Each of the designs are created to make repairs and replacement of parts fast and easy.As to my flying skills, I am still a novice.  I can make a circle, and some nose in.  but I am not a racer, or fpv flier by any means.  I would like to get my designs into the next level…

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Progress on the Harp Fabricator

After a coupla years of thought and compromises and decisions on how to make a rigid small CNC machine this is what I've come up with.It will be cast solid aluminum which is the only real solution for the rigidity issue. If you could do it in cast iron it would be perfect. However this seems to me to be the best compromise after a lot of thought and trials. This is a moving table design not a moving gantry design.We plan to make the casting sometime after the 6th of January when I have help…

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Aluminum Foundry for casting small parts.

 We just got started on a foundry for casting aluminum parts. I can not find anything worthy made from extruded stock in aluminum so we have to make a casting for the CNC machine. I'll be making the casting for whoever wants one by the time we finish this project. Here's some photos of the ground work being done. Over a ton of sand for the foundation. 500# of Sugar Sand #85 mesh for making the green sand and #100 of Bentonite Clay. 70# of Fireclay 4 cubic feet of Perlite and some Diatomatious…

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