Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CNC build

So beer nerd aside I also have wanted to make a CNC router for quite some time now.  When I saw the Mantis cnc router and like the overall simplicity of the build and thought that the small size might corrolate to a lower overall cost.  I wanted to get into this for not much more than $100 just to see if I could make something fun and not drop a lot of cash.

I'm at about $50 worth of hardware between the wood and all the guides and lead screws that have to be cut by hand, bolts screws and anti-lashing nuts.  I have not bought a single electronic component (the expensive part of the build) and I've already blown half of my self imposed budget on parts.  The trouble is, I lack the expertise to design and build a driver board and the ones that I have seen on various sites all run about $50 bucks.  I would still need a power supply and stepper motors.  I believe that the build could be low power enough to just use a spare PC power supply, but then I need to source stepper motors that run on 12vdc.  I have seen a few relatively simple driver boards that I could build, but again I'm in the position of not having the knowledge to troubleshoot the electronics if my build goes wrong.

Anybody have any experience with this stuff or think it is interesting?  It took me just shy of forever to get a true 1:1 print of the part for templating  on the wood, and then I realized that as long as they all where printed on the same printer that they should have come out on the same scale and fit because of everything being the same scale.  So far all I have accomplished is buying parts and getting the wood parts cut.  I did the drilling that would allow me to assemble the outside stage, but didn't drill any of the motor mounts or slides.  I didn't want to put holes in the wood before I got the parts that I would be using.  Since then I have bought the hardware, but the electronics roadblock has left we wondering if it is best to just walk away from the project $50 dollars poorer, or press on and buy about another $150 worth of motors and electronics.

I need to work on being more social and getting to a hackerspace and see if there is someone with some freaking clue to help me out.


  1. Someone on the internet somewhere will be able to help you, its finding them thats hard!

  2. http://feralan.blogspot.com/ This guy would know.