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Discussion in 'Project Construction Technologies' started by yowillyjj, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. yowillyjj

    yowillyjj

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    0
    Apr 16, 2012
    I am looking to build a small inexpensive 3-axis CNC machine.
    Thinking of using a dremmel tool as the cutter.
    I would like to be able to have an effective cutting radius of about 12"x12".
    I would like to be able to cut thin plastic and thin sheet metal.

    What type stepper motors and controller should I be looking for?
    Also why use a stepper motor controller rather than a microcontroller?
     
  2. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    4
    Apr 7, 2012
    There are plenty better forums to asked CNC questions...

    NEMA 23s seem to be a popular choice for smaller machines...

    As for the controller there are multiple designs, most people go with a generic Asian import controller you can find them all over Ebay even paired up with the motors...

    A better question is why would you use a micro when all you are doing is taking pulses sent from the host computer that is acting as the central control and handling all the cpu crunching?
     
  3. yowillyjj

    yowillyjj

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Thanks for replying.
    Forgive me if my questions seem stupid, I am an electronics beginner.

    Would I be able to allow control if desired with potentiometers if I use a stepper motor controller?
     
  4. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    4
    Apr 7, 2012
    Again why? If you are building a CNC the idea is to run it from a computer with G-code that is generated from CAD software models...

    Most CNC driving software like MACH 3 for example will allow you to press buttons on the computers keyboard and move the appropriate axis...

    But yea if you really wanted you could implement a manual drive system but that really is contrary to building a CNC machine...

    One thing you might quickly find out is that building your own as a newbie might be very overwhelming, but there are many DIY kits to be found or ready built basic machines on Ebay that are very reasonable... Several years ago I picked up a Sable-2015 on Ebay, a little home build all aluminum machine from Asia, $ for $ when I factored in my time,materials and R&D it was honestly a great deal fro an almost ready to go machine...
     
  5. yowillyjj

    yowillyjj

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    0
    Apr 16, 2012
    Thanks
    I am actually looking at a kit now ..
    http://www.mydiycnc.com/complete_kit

    .. I was thinking some manual control might be helpful ..
    i guess with a microcontroller the machine could perform tasks without being hooked to a PC.
     
  6. yowillyjj

    yowillyjj

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    0
    Apr 16, 2012
    The Sable-2015 looks very nice.
     
  7. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    4
    Apr 7, 2012
    Yeah in theory, but not really practical when you can get an off lease computer for about $50 that will do it all...

    Doing it with a micro will require, you develop a reading interface to something that will hold the G-code like a flash memory chip, you would then need to write the interpreter that actually reads the G-code, and would need to write a UI front end for basic task like zero centering to start with... Do-able, sure... Practical?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  8. yowillyjj

    yowillyjj

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    0
    Apr 16, 2012
    I see your point.
    I've been reading/watching videos the past few evenings on CNC.
    For some reason I have it in my head that I want one, mainly to learn.
    I really currently have no practical use for it.
     
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