Enclosure Switching?

Hello! I am considering building an MPCNC, and I would like to be able to have several function-specific enclosures (Router, Laser, 3D Printing, Plasma, and Others). Some would have different function specific controller boards also. Would it work to install color coded plugs on the wires of the Machine and have matching color plugs on short sections of wire coming from the control boards so that it’s only a matter of unplugging the Machine and unbolting it from the current enclosure, then plugging it into the different board and bolting it to the different enclosure, and doing any other function specific modifications?


Interesting idea, but I think that might be more work than you would want to do each time you wanted to switch the machine. I am sure you could to the color coding and wiring mapping to make that manageable. I think the issue that might be a pain would be the leveling and squaring of the machine frame each time it is moved. If you are going to all the work of many controllers and all that extra wiring and enclosures I would think the extra cost of the machine frame would be the smaller cost. Just setup a dedicated machine for each function? You could then also then be running many things at the same time.

Just my .02 cents. Best of luck regardless of what you decide to do.

Thanks for your input! That’s a good idea. Do you know how much it costs roughly to build a frame with the stepper motors, but minus the controller and toolhead?

Ryan sells his kit for $243 USD. You would need to add two rolls of PLA and the tubing to get the cost. Your tubing choice will make a big difference in the cost. If you are building smaller machines, then inexpensive conduit will work fine. For larger machines, stainless steel or DOM tubing will work better and can significantly add to the cost.

Note I run both my laser and my router on the same machine. I have my laser head on a separate Z axis, and therefore can swap between the two in just a couple of minutes. The firmware works fine for both.

It seems to me that aviation connectors might work well if you were planning to swap electronics between the machines.

Sounds good! I will probably end up building 1 machine for Milling/ Laser work that’s adaptable for minor function changes and another for 3D printing. If I was to do Plasma Cutting or something like that I would have to build a different machine. Thanks again!