I think I’ve almost reached a finishing point with my MPCNC. Which means, of course, that’ll I’ll figure out something else to do to it next week. I built it to fit on an old 3’x5’ dining table, so I’ve got about 1100x590mm area that I can cut (not quite able to cut the 2’ by 4’ plywood sheets I was aiming for).
I’ve been working on the build off and on since the middle of September. Last night was the installation of the final drag chains and the extension of the Z-axis. Only thing remaining are a more permanent installation for the control box, power switches, and cable management for the router power.
Looks good, hope you get a lot of good use out of it. I was originally planning on going that big but all the talk of flex in the center scared me down to 800 x 800 (still bigger than the recommended by a bit)
Looks nice. I have the aircraft connectors purchased, but need to get them all wired in.
Interesting that the control LCD is on the bottom right instead of bottom left. I had the devil of a time trying to decide which way to layout my wires and how to orient the drag chains. I didn’t do as much digging on the forum builds as I did on YouTube. Wish I had joined the forum and got involved before I started the build. Would have simplified things a bit.
I actually picked up the aircraft connectors a year ago for a completely different project, but then ended up not using them. Fortunately, they were the 8 pin connectors, so they worked perfectly for this project.
The LCD is on the right side because that is where the control box is going. If I ever decide to move the control box (and re-string the wires), all move it to the front left. At the moment, the whole setup is in my parent’s garage. As soon as I make room in my garage (and it stops raining), We’ll move it over here. Once that’s done, I’ll reevalutate whether I still want everything on the right side or not.
Thanks. Originally I wanted to build it to be able to cut quarter sheets of plywood (2’x4’). However, with the need to solidly mount the feet, and the addition of the vacuum foot, I lost an inch or so of cutting space. I don’t see too much issue with flexing on the long axis as anything that long is almost certainly going to be a through cut, so the flex won’t matter (expect to the poor spoil board). Other wise, any small cuts will be in that front left corner where the flex is negligible.
Fired up the machine this afternoon to perform my first real cut with it. Used Fusion 360 to setup a carving job to cut out a 3d modeled tile from Settlers of Catan. Took nearly 2 hours to make the cut, but the piece came out great.
I just need to figure out how to get it to stop wanting to carve out all of that extra space outside the piece so I can save some time.
I have not perfected this but I think Fusion removes the negative of your model intersected with the stock. Which seems obvious but its a useful concept.
As an example I had some issues carving where it wanted to surface the top of the model, which was also the top of the stock. By adding a tiny bit to the model and setting the stock slightly shorter than the model it had nothing to cut on the top surface.
Add big blocks to the model where it shouldn’t waste time cutting away, and make the model exceed the stock everywhere except where you want the cut. The model doesn’t have to exceed the actual stock, just the stock you enter in your Fusion 360 setup.
I figured it out. When setting up the operation, there is an option under Geometry that lets you set the “Machining Boundary”. If you set it to Silhouette, then it will only machine inside of the shape you are trying to clear. That will leave you free to a separate 2D operation to cut it out, including the ability to have tabs on it.
Decided to abandon the vacuum arrangement in my setup after having it almost crash the z-axis. Instead, I found an XY gantry mounted vacuum setup. Used the 3D model to create cutting paths and cut it out of plywood and acrylic so I can see what is happening.
I picked up a new vacuum hose to dedicate to the MPCNC. I think I’m done working on the CNC itself now. Time to start working on projects.