My MPCNC above the Arctic Circle

Living on the northwest coast of Alaska, 30 miles above the Arctic Circle in Kotzebue, DIY is a way of life. I needed a large format 3D printer for a project I am working on. I ran into this project. I have always wanted to build a CNC as well so I started my journey.

The only conduit we had at out poorly stocked hardware store was 3 odd sized and crooked pieces. So I found these Stainless Steel tubes on amazon.

I needed 18x18x6 inch build volume for printing, but also wanted to be able to mill. I ordered Ryan’s hardware kit. It came with a 12 inch lead screw. MDF being impossible to find out here (Every thing has to be flown in or barged during out 3 month summer) I found an unused cubical desk top measuring 29.5x48 inches.

With these parts I decided to build a machine with a 19x19x9 inch build area with adjustable height so I could print large and mill at a 4 inch height.

First challenge was the fit of the tubes. Very tight. In fact all the adjustment bearings were only tightened until the lock nut engaged. lots of space between the nuts and bolt heads and plastic as instructed. The tubes were a snug fit with at bearings touching the tubes w/o any further tightening. They seem to work well, may have to adjust after break in but we will see.

Second challenge was squaring the machine. I could not get a good place to measure from and the corners were to tight and cracked when tightening down. So I broke out Fusion 360 and designed new ones with tab for checking squareness and fit my tubes and made a very ridged frame.

Got it all wired up, tossed on a pen and printed the logo on the bed first shot.

Its an awesome design Ryan!

I am waiting on the printer parts, just salvaged a desk that I can use the top (mdf) for my heated bed. Will report back once the printing is functioning.

[attachment file=“20170515_221007[1].jpg”]

[attachment file=“20170515_195136[1].jpg”]

1 Like

Very cool!

1 Like

Nice and clean. Looks like that desk was a good idea.

Do you have any “Alaska specific” projects planned? Like carving moose antlers or making parts for a snowmobile? (Is that offensive? I dont know much about Alaska). Sounds like even making a pencil holder will be an interesting story due to the slim materials available.

Welcome, and thanks for sharing.

1 Like

Actually I do have some snowgo (generic name for a snowmobile around here) projects in mind.

Also, milling bone, antler and driftwood are some of the milling projects I have in mind.

I also need some aluminum brackets for my boat I want to make.

Will post the stuff I make with my new toy!


1 Like

That’s a new on for me. They called them “snow machines” in North Pole. When we got there I was wondering why everybody had a machine that made snow in Alaska… We call them snow mobiles in the lower 48, or at least in Ohio.

Yep, moved here from Ohio in 2005.

Also all 4-wheelers are “hondas” :slight_smile:

Just added E3D Titan Aero Extruder.

Designed the mount to use the HicWic Universal mount.

Nice compact all metal hot end with geared extruder and skinny nema 17.

Waiting on the proper filament support tube. The box I have had the mirrored part instead of the proper one. They mailed out a replacement. Once it arrives, I’ll be ready for my first test prints.

[attachment file=“20170527_143926[1].jpg”]

Can’t wait to see how it runs!