New Build - MPCNC

First off - THANKS! to everyone who contributed to the open source build of the MPCNC. Simply Awesome!

I printed the parts on my Dremel 3d20 without issue. Thingiverse is pretty cool.

I BOUGHT the electronics package from V1 in part to contribute in some small measure to those who’ve worked so hard to create the MPCNC and make it easy for anyone to harness the power of a CNC. I’m stoked beyond words after a successful build - I had faith that it would work, but when it actually does - well you know how that goes at times!

I’ve been a woodworker for years but have just recently started to delve into the world of electronics and 3d printing. No experience coding or flashing hardware whatsoever but that is exactly why I took on this project - to learn. Great experience, not without challenges, but a lot of fun.

The challenge now is finding a good design software for a Mac. Any suggestions are welcome

Happy building!

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Pretty sweet, thanks for all the kind words. That feeling when it works, never goes away for me, especially when posts like yours show up I get just as excited as you I am sure.

Not sure the best for a MAC hopefully Fusion 360 works, it is great for CAD and design but stay away from the CAM side for a while, there tends to be an overwhelming amount of options to make some simple GCODE.

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Thanks for the quick response, I’ll give fusion 360 a try, haven’t looked at that one yet.

The excitement is real, totally stoked. Thanks again for making this available to the world.

I appreciate you stopping in to share the excitement, high five.

Lots to learn still, if something gets frustrating come back, share all the details (pics if you can) and we can get you sorted out. WE are all learning new things. It feels good to pass on something new we learned.

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OnShape is a good one too.

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Looks like you might want to revisit the zip ties used to tension the belts, yours are running a bit loose and could give you more slop than you want. Nice build though otherwise . :wink:

He’s using a Mac, they’re used to rounded corners… :stuck_out_tongue:

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Nice build! Thanks for posting that clear pic of the middle assembly, it made me realize I put the leadscrew nut on the wrong side. Mine was on the bottom, if the screw holding it on had come loose, the whole Z assembly would have fallen out. Doh!

I second the recommendation about the zip-ties, maybe not tighter, but definitely slide them around so that the “knuckle” is on the back side of the corner so that they can square off around the corner block.

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I looked back at the assembly directions and didn’t see anything that said top or bottom for the lead screw. Is the top the better place to put it? I put it in the bottom because I felt like gravity was going to strain the screw more than plunging. With it on the bottom, the whole gantry is supported by the lead screw nut.

I’ve had the same problem finding software for a Mac from a CAM standpoint Fusion is the only real option. There is a lot of helpful info on these boards thanks to Ryan and others. But if you are starting from scratch in CAD, Fusion 360 is your best bet because it does both. I’ve used lots of different CAD software through the years and like any of them, once you learn how the tools work, it translates to other software easily.

Maybe Ryan will weigh in on this one. In his directions, he said you only need one screw to hold the nut in place to keep it from turning, but if it is on the bottom, the entire weight of the z axis is on the nut, if the screw comes out, the nut and z axis will fall. BUT, doing a plunge cut will push against the nut and the middle assembly which will give the spindle more support perhaps. If the nut is on the top, everything is opposite, weight of z axis from gravity is on the nut, but plunging would push against the nut. So I don’t know, other than in the all thread design, the nut was captured between the top and middle portions of the middle assembly.

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Put it on top. If you push it out while cutting, you have bigger issues. Don’t forget, you have the weight of the spindle down there too. There should be very little lift while cutting, maybe a little if you’re doing a plunge cut for something like a bunch of peg holes. Having the spindle come out while it’s cutting is a “very bad thing™”.

  1. It can ruin the collet and holder,
  2. Will definitely ruin the end mill,
  3. Ruin whatever you were milling,
  4. Most likely put a big hole in the spoil board,and maybe put the same big hole in the table surface,
  5. Then if you're not fast enough, like left the room for a pee break, could catch the work piece, spoil board and/or table surface on fire from the friction.
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Yeah, I switched it around last night and added a 2nd screw to the nut just for good measure against push out while plunging.

Thanks Bill, tightened them up a bit and clipped the ends!

Thanks holvey, I’ve been messing around with Fusion 360 for a couple of days now. Its a very capable program, a lot to learn to make good use of it!

Are you using the CAM portion to send gcode to your machine? If so, well done, looks complicated! I


I have been using the CAM post processor done by DB Martin for Fusion (Windows for me though). I have used it for both router and laser and it has worked very well so far. I got some odd gcode output using cut “through” with the laser once and didn’t try “through” again, but etch and vaporize both worked fine.

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Like Mike said, I too use the DB Martin post processor, and it is working well for me. I did modify it a tiny bit because it wasn’t holding the steppers at the end of cuts the way it should through a check box in the post processor. But other than that it works great.

I don’t typically model things in Fusion 360 (I have been using Rhino 3d for the past 20 years) but what I like most is the tutorial videos made it really easy to learn. Even though it is a very robust program, the tutorial guide makes learning it easier. Plus after seeing there forums, there community is a lot like here where if you don’t know how do it, or have a problem, users or Autodesk moderators will offer you 5 or 6 solutions. It can be really helpful.


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