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David K's Build of a CNC PCB Mill
Side clips from David K.David K's Scratch BuildDavid K's CNC Scratch Build of Z-Axis AssemblyDavid K's Dremel Mount for his Scratch Built CNC MachineTop view of David K's CNC MachineView of the z and y axis assembly of David K's CNC machine
When my fingers were dying from extreme metal ring strangulation from those $1 folding scissors, kind Mr. David K. came to the rescue and sent me a beautiful pair of side clips. Well, he's been hard at work building himself one of these CNC gizmos.

More exciting is that the builders have been creating variations to suit their needs. That was the intention of these videos, since the videos demonstrate a logical approach and techniques to building these CNC machines. Some users of this site have remarked that they would like to attach a plastic extruder, a paint brush, or the all ubiquitous laser.

I would like to show you first David K.'s build and what characteristics were important to him.

From David K: I've been trying to build a CNC for some time, with very little success. But after seeing how well the linear bearings work, I had to try them. They're great. As you say, very forgiving. I also bought my first tap and die set, due to seeing how to use them. My x-table is nearly complete, just a few finishing touches, then on to the y and z axis. Even built in my rudimentary shop, the table is tight and solid, and slides smoothly. Amazing!! Thanks for helping me believe I can do this. Well, I guess I've been thinking about my original design for so long, I couldn't bring myself to build a machine with a three-axis gantry. As you've guessed, I will use an x-table, and then mount the y and z axis on a fixed support. I plan to use the machine mostly for drilling PCB holes (no more time hunched over a Dremel drill press).

The tool mount is made from pieces of a cutting board from Sams Club. It's a wonderful material. Drills very cleanly, cuts easily, is very dense and stiff, and accepts screws without tapping. Please ignore the strange cuts on the top mount, it was an experiment that went VERY wrong.

I really think that that cutout ads a little style. David did a really great job on his PCB machine. I can't wait for the machine to evolve through the motor mounting and electronics process. it is easy to see how his design took advantage of using a similar rail construction for the x-table structure and slides. In addition, take a look at the way he mounted the Dremel. The x-slide it taken full advantage. It is evident that the tool bit will be able to utilize the front and back extents of the table. The hope is also a great material. I have considered using it throughout the CNC, but it's a bit more expensive than the MDF. It's great for those little things, however.

See David K's build in the Creations Gallery coming soon. You can follow along with the build and see images as it progresses. The next builder that I will spotlight is Mick H.'s machine. He's worked out an interesting reinforcement with the x-table. If your table is sagging, look at his build. My build also contains reinforcement, which I will explain in a later post.