A DIY CNC Machine in Pipe
I have been doing a lot of tinkering lately (yup, that's why!). I cannot get the mechanical aspect of CNCs out of my system, so until then, enjoy the crazy concoctions.
It is possible to build this CNC within a weekend, if you have all of the correct parts. In addition, manual cutting and power tools are at a minimum. So far, the only major tool that I've used is a hack saw to cut-off some threaded rod (very simple). With the vast selection of pipe sizes, the scalability for this CNC machine is great. I have also been recording the build on video... again.
So, I ask myself... Why does a CNC need to be complicated? Much of the homemade designs on the internet are based on some prior example (imitation is the best form of flattery, and the alterations and improvements on the original design are the normal progression of of a product through time). But, I wanted to make a new machine that was almost totally different and fresh. There is an exception to this which is the linear slide bearings. I'm not sure how I would be able to improve on the design of the linear slide bearings.
This new machine is based almost solely on pipes and pipe fittings. I have come to find that this material really serves as the tinker toys for adults. There are a few puzzling aspects, such as the inability to create a complete square. There is a way to overcome these limitations with pipe unions. You'll see how I use these to create the z-axis.
The sliding of the heavy pipe is like silk. The method of attaching the pipe floor mounts around the slide bearings creates a super rigid connection. I have tried to move it under my own strength with no success. I will stop here and get back to work on the new machine. Feel free to comment on the new design and feed me with some suggestions or improvements. Oh yeah, I haven't forgot about the software tutorials.
The build of this pipe machine was cut short due to the space I had in my apartment at the time. The machine is feasible with a few parts to hold the stepper motors and mechanical components. I encourage anyone that would like to attempt to make this machine. If you do, please send pictures and some narrative of the experience.