CNC Router Build

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Hive13 CNC Projects
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Hive13 Project
CNC Router
Status: Complete
Start Date: 11/12/2013

Project Goals and Status

The goals of this project are to create a usable large format CNC router table for the Hive, and document the construction process so that others can use what we've learned to build a similar machine.

The machine is still under construction at this time, and should not be considered ready for use. Further discussion around usage policy and training procedure will occur once the machine is fully operational.

If there are questions about the machine, please contact Jon Neal, Coy Paeltz, or one of the other contributors listed below.

Project Contributors

The hardware has been purchased by Ian Wilson, Coy Paeltz, Ryan Hershey, and James Hartley, with minor contributions from Jon Neal. The majority of the work has been done by Coy, Jon, and Ian with minor contributions from Ryan.

Project Plans

We started looking at the Joe's CNC 4x4 Hybrid CNC machine. We settled on a 9'x5' build/work area, 10'x6' in total. A copy of the plans can be found on hubuntu in the /mnt/storage/CNCStuff/ directory. If you're in the hive, you should be able to view the plans by going to http://hubuntu/CNCStuff/ -- if you're not in the hive, you'll need to SSH to hubuntu to grab a copy.

Project Cost

The Estimated cost of this project is $4,500 in core materials. We might have some other expenses (Computers, etc), however, that's not included in this cost.

Assembly Notes

On Sat, Feb 08, we cut down the 3/4" angle iron to size, and then drilled the holes for the Y Axis plates to glide on with the V Groove Bearings. We also milled down the 2 inch angle iron and drilled the holes to go through the two inch steel tubing.

What we still need to do:

  • Mechanics
    • Fabricate and mount hard end stops.
  • Electronics
    • Finish installing and mounting Cable management (cable chain).
    • Install E-Stops. Think about mounting a cable on the bottom of the frame to pull on for this.
    • Figure out how to connect e-stops to kstep.
    • Figure out how to connect analog output from kstep to VFD.
    • Set up bot spindle speed control and e-stops to mach3.
    • Flip axes in kstep so that things cut in the right orientation.
    • Create a nice box for the electronics and put all of the connectors we will need on the box.
    • Possibly look in to encoders for a more accurate setup?
    • Install endstops.
  • Camera System
    • Run cabling for Cameras.
    • Set up Camera system for CNC Machine.
  • Computer
    • Build Case for Computer and Monitor.
    • Mount Computer and Monitor near CNC Machine.
  • Dust Collection
  • General
    • Install High-bay LED light above CNC Machine, moving bulbs and/or light to other area of the hive.
    • Buy 21mm and 30mm wrenches to keep with the machine for the spindle collet.
  • VFD and Spindle
    • Wired VFD to Temporary plug
    • Programmed VFD Per instructions:
  • Computer
    • Restored Windows 7
      • Activated Windows 7
      • Installed USB Drivers, Ethernet Drivers, KFLOP/KSTEP drivers, USB Wifi Dongle and drivers, set up mounts to hubuntu, and then imaged drive to hubuntu using Clonezilla...


We have the following pieces of equipment for this:

  • Emergency Stop (buttons are here, e-pull is on its way from ebay)
  • Auto-zero switch
  • Monitor
  • Spindle and overview camera

I'm going to order some more items, specifically:

  • Enable/Disable Switch for the system
  • VFD Enable/Disable Switch
  • Motor Enable/Disable Switch
  • Physical "start" button
  • Feed Hold switch
  • Some type of warning light to indicate that the machine has power/motors are enabled
  • Some type of warning light to indicate that the VFD spindle has power
  • Some type of fault light
  • Connectors so that the system can be moved as needed.
  • Power Switch that can be LOTO'ed when we are working on the device.

We could also integrate this into the Hive13RFID system, but, I'm not sure how/if/why we should do that. (Version 1.1, maybe?)

Part List

This parts list includes all of the large items and many of the smaller items that were purchased. However, there are a number of items (small bolts, washers, etc) that were purchased and not recorded here.

Item Name Link to Product Qty Purchased? Date Ordered Item Cost
Access to Joe's CNC Forum 1 Yes Aug 27, 2013 $75.00
KFLOP 8-axis Motion Control Board 1 Yes Nov 15, 2013 $259.00
KStep 4-axis Stepper Controller 1 Yes Nov 15, 2013 $209.00
Power Supply 1 Yes Nov 15, 2013 $218.80
Z-Axis For CNC 1 Yes Dec 20, 2013 $475.00
Stepper Motor (34FS1456B) 4 Yes Dec 1, 2013 $~350.00
2 X 2 X 11 GA (.120 wall) A500 Steel Structural Square Tube 1,240 In. Yes Nov 06, 2013 $186.64
50x100mm T-Slot Extrusion (Includes Cut Fee) 6,096mm Yes Dec 30, 2013 $243.23
3"x6" T-Slot Extrusion (Includes Cut Fee) 84" Yes Dec 30, 2013 $250.87
1.5" x 3" Smooth T-Slot 18" Yes Dec 30, 2013 $33.48
3" x 3" .25 Extruded Aluminum Angle 14" Yes Dec 30, 2013 $ 8.39
3" x 3" Extruded Aluminum Square Tubing 14" Yes Dec 30, 2013 $ 8.81
1/4-20 x .375 Bhscs 150 Yes Dec 30, 2013 $31.50
15 S Scon T-Nut 150 Yes Dec 30, 2013 $40.50
5/16-18 x .625 Bhscs 56 Yes Dec 30, 2013 $ 16.24
10 S Econ T-Nut 14-20 Thread 200 Yes Dec 30, 2013 $ 42.00
Moore Gear Bruce's Special 30 Feet yes Jan 24, 2014 $366.51
Cable Chain 10x [1], 2x [2] Plus ends 19 Feet Yes Jan 30, 2014 $420.04
Emergency Stop Buttons ebay 6 Yes Jan 7, 2014 $59.70
Overview (Top of CNC) Camera ebay 1 Yes Jan 7, 2014 $69.00
Spindle Camera ebay 1 Yes Jan 7, 2014 $8.99
Monitor for Workstation ebay 2 Yes Jan 7, 2014 $55.00
Enclosure for Electronics 1 $??.??
X-Axis Plate 2 Yes Jan 20, 2014 $??.??
PRO Rack and Pinion Drive, Nema 34 3 Yes Jan 9, 2014 $449.25
V-Roller Bearing (W2) 16 Yes Jan 9, 2014 $164.00
Z-Axis Touch Plate 1 Yes Jan 24, 2014 $89.00
Grade 8 bolts & HW for cross brace Home Depot 8 Yes Sept. 9 2014 $34.00
VFD and spindle 1 Yes $529
Collet set 1 Yes $28
Enable and Disable Hardware Switch 1 Yes $
Cable-based Emergency Stop 1 Yes $24.00
Female and Male 5 pin Mini XLR Connectors (via mouser) 4 Male, 4 Female 5 pin connectors Yes $

Z-Axis Motor Coupling

The threads stripped on the Z-axis earlier today, and we had to take the motor coupling to the z-axis plate apart in order to identify and resolve the problem.

I would love an ifixit style thread of tearing it apart, identifying the parts, which tools we I took pictures, and wrote down the size of the allen wrenches we needed to resolve the problem. This is my reminder to place those in the wiki so that others can share in the love...