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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm showing initiative (and probably stupidity) by deciding to build my own CNC from scratch. In the past couple days I have managed to find about 2/3 of the extruded aluminum I'll need for the frame. Now I'm looking for the steppers, drivers, breakout board, etc that I'll need. I found a complete set on Wish for $258 with NEMA-23 steppers and the power supply too. I trust Wish to send me the parts. What I don't trust them to do is provide any documentation or wiring diagrams. Keep in mind I've never touched a CNC machine before, with the exception of a tape-drive Gerber cloth cutting machine in the 80s. So I have no clue how to wire it up.

Is there a better place to buy this stuff that actually provides documentation and doesn't cost a fortune? Has anyone else bought an undocumented kit and lived to tell about it? Looking for advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'd love to buy a plug and play system, but the size I need wouldn't fit through the door to get it into the basement. That's a shame too, because I could buy one for about the same money it will take to build it.
 

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Those “kits” on amazon, eBay and the like are horribly mismatched. Can’t imagine Wish being even that good.

Choose steppers based on the torque you need to move the weight and the mechanical design of your drive system. Based on the inductance of the steppers you will calculate the driver voltage V = 32 x sqrt(inductance). Hint, look for low inductance steppers (2-2.5mH) to operate on 48V. Based on the max current rating of the steppers, and the calculated voltage, choose compatible drivers (these are not the items to scrimp on). A power supply with at least 2/3 of the total amp draw is usually sufficient (they won’t all draw max current simultaneously). You do not choose electronics based on price, but based on requirements - the packages usually have high inductance steppers and too low of voltage power supplies (no Nema23 steppers will operate at peak performance on 24 or 36 volts).

I would suggest Geckodrive or Leadshine (genuine, not the numerous knockoffs) for drivers. I would suggest an Ethernet motion controller from Warp9 (Ethernet SmoothStepper)if using Mach4 or From CNC4PC and using UCCNC as control software. I have also heard good things about Acorn/Centroid based systems. All of these items have excellent documentation.
 

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My Probotix Nebula went down in the basement - sideways. I put together the Avid Pro48x48 after carrying all the boxes down. It will come out in pieces, although much bigger than went down.
 

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What are you planning to build, it always works better if you decide on size, materials you intend to cut and other “requirements” you are working to. You mention aluminum extrusions, that’s also what I used on my DIY machine.
 

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I'd love to buy a plug and play system, but the size I need wouldn't fit through the door to get it into the basement. That's a shame too, because I could buy one for about the same money it will take to build it.


I am not sure what you mean, you can buy a 6' x 13' plug and play and get it in your basement,.


In terms of home CNC I think of plug and play as something that may need assembly, even a kit, verse pre-built. Heck I once bought a prebuilt machine only to find it took 2 days to get it together and that cost 35k! The fact is you can get very large machines I consider plug and play, lets called them needing assembly or in kit form that will fit in your basement, it's just more plugging before playing.

Maybe I missed a post or something, but if you need a 6 x 13 or smaller just get the Avid and go ahead and plug and play. Avid will make almost any size machine you want if you call them, they stock the 5' x 10' and smaller.

Here is a 5' x 10'. I have seen many DIY machines and regretfully most times a first timer does not end up with a machine as good as this for the same amount of money. My suggestion, buy a smaller machine form them, build it, see how it works, then design your own if you find you even need too. If your hobby is not CNC and is something else just buy the size you need straight away you won't be sorry.

I don't own an AVID anymore so I have nothing to gain suggesting them. I still own a few of their ready made controllers though and I do use their R&P drives on most of my machines too. You might consider buying their controller/motor and or their spindle/vfd kits if you are set on making the rest of the machine. They aren't cheap, but not clear-path expensive either.


PRO60120 5' x 10' CNC Router Kit | Avid CNC
 
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