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Thread: Using a laser to build a CNC router

  1. #31
    Sorry about that. I was focusing on your last paragraph as a whole and understood it as being pointed to CNC newbies who were looking for a little insight into how much CNC you get for the money. I didn't want them going away with an idea that it's cheap to get into. You get what you pay for.
    I design, engineer and program all sorts of things.

    Oh, and I use Adobe Illustrator with an Epilog Mini.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross Moshinsky View Post
    I'm glad you enjoyed building your CNC but I think people looking at it thinking "wow that is cool" should understand that for a very similar price, you can get an all metal machine that is bigger and badder. One paying job could pay the difference between the two machines as 60ipm vs 150ipm is night and day. I've yet to hear anyone say anything positive about their MDF CNC other than it was a great learning experience for their next build.
    Well, aren't you just a little ray of sunshine. The key phrase in that post was "one paying job": anyone who's been paying any attention at all to my posts for the last seven years knows I'm not doing this as a business. Sheesh.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    Well, aren't you just a little ray of sunshine. The key phrase in that post was "one paying job": anyone who's been paying any attention at all to my posts for the last seven years knows I'm not doing this as a business. Sheesh.
    Let's just re-cap here.

    My first statement was "Very nicely done." After that I simply suggested that $3000 is a lot of money for an MDF machine when you can get an all metal machine for around the same amount. Then you went on to question the integrity of my statement by essentially saying I was pulling numbers out of the air. I proved that I was not. Please explain what exactly done that you deem offensive?

    Also, there are a lot of people on here who don't know much about CNC routing but maybe always wanted one. They see your thread and say "maybe I should do that!". All I did was open their eyes to the fact that there are a lot of different options out there and for similar amounts of money, you can get a far beefier machine. I was fairly sure that was the spirit of an online forum. Opening people's eyes to different things.
    Equipment: IS400, IS6000, VLS 6.60, LS100, HP4550, Ricoh GX e3300n, Hotronix STX20
    Software: Adobe Suite & Gravostyle 5
    Business: Trophy, Awards and Engraving

  4. #34
    Lee,
    I am also looking for ideas to build a CNC, though a tiny one with tight tolerances, The longest axis you have you are using 2 motors to drive that, or one motor tied to the other with a belt?, do you see any problems with it, if one of the motors looses steps it will be bad.
    Thanks
    Kim

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross Moshinsky View Post
    My first statement was "Very nicely done." After that I simply suggested that $3000 is a lot of money for an MDF machine when you can get an all metal machine for around the same amount. Then you went on to question the integrity of my statement by essentially saying I was pulling numbers out of the air. I proved that I was not. Please explain what exactly done that you deem offensive?
    Ok, let's recap a bit less selectively:
    1. I agree that $3K is a lot of money for an MDF machine, but I also said that $3K was what I had spent so far, not the cost of duplicating it. That included a bunch of R&D in the form of paid-for plans (including several extrusion and steel designs), leftover and tossed parts from false starts and dead ends, plus a ton of extra shipping for parts purchased onesy-twosy because I was designing as I built. I also priced out half a dozen "kit" machines, including the ones from FLA.
    2. As I also pointed out (and you apparently ignored), that $1600 FLA kit corresponds to roughly $750 of my machine's bill-of-materials. Where I come from, that does not qualify as "similar amounts of money".
    3. I never said or even implied that you were "pulling numbers out of the air". What I did say is that, on an apples-to-apples comparison, you cannot build a ready-to-run metal machine for anything close to the same price. Even your pricing ran over $3K without any CAM software.

    Also, there are a lot of people on here who don't know much about CNC routing but maybe always wanted one. They see your thread and say "maybe I should do that!". All I did was open their eyes to the fact that there are a lot of different options out there and for similar amounts of money, you can get a far beefier machine. I was fairly sure that was the spirit of an online forum. Opening people's eyes to different things.
    I would hope people would see this thread and say "maybe I can do that!"...which is not the same thing as "maybe I should do that!". One would hope anyone silly enough to embark on such a time- and labor-intensive project will do the required research on their own. But telling them that they're better off buying a kit doesn't really push the hobby forward. If you want to "open people's eyes", maybe you should encourage them to do something they can actually learn from and enjoy, instead of trying to suck all the fun out of the process.

    (Yes, hobby. "OMG, he used the 'H' word!" And I would like to take this opportunity to say that anyone who actually needs a CNC machine for their business should bloody well go out and buy a ready-to-run system, not some erector-set kit.)
    Last edited by Lee DeRaud; 03-28-2012 at 1:21 PM.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Vellore View Post
    I am also looking for ideas to build a CNC, though a tiny one with tight tolerances, The longest axis you have you are using 2 motors to drive that, or one motor tied to the other with a belt?, do you see any problems with it, if one of the motors looses steps it will be bad.
    Two motors, slaved together in the software. If a motor is losing steps, that's a problem that needs solving regardless, but in any case both of them will tend to lose steps together anyway, usually as a result of hitting something. It's "bad" in the sense that you lose time/material and the gantry might need to be squared up, but it's not like it destroys itself or anything, and you'd have to re-home under those conditions anyway.

    On a smaller machine, I'd use a straight 3-motor approach...no reason not to.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  7. #37
    Thanks Lee,
    Your thread has rekindled my desire to build my CNC. I have seen many kits but does not fit my needs, so for my unique application doing my own seems like a very satisfying endeavor.

    Kim

  8. #38
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    Lee,
    Don't forget about Artcam 2012. They have a 149.00 version that may do what you need but you can upgrade the modules as you need them.
    Have a Blessed day,

    Michael Kowalczyk

    Laser-Trotec Speedy II 60 watt with 9.4.2 job control and will soon upgrade to JC X
    Corel Draw Suite X6, FlexiSign Pro 8.62, AI CS3 and Lasertype6

    CNC Routers-Thermwood model C40 with 4th axis. Thermwood Model 42 with dual tables and dual spindles with ATC for high production runs,
    ArtcamPro 2010_SP4, EnroutePro 5.1, BobCad v21 & v24, Aspire v4 and Rhino 5.
    FOTC link
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/friends.php?cp=210&lp=0&t=0&q=

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kowalczyk View Post
    Don't forget about Artcam 2012. They have a 149.00 version that may do what you need but you can upgrade the modules as you need them.
    I've gone with Vectric Cut2D/Cut3D, along with Accutrans ($20) to cover point-cloud conversions and things like that. The UI on the Vectric products matches up better with my mental processes (insert joke here): they don't have the radical clash with Corel-think that some of the other CAD-oriented ones do.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

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