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Thread: Designing/Building CnC from *scratch* - Just look

  1. #1
    man.dovvn Guest

    Default Designing/Building CnC from *scratch* - Just look

    Hi there!
    I'm a final year university student, with one year to design and build a CnC machine from scratch.
    I'm not asking for large amounts of help, but some direction would be nice.
    The machine is intended to drill holes in PCBs, and I'm just finishing the specifications document.
    Direction on:
    Literature review [any reports or documentation from something similar]
    Design steps [I would like to do all the work, but I'm not sure which components/mechanisms should be done first etc]

    Any advice, links or tips you could give would be greatly appreciated

    Regards, Ariel

    Documentation will be supplied as it's completed, for anyone who's interested in keeping tabs.

  2. #2
    TCA4570 Guest


    If you are still working on this, where are you in the process?

    What is the size of the boards, and holes?

    What can you get, versus what do you have to buy?

    What are your mechanical skills compared to your computer, or design skills?

    Do we need to change tools?

    What is the rate of production needed?

    many questions can come from simple statements.

    I haven't been on much lately, but your old post looks intriguing.


  3. #3
    man.dovvn Guest


    I am indeed still struggling along. I've sketched up the X and Y axes and am now using CAD software to create a computer model of the prototype. I've obtained off-the-shelf software to drive the machine and have discovered plans for stepper motor controllers and drivers compatible with the software. I've obtained all the components for the electrics and am waiting on an ordered breadboard to come so I can begin testing. I would like to have custom PCBs made, but will leave it till later as it is not necessary.
    I have defined the maximum operable area as an A4 sheet of paper. The hole diameter has not been defined yet, but the drill is likely to be an off-the-shelf component, making changing drill bits easy.
    My university is providing me with access to a machining service, an electrical component workshop, a soldering workshop and $300AU.
    Depending on how my design goes, I will not have to buy linear bearings or ball screws etc. The budget barely covers anything, so I'm relying heavily on the custom machining jobs I can get done at the uni.
    My mechanical, as in practical skills? Primarily theoretical, I wanted to do some stress/deflection analyses but my supervisor has no idea how to do it and reckons it's less important than getting the rest of the work done. I'm flying along the CAD much faster than expected, but I'm stuck on designing the Z axis.
    There will be no automated tool changes required.
    Rate of production has not been defined in the requirements analysis, I've been speaking with the subject coordinator [fairly incompetent] and it appears that they'll be happy with any kind of working machine.

    Thanks for your interest.

  4. #4
    johnbeck Guest

  5. #5
    man.dovvn Guest


    Yea, I've seen that. Thanks for the tip though. Design is moving along, I'm adapting a set of technical drawings found on the web to CAD and locally available components.

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