I`ve had a couple of emails lately asking about the CNC machine on my youtube video and I believe in the background on one of my pictures. I`ve not posted much about it purely because I built it between Jan-April this year (2012) and during that period I was busy with work and for some reason didn`t take many photos in the short bursts I had in my shop.
I`ve always been nervous about a CNC machine – truth is, I`ve never known where to start!! Some of you will have seen my wooden MDF CNC build but that failed miserably as I just felt the machine was going to be useless for the money I needed to put in.
Anyway, I was trawling ebay and came across the base and axis of a TEP CNC mill. They really are a terrible machine but I thought it would be a good foundation to get me going and cost no money at all. You`ll noticed that even a complete TEP doesn`t have ANY z axis, just a solonoid spindle to lower the cutter into the work
THIS PICTURE IS NOT MY MACHINE BUT AN EXAMPLE OF A COMPLETE TEP MILL: I just got the base and the linear slides
First job was to flip the X axis – what possessed them to mount it this way around in the first place?!? I also built up a Z axis from ally bar and some leadscrew and nuts I`d harvested off an old lathe:
This was my first poor attempt to get something work – drawing a picture of peppa pig for my daughter. However terrible you might thing this was… I was jumping around my workshop for joy!
I then made the brushless DC spindle (which you can find under the links to the left) and tried to cut a door sign, which was also not good but I thought it was fab at the time:
After quite a bit of tinkering with the machine I found that I was being let down by the TB6560 3 axis stepper driver. It took quite a bit of configuring and after moving over from linuxcnc/EMC2 to Mach3, the machine was running very well!
It now stands in this state:
This is a hall effect sensor connected to Mach3 gives me a good tachometer for the cost of £1.99 (that was for 5 from china!!)
I`ve now cut a few nice pieces with it:
And some engraving which you will have seen on my “Drag Engraving” video:
Not really given it a full work out yet but I have plans brewing!!!…