I got a late start today in the shop. I's still working on the necklace for the cameo project, but I stayed up until 3am the night before getting the CAM ready for it. I also wrote CAM for the match boxes so I'm excited to go into mini production run mode on those. Today I started the necklace milling and while that job was running, I started work on a mini CNC router that I'm building for when I teach workshops on CNC and need to travel. This CNC is built with 3D printed parts and basic hardware. It's a simple little machine that will be good for milling foam and plastic molds and parts. I did decide to put an aluminum plate bed on it. It should turn this thing into a little tank. As I was making it I was thinking that most of the printed parts could/should be built in metal.
Anyway as I was making this one, I started scrounging for some parts and came across a bunch of linear motion parts that I had along with some aluminum extrusion. I decided to start making an even smaller but super heavy duty version of my larger CNC router table but completely out of metal and with NEMA 23 steppers. I already have a Gecko G540 box to run it and I even have some ball screws that I can incorporate. The last picture is a teaser photo of the spoil board for the heavy duty CNC. I decided to give it a grab handle for carrying vertically. Stay tuned for more pics of these machines as they come together.
Again, it feels really good to just be doing manual layout and building on the fly. I'll CNC mill the parts I need to, but for now this allows me to build while my CNC cuts other things.