You may have noticed a drop in the number of posts here on ToolGuyd, and there’s a good reason for that. Aside from working on a few new reviews, I had been reading up on how to build a small CNC machine.
Basically, a CNC machine (at least with respect to DIY router machines) is a three-axis computer-controlled cutting, routing, and engraving tool that can achieve results that just cannot be done by hand, at least not easily.
I first became interested in making my own CNC machine a few months ago, but recently started looking into it more seriously. This requires a LOT of research, and while I now know how to build a decent DIY CNC, I do not yet have the finances to do so.
Of course should I stop buying new tools long enough to save up the funds for this project, there will be a loooong series of project logs detailing each and every step.
In the course of quite a few hours of research, it became clear that DIY does not necessarily mean cheap. Actually, by my current BOM calculations, a DIY solution will cost me nearly as much as a ready-built desktop CNC frame would.
There are many DIY CNC designs out there, and quite a few free and paid plans are available.
As of now, (if money falls to me from the sky), I plan on basing my own design off of CNC Router Parts’ and FineLineAutomation’s free 2’x3′ plans (as shown above). The plans are free, but they do require several of CNC Router Parts’ custom components for the machine’s construction. To be fair, I’ve read a lot of good things about these two companies, and their products are very well suited for budget-minded DIY machines.
Here are a few refernce links in case I’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to do a bit of research yourself.
CNC Zone Forum – Top reference for DIYers to get ideas, help, and answers.
CNC Router Parts – This links you to the how-to page which offers downloadable plans.
Fine Line Automation – Co-developer of the aforementioned plans, and distributor that offers parts bundles and kits.
K2 Desktop CNC (via Amazon – This is the desktop CNC frame that I am considering in case I cannot construct mu own. Cost-wise, this Kt1414 machine only costs about $50 more than what I intend to try to build.