Building Steel CNC Router Table
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  1. #1
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    Default Building Steel CNC Router Table

    Hi all,

    I have been sending the following to likely forums just to test the waters about building a steel CNC router table. So far I have sent it to CNC Zone, Open Builds, and now you. I am looking for advice and right now especially examples of others who have done this. Thanks for any and all help.

    "I am making plans to build a metal cutting CNC router and want something rigid and stable. It will be used to cut aluminum sheet up to 1/2" and table size will be 48" X 60". It seems that most of the DIY router tables I have found on the web are constructed from aluminum 80/20 type of T slot components which for most uses is an easy and clean way to go. But I want a more heavily built machine and expect to build it of steel. I plan to use standard steel shapes such as box section tubing with some brake work (metal bending) for the gantry.

    What I am hoping for are some links to builds like mine which are more heavily constructed. Can anyone point me in the right direction to see what others have done? Thanks."

    Randy

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    Machining half inch aluminum on a machine that size will require much more than a sheet metal gantry. You may want to start with a pre made machine base. Interlake is a company I looked into in the past for a project that never happened, but the prices seemed very reasonable. They also have "stock" sizes and the tops are Blanchard ground so you start with a solid flat surface.
    Inter-Lakes Bases

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    Saturation bombing your question to several forums is not a good plan.....

  4. #4
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    Unless you have a dead flat welding table ( most don’t) just remember, three points make a plane, using this knowledge it is possible to fabricate larger components without worrying about twist etc.
    Mark

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    A friend of mine works with a First Robotics team. They had a need for a router to mill aluminum panels. Travel of about 3 x 4 feet. Accuracy requirement was for slip fits on flanged bearings, hole locations of ...

    They had a pretty decent budget, but there was nothing commercially available that met their requirements. Even extending their budget significantly, there was nothing that would fit in the space they had available.

    So what is a cnc router? A robot ... looks like a good off season project for the team.

    So the basic approach was to determine what the cutting forces were, and model the entire system in an Excel (or maybe something better) spreadsheet as a series of beam equations to determine where and how much the deflections were. The main thing they found was steel tubing of a reasonable size wasn't stiff enough for the main rails. They used 2x6" solid aluminum bar. Which was also easy to get milled straight and drilled and tapped for the guide rails.

    The gantry is a pair of beams, with the spindle running on a carriage in between them. A single sided gantry had too much torsional flex I think. Dual ballscrew drive by toothed belt (they use those a lot). They even designed and built their own drives for the servos. Which he said he'd never do again.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Saturation bombing your question to several forums is not a good plan.....

    BS. Its a good plan. Does it make you feel less special, Doug? The OP is right up front with what he's doing and he'll get more input with greater variety. Looking at the other forums I'd say he's targeting different groups that concentrate on different aspects of his project.

  7. Likes DanLinsch liked this post
  8. #7
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    Some pretty good stuff on youtube from this old tony about building a steel router


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