I (Barrett) had been thinking for a while about 3D printers and what it would be like to have one. They are getting more and more affordable all the time and lots of people are buying them and making things; they are trendy! But there in lies the problem – I don’t like being trendy. Before you go saying how trendy blogs are and how hypocritical I am, let me explain that this blog is a trial run and I don’t think they are that trendy anyway. I feel like they were a thing of the early 2000’s.
Due to my aversion to ‘trendyness’, I took the same idea and flipped it around. 3D printing is additive sculpting while a CNC Mill is deductive. As I thought about this more, I realized that I could make very precise parts, circuit boards, inlays and more. Off the shelf, these things run in the thousands so, of course, I built one.
Since I didn’t know much about them, I decided to buy plans and build something cheap so that I could grasp a better understanding of how these machines work and what is important during design/construction. Using the 10×9 plans from solsylva, I built a CNC for cheapest price I could find anywhere (with the exception of the motors – good deal on eBay). From my research I found that Nema 23 motors with >300 oz. in were good but I found some with about 450 for the same price so – WIN. I learned that doing this without a drill press creates more slop that you really want (hands up for my new Christmas present!) and that attention to detail is especially important. The motors are controlled using an Arduino running grbl software from GitHub. After some trial and error, the first few cuts yielded another ornament for our Christmas tree!
More to come on this, I seem to be incapable of doing small projects.