May 2013 19

MrCNC - part 1

Today I present the latest project to come out of my workshop: a CNC machine! CNC stands for Computer Numeric Control, which is a fancy way of saying computer-controlled. A CNC machine has a rotating spindle that is movable in 3 dimensions and is able to carve, cut, and machine objects according to the input file on the computer.

Building it has taken most of the past month. An initial plan was roughed out on the computer and I started ordering bits online.

The first bit to be built was the bed of the machine. I made this out of Open Beam, which is aluminium extrusion, 15x15mm with built in slots to accept M3 nuts. This makes it easy to bolt the bits together, like some kind of giant Meccano set. The corners are chopped up T connectors and help square things up.

Ends for the bed were made out of 6mm MDF, which is g...

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