CNC Build Works as a Router, Laser — Perhaps More?
If you’ve been going forth on whether you should build a CNC router or a laser engraver/cutter, then this build from jtaggard may be just the thing. It’s designed as a modular CNC frame, allowing one to change between a laser or spindle for routing, and could conceivably be used as a plotter or any other type of computer controlled device that you had in mind.
The frame is made out of OpenBuilds extrusion, and a set of bearings enable it slide in the X and Y direction with a NEMA17 stepper motors/belt assembly. Z-axis movement is taken care of my a larger NEMA23 motor, along with a threaded rod.
Controls for the machine come in the form of an Arduino Uno board and GRBL shield setup. In order to avoid the dreaded too much electronics/not enough enclosure space problem, the components were first laid out to see how much space was needed, then the electronics box was constructed with this in mind, with a 12V computer fan added to keep everything cool.
While this isn’t the only X/Y/Z gantry CNC design you will come across, it looks like a solid and versatile machine, and one that has been refined as jtaggard’s second iteration of this kind of device. Check it out below, and as with any project involving lasers or automated machining, be sure to use the appropriate eye protection if you build your own!