CNC

Introduction

So you've decided to build a homemade CNC machine or maybe you’ are just looking into it, but where do you start? There are many key advantages to owning a CNC machine. Homemade CNC machines can cut and shape almost anything. For any hobbyist or DIY-er, this opens many doors. The fact that you could own one for a fraction of the retail cost is, even more, appealing.
Yes, you can build a CNC machine that is just about as good as any other for a fraction of the retail price, and leads not that difficult to do! This is not a sales pitch, this guide is FREE along with models and tutorials on how to design your first CNC machine.
There is also a great deal of flexibility when you design and build your own machine. You will be able to customise your machine to fit your needs best. Not too big, not too small, just right for you and your needs.
There are many reasons people want to build their own homemade CNC machine. It's usually because we simply can’ not afford to buy one off the shelf and that’s as good of a reason as any other. Or you may be like me and enjoy working with your hand and creating something unique.
You might simply be in it for the learning experience or to make some money from ideas you have. For me personally, I think it was a little of both.

My Experience

When I first started to design and build my first homemade CNC machine, I had it all figured out in about a day. I had my design ready to go. Then as I started to buy the parts, I did a little research. I found bits and pieces of information here and there, but it just lead to more questions.

Do I really need ball screws or will ACME screws work fine?
“What kind of linear bearing is the best, and can I afford it?
“How big of a motor do I need, and should I use steppers or servos?
“Will this material flex too much over that span?
Etc.

Luckily, some of my questions I could answer with my mechanical engineering background and the job I am in is working with CNC machines on a daily basis. However, many of the problems I would encounter could not be “calculated”. I just needed someone with experience and information on the subject as trail and error would become too expensive.
So I researched the internet. The information available is scattered and hard to come by, and how do I know if it's valid. Most of the answers to my questions came through reading hundreds and hundreds of threads like CNCzone.com. Which is a good resource. I would post my questions and wait for people who already have built a homemade CNC router to hopefully give me a good answer.
Of course, I would get many answers to my questions from different people, many of which contradicted each other. Then I’d have to read through a thread where people were bickering back and forth. Of course then I would have to research further to find out which answers were worthwhile and which ones were garbage.
Every time I had a question that I didn’t know, I would have to go through the same process. A lot of this was due to the fact I was on a budget and wanted the best design my money could buy. Which is the same situation many people building a homemade CNC router are in?