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  #1  
Old Sun 16 March 2014, 13:53
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
Hello From Denver

Just found this website. Very excited to be here. Looking to build my first CNC. Have been working around milling machines that cut sheet goods for the past 5 years. Axyz and Mastercam (100k machines). Work flow I've been planning is

Autocad -> VCarve -> Mach 3

Very fluent in ACAD. Have seen VCarve in action. Just found out about Mach 3 and the reason I need it.

I'm fairly mechanically inclined and have most carpentry tools. My biggest weakness is electrical work. I feel comfortable installing a ceiling fan or a light switch, but that's about it. Will I have any issues building my own CNC with that electrical capability? I'm thinking my first machine will be limited to single phase, 120V outlet and maybe 240V. It'll be housed in my two car garage. I've already given up my parking space for it

Because of my electrical limitations and financial considerations I was planning on starting with a router instead of a spindle. The way I understand it I have motors that drive the movement of the gantry and the router (x,y,z) and then I have the router itself that will require electricity. Are all of these motors wired to one power source or do I "plug" in the router to a separate outlet than the stepper/servo motors?

I plan to route wood and aluminum composite material on the machine. Had been considering a smaller bed - 48x30, but the more I think about it, it would be nice to have a machine that can cut 4'x8' sheets. My understanding is that would not be a huge jump in complexity to build. Any idea on hours to build a machine of that size?

Thanks for reading!
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  #2  
Old Sun 16 March 2014, 19:59
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Welcome to the Forum. The scenario you outline is doable. The electrics are fairly straight forward, simple schematic reading and wiring are required. You sound like you have captured the basic idea of the MechMate. If you are serious about building a serious CNC machine, buy the plans, read the Forum and read, read, read.
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  #3  
Old Sun 16 March 2014, 20:26
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
Thanks John. Been reading all day. Answered some of my own questions. Interesting to see that the average build is at 10.6 months.
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  #4  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 04:18
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Welcome aboard!
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  #5  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 06:43
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
Welcome to the forum.
Sounds like you have the skills to build your own machine.
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  #6  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 11:12
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
Thanks everyone!

The largest sheet stock I would be cutting is 62x100. What size table would I need for that?
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  #7  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 12:05
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
62 x 100 (if you have included the overrun error in that size) then your size would be
5.5' x 10'

Or, if 62x100 is nominal, then a 5' x 8' (which is 60 x 96) plus overrun area.
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  #8  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 12:15
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
Thanks Sean. What is overrun error? 62x100 is the exact size of the sheet from the factory. The sheet could be out of square by .25".
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  #9  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 12:31
IMMark
Just call me: Mark #119
 
Columbus Ohio
United States of America
The MM is designed to "overrun" by 2" is the X and Y direction. So a 4x8 machine will go 50" in the Y and 98" in the X.
Mark
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  #10  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 12:42
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
All your answers are in the forum.
Start with section on figuring table sizes.
Don't use up all your questions til you need them...
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  #11  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 12:51
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Darren...LOL (am I that unforgiving?)
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  #12  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 12:56
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
Thanks guys! I appreciate your time. I will do more homework.
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  #13  
Old Mon 17 March 2014, 13:05
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Don't be afraid to ask....
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  #14  
Old Tue 18 March 2014, 10:02
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
Sorry guys, didn't mean to sound unfriendly.
3 days of stomach flu makes me grouchy, I guess.
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  #15  
Old Tue 18 March 2014, 10:15
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
No worries. Didnt take it as unfriendly. I realize there are lots of newbs here that ask the same question over and over.

What a difference a day makes! Found out my truck needs a new transmission $4000-$6000! Either that or buy a new one. Either way, thats my CNC savings down the drain. Oh well... Will give me time to study the plans and read. Thanks again for direction so far. Im sure ill have a million more questions when I get this off the ground.
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  #16  
Old Tue 18 March 2014, 10:38
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
Ouch. Sorry to hear.
Fully a year went by between my intro and start...
Life has a way of getting in the way.
We'll be here.
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  #17  
Old Wed 19 March 2014, 16:01
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
I read somewhere that the mech mate would be comparable to a $15-$20k machine. How does this level of machine compare with the $120k machine. The machines im thinking off are multicam and axyz routers with 6'x20' beds. Size and weight seem obvious, though I did read about someone building a mech mate in similar size. ATC capabilities perhaps, though I did read somewhere that you could incorporate ATC with mech mate. Any insight?
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  #18  
Old Thu 20 March 2014, 00:56
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
Firstly, Mechmate don't come with glossy brochure.
Secondly, Mechmate don't come with salesman in suit.
Thirdly, Mechmate don't come with Operation Manual.

Other advantage is you can upfit anything you wish if you know what you are doing.

BUT please tame you expectation, it won't vacuum your workshop & make hot meals on demand.
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  #19  
Old Thu 20 March 2014, 06:30
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
KEN!!!
There are members here will the skill necessary(including you) to make a MM into a virtual chef and shop porter. LOL.
I agree with you, about taming expectations, the MM is still just a tool, like any other, and subject to being only as good as the operator running it.
A stringed musician could make the cheapest Wal-Mart fiddle sound way better than I could attempt to play a tune on a Stradavarius.
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  #20  
Old Thu 20 March 2014, 08:40
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
Maybe my post came off wrong. I am thinking keep it simple, but was just wondering about what the differences could be. I would imagine, other than the things mentioned, rate of cut and precision of cut. maybe durability? What else is there?

Im interested in the mechmate partly because I wont need the guy in the suit and the tech to come fix it.
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  #21  
Old Thu 20 March 2014, 19:54
pblackburn
Just call me: Pete #98
 
South-Central Pennsylvania
United States of America
You are comparing apples to oranges. The machine is a well built one but is not in an industrial range of machinery. How well will it perform depends on the time and way you build it. It can hold high precision and accuracy.
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  #22  
Old Fri 21 March 2014, 21:07
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
I guess I'll just have to build one and see. I downloaded the plans and will print them out this weekend some time. Anyone create an exploded axonometric of the mechmate by chance?
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  #23  
Old Fri 21 March 2014, 21:10
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
I've exploded a few things, but never an axonometric....
Whatever the heck that is....
Good Luck!!
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  #24  
Old Fri 21 March 2014, 21:26
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
Ha! M-80's were a staple in my childhood

I read that some guys modeled the whole thing in solidworks. Thought maybe they or someone else might have taken it a step further.

this is an exploded diagram.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 102472_121_14.jpg (50.4 KB, 228 views)
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  #25  
Old Sat 22 March 2014, 11:43
Tom Ayres
Just call me: Tom #117
 
Bassett (VA)
United States of America
Looks like my lawnmower engine, lol
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  #26  
Old Fri 28 March 2014, 19:03
litemover
Just call me: Chris
 
Auckland
New Zealand
I did a model and an exploded diagram of the whole thing and it was a good exercise, but it really helped the people who helped me out as well. My next adventure is going to be to model a 5 axis head to go on my machines.

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  #27  
Old Fri 28 March 2014, 19:25
dbinokc
Just call me: DB #118
 
Oklahoma
United States of America
Nice model. I used Alibre to model my MM. I even exported a 3D pdf model and sent it to Mike to get permission to post it. I never did get a response back though. With todays improved CAD tools, some really drawings of the MM could be made.
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  #28  
Old Sat 29 March 2014, 09:33
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
Wow! Would be awesome if you guys would be willing to share and if there was a way to share them that was ok with Mike?
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  #29  
Old Sat 29 March 2014, 10:20
bwiab
Just call me: bwiab
 
denver co
United States of America
I've only welded a handful of times in my life. Will a 135A 120V mig set up like this

http://www.eastwood.com/mig-welder-1...5a-output.html

Be sufficient for building the mechmate?

Thanks.
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  #30  
Old Sat 29 March 2014, 10:42
IMMark
Just call me: Mark #119
 
Columbus Ohio
United States of America
I might suggest going for a more "name brand" unit, Lincoln, Miller,etc.
But size wise, that would work. Use with gas. If you can go a little bigger (perhaps 220v) would be better. But that is the size unit I have as well.
Mark
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