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Old Thu 14 February 2008, 00:25
Just call me: Zain
Comprehensive MechMate Bill of Materials

Does this site contains any link which has bill of quantity ? I intend to send a detail list to the supplier mentioning Steel components. I fear that some thing is missed while working my self.

I feel that there should be a list of tools required to achive. This would make the project easier.

Old Thu 14 February 2008, 22:31
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
- The size of the Mechmate is defined by each individual builder. You get to select your own table length, table width, Z height

- You also have options whether you work in inches or millimeter

- You have options for steel rails or alu-base rails

- You have options for the cross-section of the main X-beams

- You have options for the number of table cross-supports

- Some people prefer to use rectangular tubing instead of round pipe.

If you understand what the "Process" indicator is for on the drawing, you will realise that all the "S" drawings are going to give you 95% of the shopping list.

If you have really studied the drawings and the options, and understood what it is that you want to build, then making your own shopping list is the least that you can do.

I very gladly help people who have shown some effort to help themselves. Zain, if you are still out there, don't be discouraged because you caught me on a bad day.
Old Fri 15 February 2008, 16:21
Just call me: James
Detroit (Michigan)
United States of America

I can see a little where Zain was coming from.

My welder (who spends all day cutting and welding metal) spent a week reading over this site and went into information overload. He too said that without a "material cut sheet" he is just over his head. He was totally motivated at first, but now he is bogged down, and thinking again of just buying a CNC plasma cutter. He says "Nothing about the MM is beyond my abilities, I just don't see a clear start to finish plan".

At our shop we solve problems all day long, but other shops are "cookie cutter" shops that are lost without every step detailed and in order.

I would guess that most people are either building the 4x8' or the 5x10'.

I would like to volunteer to work with somebody else in the group (so we can check each others numbers) to make up a USA inch cut list for the 5x10' size. That makes sense for us, since that is the size we are building.

In addition, I propose our list include a second chapter that would detail how much Rack, Rail, wire and Echain is required.

Finally, and I know we are getting really ambitious here, we could do a step by step assembly guide.

If we could do this for the popular sizes, someone could fax the order to the steel shop, and get going right away. Those making custom sizes will be on their own, like everyone is now.

This would get more people into the game, and save each builder probably 15 hours of measuring and converting.
Old Fri 15 February 2008, 17:03
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America

The drawings provided have all the information needed. I had no trouble figuring out a materials list. I even modified mine quite substantially.

I think the issue is that people are reading thru all the threads and posts, where they should just sit down and study the drawings. It'll take less than a week to come up with a materials list from the drawings than trying to read all the posts.
Old Fri 15 February 2008, 19:00
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Okay. My turn.
I will let you in one my little secret on how I came up with my steel materials list. I pretty much used Gerald's advice...and watched JR very closely!

Print out 2 complete sets of drawings and then separate into their process. Staple each "s", 'w' etc. as a bundle. Take the 1 complete Package and fill in the x, y and a lengths you want to build your machine to. Now just plod along with a printed out photo of the original MechMate as reference, and make your list. Pretty darn easy. In a couple of hours-and that's all it took me while kids tugged at my socks- to decipher a bill of materials for all the mechanical. Electrics took about 3 days to dial in a list for it based on my needs.

Patience and the will to truly understand the design is necessary. The proper leg work is part of the journey. If you don't want to invest the time, then spend more than twice the money and buy a shopbot, ez-router, k2 or otherwise. My professor jack miller in graduate school taught me to live by the 7 p's. Prior proper planning prevents pretty poor performance. Heck, he wouldn't even let us think about ordering material until we could prove we knew the process and the dwgs inside and out. ( Carl in the OBX of NC can vouch for me ) I would say I still follow those rules.

Okay.... Time to step off my soapbox.


Last edited by smreish; Fri 15 February 2008 at 19:12..
Old Fri 15 February 2008, 19:50
Just call me: Kevin
Canton, NC (In the Smoky Mountains)
United States of America
I agree with Greg

This isn't a kit that comes in a box. It is a FREE design, all we have to do to build one is read, ask questions and paint it blue with a MechMate label.

Like many of the people on this list I was working my own design. Gerald posted on a Yahoo list and I came over to this forum to get some ideas. I quickly found out that my machine (designed by a carpenter) wasn't even close to the quality of a MechMate.

There are so many decisions we GET to make.

My table is made from 2"x 3"x .120" rectangle tube "because I hade it on the shelf"

My table is 4'x 6' "because that is all the space I have"

I printed out the FREE drawings, took out the calculator added 23.6" to the 60" I wanted for my X rails size and put it on a cut list. Did that for every part. Took maybe an hour to make that cut list for the table.

What do you want for free?

Just my opinion,
Old Fri 15 February 2008, 22:54
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
Guys, let's not get into too many tangles about this. I would love to see you guys generate and share lists for your local materials and sizes. It will save much shipping costs and duplicate trips to the hardware store. Things like those tiny resistors for the Gecko's that will be forgotten till a Sunday when all the stores are closed. The shim washers for squaring the gantry, etc.

For me, as the "designer", to publish a "master" list is going to cause me too many headaches because I don't know where you buy what. It will lead to endless PM's of "can I use this instead of that".

James, let your welder get a set of all the W and S drawings for a start. He will then ask about the lasered profiles and those he can see on the P and B drawings.
Old Mon 18 February 2008, 11:52
Just call me: James
Detroit (Michigan)
United States of America
G and others,

My welder has downloaded the entire plans and has read the forums. He just does not have the "vision" to see the project from start to finish.

It's easy for you or I to envision how the whole assembly will go together, because we have a mind for that kind of thing. Not everybody does.

Also, when I came into this project, there was MUCH less information to read about. The amount of data here has grown quite a bit.

I'm not asking Gerald to do our work. I'm offering to work with someone to make up a USA cutlist. It will save time and could save save someone quite a bit of money should they somehow mis calculate on the measurements.
Old Tue 19 February 2008, 05:38
Just call me: Zain
i agree with james that atleast a standard list for 8' x 4' or 10' x 5' should have been present. This will make Mechmate easy to fabricate and more popular. Working out the sheets required and thickness take a lot time. May be all don't have such qualified welders who can work out and may need to work them selves.

It can be like the CNC program you give to your laser cutting comapany. Definately with NO OBLIGATION of the site owner. May be recheck or alterterd as per personlized need.

I feel that it should have been in a more scientifc way as DIY projects normally are.

So times it cost many times more than the material Cost to procure. Like if u miss a wire or washer.
Old Tue 19 February 2008, 06:30
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
Here is an excellent starting point for the list.
Old Sun 24 February 2008, 10:09
Just call me: Andy
United States of America
Im new here too and excited to get started but a thread like gathering necessary materials would be a good jumpingoff spot.

I have been reading the plogs and am trying to glean info from the separate builds. My approaching to this CNC machine, is from a design output stand point. So it is taking me a bit of time to wrap my mind around the control box etc. Also some of the basics what will produce the smoothest cut etc.

Maybe there is a list of books and further reading I should be doing before jumping into the build.

I find the plog, board sites very inspiring although it can spiral into frustration wasting lots of time.

That said I am inspired by Geralds design and would like to chop this project into easily digested parts cut list materials list etc. so I can put the machine to work for me.
Old Tue 26 February 2008, 04:40
Just call me: Don Ross
Blue Ridge, Texas
United States of America
Perhaps the best reason for not having a "shopping list" is so the builder has to dig into the plans.

A thorough understanding gained when ordering parts, makes for a much easier build.

Yes, we will inevitably get some of it wrong. Who cares. The cost of a MechMate is a small fraction of what it is worth.

Other than flying Gerald over here and having him build it, I don't know how it could be easier.

Donald W. Ross
Old Sun 13 April 2008, 16:30
Just call me:
I started out keeping a list of tools for each process (bits, taps, drill, etc) but I though since I was going to keep a very detailed build log, that I would record the actual tools I used during costruction of each drawing.

I'm now up to ~115 individual types of items for the table and part of the electronics. I'm also keeping a seperate BOM for parts required by someone just entering (router, bits, software, duct collection, etc) so people who are new to CNC can get an idea of the "real", total cost of CNC.

In about a week or two I should be done with the final copy. I'll send you a preview prior to posting it publicly.

Old Fri 06 June 2008, 18:13
Just call me:
Comprehensive MechMate Bill of Materials

When I first started the build of my MechMate, one of the hardest parts wasn't the physical construction - it was the lack of a single, comprehensive bill of materials (BOM). Over the past four months, I have scoured the MechMate forums and other sources to develop the most comprehensive and detailed MechMate BOM to date. It is my hope that this resource will help take down one of the major barriers to building a new MechMate.

A few notes on this BOM:
  • This list was compiled for my personal build of a 49"x97" MechMate (very detailed photos to follow later.) If you are planning a larger, smaller or custom sized build you will need to make adjustments. It also assumes that you will be building with the geared OM motors and the 250mm Z slide. This build is NOT a 100% "Gerald approved" type build, though it is very close (legs, bearing supports, electrical, etc differ). I've tried to note this throughout the BOM and provided the option to go the "all approved" route.
  • All suppliers listed in the BOM are in the US. I hope that non-US MechMate builders will still find the BOM useful as a bolt is a bolt, even if you need to adjust it for metric and/or a different vendor.
  • This BOM should not be downloaded and then followed by rampant ordering. It was intended to be partnered with a complete copy of the MechMate plans and an understanding of the MechMate design. If you can't envision the MechMate 2D drawings as a completed unit, I wouldn't start ordering.
  • I tried my best to consolidate the number of vendors, even if it raised the cost by a few dollars. Three of the vendors on the list don't have on-line ordering, all the remainder do. I've ordered from every vendor in the BOM and have had good success, if you don't, please let me know and I'll try to address it.
  • Included with this BOM is a "time and tools" sheet. As I completed each section of my build, I recorded the time it took me to complete each step and the major tools required. Be aware that these are my build times and the time to complete each step is highly dependent on the skill and tools of the builder.
  • The basic cost of the MechMate is as follows:
    • Table+motors: $4,500 USD
    • Drivers+electronics (less CAD/CAM): $3,000 USD
    • Dust Management: $500 USD
    • The total cost of a complete MechMate without a spindle or vacuum table, is about $8,500 USD. This easily puts the MechMate on par with commercial units in the $15,000 to $20,000 USD range.
  • While I have spent dozens of hours in an effort to ensure this BOM is completely accurate, mistakes and changes will happen. As such, I will continue to maintain the must current BOM at the web site address listed below - I welcome improvements, suggestions and changes to be sent to my personal mail at: When a new update is made, I will post to this thread - so you might want to subscribe to this thread if you still have not completed your build.
  • This BOM is intended to be printed on the same 11"x17" paper as the MechMate drawings.
Link to the current MechMate BOM in Microsoft Excel (2003 format):
broken link deleted

Link to the current MechMate BOM in HTML format:
broken link deleted

Please take the time to give back to the MechMate forum with your suggestions, corrections and improvements.

David Moore
Old Wed 03 September 2008, 05:39
Just call me: Russ
Westerville Ohio
United States of America

Just attempted to download your BOM in either format and it says your pages are unavailable?

Russ Larson
Old Wed 03 September 2008, 05:49
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
David has left this forum. I must get around to removing the links to the sections of his site that he has deleted.
Old Wed 03 September 2008, 08:14
Just call me: Kevin
Midland TX
United States of America
Understand What's Offered

I looked hard at building the MM. I had to decide after looking at this site and what is offered for free, if this is what I wanted (or needed) to do. I decided that building the MM would be my best option due to price, my skill level, performance for my needs, etc versus buying a CNC router for close to $20,000.

I am sure that I will need to consult with local people on welding (I plan to learn myself and if I can not utlimately do it myself, I will get a welder) and electronics (maybe even my dad who is good at this sort of thing but lives 300 miles away). But the rest I know of for sure I can do. Remember, you are going to have to know how to troubleshoot the MM through the years. It will probably take me a year (hopefully less) to build since my time working and raising a family takes alot of my time.

If the process is not in your skill set or the skills are not available at reasonable cost, then the MM may not be for you. Also, remember that you can learn something new, acquire new skills through the build, etc. Only you know if this is reasonable.

Old Wed 03 September 2008, 19:07
Just call me: Jeff
Buna, TX
United States of America

I read another post where you offered assistance building the mechmate. I live about 2 hours east of you and am looking for help. Are you available?

Old Wed 03 September 2008, 21:04
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
David is no longer a member here. He is trying to build a business with poor copies of stuff he has stolen from us. Google truecnc
Old Thu 04 September 2008, 13:38
Just call me: James
Detroit (Michigan)
United States of America
Ha, he even has the Mamba snake!
Old Thu 04 September 2008, 18:21
Just call me: Heath
Cornwall, Ontario
Ha, seems sorta fitting, a snake for a snake.
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