What size machine can I build and how big is the work area?
The kits are offered in 2 sizes:
1200×1200 with a usable work area of about 1300mm x 1250mm
2400×1200 with a usable work area of about 2640mm x 1250mm.
However the size is not limited for any particular reason. If you need a bigger machine, there is no reason why you couldn’t use longer rails and purchase extra roller chain, cable drag chain and wiring to suit.
The Z axis has 150mm of travel.
What is this machine capable of, what can it do?
The kit is made to suit a 2.2kW water cooled spindle. With full speed control via G-code, it can reliably and repeatably engrave, drill, machine, cut and pocket a number of different materials – wood, plastics, even aluminium. The key to successful cutting is getting the Spindle RPM, feed speed and depth of cut correct for each material. The documentation provided with the kit includes a formula to work these out and eliminate guesswork. Many of my customers are using their machines commercially on a daily basis with excellent results.
Is the kit easy to assemble?
The kit has been designed to make it very easy to build – virtually everything is included and the steel work is limited to just the 3 rails. It’s best to have the supplier cut them to length, so all you have to do is mark out and drill the holes. You don’t have to be very precise, preferably within a mm. You can drill them slightly oversize to make it easier. A pedestal drill is nice, but you can get by with a good 18v cordless drill.
While the kit is easy to assemble, the final results will reflect the time and care you put into assembling the kit. As the kit only needs to be assembled once, I highly recommend you take your time and do it right.
Things such as leveling the table, squaring the gantry, tramming the spindle, adjusting bearing clearances, getting the tension correct on the belts and chains are all easy to do and will make the difference between poor vs good results.
What tools will I need for assembly?
You will not have to do any fabrication, and there are no special tools required. You will need an electric (or battery) drill and drill bits and various spanners and screwdrivers to assemble the pieces together. Clamps will help during assembly.
You will also need a soldering iron and wire cutters and crimpers to wire it up. A multi-meter will come in handy if fault finding needs to be done. A full wiring diagram is supplied and a lot of the wiring is low voltage and you can do it yourself. There is some 240v wiring required and while many people do it themselves, by law this should be done by an electrician.
Is it easy to operate?
Mach3 is the software that controls the machine. While it is a complex program, it is also easy to learn and use. Setting it up can be very difficult for the inexperienced, so the kit includes the Mach3 XML file. All the steps per unit, all the inputs and outputs, all the home and limit switches are pre-configured. Save it in your Mach3 folder on your PC and you will be up & running in no time.
How long does it take to assemble it?
The majority of my customers finished the assembly in 2 weeks or less, and some said they could have done it in 4 full days. Many have said that designing and building the table structure took much longer than assembling the kit.
What is included in the kit?
The kit includes:
- CNC cut black film face birch ply structure pieces and cover plates
- Hardware – all the bolts, nuts, washers, screws, springs, etc
- Various laser cut mild steel plates (zinc plated or powder coated)
- Top quality US made Gecko G540 Stepper Motor Driver
- NEMA 23 size Stepper Motors and shielded 4 core cable
- Gears, shafts & belts for the X, Y & Z axis
- 48v 8.3A Power Supply
- Pre-drilled hardened steel rails and V-groove bearings with eccentric adjusters for the Z axis
- Linear motion bearings for the X & Y axis
- Leadscrew and nut for the Z axis
- Roller chain sprockets and idlers for X & Y axis
- Inductive (non contact) limit/home switches for X, Y, Z & A axis and 6 core cable
- E-stop button, ON/OFF button, DIN rail, contactor, relays and other electrical components
- Cable drag chain for X, Y & Z axis
What is not included in the kit?
The items not included in the kit are those that are best purchased locally to save on shipping costs, or purchased directly for warranty reasons.
- Rectangular Steel Tubing – 75x50x3 & 100x50x3 available cut to length from most steel suppliers (Expect to pay about $100)
- Table structure with spoilboard or Torsion box to support the rails and material being cut
- Aluminium 25mm angle to support the cable chain (Expect to pay about $60)
- Computer – an older Dell Optiplex is preferred (Expect to pay about $60)
- 2.2kW water cooled Spindle & inverter – ($330 on ebay)
- Small (600L/H) water pump, tank and clear PVC tubing (Expect to pay about $50)
- Electronics enclosure (You can make an MDF enclosure for a very low cost)
What software will I need?
Going from idea to finished parts is a 3 step process.
- You will need a way to design your parts. The best way is to get some CAD software and learn how to use it. There are many programs to choose from, I use and recommend a free one called NanoCAD
- You will also need CAM software to generate the G-code. Again, there are many to choose from. I use and recommend Sheetcam. I am a re-seller for Sheetcam and you can purchase a license in the Shop.
- And finally you will need Mach3 to control the machine. I am the Australian re-seller for Mach3 and you can purchase a license in the Shop.
Is there any support or warranty?
Absolutely! If the included instructions aren’t enough, or you just need some clarification, you are encouraged to make a post in the support section of the forum. (This is a private section for those members who have purchased a kit). Many customers email or call me, and while I’m happy to offer support via email, if done through the forum, the questions and answers are there to help others as well.
All the parts supplied come with a 12month warranty.
Like with any product you buy, any modifications made to the kit during or after assembly void the warranty and support.
Do you ship internationally?
At this time I ship Australia wide. I have recently been in touch with a freight forwarder and the estimated shipping cost to the USA is approx $200. Feel free to contact me with your shipping address if you want an accurate cost.
What is your shipping lead time?
If the kits are in stock, they will usually ship within a week, and you will be emailed a tracking number by the courier. If there are any delays, I will be in touch to let you know.
Can I purchase a kit and pay on pick up?
Sure, you need to pay a 50% deposit at time of order and the remainder on pick up. Pick ups are by appointment only.