Categories

 

G-Wizard Calculator:
Fast, Easy, Reliable Feeds and Speeds

Subscribe

Join 50,000+ CNC'ers!  Get our latest blog posts delivered straight to your email inbox once a week for free. Plus, we’ll give you access to some great CNC reference materials including:

  • Our Big List of over 200 CNC Tips and Techniques
  • Our Free GCode Programming Basics Course
  • And more!

 

GCode is Complicated
G-Wizard Makes it Easy

Bootstrap Your DIY CNC Mill Conversion With a 3D Printer

May 18, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, DIY CNC  //  2 Comments

One of the problems with getting started with a CNC Conversion is not having a CNC to help you make the parts.  You can find kits, which are very helpful.  You can try to manually machine the parts, which is entirely doable.  I did some of both for my first CNC project–an RF-45 mill conversion.  But I came across another approach that seemed to work extremely well–bootstrapping the project with a 3D printer.

Let’s say you’ve got a 3D Printer already, and you want to augment its capabilities with a CNC Mill.  Presumably you’ve got plans for the CNC Conversion Kit for your Mill.  Basically, you’ll need motor mounts and ballnut mounts for the ballscrews.  Over on Reddit I came across a guy who used his Rostock-style 3D Printer to do just exactly what I’m describing.  He started with a set of plans to convert a G0704 from Hossmachine (great site for DIY’ers, BTW!).  Here are some pics showing the 3D Printing aspect below.  More details on his photo blog of the project.

DIY CNC Controller in PC Case

Here’s a shot of his Controller built in an ATX PC Case…

DIY CNC Controller in PC Case: Wired

And here it is with wiring.  The author talks about 3D printing some wiring conduit to help clean it up–another brilliant use for a 3D printer!

Hossmachine CNC Motor Mount

Motor mount from Hossmachine’s G0704 plans.  This was scaled up to support NEMA 34 motors.

3D Printed DIY CNC Motor Mount

Here’s the 3D Printed Y-Axis motor mount.  PETG was used for superior layer adhesion, strength, and hardness.

3D Printing a DIY CNC Bearing Blocl

3D Printing the Y-axis Bearing Block…

DIY CNC 3D Printed X Motor Mount

3D Printed X-Axis Motor Mount…

3D Printed Y-Axis Kit

Y-Block and Motor Mounted, Installed on Mill…

X-Axis DIY CNC Motor Mount

X-Axis Mount bolted up…

Lovejoy coupling in CNC motor mount

Lovejoy coupling up underneath mounts…

DIY CNC Z-Axis

Z-Axis will look like this…

ZMount

3D Printed Z-Axis Mount…

AllMountsInPlace

All axes are bolted up…

FirstCut

Initial cuts with a facemill.  That’s roughing pass in the foreground showing via equal crosshatch patterns that the mill is trammed properly.  The rear is a finish pass.  Not too shabby for plastic parts, ACME screws, and plenty of backlash!

DIY CNC Ballscrew Mounts

The point of all this is to machine these nifty new mounts out of metal for ballscrews…

DIY CNC Motor and Ballscrew Mounts

Here’s what the new metal parts look like.  They’re CNC machined and came out gorgeous.

Bootstrapping with a 3D Printer made this project come out really nice.  If you don’t have a 3D Printer, you could still take this approach.  Just use Shapeways or one of the other 3D Printing service bureaus to make your plastic parts.

 

Like what you read on CNCCookbook?

Join 50,000+ CNC'ers!  Get our latest blog posts delivered straight to your email inbox once a week for free. Plus, we’ll give you access to some great CNC reference materials including:

  • Our Big List of over 200 CNC Tips and Techniques
  • Our Free GCode Programming Basics Course
  • And more!

Just enter your name and email address below:

Full Name
Email *
100% Privacy: We will never Spam you!

Rate this post

2 Comments

  • Hi BOB

    I like this out of the box thinking. My first foray into CNC was the building of my own 3D printer. I have published a lot of the parts I designed on Thingiverse under my alias ‘Endlesshunt’. I also have a ZX45 (near exact duplicate of the Grizzly G0761) that I got about 5 years ago. I’m now planning to convert it to CNC as well. In the articles that you wrote about your RF45 conversion, you referenced the IH web site often for how things like grinding the dovetails etc. was done. As that website no longer exist, is there another source for those how-to articles?

    Are there any plans available for these (ZX45, G0761) machines? There are a lot of people that tell of their conversions on these machines but no concrete data as to the actual parts used (ballscrew dimensions, or drawings of the fittings manufactured etc.)

    Regards

    Deon

  • This is very interesting i believe diy 3d printers are a really good way to learn about 3d printing. But i love this way of thinking i might try it maybe in the future. Thanks for the idea and really nice article.

    Cheers!

Leave a comment

 

Do you want to be a better CNC'er?

Get Better Tool Life, Surface Finish, and Material Removal Rates.

 

Start Now, It's Free!

Home

Software

  GW Calculator

  GW Editor

  Gearotic

  Conversational

  Deals and Steals

CNC Blog

  Software

  Techniques

  Beginner

  Cool

  Projects

 

Cookbooks

     Feeds and Speeds

     G-Code Tutorial

     CNC Machining & Manufacturing

     DIY CNC Cookbook

     CNC Dictionary

CNC Projects

Resources

     Machinist's Search

     Videos

     Online Groups

     Individuals

     Reference Data

     Books

     CNC Dictionary

     Suppliers

     Tool Brands

Workshop

     Hall of Fame

     Organization: Soon!

 

About

     Customers

     Partners

     Our History

     Privacy Policy

 
All material © 2016, CNCCookbook, Inc.