So I'm making the mill.
And I'm working the numbers.
And I'm thinking.
We need a better way.
Not my project here. It's still going full speed ahead.
But I'm thinking about how a few years people used to share the reprap project.
They printed these vitamin kits as they called them. Basically a set of printed parts that along with some electronics and hardware store parts, could be used to make another machine.
Then I'm thinking about the Daemon and Freedom(tm) books.
So our movement. We need manufacturing and 3D printing will not cut it. I mean it has it's place but sometimes you can't beat metal.
So this is what I am thinking.
What if I made a CNC router vitamin kit?
Something that would work with a off the shelf plunge router.
It will work in aluminum and plastic.
A set of parts along with hardware store parts to make a 2x2 foot router for $500-$600
Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Ok here is the situation. I can get lasered steel and CNC bent parts done cheap. Like really really cheap.
So what do we need for this thing?
So I will break it down as to my view.
We need a box, which means if we use off the shelf plumbing parts we need corners. Plumbing parts, (threaded steel pipe) is threaded at the ends. We really don't want that for the corners using elbows.
Why? Because you can not make a complete square with plumbing elbows without one corner connection having a reverse thread.
But what if we go with PVC pipe?
Then you run into issues of how do you attach parts to the PVC not to mention the obvious flex issues. It could be stiff enough but the biggest sticking point is the attachment of the steel parts without having to drill precision holes.
Flexing could be solved by filling the pipe with fiberglass resin after assembly.
What about CoreXY? I do not know it if it can work with the torque we need. My CoreXY runs lightning fast but I am leery of sticking anything with torque on it. (you will have to google CoreXY for an explanation)
So what do we REALLY need?
Basically we need a steel box.
Holes for the bearings, shafts, and guides.
Corners for the gantry.
So that brings me back to the Torchmate
It is a great machine, but the linear slide is hard to get made cheaply.
Since we are going smaller, we can ditch the ball screw and go with threaded rod if budget is an issue.
Remember we are thinking along the lines of how did they ramp up manufacturing during ww2.
Compare making Stens vs the Thompson SMG
So we basically need the Sten version of a CNC machine.
Once we have the router, we can use it to make bigger and stronger machines.
Gotta start somewhere ya know.
Why is CNC the first choice you ask?
Because it is easier for a noob to get up to speed making chamfers, fillets, and other shapes with a CNC than the tedious method of doing it manually.
Time is money after all.