W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#1
I've been reading a lot about these lately, and it seems like it's possible to build a CNC router that's big enough to cut out guitar bodies and necks for around $500. I don't know jack about CNC routers, but I always thought they would be much, much more than that. Am I missing something?
W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#3
Quote by LeviMan_2001
You have to build it, and build it precisely or else it won't be precise.

So basically if I'm capable of doing that, building a CNC router for $500 is a real possibility?
LeviMan_2001
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2008
1,782 IQ
#4
Sure probably. I mean really all it is is a router on a couple axis powered by some stepper motors. I know a guy who built one, no idea on details or how much he put into it, but it certainly is possible. I've heard of the ones that use stepper motors and then there are ones that are more precise that use servos that send information back about where the cutting head actually (rather than where it should be). That way if it gets a bit bogged down it doesn't get misaligned. Obviously the stepper motors are much cheaper.
rapfohl09
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2008
188 IQ
#5
One thing I know you won't be able to get for 500 dollars is the computer systems and software. A CNC router doesn't just know what to do, and can only make a piece as good as you are at making a 3D model.

The last time I was interested in getting a Solidworks license, the cheapest one was about 3000 dollars for a nice package.
seabear70
Lost in the Twilight Zone
Join date: Dec 2011
490 IQ
#6
Quote by rapfohl09
One thing I know you won't be able to get for 500 dollars is the computer systems and software. A CNC router doesn't just know what to do, and can only make a piece as good as you are at making a 3D model.

The last time I was interested in getting a Solidworks license, the cheapest one was about 3000 dollars for a nice package.

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/opensource_software/109564-freecad.html

I won't guarante great software, but free does exist.
seljer
UG Resident
Join date: Apr 2005
1,381 IQ
#7
You could do more with $500 of regular power tools and some plywood templates than with a $500 cnc machine

You may be able to get one together for $500, but you're going to be limited by bearing quality, backlash, torque, spindle speed/power and the overall size of your entire machine. The electronics and the PC side of things aren't at all a problem these days. Search for "cnc router" on instructables.com to see what people have DIY'd
Last edited by seljer at Nov 1, 2012,
W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#8
Quote by rapfohl09
One thing I know you won't be able to get for 500 dollars is the computer systems and software. A CNC router doesn't just know what to do, and can only make a piece as good as you are at making a 3D model.

The last time I was interested in getting a Solidworks license, the cheapest one was about 3000 dollars for a nice package.

Solidworks(with the acedemia discount) is $150 a year. Other programs exist for less, like turbocnc($60). One of the more popular ones is Mach 3, which I believe is about $180.

As far as making 3D models goes, I'm not worried about that. I'm capable of doing such things, and some models are available for download already.

Quote by seljer
You could do more with $500 of regular power tools and some plywood templates than with a $500 cnc machine

You can build and entire carved top body in no time with a CNC machine. It's arguable that making the 3D model will take a decent chunk of time, but that's only if a unique 3D model needs to be created, and would only have to be made once(which matters more in mass production).
Quote by seljer
You may be able to get one together for $500, but you're going to be limited by bearing quality, backlash, torque, spindle speed/power and the overall size of your entire machine. The electronics and the PC side of things aren't at all a problem these days. Search for "cnc router" on instructables.com to see what people have DIY'd

Are you basing that on anything factual? Are you certain that a $500 CNC router would not be up the task of routing guitar bodies and necks?