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Monday, September 25, 2023
HomeMini CNC MachineI MADE A STEEL CNC MILL FROM SCRATCH (desktop version)



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Somehow I got carried away by the comments in the last video and decided to sharpen my welding skills trying to rebuild the mill out of steel.

I remade the entire frame out of 40x40x2 steel box and TIG welded it using a technique called winging it. As a known side effect of this technique the frame is not square, straight, coplanar, or any of the required properties for the frame of a machine like this. I solved it by shimming almost everything on it with washers of different thicknesses and a lot of brute force. In the build of the aluminium one almost everything went perfect first try, in this build I had to wrestle with it a lot, way more than I’m capable to show in a single video. The machine is obviously more rigid than the aluminium one and after a lot of fiddling with it, it is surprisingly straight where it counts and seems to even be properly trammed.

As a bonus at the end of the video I decided to obliterate some aluminium and steel with the wrong dull bit and completely wrong feeds and speeds.

As always let me know what you think in the comments.

Thanks for watching!!

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00:00​ Preparing the parts
02:20 Welding the frame
04:47 Raid
06:37 Finishing the frame
07:07 XY Table
10:50 Z Axis turret
13:04 Final assembly
14:42 Testing



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  1. Making a machine tool out of thin wall steel tubing is never going to yield a good surface finish. Steel tubing cannot dampen the vibration. You can get better results from a machine made of the European standard linear aluminum rail you've used in other projects, even when using 3D printed connectors and mounts made of PLA.

    The most important factors for better surface finishes are: 1) a frame that is rigid and incorporates material to dampen vibration; 2) a spindle with good bearings and low total indicated runout; 3) a tool holder that matches the diameter of the cutting tool (to avoid introducing runout); 4) a properly trammed head; 5) a cutting tool with correct geometry for the material (the ones you used were suitable); 6) proper speeds and feeds; and 7) rigid work holding.

    That said, I do appreciate your enthusiasm and creativity.

  2. Whow great! I'm dreaming to have a CNC mill for soo long but can't afforn to buy one. Maybe sometime I can build a similar one. Thanks very much for this build video which inspired me.

  3. find a good welder who can teach you 😉 not the worst ive seen, but you could do alooooot better for sure 🙂 and tig is proberly the hardest to learn to master straight away, compared to mag / mig .. they are a little more forgiving 😉 TIG is ALOT of heat in 1 single place…. a good thumb rule is for every 1 mm its around 30 amps… so 2mm would be 60 amps !. but ofcourse people are different, but depends on your speed and how fast your filling it with the filler..

    OH yeah and you made to much space between each tube… something like that it should be max 0.2 or something, if not just 0.0 🙂

  4. Nice frame but looks like this is gonna be lacking of accuracy and parallelism, and the upper gantry is gonna need more stiffness and rigidity cause threaded rivet and such few screws are gonna move and micro shift due to vibration

    But in the end that an awesome work, I would never have done better ????

  5. Hi, do you know about any hopefully free open source program to create toolpaths? We have been struggling with Luban, I don't know if it can work. Fusion is too expensive and complicated, I am working on introducing these technologies for education and job creation in developing countries, so cost and ease of use are critical

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