CNCBee is a completely Open-Source CNC Machine project, that aims to build a CNC machine from the ground up using a combination of cheap aluminium extrusions and 3D printed parts. It's intended to take advantage of the new wave of 3D printer parts; such as pulleys, bearings and motors, to create a cheap and reliable CNC machine.
NOTE: This guide is still being updated, and it's being made as an ongoing project. Watch this space!
CNCBee uses a series of off the shelf parts (including a lot of 3D printed ones) and creates a properly functioning CNC Machine.
The spindle and the X and Y positioning system can be operated using any open-source arduino based operating system. The one we've been using is GRBL, but technically you could be using Marlin or another software that is designed to run CNC machines or 3D printers. They basically all have functions that would work well.
Before you start building the machine, you're going to have to source the materials. The main order of any quantity is the Aluminium Extrusions, which you can usually order locally. Here in Australia, there's a very well known seller on Ebay that sells all the extrusions that you would ever need. For ease of navigation, I'm going to split the materials up according to their section. The aluminium extrusions will need to be in the length specified, and they'll need to be tapped on the ends in M6 size. You can cut and tap the aluminium extrusions yourself for a small saving in cost, but usually it's easier to order the aluminium already tapped and cut from the seller. Remember, your time is a commodity too!
It's probably cheaper to get a set of M3-M6 bolts and nuts (including washers hopefully!) than buying them separately.
In regards to the coupler, this type is the best. It doesn't flex up and down when rapidly changing Z position.
This part has to be written! I've included some photos from the assembly process below as a teaser. If you scroll down a bit more, there's a ZIP file with everything you need to put it together.
Halfway assembly, testing the Z axis sliding functionality
Ready to go about CNC operations.
Here's a single ZIP file with all the STL files you'll need to make one yourself. All the STL files are in MM metric format. It's recommended that you print the 3D parts with at least 60% infill.Download project file