This page lists a timeline of the various CNC machine that I’ve built and other relevant videos. To view videos in the playlist press the icon with the three horizontal lines and arrowhead at the top right corner of the thumbnail. A dropdown menu will appear listing individual titles from oldest to newest. The latest CNC build is at the top of the page, going back in time further down.
8th CNC Build – MOOT ONE (2020)
I finally reached a design that I was happy to share plans for – and those are available here! The plate design is based on two thicknesses of Valchromat, which should make the it less appealing to clone and HRG15 linear rails – which are better suited to CNC’ing compared to the MGN12 ones I used before. I am still using SFU1605 ball screw and the 20mm aluminium profile. The machine has been built a handful of times by hobbyist around the world and the plans have helped dozens of people to plan their own builds.
7th CNC Build – Valchromat (2019)
The video focuses on the Duet 2 Wifi controller for CNC use but you can see the first valchromat plate machine and what would eventually become the Moot One. I decided to move away from trying to cut hard material like aluminium and focus on rigid ones which would align the already stiff aluminium profiles, linear rails and ball screws. This machine used MGN12 linear rails and SFU1605 ball screws.
6th CNC Build – Ball Screws (2019)
This was another milestone – using the previous machine to cut aluminium plates albeit with a trick using drilling toolpaths for the openings which I could ream to size. This iteration now uses SFU1204 ball screws.
5th CNC Build – Metal Plates & Linear Rails (2019)
MGN12 linear rails with ACME lead screw.
4th CNC Build – 3D Printed (2018)
The 3D Printed design which I had nicknamed big red still had the same problems with nod on the z axis. I decided it was time to use another method and began investigating linear rails.
Tramming Plate Design & Fine Adjust Mechanism
Starting to realise the problems inherent with building CNC machines the way I had been up to now – and coming up with an overcomplicated way to address this.
3rd CNC Build – Acetal Plates (2017)
Acetal is an engineering plastic similar to Derlin. It’s also very nice to machine.
What I Design With – CAD Software
A highly recommended software to learn to use. Free to use by students and hobbyists under licence.
2nd CNC Build – C-Beam & Lead Screw (2016)
Using the open-builds family of components to design and build my own machine – using ply plates. This design would have been a lot more successful if I had a much lighter spindle. I could never quite get rid of the nod of the Z axis spindle and the Delrin wheels didn’t like the weight.
Vertical CNC Machine Stand (2015)
One idea I had early on which would have helped saved workshop space, was to mount the CNC machine vertically. I made the frame from an old wasteboard from work, and used thick threaded bars to space the structure. In retrospect I should have designed this so the gantry was not horizontal. It’s was an interesting attempt at vertical CNC’ing and one I’d like to come back too one day.
1st CNC Build – X Carve (2015)
I was sent the X-Carve in 2015 to review. It was an exciting prospect, but I soon discovered I and many other YouTubers who had received the tool were providing free research and design back to the company – and the machine was not ready for customers. It didn’t have a proper emergency stop, or a well thought out controller, and the unshielded wires meant the machine could behave unpredictably. The design failed as a router cutter, and was better suited for a drawing, knife cutting, pick and place or a laser engraver. A good learning tool and very usable software, but it didn’t help that my experience with CNC up to that point was with a large AXYZ 4010 machine at work and my expectation were a lot higher. I decided modify and then start build my own CNC machine.