A cnc mill I wanted to build now for quite a while – guess it’s for more then a decade now. Lately I found a bit more time to waste on pet projects, so I finally went for it.
The Idea is to build a cnc machine, that performs well with materials up to aluminum. Because I’m not having lots of space in the garage, it should have a small foot print. In my thoughts I played around with many materials I could handle. Starting from aluminum extrudes to solid aluminum pieces to granite, concrete and finally epoxy granite.
Epoxy granite got this professional aura. Most search results on google are big to huge machines, only a few individuals did it at home in their shop. But also those home made machines are quite a bit more massive then what I had in mind.
So I thought why not scaling this thing down. On a smaller scale everything seems to be easier. This thought was getting stuck in my mind and I started to design a vertical milling machine with an easy to realize building process in mind. At this stage I wasn’t really sure if I’ll go for it or not. At one point I ordered some epoxy for casting and went to buy some sand and gravel.
With that I did a few test casts in small plastic food containers. Already the first one came out surprisingly well. I did two more with less epoxy. So in the end I had three pieces of homemade epoxy granite to play around. Even in so tiny dimensions, they all looked quite stiff to me and none of them broke while playing around with them.
I had the feeling this could actually work. I made a material list. Only for the machine base. With that list in hand I realized that it would be also pretty cost efficient. In the end I spent a bit less then 100 Euro for the machine base. And some of the materials in this list will also last for more parts. Like some of the screws and the gel coat for example. What happened then I showed in the first video I did.
The next step will
be bringing the aluminum supports for the rails in acceptable
tolerances. I’ll put the whole piece on an old traditional milling
machine. This will hopefully happen in three weeks.