Make the Z axis

Steps for: Build a home made CNC machine (JGRO router)


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Now its time to make some moving parts. I'm going to start with the Z-axis. This is the part that moves the router up and down. It's the smallest of the axes and by making it first I can ensure the rest of the machine fits around it. The parts are mostly MDF, held together by dowels and bolts.

The router will be attached to the plate on the front, with a clamp (not made yet). I bought a Ferm 850 router from for this job (£25), it's a small laminate trimmer type router with adjustable speed. It's already been used to route out the necessary channels in the MDF.

You can see from the picture how the linear bearings roll up and down the metal pipes. The same system is used on the other two axes. It seems to be working here so hopefully the rest of the machine will work too.

Images (click to open full size): 


Axis guide

what kind of metall pipe do you used and weight of you construction and router portal esp ?



Metal pipes

The JGRO plans specify gas pipe, which is a malleable iron pipe easy to find in the USA, but I couldn't find the equivalent in the UK so I used cold rolled steel tube for the Z and Y and hand-rail for the X axes. I have since changed the Z and Y axes to 20mm precision round rail from Zapp Automation, and I got some matching 20mm linear bearings cheap on e-bay.

As for the weight of the machine - I don't know, its MDF so its pretty light, although I changed the z axis cariage to HDPE and aluminium so its heavier than before. The JGRO plans have comprehensive 3D CAD files, you might be able to estimate the weight in a CAD program.


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