ANDREA LOCATELLI
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DIY CNC BUILD

DIY CNC MILLING MACHINE

2014

Personal project

Driven by the wish and the necessity of making hard models at home, I decided to build a tabletop CNC milling machine.  The goal was to build a sub 5000 $ machine able to cut soft metals with an accuracy ≤ 0.03mm. Also designed to be easily dismantled and shipped.  This side project took me 3 weeks from ideation to completion, during summer 2014.  

The main structure is custom made in cast iron, grind to specification. On top of it I mounted a manual cross table which I retrofitted to host the Nema motors. The transmission has also been upgraded, from ACME to ball-screw. The capable 1.1 KW electro spindle ensures enough power for aluminium works, and occasional stainless steel errands. I later moved it to my garage in London, so liquid cooling and DIY soundproof cabin helped me keeping good standing in the neighbourhood.  The cabin has wheels and works as a shipping case too. I started to explore fast machining patterns for different purposes, both work and fun. Building this machine forced me to learn a lot about mechanics, tolerances, workholding and - most importantly - material behaviours.