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A CNC machine designer for my hobby project?

  • #1
Stephen Tashi
Science Advisor
6,930
1,188

Main Question or Discussion Point

Any ideas about where I can hire a CNC machine designer for a personal (non-commercial) hobby project? I've emailed various people who are prominent (at least on the web) in hobby CNC designs and have received zero responses. Maybe my ideas are too wierd.

My interest is in the programming aspect. I want to experiment with writing programs to control a CNC machine beginning at the lowest level of control ( like turn motor A 3 steps). I know that this is "reinventing the wheel" and that doesn't bother me. I want to have a CNC machine that has some primitive sensing capability, such as a pressure sensor, so the programs can make decisions based on feedback about what the current shape of the work is. I don't aspire to make any particular items with the machine. The machine could be a router for soft materials, a small machine that would fit on a desk It need not make precision parts. It should merely be usable to test if the programming works.

I'm not an electronics expert, but to me, the only novel thing about the design would be the sensor. Otherwise, I think it would be the same stuff that's in most hobby CNC machines.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
18,044
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angielist.com ? :)
 
  • #3
586
2
Where are you located?

It sounds to me like you could get started with something very basic -- perhaps scavenge parts from a couple of old flatbed scanners. I've opened a couple and found steppers motors with belt-drives to move the carriage.

(I'm not fully awake yet, so forgive me if I'm not fully comprehending your post.) :smile:
 
  • #4
Stephen Tashi
Science Advisor
6,930
1,188
I'm in New Mexico, USA. My goal isn't to find a good build-it-yourself machine design of the type that are available. That type of machine simplifies the programming problem by being precise. You can tell it what to do and have some confidence in what is done.

My interest is having a machine with some simple feedback mechanism so I can experiment with writing programs that make the machine ask "Did I do that right? Should I re-do this part?".

I could approach this project by staring with a traditional machine, learning the basics of it - the way education normally proceeds. But I'm an old guy. Years of patient study is a path for youth. I have some understanding of electrical circuits and interfacing devices to computers, but it might take me a long time to figure out how to add a pressure sensor to an existing 4-axis machine design.

There is no royal road to geometry, but perhaps I can hire someone to pave a royal road to CNC electronics for me.
 

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