Thursday, July 17, 2014

Homemade CNC2 (Enclosure)

I have been playing with my new CNC, and have machined some pieces for the Y-axis extension modification. While I am machining the pieces in ABS (which is harder and more brittle compared to HDPE), I noticed that the dust from cutting is getting in the air and making me coughing. Since part of my use of the CNC will be to do circuit board routing, it may produce some other harmful dusts as well (circuit boards are made of fiber glasses, which is really nasty if inhaled). So I decided that it is time to make an enclosure for the CNC to contain the dust from cutting inside. In additional, an enclosure will be very helpful for the safety in case some thing goes wrong or some pieces flying around. (This proved to be very useful in an event happened lately).

So with some quick scratch and using the scrap wood I have laying around in my garage, I spent a couple of days to put together a quick enclosure. In order to leave me with un-obstructed access to my working area, I used a cantilever design so the front of the enclosure is without any supporting column. I am not going to put my weight on the shelves besides my controlling electronics, so this should work pretty well. The only problem with that is from the think Plexiglas sheet I have bought. Since the sheets are the most expensive piece of the enclosure, I went for the thinnest I can get. It still cost me almost $30, but the sheet is so thin that it warps. Without the front columns for it to be fixed on, it leaves some gaps between the front and side shields. Oh well, as we know, a perfect solution is a luxury that a home shop does not have. And that is part of where the fun comes from. I used some tape to keep the pieces straight and together.

So here is my CNC enclosure in place. It is not too bad considering how much it costs me.

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