CNC cutting - Aerosquare

aerosquare header 2012

A Homemade CNC milling machine

CNC - Building 1

CNC- Vue 3D

Construction principles:

As I said earlier, I was inspired by "Coquery" to build my machine. His philosophy is to use affordable material and the tools that any handyman would have in his workshop.

CNC - Détail matériaux


Stand drill, saws and common tools.

The material:

The structure is made of aluminium bars available in most hardware and hobby shops. AU4G class alloy would be preferrable. The carriages use rollers ball bearings. They are sold in sport shops. It is reliable and economical, even if you need a few dozens to build the machine!

CNC - Méca axe Y

Driving system:

It is the most expensive part of the machine. I decided to use belts for the driving system. It is more reliable than cables. The only drawback is the price (370 Euros of equipment from HPC), unless you can find used material for a good price. The Sanyo Denki steppers motors were bought for 10 Euros each. Wich is very reasonable.

CNC - Carte de commande

Control board:

The connexion to the pc is made through the parallel port. You can find plenty of boards to control your machine. The most known in France are the ones designed by Bernard Baud (BB 2001 etc.) and Laurent Fouga (CNC3AX etc.) The aeromaniacs site lists many cards. As I don't know a lot in electronics, I bought a CNC3A board already soldered. The installation and the configuration didn't make any problem. You just have to pay a lot of attention to the wiring of each components.

You will have to get a good power supply for the stepper motors and add a radiator on the mofsets. If you are anintensive use of your equipment, a cooling fan is recommended. The picture on the left shows the CNC3AC board installed in a metal case. On the back you can see the power supply forthe board. It comes from an old hard drive. But this power supply handles only the board. The stepper motors are fed by a separate unit.

CNC - Méca axe Y

Spindle head and milling cutters

A Proxxon IB/E mini drill is used to do the milling work. This model has a 20 mm collar that simplifies the installation on the machine.
You can easily adapt another model like a dremel.

Milling cutters

If you want to achieve decent results, you must get good cutters. Otherwise the cutter will overheat and burn the wood or melt the foam instead of cutting. After a few tries, it seems that Aeromaniacs suggests the best choice for this kind of use.Those cutters are also available at Otelo with the reference 28 913 015 (about 10 Euros /piece). They give good results with wood as well as with foam and they last quite long.