Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cut my life, into pieces...

Hi ya'll.

While building up the willpower needed to repair the pinball machine (both the left bumper and Chipkit) I've got sidetracked somewhat -

I'm building a CNC-machine.

Wait, what?

It actually makes sense thou.
A lot of times I've found myself thinking "if only I had this" or "if only I had that" and quite frankly, it would seriously decrease the time needed to prototype and produce things. Among the first things to be processed would be custom solenoid holders for the pinball machine. I'm planing on making a functional prototype out of MDF board and then use that prototype to cut out a proper machine out of heavy duty wood (or aluminum). The size of the CNC will be large enough to allow a full scale pinball machine to be cut out (one part at a time obviously), but will not be limited to that.

The design is flexible enough to grow in all axises in case it really kicks of and I need to move it to a separate location. But looking around in the apartment there's few things larger than a pinball machine, so I'll most likely be able to cut out any piece of furniture, toy or thingamajig I can think of - especially since the Y-axis is extendable indefinitely.

Another cool thing is that when the mechanic X,Y,Z axis are in place, the actual device can easily be changed into a 3D-printer, pick&place or a laser cutter etc. The driver board I've ordered alongside the motors is already prepared for powering external devices, and should the need arise, driver boards for additional axises can be purchased cheaply on Ebay.

After that, well...I'll be taking orders on stuff to fabricate!

(I'm actually planning on selling both blueprints and actual DIY CNC-machines when done...)


  1. Nice, I'll be very interested ;) Something like a shop bot would be awesome. TSlot is cheap (but its screws etc are NOT ugh). I have nearly everything I need for a reprap 3d printer here.. just debating if I will finish it now or work more on the pinball machine.

  2. Personally, I need a break from the pinball machine, hehe. I've been hunched over the machine almost 1.5 years now and deserve/need a little break. ;)

    My design is not the cheapest (I guess, but probably a lot cheaper if I'd actually live in the country I'm ordering from...) but from I've heard and read it should be very stable among the desktop/SME segment. I've using chain driven axises for x and y for maximum endurance. Screws (again, I've heard) have a tendency for backlash and is mechanically weaked by each turn due to friction. :)

    At the moment I'm currently debating whether I should build the machine large enough to cut out a full pinball machine, or "just" large enough to route playfield sized objects. It would be nice to have a somewhat portable device since my space is rather limited nowadays. Not to mention my girlfriends patience diminishing for each of my (unfinished) projects... :D