My MPCNC made in China

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This topic contains 354 replies, has 42 voices, and was last updated by  Mike Pensinger 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #23908

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    First, I would like to thank Vicious1 for sharing his awesome build with us, the design is very nice and so far it seems to work pretty well.

    I’ve started the construction of my MPCNC about one month ago and it is now almost finished and functional. Currently, it is able to do 3D printing and CNC cutting, I plan to add the laser and maybe other stuffs later.
    The size is about one square meter, and I should be able to print or mill objects about 70-80 cm height with a few modifications if I ever need it one day.

    I intend to use this MPCNC as a 3D printer for big projects, who necessitate to print oversized parts. So, I’ve chosen to use quite a big nozzle for it, with 1.2mm diameter, to be able to print at reasonable speeds.

    For now, when I use this machine as a CNC router, I mill objects with a simple dremel tool, but I plan to go for a big 1.5KW brushless motor soon, to be able to mill faster and, hopefully to be able to attack aluminum.

    I’ve printed all the parts on my Delta printer, they came out pretty good, thanks to all these drawings being optimized for 3D printing. The only issue I had was that they somehow came out a little too big, so the bearing were too loose on the tubes, I could not get contact of all the bearings at the same time. I’ve slightly bend the parts using a hot air gun to compensate for this play and now everything seems fine.

    The printer features endstops on all axis, as well as a custom made automated bed leveling probe, which works using an infrared sensor: basically, the print head crashes into the bed. The head being mounted on a pivot, it will move across the beam of the infrared light, telling the arduino that the head has touched the bed. So no need for any offset, the Arduino knows exactly where the printer is. I’m pretty happy with this system so far, it works really well.

    All the steppers motors are wired using RJ45 cables, which I find quite convenient tu use for this application.

    The tubes are totally overkill, these are some incredibly tough carbon steel precision tubes: impossible to bend, to drill or even to scratch. I had to use standard tubing for the Z axis since I fas totally unable to drill holes in the tough tubes, even with my drill press and my best drill bits.

    I’ve design the table myself, and I think it has some pretty interesting features:
    -The bed is adjustable in height for about 40 cm. This allow me either to print tall objects, or to mill big objects. Let’s say you have a little coffee table and you would like to engrave the table top, just low the bed, put your table on it and you can engrave it!
    -The MPCNC istelf is adjustable in height for a bit more than 25 cm, which can help in case or any special object too big to fit. I will use this feature only if I have no other choice, since the Higher the CNC is relatively to the table structure, the less rigid it will be.
    -The structure will be super strong. I did not glue it or install the reinforcements parts yet, but it will be sturdy as hell once finished due to the 90x90mm wood posts I’ve used for its construction
    -I plan to add a downdraft system to secure the workpieces in place. It should be easy with this type of design

    The only downside so far is that it is had to build this very precisely So you get everything square. Unless maybe if you have some good tools for woorworking, which I don’t really have. I have quite a bit of work yet to do to make everything square.

    Anyway, I could speak about it for hours, but maybe it’s time for some pictures now!

    All the 3D printed parts… took a while to get there:

    All the 3D printed parts... took a while to get there

    The central carriage
    The central carriage

    I had too much play in the central section, So I chose to put heat shrink on the tubes. I’ll see how long it will last
    I had too much play in the central section, So I chose to put heat shrink on the tubes. I'll see how long it will last

    The bed autoleveling support
    The bed autoleveling support

    If the little screw gets in the path of the IR beam, it opens the circuit
    If the little scre gets in the path of the IR beam, it opens the circuit

    First print test: not great but not too bad given the test conditions
    First print test: not great but not too bad given the test conditions

    Another calibration test. It’s incredibly fast with a 1.2mm nozzle, less than one hour to print this… It would take at least 3 with the delta, which is not exactly a slow printer!
    Another calibration test. It's incredibly fast with a 1.2mm nozzle, less than one hour to print this... It would take at least 3 with the delta, which is not exactly a slow printer!

    Time to design the table
    Time to design the table

    The bed can be moved up or down
    The bed can be moved up or down

    The MPCNC can be moved too
    The MPCNC can be moved too

    Time for woodworking now
    Time for woodworking now

    I’ve used the mortise and tenon technique, for maximum rigidity
    I've used the mortise and tenon technique, for maximum rigidity

    Frame completed
    Frame completed

    Installing the MPCNC on it
    Installing the MPCNC on it

    Some enclosures to protect the electronics
    Some enclosures to protect the electronics

    Testing it as a CNC
    Testing it as a CNC

    I’ve got very decent results, aside from one mistake I made (I didn’t tighten the dremel bit enough, so it got loose at some point)
    I've got very decent results, aside from one mistake I made (I didn't tighten the dremel bit enough, so it got loose at some point)

    A new 3D printer head that I will try soon. With that much cooling it should work great!
    A new 3D printer head that I will try soon. With that much cooling it should work great!

    Now the next steps are:
    -Square everything,
    -Glue the structure together
    -Apply a nice finishing
    -Put it on wheels
    -Install a “real” router motor (if compatible with my bank account, a big brushless)
    -Calibrate the printer and CNC correctly
    -Try the laser capabilities
    -lots of other long term improvements…

    Hope you enjoyed this presentation, see you !

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #23923

    Martin DB
    Participant

    Wow! Great built. It looks fantastic.

    #23924

    Gary
    Participant

    Prout
    I really like your table design with the adjustable height at the corners. I think it will work very well.
    Very cool detail.

    G

    #23926

    Barry
    Participant

    I’m digging that table!

    #23942

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Very nice, super quality build.

    #24204

    William
    Participant

    This is one of the more interesting builds I’ve seen, and I mean no disrespect to all the other really cool builds on this forum.
    Thanks for sharing!

    #24207

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Is that screen stand on thingiverse? I could really use it on the LowRider cnc.

    #25854

    Biloute
    Participant
    #25855

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    I’ve used several designs from thingiverse for the screen holder, modified them and found a way to assemble them all together. I’ll try to retrieve those on my other computer for you.

    #25997

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Here are the 2 parts I’ve modified/created for the screen support:
    -The part which fits around the casing (you will need supports to get a good result)
    -The modified bracket, that you simply screw to the first one.

    I need to retrieve the other parts which constitutes the arm, they should be somewhere on thingiverse but the seach function of their website is horrible, it’s a pain in the ass to find what you want every time…

    Anyway, let me know if those work for you. I used Tinkercad to make them.

    #25998

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Well… it seems like I cannot add stl files “for security reasons”
    Could this policy be changed? I think exchanging stl files or even gcodes, svg or whatever CNC/3D printing related content should be pretty common on this forum

    For now I’ve modified the extensions to .jpg to try if this works. If you can see the .jpg files, just download them, change the .jpg extension to .stl and it should work.

    #26000

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Well, it doesn’t work either. No choice but to wait for this issue to be fixed then 😉
    Sorry…

    #26001

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Thank you for trying. I have designed a different mount since I asked. Im sure peiple would love for you to put this option on thingiverse though.

    As for the forums any file other than a picture should get zipped. Zip files save bandwidth and prevent malware issues.

    #26658

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    A few updates on my CNC:

    I painted the frame to protect the wood:

    I’ve designed some reinforcement brackets to make the frame even stiffer. I’ve used some 6mm sheet plywood which has been cut with the MPCNC. Turns out they help quite a lot, it is super rigid now.

    I will redesign my table top. I made the first version in a hurry, so it is not square at all, neither flat. I realized that it was quite an issue while making my first cuts, with almost 2mm of difference between the highest and lowest spots, so I will change it for something different:
    -I needed to find a way to cut all of this using the CNC (which is the only way I have to get perfect 90 degree angles and accurate dimensions)
    -I wish it to be light enough to make height adjustments easier and provide more adjustments capabilities
    -It must allow me to replace the sacrificial board easily
    -It must let me the possibility of reinforcing easily the middle of the board if it turns out that it is absolutely necessary.

    The next steps will be:
    -Purchase some nice caster wheels, to move the CNC around the shop easily
    -Create a convenient 220V power system, with variable speed for the router
    -Better arrange my cables and find appropriate spots for my electronics
    -Find a way to get a longer cable for the screen, I would like to be able to move around all the table while bringing the screen with me. Does anyone have a good suggestion about screen cables? The longest ones I’ve found so far are only 70cm long, I would like to avoid doing this cable by myself since it will be a great pain to do it and I’m not sure it will even work properly if too long…
    -Find a nice way to collect the dust. I think I will design my own vacuum system, building parts out of wood using the CNC.
    -Maybe build an enclosure, but I have to weight the pros and cons about it.

    Still quite a lot of work to do, but most of the big work is already done.

    #26926

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Well, since the pictures didn’t shw up, for some reason, and since I cannot edit my previous messages, for some other reason, here they are:

    Hope it will finally work this time…

    #27096

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    New updates:
    The new table is almost ready, just need to do the corners reinforcements and I’m waiting for my new MDF spoil boards to arrive.

    I’ve installed the caster wheels, so much more convenient, I should have done that earlier…

    Once the table will be finished, I’ll really have to tackle the dust collection system. For now, I’m thinking of building my own system from scratch, using the CNC to mill an impeller, casing, cyclone separator and filter box. I would like to come with a design compact enough, mobile and, more importantly, silent.

    For now, the biggest inconvenience I have with the CNC, aside from the dust, is certainly the noise. I would like to reduce it because I think otherwise my neighbors will start to hate me. I’m still in the thinking process for this part, so any thought or suggestion is welcome.

    #27102

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Noise is a big complaint but the bit hitting the material is very loud by itself. The 660 is louder for sure but a silent spindle is still going to have the sound of cutting which is really loud unless you use light passes.

    #27103

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Yes, the bit grinding the material is the main noise source (but my spindle motor is also very very noisy by itself).

    So I’m thinking about ways to block this noise at the source. I would like to avoid building a big enclosure bulky and inconvenient.
    My idea so far would be to create a dust shoe that would act as a noise shield. The main issue is that this dust shoe would have to stay at a constant height, as close as possible to the wood surface. So it should be attached directly to the gantry, not to the Z axis.
    I would also need to create a system of quick lift for it, in order to make visual checks or to change tools.

    I have some very thick rubber (same kind they put on the floor of gym centers) which I think could do the trick to build this system (I would 3d print the dust shoe, then use the milling machine to create a rubber cover that would match exactly the external surface of it.

    I’m just not sure how I can do it yet, nor if it would work. I’ll try that if I don’t get any better suggestion.

    #27741

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Great, apparently the pictures came back, for some weird reason. XD

    My table is finally completed, I received the MDF tops and installed everything. Just need to paint it.

    I made these little sliding blocks which act as supports for the whole table. Because they can slide, I can use them as leveling devices so that my table stays perfectly flat relatively to the router. So far it seems to work flawlessly, but I will need to reinforce the center of the table since it isn’t perfectly flat. Either that, or I could just add another layer of MDF to make the whole thing thicker, which is probably better since the heavier the table is, the better. Or a combination of both.

    Now it is time for a dust collection system…

    #27886

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Just finished the first “prototype” of dust shoe.

    As usual, a few pics:

    The dust shoe had been 3D printed, the “white stuff” (don’t know how this is supposed to be called in english…) is made out of some relatively soft plastic I had around. I’ll test this material and if it works fine I’ll try to replace it by a transparent one.

    Dust will be sucked up by these 2 PVC tubes. I prefered this solution over one big tube because I thought it would lower the constraints on the Z avis (the weight is closer to the gantry) and because I thought it will suck better no matter which direction the CNC is running.

    This is the manifold which connects both PVC tubes to the vacuum cleaner tube. I’ve designed this part and 3D printed it. It seems pretty sturdy so I’m confident it won’t break. I tried to avoid sharp angles to keep a good air flow.

    Covered the tubes with carbon vinyl to make them lighter. Very useful if you plan to use your CNC on a race track. This is a view of the system just before I mounted it on my machine:

    The system installed on my MPCNC, I used a standard 90 degree 40mm PVC fitting I had liying around. It allows me to snug fit the vacuum hose. I’ll probably change this later to a more reliable thing but so far it did work nicely.

    So, I made some tests to see if it worked and so far I’m pretty satisfied! I couldn’t run the CNC for too long since it was a bit too late and I didn’t really want my neighbors to gut me, but it did seem to catch up most of the chips and dust. So far I call it a win!

    I’ll try this system for my next jobs and see if it works fine enough or if I need to upgrade to something better/different.

    Next step will be to do a proper 220V wiring, and probably an enclosure on the side to better protect the electronics.

    #27888

    Brian
    Participant

    Looks great. I’ve enjoyed following

    #27911

    Barry
    Participant

    Don’t forget you’re going to need a way to hang the vac hose, or it’s going to pull on your z assembly. Mine is hanging off the ceiling by some bungie cords.

    #27958

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    @brian: Thanks for the kind comment! It is just the beginning though, once the CNC will be completed I will experiment with big 3D prints, then laser later. So there are still a lot of improvements/modifications to come. The MPCNC is really a great tool to experiment with.

    @Barry: Yes, this is a problem. I cannot drill holes in my ceiling, since I just rent the place. So I’ll have to think about another way. I don’t want the hose to put too much force on the Z axis, so I’ll have to come with a good idea for that. So far, the idea I have is to put a rigid hose vertically in one of the corners, high enough, and then connect it to the Z axis assembly via a flexible one. The rigid hose could serve as a pillar with perpendicular supports who could help to support the flexible hose.

    So far the idea is not entirely clear in my head, I’ll have to test it and see how this could be done.

    Meanwhile, I’ll just try it like this, with the vacuum cleaner on the side and see if this is actually really necessary.

    #27959

    Barry
    Participant

    The cnc tables I used to work around have vac pipes run the way you’re talking about. They were tilted over the table though, and could pivot.
    https://www.esko.com/en/products/kongsberg-cutting-tables/kongsberg-x

    #27964

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Thanks for the link, interesting 🙂

    That’s similar to what I was thinking. The only issue I have so far is that I don’t really know how I could ensure the things pivoting while keeping them sufficiently air tight and rigid, while avoiding sharp angles that will limit the air flow.
    The easiest way will be to make them fixed, but I prefer the rigid part to move around so that the force exerced by the flexible part remains somewhat the same, no matter where the Z axis is located on the table.

    #27967

    Bill
    Participant

    Build a bearing into the part that mounts on the table to allow the tube that’s inside the mount to swivel

    #29433

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Hi guys,
    I’ll recapitulate here the last modifications and developments of the previous weeks, since they are spread in different threads around the forum:

    First, a completely new bearing system to replace the original skateboard bearings:

    The new motor carriages:

    The new design for the center carriage:

    The new central carriage installed on the MPCNC:

    So far it works really great. Super smooth with no other resistance that the belt tension, no play at all, seems perfect. I just have to print a few parts to protect them from the dust, but nothing very complicated to do.

    I’ve now made some progress on fitting a plasma cutter on the MPCNC, originally planned to test last weekend but it was unfortunately raining too much to put the CNC outside (plasma cutting is not something that should be done indoors without good ventilation).

    Made a new Z axis for that, I’ll protect the plastic parts using some aluminum tape and/or Kapton if heat turns out to be an issue:

    I’ve also added a relay to command the plasma cutter using gcode command M106.

    Next step will be to try quickly if this works, and if the results are positive I’ll just have to make another table top for plasma cutting.

    #29435

    Jim Hildebrandt
    Participant

    It’s nice to see a plasma cutter on your machine, I hope to do that as well sometime. With your linear bearing mods I bet its very smooth. Your machine upgrades are fun to keep up with.

    #29615

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Hi Guys,
    I was saying yesterday that it would be nice if someone could come up with an adjustable dust shoe that could be fixed on the gantry instead of the Z axis. Then I thought “why should I wait for someone to design it while I can try myself?”

    So, I made a first design and printed the parts. Here is how it looks like:

    Simply two 8mm rods that can slide on those round brackets, which are fixed on the gantry just before the nuts:

    Those rods will be attached to the dust shoe, allowing to adjust the height.

    I still have to make a few adjustments but I think it should work.

    I left a lot of holes on top of the dust shoe for cooling the motor in case I’ll have to put the dust shoe at maximum height, but most of the time it won’t so I’ll just cover them with tape.

    If this works, I’ll probably do another version with a polycarbonate window on top.
    This design will probably be easy to adapt for any MPCNC, no matter what router you’re using. Anyway, I’ll see how this turns out.

    I’m also working on a giant 60 cm Z axis for 3D printing big parts using a big nozzle, not sure that it will work fine in terms of accuracy but it costs me nothing to try it, so why not? And If it doesn’t, then I’ll just have to cut it smaller.

    I’ve made a new Print head support integrating my Z probe, much stiffer than the previous one.

    I still hadn’t the opportunity to try my plasma cutter, I hope I’ll be able to this weekend

    #29616

    Martin DB
    Participant

    Good idea! Thank you for sharing.

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