DIY CNC

4-axis CNC Milling machine

Born out of necessity of machining hard materials such as aluminium and steel, I designed and built a 4-axis CNC milling machine.  I wanted to fill the gap between existing amateur low-cost kits and high-end professional systems.  This typology does not really exist on the European market, especially with a price tag below 5.000€, so I decided to build my own one.

The goal was to make it very sturdy for processing metal with high accuracy, but also light and small to enable packing and shipping. An ‘Evolutionary Structure Optimisation’ method helped me to optimise the design of the frame and get rid of the un-necessary material.

This project took about 6 weeks in total including researching, designing, BOM listing, part ordering and manufacturing. A custom made sealed enclosure ensures sound and dust proof.  A drip channelling in the metal base allows ‘clean room environment’ for liquid coolants and oils.

Later on a more professional system has been built with a friend in his workshop. This CNC shares the same principles: reliability and affordability, but on a much larger scale and with a different end effector (HD plasma cutting instead of milling).  With a working area of 2000×6000 mm and the option of rotary tube cutting, this machine can pierce and cut steel up to 25 mm thickness.