to CNC Routers
(page 1 of 2)
this is your first attempt at finding out about CNC Routers, you will
be glad to know that this field has made great gains in the area of
affordability in the last couple of years. CNC Routers are now
being used in many home shops and small shops.
look at the parts that make up a CNC Router. You can divide
the parts into the following functions:
base - The mechanical base is the basic frame and structure
that hold everything together. For my current machine I have used
aluminum extrusions. The frame could be made out of a number of
- Linear rails
and bearings - The linear rails and bearings can be the
most expensive part of a CNC Router system. There are a number of
different rails and bearings being used on small CNC Routers.
The most common are the rails and bearings made by THK, IKO and
Star. They are the best, but the most expensive. On
my new machine I am using Bishop-Wisecarver "V" wheels
on the Y axis. The Bishop-Wisecarver "V" wheels
are a less expensive and are ideal for the Y axis. There
are other rails and bearings being developed. One is the new
Black Diamond linear guides. They look similar to the IKO
rails, but use a plastic insert in place of ball bearings.
Motors - Stepper motors are a unique type of motor. They
move in discreet steps. A typical step would be 1.8 degrees of rotation
(full step). They can also be moved in half step, quarter step and
micro step. If you are interested in how they work internally,
just do a search on the internet and you will find all the information
that you will ever need.
Motors. Servo motors can be used in place of stepper motors.
Servo motors are starting to replace stepper motors for many applications.
- Lead Screws
or Ball Screws - On my system stepper motors are connected to
lead screws. The lead screws are attached to the moveable elements
of the X, Y and Z axis. This gives the machine movement on
all three axis.
or Servo motor drivers - This is the one item that we have seen
a dramatic drop in price in the last year with the introduction
of some very nice drives from Gecko drives www.geckodrive.com.
The drivers are the key element that makes the stepper or servo
with page 2
people inspire the rest"
2005 Bob Campbell Designs
Last updated on 5/5/05