CNC Kits

“Build Your Own CNC Machine”
Many options have risen in the DIY CNC market, and one such DIY machine that shows up every once in a while is based on the design detailed in the book Build Your Own CNC Machine. This book provides a basic overview on construction of a machine, basic CNC principles, electronics, software, and use. While it is affordable, it is certainly marketed to the lower end and cheaper user. Most hobbyist (in my experience) generally demand a more robust and capable machine for the money. This book claims that this machine can be built for $800 (2), while many better machines can be had for the same price. Still, the book is worth a quick look on Amazon or at your local library, as it does cover a lot of things to consider when building your own machine.

Solslyva 25x25

Solslyva 25x25

SOLSYLVA
One of the most successful wood based low budget CNC designs is that of David Steele, who publishes some of the most popular build plans on the market on his website, Solsylva.com. While his work is self published, his influence on the community cannot be understated, and he has provided an excellent product that has influenced and benefited many home CNC hobbyist. Most online forums dedicated to home built CNC’s include multiple threads from users current building or have built a machine using these plans. Many of the leaders on these forums also have built a Solsylva as their first machine, and recommend them to others.

Steel currently offers 5 different plans which range from $10 to $40 and each feature different machines for different applications (Plans). The purchased plans include step by step directions on construction for the entire machine. It has many pictures, drawings, and diagrams which clearly illustrate construction for the entire process. Where the plans stop short is electronics and software. Much of this information is readily available on the website, but can also easily be found elsewhere.

The tooling required is fairly minimal, which is a great bonus for many users who do not have a full shop of tools. Most of the stock can be cut to length, drilled and assembled which gives beginners an advantage over many other designs. What is most impressive about these machines is the ease of construction without sacrificing durability and performance. Over all, the Solsyva plans and website are very worth while. While there are more robust machines out there, the bang for the buck given by David Steele is unparalleled in the entire CNC community. His unspoken philosophy seems to be “do less with more,” a concept Congress cannot seem to grasp. His website has a lot of highly condensed useful information that is valid to any entry level hobby machinist. If you are a beginner wanting to wet your feet in the CNC world, Solsylva is an excellent first step. If you are a bit more advanced and have good fabrication skills, then I would suggest looking over the website and glazing what information you can find, and then moving on.

Joes Hybrid

Joes Hybrid

JOES HYBRID
Joes Hybrid CNC is a popular option for many DIY builders. It is mostly an 80/20 and MDF build, and has a very good track record for high quality builds. Cost ranges from $1200 to $3000. As you might guess from the name, Joes design is a hybrid MDF and 80/20 solution, which has been very well recieved in the community. It’s modular design has also allowed for many upgrades and modifications, and as a result the community has slowly improved this design. While the fabrication skills required are a bit more then needed for the Solsylva, the design is suited for a bit heavier work. Joes Hybrid has also been known to work with rack and pinion system, which could benefit you depending on your needs.

CNC ROUTER PARTS
A new player on the field has been the rise of CNCRouterParts.com. Their modular system has opened up many high quality options for building, and the choices involved when building a machine with their parts is unparalleled. It is of little wonder why this newcommer has taken the DIY market by storm. CNCRP easily allows the options for a rack and pinion design, or the traditional ballscrews, depending on your needs. They also have thier own flavor of linear bearings, which use a specially designed truck that is made to fit over cold rolled steel flat bar. CNCRP makes use of 80/20 extrusions, and most parts bolt right up to thier imperial line up.

The quality of your machine is directly proportional to how you design your 80/20. This is a great advantage, as you can choose how light or heavy of a machine you would like to build based on your needs. Also, all of thier parts can be purchased single quantity, which allows you to work parts of thier system into your own design. Thier rack and pinion systems have gained a lot of support, and is commonly seen in many designs.