Cnc frame diy

Cnc frame diy DEFAULT

CNC Milling Machine Frame [Complete DIY Guide]

[ CNC Milling Machine Parts Home ]

cnc milling machine

A CNC Milling Machine Frame supports the machine and provides rigidity to resist cutting forces. Typically, there is a base with a detachable column.  Here’s a few different frames to give an idea:

Tormach Milling Machine Frame

tormach milling machine frame

John Grimsmo takes delivery on his Tormach PCNC 1100…

Here’s a Tormach frame, it’s a typical L-shape with a column bolted to the large base.  The base is lighter colored.  That’s a stand underneath it.

Full-Sized Hurco VMC Frame

For comparison, here’s a full-sized VMC Frame:

cnc milling machine frame full size vmc

It’s not unlike the Tormach, it’s just radically beefier.  We’ve still got an L-shape with the column bolted to the base.

What About Knee Mills?

Most every machinist knows about Knee Mills. The iconic Bridgeport Mill is a fixture in many shops.

There was an era when CNC Knee Mills ruled, but it has passed.  The two frame designs shown above are similar, and they are not Knee Mills.  Instead, they’re what’s called “Bed Mills”.  To learn more about why Knee Mills are less suited to CNC (though you can still buy plenty of brand new CNC Knee Mills), read our article about Bridgeport Knee Mills.

Materials for CNC Milling Machine Frames

CNC Milling Machine Frames are most commonly made of cast iron. Other possibilities include aluminum or weldments with epoxy granite fill.

The two key considerations in a machine frame are:

  1. Stiffness or Rigidity: The frame must resist distortion as cutting and other forces are applied to it.
  2. Damping:  The frame should cause any vibrations to dampen quickly lest there be chatter or at least bad surface finish in the machine work.

Cast Iron has excellent dampening and rigidity.  Steel, on the other hand, is quite stiff, but its damping is poor, so it is seldom used.  The exception would be when there is some other mechanism for damping than the sheer mass and material.  A great example would be steel weldments filled with epoxy granite.

Epoxy Granite is a mixture of epoxy resin and rocks of various sizes ranging from sand up to small pebbles.  What happens with vibration is there is friction in the surface area between the resin and the rocks.  The various sizes resist different frequencies of vibration to different extents.  Epoxy Granite is a wonderful damper, but it has little strength, so we use a welded steel container for the epoxy granite to provide strength.

Here’s a sketch I made of a possible steel weldment and epoxy granite frame for a CNC Router:

Steel weldment and epoxy granite filled table…

Aluminum is another material that’s often used in DIY Machine Frames, particularly when we talk about aluminum extrusions such as 8020 extrusions but also aluminum plate.  It is more desirable than steel from a damping standpoint and it also has the desirable property that it doesn’t need to be stress relieved.  Steel and Cast Iron have internal stresses that can cause the material to distort when machined.  With aluminum, you’ll have no such problems.

epoxy granite fill

RF-45 milling machine base filled with Epoxy Granite for damping…

Epoxy Granite fills are fascinating.  I did a fill on my original RF-45 CNC Mill and it noticeably improved the performance.  Read all about how to do it in my article on Epoxy Granite fills.

Effect of Frame on Machine Performance

Stiffness and Damping are important to CNC work.  If the machine frame bends too much when cutting forces are applied, it causes a lot of problems:

  • Lousy tool life (similar to tool deflection)
  • Poor accuracy: It’s hard to cut accurately when the cutter is moving around from where it should be.
  • Poor surface finish

In the photos above, you can see just how beefy industrial VMC frames are.  DIY frames almost never reach those levels of rigidity and damping, so how well do those machines perform?

It turns out we can model their performance by looking at the amount of mass in the frame versus the machine’s work envelope versus the spindle horsepower.  The work envelope is the total volume the cutter can reach.  A relatively lightweight frame can be extremely accurate if it only has to deal with a small work envelope. Alternatively, if spindle power is low enough, it won’t be able to distort the frame as much.  These variables trade off.

Here’s a fascinating little machine that didn’t cost much to build and is extremely accurate:

I’ve got an entire article about it, and if all you’re interested in is engraving hobo nickels, it would be a lot of fun.  On the other hand, most of us want a larger work envelope for our projects.

So what’s the trade-off?

I did this analysis of spindle power versus machine weight of commercial VMC’s:

After further research, I was able to develop a feature for our G-Wizard Calculator that automatically de-rates your spindle horsepower (if needed) to the maximum your machine’s frame can handle and still be in the low end of VMC rigidity.  It’s pretty slick and has been especially useful for folks with machines that have rigidity problems.  I’ve had customers tell me their machines basically went from being maddeningly inconsistent to tame and easy to use.

You might find the calculator is also helpful in determine how much frame you need or conversely, how powerful a spindle you can fit on your frame before it’s too much.

Sources for DIY CNC Machine Frames

It’s hard for a DIY CNC’er to build a rigid and well-dampened frame from scratch.  Think about it.  Are you in a position to create heavy cast iron frames?  Do you have access to a foundry that can pour the molten cast iron?  Can you weight a year or so while your castings season and release internal stresses?

Most will say they can’t deal with any of that.  This leaves a few other approaches available–they can try a fabrication technique that will work, or they can cannibalize the frame of a donor manual milling machine.  The latter is by far the most common approach, although we do see folks having a go with aluminum.  I have yet to see someone try the steel weldment and epoxy granite approach, but personally I think that’s the one most likely to produce a high performance CNC machine from scratch.

Building a frame like that is a bit beyond our scope, so let’s instead focus on Manual Milling Machine Donors.  Note that it’s a different story for CNC Routers and Plasma Tables.  Their frames are almost fabricated by the DIY CNC’er.  We’ll talk more about those techniques in another article, but for now, just consider that those approaches typically just aren’t good enough for a decent CNC Mill.

Manual Milling Machine Donors

Someone somewhere has probably converted every commonly available type of manual milling to CNC.  If you already have a manual mill, get out there and Google for ideas from others on how to convert it.

But, if you haven’t gotten one yet, just know that they’re not all equal.  There are pros and cons to consider.  The good news is that I have a complete article on how to choose the best Donor Mill for your CNC project.  Be sure to check it out!


Build your own CNC router Step 2
The Frame and Base

When you design and build your own CNC router, one of the first considerations is the base and frame. Although another practice is to actually design from the top down, but well start at the bottom and work our way up.

The Base and Frame Overview
The base and frame of a CNC router is the main structural element of your machine.The base and frame is what holds everything together. This is what will determine your motor placement and lead screw placement along with everything else.

The frame and base design will be determined partially by the materials and supplies that you have, the number of lead screws lead screws , and motors your budget allow etc. However, we need to become familiar with different designs so that you may buy parts that fit your design.

If you can not find or can’t afford the parts for the design you would like. Then it’s back to the drawing board to optimize the design for the materials you do have. This will likely happen a lot when you build your own CNC router.

When you look at other homemade CNC router designs, you may notice that almost ever unit is different. Although this is true, you can break down these designs into categories.

The X-Axis Base and Frame
When you build your own CNC router, the X-axis frame should also act as the base for the machine as the X-axis should be the axis closest to the ground. This portion of the machine will perform 3 primary tasks.

1) Act as the base for the machine
2) Support the X axis linear motion system
3) Support the cutting table

Lets look at the most common designs for the base.

Fully Supported Frame
The fully supported base is one of the best designs and is the design used on most industrial or professional routers.

The image above shows only the base and does not show the gantry. Pay no attention to the type of linear bearings.

The fully supported design means that both the Y and X axis may rest on the floor or some other structure. There is nothing connecting the gantry across the Y-axis. This allows for a very sturdy design and is not susceptible to the cutting table or the structure itself flexing under its own or external weight.

In order for this system to flex or deform, the material itself would need to compress.

Keep in mind we are not talking about massive amounts of flex. This all ties back in to the Step 1 on how to build your own CNC router. Where you should already have some idea as to the desired precisions and accuracy you want your machine to hold. A deformation of 0.001” is acceptable if you only expect 0.010” accuracy from your machine.

There are drawbacks with this design, the cost. You will need and extra lead screw, lead nut, and motor. You may employ a fully supported frame design with one motor using a pulley and belt system, but you will need to make sure you motor is up to the task. We will cover how to calculate that in the CNC drive system section. With this design you can get away with a lighter material as it will be supported against the ground or some other structure. Now let’s look at another design.

Fully Supported Frame vs. Fully Supported Bearing Rods/Rails

When we say “fully supported” in this section, we mean that there is nothing obstructing sweeping across that axis during operation.

Later we will discuss fully and end supported linear bearing systems, but that is not the focus in this section. We are focusing on the frame itself.

It is possible to have a fully supported linear bearing system and not have a fully supported frame. You can see this in the Solsyva design below.

Partially Supported X-axis Fully Supported Y-axis Frame

The more common design with most hobby CNC routers out there is the partially supported X or Y-axis.

The image above illustrates a supported Y-axis and a end supported X-axis frame. This is the most common design.

The gantry would have an undercarriage that would connect the gantry to the lead screw. With this setup you could have a “fully supported” linear rails or rods setup. . However, the rods or rails would still be able to flex with the frame itself.

You may only support the frame on the ends since there must be clearance between the ground and the frame to allow the gantry undercarriage to move along the X-axis. In the image above, the Y-axis would be considered supported since you could have a frame that would not interfere with the gantry movement.

The frame across the Y-axis would prevent flexing for that axis. This would mean the cutting bed would be very rigid in the Y-axis but could flex or deform along the X-axis.

With the design above, even if the frame were made of solid aluminum measuring 1-1/2’’ by 4-1/2’’ and the X-axis span were 60 inches, the frame would “sag” .01 inches in the center, just under its own weight. That does not include the weight of the gantry or anything else.

You can understand that this would be an issue if I’m trying to design a machine to hole a tolerance of 0.001’’ in the Z-axis. It is true that the machine would flex as a whole and could be compensated. However, the machine could vibrate and bounce when cutting creating lines in the work. If your machine has a relatively small X-axis span, this design works well and is probably the easiest to setup. There are other solutions.

Partially Supported Y- axis Fully Supported X-axis

Let’s say I have only one motor and lead screw for the X-axis and still wish to maintain a high tolerance on my machine. I could move the Y-axis gantry assembly inside the frame which would allow me to fully support the X-axis because the gantry would not cut under the X-axis frame. However in that situation, the Y-axis frame would not be fully supported.

As you can see in this design, the longer X-axis is fully supported (on the ground), however the gantry would cut through any frame in the Y-axis inside the cutting area.

This means that no matter how much weight I put on the gantry or cutting table (not pictured), the X-axis frame would only deform if the material itself deformed.

With this design, the cutting bed would need to have its own frame and could “sag” in the center. However, he machine itself would be constant and once the cutting bed is installed, you could true the cutting table surface by plain the surface with the machine.

The cutting bed would then be true to the machine.

When you design or build your own CNC router, you need to decide which is more important. Have the machine remain constant or have the cutting bed and the machine flex together. We will cover this more when we discuss the cutting bed.

There are other alternatives when you build or design your own CNC router. One way to obtain a fully supported router is to do away with the gantry undercarriage and have the lead screw connect at the top of the gantry or have 2 lead screws high on each side. You may see this application in the Solsyva designs. They offer these blueprints on how to build your own CNC router.

However, with a single lead screw up high above the gantry, it makes access to the cutting bed somewhat difficult. This design works well for smaller machines that you wish to be mobile. For instance, a CNC router designed to carve shapes on wood flooring.

The Mobile bed design

The mobile bed or movable bed design approaches the CNC router frame differently. With a mobile bed CNC router, like the one pictured above, you may have a fully supported frame and bearing system for the X-axis without compromising any structural framing.

With this design you also only require one motor and lead screw for the X-axis. Because the lead screw attaches to the bed itself and there is no undercarriage for the gantry, the bearings and frame would not be in the way. This is advantageous because if you want design and build your own CNC router, the chances are you want to save as much money as possible.

The bed must also only support its weight and the weight of the material you will be cutting. It does not hold the weight of the gantry itself. However, this design may be inefficient for larger designs as we discussed in step one.

Other Considerations
When you design and build your own CNC router, the material you use to construct the frame will play a big role in the design of the frame.

Different materials will deform differently. Keep the material consideration in mind as you choose a frame design. Most popular materials are:

1) MDF

2) Plywood

3) Aluminum Stock

4) 80/20 Structural aluminum.

5) Steel

Keep the materials in mind as you think of how to build your CNC router.

In later sections of this guide we will discuss bearing placement, lead screw and motor placement, and other design features. All of which should be considered when you build your own CNC router.

For now just review and consider your options for the base and X-axis. When you design or build your own CNC router, you may decide to employ some elements from each design.

If you try to rush the process and forget to consider these design issues when you build your own CNC router, then you may be setting yourself back.

Before you set anything in stone, let’s take a look at the Y-axis gantry and the Z-axis frame assemblies.

Go back to Step 1: How to build a CNC router

Step 3: Designing and Building the Y-axis and Z-axis Frame

Homepage from how to build your own CNC router

We add and edit this information on how to design and build your own CNC router. Stay up to date with our RSS feed.

  1. Check into cash western union
  2. Rtx wallpaper
  3. Denison yachts
  4. South berwick dump

Introduction: Building Your Own CNC Router/milling Machine

Already when I was little I was thinking of making a machine which could make things! A machine which would give me the opportunity to create products for in and around the house. Years later I stumbled on the words 'Computer Numerical Control' or more specifically the CNC milling machine. After I found out people were able to build one themselves in their own shed, I knew it!
For three months I tried to find the proper parts (A dremeltool, drawer slides, pieces of wood, etc.), but I didn't really know how to build a CNC. The idea fell into oblivion.

In August 2013 the idea to build a CNC milling machine captivated me again. I just finished the first year of my bachelor in Industrial Design, so I was confident enough to start a build. The real difference between now and 5 years ago was, I learned to work with metal on manual milling machines and lathes and above all I had the right tools to design a machine.

This Instructable will show you how I built my CNC milling machine. I know a lot of CNC dreamers do not have the knowledge or tools to build a full metal machine. I still think and hope this Instructable inspires you to make your own machine. I include all of the necessary steps I went through in designing and building this CNC milling machine.

Step 1: The Design and CAD Model

It all started with a proper design, in my case a few sketches to get a good feeling for the dimensions and shape. Quickly after the sketching phase came the CAD model. I created my model in SolidWorks. If you plan to design your own machine I recommend a parametric CAD-modeling tool. Your machine will most likely have a lot of parts which have to fit together neatly, sometimes with some strange dimensions (for example pre-ordered parts). After all the parts were modeled, technical drawings were made. I used these drawings to machine all of the custom parts on the manual lathe and milling machine.

Since I'm a lover of good designed tools, I tried to make maintenance and the possibility to adjust things on the machine as easy as possible. Bearings could have been integrated in the machine, but I chose to place them in separate bearing blocks (in case it needs to be replaced in the future). Keeping your machine clean is very important too, so guiderails are all accessible (in case of the x-axis by detaching some cover plates)

Step 2: The Frame

The frame provides the machine a rigid basis, not only to place it in your workshop but also for working on. To the frame the gantry will be mounted on sliding rails and later on a work surface. It also houses the stepper motor and spindle for the x-axis. I constructed my frame from 2 Maytec 40x80mm profiles, 2 endplates (both 10 mm thick aluminium), 4 corner pieces and a square structural piece.
All of the profiles are sawed right-angled and afterward milled exactly square. With the corner pieces a heavy (well relatively lightweight; it's all aluminium) frame was bolted together. The square frame made from the smaller profiles were mounted with 4 milled blocks (aluminium) on the inside of the Maytec profiles.

Since the frame sits beneath the worksurface dust could fall down on the guiderails (you want to keep them clean, more about that in step 5). To prevent this, dust covers were made and mounted around the guiderails. A angular profile mounted with brass milled t-nuts onto the may tech frame and 2mm aluminium plates mounted in the milled pockets on the endplates.

On both endplates bearing blocks are mounted for the spindle. They were hand milled and lathed to the right tolerances. On the front endplate mounting slots for the stepper motor were milled

Step 3: The Gantry

The gantry is the bridge between the x-axis guiderails and supports your milling motor above the workpiece. The higher you make it, the thicker the workpiece can be. There is however a disadvantage of high gantries. They work as levers on the guiderails and on the other hand the side plates tend to bend more easily by making them longer.

Most of the work I planned to do with the CNC involved milling aluminium parts. An average vise for the machine would be 60 mm high. Since the thickest blocks of aluminium easily available for me would be 60 mm high as well, I chose to space between the work surface and the piece of metal, which could hit the workpiece first, to be 125 mm. This gave me a starting point for the side plates. Since I wanted the center of an end mill hovering over the center of the runnigblocks (from the machines side view), the side plates had to be placed at an angle. Solidworks helped me to convert all of the measurements into the final parts. Because of all the complex dimensions I decided to mill these parts on an industrial CNC mill, this also gave me the opportunity to round all of the corners (would have been very hard to mill on a manual mill).

The part which supports the y-axis guiderails is formed out of an 5mm thick U-profile. It is mounted between the side plate with the help of two simple mounting blocks. On the inside the U-profile houses the y-axis spindle. Which is again supported by the same bearing blocks used for the x-axis. They are mounted on the outside of the side plates.

Beneath the main frame a plate was mounted on the underside of the gantry's side plates, giving a mounting point for the x-axis spindle nut.

Step 4: Last Movement

The last movement is what I call the Stepermotorhousing for the z-axis (plus the z-axis itself of course). It is constructed out of a frontplate mounted on the y-axis linear guiderails, 2 reinforcement plates, a motor mount and a backplate. On the front plate 2 linear guiderails were mounted for the z-axis onto which the Mountingplate for the milling motor was placed with the runner blocks.

The motor mount has the bearing for the z-axis spindle fitted into it. So I didn't use a bearing block for this spindle and is only supported on the top. he lower end is floating behind the mounting plate for the milling motor. The spindle nut for the Z-axis was directly bolted on the mounting plate for the milling motor.
The backplate provides a spot for the y-axis spindle nut to be mounted; it is mounted on the inside.

All of the custom mechanics are now ready. The CNC is assembled with the guiderails, spindles and a lot of bolts ;-)

Step 5: Guide Rails

Since your endmills need to move in 3 directions, the machine guides them with its guide rails. The guide rails provides the machine its rigidity in all directions except the one it moves in. You want them to let the machine only move in the preferred direction. Any backlash in other directions results in inaccuracies in your workpieces.
On my machine I wanted to use guideways supported on the full length of the rail, reducing the risk for deflections on the longer axes.
In my opinion some kitchen drawer slides are preferred above the hardened steel rods which are supported on the end (yes! they will deflect). Since you are constantly fighting the forces from the endmills against the material of the workpiece, a lot of support is recommended.
I chose the most expensive option; profiled linear guide rails with runner blocks. The are designed to receive forces in all directions. In the third picture you can see the looping bearing balls, they are positioned on both sides of the profile. All with a tangent 45 degree relative to each other, giving it the ability to handle high loads.

To get all guiderails perpendicular and parallel to each other they were all aligned with a dial indicator (with a maximum difference of 0,01 mm). If you spent your time on this part, the machine will perform very well in accuracy!

Step 6: Spindles and Pulleys

The spindles translate the rotational movement from the stepper motors into a linear movement. When building your machine, you can choose between three different version; leadscrews or ball screws, either in metric or Imperial configuration. The main difference between leadscrews and ball screws is the accuracy and friction. Leadscrews tend to have a lot more friction and are less precise than ball screws. If your looking for a very accurate machine without any backlash, you should definitely consider ball screws. However, they are relatively expensive!

I chose to use leadscrews with a special plastic drivenut which reduce friction and are approach a backlash free system. You can order the drive nuts here:\

Both the ends of the x- and y-axis have to be turned to size to fit the bearings, pulleys and clamping nuts. Since the z-axis spindle is only supported on one and with a bearing, it is turned on only one side.

The pulleys are drilled to the turned shaft size (in my case 8 mm) and provided with a M4 setscrew perpendicular to the shafthole.

Step 7: Worksurface

The work surface is the place you will clamp your pieces of material on. On a lot of professional machine a T-slotted bed is used, giving you the option the use T-nuts and bolts to clamp your materials or vices. I chose to use a square piece of 18 mm birch-plywood on which a screw the materials and replace it when needed. An affordable work surface! You could also use Mdf with anchor nuts and bolts. Try to avoid screws and nails in Mdf, it doesn't grip them as good as a plywood board.

The work surface could be milled flat by the machine itself after you've completed it. Your first project :-)

Step 8: Electrical System

The main components in the electrical system are:

-Stepper motors

-Stepper drivers

-Powersupply (or 2)



-And last but not least: Safety first; a emergency stop ;-)

I chose to buy a complete set on Ebay with 3 Nema 23 stepper motors, 3 suitable drivers, a breakout board and a 36 V power supply. I use a step down converter to convert the 36 volt DC into 5 Volt DC. You can of course also put together your own set. Since I could not wait to sartup the machine I temporarily mounted all the drivers and power supply on a open board. The enclosure is in the making.

Since a few years it is also possible to connect a CNC very easily via USB. The UBS-breakout boards on the market generally come with their own software. I chose to use the parallel printer port found on most older PC's. I do not intend to use a new computer in a room full of dust, oil and aluminium chips

Since I had a lot of difficulties in finding a proper scheme with the needed components, I tried to make everything clear in the infographic above (you can also download the PDF and zoom in on the different parts)

Step 9: The Milling Motor

Since we want to remove material from the piece we clamp to the work surface, we need something that drives the cutting bits; i.e. the endmills. The milling motor will spin the cutters at low or high speeds. From a simple Dremeltool to a High frequency Spindle of several kWatts. For our machine size a Kress spindle is very convenient to start with. If you want to improve your machine, a reliable Hf spindle will please you. It all depents on the amount of money you can afford to spent on it.

Try to find something with the ability to use different sized collets.

Step 10: CNC Software

In the topic CNC software I'll discuss not only the program me that controls the machine, but also the software which produces code the machine will understand.

When we make a workpiece on our computer, either flat or a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) model, we need to convert it into something the machine will understand. With CAM (Computer Aided Machining) we can read vectors and 3D models and create an output suitable (Gcode) for the software which controls the machine. I'm allowed to use the professional software offered by my University

The software that controls the machine is a Gcode interpreter. When you use a USB-hub, as discussed in Electrical system), it will have it's own software. If you use the parallel printer port on a older computer, you can choose your own. I chose to use Mach3 since it it used by most hobbyists. You can find a lot about it on forums and google. Since Mach3 has many options and functions, I won't explain them. Just play with it and you'll discover its secrets :-)

Step 11: It's Alive!!!

Ones connected properly, hookup the power supply, it just works!! Start with some pieces of wood or foam and you'll get used to the speeds and properties of your machine. The work above shows some of the pieces I'm working on in aluminium. As you can see the machine is able to work very intricately.

Search for proper parts and take your time. I could have build the machine in a month, but because I had to search for parts on Ebay etc., it took me half a year. This keeps the costs down of course, I was able to build the machine for less then €1000,-

I hope the story encourages you to build your own CNC milling machine. Please feel free to contact me or give a comment if you think something is missing.

Be the First to Share

Did you make this project? Share it with us!


  • Back to School: Student Design Challenge

    Back to School: Student Design Challenge
  • Space Contest

    Space Contest
  • 3D Printed Student Design Challenge

    3D Printed Student Design Challenge
IndyMill - Open Source DIY CNC Machine #4 Final Test!

It’s easy to add a weave pattern to a frame using VCarve Pro to design your CNC project. There are different weaves available, and you can resize them as needed for your project.


Make a Woven Frame2

Set up a new job with the dimensions of your project piece.


Choose and set up the weave


Make a Woven Frame3

Navigate to the Clipart tab.


Make a Woven Frame4

Within Clipart choose Weaves.


Make a Woven Frame5

This opens up the menu of weave options.


Make a Woven Frame6

Drag and drop the frame and weave you want onto the workspace. Use Align Objects-Center to center the weave on your work.


Resize the frame


Make a Woven Frame7

If the frame isn’t the correct size for your project use Set Selected Objects Size to change the size of the frame.


Make a Woven Frame8

If you change the size of the frame leave Link XY checked so the frame stays proportional in both axes.


Outline the frame

If you want to cut the frame to the outside shape created by the weave you need to create vectors to do this. This is very simple.


Make a Woven Frame9

Click on the modeling tab.


Make a Woven Frame10

Select the frame and click on Create vector boundary around selected components.


Make a Woven Frame11

The resulting action is just what the icon name indicates: it creates boundaries around the 3D object. This is very handy any time you want to be able to cut directly around 3D clipart.


Make a Woven Frame12

The resulting lines are all grouped together. You need to ungroup them for the next step. With the new lines selected, right click on them. One of the menu options you’ll get is to Ungroup objects. Click on that option.


Make a Woven Frame13

This allows you to select only the outside line/vector, necessary for cutting the frame to that shape.




Make a Woven Frame14

With the outside line selected use the 2D Profile Toolpath. Add tabs and ramps. Click Calculate.


Make a Woven Frame15

Use Preview Toolpath to double check your work. Make adjustments to your toolpath as needed.


Make a Woven Frame16

Select the frame/weave and use the Finish Machining Toolpath to cut it. Choose a ball nose bit that is a good match for the scale of your weave. I’m using a 1/8” ball nose bit on this project.


Make a Woven Frame17

Use Preview Toolpath to ensure you’re getting what you want. You can get more detail by using a smaller ball nose bit, or a faster machining time by using a larger ball nose bit.


Make a Woven Frame18

If you want to use this as a frame create a rectangle inside the weave. Use this as a recess to place a picture in.


Make a Woven Frame19

Use the Pocket Toolpath to cut inside the rectangle and create a pocket for your picture.


Make a Woven Frame20

As always, use Preview Toolpath to make sure you’re getting what you want, and make any necessary changes.


Machine the project


Make a Woven Frame21

Zero the ball nose bit on the X, Y and Z axes. You’ll get the best detail by cutting the weave in a close-grained wood like walnut, cherry or, in this case, maple.


Make a Woven Frame22

Run the weave toolpath.


Make a Woven Frame23

Swap for the pocket/profile toolpath bit and rezero the Z axis. Remember to not change the X and Y axes.


Make a Woven Frame24

Run the pocket toolpath…


Make a Woven Frame25

…and the profile toolpath. Both of these cuts are being done with a ¼” upcut spiral bit.


Make a Woven Frame26

Lightly sand the weave with a flutter sander.


Make a Woven Frame27

When you choose the correct material and the right size ball nose bit, the detail is incredible.


Diy cnc frame


DIY Homemade CNC part 3 - Fixed Gantry Frame Assembly


Now discussing:


783 784 785 786 787