At last, the Mostly Printed CNC provides a low cost entry point to DIY CNC.
I am making the plastic the parts for my Mostly Printed CNC, starting with the MPCNC Corner Block.
The second moment of truth arrived. Will the hardware fit inside the holes of the printed parts? Yes.
A clean space in the garage makes room for a MPCNC work table.
While printing plastic parts and collecting hardware, I started thinking about how I would mount the Mostly Printed CNC when it gets built. Ryan Zellars, the originator of the MPCNC, suggests starting out with a simple 2X4 table, as shown in the insert picture above. Take a look at this video of the basic MPCNC work table and frame in action.
Recently I did the annual spring cleaning in the garage, and cleared a space for the MPCNC work table. It is a small corner of the garage about 32” square (or should I say ~800 millimeters). There seemed to be two options for the MPCNC work table; both involved a basic 2X4 structure in line with my limited woodworking capabilities and tools.
- Build Ryan’s basic table but put it on wheels, or rather locking casters. This way I would have the option of moving the machine within the garage.
- Using the garage walls to support the work table, as shown to the right above. I would still need to be able to remove the table top for maintenance.
I discussed the options with my friend Walt who has forgotten more about woodworking than I will ever learn. He felt that option #2 would be sturdier, and I agree. So, I will go with supporting the MPCNC work table against the garage wall.
By the way, if you are thinking of building an MPCNC, there is a great little online calculator to help with the sizing and materials requirements. I am probably going with the default sizing which requires a 32” square table area and will provide a 21” square cutting area.
MPCNC Work Table – Devil in the Details
Each wall has some solid studs to mount the cleats. I actually remembered to check this first with my trusty Stanley Intellisensor Plus stud finder. To facilitate a firm connection and removal of the table top, I will use some dowels glued into the cleats, but not glued into the table frame. Gravity should do the rest.
For the supporting leg, I think I can manage a threaded insert and adjustable foot to level the table. Removing the table will be a two-person job, but hopefully not a frequent one. The garage walls will provide a debris and safety shield on two sides. I will probably end up mounting a small debris and safety fence on the open sides as well.
Now I just need to decide on the best way to reinforce the butt joints for the table top. Probably some combination of wood screws, glue and perhaps tie connectors. The support leg will definitely use bolts so it can be removed.
The good news is that this location is close to an existing power outlet, and within reach of the central vacuum hose.
Designing and documenting a wood table in SketchUp Make CAD is fast and easy. That is, fast and easy after you get down the learning curve.
Finally the build starts in earnest with the MPCNC basic frame.
A slight change to my MPCNC feet design was in order.
Plastic and steel coming together in MPCNC foot assembly.
With bearings and hardware in hand, MPCNC roller assembly was quick and tight.
The basic MPCNC rail assembly is done.
The MPCNC Anti Backlash solution is simple and cheap.
MPCNC motor management is pretty simple as long as you get the windings attached carefully.
My MPCNC frame has all come together. Everything fits. Motion is smooth.
I can only describe the MPCNC Middle Assembly as both functional and artistic.
Making the CNC work can benefit from some optional MPCNC small parts.
When considering the MPCNC tool holder you have some great options. Read more
The MPCNC universal mount system looks like it will do the job.
My MPCNC table top is built, mounted and aligned.
This week I built a holder to attach my Powerfist rotary tool to the MPCNC universal mount.
MPCNC part repairs were needed when several pieces cracked during final assembly.
Great joy! My MPCNC build is complete. It works. Now, I need to learn how to use it.
Now that it is built, it’s time for the MPCNC first test.