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MPCNC Build Complete

Great joy! My MPCNC build is complete. It works. Now, I need to learn how to use it.

About three months ago, I decided to build a small CNC machine. The chosen design was the Mostly Printed CNC. As described back in April, there were several benefits to choosing this design. It was proven to work, cheap to build, and enabled me to leverage my 3D printed knowledge and capabilities.

If you search this website on the MPCNC tag, you can read about my experiences in building this machine. If you play the video above, you will see the first moves resulting from this MPCNC build.

MPCNC Build Review

The plastic parts were relatively easy to 3D print using mainly PLA. The main requirement was a well calibrated printer and relatively slow print speeds to ensure accuracy. A bit of sanding was needed to ensure that the steel conduit fit the plastic clamps and holes without too much strain.

All of the basic hardware was readily available from Home Depot, Lowes and Princess Auto. The electronics and motors were easy to find on Ebay, although delivery took a while and slowed progress. Waiting for delivery added 6-8 weeks to the MPCNC build time. But, it saved money and I was not in a rush.

Assembling the work table was greatly aided by a friend with the proper knowledge and tools. Thanks, Gord.

Believe it or not, the biggest problem that I had with assembly was actually crimping the electronics connectors. I bought a relatively cheap crimping tool which worked okay once I learned how to use it. The so-called “DuPont connectors” needed for attaching the wiring to the Arduino controller take a bit of effort to get a solid electro-mechanical connection. My advice is to get lots of practice using these crimp connections before you attempt a final build. I didn’t and paid the price.

So, what was the final cost of my MPCNC build? Just under US$300, or around CDN$400.

2 comments

  1. Gordon Steeves says:

    Hi John, great review, I am about to take the plunge for a MPCNC as well. So far I am just trying to source everything. Tomorrow, I will call Metal Supermarket in Edmonton, to see what is available for stainless tube, 1″ OD in what ever series they have 304 or 316, the later having thicker wall selection. As to the 3D parts, guess I will have to source out someone to make them for me, or maybe I will just purchase them from Vicious Circle along with the complete electronics kit. I have already sourced out a 500 watt spindle kit from China, yea, I know :). By the way, I just came across your review, got some pretty cool stuff here. Thank you

    • John VE6EY says:

      Hi Gordon. Good luck with your build. I just used EMT from Home Depot. Important to get the diameter right for snug fit with plastic mounts. My plastic parts needed a bit of sanding, but not much. If you have a friend with a 3D printer locally, the parts are not hard to print, but there are lots of them. I know the parts have been updated since my build. Lots of good support and ideas in their forums. Cheers…

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