DIY All in one CNC/3D Printer/Mill etc.

Thread Starter

danielantonic

Joined Sep 22, 2019
62
Hello
I'm considering making my own CNC/3D printer for making PCBs, custom parts etc. for my electronics projects. Ideally, I'd like it to be based on an Arduino so I can customise things in the future, maybe have access to certain pre-made items to print/create in bulk, include a laser engraver etc.

There are a looooooot of options out there, so before I go any further I need some advice please! Is it worth getting a premade kit for the frame/motors, a generic CNC shield, 3D print head and a drill head?
 

bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
422
Maybe start with a basic kit system to get a feel for what you really need, then upgrade it as necessary or get a bigger one.
Here's what a search for engraver at Banggood finds, sorted by most reviews:
https://www.banggood.com/search/engraver/0-0-0-1-4-60-0-price-0-0_p-1.html
Or maybe you can find something for sale locally; I found a number of used 3D printers nearby, but no affordable CNC engravers.
Maybe a long shot, but... CNC engravers have been around since the 8-bit computer days; it's conceivable that you could find one at a surplus dealer, or by asking nicely at jewelry and trophy shops; they may have an obsolete computerized engraver gathering cobwebs or know where to find one. Stepper motor and mechanical stuff hasn't changed much in 40 years, so they'd be an excellent platform for upgrading with new electronics.
https://www.engraversjournal.com/legacyarticles/2223/
 
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dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,134
Can you build it from scratch for under AUD$300?
An Ebay search returned this one for $260 AU. It is a CNC router and LASER engraver.
When I got mine a few months ago it was $220AU.
I have one of these and it does work quite well. This is a quite good one to start from, and there are plenty of Youtube videos to help.
In my opinion, I would keep a 3D printer as a separate unit, not try to combine it with the CNC machine.
The 3D printers are a lot easier to drive than the CNC machine, at least that is what I have found.

CNC3018_pro.jpgCNC_3018_parts.jpg
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
5,659
The problem with combining a mill with a 3D printer is change over. Even if you could do it (and really, they have different needs for their mechanical systems) the mess generated by a mill would make changing over to the 3D printer an arduous task.
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,134
Yes indeed! There is quite a mess to clean up.
It is a lot cheaper to have different machines too. The 3 in one units that one can buy are very expensive IMHO.
Best keep the 3D printer just as that, and have a CNC mill as another unit.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
5,659
My father inherited a classic Shopsmith from his father. It could be a lathe, a drill press, a horizontal borer, a table saw, a disc sander, a shaper, and a router. But none of them exceptionally well and the planning you needed to do if you were building something was odious. You had to prefigure all your cuts, drilling, and routing since changeover required considerable setup.

It was better than nothing for a space restricted shop but not as good as even middling dedicated machines.

1647421293579.png
 

Thread Starter

danielantonic

Joined Sep 22, 2019
62
Thanks for the advice everyone. With that in mind, I'm looking at an Ender 3 bundle for AU$350 with multiple filaments -
https://www.inkstation.com.au/creality-ender-3-3d-printer-with-resume-printing-p-18159.html

As for the CNC, I like the idea of making my own as a separate tool, and I'm thinking of following this instructable (since I already have a Dremel) -
https://www.instructables.com/DIY-3D-Printed-Dremel-CNC/

The other consideration is recycling/reusing failed prints etc into filament again. What suggestions do you have?
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,089
My 3D printer is an Ender 3.
My CNC is CNC3018.

Trying to recycle failed prints into filament is not a practical thing.
 

Thread Starter

danielantonic

Joined Sep 22, 2019
62
Yep, CNC3018 popped up in my search a fair bit. Shame about recycling prints - I hate wasting things. How unpractical is it? From what I've read, you need to grind down the plastic to small pellets and feed it into an extruder and wind it up - can you get the extruder part on its own? I don't mind making one once I have the printer.
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,134
Shame about recycling prints - I hate wasting things. How unpractical is it? From what I've read, you need to grind down the plastic to small pellets and feed it into an extruder and wind it up - can you get the extruder part on its own? I don't mind making one once I have the printer.
I looked into it to the extent of buying a heater and wood auger to start making one, but it is not straight forward a process to end up with usable filament. There are units one can buy, but to get a grinder and extruder was over $1K so I gave up.
If you are capable to make your own, it may be a good project, but it is beyond my abilities.
 
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