CNC Gantry Router: Collecting Bits & Pieces…

Bit by bit, piece by piece we have been slowing collecting the parts for the build.  We just picked up a 400lb steel table measuring in at 5×8 feet that will be the basis of the build.  An acme thread that is too long will be cut down to drive both the Y and Z axis.  We also have some 3/4 inch 6061-T6 aluminum for the Z axis assembly and a 4×8 sheet of 3/4 inch MDF to make up the remaining parts. Also on the table is the 25mm precision round rail, that along with the linear bearings on order, will make up the linear motion system.
On the CAD side of things, the plan is rapidly converging to a final design with the acquisition of parts and a particular focus on stiffness.  The desired endgame is to be able to machine everything up to and including light metals at reasonable speeds.  With copious amounts of steel channel bolted together and 3/4 inch MDF skins for additional strength and vibrational dampening, production level machining looks like a foreseeable outcome.

Getting the 400lb table out of the trailer was a fun challenge in itself.  We picked it up (along with the acme thread) at Foxy Recyclers, where it was skillfully placed in the trailer by forklift.  Foxy is an absolute goldmine of supplies, they have all kinds of great stuff, 8020 aluminum extrusion, brush-less DC servos, pneumatics, projectors, computer parts, the list goes on.  Once home and after some humming and hawing as well as hunting in the garage we came up with a design using a pair of rated 300lb dolly wheels on short axles.  When the table jacks up and the wheels slide onto the axles, moving this beast becomes a one person job.  Seen below is a bit of video illustrating the wheels, my favorite part is the welding, so sparkly.

The next progress installment is heat forming the Z-axis leadscrew nut from plastic.

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