Saturday, June 1, 2013

Upgrades To My CNC Machine For The New Enclosure

Progressing is being made on the CNC machine and enclosure project that I have been working on over the past weeks.  Today in the shop I was able to put together the upgraded Solsylva CNC machine that I use.  With the newly constructed enclosure I have had to upgrade the CNC machine so that it will work inside it.  

Here is a photo of the original Solyslva machine or at least the base assembly of the machine.  This is what needed to be updated.  The original machine that you see here has a slotted table which works OK as long as you can slide a large washered bolt up through the table so that a clamp can be mounted to the top portion of it to hold down the part you are trying to make.  This simply will not work in the new enclosure.  Just no way to come up from the bottom of the CNC machine.  

Another change that I have wanted to make on the CNC machine was the fact that there seemed to be very little travel in the Z axis (vertical) when I wanted to make parts.  Once I put a sacrifice piece of wood on to the table and then add a one inch piece of material to be milled I only ended up with about a half inch of free travel. Not a good idea. So the travel in the Z axis for the new machine has been upgraded to be 3.5 inches taller.  The horizontal tubes on the top of the base were also modified so that leveling adjustments could be made easier.  The original design was a pain to say the least when trying to zero out the table to make it level on all corners for perfect cutting of parts.  I changed the bolt lengths that hold these upper tubes so that they could be adjusted either up or down to find the correct height anywhere on the table top. Just a matter of a few turns of a wrench. 

I was able to save a lot of parts from the original design.  I then painted any new parts and added a new 1/2 inch piece of plywood to the frame. 

To this plywood deck I then spaced out 1 x 4's that were trimmed down so that aluminum eight 32" Incra miter t-slot tracks could be mounted between them.   These parts were far from being inexpensive but I had no choice to spend the money for them to make the CNC machine work with the new enclosure. Being that the tracks were exactly 32" long was a big plus for me so that I did not have to fuss with them to make them work. 

The parts were then screwed down to the plywood deck and the frame for a nice clean look that will work perfectly in the new enclosure.  I really like the look of the gold slots with the blue and white table top.

The clamps that I had been using with my CNC machine no longer would work with the new design.  Again because there was no slot to go through.  Just the new t-slot. To correct this I designed new base adapters that I made with my 3D printer and would work with the clamps and the t-slot.  

The new modified clamps work perfectly with the t-slot table and are just an upside down carriage bolt which a twist knob and clamp bar are attached to.  This will hold the part to be milled down securely and be much faster to set up the machine than trying to fish it through a slotted table from the bottom. 
  With this done I'm now able to get the assembly off of my work table for a little while and take the CNC machine enclosure apart again so that I can start varnishing it inside an out.  I'll post more photos once this is done and I install the CNC machine into the enclosure and get it set up for the first time. 


  1. Nice post! I agree cnc machine is used in many projects these days. I would love to read more post from you.
    Cnc machining

  2. hello, i like these type of cnc with z axis under y one. Nice job!