Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
-Steel or stainless steel only, aluminum will not work for long (high point loads from the bearings will wear in a flat spot making it a loose fit).
-We use either steel EMT conduit (sold by ID), or stainless steel tubes (sold by OD .049″ wall thickness seems to be the sweet spot Q&D test).
-Before you start see what is available to you. Physically go measure, it will save a lot of headaches in the end.
-Anything over 36″ should use mid span supports on the outer rails.
-Maximum length for the z axis- about 12″ using a bowden style setup with the extruder mounted to the xyz piece of the gantry, 8″ max for an mk style extruder, 3″ for an aluminum router.
-How big to cut your rails? Calculators…
-TR8 Leadscrew is not recommended. You trade mechanical advantage and resolution for speed and slightly less friction. The nuts are brass and not designed for the weight of this axis and tool, they also tend to have a lot of backlash. What you would want is a ball screw. If you are going to do it anyway ualdayan found this split nut.
-Stock Z axis max speed is 8.5mm/s, I usually use 3-5mm/s for routing jobs.
Power Supply –
-5A is way more than enough for the CNC, it is even enough to add an extruder, 30A is only needed if you are running a laser or heated bed. There is no added benefit to running the CNC with a larger power supply. The board can only handle 5A on the outer port.
-Power only gets plugged into the green ramps port the outer port powers the steppers, the inner port is for ports D8-D10.
Tolerances to expect –
-Everything effects the accuracy/precision/resolution. The resolution is theoretically double most 3D printers (because of 32nd stepping vs average 16), but you can’t go on those numbers at all.
- Physical size of the machine and each axis, smaller is better, Z axis is most critical.
- How well you built it.
- The rigidity of your table.
- The rigidity of your rails used.
- The accuracy/run out of your tool/spindle.
- The accuracy/run out of your cutting bit and are you using the right kind.
- How well you clamped your material.
- What material you are using.
- Knowledge of your Cam software and how you approach your cuts.
- And the big ones, feeds and speeds.
-Nema 23’s are no longer supported. They are not needed. The MPCNC uses 2 steppers in the X and Y axis and runs great with small 42OZ/IN steppers. The kits, currently, come with 72OZ/IN steppers wired in parallel.
-If you want more power from your larger steppers wire them in series. If you are using the kit from here, be careful you will have enough power to physically damage the machine if you try and move further than your axis permits or crash into something.
-A more powerful spindle isn’t always better. The machine has been designed for something roughly the physical size and weight of the Dewalt dw660. Physically larger spindles move the cutter further from the gantry decreasing the rigidity. Heavier means slower accelerations in all axis.
-A Dremel style tool usually is not a good option. They tend to have high run out, low power, and high price tag. Most people already have one and they do work, I understand this, but don’t expect stellar results, but it is a good option to get your feet wet with a minimal initial expense if you already own one.
-Good international options are kress, and the import 300-600W spindles.
-The dewalt is by far the best bang for your buck, but I am not positive it is the best choice if money were not an option. The dewalt is 600W and about $65 comes with 1/8 and 1/4″ collets, it does not have a speed control and it is a good option at about $20, so $85 total. Unfortunately I have not had the luxury of trying one but I think the import spindles might be a really nice option they have an er11 collet system so any size tools you want, most come with a huge assortment of collet sizes. You can get the 300, 500, or 800 W spindles with power supply and speed control they are a bit smaller making the sit closer to the gantry meaning slight rigidity increase, but they do weigh more. They are more than double the price, I kind of doubt they are twice as good. Diminishing returns kicks in really fast in the CNC world.
CAD Files –
-I do not have any CAD files available other than a few mounts that makes it easy for anyone to edit. I do this intentionally. I hope no one takes this the wrong way but the parts are easy to replicate. If you can replicate the parts from scratch you can probably make an informed edit and understand how the pieces interact and how to keep them printable as well.
-If you need a dimension, please ask I am not hiding anything, but I am not going to supply you with technical drawings. I am trying to keep poorly made things from popping up everywhere. It happened in the first few months of the release. I have seen nothing but well designed parts coming out lately and I think this is best for everyone. I love user designed things, and I support them as much as I can.
-Some parts could be better or stronger with added hardware, or the use of support when printing, this is not my design intent. I am trying to keep the cost down and the world wide usability at a maximum. Specialty hardware is a pet peeve.
– I know shipping prices are a sore spot. I have checked everywhere to make shipping less expensive, but USPS flat rate is by far the best deal and easiest to use, that I could find. I do not mark up shipping (some international rates are a few dollars more or less for some reason).
-Using your business account is a possibility but really it is a hassle for me. I use flat rate boxes and to ship any other carrier I need to buy a different box and repackage and drop it off, so please only ask if you are saving a substantial amount of money because it cost me a lot of time and effort.