Plans for a Variety of DIY CNC Machines


The plans were created to help as many Do-It-Yourself builders as possible. These range from the novice with a minimum of tools, to the shop that wants to add CNC, but lacks the budget or desire to buy a commercially produced machine.
The machines were designed to use off the shelf parts efficiently and simply.
All of the plans include written step by step directions with images of the parts and the building process.
 
The 13x13 plans manual is over 40 pages with step by step instructions that include black and white photographs and dimensioned drawings.

This machine was designed to be as inexpensive and simple as possible. Its axes are supported by bushings (sleeve bearings) that ride on steel rods.

The machine is made from 1x4 and 2x4 boards that are cut to length and drilled. This gives a simple low cost machine that can be built with a minimum of tools.
 
The 10x9 plans contain hundreds of images including color photos, dimensioned drawings and templates. The machine is a more solid version of the 13x13 and costs slightly more.

Its leadscrews are supported by bearings and can be upgraded from hardware store threaded rod to Acme rod.

The machine's axes use 608 bearings that ride on pipe rails that are cradled in the wooden frame.

The heavier components give a simple and solid machine that can push a trim router to its potential.
 
 
The 18x24 plans are 100 pages with hundreds of images including dimensioned drawings, templates and color photos.

This machine is fast and solid. It uses aluminum components with V bearings on steel rails. The gantry is moved by racks and pinions, and the other axes use Acme leadscrews.

It is sized to use stock sizes of aluminum, racks and leadscrews with little waste. This gives a sturdy machine for a small investment.

This is the newest addition to the Solsylva plans and was built to meet the many requests for a fast and robust desktop machine.
 
The plans for the 25x25 machine are over 90 pages with hundreds of black and white images. These include perspective drawings, dimensioned drawings and templates.

The 25x25 was designed to give the largest cutting area for the lowest price. This was accomplished by sizing the machine around standard framing lumber and 36 inch leadscrews.

The axes' 608 bearings ride on steel conduit, plumbing or black pipe rails that are secured to wooden supports.

The machine can use a variety of leadscrews, which are all supported in bearings.

The gantry is driven by two leadscrews that are tied to a single stepper with a belt. This holds the gantry true without the problems of slaved steppers.
 
The 24x48 Rack/Leadscrew plans are over 140 pages with hundreds of black and white perspective and dimensioned drawings and templates.

The machine is sized around stock sized components. 608 bearings ride pipe rails, which are tied to 2x6 framing lumber. This keeps the price low while offering solid movement.

The plans include directions for building the gantry and carriage of either wood or aluminum.
The aluminum version can carry a full sized router and cut more aggressively than the other Solsylva machines.

The gantry and carriage can be driven by leadscrews or racks and pinions.
 

Different Skills, Different Options

A number of builders have said this is the first time they have undertaken a project of this sort, and they appreciate any extra guidance.

Other builders have a lifetime of hands-on experience and only want dimensioned directions.

These plans were written with the perspective that it is better to share too much information, rather than too little.

I made an earnest effort to address virtually every question that has come this way over the years.

These plans attempt to be as clear and straightforward as possible.

Some will be able to build the machines by looking at the images and dimensions. Others will find the additional text helpful.
 
These plans do not include directions for the software and electronics because the suppliers cover this information for their own products.
These plans do give directions for deriving the Step per Inch values that are needed to configure the software for these machines.
The machines were all designed to use NEMA 23 stepper and drive components such as those from Geckodrive, Xylotex and HobbyCNC.
Mach3 and TurboCNC are popular controller software options. Other software and motor suppliers can be used.
The above vendors work with the Do It Yourself market and have help forums and documentation.