Many of the suggestions made so far are ALL very good and well thought out however I would like to throw my 2 cents into this discussion before anything is settled; I agree that the idea suggested by Mike; (beemkr), of“Good, Better, Best options for components should be adhered to. Each component should have multiple options letting the end user decide where they would rather spend their money.”
is a great idea, Steve; (shubing), suggested “that we have a standard set of electronics (and maybe other parts too) for the project. In that way we keep the variables to a minimum when the machine is built. This not only becomes important when finding and getting the parts but more importantly makes trouble shooting issues much easier. It also makes it easier to provide advice and help for learning how to use the CNC machine.”
I recommend that our BASIC/GOOD machine be designed and constructed around 1 single set of electronics, which realistically should be available globally. The reason for this is that if the basic/start-up machine is designed around 1 set of electronics/motors then:
1. Then any member of this forum will be able to offer help/support if we all build one.
2. Anyone wishing to start into the madness which is ownership of a CNC machine will NOT have to choose between this setup or that setup to KNOW 100% for certain that “if I build it correctly it will work”
3. Anyone anywhere in the world will know that they WILL be able to get the parts for the BASIC/GOOD machine, those of you who live in the USA may not be aware of how difficult it is to purchase parts which are readily available in the USA. This may mean that the forum makes ALL the full electronics/motors package available to its members so that EVERYONE has access to the same startup kit .
When I built my first CNC Machine, 4X8 BlackToe from Patrick, I ordered the COMPLETE kit from him so that I KNEW that “if I build it correctly it will work”
because Patrick had spent years developing it around a specific package of components.
Now to do this then the forum is going to have to agree to support this idea from the very first BASIC/GOOD machine that is built. Living in the UK as I do I am not sure how I can help in this however I am willing to help in anyway that I can, I have already offered to cut machines for new members under the “paying it forward, helping new members to get going”
scheme I suggested, should we decide to go down that route. Once we have a BASIC/GOOD machine designed then I agree that we should look at the BETTER and BEST options.
I personally know of a number of potential new CNC’ers who are currently being put off by the idea of messing around with the electronics/motors side of building their own machine and I think that what I have suggested will encourage many more people to build their own machines. They will know that “if I build it correctly it will work”
If we design a BASIC/GOOD machine with a common set of components which we ensure can be had globaly then EVERYONE who decides to build one of our BASIC/GOOD machines will know “if I build it correctly it will work”
. Yes this will mean that the forum will have to collectively work to ensure that new members have access to everything that they need to get started but then aren't we trying to design/develope a machine which will allow this?
Just my 2 cents folks.