Our project is to build a set of CNC components that can easily be assembled in many different ways to create one incredible machine.
What is CNC?
A CNC is essentially a machine that is controlled by a computer and can perform highly intricate maneuvers over and over again (similar to a printer). In this case instead of dispensing ink onto the paper, it uses a cutting tool to cut very detailed shapes into common materials like wood, plastic, & metal. It is a critical machine in any manufacturing factory, or research and development lab. We think it’s a tool that will be found in every workshop and home garage in the future.
We WILL make that future a reality!
Our previous project was the Modular Desktop CNC Machine here on Kickstarter. We learned a lot from doing that project and took what we learned to create these new parts. What we found was that professional linear components cost hundreds of dollars. Most DIY CNC machines use bearings on bolts, or drawer slides or other various hardware store concoctions of parts, but these parts aren’t very accurate or precise. Our dream is to change that. We want to make our own DIY CNC system that offers hundreds of dollars worth of parts in a simple affordable package without sacrificing quality. That’s why we created the CNC Building Blocks.
Additionally we discovered the limitations with current offerings of CNC electronics. They were either: overpriced, underpowered, or overly complicated. We have taken the bare essentials (yet, enough features for any hobby CNC machine) and built them all onto one easy to assemble board.
We are making a set of CNC building blocks. Blocks that can be assembled in many different ways to create a CNC system that is capable of engraving, milling, routing, cutting, or rapid prototyping. These blocks are high quality plastic injection molded parts.
There is a Z-Axis, which also integrates the Y-axis movement into one single component. The Z-axis has 3" of travel and uses ACME lead screws with common nuts. All the parts are bolted together, and the plastic parts are injected with brass hardware. The front of the Z-axis has a simple 2" x 1" mounting pattern that will be able to accept a wide range of spindle holder. We'll have them for the Bosch Colt and Dremel... but laser cutters and plastic extruders may be available. The Z-axis is fully assembled and will take all of the hassle out of making one of the most complicated parts of a CNC machine. One is included with the CNC Building Blocks kit.
The Linear Slider is designed to use a standard 3/4" shaft (not included). It has integrated brass bushings that allows for smooth linear motion. The mounting pattern is standard and is common for linear bushings of this size. Four are included in the CNC Building Blocks kit.
The ACME nut holder is crucial for computer controlled movement. It translates the motion from an ACME lead screw into lateral motion. The part includes injected brass hardware to allow for easy installation of the ACME nut (included). There is one included with the CNC Building Blocks kit.
The Shaft holder is the simplest plastic injection molded part, but it plays an important role. It allows for you to install a shaft to any structural component, be it wood, plastic, or metal. A standard 1/4" screw sits in a recess that holds the holder in place, and the shaft installs tightly in the holder. There are eight included with the CNC Building Blocks kit.
While the CNC Electronics are deserving of their own project on Kickstarter, we decided to make them a part of the Building Blocks project. We have developed an amazing, small CNC controller that uses high powered stepper motor controllers. We skipped all the extra features that the common stepper motor controllers use and went straight for simplicity, low cost, and high power... all in a tiny package!
The CNC electronics are based on the SLA7078 chipset by Allegro MicroSystems. They are a chopper style driver, for 5, 6, & 8 wire CNC motors. Fully adjustable between 0.5 - 3.0 amps for stepper motors large and small. With microstepping levels of 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, & 1/16. The chips feature patent pending short & open circuit protection, in case of a mixup during installation or use.
The board is able to take signals and power in, and provide motor control out. Very simple design leaves no extra wires or boards. Plus, onboard voltage regulators provide hook up for a 12volt case fan, and limit switches can be wired into easy to use screw terminals. Available in kit form for $50, with easy assembly instructions, and pre-assmbled for $100. Both prices should be among the most inexpensive boards available, and are being sold at cost here on Kickstarter!
We’ve already spent tens of thousands of dollars to begin production on these parts. We believe that strongly in them. Our Z-Axis system is already through the prototype stage, and ready for production. Every part is made from high strength ABS plastic that was injection molded around a set of metal hardware.
Our electronics have been developed and tested. They use the Allegro MicroSystems SLA7078 chipset. We have developed them into a board that is just 5.5 inches by 2 inches. One of the smallest, and cheapest CNC controllers available.
$10: Supporter.We love you. In return for your support, we will mail you some sweet CNC stickers along with a letter of appreciation and information about our CNC parts. One great feel good package.
$25: Lover of bling.We will send you a limited edition laser cut copy of the gear from our logo. The gear will be made from an assortment of atoms that were fused together during the explosion of a supernova, and then cut using one of our CNC creations. Gamma rays not included… but shipping is!
$100: Assembled CNC ElectronicsWant to get the above CNC Electronics kit, but don’t want to deal with all the soldering? We’ll take the hassle out of the work and fully assemble the electronics kit for you. All you will have to do is install the wires, and plug it in. (Trust us it’s very easy…) Shipping is included in the US; International Customers please add $15 for International shipping.
$50: CNC Electronics KitYou are looking for a great DIY deal. Here it is. This is one of the most inexpensive CNC controllers, yet an extremely powerful one at that. You will have no problem running three high power unipolar NEMA 23 motors without skipping a step. Assembly is required, but we’ll have instructions that will help you every step of the way. Shipping is included in the US; International Customers please add $15 for USPS Priority Mail shipping.
$150: CNC Building Blocks KitYou are about to embark on a wonderful journey. One filled with making your own CNC machine to allow you to do amazing things. At this level you will get an entire CNC building blocks kit. A fully assembled plastic injected Z-axis with shafts, acme lead screw and anti-backlash nut, 8 plastic shaft supports (for ¾” OD shafts), 4 linear sliders (for ¾” OD shafts), and 1 acme nut holder (with nut). ACME nuts will be included standard, anti-backlash will be available for an extra $40. Shipping is included in the US; International Customers please add $30 for USPS Priority Mail shipping.
$200: CNC Building Blocks + Electronics KitThe whole kit and caboodle! You will get the complete set of our CNC Building Blocks (as found in the $150 level), plus the CNC electronics kit (from the $50 level). ACME nuts will be included standard, anti-backlash will be available for an extra $40. Shipping is included in the US; International Customers please add $30 for USPS Priority Mail shipping.
$250: CNC Building Blocks + Assembled ElectronicsGet the best of both worlds. You will receive the set of CNC Building blocks ($150 level), and the fully assembled electronic controller ($100 value). ACME nuts will be included standard, anti-backlash will be available for an extra $40. Shipping is included in the US; International Customers please add $30 for USPS Priority Mail shipping.
$400: CNC Building Blocks + Electronics + Nema 23 MotorsAdd some motors to your package! With this level you will get everything in the $250 level, plus three Nema 23 motors to give your system some get up and go power! Shipping is included in the US; International Customers please add $40 for USPS Priority Mail shipping.
$500: CNC Building Blocks + Electronics + Nema 23 (~270 oz-in) + Power Supply + Assembled Case. For our top reward level, you will receive the entire CNC Building Blocks kit to make your own CNC machine ($150 reward level)! You will also get a CNC Controller box fully assembled with electronics board, power supply and 3 plug and play Nema 23 motors. Shipping is included in the US; International Customers please add $50 for USPS Priority Mail shipping.
On behalf of everyone here. Thank you for taking the time to check out our project, and we all hope you enjoy our CNC parts and will help make our dreams into a reality. We think this will change the way everyone makes Hobby CNC machines for the better. We hope makers everywhere can adopt these parts and make amazing creations.
Please visit our website for more information: http://www.aquickcnc.com/
Absolutely. Consider this project a down payment on purchasing a full sized CNC machine. These plastic parts won't be able to happen without your support, so we need as many people to pledge to buy them as possible. If / when the CNC project is successful, we will make the extra parts to make those CNC machines available on our website. (But you still need to buy the CNC Building Blocks here on Kickstarter for that to happen!). You can also be resourceful and make your own machine using these parts. We hope to have hundreds of people using them to make awesome machines!
You will still need 3/4" shafts, ACME lead screws or ball screws (or similar), and a structural frame to mount the CNC Building Blocks to. We will have these parts available on our website after the Kickstarter project ends, but they are also commonly available from McMaster-Carr.
For all levels, $150 and higher... the anti-backlash nuts are an extra $40. Please add this amount to your pledge.
Please check out our first update with blueprints and measurments of the CNC Building Blocks: