BCIT CNC Router Student Project
This CNC router was built in the garage after the students Mike Wait and Karim Soliman's funding was cancelled, and the campus shop was closed to due to COVID. The purpose of the project was to build a consumer grade CNC router that was a step above brands such as Shapeoko and Workbee. They were trying to improve on the capabilities of belt driven, smaller routers already on the market, for a reasonable increase in costs. The second purpose is so the student can do custom aluminum parts for vehicles as a side job, and having a 4-axis CNC router that handles aluminum well is very helpful.
The CNC router has a 24"x36"x12" cutting area, with an 8" diameter aluminum (~10" in softer materials) capable B-axis along the Y-axis. The 5mm pitch and 20mm diameter ballscrews of each axis are driven by 4.0 N*m stepper motors, which are controlled through an 'Acorn' CNC controller that interfaces with a computer. The B axis is powered by another 4.0 N*m stepper, directly coupled to a Harmonic Drive planetarty gearhead supplied by Electromate. That is attached to an independent 4 jaw chuck. The spindle is a G-penny 1.5KW water cooled spindle, giving us plenty of power for cutting aluminum, and small depth of cut passes on steels. The aluminum parts were machined on the student's Shapeoko 3 CNC router. The steel side and baseplates are water jet cut and painted red.