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I've wanted a CNC router for a while. I was set to get an X-Carve when budget allowed then suddenly I start seeing a bunch of Shapeoko's popping up on Instagram and was no longer sure which one I would pick. The X-Carve has a 29"x29" max cutting area on a pre-built machine and the Shapeoko has a max 33"x33" cutting area. Neither seems that great for the price, the X-Carve can be upgraded though to 70"x70" with a decent amount of work and more money. At the end of the day I want expandability in size and I want to be able to upgrade components as I need. So I'm building my own.


I ordered the parts for the motion controller and axes movement motors today and I am hoping to have it running by the end of next week. Then I'll be figuring out the actual design of the CNC since I'll have a better idea of how big I think I can make it. I ordered some smaller Nema 17 stepper motors that are just slightly lower than the ones that came with the Shapeoko 2 and they require less power; I fully expect to upgrade the motors to larger Nema 23 motors and a better 24v power supply prior to calling it done. I'd like to be able to cut on a 2x4 sheet of plywood with a couple of inches on either side and I want to have a larger z-axis travel so I can cut a piece, flip it over and cut the opposite face with whatever kind of clamping setup I need. One of the future upgrades I definitely want to look into is converting it to a 5-axis machine so I can get the absolute most out of it.


So far it has cost me $143.24 for the motion controlling components.

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  • 6 months later...
23 hours ago, Toolyz said:

any updates on this?


Josh hasn't been on the site a lot recently. I do know like a month ago he got the brainbox for it but I don't recall any other updates. He's mainly on instagram lately, a lot of us are following each other on there.

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No updates on this currently, I actually bought a 500mm X-Carve recently so this has gone to the back burner. I'm going to use that to help determine how I build my own. I know I want a larger Z axis and a frame setup that is stiff enough to handle milling aluminum blocks.

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