CNC Machine From Recycled Material


I come to the decision to build a CNC machine to allow me to design and machine parts and hopefully opening the door to more bigger projects. This, itself is so far the biggest project I have embarked on!


Some time has passed since I have taken on a serious project that is not related to the work that I do for a living, software engineering. The last project I did embark on involved the design and build of traction kites. This was when I was a Kite Land-boarder which took up most of my spare time until I moved away from the sea. The project lead me on to create and maintain the unofficial support website for GIN Eskimo riders where I experimented and modified the GIN Eskimo range of kites. One of these modifications interoperate a secondary safety system that killed the power of the kite by folding the canopy back on itself or ‘taccoing’. This type of safety system was later included in the subsequent models of the Eskimo kites. Since then I haven’t done any what I would call ‘innervational’ projects. I did spent 3 years getting back into games programming building my own games engine and released a game and an app onto the Google Play Store. That along with a bit of electronics, well that’s about it. Not exactly innervational. There has been a lot of flurries but nothing has really stuck

But one day I decided what I really wanted to make was something that would help me innovate and hopefully change my life to making innovation more accessible. So that’s how I come to the decision to build a CNC machine. This will allow me to design and machine parts for projects and hopefully opening the door to more bigger projects. This, itself is so far the biggest project I have embarked on!


So what is a CNC machine? The acronym CNC stands for ‘Computer Numerate Control’. It’s the automated computer control of a tool (such as a lathe, router, laser cutter, 3D printer etc.) starting from design created a CAD (Computer Aided Design) program. This design is translate into mechanical movement via manufacturing directives interpreted by a piece of CAM software. CAM stands for computer-aided manufacturing. This software moves the tool to transform a piece of stock material into a desired object by removing material or by the adding of material to create a object.


So what are my targets and when am I aiming to complete this by. Well this is a learning and skill building project to get me back into innovation awarding me with something that I can use to innovate further. It gives me a challenge pushing my skills and giving me confidence; this by far is the biggest project I have ever got myself into. I also have an environmental target; I want to complete the build with using as much recycled material as possible. I hate waste and have been collecting material for many years refusing to throw it away. I have many projects floating about my head from natural powered web servers to mechanical prophesies all of which I need material for. We all should reused and recycle more and I want this to be an example of that.

Now lets talk about deadlines. I started thinking about this project in June so I think by a year I should have a fair amount of the project complete. This year started to get a bit ‘interesting’ to say the least! For one I had to step up and take over for a few months as temporary Manager for the whole of the Software Development department as my old manager decided to leave lets say of immediate effect! This is the second time I have had to do this across the two last jobs I have had, I think someone is trying to tell me something! This has lead me to taking more time in the evenings veg’ing out in front of the TV rather than working on projects. Though there is a new manager on the scene I still see this type of down time coming in drips and drabs until everything calms down a bit. Another problem is that my workshop is somewhat lacking in the powered and precision tools required to build projects of this size so I will either have to persevere with what or spend some money on the tools required.

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