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Build Your Own CNC Machine (Technology in Action) Paperback – November 25, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1430224891 ISBN-10: 1430224894 Edition: 2009th

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Frequently Bought Together

Build Your Own CNC Machine (Technology in Action) + The CNC Cookbook: An Introduction to the Creation and Operation of Computer Controlled Mills, Router Tables, Lathes, and More + Building the KRMx01 CNC: The Illustrated Guide to Building a High Precision CNC
Price for all three: $78.19

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Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2009 edition (November 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430224894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430224891
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Floyd Kelly is a professional writer from Atlanta, Georgia. He has written numerous books on multiple subjects, including LEGO robotics, open source software, and building your own CNC machine as well as a 3D printer. He is the editor-in-chief of the number one MINDSTORMS NXT blog, The NXT Step (TheNXTStep.com), where he is joined by fellow NXT experts who share their knowledge and designs with other robot fans around the world.

Patrick Hood-Daniel is a hobbyist. By day, he is an urban designer trained in architecture and city planning at the University of Miami and the University of California. But in his spare time, Patrick puts skills from a previous career as a computer programmer to good use in building and operating computer numerically controlled (CNC) fabrication machines. He is the creative force behind BuildYourCNC.com and is well-known for designing CNC machines that can be built at low cost by normal people, without any special or expensive tools.

Customer Reviews

You'll need to read the entire book.
Robert K. Tribit
This book is well worth buying, and there aren't others like it that I can find.
Ken
It is very easy to read and there are lots of pictures.
W. Winder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Guido Kimble on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got my copy of the book today. I've spent maybe a half hour skimming the book, and my initial impression is that it is very thorough and complete. It goes through the basics of why / how the linear bearings will work, how to cut and drill the MDF, etc. Even a novice, that had only minimal experience with simple power tools could understand and follow these directions to completion.

Everything seems to be very well documented, and is supported by many photos, schematics, and drawings. The photos are clear, even though they are black and white. The color versions of most of the photos are even on the website, if you need them, as are some videos.

Each chapter includes some nice quick-glance features, like a "Summary of Work" and a list of what MDF parts you'll be working on next. This is a nice addition, to help "ground" what you're doing, and keep you understanding what is going on.

The second chapter, titled "Hardware and Tools" is going to help a lot of people, I think, because it sets an understanding for what tools the author assumes you will have access to, and skill using. The requirements are not much cause for concern, since they are all simple power tools you can pick up at almost any hardware store. One thing that I would liked to have seen, would be more specific listings of some of the tools. For instance, almost every hole in the machine is either 1/4", 7/16", 3/8", or 3/4". It probably wouldn't have been to hard to give a specific list of all the drillbits used during construction if you follow the book to the letter. However, it still says you need drill bits, of course, so a little reading will quickly let you figure out which ones.
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Ken on December 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've had my copy of "Build Your Own CNC Machine" a week and have finished reading it. I've waited years for the cost of computer controlled tooling to become affordable for artisans and hobbyists. Even so, acquiring the needed information has always been daunting. I believe these authors have opened the gates wide and will impact many disciplines.

This book walks you through making a simple yet robust CNC machine that permits 3 axis, computer-precise milling in whatever your application, be it printed-circuit boards, violins, or aircraft parts. With this book knowledge of your own field may now be more limiting than your tooling.

The author's machine is made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF,) available in every home-improvement store. They use relatively easy joinery. The order of presentation and construction makes great sense. The author's techniques require reasonable accuracy but not high skill or tooling. Their website videos were made at a kitchen table with a few hand tools. The book is similar in approach but is clearly a refinement of their earlier writings. Motors, control circuitry, and the power supply are purchased, but the bottom line remains well under $1,000 and could even be much less if you have the needed skills.

I found the information in the book totally accessible and never lost in jargon or predispositions of a reader's skill. The authors are especially supportive. Their presentation clearly comes from substantial experience developing both the machine and the persons they've guided before. Every part of such a project involves "buy or build" decisions, which can make or break success . I believe the author's choices are excellent. This book is well worth buying, and there aren't others like it that I can find. I cannot thank them enough for what they've put into it.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First I must thank the authors for putting this together. I'm sure it has consumed alot of time to develop this machine and the book that shows us how to make it. I'm also sure that they are not getting rich from this either, but do it because they are passionate about it.

I have wanted to build something like this for ages but just haven't done it, but when I saw the article in MAKE magazine I was inspired to buy the book and start the project.

The companion website, [...] is a huge help as well.

The only criticism I have is around the technical details. You will find several deficiencies, such as a complete and accurate bill of materials, and several errors or ommisions on the drawings. You can download these things from the website but there are several versions with contradictions between them.

Were the authors to make changes, I'd recommend that they add a section to the back of the book with a bill of material, possibly with suggested sites where each item may be purchased, at least for parts that are uncommon. In this section I'd provide a complete and accurate set of drawings. Consider this a cliff notes section where those with more of an engineering background or aptitude in this area could go and have all the information they need to complete the project. In the meantime, I'd clean up the website with the contradictory material.

Having said this, my complaints are minor and would, and have recommended the book to others.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Smith on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those looking to buy a how to book, this one shows you how to build the authors first design. It will not help you build "your own" design but will help you build his original design.

If you look at the web site =(the book title buildyourcnc.com ) he is now 4 versions down the road, which is much improved over the design you get in the book.
(This book is WAY past the point of needing an update) also I feel the book is very "none technical" which makes the old design even more an issue.

The idea of building the design in the book is, well like stating "I want to build a 286 computer", why would you do it?

The web site related to the book is well done!, and has much more information than the book has!
I would Highly encourage the Author redo the book using the original, and some of his newer designs as well as other machine ref (fireball, probotics, etc etc. ). I would also encourage him to put effort into describing methods of alignment, (ref. [...]), and also put details in the new book showing how to improve the machines accuracy, and lastly the electrical is done ok in the book but is missing an overall wiring design or global overview of the control and stuff like e-stop, limit switches, pendants, and re-zero systems, etc.

Lastly the book does not cover some of what I was interested in.

Methods For correctly aligning rails for a CNC. (for lengths longer than 36")
Methods for setting the slave rail to the master rail
Best designs for lead screws and some dos and don'ts
Working with chain (what can be done)
Working with timing belts (what can be done)
Working with threaded rod (what can be done)
vendor listing for parts (lead screws, chain, backlash nuts, linear bearings etc.
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Build Your Own CNC Machine (Technology in Action)
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