For quite a while I have wanted a CNC machine but I have always thought they were out of reach due to cost. Then I discovered there is a huge DIY-community of people who build their own machines using everything from MDF and wood studs to extruded aluminum and steel channels.
Discussing this with a good friend (Hi Fred!) we decided to build a machine and share in the cost and experience.
Searching for plans to build from, I came upon the Solsylva machine by David Steele. It seemed like a great way to get started and learning what goes into building a machine like this. We decided to go for the 25×25 plans due to my limited space availability.
The plans were $35 shipped to Canada. David shipped the plans the next day after receiving payment through Paypal. About a week later I received a 100+ page spiral bound construction manual detailing every last step in great detail with clear and precise drawings and dimensions.
Since we will likely be modifying the plans a bit and building a cabinet around the machine for dust control I have decided to construct it first using Sketchup. This will give me some initial insight into the construction, as well as hopefully catch size issues. I decided on Sketchup rather than my usual modo because Fred is familiar with it and it has good dimensioning tools.
During this process I will also be making a price/shopping list to make sure everything is within a reasonable budget.