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April 7, 2016 AT 8:03 am

CNC Build Part 2: The Y Axis #3DThursday

The Y axis rails are the backbone of a CNC router.  In addition to defining the size of the work area, these rails must support the full weight of the rest of the machine.  They need to be strong enough to support the gantry and spindle.  And they need to be rigid enough to remain stable during heavy cutting and rapid movements.

234A1249

The primary structural members for these rails are a pair of heavy-duty “15-Series” aluminum extrusions from 80/20.

234A1250

To these, we’ve bolted some precision-ground linear guide rails, with matching recirculating ball slides to create a rugged, yet precise low friction linear slide.

234A1254

The front and rear cross-members are cut from 3/8” aluminum plate.

234A1251

The vertical members in the corners are pre-drilled to accept the bearings for the ball screws that will drive the gantry.

234A1256

The rear vertical members are also pre-drilled for the NEMA-23 motor mounts.  The whole assembly is then squared up and securely bolted to the base.

Next 3D Thursday:  The Gantry.


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