2' x 4' CNC Router
I want something that lasts and is rigid. Not a flimsy machine made out of wood or plastic. I want to be able to cut aluminum.
- All Aluminum and Steel Construction
- We don't compromise anywhere. All of the major frame components and pieces are either aluminum or steel. No plastic. No wood. No worries. Our machines are built to be rugged and handle whatever project you happen to throw at them.
- TTP System Gives The Table Maximum Rigidity
- Our Tension Table Pro (patent pending) system is designed to give you maximum rigidity of the frame. Many machines just use a few fasteners and maybe some brackets to connect the aluminum extrusions, but it's not as rigid as it could be. Our TTP system connects the frame by running 12 threaded rods through the frame and then tensioning them down. It is the most rigid connection system in it's class and is the best method for preventing the machine from twisting or bending. Take a look at the overview video below and see how it can benefit you.
- Riser Block System Ties Everything Together
- Part of the challenge in designing a machine like this is making sure that all connection points are both rigid and easy to assemble. When we decided to raise gantry up 7" to give you the clearance you need for parts, we had to come up with an easy way to attach this part to the table and was still rigid. The Riser Block system is our solution. The system does 4 key things:
- The blocks, placed in alternating orientation, have been designed to only deflect 0.0002" inches on 400 lbs of cutting force, which is more force that you should see when using the machine.
- The blocks slip into the T-Slots and can be easily attached without having to take anything apart or pre-insert screws
- The blocks tie into both 8020 extrusion pieces at the the table attachment point and provide a second set of connections to tie the table together.
- The blocks will automatically pull all of the table cross pieces square and level with each other, ensuring that your table top is square and level when you use it. The following overview video shows and highlights the benefits of this system:
- We Believe In Maintenance, Self Service, And Building To Last
- We hate throwing stuff away because one tiny piece breaks and you can't fix it yourself. We believe that products should be designed for maintainability and self service. You are making an investment that needs to last a number of years, and we have designed the machine to do just that. We always carry spare parts for all of our machines on hand so you never have to worry. We also provide all the plans for each part of the machine, so even in the highly unfortunate case that we aren't around 20 years (we certainly expect to still be going strong) from now when you need that spare part you can be assured that you can either buy it off the shelf or make it yourself.
- Mostly Made In The USA
- All of the machined components and 80/20 extrusion are made in the USA. All of the assembled components are assembled in the USA. The kit is designed and packaged in the USA. We do all these things in the USA because we want to deliver quality components made to tight tolerances that are built to last.
I am new to CNC and don't know if I can assemble it and use it. Most instructions are just confusing. And how will I design and build my projects the "CNC Way"?
- Assembly Videos
- We provide you with a videos included in your kit on how to build the machine. Every step is fully laid out in it's own separate bag and ready for you to build. The video details every step you need to get your machine up and running. Take a look at the assembly video now before you buy. If you can follow the video, the machine will be a breeze to put together.
- Exploded Drawings and Full CAD plans
- If you're a visual guy and prefer to build off of a set of plans, we have the several formats available. The full SolidWorks plan set is available for those that have Solidworks 2013 or greater. If you don't have Solidworks, we offer an EASM format, which you can access by downloading a free viewer program. This program allows your to move around the model, measure distances, hide certain parts, and can be a great aid when assembling the machine. If you prefer a paper set of plans, we have a full set of exploded PDFs that you can download to get what you need. Just click on the Downloads tab and you should see links for all of these plans.
- Parts are broken into steps that are fully labeled and quickly accessed
- It's convenient for us to put all of one type of screw in a single bag, regardless of whether or not that screw is used in 10 different steps. That creates a lot of hassle for you though because you constantly need to search for the bolts you need. So, we don't do that anymore. Instead, we bag each step separately and include only what you need in that step. We want this build to be enjoyable, not frustrating.
- CNC Basics articles and videos on how to run the machine
- Often the biggest question is, after the machine is together and running, how do I use it to cut out the parts I need. We have a collection of articles on CNC Basics. They cover a wide range of basic topics like holding your work down, selecting bits and feedrates, and how to zero the machine. These articles are supplemented with videos that illustrate the concepts on our machines. Don't see something you have a question about? Shoot us an email and we'll get the question answer and put an article up about it.
- Featured Projects show you how to do a project the CNC Way
- Featured Projects are a way to learn how to design a project for the CNC. We give away plans to build cool projects that you can take and run on your machine. We give instructions on the design process and tips for designing, cutting, and finished the project that you can take and use on your own projects. It's an excellent introduction into the world of CNC design. Check out the Featured Projects. We are adding more each month.
- CNC Basics articles show you how to design projects to get the most out of your machine
- CNC Basics Articles on Design Videos on Designing projects - The CNC Basics series covered more than just the basic machine setup and operation. We have a series dedicated to showing you different design techniques you can do with your next CNC project.
Multiple manual machines take up a ton space and workflow and require customized jigs for anything non-standard.
- Machines you can replace with a CNC
- Here's just a sample list of common machines and processes that can be transitioned to the CNC router:
- Table Saw
- Cutting sheets into final dimension pieces
- Cutting rabbits and dados
- Scroll Saw
- Cutting customs shapes and inside pockets.
- Cutting intricate detailing
- Router Table
- Cutting rabbits and dados
- Cutting end sections like Box Joints, Finger Joints, and Dovetails
- End work on pieces like roundovers, chamfers, and raised paneling
- Eliminate creating and using templates for custom shapes
- Drill Press
- Drilling any sized hole
- Pocketing large holes that would normally require hole saws
- Creating mortises
- Countersinking and counterboring
- Table Saw
- Redefine you Workflows
Imagine that your building cabinets for a customer that requested dovetails on the drawers, adjustable shelf pins on the open cabinets and a custom carving on each raised panel.
Your workflow without a CNC might look something like this:
- Cut all pieces to final length on the tablesaw and miter saw.
- Use your pocket hole jig to make the pocket holes.
- use your shelf pin jig to make the shelf pins.
- Use a router to profile all edges and create the raised panel doors.
- Use a templating jig to route the custom carving on each face frame.
- Use a custom router jig to carve out the hinge pockets on the door.
- use a dovetail jig to dovetail the drawer sides.
- Finally we get around to assembly of the cabinet.
Note that the above assumes all the jigs are on hand and you don't have to make anything.
our Workflow with a CNC might look like this:
- Load plywood sheet onto CNC. CNC cuts out set of drawer frames and a set of cabinet sides. While CNC is cutting, cut out the face frame and raised panel frame pieces on the miter saw.
- When CNC is done, set up drawer sides on CNC to be dovetailed. CNC dovetails drawer slides while you are free to continue working on the cutting, pocket holes, and assembly for the face frame.
- Load wood on CNC for raised panels and drawer frames. CNC cuts out the profiles, does the edge work, does the carving on the panel, and drills the hardware holes. While this is running, you are free to work on assembly of the other parts.
Our CNC routers can drastically simplify your workflow. Not only that, but things that were not possible before like crazy shapes and 3D carvings become design staples that give your projects flare and style, in large part because they are so easy to include.
- No more custom jigs on projects
- Want to cut out a cutting board in the shape of Texas? That's as easy as producing a square piece. Custom jigs you used to make for things like arcs, lettering, and pockets are no longer needed. Just clamp the material down to table and let the machine do the work. You no longer need that shelf pin jig or the dovetail jig. All of that can now be done on the CNC Router. Even your custom tablesaw sleds for angle cutting, cross cutting, and specialty cuts like coves are not longer needed. The CNC router should make custom jigs a thing of the past.
|X Axis Travel||28 inches|
|Y Axis (Gantry) Travel||52 inches|
|Z Axis (Vertical) Travel||10 inches|
|X Axis Drive System||Rack and Pinion Drive|
|Y Axis Drive System||Rack and Pinion Drive|
|Z Axis Drive System||1/2-10 5 Start Leadscrew|
|Accuracy||0.002"-0.005" per linear foot out of the box|
|Repeatability||0.002"-0.003" out of the box|
|Rapids - NEMA 23||1600 IPM recommended, 2100 IPM max|
|Rapids - NEMA 34||1600 IPM recommended, 2100 IPM max|
I'm just finishing assembling this kit...super happy with the quality and completeness, well thought out. The machine base is very rigid and assembles fast. Linear carriages provide solid contact for travel along all directions. The gantry is rock solid. 8020 extrusion and guide rails/assembly hardware machining is excellent. I searched for a comparable kit for 12 months before being recommended to FLA by several users. Best bang for the buck, well worth it.
I put the order for this item after 4 days still no respond on any communication, ( Email, Phone , TEXT, ..)
I am still waiting , he told me everything is ready to ship..!!
FINE LINE AUTOMATION NOTES:
I am leaving this review here (we leave all reviews as a policy, though we reserve the right to add notes). We started getting communication from him 4 days after he placed the order. We notified him the next day that we would be shipping it zoo and shipped his kit 6 days after he placed the order). He got the order 5 days later (shipping to Canada).
This was a very robust machine. I was very satisfied with this machine and it's performance. However, there were a few issues with hardware
that was provided to assemble the kit. Overall this is a pretty good machine. I have owned 3 of these machines so be sure and check out all of the reviews. I would actually purchase this machine again if I had to. This is a very simple setup.
I have purchased the following from FLA.
- 52 X 52 Plasma Table (Special Request) Torch Mount Had to be remade
- 28 x 52 Router Table (Hardware issues) Later converted to a 52 X 52
- 60 X 120 Router Table Nema 34 Setup With VFD/Spindle (Cannot Support what he sales) STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!!! Review will be posted under 4 X 8.
FINE LINE AUTOMATION NOTES:
The hardware issues have been fixed. The 60x120 router table mentioned was a completely custom machine. We will be commenting on that review.
- Does the table come with legs?
The kit does not come with legs. It is designed to be mounted on a workbench or dedicated stand. Half of our customers wanted built it legs and half wanted to build their own base. Therefore, we decided to not incorporate legs in the new design and offer an optional stand for the kit. We are going to be offering a stand as an option shortly. Stay tuned for more information.
- What type of router do you recommend?
We generally recommend at least a 2 HP router to use with the machine. In the shop, we use the Hitachi M12VC. The Porter Cable 690 is another one we recommend. In reality, any of your name brands (Bosch, DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, etc.) will work well. Please check with us to see what mount you will need for those.
If you are looking to go high end, we recommend getting a water cooled spindle with an 80mm shaft.
If you are doing a lot of metal and plastic, we recommend mount an X2 head on your machine. Contact us if you are interested in this option.
- Why use Rack And Pinion Drives? What are the advantages of rack and pinion drive over leadscrew?
It really all depends on the application.
For axis lengths longer than 36", we recommend hands down the Rack and Pinion system. There are several problems with the ACME drive at longer lengths:
- At high speeds, a long ACME Drive screw is subject to a whipping effect and essentially turns into a jump rope as it spins. This forces you to run the axis at slower speeds than you normally would. The Rack and Pinion Drive doesn't have this problem because the gear rack is secured to the table at every 4" and is a lot more rigid.
- The top end speed of a ACME Drive System is around 250IPM at short lengths, even less at longer lengths. The Rack and Pinion drive can easily move at 1500IPM+. When the machine is traversing a long distance, the Rack And Pinion Drive System can get to it's destination 6 times faster than a leadscrew.
For Axis lengths shorter than 24", we recommend hands down the ACME Drive system:
- Because of the short distance, the Rack and Pinion drive doesn't have time to accelerate to top speed and is about as fast as a leadscrew drive.
- The leadscrew has a better step resolution than the Rack and Pinion.
- The Rack and Pinion drive is very bulky, especially for short axis. For instance, on the Z-Axis of our machines, it's almost impossible to fit a rack and pinion drive into the space. Leadscrew drives fit right inline with our linear motion rails, are very compact, and don't get in the way of things.
For axis lengths between 24" and 36", either will do fine. We elected to go with the Rack And Pinion on the X-Axis to keep the velocity and acceleration profile the same as the Y-Axis.
- What options do I have for the machine tabletop?
Your choice in tabletop will depend mainly on what you are machining and how you are holding it down. If you are doing sheet work or plan on bolting something directly down the to the table, the most popular method is to attach a section of plywood or MDF that can be used as a spoilboard. You will most likely be cutting through your part and need to make sure that when you cut through you aren't damaging a fancy table. This spoilboard is meant to be a disposable piece that you can then throw away.
Some folks use aluminum extrusion or a solid, flat piece of aluminum. This provides plenty of hold down options and make the machine more solid. To prevent cutting into the bed, you would lay a sheet of 1/8" hardboard down and set your material on top of that. If you are interested in this route, contact us for more information.
- What performance expectations can I reasonably expect?
Using a 1/2-10 5 start ACME Screw (what the Z-Axis uses), the resolution of the screw is 2 turns per inch. A standard 1.8 degree per step stepper motor has 200 steps per turn which translates to a total of 400 steps per inch. Most controllers use microstepping to achieve a finer resolution. For instance, the G540 creates 10 microsteps per step on the stepper motor, which increased the total to 4000 steps per inch or 0.00025" per step. Using our rack and pinion, the resolution of is 190.9861 steps per inch. This translates to 1900.9861 steps per inch or 0.0005326" per step with the G540.
Now in practice, the backlash on the system is going to limit accuracy and repeatability. With our machines, out of the box you can reasonably expect and we guarantee accuracy and repeatability to be within 0.002-0.005" per linear foot. With a little tweaking, our users are reporting getting 0.001" accuracy on smaller feature parts.
- Why do I need a 4 Axis electronics package for this kit?
The Y Axis on the kit uses 2 rack and pinion drives and each drive requires 1 motor. Only one motor can be controlled by each axis driver. The 2 motors are slaved together in the control software and the software makes them function as one unit.
- Is everything in the kit that I need?
This kit contains all of the mechanical parts needed to get up and going. You will still need to get the following to make a complete machine:
- Electronics to drive the machine. We offer several electronics packages as optional add-ons. You will need a minimum of a 4-Axis kit to drive this machine.
- A workbench or stand to set the machine on. The machine does not come with legs. You will want to bolt it down to a sturdy bench or stand. We have a stand we are prototyping. If you are interested, please email or call us and we can give you more information.
- A tabletop for the machine. See above for a detailed list of options.
- A computer and appropriate controller software. We recommend Mach 3 as the control software.
- A router or spindle mount. We offer options for several different styles of routers and spindles. In addition, we sell water cooled spindles and VFD controls. See above for our recommendation on what setup is best for you.
- Is there a leadtime?
We stock these kits and they are ready to ship immediately. In the event that we do run out of stock, we will notify you immediately and ship it within the week.
Here are the plans for our 2' x 4' CNC Router. The actual working area is 28" x 52". The plans below are for the NEMA 23 version of the kit. If you want to build the NEMA 34 version of the kit, all of the aspects of the design are the same except for the motor shaft coupler, the motor mount plate, and the rack and pinion drives. The plans are availabe in EASM format, pdf, and Solidworks 2013. If you do not have Solidworks, we suggest viewing the files in the EASM by downloading the free edrawings viewer. If you have any questions or issues with the plans, please contact us so we can correct them.