natalie haddad
fab academy 2012

suitcase CNC progress

what will it do?
It will be a suitcase CNC machine that can travel and be plugged in to cut small projects. The approximate bed size is 12" x 9" x 2" and the intention is to cut hard paper products.

who's done what beforehand?
Building the MTM Snap in order to gain knowledge on the operation of a threaded rod CNC machine. The suitcase is a standard size so the design has the option to be replicable.

what materials and components will be required?
HDPE will be needed, I will also be pouring liquid foam in a molded shape to help compress the cnc within the suitcase. As the suitcase currently stands, most of the scisting foam will need to be removed. The liquid foam will replace with molded spaces for storage of bits and other components.

where will they come from?
There is a BOM adapted from the MTM snap's BOM. Some of the components have already been collected as there were extra parts from my MTM Snap purchase. The main suppliers will be McMaster-Carr, USPlastics, Digi-Key, and Jameco.

how much will it cost?
The machine in total should be in the $700 range. With being able to save some money on the parts i have existing, the machine should cost me close to $600. The lines selected in orange on the spread sheet are to make note of parts that i have already. The few components missing from this list are the pourable foam, bits, and other small tools that may be needed.

what parts and systems will be made?
The main components of the CNC will be milled on out of HDPE utilizing the stiffness and flexibility of the Snap Joints. The axis of the CNC will be connected using hardware, mainly metal rods and threaded rods. The base shell of the machine will be HDPE too. There is also the component of anchoring the CNC within the suitcase, which will more than likely include glueing a baseboard of wood to the base with epoxy and using that base piece to hold down the machine in place. The other part that needs to be addressed is the fact that when the cnc is being stored, the gantry part will separate from the x-axis and will store below the cnc's cutting surface. In order to accomplish this i will need to drop the x axis down by about 1". I am hesitant to do this because i am concerned if i add more height to the machine it could add more problems. Also, I am looking into going up a size or two in the metal rod's radius to compensate for the longer distance it will cover. I dont want any flex in the rod if i can help it and running the distance of 20" poses the problem. The electronics will also be made in the lab. The current setup for the MTM electronics is planned to be replicated, but i am looking into the latest VM version and will possibly adapt to that setup.

what processes will be used?
Computer Aided Design
Computer Controlled Cutting
Molding and Casting
Electronics Production

what tasks need to be completed?
The final design of the anchoring of the machine to the suitcase needs to be completed. Getting the electronics up and running, and also designing the foam mold. Placing a final order of components. minor details of the design need to be tweaked, adding small tolerances and providing room for the motors to house properly.

what questions need to be answered?
The diameter of the rods thick enough?
Would an extension to the height of the machine allow for too much flex?
Method of attachment: machine to the suitcase
Final count of components that will need molded storage spaces.(electronics, power supply, netbook, bits, other tools)

what is the schedule?
The schedule is to complete design by the end of today, Wed May 16, place a final order for components first thing Thursday May 17. Prepare parts needed for processes (molds, mill pcb boards, etc) while waiting for parts to arrive. Compile parts of machine and have one full day to assemble. The goal is to have to project completed and running by the end of Class, May 29. There will also be a testing and documentation phase post fab academy that will occur before the machine departs on June 15.

how will it be evaluated?
It will be evaluated on its ability to operate within a respectful tolerance and consistency. Provided with the ability to operate in multiple countries and locations. Quick and simple assembly. Also, to be built under the 50lb weight limit for travel.