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Old 12-09-2015, 07:24 PM #1
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Default Feasibility of building a CNC Engraving Lathe?

I've been mulling this over for some time, and cursory google searches haven't been very fruitful. I'm interested in building a CNC engraver that includes rotational motion of the work piece as well as X and Y motion, essentially making a lathe. I wouldn't want it to be too large, possibly able to handle pieces 10"x10"x10" or so, and preferably capable of greyscale instead of just black/white. Since pieces will be rotating, giving the possibility of beams bouncing around if a surface is just right, I'd encase it in MDF or similar, which also limits the size. The case would have a momentary, normally open, switch attached so that the unit could not fire while the case is open.

I do 3D printing and one of my issues with it is the resolution. I have tweaked my printer as much as I can to get the parts as finished as possible off the print bed, but I still have to do some sanding or vapor baths to smooth them some. I would like to be able to chuck a piece into the lathe, close it up, load the cleanup image in the control software, hit Start and let the laser smooth out the piece for me.

Additionally, it would be nice to be able to engrave on round items, such as plastic mugs or other cylindrical items.

Has anyone here tried anything of the sort? Any tips or suggestions on how best to accomplish it?


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