There are hundreds of excellent resources out there that will help you build your own CNC machine. Listed here are some that I found useful. I will include other resources as I find them and by recommendation. This isn’t a list for every company that sells a part that might be useful though, these are select resources that really help home CNC enthusiasts (and particularly those in the UK when it comes to parts).
There are several forums that are dedicated to home made CNC machines. Picking one that is in your country can be useful as it will be more likely to have people that can recommend things you can buy locally which can dramatically reduce costs.
- MyCNC UK: http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/forum.php – I’m a member of this forum, some really knowledgable guys frequent the place.
- CNC Zone: http://www.cnczone.com/ – Probably the largest forum but mostly American so items discussed are sometimes hard to source.
Plans / Individual Builds / Kits
A few of the people who have built their own CNC have been kind enough to document the process and even offer plans of their machine and they are listed here in no particular order. Most are pay for some are free and the quality varies a lot.
- Joe’s CNC: http://www.joescnc.com/index.php – This site covers several CNC machines. The plans aren’t free but there are numerous photos of the machines and forums available.
- Build Your CNC: http://buildyourcnc.com/default.aspx – A semi-commercial site with a comprehensive set of tutorials.
- MechMate: http://www.mechmate.com/index.html – A good looking machine with plans available at a price (they were free for individual builds), also has forums.
- DIYLILCNC: http://diylilcnc.org/ – Provides a free and open source set of plans for a DIY CNC machine. If you’re in the states you can also buy pre-cut parts.
- Instructables: http://www.instructables.com/ – Numerous builds and plans for CNC machines, far to many to list individually. Most guides tend to be too short to cover all aspects of the build in detail.
- My CNC Hobby: http://mycnchobby.com/cnc/ – A small site with a few photos of a cheap and cheerful (unfinished) home made CNC.
- Solsylva: http://solsylva.com/ – Plans and loads of other information for cheap, home made CNC machines.
Note to suppliers: if you would like to appear on this list leave a comment below with your URL. If it’s relevant enough I’ll include your site in the list.
General CNC Parts
- HiWin: http://www.hiwin.com/ – Produce high quality linear guides, ball screws etc (don’t supply directly)
- Linear Motion Bearings (eBay): http://stores.ebay.co.uk/linearmotionbearings – A popular supplier of ballscrews, rails, etc. Will machine parts cheaply.
- CNC Drive: http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/ – Supplier of a wide range of components at reasonable prices. In particular they stock SBR, TRB and HiWin.
- World of CNC: http://www.worldofcnc.com/ – Good range of parts, UK based, includes kits.
- DIY CNC: http://www.diycnc.co.uk/ – Focuses on stepper motors, controllers and other electrical parts mainly, includes kits.
- Zapp Automation: http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/ – Excellent range of parts for home made CNC and automation in general. Also on eBay as cnc-parts4u: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/cnc-parts4u
- Emvio Engineering: https://emvioeng.com/shop/ – A selection of CNC parts, mostly TTS like tool holders but a few other items as well.
Bearings, Belts and Pullys
- Belting Online: http://www.beltingonline.com/
- Bearing Station: http://www.bearingstation.co.uk/ – Has a generally poor reputation for service.
- The Metal Store: http://www.themetalstore.co.uk/ – Good selection of metal at reasonable prices.
- Aluminium Warehouse: http://www.aluminiumwarehouse.co.uk/ – Aluminium supplier. Good range of profiles and sizes and price is fairly good.
- Metals4U: http://www.metals4u.co.uk – Supply a wide range of metals in various shapes and sizes but at a premium price.
- Metal Fast: http://www.metalfast.co.uk/
- Metallines: http://www.metalineswroughtiron.co.uk/
- Metal Mania: http://www.metalmaniauk.com/
- FH Brundle: http://www.fhbrundle.co.uk/ – Good range of steel sections and other items. Good prices for an online steel supplier.
- Parker Steel: http://www.parkersteel.co.uk – Good range of steel but prices are crazy (£84 for a length of 60x40x4).
- Lilleshall Steel Services: http://www.barrettsteel.com/… – This company is Gloucester based but they are part of the Barrett Steel group which are country wide.
- Chase Alloys: http://www.chasealloys.co.uk/ – Good range of metals.
- Euro-Bearings: http://www.euro-bearings.com/ – Supply bearings, tracks, screws etc.
- Metallin: http://www.metallin.co.uk/ – Aluminium profile on-line supplier.
- KJN Aluminium Profile: http://www.kjnltd.co.uk/ – A wide variery of aluminium profiles and fixtures.
- Valueframe: http://www.valuframe.co.uk/ – Various aluminium profiles. No shopping basket but a price list is available.
- Precision Profiles: http://www.precisionprofiles.co.uk/
- Grail Laser: http://graillaser.co.uk/ – Laser cutting (based in Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire).
- Precision Profiles: http://www.precisionprofiles.co.uk/ – Laser cutting service and some fixutres and fittings (based in Bristol).
Welding requires numerous consumables most of which are really easy to source on the Internet. Some, such as shielding gas, are difficult or expensive to find on-line though so the list below is mostly companies that are close to me in Gloucester, UK.
- R Tech Welding: http://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/ – Fairly large (and growing) welding equipment supplier based in Gloucester but shipping country (and I think even Europe) wide. I bought my welder from these guys and I’m very impressed with the service and equipment. There’s a review of my experiences here.
- John Stayte Services: http://www.johnstayteservices.co.uk/ – Offer industrial and pub gas supplies as well as other services.
- Cellar Gas Ltd: No Website (44 Romney Huts, HR2 6LD) – Near Hereford, offer pub gas.
- Adams: http://www.adamsgas.co.uk – Gas suppliers, deliver in Gloucester but no actual premises at the moment. Prices seem quite steep and there’s a “non-trade tax”.
- Maynard Ltd: http://www.maynardltd.co.uk/ – You wouldn’t know it from their website but they sell welders and gas supplies. Seems like really friendly and helpful guys. Last time I checked their website was down but the company still seems to be there.
- Target Tools & Equipment: No Website (Unit 1 Innsworth Technology Park, Innsworth Lane, Gloucester, GL3 1DL)
- Sergio: http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/search?uq=0624311285487295047510128&scoring=m – A range of standard rails, bearings and mounts.
- MacTavish: http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/search?uq=0990694220207768883659336&scoring=m – A few useful components.
- Jesse Baker: http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/search?uq=0367936594017787593662035&scoring=m – Profiles and a spindle