Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Vacuum System For My CNC Machine Is Up and Working!

After a bit of work this morning I got the vacuum system for my CNC machine up and running.  The parts for the vacuum mounts were designed by David Steele who also designed the machine itself.... The Solsylva.  

The parts are nothing more than wooded pieces that I had made on the CNC machine a few days earlier and some plastic pipe from the plumbing department at Lowes. The black piece is the plastic tube that came with the shop vac hose that I had bought for the ceiling mount.

The small plastic pipe is mounted into the foot of the vacuum with epoxy resin.

 Then the parts were painted and a plastic skirt was added to the foot.  The skirt is nothing more than a section of plastic cut out of a two liter pop bottle.  This pop bottle tube slid on the vacuum foot with a little elbow grease and some slippery dish soap.  It is VERY tight so it is on to stay.  No problem.

All the parts are now combined to make the complete vacuum setup. It stands just about 12 inches tall at this point. 

A series of cuts are made into the plastic skirt so that it is more flexible.  It curves inward naturally and looks really good at this point.  I like the fact that it will keep the cutting dust from flying all over the place and you still can see the bit when you are using it.

Here the vacuum foot is installed on the CNC machine.  A hose clamp is all that is needed to hold it into place as it is very light weight and does not move once it is mounted.  The black screw just above the foot on the white plastic tube is a quick mounting screw for the foot and skirt so that it can be remove or installed easily for bit changes without having to remove the extension tube. 

The vacuum system is connected to a standard shop vac hose that is mounted to the ceiling and the wall behind the CNC machine.  The black piece of tubing that I spoke of in the first photo in this section slid into the white tube easily as it is tapered.  All I had to do was slid it in until it I got a snug fit.  That's it. Then all I have to do is plug my workshop shop vac into the other end of the hose and it's ready to run.  I fired it up and it draws air in nicely with the vacuum skirt just touching the part I needed to cut out and form a good barrier and vacuum chamber for the setup.


  1. I tried posting a comment here a little while ago, but made the mistake of doing it from an iPad... I just wanted to say that I've been enjoying your posts! I've built the same machine as you (well at least it's a machine using the same plans). Your build looks great and it was encouraging to see someone else out there who had managed to get the pop bottle tube to fit! I gave up and cut it into a strip and attached that with a band clamp... I feel like I failed ;)

  2. The maintenance of this machine is not really strict or high. A cnc plasma cutter is very important for machine shops and this is a good investment so it is important that you take care of it. It is not cheap so you should check it all the time.

  3. The CNC Machine Tools are getting very famous due to their outstanding results and easy handling. They also save our precious time.