Monday, March 25, 2013

CNC Machine Enclosure Take Two

This week at the Tinker's Workshop I have been rethinking my original design for the CNC machine enclosure that I posted last week.  My first attempt at the design looked great but actually still needed a bunch of work to make it less expensive and be able to have some sound proofing built into it.  Here is what I came up with. 

The enclosure for my Solsylva CNC machine will be nothing more than a large four foot box with doors that open on all sides.  Only the front doors will have windows in them.  All other door will be solid with foam pyramid foam for sound reduction while the machine is in use.  The original design had no sound reduction foam in it so it looked good but did nothing to make it quieter to use.  All the doors will allow for easier cleaning and maintenance of the machine.

The base of the enclosure is made up of 2 x 4 lumber, 1/2 inch plywood, and four casters.  The original design had a slated base which still could be designed that way but with the plywood deck it was no more expensive and a lot faster to construct.  All good.  This platform will hold the PC tower and electronics (black box) that makes the CNC work.  With the base being as large as it is it will also be a nice place to store anything else that I will need for the CNC machine or for the shop itself.   The  one piece deck also will be easier to clean than a slatted floor too

This is what the front doors will look like from the inside of the enclosure.  The pyramid foam I found online from a  company named The Foam Factory.  It will cost around $42 for the 12" x 12" foam panels that will be needed in the project.

Here is the other door panels with all surfaces covered with the foam sound deadening panels.  The foam can either be glued in place or possibly set in using Velcro strips.  I will have to experiment with some scrap pieces before I decide which direction I will go with it.

Even the top of the enclosure will have foam sound deadening panels inserted into it.  I figured that this will  be worth the effort as anything that can be done to make the machine run quieter will be a plus on my nerves and on my neighbors should they be close enough to be listening in on what I am making at the time.  The top panel has small mounting blocks attached to it so that it can just be dropped into place on the top of the enclosure and it will be ready to go.  
  Now for the cost savings in the project.  I crunched the preliminary numbers on the cost of the enclosure and this is what I came up with .  The original design which looked pretty but would be noisy  to use would cost roughly $412 to build.  This did not include the cost for paint or varnish and misclanious hardware (eg..screws, bolts, nuts, etc.).  After reworking the design to make it the same size but with sound deadening foam to reduce the noise the cost was  came down to $264 to build.  The big cast savings was mainly due to the expense of all the Plexi-glass that the original design called for.  Pretty and expensive.... not a good match.  All the windows did was allow enough light into the machine so you could see what you were milling.  The new design will have electric lights built into it so all the windows will not be needed. 
  So with the new design I get an enclosure that is easier to build, less expensive (Savings of around $150), and quieter to use while running the CNC machine.  I think we have a winner!  Once I get all the drawings put together for the design I will have plans put up on the plans page here for anyone that also needs this enclosure for their CNC machine.  Stay tuned for further updates when I start putting this project together.  

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