DIY CNC Thoughts


I’d like to make a simple portable CNC. It would make learning more fun because I could bring it with me and share it with people, plus I could do work when I’m on the road.

I came across this site which has some interesting simple CNC designs. There are a lot of interesting ideas there for cutting soft materials. The catch is the site operator is selling the plans. Some of them look worth buying just to see some of the design details.  🙂

I think linear bearings are a bit of a tricky problem because they seem expensive everywhere I look. You can buy them but then you need to figure out how to mount them. I think it’s a bit intimidating for a beginner.


Here’s another site describing a cool DIY linear bearing. This one is cast but I wonder if this could be an opportunity for “Makerbot to the rescue!”.

It looks printable and I wonder if it would work well for a lightweight machine.

Here is a picture from the site.

Another thing that comes to mind for this one is some sort of angle bracket. Looks like it could be a bolt together linear bearing.

Also, I wonder if this could be done based on 90 degree angle. The bearing would be unstable on one direction but I wonder if it matters or if might be easier to just have 4 bearings in around the circle.

linear ball

I just poked around on the internet a little more and found an example of using aluminum angle to make linear bearings.

Also I came across (March 10) the bearing to the right. It’s based on 8 small ball bearings. I think this might have some potential. You’d only need two per axis because you could just make them long enough for whatever application (rather than using 4 per axis like most solutions).  So that’s just 16 bearings per axis.

Now that I said that out loud, I realize that it might not be price competitive since the real linear bearings are often 20 bucks for four.

And this still uses the same shaft/rail but it wont work for supported rail.

What about plastic? more

Here’s a bearing blog.


Here’s a design that I find pretty easy on the eyes.

Looks like it could be excellent for light work.

I found it here.