LowRider CNC v2 Journey

For approximately four years I have been very eger to get my hands on a CNC machine to learn the ins and outs of milling, cutting and Gcode. My understanding in all of it has greatly increased in a more practical package for home - my 3D printers, with which I have gained a ton of experience troubleshooting, modifying and eleborating on their designs. 

As it turns out with as awesome as 3D printing is, there are quiet a few very well designed CNC machines utilizing readily available and common parts in both metric and imperial measurement. After viewing and carefully considering a few, I decided on the LowRider 2 v2 by V1 Engineering.

This post is not intended to be a review of the CNC itself, but rather a journey of the experience and preparations of going from thought to build.

Why Lowrider CNC v2?

In short, what mostly attracted me to the Lowrider CNC by V1 Engineering is it's minimalistic design, offering versatility in both large and small format. While currently lacking space for a CNC with the ability to mill, cut or etch a full 4x8 sheet - I believe with the design of the LowRider 2, I can build and invest into a CNC to fit my current space with the intent of eventually moving it to a full size table. 

By building the CNC and retaining the width needed on my X axis for a 4x8 sheet, I can shorten my Y axis to accommodate space allowing me move my carriage over to a larger table with out repurchasing my stainless linear tubing rails.

Getting Started
The CNC is available to accommodate both metric and imperal, though reffered to mostly metric. Looking at my options, 25.4mm converts eveningly to 1" which is a very common material available in stainless steel in North America. So that's what I decided to go with.

I created a spreadsheet with part names and identified what parts were included in the four files I created for printing so I could keep track and plan filament accordingly. The site refers pla as the filment base of choice, which I prefer to print in anyways, with a suggested infill between 30-55 percent. I settled on 45% utilizing a brim for additional adhesion.

And then I began printing.

The print above took approximately 42 hours to print and included parts:

The above print took approximately 38 hours

The above print took

V1Engineering has done a fine job of providing the tools to simplify the building process with a calculator to determine your material lengths for fabrication based on desired usable cutting area. Based on the area I have available for this project, I decided to commit to a 4x2 cutting area to utilize purchasing a 4x8 sheet cut in to quarters (+/- 1/8). Based on that criteria, the calculator told me a I needed a table size of 56x39 inches.

Immediately following this point, I realized I am going to have to beef up this table and will likely be unable to utilize the white shelving, but am going to continue working out the rest of the details when I decide.

Struggling to find someone to cut any of my parts, I printed it with a 70% infill just to keep progress rolling knowing that it can be one of the first cuts the machine makes.