Home of the GrumpyGeek

Rockcliff Mini Model D

After making several unsuccessful attempts at a quick and easy CNC Router, I decided to take a look at the Rockcliff CNC plans I has purchased several months earlier.   The Model A still looked like more than I wanted to take on for a first attempt, but I noticed that there was another set of plans for a ‘D’ model.  After looking it over, I was happy with the fact that the model ‘D’ was a very flexible build, and would lend itself to being built as several assemblies that could be build and tested separately before being combined into the finished machine.

Since I has already purchased some materials for the previous attempts, I decided to salvage what I could to keep costs down.  I ended up scaling the machine down to allow for the salvage, but the final machine still ended up with a 13.5 x 26.5 inch cutting area, which was only slight smaller than the 16 x 24 inches I was originally planning.   The cutting speed is a respectable 24 ipm (inches per minute), so far I have only cut mdf, but I think the machine should be able to handle most wood/plastic products and might be able to cut aluminum, although I have no plans on trying.

Unfortunately, I did not take pictures during the build, so you will have to settle for the pictures of the completed machine.

Here is  one of the first cuts I made:

This is my first attempt of something more complicated:

For anyone who is interested, this is a preliminary list of what it has cost me so far (in case you are thinking about building a machine), I tried to keep things as cheap as possible.  All amount are US dollars.

Rockcliff plans: $20 – ebay
2×4 3/4 MDF (2): $20 – Lowes
2×4 1/2 MDF: – $8 Lowes

4 Motors & 3 axis Xylotex Controller: $139 – Ebay shipped
Extra Controller (Probotix Side step Driver & Heat Sink): $31 shipped
DB25 Breakout board: $21 – ebay shipped
Power Supply (24v 4a 145w Regulated Switching): $34 Ebay shipped from China (3 weeks)
Wiring 30 ft 22ga 4wire: $10 – Home Depot
Limit Switches : $8 Ebay shipped (not installed yet)
DB25 Cable: $6 – Frys

Couplings  (8) (1/4″ ID 1″ long brass sleeve bearings) : $18 – Lowes & Ace Hardware
Misc Nuts, Bolts & Screws: $25
Lead Screws (5/16 – 18tpi): $16 – Lowes
100 pack roller blade bearings: $30 EBay shipped
Aluminum Angle (2): $10 – Lowes
Nylon Wing Nuts (4): $3 – Lowes
Blue Locktite: $4 – Ace Hardware
Router Dewalt DW660: $44 Ebay Shipped
Rotozip Bits: $8 – Lowes
Steel Rod: $16 – Lowes
Wood Glue: $5 – Walmart

Clamps (3): $18 – Lowes
Drill Press: $35 – Big Lots
Table Saw: $150 – Lowes (Birthday gift cards – Yeah!)

PC (Gateway PIII 450): Free
Monitor 17″ CRT: Free

EMC2: Free
Vectric Cut2d: $150
CadStd: Free


Machine Hardware and electronics: $493
Tools: $198
Software: $150

Total: $841