Another Dust Collection/Management Thread

I was re-organizing my CNC area because it has gotten way out of hand, and thought since I had already move the Nomad out of the way, I should decide to do something about the dust/chip collection problem that occurs underneath the machine.

So i cut a great big honking hole in my CNC bench.

The frame is made from 4x4’s and I doubled up two 2x4s so the right edge of the Nomad has plenty of support, and basically the entire underbody is now exposed, so all the chips that used to collect there can fall through. My plan is to make some sort of funnel/cone to funnel the chips into a trash can, and hopefully seal it so I can attach my vaccum if desired to create a negative pressure area to encourage chip migration.

For anyone looking to do the same, i basically traced out the exterior edges of the Nomad’s sides, and then measured 2 inches inside of that and created a square to cut out. the square isnt pretty, i just ripped it with my skillsaw, hence why its not pictured; but it gets the job done.

(Im also dialing in the SMW fixture tooling plate…its loosely attached, and put these rubber strips to encourage some isolation to help with noise.)

and here you can see the entire bottom of the machine is exposed so chips should evacuate quite nicely. the only areas for improvement would be to notch the back corners of the plywood because those back corners of the nomad trap chips, but i can always use a can of compressed air when needed.



Have you considered the dust shoe for the Nomad?

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I have, and im still debating printing one and assembling it, but for the most part, i Iike doing aluminum or other metal projects, not wood, so i think id benefit from airblast over vaccum. obviously i could fit both but it would probably be pretty tight in there.

and i like HDPE, but i think with this downdraft setup, the chips should pretty much evacuate themselves. or at least thats my hope.

so far this is my prototype design for a chip funnel for beneath the nomad. It would allow me to hook my mini shop vacuum up to it to suck chips out, and using gravity, they should all slide and collect next to the suction port.

the suction port itself i will probably 3D print, and to attach it to the desk, ill probably drill holes in the top flange and put nutserts/rivnuts to attach it with some machine screws through the desk, with a foam gasket of some sort.

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added some 6mm holes, those will work as a starting point for rivnuts. i doubt thats the right size for M6 rivnuts but I can make the hole larger as necessary.


One aspect of dust collection rarely mentioned is that regardless of how elaborate or simple your system, you will still need to empty the collection bucket, clean the vacuum filter, and sweep out your cnc enclosure from time to time. Regular maintenance is key.

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oh for sure. this is just so that it doesnt all collect under the nomad like it did before, requiring me to lift the entire machine and move it. now, i should be able to just blast some compressed air down into the rear pockets to clear those out, and force chips into the funnel.

and normally i have to suck everything out with the vacuum after every run, so it wont change much, other than not having to manually vacuum the entire enclosure hopefully.

I still havent gotten around to building this yet…but it will happen at some point.

now that i’ve finished development on the other project i was working on, im rolling back around to this.

i re-designed the chip pan, and i think it utilizes gravity a bit more efficiently. and i left a big hole so that I can 3D print a bulkhead fitting in case I ever change the vaccuum i use.

went back to my original design, but optimized for sendcutsend to bend & cut it out in the minimum amount of pieces.

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added a window, and designed a 2 part funnel setup to prevent chip buildup in that corner, and allow the vacuum to connect to it.


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I finally got around to ordering these parts from SendCutSend to be able to work on actually building this. I was mildly concerned about having them do the bending in case I specified them wrong, or missed something in the design process, but it all fits perfectly!!

everything fits, and the only real issue is that the screw holes were a bit close to the bend on the bottom plate, but shouldnt be an issue i think. this will allow me to 3D print a funnel of any size that I can either attach to a vacuum directly, or a dust collection cyclone in the future without the metal needing to be changed.

now i just need to grab my welder from my parents house and I can get this all welded & painted and installed underneath my nomad.

once that occurs, I plan on adding some rubber and inserts to close off the bottom of the machine to help any vacuum in place, and prevent chips from escaping out the sides.


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