I’m kind of new to CNC, but I finally found the time to complete the setup for my Shapeoko XXL. I thought I could share some of the pros and cons of what I have built.
I wanted to be able to access the machine easily, so I built hinges on the back. I also painted the inside white and hot glued an led strip on the top to provide some even reflected light.
The front glass framed panel hinges from the right side which makes it easy to change bits and place smalled pieces of materials in place without having to lift the entire enclosure up.
Finally I built a custom power switch so I can turn on my CNC machine, router, Raspberry Pi, and vacuum independently of each other. I can also tape the Raspberry Pi Camera to the glass. I also set up the VNC and SSH on the Pi. This lets me transfer files, control the Pi, and view the camera very easily without having to be at the machine.
A few things I would have done differently…
I would have made the enclosure a bit bigger. The power cables for the router and the z axis motor wires rub against the top of the enclosure in some places. Also I have a 2x2 going across the front and top of the enclosure. This really limits how I can access the machine (hence the hinges on the back).
The Raspberry Pi works great and is an inexpensive option, but I did spend a lot of time trying out different CNC software before I settled on bCNC. It works well most of the time, but it crashes every now and then and has 5x more features than I need. A version of Carbide Motion for the Raspberry Pi would be a welcome feature. All I want from the software is to easily zero the machine and then run a gcode file.
I hope this helps anyone thinking of how to set up their machine!