Built a New Home for My Shapeoko3

I wanted a way to stop the dust from taking over my shop while I was using the CNC. Instead dealing with a vacuum attachment I decided to try a box first. I wasn’t going to spend much on it so I just built it out of scraps laying around. Pretty? Not so much but it makes the shop a friendlier environment.
<img src="/uploads/default/original/2X/4/4cc5c2b1ac6e1690e67014023a0df56093cd16a0.jpg" width=“690” height="380
The only thing I bought was the USB LED Tape lights. The glass I got out of an old scanner.


You can see a video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lIAMFywhf4

3 Likes

Oh I added lights! They are the only thing I ended up buying. I found USB LED tape. Pretty cool stuff.


If you want to check those out: http://amzn.to/2hbjzpj

2 Likes

Does it help with the noise much?

Very nice! I like the lighting and the triangle one top for the lid to lean back on.

Unfortunately, if you work in friable (“easily crumbled”) materials (e.g. wood, MDF, FR4, Garolite, Fibreglass) the particle generated are extremely hazardous to your health. Without a properly design vacuum system exposure to those particles will occur. A poorly designed vacuum can INCREASE you exposure!

Particles generated by CNC machines are not simply “saw dust”, they have a high content in the 1-5 micro range which can severely affect your lungs and immune system. They also tend to hang onto cloths and can carried with you into your dwelling affecting your loved ones.

Yes, an enclosure reduces the risk of exposure but cleanup with a simple “shop vac” can actually be dangerous.

Yes, an enclosure helps reduce the exposure to noise. Noise exposure from CNC machines can easily damage your hearing. It’s not simply because it can be loud, it’s also about the length of exposure - which can last for hours.

It’s simple to design in sound suppression into an enclosure for the start. Enclosures can often be retrofitted for such but it’s much easier to design it in from the beginning (mostly because on has to allow space/volume for the noise suppression materials).

I’ve posted quite a few things about health disks, enclosure design, and vacuum design. I’m more than happy to help out answering questions and assisting with enclosure and vacuum design. Good design can be very professional without being expensive. That said, spending to protect yourself and your loved one is definitely a good investment.

mark

P.S.

Plywood is MUCH better than nothing for sound suppression but there are much better materials. If one can afford the volume - increased enclosure size - multiple layers of materials can achieve truly impressive levels of noise suppression at fairly low costs.

One of my enclosures - with 3.5" thick walls - have ~30 dBa of noise suppression across a large span of frequencies. If I could afford a 5 (or 6) inch thick wall, the noise suppression could be improved a bit for most frequencies - but the suppression a lower frequencies would be dramatically improved.

@Murdocjx Not as much as I was hoping. It does tone it down, but I still wear earplugs.

1 Like

@mbellon Thanks for the input. Since I sill use sanders and saws in my shop I wear earplugs all the time. I am curious about what you think an adequate vacuum set up would be. I have been thinking about building a collection system for all my tools.

One thing that is still kind of a pain is that the rails get get dust on them and then the rollers smash it into the rails… Seems like that could cause stress to the motors if it built up too much so I just scrape it off after a few cuts.
Oh, and I got the glass for the front out of a broken scanner. :slight_smile:

One thing that is still kind of a pain is that the rails get get dust on them and then the rollers smash it into the rails… Seems like that could cause stress to the motors if it built up too much so I just scrape it off after a few cuts.

Yes, that is a problem for CNC machines. This is what a good dust head and vacuum system will help prevent or LARGELY reduce. Adding polycarbonate shields - to cover the rails and such - is an inexpensive and effective idea.

Many profession level machines wither have shields or have their rails UNDERNEATH the machine for this very reason.

Oh, and I got the glass for the front out of a broken scanner. :slight_smile:

As I said, anything - enclosure wise - is MUCH better and safer than nothing. Recycling materials is a fine art in machining. You just proved the point. :wink:

mark

Not as much as I was hoping. It does tone it down, but I still wear earplugs.

Yes, I would expect that given the enclosure design (just a “simple box”). Please don’t get me wrong - its a good design - it’s just that formal sound suppression wasn’t part its design. Sound suppression in enclosures require a bit of forethought and understanding, and a bit larger budget. With some good thinking, the improvement over a simple box can be astounding.

CNC machines expose their users to high levels of sound for long periods of time and even if the level are “reasonable”, hearing damage can occur. Using ear plugs is a great idea to ensure you’re protected.

mark

Since I sill use sanders ans saws in my shop I wear earplugs all the time.

There are specialty solutions for safe sanding. Dust collection with sanders and grinders is entirely possible. Unfortunately, these solution require choices to be made at the time of purchase - it’s hard to retrofit.

In your situation I would recommend ear plugs (hearing protection) and a HEPA filter mask. Before ging inside your home I would vacuum myself off. Yes, vacuum your hair and cloths!

I am curious about what you think an adequate vacuum set up would be. I have been thinking about building a collection system for all my tools.

Safe air handling for enclosed spaces with friable material machining can be achieved via two solutions. Both of these are accepted by the EPA (US) and EU (Europe).

Start by having a dust head on your CNC machine. The dust head should have as large a vacuum fitting as possible. 2.5 inches is the effective minimum and 4 inches is required for truly safe operation.

A) Exhaust the air outside.

dust head -> tubing -> dust separator -> dust collector -> dump air outside -> 5 micron filter

B) Exhaust the air inside.

Solutions A and B use a dust collector - a vacuum element.

dust head -> tubing -> dust separator -> dust collector -> HEPA filter -> dump air inside.

With solution A a Thien dust separator or a cyclone is acceptable. The 5 micron filter is necessary to avoid the accumulation of “snow” outside.

Solution A tends to be quite inexpensive but has a downside… noise. The exhaust may bother neighbors. Depending on how sensitive the neighbor is, and how far away they are, it may be possible to install a inexpensive muffler to bring the sound level to an acceptable level.

Solution B require a quality dust separator. The Thien method is good but not as good as a commercial cyclone. The need for a super high quality separator is to remove as much of the particles as possible before the vacuum. The HEPA filter protects the user for dangerous particles but are relatively expensive. On order to avoid high HEPA filter costs, a quality dust separator is necessary to slow the clogging up rate of the filter.

Please note that dust collectors often come with “filters”. Most of them are dangerous to your health. Unless the filter is HEPA rated, one is unsure that they aren’t being cheated, potentially damaging their health.

How to design the tubing and such we can discuss. It’s not hard, nor is it expensive. Like enclosure design, a bit of thinking and understanding up front produces excellent results.

mark