I’m trying to get an idea of table and enclosure needs for a Shapeoko 5 Pro. Feel free to answer either/both sets of questions if you like!
If you have an enclosure,
- what is the internal volume, and why did you choose that?
- how did you approach the design and build?
- What would you change?
If you are about to build your enclosure
- did you use plans online?’
- How are you looking at accessing all sides?
- Are you considering sound dampening, and if so, how?
I also had an idea of creating an enclosure that has a clean work surface on top, and the CNC is housed on a shelf beneath the table. This would reduce the need for a separate table for assembly and processing of parts after they’ve been cut. Any thoughts on that? see my crude rendering of the CNC inside a Kreg table:
Pretty new to CNC, so I appreciate any other advice on what to consider!! when purchasing/building the enclosure.
The idea of the machine under table seems good. However it depends on your agility. Squatting on the floor to put in stock and changing bits would not work for me. Your idea of having the workspace above is a good one but again depends on your agility to squat on the floor. The other disadvantage of a small height is the dust extraction hose. How will you get the hose to track and not get tangled up on the gantry? For me the machine on top is what I would do but as long as you consider the disadvantages of having it low to the ground.
See this is why I love this kind of community. This render was obviously not to scale, so I’m not sure of the clearance, but yes, it would be difficult to fit the dust extraction in this configuration. I suppose that raises the question of “with the dust hose, what’s the minimum build volume”?
I’m fairly agile though, so I was thinking the low level wouldn’t be a problem, but I hadn’t thought about changing bits. Perhaps regular desk height is the better plan!
Since you said you are agile having a machine at bench height requires you to stand up to fix material and/or bits. I have my machine lower so I can use a chair to do most things like changing bits and watching. I still need to stand up for some things but I am old and have a really nice office chair I can sit in and watch and wait. Bench has some advantages but so does a desk height. Usually when longer jobs are running I am working on other things or cleaning in the shop. But I also smoke cigars in the shop and like to sit, smoke and watch my Shapeoko run.
Here’s what I’ve got, a month in…
I’m 6’3 with a bad back and knees at 41yo and that’s reason enough to have my cnc at tabletop level, but this cnc is the focus of my business, not secondary. I’ve built “modular” rolling benches that can be attached to each other to make a 4x8 (or more) surface and also rolled away at the perimeter to allow at least my wife’s car to fit in. I worry a little about moving the cnc and throwing off my flatness due to inconsistencies in my garage floor, but my work isn’t dependent on thousandth accuracy (usually) and I am pretty confident in the rigidity of my benches. If I was doing metalwork, sure, I get it. Btw it’s been really nice to read and see what everyone is doing because we’re always learning, and nobody knows anything until someone inspires or informs them
I should also mention that I part time at Rockler and we love cnc guys;)
There’s something therapeutic about sitting back and watching the cnc with a drink in hand and the kill switch in the other
Agile is one thing, kneeling on the floor hunched over with your head under a table to change bits,
Position stock, etc… is a whole other thing.
Maybe mock it up with cardboard at that height and do some practice to see what you think. I have mine at about 33” and I am short. I recently bought a rolling stool so that bit changes are at about eye level for me and I like that better than when I was leaning over.
I often have to get to the back of the bed to slide in clamps without moving things at the front of the bed.
I have a similar setup and it works for me. I can see how other people with older backs can struggle, but for someone like myself with a few more years of youth left and a higher need for clean space on top, my design works very well. I just drop my shop chair down to the lowest setting and it puts me right at level to do all my bit changes and whatnot. Kind of followed a plan, but was mostly just going with what worked for me. Not the greatest picture I could find on hand, but the top lid is on gas struts so it opens all the way up when I’m working. I can rig the dust collection hose to hang from it so it stays out of the way. I’ll go take a better picture of what I’ve got now.
Man. Lots to consider here. The benefit of going low is extra space in the workshop, but harder bit changes and workpiece movements. The benefit though of a desk or standing height is the ability to not be hunched while working with the machine… (something my anthropometry teacher taught me to value!)
The key to ergonomics is not to restrain the human body and its capabilities but to utilize it and, when necessary or even beneficial, move the body into and then back out of non-neutral positions. Do not maintain or require repetition of Non-neutral positions.
With that in mind, I wonder if there’s a way to have both worlds? space saving at regular height. Anyone have ideas for nesting rolling tables that put the CNC and a work surface at roughly the same height?
I like this, especially the cubbies below for storage. Do you have windows/walls for this table?
Super simple setup… I like it. I’m also going to have to consider conserving some of the space in the garage too… having two tables seems like more work on the front end, but allows for that extra space.
I like the nesting idea but I would invariably have junk in the way preventing me from sliding the top table out of the way when I needed it
Lots have people have suggested folding tables that come down from the wall or even a lift that can raise the CNC up to the ceiling when not in use.
I guess the question is whether you need to be using the CNC and the flat surface simultaneously or if you are just looking to have the workspace available when not using the CNC.
I would not want to be hammering, pulling, pushing on a table that was structurally attached to my CNC while in operation but planning, sanding, storing and assembly would most likely be ok. I also wouldn’t try any finishing while the CNC is cutting due to dust.
No windows or walls, but I do have future plans to make some and put them in place so they’re easily removable and whatnot for cleaning. Here’s a more updated shot where I have finished the drawers that go in those cubbies. Mind the mess, didn’t clean up from the last job yet.
I like that. It wasn’t clear to me from your earlier picture that the whole top lifted off. I would still be concerned about doing things on that top that might jar the machine while in operation but sanding or even using it as the outfeed like you show looks great.
I found this (now old) discussion topic very helpful when I was designing my enclosure. The discussion got named “The Enclosure Zoo”.
Given the nature of my shop, I am rarely doing something else while the machine is running, and if I am it’s usually over on my proper workbench. This space is primarily an outfeed table, or assembly. (which I don’t use much because the lid bowed while I was gluing it up so it’s not flat anymore. )
That being said, the whole table weighs so much that you’d be hard pressed to jar the machine while doing anything on top while it’s running.
I built much the same enclosure / worktable / outfield table. I didn’t have the floorspace in the garage to not have it do double duty. I had a bunch of plywood from a loft bed that my son outgrew and this was a nice project to use that up. The top hinges up for easier access, and the rear has a couple of matching drawers and a removable panel if I want to tile something longer.
I have a pi touchscreen that is going to get installed in the top center drawer so that the computer is always attached. Also, the dust hose needs some kind of center support.
Over all I am happy with the compromise between ease of access and space usage.
Bonus points if it’s on rollers and the machine slides out
Very nice! I like this a lot! Tell me about that Pi touch screen though… I’m trying to find a way to avoid stealing one of the family computers to be forever attached to the CNC!