Building DIYLILCNC in Canada

This topic contains 31 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Open Form Architecture 9 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)
  • Author
  • #2220

    At Open Form Architecture we’ve started the process to build the machine and wanted to know who else out there is working on it like us, and if you’ve found different suppliers within Canada to avoid customs problems and costs.



    Where in Canada are you based? Whom are you using for the laser/waterjet/plasma cutting? I’m in Calgary and I’d love to make one of these things



    I have committed to a CNC build and am in the process of selecting a final design from the many excellent open source projects available. The DIYLILCNC has a good chance of making it as the one. I to am concerned about availability of materials and finding suppliers within Canada. The one i choose to build must have easy and cheap access to parts. I am in Vernon, BC.



    All of the parts are availble through places like acklands or some local industrial supply shop, (not the motors, but most of the building materials will be. I’m going to build a modified version of this assuming I can figure out some problems. But as far as parts go, yes they’ll be easy to acquire.



    @Darryl : I’m in Kelowna. I don’t know of any local suppliers for most of the mechanical components, but the fastners (bolts/washers/machine screws) are easy to get locally.

    Once and a while I run into problems bringing fasters across the border because of anti dumping laws, but everything else should be fine.

    My plan is to cut out the pieces on a cnc router, and dogbone/fillet the joints (round tooling cannot create a square inside corner). Will keep you guys posted once I get a new 1/16″ end mill


    @ ALL:


    OFA is in Montréal and we have different people submitting costs for laser cutting the body panels. The 7 panels are expensive – around $700 CDN. I still haven’t looked at Ponoko (anyone else?).

    CDN Importing:

    As for the suppliers, we’re trying to source people in Canada, because the Duty / Import / Shipping costs are unpredictable, and at time ridiculously high. It is important to know that both UPS and FedEx (maybe Purolater) take care of the Brokerage fees and service if you use their “express” (= Air) service. You should very though prior. It means though that you have to send them to pick up the order, if the supplier won’t prepare this for you. Ground service is cheaper, but more complicated in terms of border clearance.


    McMaster-Carr will no longer ship to small Canadian companies -only their established long-time customers. You can call their Clevland (Ohio) location for local distributers. In Québec we’ve contacted both Acklands Grainger and Motion Canada to have them submit cost quotes on the list.

    As for bearings, I’ve found Kinecor – and they are more expensive, so only order the # of bearings you need (sold in packs of 16). Chris at DIY mentioned that we only need about 40 Skate bearings in total.

    The Dremel 300 (395 no longer exists) can be ordered from Home Depot or Rona (cheaper); or whoever else sells it.

    We’re still sourcing the Transformer (from MPJA) and also the driver and motors (from HobbyCNC). Still haven’t looked at the Wireing Harness (from Xsfans).

    Please let us all know if you’ve found more info!

    Darrel Ronald



    You can get high qulkity bearings for realitively cheap from “transmission supply” in calgary, alberta. i’m not sure if they will ship however. I plan to order them from here, i will post the costs as i find out. I’m sending out a quote tonight to a local laser water jet cutting shop, will update the costs aswell.



    Further, if you folks know a medium-sized, hack-friendly Canadian biz, we might be able to talk them into stocking selections from the parts list. Just let us know and we’ll make some requests.



    I just got my quote back from laser equations in calgary alberta. For unmodified panels made of 1/4” a44 supplied steel plate, costs 1,659$

    For an average of 300$ a panel.

    I’m going to send out a request for a quote from two other cutters in calgary aswell, i will post my results when i get them



    I’m in Montreal too

    Here is my issue with the DIY “open source” affordable solutions, they are usually neither unless you have access to a fully equipped lab.

    Could the panels be CNC’ed instead of laser’ed? Might be cheaper and you might find a volunteer to do it for free (or in exchange for beers)

    This is a lovely little toy, but DIY is a stretch :)

    That being said, I might build one of these after I build a simpler DIY CNC (like





    These panels can be CNC milled with some modifications to the interior corners in the CAD file (to account for bit diameter).

    I agree that buildyourcnc appears to have some great plans, but it looks like none of them can be downloaded for free.

    DIYLILCNC does require the use of a laser cutter or CNC router, but just about anyone can gain access these days (whether through a university, online service bureau, or beer exchange agreement). Very few additional tools are required.



    Vers. 2.0: the entire gantry can be whittled from Ritz crackers.

    In all seriousness…cdndave, I can relate to your yearning for a truly simple kit that will allow for precision fabrication for pennies on the dollar and little effort, but there is a lot in that request.

    Of course we’re a long way off from being able to, say, drive to Walmart and get their latest blue-light CNC for $59.95; there was a time not too long ago though that the same could be said for PC’s or inkjet printers.

    My point is, projects like this are a first step towards that end of really really accessible fabbing technology that will be [hopefully] at the grasp of everyday folks. We wouldn’t have those things if people hadn’t been in their garages and studios spending beer money on circuit boards (and vice versa).



    Taylor and Chris:

    Thanks for your reply :) And I appreciate the effort and genius that went into this design – my issue is again the “diy” moniker. As mentioned before – once I build a “cruder” diy cnc, I’ll tackle this one – it’s elegance is a thing of beauty, I would let it live in the office (not the garage like the beast from

    I agree that Pat’s site does not offer plans per say, the videos contain enough detail for a DIYer to build a crude CNC mill. Instructables is also a valid source of ideas and plans.

    I too look forward to the day where I can buy a mini-china machine at walmart for $80. In the mean time I slowly hack away at my build, investigate Contraptor and keep my eye on this project :)

    Keep up the good work – it inspires me :)



    @Scweppes (& Others):

    The lowest quote so far for laser cutting the 7 panels is $463 (incl. Taxes) at COOP Techno Laser in Sorel-Tracy, Québec – 1.450.743.2411. We have yet to actually cut them.

    I also have Acklands-Grainger ( giving a quote for the full list of McMaster-Carr products, but they’re going slow. I told them to keep an order list because there are all us others wanting to build the machine. Perhaps Acklands can relay this order information internally to you others. I have been dealing with Sylvain Methot ( so you can also get a quote from him but sent from a closer location to where you live.

    @ Taylor, Chris:

    As the discussion above shows, this is a lot of work. I have easily put in 20 – 24 hours just in sourcing the materials and getting quotes. I suggest that we compile this information at the end in order to save everybody else time!

    Good luck – and keep the information flowing!




    I purchased the full McMaster-Carr parts list, about a week ago, and it came to $279.35 US, including Sales Tax and Shipping.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.