Let's see if you're in a similar situation like i was...
I always wanted to build like one million stuff, but never found somebody to do it for a reasonable price.
Sometimes I draw them... sometimes just "build" them in my mind.
And then it happened.
I decided to renovate my apartment, but a normal Ikea kitchen didn't made me happy. I wanted something custom. And then this led to the custom sliding door with "Portal 2" theme.
I spent a couple of weeks drawing the door then send it to a cutter and asked for the price... and then nearly got a heart attack so I said as a joke: "for that money I can build myself a CNC".
And so I planted a seed in the back of my mind and it started to grow on me until I realized it's something I always wanted to have.
If you reached this point and you are thinking to ask your friends for an opinion about it here is what it will happen: some will have no clue what a CNC is, and will ask a lot of questions about it. Some will support you (listen to this group) and some will tell you in all the possible ways that you are crazy (and maybe you are... but don't listen to them)
Things you should think about before starting to design and build your CNC: think what do you want to do with it. How big the parts you want to "create" will be? How much precision do you want to have with it? All this will add up to the final question: how much are you willing to spend on it? (and for those not single any more the question is "how much you were allowed to spend?")
Some advices here:
- leave some "space" for later upgrades
- try not to be cheap with the mechanical parts; any defects here will show in the precision
- it doesn't matter how much you calculated your budget... you will go over, so be prepared with 20...30% extra.
- once you decided to do this just go on with it; you will have second thoughts like 200 times per day; forget them and just do it!
- if you want to make your own design (not just use some drawings made by somebody else) you should take your time. I know you want to start building it immediately, but if you take your time now it will save you a lot of troubles during building and after.
- if you are "stuck" and have no clue on how to "fix" a problem just take some time off the project. Do something else and let your inspiration find it's way. Do not rush this step!
- take your time after each version you made. Ask somebody else about opinions (you don't have to listen to them but sometimes they might see everything from another point of view)
- make as many versions as you can (I did 3 major versions on my design. Only the Z axis was done in 5 or 6 different versions). Adjust your design with the mechanical components you can buy (sometimes what you draw is different from what you can buy)
- put a dead-line on your project. A few month... one year. But work on it like you work for a "client". Otherwise it will take forever or you will never finish it.