3D Printed Vacuum Cleaner for a CNC Machine

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About: Hi, my name is Nikodem Bartnik. I'm 19 years old. I am into designing, making, programming and electronics. In the future, I want to start a company and make my own products. As for now, you can find my work...

As I started to use my Dremel CNC more often I noticed that after milling wood and MDF there is a lot of thin dust everywhere around. I also faced a problem with aluminum chips that got stuck in a lead screw, so I added a cover for the lead screws but I knew that the best solution would be attaching a vacuum cleaner to the machine. I have a really big and loud workshop vacuum cleaner that is way too powerful for this task. While I was scrolling through posts in Dremel CNC builders group on Facebook I noticed Jan's post about his 3D printed vacuum cleaner. I thought that it's a really cool idea to build a small vacuum cleaner that I can put next to my CNC machine and keep it on all the time when CNC is milling. So I opened Fusion 360 at 1 AM and 2 hours later my very own 3D printed vacuum cleaner was ready to be printed. Before you will start reading this instructable you have to know that this was more of like an experiment than a project, I had no idea if it will work, I just did a quick research on the internet to find out how cyclonic separation works and how vacuum cleaner turbine looks like. But I have to say that this project exceeded my expectations a lot!

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Supplies:

Step 1: Watch the Video!

Step 2: Parts

For this project we need a few 3D printed parts, it should take about 12 hours to print all of them. The gasket should be printed with flexible filament, but this part is optional, for sure it improves the project but you can also build it without a gasket. Hose holder is especially designed for the Dremel CNC and a hose with an external diameter of 22 mm. As a hose I used something called corrugated pipe, it works great and is very inexpensive. Here is what else we will need:

Step 3: Assembly

Firstly fix the 775 motor to 3D printed part with two M4 screws. Then press the turbine to the shaft of the motor, you may need to sand hole for the shaft a little bit. Generally, we want to have a tight press fit here to keep the turbine secured on the shaft. Put in place M3 screws like so and then put a gasket in place. Close that with big 3D printed part and screw down with nuts. Assembly of this project takes like 5 minutes it's really simple. Make sure to squeeze the gasket with screws a little bit.

Step 4: Dust Box

The best and least expensive way to make a dust box for this project is to use a hermetic food container. We need to drill a 45mm hole in the top of the box. Be carefull it's easy to brake this thin plastic. To drill this hole I used this thing that you can see on the images, I have no idea what's the name of it, but it works kind of fine for such big holes in thin materials. Once the hole is ready you can mount it on the vacuum cleaner with a 3D printed nut.

Step 5: Hose

As the hose I used a corrugated pipe, it's crazy cheap and works fine for such project. There is one small downside because it is corrugated it makes weird sounds while air travels through it, that's not a big deal, sometimes it even sound kind of funny but after few hours it may irritate. The internal diameter of this hose is 18mm and external diameter is 22mm so if you have any other hose with the same diameters you can easily use it with this project.

Step 6: Power Supply

Initially, as the power supply I used my lab bench power supply to control the voltage and speed of the motor, I was afraid that because of the vibration this turbine will blow up. Once I tested everything and it was fine I soldered a DC connector and now I use 12V power supply to power this motor. What's cool about this project is that you can actually power it with a 12V batter, 3S lipo battery or even car power outlet.

Step 7: CNC Attachment

To attach the hose the Dremel CNC I designed a very simple mount that you can easily attach to Dremel CNC without any modifications. It takes about 30 minutes to print it. You have to take out Dremel in order to put this in place, then put Dremel back in and it will hold the hose perfectly. Make sure that during milling hose wouldn't touch your material because that can jam the CNC. You can easily design any other attachment of the hose to your CNC machine or any other tool.

Step 8: Conclusion

As I said this project exceeded my expectations a lot. It not only works as vacuum cleaner, it's is quite powerful for such small thing. And it is super easy to build, you can even use it as a small vacum cleaner to clean your workbench or desk. I hope you enjoyed this project! Let me know what you think in the comments!

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    13 Discussions

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    querry43

    5 weeks ago

    When my makerspace's printer is back online, I'm definitely making this.

    1 reply
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    querry43querry43

    Reply 1 day ago

    I am having problems with the connection between the funnel and the container. I think I will try making two shorter nuts that I can sandwich between the top and bottom of the lid.

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    Johan Link

    15 days ago

    Really cool ! Good work !

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    gct165129a

    4 weeks ago

    adorable knowldge

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    foglemam

    5 weeks ago

    Have you been able to measure the ultra fine (<1micron) dust in the air of your shop while this and your router are in use? Even with a very large, 5hp/16" impeller, super efficient Bill Pentz (you should google him) designed cyclone you still need to filter the discharge with a HEPA rated high flow pleated filter or exhaust it outside. What you can't see is the dangerous part of wood dust and this may just be giving false security and a visibly clean workplace.

    1 reply
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    KellyCraigfoglemam

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    I came here to, after giving thumbs up for a great instructable, point out the ABSOLUTE need for an output filter. fglemam got there first.

    I have three cyclones (sold another one, the larg Dust Gorilla, after retirement) on three units and there are several reasons for a filter on the output. The first is what you mentioned - the fines that get past the cyclone.

    NEXT is, when the drum gets full, or if the drum has air leaks, the amount passing through the cyclone GREATLY increases.

    Pentz is a top notch source for info on cyclones and his products are great. However, even his systems are subject to the problems noted above.

    Keep in mind, the toys (vacuums and filters) we buy downtown are often called dust pumps, because of the garbage they throw back into the air. The foam you see around filters is just a pre-filter, to stop large items (e.g., gerbils, the neighbor's kid, etc.).

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    Chialiang

    5 weeks ago

    YES!
    Low power consumption vacuum cleaner does the job for dust as well.

    1 reply
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    KellyCraigChialiang

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    But they are nowhere near being in the same category. I have three dust collectors in my shop and three cyclones. The cyclones remove all but a small percentage of what is drawn in. This means MUCH longer run times before filters have to be cleaned, which equates to higher collection efficiency.

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    KMoffett

    5 weeks ago on Step 8

    I don't 3D print, so what was the total cost? Do you get "any" fine dust at the blower output:? I use several Dust Deputy cyclones ($51) and get very very little dust in the attached shop vacs... but...some. I made adapters for 2-1/2" to 1-1/4" hoses {easy 3D print?} for hand held power tools that would work for your router. Just my thoughts

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    JérômeD32

    5 weeks ago

    Nice job. I will probably print it, but maybe with modifications. Like smaller tube and perhaps a direct fix on a bottle.

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    dao20

    Tip 5 weeks ago on Step 8

    Great instuctable bud, though it doesn't really fit the contest category. For a design suggestion, what about changing the air out hole up at a 45 degree angle, then flat again parallel with the top of the motor holder nad design in a removable filter frame for a piece of filter material of some sort. You could use a piece of a regular filter or even an old piece of cloth for lack of anything else.

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    GDC

    5 weeks ago

    The tool is called an adjustable hole saw. Nice instructable!