WorkBee Mechanical Kit
Belt Drive Edition

By Ooznest

With a WorkBee CNC Kit you can manufacture functional engineering parts, toys, signs, or whatever you can imagine without leaving the workshop. The WorkBee CNC Kit is capable of accurately cutting foams, woods, plastics or aluminum at depths greater than 25mm to 0.2mm accuracy or better. Ooznest has several years of experience with CNCs and 3D printers, which shows in this high quality kit that has components from OpenBuilds. This machine appeals to both hobbyists and professionals and is supported by Ooznest and the OpenBuilds community.

This kit will ship direct from Ooznest in the U.K.

There will be import duties, to be paid by you to the shipping company, beyond the prices you see here. Read more here.


A NOTE ABOUT ORDERING

Ooznest is currently shipping their kits in batches. After you place your order we will contact you with an estimated ship date. This kit will ship direct from Ooznest in the U.K. You will have to pay import duties before the shipper will deliver it. This will be a transaction between you and the shipping company. Finally, this is a kit and will require assembly and additional components to make it fully functional. Ooznest, CNC Kit Company and the OpenBuilds community are here to help you along the way. Check out the “In The Box” tab for full details on what is included in the kit and the other items you will need.



ABOUT THE WORKBEE CNC MACHINE


The following describes the completed CNC machine.

The WorkBee is the latest CNC machine from Ooznest and is a culmination of all their experience, feedback, and suggestions from selling the OX CNC Machine over the past couple years. The WorkBee is capable of accurately cutting foams, woods, plastics or aluminum at depths greater than 25mm to 0.2mm accuracy or better. With a WorkBee CNC Kit you can manufacture functional engineering parts, toys, signs, or whatever you can imagine without leaving the workshop.

The WorkBee makes full use of the OpenBuilds V-Slot Extrusion system and are anodized in clear or black, your choice. On the X and Y axis C-Beam extrusions are used. Not only is using the C-Beam beneficial for strength, but it also allows the drive systems to be concealed from debris. On a screw driven WorkBee CNC Kit, the screws are inside the “C” channel, therefore shielded from the cutting area. With a belt setup, the Y axis belts are also inside the “C” channel shielded from debris, the X axis belt isn’t shielded, but as it is above the cut area this isn’t of concern.

The WorkBee CNC Machine uses a total of 48 x OpenBuilds Xtreme Solid V Wheels. The Xtreme wheels are manufactured from super hard polycarbonate, which reduces wheel compression, and keeps wear to a minimum. The plates are manufactured from 6mm aluminum and have a protective anodized coating in black. The plates have been designed completely from scratch and have been carefully thought about in terms of function, usability, and ease of assembly.

Multiple sizes of the WorkBee CNC Machine are available starting at 750x750mm. With a 750mm X axis two spoiler board support extrusions are included. Sizes with an 1000mm X axis include three spoiler board support extrusions. Sizes with an 1500mm X axis include four spoiler board supports.


Dual Drive System

The WorkBee CNC Machine has been designed from the ground up to incorporate a lead screw design, a feature many people wished to see incorporated in the OX CNC Machine design.

One issue with switching to a screw driven system is that it would be limited in size to 1000x1000mm. This size limitation was not acceptable, so Ooznest has dual designed the WorkBee so it can be screw or belt driven. If the WorkBee CNC Kit is belt driven it can be made larger than 1000x1000mm. The WorkBee CNC Machine can be converted between the two, as the overall design is exactly the same for both.


WorkBee CNC Drive System Comparison

The WorkBee CNC also has two different spoiler board configurations, a high position and a low position. The high position offers up to 27mm deep cuts, and the low setup offers up to 47mm deep cuts. If the plan is to only cut thin materials, this option is beneficial, as one can use the high spoiler board position and retain a very rigid Z axis.



ABOUT THE KITS


Mechanical Kit

The WorkBee mechanical kit includes the basics for building the machine structure and motions. No motors, electronics, power supplies, cable management, router, router mount or spoiler board is included. This gives you the flexibility to add the NEMA 23 or servo motors of your choice, your own control electronics and more. Furthermore you will need to add your own design/CAM software. From us, you can purchase the drag chain kit or other items you may desire in order to customize your machine.

The optional router mount for the WorkBee is designed to be compatible with the Dewalt 611, Dewalt 26200, Bosch Colt, or any other 71mm outer diameter router.

Mechanical & Electrical Kit

The WorkBee mechanical and electrical kit includes everything you need to build a working CNC Machine apart from the spoiler board, router, router mount and design/CAM software. The electronics of this kit make use of the extremely popular Hobby CNC xPro controller. The CNC xPro is a fully featured GRBL based controller. It comes equipped with four beefy DRV8825 stepper drivers with enough power to run the 175oz NEMA 23 stepper motors included with the CNC machine. The CNC xPro paired with the included 24V 350W power supply and electronics cooling mounts ensure a reliable machine that can easily complete the super long jobs. For easy repositioning, three endstops are included, one for each axis, and their corresponding mounts and wires.

For safety, good cable management is essential on a machine like this, and we have it covered. The WorkBee CNC Machine comes with a complete cable carrier system for the X and Y axis.

The optional router mount for the WorkBee is designed to be compatible with the Dewalt 611, Dewalt 26200, Bosch Colt, or any other 71mm outer diameter router.

Ease of Assembly

Ooznest has made a name for themselves by creating excellent assembly manuals for the WorkBee CNC Machine. The WorkBee CNC Machine comes with two printed booklets that cover the mechanical assembly and electrical assembly. Each has Ikea’eske assembly diagrams in addition to instructional writing. Using their manuals makes the assembly a breeze.

All preliminary work is done for you. This includes cutting/tapping the extrusions, cutting the ACME screws, soldering/crimping wires. Only basic tools like allen keys, wrenches and screwdrivers are needed to complete the assembly.

If you have any problems along the way Ooznest is a quick phone or email away to provide you with the help you need. Furthermore CNC Kit Company is available for support through email, as well as the active OpenBuilds forum, which most users find to be a valuable community of fellow builders and WorkBee owners who are always more than willing to provide assistance. The WorkBee comes with a 1 year warranty on all the parts, so if anything is damaged or stops working, Ooznest will send a replacement out quickly.

Made In Britain

Ooznest and the WorkBee CNC Kit are a proudly made in Britain. The WorkBee CNC Machine is designed and assembled in their UK Offices. Currently all the extrusions, wires, and plastic parts are manufactured in Britain, and they are continually looking to get more individual parts manufactured there as well.


Add-on Options


WorkBee Router Mount

By default the WorkBee doesn’t come with a router mount. The Z axis extrusion is 80mm wide, with four slots at 20mm spacing to mount whatever attachment you want, be it a spindle, laser, extrusion head or something else. The add-on router mount is a solid aluminum mount designed to work with any 71mm outer diameter router (such as the popular Dewalt 611). This includes all the hardware needed to mount it to the machine.

WorkBee Dust Shoe

CNC machining is naturally a messy job. Containing and removing the cutting debris with a dust shoe will keep the machine clean and allow it to run much smoother, not to mention it will also keep you healthy. The mechanical parts will wear significantly less on a clean machine. The dust shoe also creates a vacuum environment for the cut, removing chips and thus removing heat. This improves cutting performance and increases the milling bit life span. If you are considering using the WorkBee CNC Kit in a production environment we would highly recommend a dust shoe.

The Ooznest split-shoe is specially designed for smaller CNC Machines like the WorkBee, and will clamp around any 71mm outer diameter router. It has a clear acrylic plate that allows the cut to be viewed during operation, and a 2” brush that magnetically attaches to the upper plate. The removable brush ring allows for quick and easy access to change the bit. The vacuum outlet is 2-1/2”.

Software

The WorkBee has the following software work flow: CAD/Design → CAM → G-Code Sender -> machine electronics.

CAD/design software is where you create a model of your design. Options include Sketchup, Autodesk Fusion360, vector design programs and more. The choice of software is up to you and based on your skill level, design needs and budget.

CAM software produces G-Code tool paths from your CAD designs. No CAM software is provided with the machine. Ooznest has tried nearly all the offerings available, and has settled with the software made by Vectric. It is powerful software, but very easy to use. The WorkBee CNC Kit is fully compatible with any CAM software which can export G-Code, this includes free ones like Fusion360 and Sketchucam.

The G-Code sender takes the file produced from the CAM software, and sends it to the machine via parallel port, USB or Ethernet (whichever your electronics supports). In addition you can also jog the machine, enter manual commands, and configure the firmware within it. Ooznest recommends Universal G-Code Sender, this program is freely available and the WorkBee instruction manual covers downloading and installing it.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Sizes

The WorkBee CNC Machine comes in several sizes. Listed below are the sizes of the X axis and Y axis. (X x Y)
When standing in front of the machine, the X axis is the left to right movement of the gantry. The Y axis is the back to front movement of the gantry.

Frame Sizes      |  Working Area              |  Machine Footprint (Belt Edition)   | Machine Footprint (Screw Edition)
750  x 750mm     |  550  x 520mm              |  950  x 950mm                       |  950  x 950mm
750  x 1000mm    |  550  x 770mm              |  950  x 1200mm                      |  950  x 1200mm
1000 x 1000mm    |  800  x 770mm              |  1200 x 1200mm                      |  1200 x 1200mm
1000 x 1500mm    |  800  x 1270mm             |  1200 x 1700mm                      |  1200 x 1700mm
1500 x 1500mm    |  1300 x 1270mm             |  1700 x 1700mm                      |  1700 x 1700mm

In addition to the X and Y axis, there is the Z axis. The spoiler board of the machine is configurable in a high or low position and this affects the Z axis working envelop. When you are assembling the machine you can choose which configuration you would like. Since this is a kit, you can even hack it to make the workable depth to be even more!

When the spoiler board is in the standard high configuration, there is a 27mm workable depth (assuming a 12mm spoiler board thickness).
When the spoiler board is in the standard low configuration, there is a 47mm workable depth (assuming a 12 mm spoiler board thickness).


Motion

Drive System    :: Belt Edition utilizes GT3 Timing Belts.  Screw Edition utilizes ACME Lead Screws.  The Combo drive systems has belts and lead screw.
Linear Guides   :: OpenBuilds Xtreme Solid V polycarbonate wheels on anodized C-Beam V-Slot extrusion.
Frame           :: OpenBuilds OpenBuilds V-Slot Extrusion System
accuracy        :: Belt driven axis is 0.10 - 0.20mm.  Screw driven axis is 0.05 - 0.10mm.


Electronics

Controller      :: USB CNC xPro V3 Controller with four drivers.  GRBL 1.1 Firmware.  A driver is utilized for each axis for best power response.
Motors          :: NEMA 23 175oz Stepper Motors (X, Y & Z).  The Y axis has two motors, one on each side of the gantry.
Sensors         :: Homing switch on each axis.
Power supply    :: 24V 350W Output, Switchable 110-220V Input.


Software

CAD             :: Provide your own.
CAM             :: Provide your own.
G-Code sender   :: Universal G-Code Sender Windows/Mac compatible.  Or provide your own.

Mechanical Kit

When you buy the mechanical kit you will receive the following items. The shipment will be in three or four boxes.

  • Aluminum channels
  • Aluminum plates
  • Lead screw or belt, based on the edition you bought
  • Wheels, bearings, axels, washers, nuts, etc.
  • All miscellaneous hardware and brackets to assemble the machine
  • Instruction manuals
  • Great support from Ooznest, CNC Kit Company and the OpenBuilds Community


What you will need to add to make a complete and operating system:

  • CNC control electronics with three, or four (preferred), drivers
  • Stepper motors, recommended NEMA 23 size
  • Power supply
  • Limit switches
  • Cabling for stepper motors, switches, power and data
  • Miscellaneous connectors and components to make things tidy
  • Cable chain
  • Router mount
  • Router
  • Spoiler board
  • CAD/Design software
  • CAM software
  • G-Code Sender software


Mechanical & Electrical Kit

When you buy the mechanical & electrical kit you will receive the following items. The shipment will be in three or four boxes.

  • Aluminum channels
  • Aluminum plates
  • Lead screw or belt, based on the edition you bought
  • Wheels, bearings, axels, washers, nuts, etc.
  • All miscellaneous hardware and brackets to assemble the machine
  • CNC control electronics with four drivers
  • 4x Stepper motors, NEMA 23 size 175oz of torque
  • Power supply
  • Limit switches
  • Cabling for stepper motors, switches, power and data
  • Miscellaneous connectors and components to make things tidy
  • Cable chain
  • G-Code Sender software
  • Instruction manuals
  • Great support from Ooznest, CNC Kit Company and the OpenBuilds Community


What you will need to add to make a complete and operating system:

  • Router mount
  • Router
  • Spoiler board
  • CAD/Design software
  • CAM software

Ooznest has made a name for themselves by creating excellent assembly manuals for the WorkBee CNC Machine. The WorkBee CNC Machine comes with two printed booklets that cover the mechanical assembly and electrical assembly. Each has Ikea’eske assembly diagrams in addition to instructional writing. Using their manuals makes the assembly a breeze.

The latest digital set of WorkBee Manuals