Soundproofing your CNC Machine


Soundproofing your CNC Machine

            CNC machines have many attributes but “quiet” is not one of them. For many hobbyists this is not a concern because your machine will be in a garage or work shed away from your family and neighbors. Some people have the benefit of living far enough from their neighbors that they do not ever have to worry about noise complaints. But for people who do not have an ideal set up it can be rough to work with a CNC machine. What do you do if you discover that one of these machines is your passion but you live in an apartment? The answer sounds very simple; you build a box. Specifically, you build a soundproof enclosure.

 soundproof enclosure.

a soundproof enclosure.

    To the best of my knowledge there are not soundproof enclosures that you can just buy; you are going to have to build one yourself. First and foremost, measure your CNC machine so that you can figure out how big your enclosure is going to need to be. The enclosure will need to be a bit bigger than your machine to leave room for insulation and electronics and to allow you to insert and remove your machine without too much difficulty. You will not need to worry too much about the type of wood you pick since that will not contribute towards blocking out the sound; simple plywood will be sufficient for this project. One side of your enclosure will need to open (having it swing open on cabinet hinges is easiest). Make sure it can stay open on its own because having a door swinging back and banging into you while you work on your machine is never any fun. In order to keep the noise out (and the dust in) your enclosure will need to be airtight with good insulation. Sound insulation foam is the easiest way to do this. If you are not sure how much foam to use put in a small layer and if that does block enough of the noise add more layers until your machine runs quietly. Covering the inside of the enclosure with cloth or carpet (carpet is easier to work with) is another soundproofing method that can work well.

            Adding electronics to your enclosure can be tricky because an insulated environment and the heat given off by electronics do not mix very well. You may need to open the enclosure up from time to time while your machine is running to let the heat out. Whether or not you need to do this or how often you need to do this will depend on the level of heat your machine is generating. If you need to monitor the enclosure’s temperature you could attach a thermostat. Since your box is airtight it is not much of a fire hazard (if a fire does start it will quickly use up all the oxygen in the box and burn itself out) but excessive heat or accidental fires can damage your machine and you certainly do not want that. Installing an overtemperature cutoff can prevent accidents like that from occurring. It may also be hand to install a small light inside the box so that you can glance inside and check the progress your machine is making without needing to use a flashlight.

            When you are using an enclosure you will not be able to run a machine as hard or as long as you usually can but at least you will be able to use it without getting noise complaints. Working with heavier materials like wood will still be louder than working with soft materials like plastic but there is no efficient way to completely silence your machine so just work with what you have. After you get the basic design of your enclosure working you can also customize it a little to better suit your needs. You can have the box sitting flat or put it on legs or you could decorate and customize the outside of the box so that it fits in better with the rest of the furniture in your home.

Article Name
Soundproofing your CNC Machine
What do you do if you discover that one of these machines is your passion but you live in an apartment? The answer sounds very simple; you build a box. Specifically, you build a soundproof enclosure.

2 Responses to “Soundproofing your CNC Machine”

  • Technikron Says:

    where could i find some f these materials, i look in aliexpress but it seems like their pricesd are higher then locally

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