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It's about time I get a CNC machine - need some guidance

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  • gowa
    replied
    cool

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  • ontariomaximus
    replied
    I appreciate everyone's comments here.
    The reason for this foray is for my own education in CAD/CAM
    I ended up ordering one from China, a 3040Z-DQ
    Under US$800 including shipping
    Small but very sturdy machine
    XYZ = 390mm x 280mm x 55mm
    but the bed is open on both ends so I can flip something around if I have to and machine something in more than one pass
    Ball screw XYZ drive units
    500W air cooled spindle
    capable of 4 axis if needed

    The #1 function will be 2.5D aluminum and engraving anodized aluminum.
    But hardwood speaker baffles are also planned
    (am going to try and stay away from mdf because of the dust)

    You will see some audio-related projects this year!

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  • Zephyr
    replied
    I'll throw in my $.02 as well. I built my own CNC router, a little over the top because it is sized to cut a 6' x 20' sheet of aluminum. It carries a 4 KW spindle. Of course have used it on many other materials as well, even built a couple pairs of speakers on it. My machine is a diy that you purchase the plans for called a mechmate. www.mechmate.com

    After having built and used this machine for a few years I'll offer the following observations. Build it yourself. Build your own power supplies, do your own wiring, set up prox switches, auto zeroing etc. That way when it fails to work some day you are knowledgeable enough to fix it. I have been sought out to help others who have purchased a machine, often Chinese, and are completely at a loss when it doesn't work properly. Several of these machines have met sad ends.... The next thing to realize is that the actual cutting is a miniscule part of the work flow....CAD CAM and working out design elements that synchronize with cnc cutting is where the time is spent.

    Be prepared to purchase good software as well. I've been extremely satisfied with the user friendliness, bug free code, and great support from Vectric. Primarily V Carve Pro for CAD. For driving the machine, Mach 3 has done well.

    All in all, a very positive experience and I wish you well. Happy to answer any other Q's.

    Leave a comment:


  • ErinH
    replied
    I’m not sure of the size you need but this is one that I’m looking at getting for personal use. It’s gotten a lot of good feedback and they have other models that have a larger working area. Might be worth looking into.

    https://amzn.to/2vxISv2

    Leave a comment:


  • randyohoh
    replied
    Here are a few links to look at: http://pdjinc.com/ https://www.probotix.com/ https://shop.carbide3d.com/ https://openbuilds.com/ https://www.v1engineering.com/

    http://www.cncrouterparts.com/ http://www.cncrouterparts.com/ https://www.vectric.com/ https://www.ebay.com/itm/CNC-Router-...9/264112072492


    The company that I was working for prior to retiring purchased a Chinese machine capable of processing 2' x 4' material but there were issues and no support, wouldn't recommend. The two that were high on my personal list were the eBay one listed above and the PDJ machine. Ball screws provide the best accuracy and the Vectric cut2D software was great for simple 2D shapes generated in Autocad. Vectric also makes cut3D and this or another cnc software package that would be able to use 3D CAD files would be required. CAD software able to generate 3D models would be required if you want to shape guitar tops like a Les Paul or PRS. Free software like inkscape can be used to generate 2D drawing files which can be translated into gcode..

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  • STIchris722
    replied
    I have heard really good things about: They are expensive but the specifications look really good. I have contacted them in the past and they have run specials on expo demo models and deals in general. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Attached Files

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  • PWR RYD
    replied
    Mike C. (also goes by D1pp1n on some other speaker forums) has a very nice CNC setup and a lot of experience. He CNC'd some signs for me (awesome work). Last time I talked to him he was thinking of selling it because he's moved on to mountain biking. Mike is in the Chicagoland area. Maybe you should reach out to Mike and you guys can possibly work out a great deal for both of you.

    Leave a comment:


  • dwk123
    replied
    Originally posted by ontariomaximus View Post
    thanks - the Shapeoko XXL is the front runner right now. Will do 24" x 36" I think
    Volume won't be that much, unless I start to pick up some work. There are a ton of CNC shops in my city, Windsor, ON but they won't do small jobs. Might approach them for jobs in the low hundred$
    DIY is possible - there a 55min video I watched on youtube DIY for $900. Looks great but really a bit too much work. Nice 4 x 4 work area though.
    So pretty much personal use, but who knows?
    Would like to do hardwood, MDF, and some simple aluminum - maybe .125" thick tube amplifier top plates. A few holes, but engraving too.
    I have a friend who has a good sized shop and is willing to go 50-50 but I will be learning the software. Someone mentioned they can get me a license for Rhino

    Forgot about one candidate: If you're looking at the XXL which will run ~$2k US or so, this is worth considering https://cnc4newbie.com/store/en/ulti...e-cnc-p104c70/ . These guys have been around for a while selling add-ons and Z-axis assemblies, but their full CNC units are a bit new. The use of linear rails and screws on all axes makes it a clear step up from the Shapeoko assuming they've done a decent job. A '1010' will give you similar work area to an XXL, and will probably be only a bit more expensive when it's all said and done.

    Leave a comment:


  • relder
    replied
    Originally posted by ontariomaximus View Post
    Might approach them for jobs in the low hundred$. .... but I will be learning the software.
    Be sure to figure in your CAM labor time, my CAM labor time is usually bigger than the actual machine time, but then I'm still a noob. And then there's CAD time if the customer doesn't give that to you. Not surprising not too many takers of little jobs.

    To get my feet wet I've just been playing with a MPCNC.
    Click image for larger version

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    Been fun running it in drag knife config and tagging my friend's cars with CNC cut baby yodas

    Leave a comment:


  • ontariomaximus
    replied
    thanks - the Shapeoko XXL is the front runner right now. Will do 24" x 36" I think
    Volume won't be that much, unless I start to pick up some work. There are a ton of CNC shops in my city, Windsor, ON but they won't do small jobs. Might approach them for jobs in the low hundred$
    DIY is possible - there a 55min video I watched on youtube DIY for $900. Looks great but really a bit too much work. Nice 4 x 4 work area though.
    So pretty much personal use, but who knows?
    Would like to do hardwood, MDF, and some simple aluminum - maybe .125" thick tube amplifier top plates. A few holes, but engraving too.
    I have a friend who has a good sized shop and is willing to go 50-50 but I will be learning the software. Someone mentioned they can get me a license for Rhino

    Leave a comment:


  • r-carpenter
    replied
    I've used Avid CNC in my shop for commercial work for a few years now.

    Leave a comment:


  • dwk123
    replied
    This is a big topic, and possibly one better suited to a specialty forum. I'd say that you have a few major questions to guide you
    1) what material(s) are you targeting? only wood, or aluminum as well?
    2) what work volume do you need?
    3) what is your budget?
    4) how much DIY are you willing to do, if any?
    5) personal hobby use, or are you intending any type of commercial production?

    It's pretty tough to make any recommendations without answering at least the first 3 questions. The answers for a $1k budget are very different than for a $3k budget. Anything under $1k is going to be a DIY effort, and to be honest you're probably facing a 'project' of some sort unless you get up into the ~$5k+ semi-commercial designs.


    Having said that, the Shapeoko is the most common 'entry level' machine you see recommended, although Millrightcnc.com has some good machines that offer a different set of trade-offs. Avid CNC (formerly cncrouterparts) is the go-to upgrade for serious hobby use or entry-level production use. Openbuilds has a variety of DIY packages that are OK but suffer from being 'wheel in slot' designs that have some inherent weaknesses. Chinese machines like the 6040 from Ebay can work, but as with most Chinese stuff from Ebay they're a bit of a crapshoot and the ~16x22 work dimensions aren't necessarily great for speaker-oriented work. Gatton CNC has what I think is probably the best looking cheap 4'x4' machine that I've seen, but I haven't see much hands-on feedback.

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  • 3rutu5
    replied
    Duplicate post, please delete

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  • 3rutu5
    replied
    I've seen one in use during a YouTube build video, but they probably got it for free as part of the video...

    X carve

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  • ontariomaximus
    replied
    The Shaper looks quite cool. But I need 3D for things like guitar bodies and speaker baffle fronts out of MDF or hardwood, and whatever little jobs I can pick up from local shops. Just reading about the Red Sail which there is one which has a working area of 24" x 36" and is cdn$2999.

    Leave a comment:

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