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Thread: CNC router recommendation

  1. #1
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    Default CNC router recommendation

    I was about to pull the trigger on a blackfoot a few years ago, and then we had a large unexpected expense that would have made this not prudent.

    However, I can start looking at one again, but now I have to restart all the research to see what is state of the art now.

    Does anybody have any more recent recommendations? What I'm looking for (in order of preference).

    a) 4'x8' footprint, with 8" or taller z-axis
    b) Auto tool change
    c) $5k range
    d) Foldable/storable
    e) Vacuum bed
    f) If I can route PCBoards with 5 mil traces on it, would be a bonus.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: CNC router recommendation

    I think you may get better response over on the CNCZONE forum.
    Not sure about your "foldable" idea as the footprint you are looking at requires a heavy mass to maintain accuracy.
    I have been looking at the cncrouterparts.com, but didn't bite the bullet due to cost.
    Other questions that always comes up are;
    What type of materials will you be cutting?
    What size of spindle will you need?
    What cutting speed are you looking for?
    The answer sways the direction you need to go.

    Once your hardware is decided, you can focus on the electronics, like drives; steppers?, servos?, power supplies, etc.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: CNC router recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by LightUp View Post
    I think you may get better response over on the CNCZONE forum.
    Not sure about your "foldable" idea as the footprint you are looking at requires a heavy mass to maintain accuracy.
    I have been looking at the cncrouterparts.com, but didn't bite the bullet due to cost.
    Other questions that always comes up are;
    What type of materials will you be cutting?
    What size of spindle will you need?
    What cutting speed are you looking for?
    The answer sways the direction you need to go.

    Once your hardware is decided, you can focus on the electronics, like drives; steppers?, servos?, power supplies, etc.
    The materials I want to cut are the usual Christmas-crowd materials (i.e. Coro, HDPE, PVC), which is why I'm more asking here if someone has experience specifically for a CNC for our hoppy. Sure, I'll probably want to cut MDF as well, but I'm pretty familiar with routing that.

    I've been to cncrouterparts a few times... It looks tempting.

    Cutting speed doesn't really matter. I have no commercial aspirations - this is for personal use. Planning to use it half the time to make Christmas & Halloween props, and the rest of the time to make shelves, cabinets, wainscoting etc.


    I have a Zen Toolworks CNC 7"x12". It's fun... but it's mostly a toy. But at least it made my familiar with how CNC's work in principle.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: CNC router recommendation

    I have a 4'x4' CNC router from cncrouterparts and I love it. If you get the upgraded NEMA 34 motors you can pretty much cut anything. Probably even aluminum if you keep the cut depth light and the guy told me I could do steel if I wanted but I'm not gonna try cutting steel uncooled. Once time I accidentally typed the wrong g-code command and the motor drove the bit straight down through my 3/4" scratch pressboard no problem... I got a drag knife planning to use it to cut Coro but I ended up just using an 1/8" router bit instead. I've also done detailed wood carving like I made a couple boy scout Eagle plaques that had detailed eagles carved in 3D.

    This is a picture of my router before I put the scratch board on top.
    Didn't pay for a sig

  5. #5
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    Default Re: CNC router recommendation


  6. #6
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    Default Re: CNC router recommendation

    Those machines from cncrouterparts are nice and would be pretty local for Deon (they're in North Bend). The drawback to that, WA state Sales Tax . It might not fit your needs, but have you looked at the CrawlBot? It will do a 4x8 sheet, cuts wood and plastics and is easy to store. You can build you own vacuum table, plenty of youTube videos on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmitcham View Post
    They are nice machines, a buddy of mine built one, took him about 7 months as he built pieces as funds became available but turned out great. I just wish he lived closer
    Last edited by AuburnLights; 12-16-2015 at 03:58 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: CNC router recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrock View Post
    I have a 4'x4' CNC router from cncrouterparts and I love it. ...I've also done detailed wood carving like I made a couple boy scout Eagle plaques that had detailed eagles carved in 3D...
    What CAD software do you use?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: CNC router recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by LightUp View Post
    What CAD software do you use?
    Aspire 8
    Didn't pay for a sig

  9. #9
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    Default Re: CNC router recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrock View Post
    Aspire 8
    Ouch... that is $2800+ Canadian. Too much for my current hobby.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: CNC router recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by AuburnLights View Post
    Those machines from cncrouterparts are nice and would be pretty local for Deon (they're in North Bend). The drawback to that, WA state Sales Tax . It might not fit your needs, but have you looked at the CrawlBot? It will do a 4x8 sheet, cuts wood and plastics and is easy to store. You can build you own vacuum table, plenty of youTube videos on that.
    That Crawlbot looks sweet! That would be ideal if it works. Do you happen to know how big the z-axis movement is? It looks like somewhere between 1" and 2"?

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