CNC Router/mill advice required

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by vs355, Dec 12, 2020.

  1. vs355

    vs355 Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    I am considering purchasing a small/hobby style cnc router - but not sure what/where to go.
    It is basically just going to be used for cutting holes/shapes in plastic boxes and acrylic sheet - up to 3mm thick.
    Size of boxes will be up to 250mm x 250mm, however, there will be occasions where I need to cut a shape into the side of a box - so when it is on its side - this would be a 160mm height.
    Most shapes will be 100 x 100 or less.

    I dont really want to diy and source bits and pieces from everywhere, I would prefer something available as a kit (no problem assembling), that also has readily available spares (if required)

    Not sure what these are like
    Seems a bit of overkill, as I dont need the 3d printer or laser etcher, and ideally I would like a lower price point. (I see its a 200 x 200 bed, but assume the box can over hang if required - yes it would be internally supported)

    If I go ahead - I would want it sooner than later, so it rules out aliexpress/alibaba etc etc
  2. spasninja

    spasninja Member

    Feb 14, 2020
    Custom is really best in this case because of the z axis clearance, but if not a 6040 with spindle will be much better than the toy you linked to, you'll need to modify the gantry sides as you wont get the 160mm Z axis clearance, this will be the same with most cnc routers on the market. Electronics in these cnc routers is usually junk, designs are pretty rubbish as well but they're made to a price.
  3. tumutbound

    tumutbound Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Geeveston, Tasmania
    I had both a 6040 and an X-Carve - before I had to downsize and move :-(
    The X-Carve has a much bigger work area, nearly 1 metre square so depends on your available space. Price of the X-Carve I can't remember but I bought it via 3DTech in Sydney so check there. The X-Carve was cheaper than the 6040 but did require assembly.
  4. OP

    vs355 Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    thanks for the replies
    I am guessing I might ignore the z axis height - as this just limits the options, I can revert to doing that by hand.

    Sizewise - I would like to be as compact as possible - given that the max box size would be 250 x 250, I would prefer to avoid anything with too large of a bed

    What are the differences/issues between the 'toys' and the better units? I understand the most important item would be the stability of the frame, as without that you cannot have accuracy in cuts. Outside of that, where are the differences normally - it would be used on a semi regular basis, pending on projects it could be a run of 10 or 20 boxes over a couple of days, but then maybe nothing for a month.
  5. oculi

    oculi Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Just cut a hole in the bed so the top of the box is flush with the top of the bed surface. You may have to get slightly creative with clamping but I can't see it being a big deal.
  6. -AL-

    -AL- Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    If you want to go really cheap, a 3018 would work for most with the exception of the Z axis. That said, it would be relatively easy to put a riser on the Z. You wouldn't be able to get the Z back to the bed height with the riser in place, but you wouldn't need to if you are only engraving the boxes.

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