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neo
05-12-2009, 06:32 PM
PART1 : More money than sense!
I appreciate this is not quite the same as building your own, but I didn't feel I could commit myself to months of planning and building. So I spent months trawling the various forums for info and then decided to buy a ready made CNC. (I went for a Kit as it was slightly cheaper). I was quite surprised at how much they cost and how few are available at this end of the market I was even more surprised to see there was more available outside the UK than homegrown.
Nonetheless I thought a UK company would be better for aftersales support..........


Here's my 'build log' of my recent CNC in kit form purchase.
I know its a not a true DIY build, it was just a case of bolting prepared parts together. :heehee:
Not rocket science, although there's no plans, check list or parts list supplied. So if there's a part missing (which there was several) its difficult to work out what's missing, what it looks like or indeed what it's called to report it. you end up describing it in your terms not what the company calls it, which can lead to misunderstanding to say the least!

I really was surprised at paying out so much money not to even get a check list.
I can go to Comet and buy a product for a few pounds and get an instruction manual in every language, and you often get a parts list or exploded view of the item included.
You do feel a bit p***** off when you eventually work out its not all there.!!

Anyway back to the build...
Without any reference material, it's therefore a case of looking at the parts, placing them together, more looking at parts, no idea which part to start with, bolting a couple of parts together only to realise its back to front and you have to undo it and start again. the sequence is probably 2nd nature to those in the know but not for a first timer.
Now I pride myself on having a excellent tool selection sockets, spanners, drivers, allen keys etc etc, however,the next 'problem' was discovering you need a longer allen key than standard to put two deep box aluminium sections together. so a quick trip to the hardware store to buy one for 45p and £1.00 to park!

Once again you can buy flat pack furniture for hundreds of pounds and have single use allen keys and spanners to put together your purchase, it's the little things like this which makes it a better experience. unfortunately going out to buy one allen key just made me more p***** off! for the price I paid this is something which could have easily been included.

That a side, after a couple of false starts, it started to come together. my 15yr old helped i.e I told him to tighten the screws 'here' and 'there' and we made fair progress through the sequence.

To be fair there are only two complete parts to build: the lower Y axis and the upper x,z axis parts.
i quess they can be built in any order and then you just bolt the two sections together. I started with the x, z axis parts, then put them to one side whilst i built the y axis base. when It came to putting the two together, you realise how heavy and awkward its all become, turning it on its side to locate screws etc then came the next problem, there were no special nuts to join the two parts together. I checked the packaging several times, I wrongly assumed they were a sort of nyloc nut, once again a check list would have identified their abscense and an exploded diagram would have shed the light on the fact they were of a special shape and design.

I had to wait a week for the 'missing parts' to arrive before I could bolt the two parts together......

Part 2 to follow.........

Neo

ptjw7uk
05-12-2009, 09:00 PM
I wish you well with your endevour.
On the subject of tools to do the job I will regail you with something I or my work mates just could not understand.
iIn the 1970 when I was working for a research organiseation we had ordered a new PerkinElmer Atomic Absorption spectrometer which was duly delevered in a special packing case from the USA. We looked at this box and cauldnt quite see how one was supposed to gain entry so we left it for the engineer to open. He duly arrived and produce a 2ft long special driver to fit through the top of the box and unscrew the fixing screws. When the box lid was removed he showed us that inside was the very same driver and he said that he and others could not explain why it was inside the box. I still have that driver and in 30years I have never found a thing that it will fit.
On the allen ket front may I sugest that you invest in some T-handle keys, they will come in very handy.

Peter

Lee Roberts
06-12-2009, 08:08 AM
Looking forward to part two here !

gabi68
06-12-2009, 02:34 PM
Hi,

I have a one of Kevin unit (mine it is the same like that YouTube link) and what I can tell you is you mad a BIG mistake buying that. I know it is too late... You will find many things will go wrong and also you will find you need to make your own modification to have a working machine.
To start check:
- assembly ball screw housing Y axis.
On mine I found a piece of plastic which it is supposed to work like a nut fixing. After I put all and try to tune machine with Mach that piece came out and Y ball screw was unusable. Speak with Kevin and replacement (I don't know why he didn't put that initially) came next day.
- the end of X ball screw has a screw which supposed to line up the ball screw in bearing
Try not to move the machine to the end of ball screw movement. If you do that that screw will came off and you will need to dismantle entire X axis to fix that. A "quick" fix is to install limit switch on all axis.
- Z axis has the same problems. Do not run the axis till the end of movement linear bearings will be affected.
On mine I found the Z axis with a Proxxon spindle don't reach the surface and I need to "lift up" the T-slot table with some 20 mm aluminium profile's and proper bolts.
About the support - that it is almost NIL. That guy (Kevin) take your money and after that you are on your own. If you have a problem you must send the unit for fixing and you need to pay for shipping and everything.
I don't know if he don't know much about how this machine must be made it (in all stages - design - stress (with Algor or something else) - manufacturing) or he doesnít care about that.
Anyway if you still have the original packaging box I suggest to send that back for a full refund. Make sure you secure very good what it is inside and pay insurance for package.
I don't have anything with that company but I am an unsatisfied customer which pay a lot of money (with all 1700 GBP mechanical parts only since I have all electronics parts) and still must work and spend more money to have a working machine. I also want to advise people to pay attention when they spend money on this junk.
Have a look on this:
YouTube- eagle pcb emc2 look at comments and that links to see how good it is that machine.
Sadly I found that after I ordered mine

Good luck
Gabi

neo
06-12-2009, 03:33 PM
Thanks for the comments, now you've got me concerned!

I thought it looked fairly robust, it all appears to be well made, everythings rigid, tight and turns smoothly by hand. I've yet to get it going as I'm still trying to source a suitable PC for the shed.

As regards to his support, so far I've had fairly good relations with Kevin, I understand he's been away but he's sorted my initial problem fairly quickly. I've had no reason to phone him to date. I choose Marchant over the others as it was Uk based. I never thought they would n't support me.
I assume they will.....

I do have a minor issue but I assume its being sorted, I was fairly confident that I'd get mine going without any hiccups. (although I have emailed him this weekend to remind him )

I'm prepared to persevere but I'll bear your comments in mind...

Hopefully once its going I can show how good it is!..........or ?

Neo

irving2008
06-12-2009, 04:09 PM
Gabi and Neo,

Thanks for your comments so far. Neo, impressed with you efforts so far, look forward to part 2 and on and the eventual running of your kit. Gabi, sorry to hear of your issues, hopefully your previous feedback to MD has been received and Neo won't have so many, and that you've managed to resolve them and got your machine working.

I'm saying this as a gentle reminder that the forum is a place to share information and knowledge and not to slag a supplier off. Its true that MD have had their ups and downs and detractors, but one person's experience may not mirror another's.

A small company like that is unlikely to have the research and development budget or the resources that an Ikea has on producing kits. I can tell you from personal experience that producing a kit that can be assembled out of the box is far more difficult than producing a finished article, and its probably true that their target market isn't the complete novice with no mechanical nous. So one should expect things not to be perfect, and work around them. Nevertheless it isnt unreasonable to get sufficient support to resolve issues.

Thanks for listening

gabi68
06-12-2009, 06:06 PM
Hi,

1. I choose to buy my machine assembled not a kit. I decided that to avoid the assembly problems. Problems are almost the same.
2. I was thinking a forum it is made it to help people in their decision's to spend hard earned money. What I am posting it is NOT a negetive feedback for MD. It is my experince with that company and their product.
3. When you launch something in a kit form you must test that very hard and try to make that "stupid proof" almost 100%. If you choose to adopt M$ policy (launch a product and let customers to discover all bugs and after that write some SP-acks or better make another software ;)) you will end up to have a bunch of unhappy customers.
3. Even big company (Ikea) made mistakes. I just bought a coffee table from Ikea and when I try to assemble it I failed. I must spend 3 hours to put some pieces which manufacturer forgot to think about it.
4. I just try to help talking about my experince but after you post it that it is wrong. Sorry for posting my experince....

Good luck

irving2008
06-12-2009, 06:40 PM
Hi,

1. I choose to buy my machine assembled not a kit. I decided that to avoid the assembly problems. Problems are almost the same.
2. I was thinking a forum it is made it to help people in their decision's to spend hard earned money. What I am posting it is NOT a negetive feedback for MD. It is my experince with that company and their product.
3. When you launch something in a kit form you must test that very hard and try to make that "stupid proof" almost 100%. If you choose to adopt M$ policy (launch a product and let customers to discover all bugs and after that write some SP-acks or better make another software ;)) you will end up to have a bunch of unhappy customers.
3. Even big company (Ikea) made mistakes. I just bought a coffee table from Ikea and when I try to assemble it I failed. I must spend 3 hours to put some pieces which manufacturer forgot to think about it.
4. I just try to help talking about my experince but after you post it that it is wrong. Sorry for posting my experince....

Good luck

Gabi,

Please dont misunderstand me, posting experiences are fine and thats exactly my point.

I certainly want to ensure that people reading these forums are given information on the pros and cons of a product or supplier. As long as it your experience and you explain what it was, how it was resolved or not then that is fine. There is a fine line between saying 'I had this experience' and 'Dont buy from XYZ, they are a bunch of xxxxxs' without hard unrefutable evidence. I just wanted to deflect any of the latter as we've had some bad experiences already of that on the forum with people slagging off products. Of course I realise sometimes these things are subjective, and one mans design etc.....

It is good to hear of your experience, and the fact that yours wasnt a kit, which wasnt clear to me before, makes it all the more concerning. I'll admit I have had an issue with the company in question myself, which was resolved satisfactorially, although I would have prefered that it didnt happen in the first place. That doesnt make them a bad company necessarily, but I agree once bitten etc... however I did go back another time and had a good experience. I've also had my share of bad experiences from Ikea, yet there are also good experiences and strangely we always seem to go back....

Don't let that stop you from posting, we all have a lot to learn from each other.

regards
Irving...

PS, I know what you mean about M$ but they are big and ugly enough to look after themselves.

gabi68
06-12-2009, 07:09 PM
Ok, point taken. I'll agree I post some name's. Belive me I was (still I am) very upset about how THEY try to solve my problems. I already spend a lot of money and I still have to do some modification myself to have that router working.
If it is something which I strongly reccommend to anyone who want to step in CNC area is to read and build his own machine.
I have a CNC router almost ready (90% in design stage - many things to do) but I still having trouble to find a company who want to cut my parts at a resonable price.

RGDS
Gabi

ptjw7uk
06-12-2009, 07:29 PM
I do not think all the problems we experience are always the companies fault.
It can be due to our having little or no knowledge to that of the companies who aften assume we, their customers know more than we actually do.
I'm afraid that even doing yourself can be a very slippery slope as there is so much we have to learn and sometimes just do not know what questions to ask. Even if you are supplied with instructions a small lack of understanding can lead to problems which could not be envisioned by more knowledgably people.
It would be nice gabi69 to know where you are situated!

Peter

irving2008
06-12-2009, 07:43 PM
Ok, point taken. I'll agree I post some name's. Belive me I was (still I am) very upset about how THEY try to solve my problems. I already spend a lot of money and I still have to do some modification myself to have that router working.
If it is something which I strongly reccommend to anyone who want to step in CNC area is to read and build his own machine.
I have a CNC router almost ready (90% in design stage - many things to do) but I still having trouble to find a company who want to cut my parts at a resonable price.

RGDS
Gabi

Gabi,

What do you need cut? There are several members who may be able to help out. Start your own thread (if you haven't already) and post drawings/DXFs and you might get lucky.

gabi68
06-12-2009, 08:07 PM
Hi Peter,

I know what you mean. To put me in one of your category I should tell something about me:
- my background - IT (hardware and software M$ certified);
- my machine's:
1.Taig 2019 4 axis - I have that little mill since 2003. That came with a Xylotex board and now it is running with a controller made it with G203V.
2. Emco compact 5 CNC turn with toolchanger - still need's work to have a decent speed. It has already a G540 unit to control it.
3. MD router - you all know about that.
- parts that I make are jewllery
- software used:
CAD - Rhino V4.0, SolidWorks 2008, ArtCam 2008
CAM - BobCad V21, FeatureCam 2008, PowerMill 9
Software controller full Mach3. I have turboCNC and KellySoft but I choose to use Mach3 because support it is fantastic and people in the Yahoo or MachSupport groups are very active and they know the bussines.
I still learn every day and I think every one which it is in this area do the same thing.

RGDS
Gabi
P.S. I hope I answerd to all your question's and I have the knowledge to put that router in the right track.

neo
13-12-2009, 10:03 PM
Part2 The Krypton factor

Before the missing parts were sent, building the base was not without its challenges.

Remember there are no instructions which to be fair is not a major
problem, it really is fairly straight forward to construct, although a mechanical mind should help.
However, the trouble was the Y axis base didn't seem to fit together properly and I just couldnt work it out. The Z, X axis top section went together relatively easily, but I based the building of the base on what I'd learnt with the top part and this turned out to be where I was going wrong.
It became like an insolvable puzzle as I tried to put the side rail fixings into the same diagonal position as seen on the top part. in fact the more convinced I became thats how it should be attached, the more impossible it became to attach the cross member. It simply wouldn't fit and I couldn't see the wood for the trees.:confused:

After much cursing and wondering if I should have bought a crate of beer instead :beer:
I had a brainwave of looking on the internet at some pictures I'd seen on good old ebay when i was looking at buying the unit.
I recalled that the listing for the CNC in question had a link to some photos of one already built.
There was a series of photos in closeup of a tour around the machine. In one photo it clearly showed the base side rails fixed in the same diagonal postion as the upper part.
What I didn't realise was this was a photo sequence of an A4 machine, I'd bought the A3 machine and unbeknown to me it had subtle differences!!:heehee:

By trial and error I started to fit the rail fixings in the same slots as themselves and it was only then that I could succesfully fit the cross member to join the two parts together.
Unfortunately I wasn't convinced I was doing it right afterall the photo sequence shows them to be diagonal.
It was only by looking closely at a smaller photo of the A3 machine that I could see the rails were indeed fitted in the position which I was now using. I was right but boy did my head hurt trying to solve the krypton factor!:redface:

Once I realised I was on the right road I was happy to tighten the screws up and complete the base unit.
The photos also had another advantage in that one photo also showed the elusive missing specialised nuts.
I now knew what was missing all I had to do was wait for them to arrive

Neo

part3 to follow.....

neo
26-12-2009, 03:48 PM
The thread seems to have gone a little off topic but here's part 3 for the holiday season to keep you going...

Part 3 Missing you already.

The parts to join the two sections together arrived about a week later.
unfortunately, those four missing specialised nuts were not the only parts that were not sent in the main box: The bracket to attach the spindle was also absent and so were two extra colletts for the Kress.
just to add to the experience the mach3 software was also missing....killed in action maybe! ((Mach3, speed of sound? jet fighter?..ohhh please yourselves Frankie howerd))
It took a while to dawn on me that all these parts were not included, remember there was no packing list. Fortunately the original invoice had the software and Kress colletts listed but they most definately wasn't in the box of packaging, I know I emptied it onto the lounge floor several times!

After hoovering up the mess, I was back in my wife's good books!

I kept my calm and duly emailed a list of the missing parts and they added them to the package containing the specialised nuts.
I can't tell you if there's any more missing parts....'cos there's NO CHECK list! (you can add any expletives between the words NO and CHECK at your discretion!......I did!!

So after a short while, all the parts arrived and we set about joining the two main parts together. It didn't take long and all of a sudden it started to look like a CNC machine.

The most noticeable thing is how heavy it was becoming, which on the one hand is great as the weight provides rigidity essential for precision, the downside is it becomes awkward to move about.:eek:
This is not a problem of the design, its the consequence of having a large machine: the bigger they are the heavier they become and this will affect DIY and commercial units.
It really is surprising how much they weigh.:surprised:
Subsequently, adding the bed to the machine increased its weight even more, it was becoming increasingly difficult to move, and I started worrying about my back! I began to wonder if I could leave the bed off and add other bits whilst I could still move it.
In the end I did a number of dry runs, keeping the sequence in my mind, only to conclude that adding the bed now was the most sensible step as it didn't have to be turned on its side anymore.


Neo

Part 4 to follow

John S
26-12-2009, 04:21 PM
Perhaps if they had left more parts out it wouldn't have been as heavy ?

BTW the Mach software is downloadable off the net.

.

neo
28-12-2009, 10:29 AM
Perhaps if they had left more parts out it wouldn't have been as heavy ?

You're right john! and ALL this could have been avoided with a simple checking or packing list which could have saved me, the customer, a bit of heartache.

That a side I hope you are all enjoying the read of the build so far...


in part 4 I add the final touches and hopefully very soon I'll have an old PC worthy of going down the shed :yahoo:

Neo

ChrisG
01-01-2010, 02:23 AM
Happy New Year all,

My I put in my 2peneth about supplier problems? Oversights, poor/no instructions etc happen, that doesn't bother me to much as I'm an Engineer and guess what? I also make mistakes. What does anger me is the next step, the way the problems are sometimes so slowly delt with by the suppliers.

I reckon it's up to us consumers to give feed-back to our suppliers good or bad, and not just moan amongst ourselves. It is useful to see others problems, as they say ' A clever man learns by his mistakes, a wise man learns by others.'

Chris

Lee Roberts
17-02-2010, 11:23 AM
Any progress Neo ?

neo
18-02-2010, 12:20 AM
Any progress Neo ?
Ahhh yes! there has been, but i've been a bit busy at home with other problems since the New Year: water leaking through the ceiling type problems to be exact:cry:. However thats now all fixed and decorated so I set my sights back on the CNC only in the past fortnight.

Those that have been following the progress will be pleased to know a few weeks ago I managed to purchase a SFF PC (small form factor) PC dedicated to my CNC off good ol ebay for a few pounds. Plus a friend gave me a flat screen monitor with a scratch on the screen for free. (you can't see the scratch when its on).
I duly installed a fresh copy of XP and Mach3 and started it all up. After a crash course in Mach3 and setting it up, much to my surprise it worked first time!!!:dance:

After playing with the JOG control for what seemed like hourslol
The first successful test was on the settings section of Mach when I requested to move the X axis 25cm and it did. the same for the Y axis and so on. First test complete.:yahoo:

Overjoyed with how accurate it appeared to be, I found a pencil and installed it in the Kress and then watched it happily drew out a picture of the skull and crossbones from the sample section of Mach3. I did the same with the Roadrunner picture too.
All very accurate reproductions but very small. Are these examples supposed to be only a couple of cms in size? :question:

Anyway, I set the scale to x2 and it made it a bit bigger and I think The CNC mill passed its first test.

Pleased as punch I set about ordering a couple of end mills to start with, they arrived this week and my son's been playing around on a CAD program with a few simple test subjects. This weekend I'm hoping to make a few cuts....
I'll keep you all informed.........


Neo

John S
18-02-2010, 12:33 AM
G20 on the top line of code makes it cut in inches and G21 makes it cut in mm.

.

Simon C
22-03-2011, 08:22 PM
Hello all!

I realise this is ultimatley a build thread but i wasnt sure where els to post this so i appologise if its in the wrong forum,but i too am very frustrated with Marchant dice / world of cnc, getting them to send the parts i orderd/paid for in early january(it is now near the end of march) is like trying to get blood from a stone, everytime i call its a diffrent excuse and a diffrent story. anyway today he finaly told me he diddnt have the ballscrew i orderd in january blameing it on his supplyer in france yet the week before i was told the ballscrew had been assembled "down stairs" and was waiting to be dispached, so i asked for a refund and he told me he would give me a refund but could only do it later that day, needless to say i didnt get it. I fear i will never get the refund. to be honest if it was just a £10-£20 item i would just put this whole ordeal down to expirience and forget it but this ballscrew-nut-BK and BF bearing supports cost me around £250 and thats to much to just "put down to expirience" and this is not the first time iv had this problem, took me over a month and many calls to get an 8mm ballscrew from him in november but i thought this was just a one off.

Sorry for the boreing rant but im very frustrated with Marchantdice, has anyone had a similar problem? or know what i can do to get a refund from this company?

Regards
Simon

Web Goblin
22-03-2011, 10:53 PM
Simon,
Similar problems here. I had ordered motors and cnc controller kit from them and when it arrived the motors had been used previously. I was then given delivery dates for replacements which never arrived. I ended up getting a refund after loads of emails and phone calls and a few of the emails were ignored along the way.
My advice is to go for the full refund and then speak to a nice gent called Gary at Zapp Automation. The BK and BF ballnut supports are standard sizes so getting a screw to fit them will not be a problem.
Dont let up on your refund, its your money after all and you didnt get it easily so why should someone else. So keep at it until you get it.

Regards

Ian

wiatroda
23-03-2011, 11:07 AM
Maybe that's different story, but I had similar problems with floors-2-go. I've purchased vinyl from local store in Wolverhampton, stuff never arrived as promised. Manager was lying all the time, he was avoiding us when we wanted our money back. We nearly ended up in court, but with help of the council we managed to get our money back after 3 months. I found on internet it's not the first time Floors-2-go cheat customers. My personal advice is AVOID FLOORS 2 GO as much as you can !!! BTW I was going to buy stuff from Merchant Dice, but it's not going to happen after Simon and Ian's posts. Merchant Dice - YOU'RE LOOSING CUSTOMERS !!!!

ptjw7uk
23-03-2011, 05:51 PM
Not sure what Marchant Dice's problems are now but I bought 3 ball screws and nuts with no problems although it was 3 or 4 years ago!

peter

Simon C
23-03-2011, 06:55 PM
Hi guys,

Thanx for all the replys and support

web goblin i orderd a 12mm ballscrew from gary at Zap automation last week, i forget what day i orderd it but it arrived 2 days after i placed the order on his website, cant beet that for service, so from now on i will be useing zap, i also just orderd another 12 mm ballscrew and 10mm BK and 10mm BF bearing supports and a motor couppling from zap this morning, so i will soon beable to finish my 7x14 mini lathe conversion, cant wait to get back into this project! I have a router/plasma table almost finished aswell.

regards
Simon