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View Full Version : Any experiences with Routout CNC machines?



scjb
03-07-2010, 12:53 PM
Popping my posting cherry! :heehee:

Would be very interested to hear from people on their experiences with the Z90 series of machines from Routout. I am aware of the existing closed thread which details one user's experience, but would appreciate alternate views.

As a guide, I'm considering the machine for engraving and cutting 3mm ali panels for 19" rack mount applications, foam cutting, and basic (very basic) pcb prototyping.

All info gratefully accepted.

Steve

scjb
08-07-2010, 01:28 AM
Anybody?!?

i2i
08-07-2010, 02:20 AM
i've spoken to them on the phone and they seem very helpful.

scjb
08-07-2010, 11:28 PM
Hello i2i. How do you find the machine?

Ross77
08-07-2010, 11:57 PM
OK I'll put my head above the parapet then :heehee:

I've not had any experience with them, only looked the web site. and I'm only going to say that IMHO they seem quite expense for what you get. Small table top Ali frame with belt drive and what looks like igus rails, and from what I cant tell only 12v stepper drivers.


So you might want to ask:
1. what type are the belts? standard or anti backlash? (repeatability)
2. are the linear bearings friction or rolling element? (wear issues)
3. power spec for stepper drive (occasional heavier work, upgrade to bigger spindle)
4. resolution ( at least 0.1mm for pcbs if not better)

If all the answers suit your requirements and its all within your budget then give it a try and let us know.:naughty:

As a final note, I presume you don't want to build one yourself which means that you are sensible and want to just get on and use the machine for your hobbies and not spend years build the damm thing like I'm doing....:nope: Also the problems occurred last year (or more) and they are still in business so they must be doing something right :smile:

I suppose what Im trying to say is just ask all the questions now to make sure it suits your requirements

scjb
09-07-2010, 05:49 PM
Thanks for the reply Ross. Some interesting observations there, and some questions to add to my list. I'm going to pop across to their base next week and have a look, so will be able to ask in person.

Yes, you're quite correct, I want to buy prebuilt with warranty otherwise it just ain't gonna happen! Keen to crack on with some projects that require custom front panels. There are a few pictures of panels on their website that have been made with their machines and they look plenty good enough to me. Specs say 0.1mm accuracy and there is a YouTube video of a pcb being milled, and though it's not a particularly impressive board it seems to work.

Intrigued by your comments on price. This seemed to be the cheapest prebuilt gantry out there, and the other option I'm looking at is Exel CNC, which has better components but is also over twice the price for a similar table size. Do you have any suggestions for where else I ought to be looking? All advice gratefully received.

If, when and wherever I purchase, I will definitely post a newbie user thread... should be amusing reading for you old pro's if nothing else!!!

EDIT: SPaG.

i2i
09-07-2010, 06:12 PM
Hello i2i. How do you find the machine?
? which machine:smile:

black5f
09-07-2010, 07:19 PM
Mmmm. Some good sound advice above! No experience with these machines, belts are pretty good these days but vary under load = careful tool path planning and gentle, gentle. Ball screws, depending what you pay for them, can have linearity and repeatibility to microns. There's nothing wrong with a stiff repeatable machine with an accuracy of 0.1, if you know it really is 0.1 steps. My machines a stepper on the z and about 0.1 accuracy as well, tried a pcb but you need to go through to 0.25 - 0.3 to be sure tracks are clean, assuming the bed is in fact flat. The last thing you want is perfect pcb with the top left corner shorting because it's a thou high. Is the 0.1 based on the stepper / mechanical performance. Steppers are good at going to one repeatable point, They don't do the in between bits. And all machines bend a bit under load as do tools! But, as a first thing, you could mill yourself a flat bed to start with which will be at the stepper step, if you see what I mean? With a nice straight edge to align too? If the bed is "flat" but 1/2 a step out then you're accuracy can only ever be 0.15mm? You can cut 0.05 and 0.015 but never 0.1 +- 0.1. Then then beds aligned to the head and your accuracy will leap? I mean 0.1 steps but each step within 0.001 of where it should be and repeatable, I think this is what you need to know from them. You're gona be so pleased when you make you 1st pcb and it works!

CHudson
09-07-2010, 10:26 PM
Ive got their smaller machine but its the accurate one, their customer service is very good and the machine is built well the only thing I am having problems with is it seems the Z axis is running out but I think its to do with the base. I use my machine to mill PCBs. I would say its good for wood etc but I tired to mill aluminium and its completly useless for it. The Z axis plate that the router mounts to is plastic so it flexs to much to mill any metals.

CHudson
09-07-2010, 10:28 PM
Sorry to claify as what you want I think it will do everything except cut your panels out.

Ross77
09-07-2010, 10:49 PM
Intrigued by your comments on price. This seemed to be the cheapest prebuilt gantry out there, and the other option I'm looking at is Exel CNC, which has better components but is also over twice the price for a similar table size. Do you have any suggestions for where else I ought to be looking? All advice gratefully received.



Thats the problem,I'm looking at it from a "I could build it for much less than that" angle. as you want a ready built machine then you will expect to pay for that privilege. Then again if were to add up my time and the cost of all the tools and machines to build my cnc then it would be far greater than the cost of the routout one :smile:

However I like making stuff and the lathe and mill will still be of use to me even when the cnc is finally built. I'm also a believer in having the right tool for the job so I'm planning 4 or 5 machines a heavy duty mill for milling , router for routing , pcb/inlay machine for detail and a plasma cutter for quick 2d metal work. :whistling: one day in the distant future that is......

Tom has made some excellent points about pcb work, especially the fact that you need to aim higher on resolution (not the same as accuracy) to allow for error.

I had another look at the site and the new ones seem to have the patented belt/rack system (ala mike everdyne?, something like that.) which is much better for anti backlash but it still looks like it has the poor resolution that belt drives suffer from.

Look at demo pics, particularly the guitar,see the gagged wavy lines, not good. If you are going to the shop then ask to see it cut circles in Ali. good machines cut perfect round ones and bad ones make eggs :naughty:

Ross77
10-07-2010, 12:44 AM
I got distracted whilst posting so didn't see the previous 2 posts



I would say its good for wood etc but I tired to mill aluminum and its completely useless for it. The Z axis plate that the router mounts to is plastic so it flexs to much to mill any metals.


no need to say any more i think :smile: I couldn't say it as i haven't used or tried it but here it is straight from the horses mouth.

John S
10-07-2010, 01:05 AM
A good test is to get them to cut a test engraving file on alloy or brass with some fine lettering. Inspect it carefully then get them to re run the same file.

If the machine is good it will just clean up the odd burrs.
If not you will get wide letters and double cutting.

Shout up if you want a test file.

.

CHudson
10-07-2010, 09:24 AM
The machines repeatability is exellent, I do loads of engraving (mostly on the PCB's but I have done a little brass and ally) and I have had to restart programs, its never made the lines any wider when I did. But you cant do much more than engrave when it comes to metals.

scjb
10-07-2010, 04:29 PM
These are all the sorts of comments I was after. Many thanks to all who have contributed. Cutting 3mm ali front panels is the primary use, so...

I had wanted to buy British... but now find myself looking at the Heiz models again. Certainly the videos and pictures on the website show very clear examples of my intended uses, and the pcb work looks to be an order of magnitude better (although I presume this could be down to the skills of the coder as much as the abilities of the machine?).

Particularly impressed by the deep ali milling on the first video of http://www.cnc-step.de/en/applications/high-z-milling-applications/48-kaesefraese-fraesmaschinen-alu-stahl-fraesen-2d-fraesen-aluminium-hart-und-weich.html

Thanks again everyone.

John S
10-07-2010, 10:40 PM
One thing that puts me off the Heiz units is they use unsupported linear rails and make a big show of calling other competitors and home built machines. That usually smacks of desperation.
The Y axis looks to be only supported on one rail ?
The web page has been updated and now no longer shows the machines as they used to.

pcstru
12-07-2010, 07:02 PM
One thing that puts me off the Heiz units is they use unsupported linear rails and make a big show of calling other competitors and home built machines. That usually smacks of desperation.

Ah - but marketing is always bollocks. I would say they are more expensive than some of the competition, but the build quality seems to be good. I'm a stingy Scottish git and despite the price, I'm pleased with mine.


The Y axis looks to be only supported on one rail ?
The web page has been updated and now no longer shows the machines as they used to.

The Y axis is supported on two rails.

Eugene
24-01-2011, 03:38 PM
Hi,
Are you based in Cardiff? I have a X3 CNC small mill, and nowhere to set it up, as I have been turned out of an ex friends workshop. I would be willing to give the machine to someone, in return for letting me use it occasionally. I have all the software for designing and running the mill.
If you are interests please contact me as soon as possible, on redcraft@live.co.uk
Regards,
John Corkett.

Eugene
24-01-2011, 03:43 PM
Anybody?!?

Did you get my reply and email address?

M250cnc
24-01-2011, 04:07 PM
Wow, checkout the "Moving Round The Bed Video" Z90 Router

The way the Z axis is designed there looks to be 25mm clearance to the table and yet the spindle can move up a further 65mm

Poor design.:thumbdown:

Phil

mindde
05-10-2011, 11:48 PM
just to add to their service quality in my experience is poor took 3 weeks to deliver a simple controller board, it looks like they are based in china or something

Swarfing
06-10-2011, 05:43 PM
Blow me down another Swindonian on the CNC wagon?