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View Full Version : newbie need advice on cnc machine to purchase? routoutcnc machines any good?



wyndham
23-05-2011, 09:51 PM
Hi Guys
great forum! just what i need, cnc machines seem to me a minefield
i was hoping that someone here could suggest some cnc machines i can buy in the uk if i tell you what i wish to do.

I make wooden cabinets from laminated chipboard and laminated mdf.
up till now i have got various companies to cut the wood for me into flat pack from 18mm 4 x 8 sheets.
now i have a little factory unit i'm considering getting myself a cnc machine but i don't know that much about them. i'm based in cardiff and have found a cnc company in south wales http://www.routoutcnc.com/z90router.html
from what i can see they do one that cators for 4 x 8 sheets and its seems cheap compared to some routers i have seen like the multicam 3000!.
I emailed them and asked if they were suitable for cutting 18mm mdf wood sheet which they confirmed. I asked if i needed a vacuum bed and they replied telling me its non vacuum bed which they prefered for cutting all the way through 18mm the wood. they suggested I just put a scrap sheet of mdf underneath to cut into. is this normal?
i still don't know how the smaller pieces i need to cut would stay still when i cut right through them without a vacuum bed??. some of the pieces i need to cut are only 40mm x 80mm wide. how would this be held in place without a vacuum? i would REALLY appreciated any advice or suggested cnc machines available in the UK. dust control is my only other concern, i asked routourcnc people and they told me they normaly attached a henry vacuum to it, no need for any large extraction systems.

has any one used a z90 routout cnc machine? i need to cut about 150 sheets of 4 x8 a year if that gives you an idea of how much use it will get.

thanks again for the help

Robin Hewitt
24-05-2011, 12:08 PM
Hi Wyndham

I am not an expert on routers.

Belt drive is okay so long as the belt is spring tensioned and has a big driving pulley to get lots of teeth engaged.

A vacuum table isn't exactly hard to make if you have enough clearance in the Z. OTOH you could hold the workpiece down by hand as it comes to cuts end.

Pukka dust extractors are inexpensive and hold a lot more than Henry, or was Henry for the hold down?

A sacrificial sheet of MDF below is kind of vital, much easier to cut through than cut perfect.

Have you considered making your own router? It's more Meccano than rocket science these days, you just have to decide on your trade off between speed and precision. Screws give more precision but require servo motors if you want speed in the traverse. Long screws can be whippy. Linear profile rails and aluminium extrusions make router building a doddle. If you are tooled up to cut quality grade plywood so much the better.

Good luck

Robin

Jonathan
24-05-2011, 01:29 PM
Belt drive is okay so long as the belt is spring tensioned and has a big driving pulley to get lots of teeth engaged.

A HTD belt requires 6 teeth to be engaged for the strength of the teeth at the pulley to exceed that of the belt itself.


A vacuum table isn't exactly hard to make if you have enough clearance in the Z. OTOH you could hold the workpiece down by hand as it comes to cuts end.

I think I'll make one sometime. Some people on this forum will complain if they see you holding the workpiece down by hand :naughty:


Pukka dust extractors are inexpensive and hold a lot more than Henry, or was Henry for the hold down?

I tried a henry for dust extraction. It was pathetic - didn't suck enough. Also remember the pressure from normal vacuum cleaners gets worse as the bag fills up so ideally you want a cyclone.


A sacrificial sheet of MDF below is kind of vital, much easier to cut through than cut perfect.

Agreed - that's what I do. If you start off with an 18mm sacrificial sheet it'll last you for a long time. Only need to go say 0.5mm into the sheet each time, then you can use the router to skim it to get it nice and flat several times when necessary.

I also think you should look into making it yourself. You will definitely save a lot of money - it helps by getting the linear bearings Robin mentioned from eBay internationally. I'd happily make you one for less than their price :heehee:

i2i
24-05-2011, 05:47 PM
Hi Wyndham i'm based in Cardiff as well, if you fancy a chat about your requirements pm me and i'll give you my contact details.

jrob3rts
24-05-2011, 10:04 PM
I know of someone who has used one of the routout machines with great success. He does however use them for acrylic. I believe he has recently upgraded to Laser in order to fulfil his workload.
He didn't get the larger machine but from what I can see all has been well.

Personally, cannot vouch for them myself, but if you workload isn't too high then wouldn't it be cheaper to get a local operator to do your cuts?

wyndham
25-05-2011, 05:58 PM
thanks for the replies and offer of help ici ,very much appreciated
the idea of building ones sounds a great idea but just not sure i would have the time to build one or learn. its sounds complex i wouldn't know where to start.

I rang a few companies in the uk today just getting idea on how much these things cost in general, multicam 30-40k!!! axyz 25k
was told a vacuum bed is a good idea to stop laminate being chiped when cut.

then i found this company on ebay mantech
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CNC-Router-Engraving-Cutter-Model-M25-/170410586888
13k still a huge amount of money but this one does have a vacuum bed for cutting smaller parts . anyone experience of this machine?

i'm just toying with the idea of getting a cnc at the moment its a huge investment to make and a rather big loan if i did get one!

i just can see that cheap cnc's like the routout 6k and mantech 13k will be any good compared to the expensive ones

i2i
26-05-2011, 06:58 PM
A home build would certainly reduce the overall cost, and would be a good learning curve. 6k to 13K to 25K, i would expect you get what you pay for and the more you pay the more rigid and effective the machine would be.

NB70
27-05-2011, 09:21 AM
Wyndham,
This company is based in Rhondda I think, might be worth a look:
http://www.rhonmac-cnc.co.uk/pro_cnc_routers.htm#RM-1325%20CNC%20Routing%20Machine

They also sell build your own kits,

Nathan

i2i
27-05-2011, 12:40 PM
got to be worth a look

wyndham
27-05-2011, 09:54 PM
thanks have imailed rhonmac to see what they say

can cnc machine bore dowel holes in the edges of mdf after they have been cut to shape.
i need to produce flat pack cabinets.
or do you think a multi borer is a simpler option? need to find one second hand they seem expensive new! anyone ever made a borer using drills on the side?
i have to drill the same holes over and over