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View Full Version : Looking for the impossible? A cnc router for 1k? is it possible?



itsmillertime
28-03-2012, 02:46 PM
Hey guys,

I have been looking around these forums and others for a good few days now and I'm really starting to procrastinate and I'm jumping from one link to the next looking at different kits. ALL of them have mixed reviews and some with slightly better reviews than others. At the moment I don't really have the time for building my own from scratch. I'm jumping from one project to the next in my life and I want to actually get stuck in and not spend ages trying to collect the parts etc. Just ask my wife.. lol I'm sure she could offer a list of jobs that are still unfinished around the house!
I'm 38 now and recently suffered from ill health.. (hopefully in recovery) and looking at working for myself, at least supporting my wife's wage by doing hobby work etc. I'm not well enough currently to hold down a full time job (some days I am not well enough to work) and it's unfair on a future employer to have to cover my absences.

I'm looking at making items from wood/mdf and occasionally light aluminium jobs. For signs, little gifts, personalised stuff etc.. I don't expect to make a fortune, but I would like to supplement our income while I'm recovering. Also I just love to keep busy and use my hands. I've always been in engineering and I just love to build things and be 'hands on' I got stuck in an office job a few years back and that almost sent me crazy!

So what I'm asking is probably much the same as other guys here, I have read too MANY bad reviews of the chinese imports and I would ideally like to try and use something from the UK. I appreciate 1k is not alot to spend on a CNC router. But I do have a limited budget and this is going to have pay for itself eventually and not become a very expensive paperweight.

I don't need something that is going to offer military spec accuracy. But I would like something that has good value for money and will keep me busy for a couple of years. I would like the working area to be around the A3 region.

Because of this I am tempted by the chinese 6040 model BUT, I cannot justify getting something that may well break within 2 hrs of turning it on!

If you guys could advise me on the best kits for around 1k OR indeed if anyone here would be able to help build something like this with me I really would be grateful. (I have my own computer for the project)

Any advice please guys would be welcome.

thanks

andy

John S
28-03-2012, 03:59 PM
Andy,
Those 6040 work out to about 1200 all in so if you are fixed on 1K you need to think again. You cannot compare one of this to a UK sourced one purely on cost for 1200 i cannot buy all the bits to build one.
The 6040 look to be far better made / spec'd than the cheaper 3040, some sellers are including a water cooled 0.37Kw high speed motor and inverter wheras some have the universal brushed motor that seems to give problems.

With any of these the weak point is the electronics, namely the drivers, drivers are always the weak point on a stepper driven CNC.
Good news is they are quite universal and easy to swap for better units.

Shortly I will be buying a 6040, just no room at the moment, need to get rid of some of the older production machinery. Basically I have costed the whole rig plus having to change 3 drivers if necessary, say another 150. Once done I will have a better machine than a 3K UK sourced model.

itsmillertime
28-03-2012, 05:59 PM
Hi John,

Thanks ever so much for your reply. I "did" have a fixed cost in mind. I guess it's a psychological barrier.. Perhaps I'm just a miser at heart? A grand is indeed alot of money to save and for a hobby it's a stretch. BUT, as I'm looking at making some money with it, it's a case of speculate to accumulate. Not sure my wife will be so keen though? Going to have to sell it to her that it will mean less time that I'll spend in the house getting in her way.. Get some more 'man' time in my "office" i.e our garage ;-)

I like your idea though John re: buying the 6040 as an actual base and then upgrading drivers etc.. Without having a CNC it's difficult to machine components to make your own. Then you end up with a kit with bits missing etc. At least if I do go and buy one of these at least it can be improved/ uprated as and when required. I fear that if I went down the route of making my own it would take me too long and the impetus would be gone..

My next question is when we say 1200 all in. I presume that's including any VAT (if required paying) Also what about import costs? If it's shipped from the UK i.e Portsmouth seems to be a common ebay sellers address do we pay import costs? If it's from a bonded warehouse then yes I guess so. I could stomach the 1200 but to pay import taxes on top what would that take us upto?

Just my thoughts, what do you think? I am sourly tempted now you have put that seed in my head John! ;-)

m.marino
28-03-2012, 06:17 PM
Andy,

For cost and budget JohnS is correct, getting a machine at or below the 1K mark requires a lot of help from a lot of folks. If you want to look at a machine and ask a lot more questions directly I am in Edinburgh and more then glad to help some one out in getting started or looking at cost. The 3040 machines are very small (they will fit on my machine with the 3040's X axis (long) set along my Y axis. If you want PM me and will see what help I can give. Warning I am finishing the tuning and set up of my machine so a bit busy myself.

Michael

Tenson
28-03-2012, 06:31 PM
Don't be put off by the Chinese ones they are great. It is always possible to pick holes in something, but for the cost they don't really put a foot wrong. Just make sure it gets packed well for shipping.

Jonathan
28-03-2012, 06:38 PM
Don't be put off by the Chinese ones they are great.

They're great until you've used a properly designed machine, then you realise the difference.

itsmillertime
28-03-2012, 06:45 PM
Hi Michael,
Thanks for your kind offer, got a feeling that as you fairly close to me I may well take you up on that! :whistling: I can see that it's going to be difficult on my budget to get something that is of good quality. I'm definitely tempted to go down the 6040 route. It's of a high enough spec for me to rule out purchasing the 3020 which I was thinking of until I read some of the reviews here. Thank god I did read up on them! I reckon when I get 'well and truly bitten by the bug' look at building my own machine. But for now I think it's going to have to be an "off the peg" solution. I have already come a long way in my ambitions as I was initially going to self build an MDF kit.

The 6040 is probably about the right kind of size for me.. well at least for now anyway. I have seen alot of smaller desktop machines but I don't want to limit myself straight away with one of those just because of my budget.

Thanks again Michael I'm going to have a trawl around now and look at your machine! Good luck with getting it set up.

Cheers

Andy

itsmillertime
28-03-2012, 06:50 PM
Thankyou Tenson

I appreciate your opinion. It's just a shame that the EU and UK have become so expensive when it comes to manufacturing. We used to be the workshop of the world. I feel guilty buying Chinese. This is part of the reason why our automotive industry failed. I guess when it comes down to getting as much value as you can for your money it's the only way to go when you're on a shoestring.

itsmillertime
28-03-2012, 06:53 PM
They're great until you've used a properly designed machine, then you realise the difference.

I do have to agree with you Jonathan, you do get what you pay for. It's all about fitness for purpose. It's like trying to buy a BMW on fiat money.

Tenson
28-03-2012, 07:02 PM
They're great until you've used a properly designed machine, then you realise the difference.

That's not really the point is it? There is always something better.Unless going DIY I don't think the 6040 will be easily beaten. It's not that badly made anyway, it uses 16mm solid alu plate and supported Y axis rails. The feed-rates will be quite slow but you have to compromise something when you have a limited budget.

itsmillertime
28-03-2012, 08:01 PM
I think I could certainly do worse than the 6040. Tenson I can tell that you are obviously more than happy with your purchase. Is it likely that I'll have to pay import on it, if it's already in the country??

thanks

andy

Tenson
28-03-2012, 08:15 PM
Not sure to be honest. I paid import on my CNC3040 but it was shipped from China. However they put the value down as 100.

I'll be selling my CNC3040 when I finish building my DIY machine. At least the buyer can know it is shipping within the UK and it all works.

m.marino
28-03-2012, 08:57 PM
Andy,

YOu won't pay import but the fees you see on the site. The massive postage you see on them is to fold, first to pay off the bond that the UK government has on the shipping warehouse where these machines are being stored and second to ensure they meet the minimum profit margin that The Chinese government manager has set for the product. Being a business owner I can tell you that the cost of doing business in the UK coupled with China keeping their currency value low makes it difficult for many companies to compete. There are other additional reasons but this is not the place to go into them. Good luck and if you need help let me know.

Michael

John S
28-03-2012, 09:22 PM
I do have to agree with you Jonathan, you do get what you pay for. It's all about fitness for purpose. It's like trying to buy a BMW on fiat money.

I resemble that remark. :confused:

I have just bought two Fiat trucks. Bummer.. Do BMW's make 3 tonners ?

motoxy
28-03-2012, 09:54 PM
All bmw's weigh 3 tonnes!!!

HankMcSpank
28-03-2012, 10:34 PM
That's not really the point is it? There is always something better.Unless going DIY I don't think the 6040 will be easily beaten. It's not that badly made anyway, it uses 16mm solid alu plate and supported Y axis rails. The feed-rates will be quite slow but you have to compromise something when you have a limited budget.


Which is the weak part of the 6040 that is making the feed rates slow? (& can this be upgraded?)

Tenson
28-03-2012, 10:43 PM
Actually I have a CNC3040 but it looks like the 6040 uses a similar motor controller given the enclosure size. I'm new to all this so I may be wrong but I suspect the motor controller is the weak link. It looks like it is an all-in-one 3 axis board like the CNC3040 uses and it runs on about 24 Volts. If you look at the driver circuits from ZappAutomation and the like they run on 50-80V. The motors are of course also a consideration but I guess just going by the size of them, they could take a bit more power.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong. :smile:

Also, given the response of the people I purchased my unit from, it seems there is a central manufacturere and most of the items on eBay are from resellers. Does anyone know who the original maker of these designs is? Is it www.cncdiy.org?

HankMcSpank
28-03-2012, 10:52 PM
Also, given the response of the people I purchased my unit from, it seems there is a central manufacturere and most of the items on eBay are from resellers. Does anyone know who the original maker of these designs is? Is it www.cncdiy.org? (http://www.cncdiy.org?)

I doubt it...that cncdiy hasn't been updated since last summer (I don't even think they're trading right now -check out the comments on here ..... http://cncdiy.forumr.biz/f1-cncdiy-s-machines !!)

I think YooCNC are quite a large manafacturer (& certainly appear to be the supplier to cncdiy)

itsmillertime
29-03-2012, 11:39 AM
Tenson and Michael appreciate the info on the "shipping costs" I can see now why they are so high!

@John S "I do have to agree with you Jonathan, you do get what you pay for. It's all about fitness for purpose. It's like trying to buy a BMW on fiat money.

I resemble that remark. :confused:

I have just bought two Fiat trucks. Bummer.. Do BMW's make 3 tonners ? "

Lol:naughty: Hey there's nowt wrong with Fiat,- at least all the exposed screw heads inside helpfully reveal how to take the panels off!! They may well be different now But I'm just going off the experience cars I've owned 10 years ago ;-)

Sheesh next you'll have me putting my foot in it saying that all audi owners are twats and those day running lights are 'a bit gay' and annoy the hell out of me ;-) ON a side not to that statement.. I also just got rid of my old Audi 80 2.6 cabriolet and I miss her....

JAZZCNC
29-03-2012, 06:57 PM
That's not really the point is it? There is always something better.Unless going DIY I don't think the 6040 will be easily beaten. It's not that badly made anyway, it uses 16mm solid alu plate and supported Y axis rails. The feed-rates will be quite slow but you have to compromise something when you have a limited budget.

Yes it's absolutly the point.!! . . . You don't have the experience to say other wise. . . Jonathan does and he's absolutely correct.!!

NOW.!!. . . I just happen to have in my possetion a 3020 machine and I can tell you 110% it's a toy compared to a better built DIY machine.

The electronics are cheap nasty things just waiting to die.
The spindle is complete junk and barbige, It's basicly a cheap 24V DC motor with a cut down ER11 or something like that collet chuck with hole machined in the end and held on motor shaft with a grub screw, my knob's got less runout.!!

Acme thread is cheap and nasty with crappy plastic nuts and will wear out quickly with anykind of moderately tuff dirty work.

The frame, bed etc, on this machine is ok and suprisingly tight but thats mainly down to it's tiny size and any larger/longer or wider and the unsupported rails will flex under cutting.

Really the only acceptable part of this machine is the main frame the rest is a lottery to when it's going to die and when they do die any one of them is a expensive item to replace.!!
The driver is all-in-one so if any axis goes they all go so that's 3 x drives at 45 each plus BOB at 15-20 or buy another cheap ebay TB chip based pile of junk.!!
Spindle anywhere from 40-150 depending on what you choose.
Acme Screw nut probably not available so special made job or replace the whole screw/nut combo again hassle and not cheap 40-100

So my real point being they may look cheap but they won't workout cheap in the end.!!! . . . Save your money, save up and build the real thing to your own spec.!
It won't cost much more and with 1500 you'll have a machine that will last for years and make these chinese pieces of shite look like the dinky toys they really are.!!

Tenson
29-03-2012, 08:38 PM
At the moment I don't really have the time for building my own from scratch... I want to actually get stuck in and not spend ages trying to collect the parts etc..

I'm looking at making items from wood/mdf and occasionally light aluminium jobs.


Jazz, in the context of not going DIY and the limited budget of 1200 MAX. What is a better option than the 6040?

John S
29-03-2012, 08:40 PM
Jazz,
You seen a 6040 in the flesh ?

JAZZCNC
29-03-2012, 09:33 PM
Jazz,
You seen a 6040 in the flesh ?

No not yet John. But if this small thing I've got here is a guide then I'm not hopefull.!! . . . It's not so much the base machine John but the rest of it that's rubbish and even the base machine hisn't anything to write home about .:confused:


Jazz, in the context of not going DIY and the limited budget of 1200 MAX. What is a better option than the 6040?

Been said before but there hisn't anything you can buy off the shelf ready made for 1200 but that still doesn't mean it's something I'd encourage folks to do.!!
I'd say save your money add some to it and buy a proper machine that will last. . . . NO ACTUALLY. . . . I'd say build your own because for 1200 or not a lot more then it's very possible build your own custom machine with far far better components.!!
The last time this was brought up (By John S) I did actually do a rough costing exercise and it's possible build a similiar size machine as the 6040 for around the same money but with far better components.

John S
29-03-2012, 11:08 PM
I'm interested in hearing about a 6040 as to be honest even though I'm perfectly capable of building one I just don't have the time.
I have 3 personal mill conversions on the go at the moment.
One from 3 years ago ?

The short comings of the 3040's are obvious from looking at the machines, unsupported rails, so so electronics and now we have hands on reports the spindles are next to useless but the 6040's in high spec mode from various sellers have the water cooled spindles.
Jazz did a costing exercise and he reckons that it's possible to build a 6040 size machine but better for the same money ? however he didn't make it clear if that was working for ones self, count labour and it's probably not and the way work is at the moment I just don't have the time.

HankMcSpank
29-03-2012, 11:22 PM
Got to say, that the 6040 looks a whole lot better machine than the 3040....still junk drivers, but they can be replaced for 85 for 3 x 542 variants....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEMA23-Stepper-Motor-CNC-Driver-2M542-4-2A-Controller-/140597516123?pt=UK_AudioElectronicsVideo_Video_Tel evisionSetTopBoxes&hash=item20bc43d75b

Having built my first one, I can say it was fun, educational...but ultimately totally crap. It probably needs someone to have made at least 4 or 5 machines before they're on top of it all ...I haven't the time nor the inclination to start another build. I lost my job last year & when that happens urgency kicks in...and frankly I'd rather some bloke that's partial to a bowl of boil rice build me a frame, rather than taking time out from getting a new source of revenue out to put one together myself badly!

there's a lot to be said for economies of scale...they've the jigs tools machines to rustle one up in short order (& to a fairly tight spec - certainly mechanically)...& then flog it at a reasonable price ...I haven't the tools, jigs (and as I've learned the skills neither!) but make no mistrake, my time has value...it's just not making CNC machines!

I still find it hard to believe that no enterprising soul is plugging the gap in the market...a UK CNC'er is faced with chinese import or building their own...each is fraught with being a potential time sump - someone neds to step up to the mantle and knock out a decent' spec'ed machine where we don't have to sell a kidney.

John S
29-03-2012, 11:29 PM
How much do you value a kidney ?
I wonder how much Fray Bentos could make a 6040 for ?

JAZZCNC
30-03-2012, 12:53 AM
I still find it hard to believe that no enterprising soul is plugging the gap in the market...a UK CNC'er is faced with chinese import or building their own...each is fraught with being a potential time sump - someone neds to step up to the mantle and knock out a decent' spec'ed machine where we don't have to sell a kidney.

Yes and you know why that is don't you.??. . . . . . GREED TOTAL AND UTTER GREED. If they can't make minimum 200% profit they don't want to know.! So corners get cutt and cheap nasty components and build practise's are used to maximise profits.!! . . . . . You only have to peruse about the forums to see "STRIKE"-INGLY clear cases of this.!!!!. .:wink:

John S: Yes it was to DIY the machine but so much more for money and I seem to remember was with a 1.5kw WC /vfd setup.

JunkieHobbo
30-03-2012, 12:52 PM
@itsmillertime: I too was looking at the route of buying a machine for a +-1000 and quickly realized that they really are not worth the Money especially if you want to use them to make some money. For a 1000 - 1500 you could build a really good machine. As JAZZCNC already mentioned, In the long run the cheap machines will cost you more money and will eat into the little profits that you already made. The benifits of the better DIY machine far out weigh the convenience of a Chinese machine especially if you are looking to make money with it.
My advice if you want to use the machine as a money maker, spend some time on the design or copy one, JAZZCNC has a great design! :whistling::naughty::beer:

HankMcSpank
30-03-2012, 01:39 PM
@itsmillertime: I too was looking at the route of buying a machine for a +-1000 and quickly realized that they really are not worth the Money especially if you want to use them to make some money. For a 1000 - 1500 you could build a really good machine.

There's a degree of irony in that - for a start everyones time has value (even if you're unemployed, researching all this CNC melarkey takes time...and that time could be spent trying to generate revenue!). For a CNC novice, how long to collect all the info, order the parts from here there & everywhere & then assemble - yonks.

In all of that yonks, he could be using the pre-made machine to make money!

Don't get me wrong...some enjoy the chase (been there done that ...the jury is still out), for those where this a hobby, then the time is money argument is negated somewhat, but when you speak of making money, then I would strongly urge paying someone to make you one (like Jazz, Jonathan etc) or buying something like the 6040Z to get you up and running quickly. (it's not a *bad* spec - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-CNC-6040-ROUTER-ENGRAVER-DRILLING-MILLING-DEVICE-m8-/170683340109)

JunkieHobbo
30-03-2012, 02:00 PM
There's a degree of irony in that - for a start everyones time has value (even if you're unemployed, researching all this CNC melarkey takes time...and that time could be spent trying to generate revenue!). For a CNC novice, how long to collect all the info, order the parts from here there & everywhere & then assemble - yonks.

In all of that yonks, he could be using the pre-made machine to make money!

Don't get me wrong...some enjoy the chase (been there done that ...the jury is still out), for those where this a hobby, then the time is money argument is negated somewhat, but when you speak of making money, then I would strongly urge paying someone to make you one (like Jazz, Jonathan etc) or buying something like the 6040Z to get you up and running quickly. (it's not a *bad* spec - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-CNC-6040-ROUTER-ENGRAVER-DRILLING-MILLING-DEVICE-m8-/170683340109)

I agree 100% with your view, my view is more on the Hobbiyist side where you make some side cash in your spare time and time spent in the "chase" is not really calculated as money. Also if it was for making money a better machine would be able to give better results and potentially be even faster and cheaper in the long run and also give better return over time. Then again I am a newbie still and learning alot.

I am also a firm believer that you get what you pay for.

Tenson
30-03-2012, 02:49 PM
Perhaps slightly off-topic but I was wondering if half the problem with unsupported rails comes not from the rail itself, but from the commonly used clamping method to hold it?

I can imagine those rather immaterial aluminium screw clamps allow a fair bit of movement and flex under use. On the other hand, if the rails precisely slot into a much more solid piece of metal and are directly threaded and screwed up tight, I bet the movement is reduced a lot. This is how the CNC3040 and 6040 do it.

I'm guessing most who have used unsupported rail in DIY machines have gone the clamping route, because the cost of end-machining the rail to have a thread and perfect flat end makes it easier to buy supported rails.

Supported rail will be better, of course, but I'm just wondering where the main area of weakness might be.

ecat
30-03-2012, 03:29 PM
Perhaps slightly off-topic but I was wondering if half the problem with unsupported rails comes not from the rail itself, but from the commonly used clamping method to hold it?

I can imagine those rather immaterial aluminium screw clamps allow a fair bit of movement and flex under use. On the other hand, if the rails precisely slot into a much more solid piece of metal and are directly threaded and screwed up tight, I bet the movement is reduced a lot. This is how the CNC3040 and 6040 do it.

I'm guessing most who have used unsupported rail in DIY machines have gone the clamping route, because the cost of end-machining the rail to have a thread and perfect flat end makes it easier to buy supported rails.

Supported rail will be better, of course, but I'm just wondering where the main area of weakness might be.

The main weakness comes from the fact the beam is not supported along its entire length.

Think about a springy length of piano wire sitting on a support at each end:
Imagine pushing down with your finger in the middle of the wire.
Now clamp each end of the wire firmly to each end support and assume the supports cannot move. Imagine once again pushing down with your finger in the middle of the wire.
Finally put a third support in middle of the wire and imagine pushing down directly over the middle support...

You may like http://www.clag.org.uk/beam.html , see 'Centre load on beam with two simple supports' and 'Centre load on beam with 2 fixed supports'

Tenson
30-03-2012, 03:49 PM
I'm not convinced that is the main weakness. Hardened solid steel is very stiff! I remember reading a post in which a chap calculated the deflection under load and it was tiny, nothing like the amount of cutting inaccuracy others have reported in practice. Hence I wonder if the rails modulus is in fact the primary cause of problems.

ecat
30-03-2012, 04:02 PM
<shrug>
From the equations you can see that the difference in deflection between a beam simply resting on end supports and one rigidly supported at both ends is about a factor of 4 (192 / 48 taking simple cases). So the difference in deflection between fully rigid and 'kind of rigid but with poor bolts or wobbly walls" must be less than that factor of 4.

Edit
δ = FL3/192EI vs δ = FL3/48EI for those who don't like links.


Anyway, I dug this great resource out of my bookmarks, http://web.mit.edu/2.75/resources/FUNdaMENTALS.html . It is heavy on the maths but has lots of pictures so well worth a quick once over. The videos don't appear to work any more which is a shame, or maybe I accessed them by other means. If I remember correctly, one of the guys main tenets is "stop thinking of everything as rigid and firm, starting thinking elastic and floppy".

motoxy
30-03-2012, 05:03 PM
Just to jump in and have my twopenith worth, Building has to be the way to go. I started out with an 800 project and have to now find 1800 for a solid 1200 x 600 cnc. But when it is finished it will be able to cut ally and all the wood I want. I also know how to expand it, repair it, and why it works. I stood on the gantry and pushed along. Yes it even took my weight. This machine will last and as it would be nice to cover some of the cost, make me money.

As I am self employed my build time is scarce and so the build may take longer; but if i had the time this could be built in a month especially with the help you will find here. I use a cheap drill press, an under the bench router table and hand tools. probably a lot of shims but it can be done.

I know that time is money but is the time + 1200 spent on producing a machine worth say 3 - 4000 better value than spending 500 - 1200 on something that is guaranteed to break down. I can only suggest that you listen to the wise words of those that know.

Which ever direction you decide to take I really hope that you have success.

Bruce

Tenson
30-03-2012, 05:23 PM
Where is all this talk about breaking down coming from? I don't think anyone here actually owns a CNC6040. What parts are going to break down? The motors or drivers maybe, but then you can replace with better.

JAZZCNC
30-03-2012, 07:01 PM
There's a degree of irony in that - for a start everyones time has value (even if you're unemployed, researching all this CNC melarkey takes time...and that time could be spent trying to generate revenue!). For a CNC novice, how long to collect all the info, order the parts from here there & everywhere & then assemble - yonks.

In all of that yonks, he could be using the pre-made machine to make money!

Sorry hank got to disagree and here's why.!! . . . It's not like it was a few years ago where information was sparse and components unknown so too risky to chance, it doesn't get much easier than it is these days of all-in-one packages and G540 plug n play type arrangements.
All the information needed to build a perfectly good CNC machine is here on this forum and can be glean'd within a few nights searching. Also there's enough folks like me or Jonathan etc who could point someone in a rush to the right way to do it and where to buy the components and what's needed.

Me personally I'm more than prepared to help someone either via email, PM or my preferred ancient method "The telephone" with how to go about it, I often do this with people.
Obviously if they are in a rush then they will have to accept my interpritation's and ideas to what makes a good machine, but equaly I'm more than happy to discuss/advise on there interpritation and help put together a plan of attack.!! I could tell them all that's needed to build and where to get it and the pits falls to watch out for while building all within a, phone call.!! (All be it longone or maybe 2 short.!!)

So basicly some one new and in a rush with the time to build could be armed with the right info and pointing in the right direction within a day or two and within a just over week have all the components in hand ready to go and if equiped with the correct tools and skills using off the shelf materials have a within the month a working decent quality machine.!

To me the argument about prebuilt and cutting quickly so therefore earning quicker would hold up well with any decent quality machine but these are far from it and they wouldn't IMO stand business type production runs where they need to be running constant thru the day to earn there keep because they would die very quickly.

In this enviroment the down time alone would cost more more than the extra to buy a decent machine or justify any extra time it takes to build your own. Not to mention the damage it would do to the business Rep letting customers down.?? . . . . Imo buying one of these 6040 machines to run a business from would be commercial suicide and domed to failure before getting off the ground. .:thumbdown:

JAZZCNC
30-03-2012, 07:12 PM
Where is all this talk about breaking down coming from? I don't think anyone here actually owns a CNC6040. What parts are going to break down? The motors or drivers maybe, but then you can replace with better.

You don't get it do you.!!. . . . Thats the point with the extra few hundred pounds you WILL have to spend on top of what you have already spent you can build a much better machine and avoid all the heart ache.:whistling:

Also it's not all about parts used, strutual integrity comes into it and while it's not exactly flimsy it's far from good and will show it's true weakness's in short order when it comes down to the nitty gritty of getting good quality work from it in a timely fashion. . . . . .In a 8hrs a day 6 days a week enviroment I'd give it 2 weeks MAX before it was sloppier than an Pro's flu.!!:naughty: . . . . By the end of the month it would be the most expensive door stop you had ever bought. .:rofl:

Tenson
30-03-2012, 07:32 PM
A lot of the DIY machines on here are built with Chinese ballscews, ballnut and linear bearings. Do you have evidence the ones in the 6040 are inferior? The rest of the structure is metal and screws, probably machined on very good industrial kit.

I'm not saying the 6040 is a perfect machine but I think you are going way over the top with your comments in the context of a small run machine for wood parts or light aluminium. Yes DIY will give better results, but only if you are willing and able.

JAZZCNC
30-03-2012, 07:41 PM
Anyway enough of Hi-jacking threads.!! . . . . Me personally I'm saying no more on it and lets concentrate on Mr Millers ponderings.????

Andy. . . . Here's an option for you.?. . . If you have the time to wait then get intouch and I will be more than happy to help you build a machine that will knock one of these 6040 machines into the middle of next week for around the same money.

JAZZCNC
30-03-2012, 07:52 PM
A lot of the DIY machines on here are built with Chinese ballscews, ballnut and linear bearings. Do you have evidence the ones in the 6040 are inferior? The rest of the structure is metal and screws, probably machined on very good industrial kit.

I'm not saying the 6040 is a perfect machine but I think you are going way over the top with your comments in the context of a small run machine for wood parts or light aluminium. Yes DIY will give better results, but only if you are willing and able.

Ok got to reply to this then that's it from me.!!

Again you don't get it.!! . . . . It's the details that make the BIG difference and I do have the experience to see it's short comings.
Just looking at the pictures tells me everything I need to know but if with your vast experience your so cock sure it's "all that" then go out and buy one, use it in a business type of enviroment (which Andy wants to try to establish) and prove me wrong.! . . . My shoulders are big enough and I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong.!!! . . . ~Go for it.:dance:

Jonathan
30-03-2012, 08:06 PM
It's a common misconception peope seem to have that steel bar / RSJ etc, hardened or otherwise "doesn't bend". People see bridges and buildings made from the sort of size steel that we sometimes see on CNC router frames and assume that if it can hold up a bridge it will hold a cutter steady. The critical difference is the acceptable magnitude of deflection is markedly different in these circumstances. For any CNC router worth owning 0.05mm (perhaps less) of deflection is likely to be disastrous, but in a bridge a few millimeters of deflection won't be noticed. For CNC machining the permissible bending thresholds are very small, hence even though the forces are generally not that great you still need a very rigid structure, which includes the rails. You're not going to actually see the deflection in an unsupported rail until you put a dial indicator on it as the deflection will be small, but you only need a very small amount to make a difference.


A lot of the DIY machines on here are built with Chinese ballscews, ballnut and linear bearings. Do you have evidence the ones in the 6040 are inferior? The rest of the structure is metal and screws, probably machined on very good industrial kit.

I doubt there's anything wrong with the ballscrews and I'm sure that's not what Jazz is suggesting. The main problem with the 6040 is it uses unsupported rails on Y and Z. There's a huge overhang on the Z-axis, relying on the spindle for strength, very small spacing between the linear bearings on all the axis', combined with only one ballscrew on the X-axis, sub-optimal direct drive not timing belts, bed is proabably weak towards the center, tiny ER11 collet, etc etc ... all things that are easy to do better yourself. You only really need to read a couple of the build logs on this forum to learn most of the things required to make a good machine as Jazz and I mention the same weaknesses and how to solve them every single time.

I'm also happy to talk to anyone about how to design/build a machine. I regularly talk to several people on the forum via Skype/wlm/email ...

Jazz is right about people being to greedy when it comes to selling machines in the UK. The capitalise on the ignorance of the customer by selling machines which are barely adequate and as a result overpriced. I'd happily be making good CNC routers, but as I'm currently at University my time is somewhat limited. Having said that I will be making a CNC Router, primarily for cutting aluminium and steel, in partnership with a friend from school over the next couple of weeks. I will post a build log when its done to demonstrate what can be achieved if you're prepared to do some background reading and think for yourself.

HankMcSpank
30-03-2012, 08:06 PM
I guess a lot of it comes down to what you want to do with it.

me? I just need a machine to knock out a PCB inshort order.....also mill the odd bit of acrylic - very modest requirement.

I paid 430 for the frame ...it has already paid for itself in time saved (vs my old DIY nasty), money generated (if I'd gone the DIY route, I'd still be obsessing whether to spec shielded motor cable or not!)....and freeing me up to crack on with expanding my fledgling product range.

Will the machine last? From what I can see yes (I can certainly see me getting a couple of years out of it...at which point I no longer care) ...but like I say, I'm hardly pushing the envelope.

So I think this all need to be put in the context of what the purchasers intentions are.

but hey, Jazz, if you're saying that you can build a much better one for the same Chinese 6040 cost (1200) ...then when I do go for a larger machine I'll be beating a path to your door! :-)

Tenson
30-03-2012, 08:15 PM
Jazz, I'm willing to DIY with the help of kind people like yourself, so I don't need to buy one.

I'm not sure it's 'all that', hence I don't need experience at all to be uncertain ;)

JAZZCNC
30-03-2012, 08:32 PM
but hey, Jazz, if you're saying that you can build a much better one for the same Chinese 6040 cost (1200) ...then when I do go for a larger machine I'll be beating a path to your door! :-)

Yes but only if you live in Scotland because it give me an excuse for a batterd Mars bar. .!!:joker:

itsmillertime
31-03-2012, 01:28 PM
Yes but only if you live in Scotland because it give me an excuse for a batterd Mars bar. .!!:joker:

Jazz, you only had to ask! Not had one myself, But I could certainly send you one lol ;-) The fried pizza is also commonplace in the Chippies here. I'm not actually indigenous to Scotland.. I'm a soft southern 'lardee dah' shandy drinker. Moved here three years ago - so much cheaper to buy a house. I do miss sunlight though ;-)

You guys are fantastic and It's great to see the pioneers of the great British shed go from strength to strength. It's definitely something that I can see you guys get rightly passionate about.

I would really like to thank you all for your insights into the pros and cons of self build over cheap imports and not so cheap UK made efforts. Jazz and Jonathan thankyou for your kind words and offers of help, it's fantastic to see this kind of courtesy and friendship offered to others with similar interests. The only thing I regret slightly is that - had I known of this hobby years ago it's something I know that I would love to have done with my Dad, build a real machine. He's a real old school guy who loves his engineering and has "pottered" with various things for years. The only thing that stops me now is he is not well and disabled after a stroke and in his mid 70s now. Plus still living on the south coast so we don't see him as much as we would like. Sorry to digress guys!!

Anyway I've been doing alot of thinking on this matter, I think that despite all the great advice I'm going to go for the Chinese machine -for now.

My reasoning is:

I hate to say this, but for the easy life in my marriage. My wife is a 'quick- let's take the easy option and just buy a replacement' type What I mean by this is should the washer dryer break down (like it did 3 months ago..)She was adamant at buying a new one especially as the old one was 3 years old. I persevered and insisted I would fault find and buy the part myself. I diagnosed it and replaced the dryer element. Cost me 30 as opposed to 400 for a new one. Everything has become disposable. I've always been make do and mend etc. That's because my father in law is useless and could never change a fuse in a plug. I think thats the way her family are. Somethings too much bother or an effort? Get someone in!

Having said this there is a balance to be struck, I have tons of projects not getting finished because of real life, i.e lack of funds, kids, other things always crop up. Car needs fixing for MOT etc.

I don't have the time for a new project from scratch and I'm not sure I could face the uphill battle and grind of having to constantly explain to the wife Why I need to buy this component and WHY so much of my time is being taken up by this 'latest scheme etc". (Sounds really bad when I read this back to myself!! Perhaps it won't be so long till I'm divorced and wandering around in my pants building projects all day..) Doesn't sound that bad lol

Even if I spend 1200 I imagine that after a year of so and it's still working it could be sold to another beginner for 600 or so. So that is limiting losses on the down side.
Plus more importantly having a machine to actually play with, I can learn to discover "just what it is I should be making, what and who my target audience are" etc. This will give me a greater insight into what I need for my next machine. i,e I could then self build something with exactly the RIGHT elements for what I make and what is selling and profitable.

I would like to build my own machine i time, but without the time at the moment and without existing customers or having yet 'found' my own niche in a market which I'm not quite sure of yet.

I've got to get set up as quickly as possible with as little grief from my wife as is humanly possible. Once I can prove my work and the fact I can make money with this project I'm sure that will sweeten the prospect of me actually making my own dream machine whilst having the money coming in to support the project. I really need an 'off the peg' fix to keep up the impetus.

Another of my ongoing projects is a transit van camper conversion I'm doing, it's hard enough to keep up with getting that done. So you can see that I'm a busy boy.

I've certainly found a great site here, with some good guys who I look forward to 'bending your ears' for help and advice with my up and coming endeavours I'm just glad it only costs fried mars bars. I could maybe stretch to fried "curly wurlies" and YES! they do batter them too!

Thanks guys

Andy

JAZZCNC
31-03-2012, 07:09 PM
Bloody hell thats 3 out of 3 that I've had contact with in Scotland and none of you are scotish, are there any Scots left.?? . . . . The first was Micheal and I thought " If I have any trouble helping it will be understanding the lingo" and it's was.??? . . . Couldn't believe my ears when this American Accent dribbled down the phone. . :heehee:

Sorry would be a NO BRAINER she'd GO replaced with "Fit bit" on the side and shit load of materials and components .!! . . . DIVORCE. . Best thing that ever happened to me. .:dance: (Except she screw'd me for all my money and half my business, But hey it's true money's not everything and I'm far far happier without her.!!)

Now days if Girlfriend gives me grief I just say "Adios" and go home to my Nag free zone untill she comes to her sense's.!! . . or . . . sobers up. :rofl:

Good luck with your endevours and I'll just have to wait untill I go upto Micheals or maybe Bruce's for my next Fried mars bar fix.!!

motoxy
31-03-2012, 08:03 PM
Jazz the latest fry up in Edinburgh is.........................................fried butter (need a throwing up smiley).

I think that Andy is right. If you think it through and your needs are met by the Chinese m/c then go for it. If you want to come over to the sunny side of Scotland Michael and I would be delighted to see you.

bruce

Tenson
02-04-2012, 03:41 PM
Please let us know how the machine works out. I think you are the first here to buy one!You might want to plan putting some vacuum extraction on it, to reduce the mess flying everywhere. Here is a quick shot of hat I did with mine.I did plan to make a dust / sound box for the machine but I'm now building a whole new machine, lol!

(Click for Video)

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/tenson_uk/th_CNC-Video.jpg (http://s608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/tenson_uk/?action=view&current=CNC-Video.mp4)

itsmillertime
03-04-2012, 11:25 AM
Bloody hell thats 3 out of 3 that I've had contact with in Scotland and none of you are scotish, are there any Scots left.?? . . . . The first was Micheal and I thought " If I have any trouble helping it will be understanding the lingo" and it's was.??? . . . Couldn't believe my ears when this American Accent dribbled down the phone. . :heehee:

Sorry would be a NO BRAINER she'd GO replaced with "Fit bit" on the side and shit load of materials and components .!! . . . DIVORCE. . Best thing that ever happened to me. .:dance: (Except she screw'd me for all my money and half my business, But hey it's true money's not everything and I'm far far happier without her.!!)

Now days if Girlfriend gives me grief I just say "Adios" and go home to my Nag free zone untill she comes to her sense's.!! . . or . . . sobers up. :rofl:

Good luck with your endevours and I'll just have to wait untill I go upto Micheals or maybe Bruce's for my next Fried mars bar fix.!!

Lol @ Jazz,

Amen,I can understand you there Brother! I can see where you are coming from for sure. I must go back over my wifes "obedience training" and see where I went wrong ;-)

She's a good un, just doesn't appreciate my hobbies/ or the need to have stuff cluttering up our front room etc. Although I'm fortunate we don't actually use our garage for

the car anymore. That's my "man cave" for tools and projects now. Not to say that at some point I won't be building my own machine Jazz and you will be most certainly

welcome.

As for being are their any scots left in Scotland? lol well, I know a fair few were propping up the bars in my local way done south and good few years ago! Perhaps it's grass is always greener? Living up here is good. Generally well tolerated being English up here... But there are certain pubs I avoid and 'sometimes' it's best not to speak too loudly. There are some people where I live that have never and will never visit the next town along (along 5 miles away) So view anyone with a slightly different accent as 'alien'.
Just waiting for a spot of global warming and this place should be lovely.


Jazz the latest fry up in Edinburgh is.........................................fried butter (need a throwing up smiley).

I think that Andy is right. If you think it through and your needs are met by the Chinese m/c then go for it. If you want to come over to the sunny side of Scotland Michael and I would be delighted to see you.

bruce

Thanks Bruce, I will definitely take you and Michael up on your offer! It will probably be when I've done something stupid ;-) HEELLP! lol


Please let us know how the machine works out. I think you are the first here to buy one!You might want to plan putting some vacuum extraction on it, to reduce the mess flying everywhere. Here is a quick shot of hat I did with mine.I did plan to make a dust / sound box for the machine but I'm now building a whole new machine, lol!

(Click for Video)

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/tenson_uk/th_CNC-Video.jpg (http://s608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/tenson_uk/?action=view&current=CNC-Video.mp4)

Hi Tenson,

Thanks for posting up the vid, it looks like a good idea and I will definitely make something up to clear up the debris. I will post up some pics and vids once I have brought one so that it will help any others looking to buy.. or NOT to buy!

Thanks guys

croy
03-04-2012, 07:58 PM
That's not really the point is it? There is always something better.Unless going DIY I don't think the 6040 will be easily beaten. It's not that badly made anyway, it uses 16mm solid alu plate and supported Y axis rails. The feed-rates will be quite slow but you have to compromise something when you have a limited budget.

Have a look at the Denford machines. these are very well made and far superior to any Chineese.

JAZZCNC
03-04-2012, 09:04 PM
4 times the price

Jonathan
03-04-2012, 09:08 PM
...and not even than good.

JAZZCNC
03-04-2012, 09:21 PM
4 times the price

Sure I put more than that.!!. . . . Did somebody mess with my post.??

Lee Roberts
04-04-2012, 02:11 AM
Sure I put more than that.!!. . . . Did somebody mess with my post.??

Hi Jazz i have looked into this for you and i can confirm that Jonathan edited your post, for some reason there is no "edited by" note on your post like there should be.

To clarify there is only Myself, Irving2008 and Jonathan with access to "post editing" as Jonathan has now joined us as a member of the moderating team.

.Me

Swarfing
04-04-2012, 02:34 AM
Lee does this mean that all post must now run with 10mm pitch screws and run at a thousand miles an hour?

Musht
04-04-2012, 02:38 AM
Just to add,cost of the machine is one part of the equation, software is the other.

Ran a licence for Mach3 down to 115 GBP on ebay, without a licence your limited to 500 lines of code,which might slow things down or linux EMC for free.

CAM software, its possible to go for a while on trials but eventually you`ll want to setlle on something, personally went for Meshcam, chew another 175 USD, which from my own survey is good value for what it does.There is a lot of other choices but figure around 100 GBP starting point....

CAD sotware, used Sketchup for a while for other uses, but beginning to figure its not great for conversion to CAM models, probably time to learn something more suited and eat probably another 3 figure number there....

Cheers
Adam

Trials of YooFix it drivers detailed elsewhere ;-)

Jonathan
04-04-2012, 11:01 AM
Hi Jazz i have looked into this for you and i can confirm that Jonathan edited your post, for some reason there is no "edited by" note on your post like there should be.

I've apologised to Jazz for the mistake - it was an accident. The 'edit post' button is right by the reply button and I hit the wrong one. :redface: Wont happen again, so 2e0poz is free to post about 5mm pitch screws!

If anyone edits their post within about 2 minutes of it originally being posted then it doesn't display the "edited by" note.

Jonathan
04-04-2012, 11:10 AM
Just to add,cost of the machine is one part of the equation, software is the other.

There are sufficient pieces of free software for most things. Two extremes are the free edition of CAMbam, which will only do 2.5D and CNCtoolkit which does anything up to 6-axis for nothing...


CAD sotware, used Sketchup for a while for other use

Can't really help on CAD software as I just use what I got from school, 2D Design V2. It's very user friendly and can draw pretty much anything in 2D, but I don't think you can buy it outside of education.
Just look for one that you export files as a DXF.

Swarfing
04-04-2012, 11:26 AM
Musht for 2D thats free i use QCAD on Linux, there is a windows version here for free http://www.himili.com/blog/downloads/qcad-for-windows-gpl-version/. I've never had any issues with this and it works well.

Draftsight is also another good one for free.

ecat
04-04-2012, 02:00 PM
Software, out of the apps I've played with these are the ones I've I've kept:

Albatross3D
Free, true 3D modelling sw, a little buggy, out of date, no longer supported but a quick and easy way to view and edit complex 3D models. It supports several file conversion options and is so, so, so much easier to learn than...

Blender
Open source 3D modelling legend but a hell of a learning curve.

CamBam
Lovely sw. I'm still on the trial period because for simple 2D layout I can get away with...

EagleCAD
PCB schematic sw, but if all you need are some holes and simple geometric patterns that fit within the limited 'board size' the free version allows and you are happy with editing and extending the GCode produced by the PCB milling plug in then it does the job.

HeeksCAD / HeeksCNC
Free, CAD + GCode generation. Looks like I don't have it installed right now, maybe too buggy but worth a look.

FreeCAD
Open source. Quite a new entry and under heavy development but worth a play.

MeshLab and NetFabb
Free, used for hacking and repairing complex 3D models.

LinuxCNC
Of course. Not so frightening once you get up to speed, though it is missing the many friendly plugins that can be be used with Mach. Basically, ignore all the complex stuff, use the setup wizard and off you go.

rdebourbon
09-08-2012, 10:09 AM
Hello & Apologies for hijacking the thread and not using PMs - but I can't seem to send a PM yet.. I've been reading the forums here for a few weeks now and finally decided to join yesterday!

Mainly @ JAZZCNC & Jonathan - You guys seem to be pretty confident that a better quality DIY CNC can be built for about the same sort of money as a 6040.. I'm really keen to get a CNC project up and running at home for various hobbies etc - and have been considering a 6040 (after reading loads of OK-ish reviews) but TBH am not keen on spending all that money to get a kit that seems to have a lot of common problems (circuit grounding / bed surface / etc).. I am really keen to try and build a comparably sized CNC for similar cost but am feeling more than a little overwhelmed by all that needs to be covered..

Both of you have stated that you are willing to help users with designs, and your many posts in other threads do indeed show this to be the case.. My main point of interest is in the rough costing & BoM that JAZZ said he had worked out, as well as good cheap sources for all the parts (without massive lead times) and any recommended designs for a starting point.. There was also a hint earlier in this thread that such a project could be sourced in a few weeks and then completed in a month (which I think is a little ambitious for me considering general lack of fancy equipment like drill presses etc but am willing to give it a go).. I am very very keen to get started on this project (have a goal for some personalised Xmas gifts!) so would be very interested to hear your input as to how to tackle this behemoth..

Things to bear in mind:
1. My Limited engineering background & lack of access to advanced workshop tools (presses/lathes/mills etc).
2. End project is mainly going to be used for PCB machining (needs to be precise), wood carving and occasional aluminium/brass work.
3. Final machinable area should be of similar size to 6040 (basically anything over 300mm square with approx 10-15cm Z-axis would be perfect for my needs)
4. High Feed rate not of great importance - more interested in precision than speed.
5. Would prefer a fixed bed design..

I know I'm asking a lot from you guys with little to offer in return, but I'm hoping that you may be able to provide me with the needed help to get this project out of my head and into my garage so I can stop saying "if only I had a CNC setup.."

Hope to hear from you..

Ray

JAZZCNC
09-08-2012, 04:46 PM
Ok well you have clear goals that makes a good starting point. Thou I'd caution against being in too big a rush and say, While It may well have possibly been me that said could be done within a month this would be for a equipped and experienced person having knowledge of what exactly required. Expect for it to take longer before fully working with any kinks worked out.!!

I will gladly help with advice and design ideas along with recommending suppliers but from the start I'll say I can't offer any more than that.? By that I mean I haven't got spare time enough to offer a design that is complete enough for you to follow has a plan.!
When I looked at the pricing and whether or not it could be done for the same money has Ebay 6040 then I worked from my experience and the little details I didn't need to know for pricing but when it comes to building a complete machine these details regard build strategy become very very important.

It can be done and done far far better for approx same money but a clear design plan will be needed.! I will gladly help you come to this design but mostly you'll have to do the work and really for the best chance of success and to make it an enjoyable experience it's very much in your best interest to fully understand the intimate workings.

I will PM you my number has I can help and explain far easier over the phone where has writing these lengthy posts takes lots of time which would only take minutes over the phone (Well maybe several lengthier calls . Lol). I know this doesn't help the others on the forum but it does if you start a build thread and pass on the experience which after all will be more directly related to this size machine and therefore more helpful to others.

i2i
09-08-2012, 05:17 PM
Hello & Apologies for hijacking the thread and not using PMs - but I can't seem to send a PM yet.. I've been reading the forums here for a few weeks now and finally decided to join yesterday!

Mainly @ JAZZCNC & Jonathan - You guys seem to be pretty confident that a better quality DIY CNC can be built for about the same sort of money as a 6040.. I'm really keen to get a CNC project up and running at home for various hobbies etc - and have been considering a 6040 (after reading loads of OK-ish reviews) but TBH am not keen on spending all that money to get a kit that seems to have a lot of common problems (circuit grounding / bed surface / etc).. I am really keen to try and build a comparably sized CNC for similar cost but am feeling more than a little overwhelmed by all that needs to be covered..

Both of you have stated that you are willing to help users with designs, and your many posts in other threads do indeed show this to be the case.. My main point of interest is in the rough costing & BoM that JAZZ said he had worked out, as well as good cheap sources for all the parts (without massive lead times) and any recommended designs for a starting point.. There was also a hint earlier in this thread that such a project could be sourced in a few weeks and then completed in a month (which I think is a little ambitious for me considering general lack of fancy equipment like drill presses etc but am willing to give it a go).. I am very very keen to get started on this project (have a goal for some personalised Xmas gifts!) so would be very interested to hear your input as to how to tackle this behemoth..

Things to bear in mind:
1. My Limited engineering background & lack of access to advanced workshop tools (presses/lathes/mills etc).
2. End project is mainly going to be used for PCB machining (needs to be precise), wood carving and occasional aluminium/brass work.
3. Final machinable area should be of similar size to 6040 (basically anything over 300mm square with approx 10-15cm Z-axis would be perfect for my needs)
4. High Feed rate not of great importance - more interested in precision than speed.
5. Would prefer a fixed bed design..

I know I'm asking a lot from you guys with little to offer in return, but I'm hoping that you may be able to provide me with the needed help to get this project out of my head and into my garage so I can stop saying "if only I had a CNC setup.."

Hope to hear from you..

RayHi, i have a Denford Microrouter here that i can do to you at 1200 with Mach3 setup on a computer ready for you to use. I also have a vac bed and axminster extractor available for it.
It's A3, and fully enclosed case, so no mess all over your workshop.

JAZZCNC
09-08-2012, 05:43 PM
Hi, i have a Denford Microrouter here that i can do to you at 1200 with Mach3 setup on a computer ready for you to use. I also have a vac bed and axminster extractor available for it.
It's A3, and fully enclosed case, so no mess all over your workshop.

rdebourbon if your serious about a machine and it's in decent condition which I don't doubt it is then snap i2i hand off before someone else does.!!

BikerAfloat
11-08-2012, 12:28 PM
Hi All,

These machines have started to appear on eBay, they look more sturdy then the Chinese ones and come with UK Support. Black Cat CNC Machine 600x400mm cut area. EU Support / Warranty | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Black-Cat-CNC-Machine-600x400mm-cut-area-EU-Support-Warranty-/280937808624?_trksid=p5197.m1992&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3 D1%26asc%3D14%26meid%3D1248060052950079020%26pid%3 D100015%26prg%3D1006%26rk%3D1%26)

Just a thought,

Cheers,
Geoff

i2i
11-08-2012, 01:18 PM
rdebourbon if your serious about a machine and it's in decent condition which I don't doubt it is then snap i2i hand off before someone else does.!!Thanks for the heads up, it is in great condition.

joncdrl
17-09-2012, 09:28 PM
is denford set up still available ?

i2i
17-09-2012, 10:18 PM
is denford set up still available ?Sorry it's been sold

martin54
18-09-2012, 01:30 PM
Sorry you will have to excuse me as I am new here but I was hoping Andy might be able to tell me why he decided to buy a machine in the first place. Can understand that it would be something he could do from home but just wondered why a cnc router rather than anything else that could be done from home to generate an extra bit of income. Sure there must have been things that wouldn't require as large an outlay to start with & might also be easier to learn to do.

itsmillertime
20-08-2013, 08:50 PM
Hi Martin and all you guys here. Sorry it's been a year since my initial post. I wanted to get into cnc work as I used to use mills and lathes while training as an apprentice 20 years ago. I'm not mechanical by trade, more an electrical fitter and I often have had ideas of things that I've wanted to make or do but been unable to. For me the most important part of all of this is to get my hands on actually designing and making items (ideally for sale at some point in the future) But it's more about hitting 40 and wanting to get creative in my garage and stop wasting evenings watching tv.

Now the reason why I haven't been on for a year has been down to loss of income (unable to buy/build or make) anything. Coupled with a long term illness that has prevented me from working. I've had to concentrate on my health. I've now managed to work full time for the last 3 months and accrue enough money to get this project back on track. Financially for now I cannot afford (my wife cannot stomach me spending just over 1k on a machine) So I'm going to go for a 3040. I know guys that it's not the best, BUT it will enable me to get hands on and grab some valuable experience. Because I realise how difficult it is to keep working as a full time employee I want to throw myself into learning and making my own items so that I may have some protection of income should I lose my employment. I'm grateful to you all for your help and I can only apologise for my absence guys.

I'm hoping to pick your brains guys over the next few weeks.

Thank you

Andy

itsmillertime
20-08-2013, 09:12 PM
I was hoping that any of you guys that may have some experience of these chinese machines please point out the differences between these very similar (but different) ebay listings..

1........TONSEN TS3040C-H80 router

3-AXISES 3040 CNC ROUTER ENGRAVER DRILLING / MILLING MACHINE 300*400*80mm | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-AXISES-3040-CNC-ROUTER-ENGRAVER-DRILLING-MILLING-MACHINE-300-400-80mm-/171078981573?pt=UK_BOI_Metalworking_Milling_Weldin g_Metalworking_Supplies_ET&hash=item27d51a17c5)

( All I can make out is that this has a spindle that uses a cable connected to a motor suspended above the machine) BUT despite that appears to use Ball screws)


2...CNC 3040T-DJ Router Engraver Milling Drilling Cutting Machine

CNC 3040T-DJ Router Engraver Milling Drilling Cutting Machine | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-3040T-DJ-Router-Engraver-Milling-Drilling-Cutting-Machine-/111112599606?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item19ded3b836)

Does anyone know what the T and DJ mean or stand for?


3.....3040T (Same as above?)

CNC 3040 ROUTER ENGRAVER DRILLING / MILLING MACHINE f5 | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-3040-ROUTER-ENGRAVER-DRILLING-MILLING-MACHINE-f5-/180615224369?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2a0d819c31)

This one appears to be the most common on ebay.


From reading the SPEC I'm tempted with no 1 the Tonsen as its suggests ballscrews and despite its rather weak looking spindle could most likely be easily replaced with something slightly better.

I cannot afford to go any higher in price and 650 delivered is pretty much me at my limit for now. Please let me know what you would think might be the better of the bunch.

Also recommendations of any dealers that you have used or even ones to avoid!!! (Please PM for this as I think it would help prevent spamming/problems etc)

Cheers Andy

martin54
20-08-2013, 09:45 PM
I know absolutely nothing about these machines so can't help sorry Andy but as well as the actual machine don't forget you are going to need software as well to run it plus some tools to actually cut with so might be an idea to factor these in if money is tight.

JAZZCNC
20-08-2013, 10:59 PM
You'll be better of Buying 700 Battered Mars bars than any of these machines.!! :thumbdown:

Seriously I wouldn't buy any of them, the spindles are garbage and will die in short order closely followed by the electronics. You won't be saving any thing has you'll be spending to repair and make work, then you have the down time to consider, then you have the other aspect of the quality of work they produce will be sub standard so chances are you won't make anything worth selling.

Much much better option would be to work another 3-6mths and save another 600 and build your self a real proper machine with minimal but capable electrics & spindle that can produce decent work straight away to get you going then upgrade has it makes it's own money.

Honestly with this level of machine your buying trouble.

Please don't think I'm being negative for the sake of it or just to bash Chinese machines, I've just seen so many others take this route and regret it. Plus I know for 1000-1200 with a bit of careful buying and right design you can build a great machine that will do everything you want and do it well.!!

itsmillertime
20-08-2013, 11:39 PM
Thanks Martin I am factoring in having to pay out for tooling and software also. But that is something that can be done as and when required rather than all up front. I guess most of it is just trying to get my hands on something that I can actually work with and start learning.

Jazz Cheers mate for your honest answer. I know you must see people making these kind of choices every day and regretting it often too I guess. I do want to build my own machine at some point, especially as I wouldn't want to be limited to a really small working area.

Going to have to think on this one. I really did want to just get into experimenting and building. I guess getting a cnc router up and running and whether my ideas would/could come out how I would like them to.. was going to be the crunch for me.

But nonetheless Jazz I appreciate your opinion and will now have a good think. It's just a shame that the quality of the machines are so hit and miss.

i2i
21-08-2013, 01:14 AM
I have another Denford Microrouter for sale with Mach3 conversion for 1000.

itsmillertime
21-08-2013, 01:45 PM
Thanks Jesse I have sent you a PM and will be online tonight after work.

Cheers

Andy

davejk
05-05-2014, 08:56 PM
God ypu lot confused the hell out of me was looking at a 6040z cnc but now want to build a machine but not got a cluewhere to start like what I need where to buy sizes for frame etc any one point me in the right direction please im in kent if that helps thanks all

m.marino
07-05-2014, 09:49 AM
Dave,

It depends on what you want to cut and figuring what you might want to cut as well. What area do you have for the machine (remember you want to be able to get at least two sides of it easily)? Also what skills do you have and equipment? Just saving money during your design time can add to what you can spend on the machine. Also you can use the build logs and forum to hash out what will work best for you.

If you are doing this on your own I would strongly suggest a grade one square to help insure everything is square which a grade one will do for most folks (IF you want really square go to grade 00 but the price can bite).

Also you need to look at software and purpose, why are you building it? That will affect design, materials and tooling. So while it might seem like a mountain, slow down and take the time and you will be seriously surprised at what you can do with a little bit of help. Unless you are a business that needs this yesterday or to further your production ability and than you might want to look at the buying options, but that road can get expensive fast.

-Michael

davejk
08-05-2014, 12:41 PM
Hi Michael. Thanks for the reply To be truthful I'm new to cnc but been a chippy for 15 years and in middle of buildings a home workshop I'm after cutting signs and hobby work etc in timber and possibly a little alloy. My head keeps sending me back to the cnc6040 4axsis machine as I don't have the time and knowledge sourcing parts etc but not to keen on the idea of handing over a large sum of money to a Chinese company from Portsmouth who won't let me collect has anyone else had dealing with them on other hand if anyone is upgradeing front there machine let me know
Thanks dave k

Mtchaos
09-10-2017, 04:41 PM
Andy,
Those 6040 work out to about 1200 all in so if you are fixed on 1K you need to think again. You cannot compare one of this to a UK sourced one purely on cost for 1200 i cannot buy all the bits to build one.
The 6040 look to be far better made / spec'd than the cheaper 3040, some sellers are including a water cooled 0.37Kw high speed motor and inverter wheras some have the universal brushed motor that seems to give problems.

With any of these the weak point is the electronics, namely the drivers, drivers are always the weak point on a stepper driven CNC.
Good news is they are quite universal and easy to swap for better units.

Shortly I will be buying a 6040, just no room at the moment, need to get rid of some of the older production machinery. Basically I have costed the whole rig plus having to change 3 drivers if necessary, say another 150. Once done I will have a better machine than a 3K UK sourced model.

Hi John S
Did you get your 6040 if so what electronics did you buy?
I have just bought one and am having problems with the control box. Wish I had joined this forum before the purchase.