View Full Version : desktop CNC to cut alloy

25-07-2013, 02:17 PM
im looking for a cheap desktop hobby cnc machine to cut alloy around 1/2 inch thick, and 25cm wide.

im totally new to this, any ideas on what i should look out for in a cnc machine?

any recommendations ?:encouragement:

25-07-2013, 05:36 PM
Oh dear, lets start with the basics...

1. what alloy?
2. do you mean a workpiece of 25cm x 25cm (you only said 'wide').
3. what do you want to do, engrave the surface or cut full depth pockets/holes?
4. where is the machine going to be used, in a workshop or a spare room
5. how quickly? Is a 24hour run going to be an issue?
6. whats your budget?

25-07-2013, 05:42 PM
If by alloy you mean alu, then it depends on your definition of cheap!

My machine will cut alu as long as my tool allows it, but I am only going a mm down with a feed rate around 1000mm per min.

So basic operations can take a while.

25-07-2013, 05:54 PM
If your dead set on not knocking up your own then have a look through this thread in the link,im not recommending the machine but its as cheap as you,ll get off the shelf ,there all over ebay and youtube,so see and read about its capabilities if thats not for you then i cant think of any other cheap off the shelf options,

26-07-2013, 12:43 AM
thanks for the replies, another question, where do you guys buy your alu blocks from?

also how long do u guys think a Chinese 3040 cnc would take to cut an object like this :


26-07-2013, 10:21 AM
aluminium warehouse and asc metals seems to be favourite for alu plate bar etc

26-07-2013, 11:06 AM
I'd personally avoid Aluminium Warehouse.

I ordered two sizes of bar in my last order, and they substituted both sizes. The one size they asked about substituting, I explicitly told them was unacceptable, but next thing I knew was I'd apparently "accepted the offer", and the order was dispatched. When it turned up, both sizes were wrong and despite emailing and phoning, they've yet to do anything about fixing it.
So I'm currently sat with over 30metres of bar that is no use to me.

26-07-2013, 11:34 AM
yeah i have gripes with em, nothing as serious as wrong size materials,but where else is there?folk say asc are cheaper but in my dealings its been pence,and i find it a chore not to be able to buy online add to basket checkout done so tend to stick with A.W

26-07-2013, 11:44 AM
My problem is I need metric alloy bar, which is not that easy to get, so I usually order from AW long enough in advance to give them a chance to get it in. However this time they've substituted it despite being told not to, and are doing nothing to fix it.

I have however just found a feefo feedback request for them, which has just been completed.
If there's no response, I'll get onto the bank next week and get the chargeback process started, as I'm not going to lose out due to their incompetence.

26-07-2013, 06:45 PM
If that was the main sort of work I was looking to do on a cnc machine then I wouldn't even bother looking at machines like that, not saying they won't handle aluminium but they are not really made for it & will be slow at machining & accuracy may not be that good.
Other thing to consider is that because they are not really made for it then that will probably affect the lifespan of the machine.