View Full Version : Time for a new machine - need help!

30-04-2014, 05:32 PM
Right, I currently have a small chinese jobbie which has done well for the last few years but the cutting area is too small now and the Z axis is on its way out.

I would like around 1000x1000mm cutting area with a Z of 150-200mm. I cut mainly MDF, acrylic and foam but occasionally do Aluminium(finish or cutting time doesn't matter).

I have looked through the build logs and I'm unsure which way to go with the build IE steel frame or aluminium.
I currently have all the electronics/motors and a 1.5kw spindle/vfd. How much should I look to budget for the frame/motion items if I were to choose steel(I can weld).

Cheers for the help,


30-04-2014, 07:39 PM
The mechanical stuff for mine, almost down to the last bolt, came to around 2k but I bought more aluminium than I needed so it was more like 1600
I didn't have a budget, whatever it needed I got so it could possibly have been done cheaper.

30-04-2014, 09:17 PM
Based on what I am spending for my machine - similar to Eddy's but slightly larger cutting area, I think - that sounds about right. I'm using profile rails and ballscrews, and prices for those are between about 1000 (Chinese) and 1600 (UK source). Steel has cost me around 400 so far, and I'm going to need aluminium, etc, as well. I'm reckoning that I shall have spent around 2500 by the time I've finished; that's not including electronics, motors and spindle which I also have already. My pricing is also based on the principle that someone, somewhere, will always come back and tell me how they paid less for more of anything that I buy... It also seems to be true that you end up spending more on odd bits and pieces (nuts and bolts, epoxy, whatever) than you expect.

It's quite difficult to come to any consensus opinion based on build logs here; while there is an enormous amount of useful, not to say invaluable, information, there are so many different views on what's wanted that it's quite difficult to find a "reference" design that is close to what you have in mind yourself! Good luck with the project, though.

18-05-2014, 12:46 PM
Cheers for the help guys, I've come across a design I like that should suit me.

Has anyone ever used The Metal Store for steel? It's a bit pricier than some places but they will cut each piece up to 5 times free of charge, which is handy as I have a welder but nothing to give straight cuts. Unless my evolution rage will cut it?

The machine is going to be around 600mmx600mm cutting area.

18-05-2014, 01:09 PM
I use a cheap angle grinder stand from Lidl, and a 115mm angle grinder to go with it. You can pick them up pretty cheaply. It's not perfect but neither's my welding! You might save enough to buy the tools by finding a cheaper metal supplier, and having an angle grinder to hand anyway will be useful during the build - deburring, trimming to fit, etc, especially if you have any diagonal braces. My local supplier will cut but doesn't guarantee to better than 2mm although the pieces I did have cut were pretty close. I bought from Austen Knapman; they're in Devon so might not be too useful but it's an alternative place to get pricing. I've also used Metals4U in the past but I think they only sell by the metre.

18-05-2014, 05:23 PM
which evolution rage do you have.

and what size steel are you planning on using.


good luck with the build.

18-05-2014, 05:30 PM
50mm 3mm box steel, its the Rage3-S :)


19-05-2014, 02:04 AM
i have one of them too, bought it for cutting ali trims at left and right 45's

i think it would cut it if you took it steady,
after all its only 3mm plate really. not 50mm thick solid stuff.