View Full Version : New to CNC Machines. Any advise on a low end machine?

04-12-2014, 07:46 PM
Hello. I make various panels for musical instruments by hand and have seen that the use of laser and CNC milling machines can be an interesting way of crafting ideas, that are not easy to do by hand.
I have had a look and decided laser machines would not ideal because of the scorching, and am looking at low end milling machines.

So far I can only find machines like CNC3020T etc. These seem ideal (in paper) but i'm not sure if they are any good.

To give an idea of what I want.

Materials would be Acrylic/Perspex and MDF and wood to a max of 8mm thick.

The working area would need to be with in 300 by 280cm.

Budget is approx 500-700.

I'm not sure if this is the right section to ask on this forum, but would highly appreciate any advice as I am really not too clued up on this subject.

Thank you in advance.

04-12-2014, 08:46 PM
This model is 799 http://stoneycnc.co.uk/stepcraft-s420-multifunctional-desktop-cnc-system/
I don't know what's included though but they are located in Ireland which is more favourable than China for support.
Maybe a second hand machine would be the best route ? or you could self build a fixed gantry machine if you want to try that but your budget is quite low.

Did you look in the 'for sale' section of this forum ? http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/188-Items-For-Sale

04-12-2014, 10:10 PM
The stepcraft machine was reviewed in RCM&E a bit ago....A Google search will turn up the review. Think it would struggle with 8mm hard wood and perspex unless you took it really easy.

05-12-2014, 05:09 PM
Thank you for your advice chaps.

The Stepcraft S42 looks more promising but seems to need extras like the drill itself and bench plate which add a lot to the price.
I think I can get away with 5/6mm Acrylic, so maybe that would be ok?

Being on a tight budget, is there any free/cheap CAD software that I can import my DXF designs?
The Freebyte stuff looks promising.

05-12-2014, 06:09 PM
Being on a tight budget, is there any free/cheap CAD software that I can import my DXF designs?

Have a trawl through this lot; http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/6707-List-of-CAD-CAM-Software
some are free some are not. I like FreeCAD best; http://www.freecadweb.org/ There's some great tuition videos on YouTube for it.

05-12-2014, 06:36 PM
As eddy said there's lots out there...i like Draftsight it's very much like AutoCAD but free...