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Hopey
06-05-2015, 10:35 PM
I'm designing my first router build but I've never used one before and I'm thinking of getting a cheap machine for a project to start me off. I've found an old Connect machine on ebay and thought about changing the control system to more modern standard kit but then I cam across one of these...

http://awsmart.com/product/cnc-aw4-smart/

It has steppers but no electronics or power supply so I would get some experience of wiring, setting up and using a machine before I get let lose on a machine I've invested a lot of time and money on.

I'd look to machine some small guitar parts in wood and plastic along with some small pump clips for the micro brewery I work at.

Has anyone come across these and have an opinion on them?

Boyan Silyavski
06-05-2015, 10:47 PM
http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/8674-a-few-link-might-be-helpfull-foe-new-diy-machines

Hopey
06-05-2015, 11:06 PM
Bearing in mind I'd be looking to pick it up for under 200 quid and buy the break out board etc on ebay just to cut my teeth on you reckon it's not worth the bother?

Boyan Silyavski
06-05-2015, 11:21 PM
If you want to cut chocolate then grab it!

Dean said it in the linked thread. But i will say it other way. Use your common sense. Forget for a second that you obviously know nothing about CNC.

Ok, you want to cut wood, plastic and occasional aluminum i assume. Like all of us, nothing new. So you will use say 6mm router bit. You want to cut it precisely, otherwise why the CNC, yes? Say you want a 0.05mm real life precision, cause if you cut with say 0.1mm precision you will not be able to fit together even 2 pieces of wood and plastic, not to speak of aluminum. Imagine now that 6mm carbide router bit and tell me, do you see a stronger part on that machine, meaning part that will not flex earlier than the carbide bit. Cause i don't see. Then how will you cut with that precision, then why the hell would you buy that machine. FYI the carbide bit also will flex if pushed hard. So the conclusion is you need something strong that the totality of play in elements plus flex will result in 0.05mm like maximum. Now go to wikipedia read about plastic, water absobption, flex, temperature deflection and so and you will see what i am saying.

if you just had an idea of the frustration i am trying to save you from...but if you insist then take your chance.

Hopey
06-05-2015, 11:57 PM
Yes, I do want to cut aluminium, hardwood etc at some point but I have learnt enough from threads on here to know that this macine isn't going to do that and, as I said, I'm designing a biger and better diy build for what I really want to do in the end.

I just thought this might be useful to help me learn. I wouldn't be expecting to make anything more than a few guitar scratch plates and bridges (in plastic and wood no more than say 5mm think) and carve some pump clips for our beer.

Maybe I'll take another look at the connect machine.

Clive S
07-05-2015, 12:48 AM
I'm designing my first router build but I've never used one before and I'm thinking of getting a cheap machine for a project to start me off. I've found an old Connect machine on ebay and thought about changing the control system to more modern standard kit but then I cam across one of these...

http://awsmart.com/product/cnc-aw4-smart/

It has steppers but no electronics or power supply so I would get some experience of wiring, setting up and using a machine before I get let lose on a machine I've invested a lot of time and money on.

I'd look to machine some small guitar parts in wood and plastic along with some small pump clips for the micro brewery I work at.

Has anyone come across these and have an opinion on them?Surely you are joking. As it says in the advert it can mill food. That says it all.:disturbed: ..Clive

JAZZCNC
07-05-2015, 02:04 AM
You may as well just buy some Lego Technic because it will cut just as well this machine and you'll learn more with the Lego.!!

All that buying cheap stuff learns you is how to waste Money.!! . . . . If you want to learn then read all the build threads start to finish, then read them again.
You'll get more info from these than you will wasting money on rubbish.

Wiring and setting up drives, motors etc is much easier when you have done the research. As is building a machine because you'll be well clued up on whats needed and if read careful should avoid some of the pits falls.

In the time before you start building and during the build you'll be well advised to invest your time in learning the software, Mostly the Cad/Cam side.
The Controller side ie Mach3 is what often scares people but in reality Mach3 doesn't do anything other than Control and monitor the machine.! After it's setup so it's talking to everything then the actual using of Mach3 to cut parts is really simple and basic.
Setting up Mach3 is easy enough and again if done enough research then you'll have learnt quite a lot about whats needed and the rest just ask.!

The using of mach to cut parts basicly boils down to positioning tool at a point on work material which you establish in Cad/Cam as being Zero and Zeroing each Axis. Then you Push cycle start sit back and watch it happen.!!! . . . .Simplizzzz.

All this can be can be learnt and simulated without having a machine. So why waste good money on junk. Save the money and read everything and you'll have a real Cnc machine sooner.!! . . . And you'll know how to build and use it.!!

Hopey
07-05-2015, 08:51 AM
Thanks for that Jazz'! It's nice to get a considered and helpful answer to my question. There seems to be a lot of hate for these Machines and I think others may have been seeing red and not considering my full question.

My design is getting there I just need to come up with something for the gantry and I can get started.

Here's a link to my design so for...

http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/8564-Design-ideas-finally-drawn-up-for-your-opinions-please?p=68259#post68259

Clive S
07-05-2015, 11:06 AM
There seems to be a lot of hate for these Machines and I think others may have been seeing red and not considering my full question. Well this is the question you asked.

Has anyone come across these and have an opinion on them?

I have read all your posts and as you have said that you have read a lot of other build logs to get information so looking at the machine you are designing in your build log, then well yes, I thought it was a joke. ..Clive

FatFreddie
08-05-2015, 05:07 PM
Why not get a 3d printer - the principles are very similar and you'd have a 3d printer at the end of it...

Musht
09-05-2015, 02:37 PM
Has anyone come across these and have an opinion on them?

C`mon, Plastic, unspecified plastic panel at that, this makes MDF look like the choice of the professsionals...

The row of HT bolts along the short axis of the bed, what exactly are they doing? its not resisting forces created by the machine.

Did the `maker` get a cheap deal on lead screws that were slightly too short?

Hopefully supplied model has all 4 bolts on the spindle collar.

Seriously, as a learning beginner even I can spot the severe limitations of something like that, engraving chocolate , thats about as far as your going , and even then don`t expect repeatability.

If you want to get started why not the metal frame that the plastic abomination is copied from

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-ROUTER-ENGRAVING-MACHINE-3040-DESKTOP-MILLING-PCBS-CARVING-SPECIAL-BUY-/260922676304

It will actually cut small pieces in things harder than chocolate.

Thing, as Jazz says, that takes longest to learn is the software on the CAD/CAM side, getting from the idea on the screen to getting the machine to start where you expected and cut the item out.

For me a Chinese 3040 has been worth the price of entry as a `trainer` along with lurking around here and the zone.

HankMcSpank
09-05-2015, 04:52 PM
While most round these parts, enjoy the thrill of the chase (spec'ing, designing, scouring the net for the best price, arguing the toss etc)...others are time poor...or in my case, I just plain suck using hand tools! (young children wince when they see the results of my efforts - hot glue features a lot in my world)

I built my first CNC machine from discarded scaffolding pipe & old industrial type dot matrix printer parts (I kid you not, inspired by the this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drMZqmyXQc), go on have a laugh at my expense - http://postimg.org/image/wc413rthl/ (look at the frame - scaffolding!)..... Of course, it was terrible ....engraving warm chocolate would have been my dream! (it did actually engrave pcbs ...but very large track PCBs!) But I learnt a lot & (in retrospect) it was sort of fun.

I decided I needed more accuracy, and since that could not be obtained by a bloke of my ineptitude, I ponied up for one of these...

http://www.ogowell.com/images/CNC%20ROUTER/Panther-2117-A.jpg

...it was dinky, used bog standard threaded rod - erhm not not good for pcbs...too much of the old backlash (there's a theme here & up until now, it goes roughly "I'm firkin' clueless me")

So I stacked my hand & waited, and waited....& then struck on a secondhand machine on ebay identical to this...

http://i00.i.aliimg.com/photo/v0/1277305828/mini_cnc_3020_router_Redsail_RS_3020.jpg (moving table design...pretty rare on Ebay - it also came fitted with homing switches, which is a bonus for repeat-ability...cos frankly they're a pain to fit)

...& do you know what? It's good (the spec is reasonable, it's rigid, I bought a cnc-usb card...& have never looked back).

Sure it'll not mill steel, even ali is going to be a bit of a stretch, but for my needs (acrylic & pcbs) it's excellent ...better still it only cost me 500 .....I don't know how much you value your time, but if I had my time over again, I'd not have ever bothered wasting hours, upon hours (my mind boggles at how much time I spent on reading about all the ingredients needed), trying to spec/build my own....and even if I had, it would never have met the expectations of this lot!

So my top tip is *unless* you are going to make this a lifestyle choice, just pony up for a decent secondhand one (or pay a forum regular to build you one!)

Horses for courses ...

(for what it's worth, I think there's a gap in the market for someone to import chinese machines, address their weak points (normally the electronics) & re-sell them with english support....clearly stating their limitations ...there are plenty of folks who want to buy such machines, but are left to wing it solo trying to sort all the associated problems - not ideal, when you're clueless due to being a noob)

Boyan Silyavski
10-05-2015, 09:10 AM
(for what it's worth, I think there's a gap in the market for someone to import chinese machines, address their weak points (normally the electronics) & re-sell them with english support....clearly stating their limitations ...there are plenty of folks who want to buy such machines, but are left to wing it solo trying to sort all the associated problems - not ideal, when you're clueless due to being a noob)

I have thought of that many times. I have some near future aspirations about building and/or selling small commercial machines, that's why i have "meditated" a lot on importing versus building. Its a big NO for me.
Cause its not the only the problem they have. Its true i could not beat Chinese offering for the same money the same quantity of surfaced steel, big vacuum tables and similar stuff. But from what i have seen they have other inherent mistakes integrated in them, some important details overlooked and so on.
So i can and will make 10 times more useful machine in real life than a crappy Chinese router.

So any machine that sb makes here at the forum, using the advice of more experienced members and if he does not cut corners will be far better than ready made in China.


I don't want to insult any body here personally but i believe many people here, at other forums and generally call "machines" something which i openly call "crap".
For me anything less than using square supported rails is crap. Not because of what rails is using but because of the constant desire of some people to overrate and sell you something that could not really do precisely the job its stated to do and that type of people usually don't use square supported rails :-).

So for me crap is if you say that machine does aluminum and it could not do, to say its precision and its not and so on...

HankMcSpank
10-05-2015, 01:22 PM
To be clear ...what I'm saying is that not everyone wants to mill steel, or even mill aluminium ( plenty of folk just want to mill acrylic, wood or make pcbs etc.)

Also not everyone wants to make this a lifestyle (most come to the genre because they need a CNC machine, not just wanting to fill a bit of time in)

Therefore if your CNC needs are modest... I'm just saying that buying a reasonably spec'ed secondhand machine is a viable option ....I'm doing fine pitch SMD pcbs & have zero accuracy problems - but then again don't ask me to mill a aluminium spindle bracket (even though my machine probably could - slowly!) .... I didn't buy my machine for that.

Like I say...it depends on what your ultimate goal is......new users coming to the forum might get deflated at the constant barrage of diss'ing of anything but the most highly spec'ed of machines. Coming back to the first video that inspired me about the possibilities of a simple CNC machine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drMZqmyXQc ) .....of course, it a very very basic machine, but if you're only after very very basic pcb, it may be the gateway to getting into CNC'ing (i.e. where a person - when faced with the cost of going 'pucka' - might have walked away otherwise)

One man's 'crap' is another man's 'perfection' ...we're all different, with different levels of expectations, budgets & timeframes.

the CNC machine you buy as your first machine, needn't be 'for life' ...there's an incredibly healthy market for secondhand machines, so the losses incurred by buying secondhand & then selling on secondhand are minimal....if I had my time again, I'd have bypassed all the heartache & just bought one.

Dero23
18-05-2015, 02:35 PM
Hi guys,

does anyone know about this machine, is it

http://www.tool-net.co.uk/p-398176/trend-cnc-mini-1.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjwvuuqBRDG95yR6tmfg9oBEiQAjE3RQ Hm_WTlStFbQAeqidT6kj3KZoxgVRGT6oI-5sevztV8aAqNU8P8HAQ

thanks

JAZZCNC
18-05-2015, 11:41 PM
if I had my time again, I'd have bypassed all the heartache & just bought one.[/COLOR]

The reason you had heartache in the first place is due to buying crap and penny pinching.!! . . . Simple truth is that if you want a decent machine it costs a certain amount of money to do it right. Trying to build on the cheap is false economy with same outcome every time.!! . . . Heartache.

JAZZCNC
18-05-2015, 11:43 PM
Hi guys,

does anyone know about this machine, is it aw4-smart?

http://www.gumtree.com/p/hobbies-collectibles/cnc-machine-diy-hobby-limited-offer/1116742107

thanks

Same rubbish as OP offered up so just read what's been posted to see what's thought about it.!!

HankMcSpank
19-05-2015, 12:42 AM
Hi guys,

does anyone know about this machine, is it aw4-smart?

http://www.gumtree.com/p/hobbies-collectibles/cnc-machine-diy-hobby-limited-offer/1116742107

thanks

That's a lot of money for a basic (poorly spec'ed) machine...either the cost of CNC machines has shot up since I last was i the market, or the seller is chancing his luck. To give you an example, I paid 500 for a secondhand model identical to this...
http://s7.postimg.org/6soeqp1bf/cnc1.jpg (http://postimage.org/)


...proper ballscrews (vs. threaded rod) ...larger milling area (30 x 20), chunky 16mm aluminium side profiles etc.

You can likely build one for less, but the irony is you need a CNC machine to build one effectively (it's a conundrum like "how does the snow plough driver get to work"?)

JAZZCNC
19-05-2015, 01:30 AM
That's a lot of money for a basic (poorly spec'ed) machine...either the cost of CNC machines has shot up since I last was i the market, or the seller is chancing his luck. To give you an example, I paid 500 for a secondhand model identical to this...
...proper ballscrews (vs. threaded rod) ...larger milling area (30 x 20), chunky 16mm aluminium side profiles etc.

Well you must have been nuts to pay 500 for second hand machine that is poorly designed and uses cheap nasty round rail. Also 16mm aluminium is far from chunky and whats the point if those relatively flimsy 16mm sides are attached with 5mm aluminium angle.!!!

Come on people open your eyes and start looking at how these pieces of Crap are thrown together. They may be cheap but so is dog shit and thats about all they are fit to cut.!!


You can likely build one for less, but the irony is you need a CNC machine to build one effectively (it's a conundrum like "how does the snow plough driver get to work"?)

By using is head and buying something properly suited to the job of getting him to is job.!. . . .A snowmobile.!!! . . . . .

So working on your conclusions how was the first CNC machine built then.!!!. . . . You don't need CNC machine to build a CNC. Just a good design and some patience, along with a few appropriate tools and skills to use them.
It's not rocket science, neither is it for dummys. It just needs a good dose of common sense along with the patience and desire to make it happen.!. . . . Oh and not being a unrealistic tight arse.!!

HankMcSpank
19-05-2015, 10:05 AM
Well you must have been nuts to pay 500 for second hand machine that is poorly designed and uses cheap nasty round rail. Also 16mm aluminium is far from chunky and whats the point if those relatively flimsy 16mm sides are attached with 5mm aluminium angle.!!!

You're right, instead I should have spent 3 years of evenings spec'ing sourcing & building. Some of the self build threads on here extend back to when Elvis could still visit the toilet without issue. Show me anywhere on the planet (webpage) you can buy a new machine with a similar spec.

I think you are still missing the point...ok, so you eat sleep breathe CNC machines, some folks just want to mill a pcb or a bit of acylic (it's akin to someone going into a car showroom asking about a ford fiesta for the school run & the salesman saying "pah, that thing won't carry girders, what you need is this Hummer")..& some folks don't want to spend yonks stroking their chin with a furrowed brow....I still reckon buying secondhand is viable - i.e. buy a modest secondhand cnc machine for 500...use it, sell it for 500....cost of ownership = 0 (re the machine I bought ...it's the most cost effective 500 I'll ever spend & for it's purpose - and as it whirrs its merry little way milling a pcb out, not once have I thought "Damn, if only I'd listened to those on mycncuk")

It was with a wry smile that I typed that you need a cnc machine to make a cnc machine (because even if that were solely the case, you'd likely need a bigger machine than the cnc you were making!)... but if you suck at engineering, it certainly eliminates the inaccuracies (holes slightly misplaced anyone?)

I'm a bit of a guitar buff...but I don't hang around on guitar forums insisting that all newcomers buy a parker if a yamaha pacifica is perfectly fine for their immediate needs... indeed it's more likely that I'd suggest buying a secondhand yamaha pacifica.....just sayin' (perhaps the CNC genre around these parts is a bit like a career in deep sea diving ...you start at the top & work your way down?)

JAZZCNC
19-05-2015, 04:13 PM
You're right, instead I should have spent 3 years of evenings spec'ing sourcing & building. Some of the self build threads on here extend back to when Elvis could still visit the toilet without issue. Show me anywhere on the planet (webpage) you can buy a new machine with a similar spec.

Rubbish it's down to the individual how long it takes. Some have built perfectly good machines in less than a month.


I think you are still missing the point...ok, so you eat sleep breathe CNC machines, some folks just want to mill a pcb or a bit of acylic (it's akin to someone going into a car showroom asking about a ford fiesta for the school run & the salesman saying "pah, that thing won't carry girders, what you need is this Hummer")..& some folks don't want to spend yonks stroking their chin with a furrowed brow....I still reckon buying secondhand is viable - i.e. buy a modest secondhand cnc machine for 500...use it, sell it for 500....cost of ownership = 0 (re the machine I bought ...it's the most cost effective 500 I'll ever spend & for it's purpose - and as it whirrs its merry little way milling a pcb out, not once have I thought "Damn, if only I'd listened to those on mycncuk")

Yes your correct I do breath and live CNC but your wrong that I miss the point. I fully get the point of what your saying and it's with much experience thru helping many 100's of dissapointed people who have taken your penny pinching route that I speak.
These machines are great learning machines.! . . They learn you that operating a small CNC doesn't take long to learn. They also learn that you just wasted 500 + on a tool that is limited to scratching tin foil or icing cakes.!! . . . . There's a big difference between scratching and cutting correctly.

Cost of owner ship is more than the machine it's self, wasted time, wasted tools, wasted material, wasted hair all come into the equation. These machines by there very design (ie Weak and slow) can not avoid wasting time and tools.
They are so poorly built using cheap components that they are limited in the feeds they can achieve. This means at best they may just meet the requirements for correct feed rates so that tools don't wear prematurely. But In majority of cases they can't reach any where near whats required so tools wear out very quickly shortening tool life.
Tool wear leads to tool breakage so wasted time, material and tool are the outcome. Often it's blamed on being new and put down to learning.
Fact is It's not all down to this and mostly down to the fact the machine can't reach the correct feed rates where tool isn't stressed.!

Those that can are constantly operating at there maximum capabiltys which wears the cheap nasty bearings etc. So machine quickly becomes sloppy and baggy. This causes lock ups etc in short order with resulting hair pulling sessions.
And I won't even go into the Junk electronics.!!



(perhaps the CNC genre around these parts is a bit like a career in deep sea diving ...you start at the top & work your way down?)

No your start at the top and never look back thinking WTF did I buy that pile shite.!!!

HankMcSpank
19-05-2015, 04:27 PM
. And I won't even go into the Junk electronics.!!

Aside from the CNC machine frame, my modest 500 outlay also got me a control box, with these bits & bobs inside (not the VFD, it was barfed & removed)...

http://s4.postimg.org/4q2x8doix/control_box.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/4q2x8doix/)

So not all chinese sourced machines aren't built equal.

I can see the salient point here isn't getting across, not everyone has time to either research or build a machine & not everyone wants to mill metals. A secondhand machine can still perform just fine within its boundaries & yield great results (i.e. I'm a happy user) ...and even if it doesn't, you simply sell it on to some other sucker & blame mycncuk for not warning you about the shite on the market ....no loss! :-)

if you are very keen & knowledgeable on hammers, then everything begins to look like a nail, but it's horses for courses blah blah

Now then about that Hummer you've got for sale...can I park it ok at the local Lidl?

JAZZCNC
19-05-2015, 05:24 PM
Aside from the machine frame, my 500 also got me a control box, with these bits & bobs inside (not the VFD, it was barfed & removed)...

So not all chinese derived machines are built equal.

So what do you think you have there that is so special.? . . . .I've replaced blown Moon SR drives in 3 separate machines this year.!! Oh and 2 of the shity BOB's they tend to put with them.!!

Point is not all about building. It's about buying something that is fit for purpose. Be that new or secondhand. Most buy these machines with the purpose of cutting multi materials, Woods, plastics, etc and they can't even do that correctly without stressing the machine. Anything that is constantly stressed cracks sooner rather than later and these machines at best are more stressed than Air traffic controller.!

But I see we'll just have to agree to disagree and let the good folks take there own route. Hopefully they'll listen to experience and make use of it.

cropwell
19-05-2015, 06:06 PM
I had a look at the website for this piece of plastic and couldn't find a contact address or number. If I were spending 500 on anything, I would like to know where they are. I agree that the machine does not represent a wise investment, but there again neither did my MD A4 trapezoidal, but after a lot of fettling and modification, it will cut straight lines, rectangles are yet to be sorted:drunk:.

There's an awful lot of machines on the market and a lot of awful machines too. I wonder if any of these V-groove skateboard based producers would be willing to put forward one of their offerings for test and critical review ? I suspect not:hysterical:

Boyan Silyavski
19-05-2015, 06:30 PM
There's an awful lot of machines on the market and a lot of awful machines too. I wonder if any of these V-groove skateboard based producers would be willing to put forward one of their offerings for test and critical review ? I suspect not

I have that, payed a lot of money at the time, cause i did not know a sh*t about Cncs and there were no sincere guys like me and Dean at that time at the zone. So when i asked people for opinions, all said its great. I bought it and what a crap... Nevertheless i managed to pay it and still making money. Cause i am clever, not that the machine is good.`
So yeah, i know first hand what crap is and what foul marketing is.`

Plus i think most of you guys are totally mistaken about CNCs :hysterical: . People think that buying crap machines is learning and "having the opportunity to do sth at home" . No. Its not like that. HAAS and similar are real machines, and the best builds you have seen around is having the opportunity to learn and try at home level.

Clive S
19-05-2015, 06:40 PM
but there again neither did my MD A4 trapezoidal, but after a lot of fettling and modification, it will cut straight lines, rectangles are yet to be sorted:drunk:
This has to be quote of the week:beer: ..Clive

HankMcSpank
19-05-2015, 11:12 PM
But I see we'll just have to agree to disagree and let the good folks take there own route. Hopefully they'll listen to experience and make use of it.

Totally agree...that's what a forum is all about - sharing experience/experiences ...& I am therefore glad to report an enjoyable experience buying a secondhand CNC machine that performed over & above what was expected - it didn't explode, didn't (discernibly!) wobble/vibrate, circles came out as circles, which was in use within days of 'clicking' the buy button & no spaghetti were harmed ...and perhaps just as importantly, should I ever wish to sell it (though I can't imagine why), because it was bought used (& will be sold used) no spondoots will be lost down the back of the very annoying & hungry CNC sofa!!

(incidentally, I wasn't saying my machine's electronics were special, but simply to illustrate that not all machines are supplied with totally woeful electronics ...that's why I reckon some should look for a secondhand machine with a reasonable spec to meet their needs)


They also learn that you just wasted 500 + on a tool that is limited to scratching tin foil or icing cakes.!!
Pending my Great British bake off application being approved, I'm waiting on the final version of this, but alas, it'll surely cost me more than 500....

http://www.tinyurl.com/oflyau9 (forum member Clanzer's website, who churns out many CNC products, for example ... http://www.ukcnc.info/forums/2012cncmachine.php)

JAZZCNC
19-05-2015, 11:44 PM
Totally agree...that's what a forum is all about - sharing experience/experiences ...& I am therefore glad to report an enjoyable experience buying a secondhand CNC machine that performed over & above what was expected - it didn't explode, didn't (discernibly!) wobble/vibrate, circles came out as circles,

I rest my case ma Lord.!!! . . . . .http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/8722-CNC-not-cutting-square-problem?p=69378#post69378