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View Full Version : NEW MEMBER: Another newbie, wising up before buying CNC router



goldtop
05-03-2016, 09:32 PM
Hello all. Was recommended to join by chaps on another forum when I asked there about CNC routers. I've lurked for a couple of weeks, sometimes boggling at the sheer amount of useful advice here and then being bemused by the way some guys rip into every CNC maker that dares show his face here. :)

Background: the machine will take on some of the work I send out of house and also allow me to do some new products and prototyping that is annoyingly time consuming. It won't be a 5-days-a-week 8-hours-a-day production setup. More likely to be 2-3 hours every few days.

Materials: PTFE in 3mm sheet, acrylic/polycarbonate in 1-5mm sheet, occasional aluminium in 0.6-2mm sheet (perhaps dibond, too), and very rarely there will be some ply in 3-12mm sheet.

Budget: 5000 maximum, preferably closer to 3000.

Being such a newb, and shocked at the depth of criticism here for so many UK CNC router makers in the price bracket that I'm considering, I was minded to buy something like the Stepcraft, use that for the simplest material and get to understand the limitations. Then sell it and get a machine that solves those problems before working on the more demanding stuff.

Robin Hewitt
05-03-2016, 10:35 PM
Everyone is afraid to reply, you seem a bit vulnerable to criticism and we're waiting for someone tactful to break the ice.

What other forum suggested us?

Clive S
06-03-2016, 12:30 AM
Hi Goldtop and welcome to the forum If you have only lurked for two weeks then you have not seen the value of this forum, most comments are meant in good faith and not to put the builder down in any way.

For your budget I think you could build a really nice machine depending on the size you are looking for so how about putting some sort of design together with rough cutting sizes etc. and see what feed back you get.

I for one have learnt a lot from this site and now have built several machines and helped a few others with theirs.

Good luck with the build.

cropwell
06-03-2016, 01:57 AM
Hi,

Yes, a lot of criticism is put out for makers who tout flimsy machines with poor design and cheap electronics. In some cases they damn well deserve it, especially when they do not offer any customer support worth having. Once they have your money, you are on your own. This forum has seen this time and again when people turn to this forum to get them out of trouble when they have been abandoned by the machine supplier.

By all means seek opinions about particular machines. If you are getting serious about a purchase.

Just remember that most members are here because they can and have built better machines, cheaper than buying, but there is also a community of professional machine users who can give valuable knowledge about the capabilities of machines they have purchased.

Any CNC manufacturer that doesn't evaluate criticism of their products and use it to improve their machines is not doing business properly.

Anyway, rant over, the nurse has just brought my cocoa :smile:

Cheers,

Rob

goldtop
06-03-2016, 11:06 AM
Thanks for the welcome. :) And to clarify - I won't be building the machine myself. I don't have the time to learn several new fabrication skills (only because I've got my hands full keeping up with customers in my existing business).

I had previously looked at Heiz, routout, PlatformCNC, JBEC, MDice, OX, etc. All of those have been more-or-less pulled apart here, some for the reasons you menton, Rob. Those reasons seem to make good sense. So I went looking to find those commercial machine makers in the 5000 bracket whose machines are well regarded here... and can't find a single thread with any consensus.

I am planning a trip up to EXEL to see the SL4570, and still have Haase as a possibility. I might even fly over there with some materials and DXFs if they do demos.

(I won't clutter up this 'Introduction' section with my detailed Qs - I'll ask them in the relevant sections.)

Clive S
06-03-2016, 11:32 AM
to clarify - I won't be building the machine myself. I don't have the time to learn several new fabrication skills You could also ask in the RFQ section if somebody would build a machine for you as there are some machine builders on here

John S
06-03-2016, 02:04 PM
Unless I have missed it, didn't see a sheet size quoted.
Without that it's pointless making any reply.

Clive S
06-03-2016, 02:31 PM
Unless I have missed it, didn't see a sheet size quoted.
Without that it's pointless making any reply.In his other post 600x400 is mentioned for an aplication

goldtop
06-03-2016, 02:42 PM
Yes, apologies for missing out the sheet size. It would be nice to work with bigger sheets - the PTFE tyically comes in 1200x1200 sizes.

But I'd need to go for a vertical one like JazzCNC's machine as space is quite tight at the unit.

So the conventional 600x400 - 1000x450 seem about as big as I can fit into the space available, and I can get the materials pre-cut to fit on the bed.

JAZZCNC
06-03-2016, 02:58 PM
Unless I have missed it, didn't see a sheet size quoted.
Without that it's pointless making any reply.

Yo BIG JOHN is back about time you showed your face ya Old bugger. We've Missed ya . . . Well I have anyway. .:toot:

GoldTop.

I'm usually the one laying into these commercial Machines. When I have please rest assured there is no malice intended towards the company.
The reason I comment is soley for the sake of others like you who are looking to buy. Experience lets me see thru the bull and spot things you and others wouldn't until it's too late.
Like Rob said lower down if the Manufacturers took negative comments onboard and acted on them rather than kick and scream. Or like others have done thrown there teddy out the pram they'd be recieved so much better. They'd also sell more machines I'm sure.

Now if you want a machine around 475 x 875 cutting area contact me via PM because I've got sexy little machine nearly finished which was cancelled order.

goldtop
08-03-2016, 11:12 AM
Big thanks to JazzCNC for taking time to educate me on the phone. Should be sorted in a couple of weeks. Got a lot to learn in the meantime and I'm looking forward to wising up. Time to get busy thinking about software.

And then I can get busy turning valuable materials into drifts of swarf while learning how to swear in new and interesting ways. :)

Clive S
08-03-2016, 11:28 AM
Big thanks to JazzCNC for taking time to educate me on the phone. Should be sorted in a couple of weeks. Got a lot to learn in the meantime and I'm looking forward to wising up. Time to get busy thinking about software.

And then I can get busy turning valuable materials into drifts of swarf while learning how to swear in new and interesting ways. :)
I am glad you appear to be getting sorted:friendly_wink:

Richb
25-03-2016, 08:06 PM
Yo BIG JOHN is back about time you showed your face ya Old bugger. We've Missed ya . . . Well I have anyway. .:toot:

GoldTop.

I'm usually the one laying into these commercial Machines. When I have please rest assured there is no malice intended towards the company.
The reason I comment is soley for the sake of others like you who are looking to buy. Experience lets me see thru the bull and spot things you and others wouldn't until it's too late.
Like Rob said lower down if the Manufacturers took negative comments onboard and acted on them rather than kick and scream. Or like others have done thrown there teddy out the pram they'd be recieved so much better. They'd also sell more machines I'm sure.

Now if you want a machine around 475 x 875 cutting area contact me via PM because I've got sexy little machine nearly finished which was cancelled order.