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  1. #1
    Hello MyCNCUK,

    Hope things are well in the UK

    My reason for posting here now is that I'm looking for a small, yet quite "fine" router and having searched the internet for some days now it seems to me that this CNC field may be "jungle-like" - and I realize that I'm probably most likely to find what I am looking for if someone who already is knowledgeable in this field may hint me in the right direction. I hope this/these person(s) is here in these forums and may be able to help ... I'd be pleased to give the equivalent of a good wine for the help that leads me to what I seek (and not least appreciate any help given here ) ...

    To give you an idea of what I'm looking for I reckon a description of "my needs" may be feasible:

    - It should be an xyz axes router. Workspace on the order of 30 * 25 * 12 cm (z-axis), YET either the x or y axis needs be "expandable" so that I - in time - can attach a part that is larger than the workspace, and then move the part as workspace-size-cuts are completed.

    - Materials to be cut are: plastics, wood, brass, bronze, aluminum, gold leaf (probably simple but possibly high spindle speeds), and the like. Also, a very important use is precision PCB prototype making, i.e. thin tracks with shorts distances in-between ...

    - precision, accuracy and repeatability are key. Routing speed is not that important as it is to be used for prototypes & (very) low No. series.

    - I work best with softwares that are straightforward and intuitive to use. Thus, if software(s) go with the router it is much preferred that it/they are easy to use - or that any recommendations go along this line ... I have some software knowledge and can work e.g. with a 3D modeling software (MoI3d; moi3d.com) which can output the files listed in the attachment.

    - I can do metal & wood work myself and have/may have access to a metal/wood workshop if needed. However, a constraint is time and I probably have no more than ~ 60 hours to do what is needed e.g. to build a router, if this is the feasible path to take.

    - I am quite proficient in electronics and likely may assemble e.g. a good motor control if this is feasible. To this end: I may also be able to e.g. modify electronics if that may make a "standard" component better.

    - And importantly: I am looking for a "tested and known-to-work well" router/router build as using the router for my purposes admittedly is my main objective.

    - It can be a used router, but it must be functionally fine/as new. And it needs be shippable to Denmark. Any parts for a build preferably should also be available from within the EU.

    - A likely constraint is price - I hope to find a router/a router build which can be bought/built - I assume most likely built (?) - at no more than GBP 500 ... (may e.g. comprise a just reasonable spindle & controllers for a start - but a router structure that is worth improving upon)


    Any chance there's a build/a used router that fulfills these needs?

    ... Thanks for reading and hopefully being able to help (and as I wrote above I'd be pleased to give a good wine for the help that leads me to what I seek ... )

    Cheers

    Jesper
    Last edited by evalon; 26-01-2017 at 04:07 PM.

  2. #2
    - A likely constraint is price - I hope to find a router/a router build which can be bought/built - I assume most likely built (?) - at no more than GBP 500 ... (may e.g. comprise a just reasonable spindle & controllers for a start - but a router structure that is worth improving upon)
    - I can do metal & wood work myself and have/may have access to a metal/wood workshop if needed. However, a constraint is time and I probably have no more than ~ 60 hours to do what is needed e.g. to build a router, if this is the feasible path to take.
    I think that you have left a few zero's off here.
    Last edited by Clive S; 26-01-2017 at 04:20 PM.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  3. #3
    Hmm I'm afraid that for a budget of only 500 all you're looking at are the el-cheapo eBay Chinese 3020 machines which do not fulfill any of your criteria.

    The simple answer is to get something that does what you want it to then you're looking at 2000 (minimum) plus for a DIY build doing it yourself, ready built then you can at least treble that.

    Sorry for no better answer.
    Neil...

    Build log...here

  4. #4
    Hi Neil & Steve,

    Well, thanks for replying although your reply is not in the direction I was hoping for ... However, wouldn't it be possible to do something like a smaller OX build or Shapeoko at this price-point? Something with an altogether sturdier frame - maybe with steppers & controllers like these:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2819021550...c=1&rmvSB=true

    a suitable (not expensive) spindle to start out with, good & solid sliding parts (rails), maybe buying some used parts (the spindle?), and maybe modifying the controllers to be more solid ... Something like this maybe ...

    http://www.openbuilds.com/builds/lin...machines.1771/

    If you believe it cannot be done with the above thoughts in mind - can you say where am I most off in my thinking about this relative to your experience? Doesn't it help that it's a relatively small router I'm considering ...

    Cheers & thanks,

    Jesper
    Last edited by evalon; 27-01-2017 at 05:46 PM.

  5. #5
    You already have the motor kit at 150.
    Now search for the rails, at least the supported round rails (or hiwin rails if you want to cut metal with precision). Add 6 rails at your desired length plus 12 linear bearings.
    Add 3 screws with nuts, ens support and coupling. If you want precision look at the ballscrews instead of the trapezoidal ones.
    Add the cheapest spindle you can find, some sensors or switches, relays and of course all the cables.

    If you still are under 500, which I really doubt, add some aluminium or steel as the other components cannot levitate.

  6. #6
    Hi Jesper,

    The guys are not joking and very experienced so listen other wise all your going to do is waste 500.

    What you want isn't remotely possibly with 500 and even Neils 2000 is on the low side now for this country with /$ being messed up. (Hopefully when Mrs Prime minster is finished blowing trump.!. . . .Opp's meant blowing UK trumpet this may change.!! . . .And pigs fly.!!)

    So I strongly suggest you start saving and don't even set off down the cheap route because it NEVER works.!

  7. #7
    Hi JAZZCNC & paulus.v,

    Thank you both for replying ... Some comments below ...

    @paulus.v: Honestly I'm a bit unsure of how to reply to your post ... I reckon what you write may be good advice, however, wonder if you are joking or my English is just not good enough to understand what you are saying about levitating .. ?? "If you still are under 500, which I really doubt, add some aluminium or steel as the other components cannot levitate. ..." Anyway, as I wrote in #1 I am looking either for a "known good" buy or build because I am mainly interested in using the router and I don't have time to design & build one from scratch.

    @JAZZCNC: I appreciate your comment, and just for the record I do strive to listen to what people write as a feedback. And (edit) I have no doubt that people here are competent ...

    However, mainly coming from the electronics world, I know that components that are not the latest component type may typically be bought at a fraction (can be 1/5th or even lower) of their original price. Often these components are as good, sometimes even better, or not much worse than the latest components. To me buying such components makes sense both from an economical & environmental point of view: They are not just wasted but may be put to good use. I reckon that something similar may be the case with CNC router components: That maybe a close-to-"the new best" machine/components etc. may be bought at a somewhat lower price and isn't just not used/discarded. It may also be a good second hand deal (and to me it's actually important that a buy/sell is fair both ways), a group buy/crowdfunding (where I reckon the individual components gets somewhat lower priced) or the like.

    Second, reading a bit into CNC machine design (here I do mean a bit but nevertheless) "precision & accuracy" seem to be key words. I also note that some controllers are considered "good, fine, excellent", e.g. the G540 I think it's called, whereas typically the Chinese controllers are not well regarded. A comment here: I reckon one of the key aspects of a controller is that it is capable of precisely steering (or controlling) the step motor (including all the weight and moving parts) to be at any particular position at any given time. This again may be a consequence of No. of steps (or micro-steps), torque, ability to "stop", the mass of the moving system etc. ... Something which in my experience - again coming from the electronics world - may require a very solid/rigid/boosted power supply so that when mass/weight is really to be moved, or stopped, the controller is actually capable of supplying e.g. the current needed. Something which in some cases can be obtained through modifying a component. No doubt there are other factors as well and a design may of course be subpar - something which modifications cannot really change.

    Third, I'm new to CNC, and would like to start up without investing what to me is quite some (2000), while still being able to learn ... Something which for me is most, most easily done when I have the object of learning close by. This also means that if I start saving to buy a 2000 CNC I may not be able to start learning for some months which I'd rather avoid, if possible.

    Thus my reason to write in #1 that what I may be looking for
    (may e.g. comprise a just reasonable spindle & controllers for a start - but a router structure that is worth improving upon)
    ... And with this in mind I'd like to stress that I'm actually not considering this
    and don't even set off down the cheap route because it NEVER works.!
    ... but rather to build/buy a machine at a (i.e. to me) sensible price that allows me to start learning and then subsequently - as I hopefully go along - allows me to upgrade because the basis is fine/upgrade is possible.

    If - with the above in mind - a router still is not available at a 500 price point (even with the messed up GBP ) then so be it ... But I'd prefer to keep the option open. And I would appreciate suggestions as to where to look ... To this end I think I'll also post in the WTB section of the forum.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Cheers

    Jesper
    Last edited by evalon; 30-01-2017 at 08:56 AM.

  8. #8
    Sorry Jesper, it was a joke. As I consider your obstinacy to find a CNC capable of cutting aluminium at 500 + 60h work a joke as well.

    Here is a hobby build machine that fits Neils 2000 estimation.

  9. #9
    Jesper I'll say it again just so you cannot say we didn't make it clear.!! . . . . The machine you describe CANNOT and I Repeat CANNOT be built for 500, not even close to 500.

    I urge you to Listen and take advantage of MY experience. Over the years I've helped 100's of people like you who think CNC can be done on the Cheap and failed.! . .It Cannot.
    Many of those helped where not Muppets but with skill sets ranging from road sweeper to Software and Electrical engineers in defense industry(Missle technician) so just because your in eletrical business doesn't follow you'll get this CNC business correct.!

    Building a good reliable machine is more about knowing what NOT to buy than what will actually make it work. It's not just case of Sticking some motors on stepper drives and throwing power at it. Yes this will make it move but if components are not matched or inferior quality you'll always struggle and be dissapointed with the results.! . . And this is just the electrical side.

    Again I'm urging you to Listen and go do lot more research before buying a single component. Not all is what it appears when comes to CNC just has your comment about Gecko G540 drive being better than Chinese offerings shows.? . . Once upon time maybe but not anymore.!

    Good Luck:
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 30-01-2017 at 08:48 PM.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to JAZZCNC For This Useful Post:


  11. #10
    In theory, not sure if it's possible in uk or dk, you can build a very strong and capable CNC with under 100 by hunting for components in scrap metal yards. You can find good rails, ballscrews, steppers, even servos, sensors, relays, cables, material for the frame, everything, sometimes at the cost of scrap-iron (0.10?).
    But you need very good knowledge of the components you are searching for, and A LOT OF TIME. I'm making a guess here saying 1000 hours (includes getting all the components, documentation, setup, tweaking, modifying, building, etc.). Now calculate how much do you earn for 1000 hours and tell me if it's worth it, in financial terms. On the other hand you'll learn a lot of interesting and useful things along the way.

    PS. It's a pity that in our capitalist times a lot of very good components and machines are thrown away. They are no longer reliable in industrial production but still good, sometimes excelent for hobby.

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