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  1. #1
    Hi Guys
    Totally new to CNC we are looking for a reasonable priced desk top CNC machine for routing text etc into MDF, plastic and HDPE etc. Wanting to engrave pen boxes and ideally maybe even the pens themselves. Is anyone able to offer any advice on a suitable machine and costs etc. Ideally running on imac or ipads as we dont have a PC. We do have an old laptop stashed away running on windows xp. We started looking at the DIY ones on Amazon and noticed some for 500 mark from Germany.
    Cheers Jacks

  2. #2
    The Cheap Chinese machines are waste of money and will give you more trouble than worth. They won't do what you want correctly or very well. Unfortunately I can't offer any alternative at the price level your looking.

    Regards running on i-mac then you'll struggle. Best option is to buy cheap second hand PC, you'll pick one up for 50.

  3. #3
    Cheers thanks Jazz

  4. #4
    Hope this doesn't confuse things but I'm Mr Jacks lol

    Would the laptop be ok, if we disable the power saving functions & had it plugged into the mains rather than battery power?

    Price isn't set in stone Ideally looking to spend 500 to 1000, certainly not thousands though.

  5. #5
    Hi. I know someone who uses a laptop for his cnc control so you may be ok if you turn off power save etc.but an old pc is better if you are running Xp,Windows 7 using the parallel cable. Ethernet breakout boards are outside your price band. As to which machine,big question. For fine detail you need good signals,and that means Ethernet smooth stepper boards which would give you better cutting detail on Smaller items like your pens.but Ethernet boards cost a lot more and in some cases also need a breakout board also.you will need the software motors etc. Your best bet is to look on eBay for a up and running machine with cnc etc. Two sieg sx2 cnc mini mills have been sold on eBay this past week for sub 600 pounds.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to terry1956 For This Useful Post:


  7. #6
    THANKS for the info John,
    Did a quick google & Ebay search foer Ethernet CNC & it just came up with boards etc, so are these upgrades for a the parallel port machines? I was origional looking at this https://www.amazon.co.uk/HPcutter-Ma...2BMachine&th=1

    Do you have any links to suitable/quality new machines, I realise It looks like we'll have be paying more than our origional budget (story of my life) but if these Ethernet boards etc are upgrades? I am hoping to start off with a quality Machine then add upgrades as & when needed as our CNC experiance grows!

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucks View Post
    Would the laptop be ok, if we disable the power saving functions & had it plugged into the mains rather than battery power?
    The laptop is a problem if you are using the parallel port to control the CNC. For USB or ethernet controllers it is fine.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to paulus.v For This Useful Post:


  10. #8
    My Hubbies posts are going to admin before posting he wrote,

    THANKS for the info John,
    Did a quick google & Ebay search foer Ethernet CNC & it just came up with boards etc, so are these upgrades for a the parallel port machines? I was origional looking at this https://www.amazon.co.uk/HPcutter-Ma...2BMachine&th=1

    Do you have any links to suitable/quality new machines, I realise It looks like we'll have be paying more than our origional budget (story of my life) but if these Ethernet boards etc are upgrades? I am hoping to start off with a quality Machine then add upgrades as & when needed as our CNC experiance grows!

  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by paulus.v View Post
    The laptop is a problem if you are using the parallel port to control the CNC. For USB or ethernet controllers it is fine.
    If hes right about these usb & ethernet boards being upgrades, could we start off with a decent machine upgrade the controllers later?

  12. #10
    hi. OK. to answer some of your questions. Ethernet boards use an Ethernet cable not the parallel cable and work better with lap tops due to the way the signal is pasted to the board. as you may know laptops are set up differently then desk top machines, battery saver being one of them, which will upset the internal clock of the laptop. and its this internal clock that the cnc works on. people use old desktops running windows xp or 7. because it allows the use of the parallel cable, windows 10 will not, but will run an Ethernet board. most people I think make their own cnc conversion, shop items in the uk are very expensive. the cheapest I machine I know of is the proxxon mini mill which as the motors etc fitted but you would still need to buy the boards to talk to the machine. Its not cheap this cnc stuff.

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