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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ravihotwok View Post
    Cheers A,

    wasnt disregarding your advice mate, just was a bit hasty in looking for a solution as I was just a bit worried about this machine being a lemon. I will save the motor you have recommended, Will probably end up getting that but first will learn how to get the pc communicating with the machine and actually working. Is there anywhere I can find out the definition of various cutting tools and their main purposes eg a tool for engraving, a tool for milling etc. Are you all starting to realise just how novice I actually am lol Shoot me now
    Yes, it is a good idea at this stage not to buy anything else, just get the delivered unit up and working. Once it is up and running you will see what else you may need or if this is enough for now or not. I don't think you need to worry about this being a lemon, I think that considering the number of units sold, these are generally good and reliable, good enough to learn a lot by using them, though of course, you can't expect them to be as good as a considerably more expensive units. You must be prepared for some blood, sweat and tears and dirty words but other than that, if you are handy you should not have problems with setting it up.

  2. Thats made me feel a lot better, I am a composites specialist by trade so pretty hands on, but this is soooo out of my comfort zone lol

  3. #23
    I wouldn't bother upgrading it (certainly not yet).

    The spindle on there will be fine for light composites and plastics work - my first machine just had a dremel type router and did a perfectly acceptable job cutting composites like fr4 and carbon fibre, plus did a perfectly respectable job on acetal and other plastics. You are obviously just a little limited in material removal rates due to the relatively small bits you can use.

    Ultimately you just have to have realistic expectations from a machine that only cost you a few hundred quid and change. I think in terms of value for money for getting up and running with a machine they are usually fine, and a good entry point to get your toes in the water - you can always move up to a more capable (and consequently more expensive!) machine if you decide this is the path you.

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  5. #24
    As the others said..
    buy nothing more for now.

    Try it, learn, the sw and jargon and endless stuff related take lots of hours.
    It is much better to learn with a cheap kit machine.

    Because you see Your errors faster, and ..
    broken (tool) bits cost 2-5 vs 500 - 2500 (machine bits), each.

    This is like most common sw ...
    none of it is logical, rational, well thought out.
    Lots of it works "wrong",
    sometimes it has errors, like engaging the reverse gear on the hw, because You put on the radio.

    But it IS repeatable, simple, and productive, and very efficient.

    After You learn to make "widgets" You yourself will know perfectly well;
    - what you need to change,
    - why, and
    - can then look at how much for Your needs/situation

    Your goals re:easy materials and easy work, are the easiest there are.

    So You are 99% ahead of 99% of people who often want to machine 3d steel pieces of 1m volumetric work area/cube, often in 5 axis.

    I was one of those, in 2002.
    100k current-value-kit later, commercial industrial cnc training and work later, 17.000+ work hours later, I have a scratch built VMC nearing completion again, version 5, and a 3 axis 1 micron resolution CNC lathe refit, version 3, running sans pretties (tin aka guards, boxes for IO at lathe, energy track cables,..).
    15 years, mostly full-time...

    Your starter machine is an excellent option.
    You learn with it, cheap, and once You can make something, anything, with it, YOU will be evaluate better what YOU want or need to do.
    There are no wrong or right answers.

    I know and have met customers / hobbyists from all extremes.
    ANYONE can make stuff of EXTREME value on very poor machinery.
    Handmade firearms or watches are 2 extremes.

    Clockmakers/watchmakers and model-engine builders are 2 common examples.

    But 99% cannot make money at it, unless You are at some extreme of skill/sport/brand/capacity most do not have.

    A small cheap CNC cannot be profitable, ever, because the cash/investment grows by pwr2/pwr3 vs machine system total cost.

    So a e.g. 1000 CNC machine system CAN technically, of course, make parts for widgets YOU invent/control/sell to Your captive market for a profit, yes.
    But YOU can get the same parts made for 50-80% less cost, from your friendly local CNC machine shop, using 70k machines.
    Who wont know, care, or want to know, what You do, make, sell, or what the parts are for.

    My point:
    Your competition is NOT what your machines cost/produce/how good they are.
    Your competition IS, really, can I get these built cheaper myself or elsewhere.

    Mostly, almost no-one can make a rational argument for making parts ..
    for testing, prototypes, learning, absolutely.
    Or for controlling customer info/data like plaques/serial numbers/engraving/trophys/etc.

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  7. #25
    Doddy's Avatar
    Lives in Preston, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 5 Hours Ago Has been a member for 3-4 years. Has a total post count of 132. Received thanks 8 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Just to add to the try-before-you-buy argument:

    I similarly "upgraded" a similar sized router (UK Marchant Dice) with stock unsupported rails, and the result with a 800W water cooled spindle was substantial Z deflection towards the bed centre as well as distortion on the X rail under load. (okay, my choice was easy as the original router failed and needed to be replaced)

    Understand the sensible limitations of the machine before splashing out on upgrades that won't effectively work.
    Last edited by Doddy; 17-06-2017 at 10:18 AM. Reason: Changed X/Y axis inline with axis in the ebay add

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  9. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo2 View Post
    A small cheap CNC cannot be profitable, ever, because the cash/investment grows by pwr2/pwr3 vs machine system total cost.
    That's not really true...

    ...but you need to make something nobody else makes and have a group interest in buying those products. A small, relatively cheap machine can also be profitable if you know what to make and who to sell to and how. My machine is a good example. Self design, self made, pretty small and not very expensive. Already version one was profitable, that's why I upgraded. But... I sell something people are prepared to buy, and I even have to turn down some offers because it is just a hobby.

  10. #27
    I disagree politely ! THAT is not what I said.

    I said you as the seller/maker can get the parts made (very much) cheaper elsewhere, and as such it is not *economically productive*/worthwhile to make them with a small, cheap cnc.

    Quote Originally Posted by A_Camera View Post
    That's not really true...

    ...but you need to make something nobody else makes and have a group interest in buying those products. A small, relatively cheap machine can also be profitable if you know what to make and who to sell to and how. My machine is a good example. Self design, self made, pretty small and not very expensive. Already version one was profitable, that's why I upgraded. But... I sell something people are prepared to buy, and I even have to turn down some offers because it is just a hobby.

  11. #28
    At the moment I outsource a cnc contract to another company for a customer I deal with I intend to to take it in house but it's low volume custom parts. It will be very profitable to me if I CNC the parts myself but only because rarely do we make more than 2 of the same item.

    My experience has been that setting up costs are high vs production costs so if I was to make 100 of the same item it becomes more profitable to outsource but 10 I should probably do it myself.

    Outsourcing has both advantages and disadvantages and not everything is cost, Accuracy, quality of finish, reliability and just sometimes needing to get a rush job done are factors that need to be considered on a job by job basis.

  12. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo2 View Post
    I disagree politely ! THAT is not what I said.

    I said you as the seller/maker can get the parts made (very much) cheaper elsewhere, and as such it is not *economically productive*/worthwhile to make them with a small, cheap cnc.
    I don't think you disagree, but I think I misunderstood what you meant. I meant using a cheap CNC can be profitable. Of course, MAKING a small CNC aimed at selling AND making profit on the CNC is a different thing.

    Making (or buying) a small CNC, buying or making parts to make it, and then use that CNC to make profit is indeed possible. Surely, you can't disagree with that. My hobby is entirely financed, with profit, by making these adapters:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Of course, only the bottom part. The top part is bought on eBay because that requires more complicated process and not just a mill. Never the less, something like this is enough to make a hobby profitable, including making or buying a CNC and all the parts necessary. Of course, the price or costs of the CNC must be kept low, otherwise there will be no profit, your 100k machine is out of the question, that requires very high volume sales and professional use at least 8h/day for 5 days a week. ...unless you have an even better idea for a product which people are ready to pay MUCH more than $100 a piece.

  13. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Desertboy View Post
    At the moment I outsource a cnc contract to another company for a customer I deal with I intend to to take it in house but it's low volume custom parts. It will be very profitable to me if I CNC the parts myself but only because rarely do we make more than 2 of the same item.

    My experience has been that setting up costs are high vs production costs so if I was to make 100 of the same item it becomes more profitable to outsource but 10 I should probably do it myself.

    Outsourcing has both advantages and disadvantages and not everything is cost, Accuracy, quality of finish, reliability and just sometimes needing to get a rush job done are factors that need to be considered on a job by job basis.
    I agree 100% with that reasoning. This is EXACTLY the reason why I am making these small things. Initially I outsourced, but actually only the first ten with an option of of a 100 more, but after the first ten I realized that it is not possible for me to make profit unless I make those parts, or order 1000 every time, which again was not possible because of the fairly low sales volume and because paying for 1000 is actually quite expensive and risky for me. So, after I sold the first ten and tested the market with them I decided that I will make those on my own. This decision was 100% right and because of that, I could even improve, make small changes and so on. That is NOT possible if you outsource, because every time you change something the maker will charge extra (rightfully) for the extra costs concerning machine setup or tooling changes. People who talk about outsourcing as an ultimate solution doesn't have a clue about what that means. Yes, outsourcing is fine in some cases, but would mean disaster in others. Of course, if I knew I will have a constant flow of orders and would sell hundreds every month then it would be different, but then I'd needed to set up a factory because I alone would not be able to assemble, test, pack and ship them out. So sure, outsourcing has advantages, but it is not for everyone and not for low volume production and sales.

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