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  1. #11
    I doubt you have actually ever visited the Jinan Blue Elephant CNC Machinery Co., Ltd. factory in Shandong? Which is relevant to Zoprano's thread. Well, I have in 2015 and can vouch that they are first class people.
    I also doubt any other member has as well. So if you have been there and have first hand knowledge how come you did not part with it to the OP. A forum is a two way process.
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  2. Can we bring these ping pong posts to a conclusion please and move on.

  3. I have bought a cheap Chinese machine and currently in the process of putting it right. The controller was buggered from the word go, the seller kindly refunded me more than what the controller was worth which I was grateful for. Most of the parts the machine was put together with are fine so far, I have however replaced the motor cables with shielded ones and also purchased a new controller box and software from planet cnc. Not got the machine up and running yet due to time and adding additional parts such as more powerful spindle, limit switches and the actual wiring.

    A lot of people slate these machines but at the end of the day I guess you get what you pay for, hopefully I will be able to get the machine up and running in the next few weeks so keep an eye out on my build thread, I will report back onto this thread also with my progress but I do have faith in my little machine :-)
    Enthusiastic with CNC stuff but a proper novice so be gentle
    My build blog:
    Chinese 3020t Build

  4. #14
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 5 Hours Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 1,106. Received thanks 198 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    A friend bought a Chinese machine for his small business - Acctek 6090. The quality of paint finish was poor, the machining was accurate enough but with a poor finish. A lot of holes looked as if they were drilled with a handheld drill, and the "target" for one of the limit switches (inductive proximity) was the shank of a broken tap, which also needed adjusting. It came with a Mach3 demo licence. Took a day or two to unpack, adjust, and generally configure but it is now a useful and profitable machine. My friend bought a real Mach3 licence (for which he had budgeted) and also arranged his own transport which was cheaper and better than the manufacturer's offer. For the price, a good machine. There may be an element of luck in this, but as long as you accept that what you get is slightly closer to a kit of parts than a ready-to-go machine, it can be a cost-effective way forwards. I wouldn't buy one because I like building stuff myself, but my friend probably paid not much more than I spent buying bits for a slightly larger machine and saved himself a lot of work (which is important for someone who is using the machine to earn money). A year later, he is still happy with it.

  5. Sounds positive Neale,

    think my machine was 425 with 4th axis, spent about another 600 on top of that in regards to improvements.
    The control boxes though are hundred percent crap as there are just soooo many problems being posted in regards to spindles not working, xis drivers broke etc. Granted its mostly down to poor wiring/earthing but for people like me who haven't got a clue its a headache which can be done without
    Enthusiastic with CNC stuff but a proper novice so be gentle
    My build blog:
    Chinese 3020t Build

  6. #16
    I've had my CNC3040T for almost a year now and touch wood, I've not had anything go wrong with it.
    I spent a few extra quid and went with the four axis version which I've not yet used but got just in case I needed it later down the line.

    The control box that came with my CNC Machine is a T-D Axis Controller and is totally USB Controlled. There is a parallel port on the back of the control box but it appears to be dead. No matter what I did in Mach3, I couldn't get the software to communicate with the hardware so I stuck to using USB and the software that came with my machine which was CNCUSB. This works well enough for my needs at the minute.

    I've made a couple of improvements to my machine so far. I've added homing micro switches and I've upgraded the original 200W spindle motor to a 400W spindle motor. I've also purchased a USB Microscope which I plan to mount to the CNC so I can use it for precise alignment.

    I mainly use my CNC machine for making prototype PCBs and it does a fine job of them. I've also done a small amount of engraving work using Aspire and again, the CNC does a great job but my but my only gripe would be when it comes to getting the materials flat and level so you get a consistent Z cut depth.

    Where PCBs are concerned, milling the spoil board flat and even is not enough on its own. We're talking quite intricate milling with tight tolerances and PCB is inherently uneven so you end up cutting deeper on one part of the PCB than another. When you've got very fine PCB traces already, cutting deeper than you expect means thinner traces than planned. Sometimes it can even lead to the traces being milled away completely when the cutter goes deeper than required.

    One way people get round this is to use AutoLevel software but everywhere I've looked into this, it seems to require abandoning the original control box and boards and moving over to GRBL based controllers and then ChilliPepper Gcode Sender. I've been trying to find a way to get auto level to work without having to do that but so far I've been unsuccessful. I've played around with GRBL and ChilliPepper and I'm not a fan. I much prefer my existing set up and software chains.

    But other than that, they are great machines.

    Prior to buying my CNC machine, I had read lots of stories about how the wiring is brittle and after a while it breaks in places where it can move and that the control boxes tend to give up and die so I went into the sale knowing I might end up with at least some of these issues so I was prepared to deal with them as they arose. Certainly the extruded aluminium frame is solid and worth the money I paid so even if the control box does die and the motor gives up, they're not hard to replace.

    Originally, I was etching my PCBs in chemicals, manually drilling out a mixture of hole diameters and spending a great deal of time messing about with toner transfer or printing transparencies in the case of UV sensitive boards. Now I just design my boards in Eagle and convert them to Gcode and away I go. I can have a prototype PCB done and ready to populate in around an hour give or take. No messing about with chemicals, no more spending ages printing and lining up toner papers and transparencies and no more waiting around for etches where the toner hasn't quite covered some fine traces properly so the chemicals have eaten through and broken them - start over.

    I certainly wouldn't be without my CNC machine now and through owning mine, I've even managed to convert a friend of mine over to the dark side. Up until I got my CNC and started producing PCBs, he wasn't a fan of the idea of milling out circuit boards, he preferred chemical etching. And then when I got my CNC machine and he saw the quality they were capable of and the speed at which a board could be made, he decided to build himself a little PCB CNC machine and now he does nothing but PCB milling. I don't think he's touched his etching solution since lol.

    Between the two of us, we're now in the process of mastering double sided PCB manufacturing using Eagle Cad and then exporting the Gerber files to FlatCam for final processing using their Double Sided PCB Tool with positive results. We've not mastered the process of VIAS yet so we just use small bits of wire to connect top and bottom planes where required but I'm sure it wont be long before we find a way of adding plated vias to our designs.



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