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  1. #1
    Hi, I'm looking to start with a budget machine to learn the basics of cnc machining etc and hope next year to add a laser to the fold.
    I primarily would like to engrave copper, brass and possibly aluminium.

    Is the 3018 up to the task or should I go for something like a 3020/3040?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Hi welcome to the forum!

    I think generally any of the 30xx machines are ok to use as a learning platform, if users keep things real in terms of what they should expect from these machines it can be a win win situation.

    Engraving copper shouldn't be a problem as its quite a light task to do, for engraving from what I've seen, spindle speed set at around the 10,000rpm mark seems to work well.

    Have you seen this offer, there is 50% off at the moment, free shipping and at only 125 it seems ridiculously cheap not to get one to play around with !

    Sale Link: 3018 3 Axis Mini DIY CNC Router Standard Spindle Motor Wood Engraving Machine Milling Engraver

    Here is a review video:
    Last edited by Lee Roberts; 01-08-2019 at 01:48 PM. Reason: added vid
    .Me

  3. #3
    Hi lee and thanks for the reply. I'm a bit conflicted as to which model to get, either 3018 or 3018 Pro. I like the idea of increased rigidity of the Pro version.
    Looking at some of the flaws in production coming through (typical Chinese mass production to a price I'm afraid) and some of the traumas reported by the members of the FB group I wonder at times if I need the hassle!

    I definitely won't be getting the MX3 as I can't afford Mach 3 and don't like DrufelCNC where apparently users are experiencing problems with the MX3.

    Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be anything about the 300-400 mark that will work with Win10 and again have hassles.

    The Sainsmart version sells for 225 in the UK (3018 Pro) and the Vogvigo 3018 Pro is 180 off Amazon, so tbh I'm fairly convinced to go for the Vogvigo since it has the Amazon name to resolve any difficulties.
    Last edited by Lol999; 01-08-2019 at 08:37 PM.

  4. #4
    I have the 1610 which is the smaller version. I use it for making circuit boards. Initially I had a lot of issues with it, the biggest problem turned out to be the spindle wasn't quite straight. After a third motor was fitted, it became a totally different machine. For circuit boards, a piece of MDF bolted to the spoilboard made a big difference. This could easily be resurfaced and being flat and cheap to replace I could use double sided tape to hold the job down rather than clamping the edges which always left a high spot in the centre.

    I'm in the middle of extending the Y axis and turning the bed by 90 degrees and extending in order to increase the working area. I should be able to get an area of 180 x 350, so slightly bigger than the 3018, but rotated 90 degrees.

  5. #5
    Hi Lol999, i got the Vogvigo from Amazon and i'm pleased with it so far. The frame is Bakelite and aluminium and is totally rigid and square, assembly is easy (i did it in 2 hours while drunk and tired!), there's a video of a guy on YT who did it in 48 minutes.

    I don't have the laser head so can only comment on miling. It engraves copper easily (you can even mill your own PCBs with it) and you can even mill soft aluminium with but i haven't tried brass.

    The software that comes with it sets up easily, it also comes with decent docs, drivers and assembly videos.

    The only problem i've had with it so far is that there is no connectivity on the A5 pin pair, which is where you're supposed to connect a z-probe, so i emailed the seller about that this morning.

    The chuck can only take 3.175mm shaft diameter tools AFAIK, i couldn't get a 4mm shaft in there and didn't want to push it too hard.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    Cheers, Gary.

  6. #6
    Just tested my A5 pins again and they are fine, i was just touching them before with croc clips but decided to use dpont male/female instead for a more secure connection and all good.

  7. #7
    MikeG's Avatar
    Lives in Vancouver, Canada. Last Activity: 4 Weeks Ago Has a total post count of 1.
    Quote Originally Posted by SoundsDigital View Post
    I have the 1610 which is the smaller version. I use it for making circuit boards. Initially I had a lot of issues with it, the biggest problem turned out to be the spindle wasn't quite straight. After a third motor was fitted, it became a totally different machine. For circuit boards, a piece of MDF bolted to the spoilboard made a big difference. This could easily be resurfaced and being flat and cheap to replace I could use double sided tape to hold the job down rather than clamping the edges which always left a high spot in the centre.

    I'm in the middle of extending the Y axis and turning the bed by 90 degrees and extending in order to increase the working area. I should be able to get an area of 180 x 350, so slightly bigger than the 3018, but rotated 90 degrees.
    Did you get round to extending your cnc machine? I am also thinking of getting the cnc 3018 kit but the workarea is very small and would prefer to have at least 300 x 300 for x, y axis. Looking for any tips and ideas on how to modify it. From what I am led to believe, is since the x axis is already 300mm. Just need to replace the y axis aluminium profiles with slightly longer size and replace the y axis lead screw and steel rods. But I could be wrong??

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