I am relatively new to DIY CNC machines. I have been looking for one pre-essembled so I can load my PC with software and start learning how to use it all. I want to mill and engrave aluminum as well as carbon fiber sheet, plastics and hard wood. Just as a hobby and to make things for my workshop at home.
I do not want to spend a fortune. I have found one for sale, here in France. Please could you take a look at it and advise me what it might or might not me capable of ?.
I have used Google translate to get the description into English the best I could.
- Course X: 470mm (560mm with less possibility of rigidity)
- Travel Y: 300mm
- Travel Z: 150mm
Engine Transmission Thread: toothed belt on 3 axes
Transmission ballscrew on 3 axes:
- Y: Steinmeyer 20mm (High Quality)
- Z: Trolley mounted on THK rail, screws 16mm (High Quality)
- X: ball screw 16mm (Brand unknown)
- X and Y: Rails cylindrical hardened steel and chrome plated 25mm
- Z: prismatic Rail
- Proxxon BFW 40 / E control module with 250W
- 900 to 6000 rev / min
- Bearing robust planned for machining aluminum
- Map mechatronics 4 axes ( 1/8 1/4 1/2 and 1) with many inputs and outputs for accessories.
- 4 probotix Motors NEMA 23 400 oz / in
(1 additional engine for a 4th axis)
Milling with sensors limit of Y and Z
Maximum forward speed: 1400mm/min
Accuracy: 0.005 mm
aluminum vacuum table (can be changed)
- Lots of strawberries
- Case control
- 1 Motor NEMA 23 additional
- House of protection
Milling machine operated under Mach3 but can very well with other software.
Hours of Operation:
I give up to 5 hours of operation
The machining was the longest 50 minutes
The total price of the machine parts came easily to 2000 Euros (Borderless or labor).
Last edited by dudz; 29-10-2012 at 12:01 PM.
hi and welcome.
the main limitation with that machine are the unsupported rails and the low power of the spindle motor. its ability to machine aluminium will be severely limited as its not rigid enough to do anything more than very light cuts, think engraving rather than machining. also, while the resolution might be .005mm the accuracy wll be nowhere near that. its good enough for making pcbs or engraving plastic coated aluminium panels or cutting balsa or softwood or plastic parts for model aircraft or doing simple signwork in mdf as examples
Thanks. I was looking at the ebay Chinese 6040 machine, but I read too many bad reviews about them.
I was thinking maybe that I could replace the spindle on the French CNC with a better one and it would still do a better job than the Chinese ones. ?
The other thought I had was to buy a "Merchant dice LTD" machine ( ebay 31037721936 ) and add motors/spindle and a cheap controller . Would this be a better solution ? although more expensive. They have advised me that the max cutting depth per pass in aluminum on this model is 1.5mm. What would the French one do in your opinion ?
Last edited by dudz; 17-10-2012 at 02:57 PM.
Originally Posted by dudz
it's probably worth it for the strawberries! sorry, couldn't help it...looks like Google Translate (which is a godsend) failed on that one .......dudz, strawberries are a fruit :-) so you're saying that the CNC machine comes with a lot of fruit :-)
That machine you've posted photos of looks reasonable to my (non-expert) eyes! I'm not sure I'd pay 2,000 euros (especially since its used)....I have that same spindle & whilst it's a nice quiet, quality spindle, it's rather heavy (so may challenge your Z motor to get fast rapid movement), somewhat underpowered & the 8,000 max rpm will severely limit your cutting speeds
I knew someone would pick up on the strawberries ! .. He is asking 1500 euros delivered from 600 miles away. Inc the controller, and spare motor. I am new to all this. So I would like to know if I can mill aluminum with good results ? (if I change the spindle to a Kress 1050 800w (for example). I don't mind if it takes me longer to mill than it should. I just don't want to buy something I cannot use.
Last edited by dudz; 17-10-2012 at 03:52 PM.
Depends on your definition of good results. With the lack of rigidity the finish could suffer and with that spindle you'll be limited to small cutting tools so removing any significant material is going to take a long time. Its going to need dozens of passes rather than two or three. Its hard to be definitive but I think you'll find it limiting for anything but the smallest of jobs.
Personally if I was buying secondhand I'd want to see it cutting and do some trials first...
Do you think going down the "Merchantdice" route would be better quality/results ??
I Nievely sought interest within merchantdice's product range. I was overwhelmed by the interest and the potential of diy cnc before considering the pedigree of the machine.
Originally Posted by dudz
Basically I've come to learn that what they offer, in my opinion, is basic and if you actually intend to cut aluminium with any sucess stay clear of a merchant dice machine.
I'm sure for some applications they work well, I just cant imagine one that would be suitable to my cnc needs.
Probably best to discover the wonders of supported linear rails, and profile rails. Rigidity is key for these machines to be fit for any decent purpose.
Then I think I might go with the French one. I understand it is not the best, and not really suited to aluminum, but its a starting point I think. Maybe I will change the spindle for an 800W Kress if it improves things.
After all; I have seen the Chinese ones from Ebay mill aluminum "out of the box" after a little calibration.
The French machine can be improved upon from where it is at (adding a back plate to the gantry to improve rigidity and when able going over to supported rails (or profile if able) for the Table. A Kress 1050 FME is able to cut Ali' and I get rather good finish with it. It really depends on what you want finish product wise and what are you are willing to accept cutting time wise.
Good luck and keep asking questions even when you don't like the answers take them on board and chew on them a bit. Most the folks here really do want folks to do well.