Thread: New to CNC

  1. #1
    Evening all, tomorrow I shall be receiving my first cnc machine, a Stepcraft s600 with hf spindle. I've done a fair bit of research inbetween getting my head around turbocad.
    The question is, have I made a decent choice?
    Looking forward to gleaning lots of knowledge on here!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by coops3d View Post
    Evening all, tomorrow I shall be receiving my first cnc machine, a Stepcraft s600 with hf spindle. I've done a fair bit of research inbetween getting my head around turbocad.
    The question is, have I made a decent choice?
    Looking forward to gleaning lots of knowledge on here!
    Hi welcome to the forum. It depends on what you want to use the machine for, how can anybody say if its a good choice. ..Clive

  3. #3
    What can be even more important is your choice of CAM software, the thing that takes the output of your CAD package and turns it into gcode cutting instructions for your machine. A lot depends on what you want to cut on your machine, whether it's simple geometric shapes or highly complex cuts. As far as CAD is concerned, it's what you want to draw more than the CNC aspect that matters and if TurboCAD works for you, that's great. I use it, but I'm finding it really lacking when it comes to 3D drawing. CAM is a different matter and can really affect these ability to move from design to cutting.

  4. #4
    I'll be using it to make rc aircraft parts and generally starting my cnc journey.
    I'll be using vcarve, I've been using the trial and found it to be really intuitive.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by coops3d View Post
    The question is, have I made a decent choice?
    To be honest while they look nice pretty I've got some real reservations about these machines.?

    First Pulleys even brass ones running on aluminium extrusion is not good IMO. Dust and crap will act as grind paste and eventually the friction between them will wear groves in the soft extrusion and this will lead to troubles down the line. The more it's used the quicker this will happen. I suspect these machines will need very regular adjustments and after the newness as worn off lots of slop chasing will be done.?

    Next concern is the speed's they quote.? Max 1800mm/min Rapids is very slow and this will be the minimum required for cutting soft materials which this machine is really only capable of cutting. This is made even worse with HF high speed spindle which means the machine will be cutting at it's maximum capabilty's pretty much all the time.!! . . . Any machine working at or above it's maximum operating abilty's is going to have shorter life than one working and doing the job comfortably within it's parameters.

    For first step into CNC then it's an OK machine but IMO it's too expensive for what it is and the cheap Chinese machines can give just as good an introduction to CNC for much less money.
    Both are limiting and quickly out grown when the bug really bites but Replace the Chinese Electronics and they will out perform and out last this machine IMO and because the Chinese machines use off the shelf components like linear round rails, unlike these that use bespoke bearings and extrusion which forms the chassis then they can be kept running longer for less money.!

    But proof is in the eating and machine time will be the acid test.!

  6. Hi coops3d - how did you get on with your Stepcraft build and how is it working?

    I'm considering the new Stepcraft 2 840 as a basic CNC machine for product prototyping in wood, plastic and perhaps thin aluminium, as well as using a drag knife and hot wire cutter for bespoke packaging manufacture for some of my one-off products. There are a lot of different things I want to do with it, but to be honest it will probably only run for less than 4 hours a week, so the Stepcraft seemed to be a reasonable machine at a low price for this type of use.

    Keen to hear how you got on.

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