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  1. #1
    I'm designing my first router build but I've never used one before and I'm thinking of getting a cheap machine for a project to start me off. I've found an old Connect machine on ebay and thought about changing the control system to more modern standard kit but then I cam across one of these...

    http://awsmart.com/product/cnc-aw4-smart/

    It has steppers but no electronics or power supply so I would get some experience of wiring, setting up and using a machine before I get let lose on a machine I've invested a lot of time and money on.

    I'd look to machine some small guitar parts in wood and plastic along with some small pump clips for the micro brewery I work at.

    Has anyone come across these and have an opinion on them?

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Bearing in mind I'd be looking to pick it up for under 200 quid and buy the break out board etc on ebay just to cut my teeth on you reckon it's not worth the bother?

  4. #4
    If you want to cut chocolate then grab it!

    Dean said it in the linked thread. But i will say it other way. Use your common sense. Forget for a second that you obviously know nothing about CNC.

    Ok, you want to cut wood, plastic and occasional aluminum i assume. Like all of us, nothing new. So you will use say 6mm router bit. You want to cut it precisely, otherwise why the CNC, yes? Say you want a 0.05mm real life precision, cause if you cut with say 0.1mm precision you will not be able to fit together even 2 pieces of wood and plastic, not to speak of aluminum. Imagine now that 6mm carbide router bit and tell me, do you see a stronger part on that machine, meaning part that will not flex earlier than the carbide bit. Cause i don't see. Then how will you cut with that precision, then why the hell would you buy that machine. FYI the carbide bit also will flex if pushed hard. So the conclusion is you need something strong that the totality of play in elements plus flex will result in 0.05mm like maximum. Now go to wikipedia read about plastic, water absobption, flex, temperature deflection and so and you will see what i am saying.

    if you just had an idea of the frustration i am trying to save you from...but if you insist then take your chance.
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  5. #5
    Yes, I do want to cut aluminium, hardwood etc at some point but I have learnt enough from threads on here to know that this macine isn't going to do that and, as I said, I'm designing a biger and better diy build for what I really want to do in the end.

    I just thought this might be useful to help me learn. I wouldn't be expecting to make anything more than a few guitar scratch plates and bridges (in plastic and wood no more than say 5mm think) and carve some pump clips for our beer.

    Maybe I'll take another look at the connect machine.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hopey View Post
    I'm designing my first router build but I've never used one before and I'm thinking of getting a cheap machine for a project to start me off. I've found an old Connect machine on ebay and thought about changing the control system to more modern standard kit but then I cam across one of these...

    http://awsmart.com/product/cnc-aw4-smart/

    It has steppers but no electronics or power supply so I would get some experience of wiring, setting up and using a machine before I get let lose on a machine I've invested a lot of time and money on.

    I'd look to machine some small guitar parts in wood and plastic along with some small pump clips for the micro brewery I work at.

    Has anyone come across these and have an opinion on them?
    Surely you are joking. As it says in the advert it can mill food. That says it all. ..Clive

  7. #7
    You may as well just buy some Lego Technic because it will cut just as well this machine and you'll learn more with the Lego.!!

    All that buying cheap stuff learns you is how to waste Money.!! . . . . If you want to learn then read all the build threads start to finish, then read them again.
    You'll get more info from these than you will wasting money on rubbish.

    Wiring and setting up drives, motors etc is much easier when you have done the research. As is building a machine because you'll be well clued up on whats needed and if read careful should avoid some of the pits falls.

    In the time before you start building and during the build you'll be well advised to invest your time in learning the software, Mostly the Cad/Cam side.
    The Controller side ie Mach3 is what often scares people but in reality Mach3 doesn't do anything other than Control and monitor the machine.! After it's setup so it's talking to everything then the actual using of Mach3 to cut parts is really simple and basic.
    Setting up Mach3 is easy enough and again if done enough research then you'll have learnt quite a lot about whats needed and the rest just ask.!

    The using of mach to cut parts basicly boils down to positioning tool at a point on work material which you establish in Cad/Cam as being Zero and Zeroing each Axis. Then you Push cycle start sit back and watch it happen.!!! . . . .Simplizzzz.

    All this can be can be learnt and simulated without having a machine. So why waste good money on junk. Save the money and read everything and you'll have a real Cnc machine sooner.!! . . . And you'll know how to build and use it.!!

  8. #8
    Thanks for that Jazz'! It's nice to get a considered and helpful answer to my question. There seems to be a lot of hate for these Machines and I think others may have been seeing red and not considering my full question.

    My design is getting there I just need to come up with something for the gantry and I can get started.

    Here's a link to my design so for...

    http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/8564-...8259#post68259

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hopey View Post
    There seems to be a lot of hate for these Machines and I think others may have been seeing red and not considering my full question.
    Well this is the question you asked.
    Has anyone come across these and have an opinion on them?
    I have read all your posts and as you have said that you have read a lot of other build logs to get information so looking at the machine you are designing in your build log, then well yes, I thought it was a joke. ..Clive

  10. #10
    Why not get a 3d printer - the principles are very similar and you'd have a 3d printer at the end of it...

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