1. #1
    hiya guys,

    I have posted on here asking for some help cutting some parts.

    But whilst I am waiting for responses I thought I'd find out about running my own.

    I know something about CNC but not enough so thought I'd ask.

    here goes:

    I am looking for a small CNC machine. I have seen the Proxxon MF70 cnc ready along with various router style small CNC's.
    the thing is what is the benifit of either.

    1) Could the router style to the same job as the pillar style and if not what are the pro's and con's?

    I don't intend to create massive parts so a small CNC machine is fine. I know that I will need a piece of software to control the machine.

    2) What CAM software would work fine with windows 10 64 bit.

    all this being said, I have a very good back ground in 3D printing and the use of 3D slicing software but having had a go on Mach 3 it's a bit of white man's magic to me.

    3) Are there any free online tutorials I can access to learn how to do CNC?

    I hope that you guys can help me out with advice. Admittedly I am trying to do this as cheap as possible to start off with. Mainly not to loose too much if I decide to bail.

    I thank you in advance

    Rebekak Anderson

  2. #2
    hi i have this for sale if interested.

    Boxford duet cnc mill/ lathe, ex school so in exhalant condition as you would expect from a little used machine. Comes with computer loaded with original cad cam software, boot up disk, and a spare hard drive pre-loaded with software. It’s all in full working order and comes with a six station tool holder, milling table and rotating tailstock.

    Technical Specification
    Swing Over Bed 225mm (Lathe)
    Axis Travel (X x Z) 125mm x 360mm (Lathe)
    125mm x 75mm (Mill)
    Spindle Speed 200 - 2500rpm
    Feed Rate 1500mm/min
    Table Size Mill 180mm x 110mm
    Spindle Bore to Pass 20mm


  3. #3
    Hi Rebekah,

    welcome to the forum. You are on a good start with what you are doing so it may or may not be the next step for you to get your own CNC machine. I have seen your trucks and must say they are very cute. The detail is amazing! Where do you get the blueprints from if I may ask?

    Anyway your questions are not uncommon and we do get a number of the same type of post: "what machine for total newbie looking to expand business" The answer is pretty much always the same.

    I am sure you have done a ebay search for cnc and it came up with all the chinese 3020, 3040 and 6040 machines. They are good for learning and engraving and if you have time and inclination and more money you will probably be able to make the 6040 a good machine. The smaller ones are too cheap to do anything with. Before you can even use the 6040 professionally you will need to learn the ins and outs of building a CNC in order to understand what needs to be added to the machine to make it profitable. I estimate you will have to fork out around 300-500 to get it running by adding Mach3 and a motion controller and then potentially new cables throughout, limit switches and decent drivers for the motor. See where I am going? Steep learning curve big time. You really need to want to have a CNC machine to make it worthwhile. See youtube vids...

    Unfortunately CNC machines are not, to borrow a phrase "SantaClaus Machines", you will need to know how to CAD and then how to convert the 3D models to gcode using CAM. Now Unlike 3D printers, you are dealing with potentially lethal machines so you really need to know what the gcode does, how to select the right endmill, what speed will not make the 1mm bit go ping and fly across the floor and then there is the swarf...ah the swarf...it gets everywhere.

    Having 2 printers myself I can tell you that they are nothing as involved as running a mill or a lathe...childsplay in comparison...some 3D printers do not even have an E-Stop circuit.

    So where would you start with cnc? Dont spend a pound just yet. Start learning to use the CAD packages like Fusion360 that have a CAM function built in. Fusion 360 is based on Inventor Fusion and very capable. It is free for hobby use and Startups earning less than $100K iirc for a year. There are plenty of tutorial on how to use it on youtube. Check out the NYCCNC channel, going back from his early attempts so you can get a feel for why it took him +5 years to get as good as he is now.

    Depending on where you are based, you may be able to visit one of the forum members to get some hands on experience with CNC. Failing that see if your town/city has a Hackspace or makerspace. They usually have a mill etc you can have a go with under supervision.

    Would I recommend you learn to CNC? Not if you want to make a living off designing and selling models unless you have the luxury of space and time. You need to want to learn CNC. As I said, see if you can hook up with a member local to you to see what is involved then if you get bitten by the CNC bug like all of us here, we can point you in the right direction.


    Stocking more goodies than just Smoothsteppers

  4. #4
    Fred's Avatar
    Lives in Reigate, Albania. Last Activity: 13 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 21. Received thanks 2 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    It's definitely worth taking a look around before you jump in. I have a Proxxon MF70 that I converted myself. It's a great little machine. Very capable but definitely little. I'd recommend it of you're sure that it'll be big enough. I extended my Y axis but the working area is still 150 x 82mm. When you have people on here talking about their machines in metres you realise how tiny that is. On the plus side it can just sit on a desk.

    I ended up wanting something bigger so went up to a CNC6040. A lot more trouble to get working.

    If you do decide on a MF70 then let me know as I will be selling mine. Can even include a PC suited to running Mach3 if needed. And if you're anywhere near Redhill in Surrey you're welcome to check it out to see if it would suit you.

  5. #5

    im pretty proficient with CAD now. I use auto desk inventor. The trucks are all made from scratch by myself.

    Thank you for some of the tips. I will follow up on the asap. I don't intend to make a living but will be supplying people with parts along side my normal job.
    Inventor has a plugin now called inventor cam. Quite involved but intergrated. So am learning that slowly.


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