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  1. #1
    Hi All,

    I'm completely new to CNC. I've been toying with the idea of getting a benchtop CNC machine for a while. Had a bit of a bonus from work, so went ahead last week and bought a Genmitsu ProverXL4030. It fits the space i have perfectly.

    Built it Thursday and made some simple test cuts yesterday. Planning to do more today. Just getting my head around the various CNC bits - any recommendations?

    I'm planning on using Carveco Maker and Candle or UGS. What software do you guys use for design / control?

    My main areas of interest will be woodworking jigs, gifts, boxes, inlays, signs and the like.

    Looking forward to learning plenty from here, and eventually contributing where I can.

    Apologies in advance for the daft questions I will undoubtedly raise (I will search the forums first ).

    Ian

  2. #2
    Hi Ian, welcome to the forum!

    How you getting on with the Genmitsu Prover, for bits/cutters I use some from Aliexpress by a brand called XCAN, seem to work pretty well for me :)

    No such as thing as daft - we all start somewhere.
    .Me

  3. #3
    Hi Lee,

    Thanks for the welcome.

    I'm getting on with it OK. I found that the stock spindle and speeds I could get were slow for me. I upgraded the spindle last weekend to a dewalt D26200 and it is much faster now. Made a couple of items yesterday (bit tray and a house sign) and much happier with the speed.

    Currently getting to grips with Carveco before my trail period runs out and i decide whether to stick with it.

    What are other users using for (hobbyist use / price) software?

  4. #4
    AndyUK's Avatar
    Lives in Southampton, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 470. Received thanks 100 times, giving thanks to others 43 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    Quote Originally Posted by IDF769 View Post
    What are other users using for (hobbyist use / price) software?
    Welcome Ian.

    Software is a tricky one. It very much depends on use case - I tend do do the more woodworky / inlays type projects and use Vectric Aspire 95% of the time. They've now split the product line up, so Vectric Cut 2D is probably what I'd suggest you try.

    The thing I like about their software is simplicity, and how many user guides and demos there are on YouTube and the like, a mix of both employees demonstrating the software with projects, and hobby users talking you through theirs.

    The other very popular route is to go with a fully featured CAD/CAM package like fusion 360. Lots of YouTube resources on this one. I believe it's also free / cheap for hobby use, but I don't get on well with it myself!

    Bits wise, I tend to get mine from Shop-apt in Glasgow after a recommendation on here. The "Routing/Engraving" section of the website is where I visit. Not the cheapest, but very high quality tools with a wide selection. Bear in mind, I'm just a hobby user, but the following is what I've found works for me:

    For inlays I tend to use small sharp angle V bits, 3mm dia 30 degree carbide with a point tip. The smaller angle also allows you to get deeper inlays, but for larger projects or engraved writing on signs, I'd use a 60 (4mm dia) or 90 degree (6mm dia). If you want an example project, in my build thread (link below) bottom of page 20 has some inlaid toy blocks.

    For general wood cutting, again depends on the project and species. Plywood I use compression bits (Up/Down cut) but will otherwise tend towards down cutting bits in hardwood. Again, 4-6mm are my most commonly used.

    For aluminium and plastics (not sure why I use it for both...) I tend towards single flute up cut bits. Try to keep the flute length down to a minimum here, as any extra stick out ruins stiffness at hobby level.

    For 3D work in wood and metal, get yourself a set of ball nose endmills. I just grabbed some off Amazon to play with. Tapered ball nose bits if you want to go deep.

    Finally, utility bits. You might want a surfacing bit for when you've got to surface the machine bed or a large flat area to do. I also have a few general 1/2" router bits for really rough work.

  5. #5
    I pretty much agree on software. The Vectric stuff is good. It's designed primarily for woodworkers and majors on the features you want and use and leaves out most of the stuff that complicates things and that you never use. But - it costs. Well worth it if you are a professional for the time-saving but for a hobby user? How deep is your pocket? I use Vcarve but mainly because I bought it years ago when I had a project deadline and couldn't get any free software to do the job. These days, I also use Fusion 360 which is a full-featured 3D CAD package designed for professional use. However, it also includes toolpath generation (CAM) which is pretty powerful. There is a slightly cut-down version that is free for home use. It's over the top for simpler woodworking jobs and a lot of people struggle to learn it but it's free and it works! There are other choices but those are two that I know well and use myself. No idea what Carveco is/does so can't give you a comparison.

    In the past I have bought cutters from cncshop.com but haven't needed to top up for a while. Happy with what I have bought but can't say if they are the best and/or cheapest - I find that there is always someone else who has found a better bargain!

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