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Author Topic: Interested in a CNC machine, suggestions?  (Read 7915 times)
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pl4tonas
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« on: January 21, 2011, 07:12:46 07:12 »

Hello people,
I am interested in buying a CNC Router machine in order to make my PCBs mainly and front panels or other works.

I saw the PCB Prototyper from Elektor but this costs a lot. I can buy a car for this price Smiley

I have searched the net but the best prices are found on ebay for some Chinese machines that are controlled via the Parallel Printer Port.
An example is the item number 260711065630 on www.ebay.co.uk

Any suggestions or directions to what to search for are much appreciated, especially from people with experience to the matter.
What to look for, what accuracy and speed, power of tools motor etc. would be very helpful.

Regards
Pl4tonas
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 04:22:38 04:22 »

i've brought this:-  ebay item: 160525685055
they are not plug & play....u have to few days setting... oiling and alignment...add-in limit switches...etc...hard job.
4 axis controller box didn't look good.
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OscarH
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 05:28:36 17:28 »

Hi Pl4tonas,

I got the model CNC6040 from this supplier through a local supplier in Switzerland.
This is a very nice tools. You can mill wood plastic and aluminium, far enough for hobby.
I ordered witht the small spindle (200W) but it appeared this is too small, so order the higher power spindle.

Mechanical design is strong and simple. Accuracy is pretty good, far enough for my usage (PCB and front panel milling)
There are some changes to be done, minor, like for example adding limit switches and changing all the cables, definitely too small to handle XYZ movment.

I'm using Mach3 and CamBam on PC dedicated to CNC.

I'm happy with my purchase. I attached a picture. I can attach more if you like.
Cheers. OscarH

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pl4tonas
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 09:30:17 21:30 »

Hi OscarH
I found the machine you have on ebay item no 170584780150.  Is coming with a more powerful spindle motor.

The only think that concerns me is that the controller is connected to the computer via the parallel port and I can use my laptop with this.
I will need to connect it to a desktop and also I am wondering about how long Windows would support the parallel printer port.

Thanks for your answer, I will consider the machine as one of my options.
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pickit2
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 10:08:11 22:08 »

Hi OscarH
I found the machine you have on ebay item no 170584780150.  Is coming with a more powerful spindle motor.

The only think that concerns me is that the controller is connected to the computer via the parallel port and I can use my laptop with this.
I will need to connect it to a desktop and also I am wondering about how long Windows would support the parallel printer port.

Thanks for your answer, I will consider the machine as one of my options.
Why not use a old pc and a Dos & Windows system, that suports what you want to run. after all the pc you use will be in a workshop Environment.
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oldvan
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 10:49:05 22:49 »

If you must use a laptop, there are available USB boards
like the SmoothStepper that are supported in Mach3 and
similar.

There's a huge wealth of information and minds available
on the topic over at cnczone.com, well worth a long look.
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OscarH
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 06:20:34 18:20 »

Hi,

I think they have 2 options, one for the standard Centronics port interface and one for the USB interface.
I got the centronics interface, and also got a PC dedicated to this setup running XP. I honestly don't think Mach3 can support heavy CPU load while controling parallel port. I mean without loosing steps on stepper motors.
BTW, I added on my PC a second parallel interface to handle emergency exit (closer than the controler box), probe detector and a joystick to move XYZ without using the keyboard.
Cheers. OscarH
 
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The_Mole_763682
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 12:40:36 00:40 »

Hi OscarH,

this is the one i ordered today.. 200585874766
with it's accessory kit (electronics etc)  200586940191

total $714 usd +shiping (about $150)

it is smaller than the others mentioned in this thread, but seems more PCB orientated.

-Mole
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2011, 05:36:57 17:36 »

Hi Mole,

Once you receive, assemble and use it, can you give some feedback and recommendation? Any pro n contra ?

I'm thinking to get a CNC too, if my budget ok.

tq
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The_Mole_763682
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 03:11:09 03:11 »

I will do,

as you can imagine, I am REALLY excited Cheesy

I hope it lives up to my expectations!

-Mole
(Jim)
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OscarH
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2011, 04:11:55 16:11 »

Hope you will have as much fun as mine. It is really time consuming, but the more you work on it, the more you get excited...
Just bought a 4th-axis, to make it more fun :-)
Cheers.- OscarH
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2011, 12:26:03 00:26 »

Whilst I am waiting for my CNC to arrive, i am playing with another..

I am mostly finished building one from www.buildyourcnc.com .
Mechanics will be done this weekend, motors and controller arrived this week, and this great forum gave me Mach3 Cheesy, I am waiting on the psu from Hong Kong, but in the meantime, i have a 10A supply I can use (close on power).

The max cut of my machine will be 18" x 25" x 2", I am doing it as a fun experiment and so that I can cut front panels for my prototypes, and name plates for the horses/dogs/etc.

-Mole
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 01:11:54 01:11 »

I also have a 6040 cnc milling machine.
Its a rigid machine and good value for the price. you still need do change a few things as said before, like wires etc..
I also milled brass and lots of wood with it and i am very confident with the results.



- maniac
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 04:07:16 16:07 »

Here is something i made with the machine. Its a logo in aluminum.
Check it out:

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bigmaurizio
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 08:57:03 20:57 »

The school where I work bought a low cost cnc machine (about 1,500 euros). Now I can say that is not possible to make smd or very detailed pcb's with a similar machine.
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2013, 07:57:55 07:57 »

I am just starting to build a CNC from this CNC DIY club.  Joes CNC http://joescnc.com/.  It will make smd or very detailed pcb's and also other items.
It has a 4 foot X 4 Foot or larger or smaller bed.  About $3K depending on your options and how much you can do yourself.
My goal is to make acoustic guitar necks and other guitar parts with it.  Others have made PCB parts with it.

The support forum is awesome.  Lots of help and great ideas, pictures, video's and files.

Hope this helps.



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galaxy
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2013, 02:01:48 02:01 »

will be nice if some supply open source cad design for CNC for solidworks or something

Regards
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2013, 05:20:28 05:20 »

lots of plans available online. Just need to search. Blackfoot comes to mind. Then there is the cncrouterparts.com machines with free plans. little more expensive, but I've built two of them now, and they work like a charm.
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2013, 07:03:40 07:03 »

great, thanks for the hint, I found also grabcad which is full of designs,
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2013, 04:20:59 16:20 »

A friend of mine has bought one here : http://www.cncdiy.org/  and he enjoyed so much.
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2013, 06:15:41 18:15 »

I use a machine of these guys: http://www.cnc-step.de/en/
together with Eagle and the pcbgcode ulp plugin.
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« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2013, 05:06:29 17:06 »

On my side, I'm using since one year a CNC3040Z+D52 from http://www.carving-cnc.com/. I can say that I'm quite happy with this machine. It has been delivered very quickly from China. Its construction is relatively good. It uses ball screws, which is far better than other low cost machines with trapezoidal screws.
I have opened the controller box (well in fact the power interface box) and it looks quite well constructed for a chinese product (I have seen awful pictures of other chinese controllers on the Internet with very bad wirings and no earthing).
Only the emergency switch is a total joke: it only activates an I/O that can be read by the controlling software, without actually cutting the power of the motor drivers. As the switch is a very low cost one and has frequent bad contacts, the software often doesn't even see that it has been pressed... I'm in the process of adding a real emergency switch to my setup.

I have used the machine to manufacture prototypes of PCB with good success. I'm also using it to cut plastic parts from designs done on Solidworks, using CamBam to generate the milling CAM files.

The power interface box has no intelligence, it needs to be connected to the parallel port of a PC, with a controlling software running on it (Mach3 or LinuxCNC for example). I'm running it with Mach3 (an hacked version is delivered with the machine...) on an old laptop (parallel ports become scarce on this century). But as my old laptop looks like it will die soon, I'm considering to use a Beagle Bone running LinuxCNC to control the machine (based on this project: http://bb-lcnc.blogspot.com/). I have the Beagle Bone and have manufactured an interface board for it, I just need to find some more time to experiment with it. I will post my result here, as I think it can be of interest for some of you, the Beagle Bone being a very cheap board.
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« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2014, 12:46:00 00:46 »

Hi I Use  CNC-6040Z+S80 from http://www.carving-cnc.com/. I need to add aditional Switches and use an USB to Parallelport-Board from Ebay like http://www.ebay.de/itm/CNC-3-Achse-USB-Mach3-Schnittstelle-Karte-Interface-Platine-Schrittmotorsteuer-/121348034649. Its very ok for this price and delivery was pretty fast.

I try to work on harder Aluminum - have to drive pretty slow trough it. For smooth Aluminum and below (like wood, Carbon) is this Tool very applicable.

Don't forget to use a Underwaterbath to mill Carbon...
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2015, 01:04:09 13:04 »

While looking for information on upgrading my stepper motors I seen this Open Source Project for the X-Carve
I seen some good ideas, for upgrading my machine too.

https://www.inventables.com/technologies/x-carve

https://workbench.grabcad.com/workbench/projects/gcl5zpCuwqCXWLvYktLQBc-2IHvossNo37ycTOkzg6gREW#/space/gcvs_XeRNVzNkfG_tFTAMd0C2lBbCsLcagOxXb1Jlki0kT/folder/858489
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 07:35:53 07:35 by pickit2 » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2015, 12:21:36 00:21 »

In the past, I've been lucky enough to have access to a CNC manufactured by Bungard (it was the "CCD" model http://www.bungard.de/index.php/de/produkte/fraesbohrplotter ) and made several PCB prototypes. According to their owners, it was expensive (about 13k USD) and it was controlled by a PC running MS-DOS software.
Nevertheless, it had several issues, e.g. with fine traces, where care had to be taken to avoid shorts with adjacent traces and power planes. This is why I personally prefer to use dry film photoresist and wet etching method.

Anyway, I usually prefer to build things instead of simply buying them, as this means that, if it stops working, you will be able to fix your machine more easily because of the knowdlege you gain while building it. I haven't build a cnc yet (I plan to do in several months) but from my experience with the Prusa i3 Printer the worst part is always calibration. Also, IIRC, the NEMA standard does not define the motor height (i.e. the face that goes parallel to the shaft), so they must be bought first to adapt the design to the actual size. Apart from the stepper motors, the most expensive part will be the linear rails, even though I've seen one made from an V-shaped aluminium profiles and two ball bearings. Maybe you should check out a book titled "Build your own CNC machine", although the model they build is not designed for PCBs, I think.
I read somewhere that some of the common firmwares that the Prusa i3 use (which are almost always Arduino-based), such as Marlin, can also be used for CNC machines, but haven't tested this. Several Arduino clones, such as Funduino, can be found at eBay.

Also, there is a super cool project made by a German guy for a LDI (laser direct imaging) on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SNkzoOvoD8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIIwU29H3E8 He is using one (or two) Bluray laser diodes from an Xbox. Unfortunately, he did not release plans, software or schematics.

Hope this helps someone.
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