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Which CNC Router For Beginner

Discussion in 'General Talk' started by Andrew Gould, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Andrew Gould

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    I'm brand new to CNC and would like to know which build i should try. I've seen the makesmith on Kickstarter and wanted to try that, but can't find the plans.

    I live in South Africa and Arduino boards are quite easy to come by so maybe one based on that?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    What do you plan on cutting the most?
     
  3. Andrew Gould

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    Hi there. Thanks for the reply. I will probably mostly be working with wood, plastic and maybe soft metals.
     
  4. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    The next question would be how long do plan to remain a beginner? You will likely outgrow the makesmith style machine fairly quickly.
     
  5. Andrew Gould

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    That's a very good point. I suppose i don't want to choose a build that is so far beyond my skill level that it takes me forever to build and debug. I don't have an engineering background, i do however have a shop and can build things and have some rudimentary programming knowledge.

    I actually wanted to build a 3d printer, but somehow CNC seems more useful.
     
  6. WildBill

    WildBill Veteran
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    1st post here but have been following for quite a few months now as a new beginner looking to learn more than talk. So I think I can give the beginner's prospective. I looked at that kit and it looks like its using a Dremel for its cutting.

    For me to get started and learn I designed and built a CNC platform to hold my Dremel. Took about a week to build and get working and then started working with wood to see what I could do. After a week I have about reached the limits of what it will do because the Dremel is the weak spot with a lack of torque so I would expect that kit to keep interest about the same time. Yes I made a few quite little signs like that kickstart page shows and learned some of the software tools and how to set up a tool path.

    The BAD is I don't think it will get much use other then light engraving and the GOOD is I learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work from this build. I would look at that kit like that as an education project that you would outgrow quickly.

    Well for my next project I will be starting the build of the C-Beam XL today and I think that will be heavy enough to keep me happy for a while, at least more than a week.
     
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  7. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    I cut mostly wood so I went with the movable gantry like the Ox. The movable gantry makes it easier to cut large pieces of wood. I went with lead screws because I was building a 1500mm by 850mm size. At that size I was worried about belt stretch. I could have used a double belt system, but the screws ended up being cheaper and are more accurate. It is 850 mm in the x axis which allows me to cut 26 inch wide material with a bit of room to spare. I can cut a little over 49 inches in the Y axis. I can feed longer goods in and using pin hole registration could theoretically cut whatever length I want.

    I do not have an engineering degree from an accredited university. Mine came from Openbuilds University (go Fightin' Oxen). I spent about 9 months reading every build, reading up on GRBL and how the drivers work, learning about stepper motors, playing with Sketchup, and then I started custom designing my own. My goal was to build it right so I only have to build it once. I think I have had more fun designing and building the machine than actually using it for projects. ;)

    I also found that there really wasn't much to debug. As long as you enter the settings correctly into the software you choose and hook everything up right, it should work. The only thing you will probably need to do is calibrate it which is really easy.
     
    #7 Giarc, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  8. WildBill

    WildBill Veteran
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    While new to CNC I have been building 3D printers (3) and diode laser cutters (2) for more than a year. I had a bunch of 20x20 and 20x40 stock,motors and a CNC shield sitting around soI jumped in and tried to build the simple CNC. The only parts I had to buy was the Z axis. I 3D printed the brackets, motor mounts, ... and the mount for dremel. I can do a fair job with CAD tools but the CNC used a whole different set of CAM tools that I had to learn (and am still learning).


    With the 3D printers and laser's there is not that much weight to carry and at first underestimated how much twist and flex I would get on the X axis. I got to the point where it worked reasonably well. So understanding what I didn't know decided to go with an existing design for the next step. I plan to cut wood and plastic and if everything goes well with try aluminum. The C-Beam design looked well thought out so that's why I went with it.
     
    #8 WildBill, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  9. Andrew Gould

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    Wow thanks guys, so much info. I feel totally swamped.

    Where should I start? I live in South Africa, so I won't be able to buy any parts off this store. Luckily where I live there are great engineering and tech stores, so getting hold of most parts shouldn't be impossible.
     
  10. Saint Billy

    Saint Billy Journeyman
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    Just a few months ago I was in the same boat as you, still am at times, but whatever project build you decide to start with you are not alone. You are ony just a post away from getting help on here, the assistance you get on this forum is priceless and has bailed me out many a time when I was ready to give up. My only regret is not asking for help sooner.
     
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