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Thread: Need advice for buying new cnc machine

  1. #1

    Default Need advice for buying new cnc machine

    Hi guys,

    First of all I want to thank you for helping me on my first post (Long Beach Tutor wanted)

    I will be going to the Southern California Home Shop Machinists group in Torrance this coming June to meet up with them.

    After further research, I believe the guy who was doing the cuts is actually using a CNC machine. I already own a cheap manual mill and have been continuing trying to learn on it each day,

    I wanted to know if you guys have any suggestions for a cheap cnc machine to learn on. My budget unfortunately is small, under $1000 is all I can handle.

    I have been looking at a CNC 3040 on ebay/amazon cheap chinese ones but there are so many rebrands just checking to see if anyone knows a good one thats reputable.

    The CNC 6040 is way too big as the parts I work on are no bigger than 6-7 inches long ever. The material that I would be cutting into is 6061/7075 99% of the time.

    This is a imgur folder that I made for me to learn and research: https://imgur.com/a/gCGHa

    Big thanks to you guys for the help with the other post. I am looking into classes as well but have to do them at night as I work full time during the day

    EDITED: Adding extra notes

    I am not worried about the computer nor software for the CNC machine, I can take care of that or already have a solution for it. Just worried about the CNC as that is where I lack the most knowledge.
    Last edited by greekguy2099; 05-16-2018 at 04:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    541

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    An Ebay special 3040 does not include a control computer or software. I have one. Not much left of the original machine. I still don't use it often. I would probably use it more if it was the only machine I owned though. X&Y on those machines is adequate for a lot of jobs, but Z is pretty small.


    Not much under $1000 though. A Taig costs more. A Sherline costs more.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  3. #3

    Default

    I have a computer if anything and can get the software required, I use Solidworks and can get Fusion360

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Sunny So Cal
    Posts
    4,124

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    Quote Originally Posted by greekguy2099 View Post
    I I use Solidworks and can get Fusion360
    Huh? If you only afford $1000 for a machine how in the heck do you have solidworks?? JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    541

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    Software to control the machine. Not CAD or CAM. Of course it doesn't come with that either.

    Some come with an Illegal Bootleg Pirate buggy copy of a very old version of Mach 3. Of course you can run it under LinuxCNC, but you do have to figure out how to set it up.


    As to having A computer... You really do nto want to be doing anything else with the computer while tis controlling your machine, and antivirus software tends to may it down and can cause it to cludge out or crash. So. Not a computer you want to use for surfing.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JRouche View Post
    Huh? If you only afford $1000 for a machine how in the heck do you have solidworks?? JR
    My dad gave it to me before he left us, either way I am not worried about getting the software guys, just primarily looking for the CNC machine

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Grand Blanc Michigan
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    4,219

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob La Londe View Post
    ...As to having A computer... You really do nto want to be doing anything else with the computer while tis controlling your machine, and antivirus software tends to may it down and can cause it to cludge out or crash. So. Not a computer you want to use for surfing.
    Yep, a dedicated offline computer running only the cnc control software, and no windows updates allowed. once you have a stable system up and running, don't mess with it. Develop your g-code program elsewhere and load it with a USB drive.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    1,322

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    CamBam on the same computer as Mach3 and nothing else. Have two different machines and I don’t work in CamBam while machining. Sneaker net sucks. Oops need a tweak, close file in Mach 3, switch to CamBam and post changes, back to Mach 3 load and run. About 30 seconds turn around time. This is WHY you want a PC controller with Windows or Linux and not a dedicated CNC controller!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,049

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    A DIY CNC router can be done for under $1000. I did one based on Microcarve's design for about $600. It uses MDF for the frame and unsupported rails. It is rigid enough to machine aluminum. Fusion 360 and LinuxCNC are free.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    citrus heights, ca
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    2,232

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    Quote Originally Posted by greekguy2099 View Post
    Hi guys,
    I am not worried about the computer nor software for the CNC machine, I can take care of that or already have a solution for it. Just worried about the CNC as that is where I lack the most knowledge.
    Check your private messages.

    Steve

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