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Those cheap 3018 CNC routers

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  • Those cheap 3018 CNC routers

    Took my first cuts. Very impressive for the 180$ I spent. X was within .003 and Y within .0015. It seems the Y linear rods are the weakest link. Already dreaming about doing a linear rail conversion. The CNC controller is a Grbl unit, Fusion360 has a post processor for it. Pretty cool.

    If you wanted to learn CNC along with Fusion360 CAM, hard to beat for 200$


    Attached Files
    Last edited by RB211; 09-03-2020, 09:09 PM.

  • #2
    Your .003 on the X axis might be as much due to the nature of wood rather than a shortcoming of the little router. Try the same cut with the wood oriented differently to see if the results are the same before you sink more money into it.

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    • #3
      0.003" is 0.076 mm. Even the cheap motor shaft play will be greater than this.
      Helder Ferreira
      Setubal, Portugal

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Noitoen View Post
        0.003" is 0.076 mm. Even the cheap motor shaft play will be greater than this.
        The ER collet is a shrink fit to the motor shaft, no discernible play.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RMinMN View Post
          Your .003 on the X axis might be as much due to the nature of wood rather than a shortcoming of the little router. Try the same cut with the wood oriented differently to see if the results are the same before you sink more money into it.
          Too easy to flex the head, the two linear ways bow easily. I made a video showing chatter with cuts a little too aggressive. People do mods by installing a 3rd rail behind.

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          • #6
            Thanks for posting this, very interesting. This seems to be the smallest of the off the shelf CNC's, and it's so easy to get into the "I just need one size bigger / more powerful / more this or that" spiral. Great that you went for the bottom of the range. I'm sure the web must be full of suggestions to fix whatever shortcomings you find - a hobby in itself.

            Would you think this could be used for milling the copper on PCB's?

            Ian
            All of the gear, no idea...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ian B View Post
              Thanks for posting this, very interesting. This seems to be the smallest of the off the shelf CNC's, and it's so easy to get into the "I just need one size bigger / more powerful / more this or that" spiral. Great that you went for the bottom of the range. I'm sure the web must be full of suggestions to fix whatever shortcomings you find - a hobby in itself.

              Would you think this could be used for milling the copper on PCB's?

              Ian
              Yes, plenty of people doing this on youtube. People even use a routine to auto level the pcb using Z probing. There's inputs in the controller for that. Just hook up leads to the cutter and pcb.

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              • #8
                Very cool. I thought about picking one of those up for carving out balsa/cedar crank bait bodies. It would probably work perfect for that.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
                  Very cool. I thought about picking one of those up for carving out balsa/cedar crank bait bodies. It would probably work perfect for that.
                  With the appropriate expectations, yes. I'd cut each half separately and glue them together. The Y needs stiffening to really speed up the cut times.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RB211 View Post

                    With the appropriate expectations, yes. I'd cut each half separately and glue them together. The Y needs stiffening to really speed up the cut times.
                    I wouldn't have too high expectations, but having machines to the donkey work is the beauty of CNC . It frees up your hands to do other things.

                    Checking the price of these things up here, they're around $280-$350. Just a bit more than I'd feel like throwing at it, knowing full well I'd probably not be happy and completely remake a bunch of stuff on it. I'm Probably better off just buying the board, spindle, steppers and screws, and some linear rails and doing a clean slate frame design. Maybe a winter project.

                    First three pics didn't load for me, but what kind of feedrate and cutter were you using?

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                    • #11
                      I needed to take samples every hour for several days at jobsites. Bought 4 axis CNC 300x200mm and used the 4th axis to run a peristaltic pump. Didn’t use Mach3 because I wanted it to run standalone in sewer plants for months. Used a $200 chinese controller. Worked really well still in use.

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                      • #12
                        Oops! Pictures.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post
                          Oops! Pictures.
                          That's pretty damn cool!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post

                            I wouldn't have too high expectations, but having machines to the donkey work is the beauty of CNC . It frees up your hands to do other things.

                            Checking the price of these things up here, they're around $280-$350. Just a bit more than I'd feel like throwing at it, knowing full well I'd probably not be happy and completely remake a bunch of stuff on it. I'm Probably better off just buying the board, spindle, steppers and screws, and some linear rails and doing a clean slate frame design. Maybe a winter project.

                            First three pics didn't load for me, but what kind of feedrate and cutter were you using?
                            I said Y needed stiffening, I really meant X. So today in Solidworks I designed a new X using OpenBuild components. My 400 watt spindle motor is not capable of driving my mill reliably so it's going on the 3018
                            Click image for larger version  Name:	FB_IMG_1599259445805.jpg Views:	0 Size:	70.7 KB ID:	1897102

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                            • #15
                              will it engrave 7075T6?

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