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eBay CNC router?

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  • eBay CNC router?

    Anyone ever bought one of the many DIY CNC routers off eBay? Example in the link..

    Wondering what it's capabilities really are.

  • #2
    Before you buy anything 1) Notice the word "Engraver" which is another way of saying "Low power and high speed". 2) Make a list of what kind of things you wish to make with the router. 3) Check on what CAD and CAM software you would need to run it. 4) Depending on what you wish to make it might be important that it is a 3 axis machine not a 2-1/2 axis machine. 5) Where are you going to use it as they make noise and dust/chips.

    If you read the description it alludes to being warehoused in the United States not made in the USA. So any support could be minimal at best.

    Do not forget the rule "You get what you paid for or less".


    • #3
      Originally posted by BobinOK View Post
      Anyone ever bought one of the many DIY CNC routers off eBay? Example in the link..

      Wondering what it's capabilities really are.
      I find this part of that Ebay listing questionable:
      Friendly Reminder: The engraver will come with MACH3 software\uff08Free Version If you followed the intsalation tips offered by us, it works like full version.\uff09
      Intsalation Tips\uff1a
      The software perferm better on the 32bites system computer.
      Please close the firewall and antivirus software on the computer before DOWNLOAD AND install the software.(This is very important)
      Otherwise, the antivirus will regards the cnc software is virus and stop theinstallation.
      PS:Please don't update the software when installed, then it will not need the license Numbers.
      Location: Long Island, N.Y.


      • #4
        I didn't buy that exact one, but I did buy a small 3040 CNC router off of Ebay. It was "ok" when I got it. There are lots of things I would have done better if I had built it myself. Mine came with a rotary handpiece as a spindle and a flex shaft motor to drive it. I quickly replaced that with a wood router. The stepper motors were pretty light and the machine was not perfectly square or very rigid. If you have read many of my posts on-line over the years you may have seen me refer to it as the Chinese "noodle" router. That's a limp noodle. LOL.

        I did use it with the original control system for a while, and it was ok, but not very robust. It did not move at the speeds they advertised very reliably. I upgraded the motors and control and now get a fairly reliable 300IPM rapid and upto 120-150 feed. Acceleration is set at 20iss. When I do torture testing with an indicator it seems to be ok, but it can loose a few steps still over long jobs. This tells me there is still some binding I have not nailed down yet. You will have to lubricate it yourself, and there isn't really any accommodation for that. I just grease lube mine.

        The 4th axis "works" but it is just a low end Chinese 3 jaw on a Chinesium mount. You will want to start with over size stock and machine down to size every time. Preferably all in one set up. Kind of like using a low end Chinesium 3 jaw chuck on a lathe. I have not used my 4th axis in some years.

        I do use the router from time to time for "artistic" wood projects. Things like awards plaques for my fishing club, logo plaques for mine and my friends businesses. I've even used it for a few small quick aluminum milling projects when the other machines I had at the time were tied up, and the exact precision was not all that critical.

        Its really a low end POS, but its a usable low end POS. If you can't afford something better it will let you make some parts and have a little fun, but I would not build a business around it. Not that you couldn't. Just that you would spend a lot of long nights babysitting and recutting to get jobs done and out the door.

        FYI: The Mach 3 is likely an older bootleg version. I think there may be some technicality that makes it not bootleg or ArtSoft would maybe be able to get them removed from Ebay, but mine was old and I learned really quick that ArtSoft would not support it. Fortunately I already had Mach 3 and a license and the old license allowed you to use it on more than one machine if you only used it on one machine at a time. I have several Mach 3 licenses now so it really doesn't matter to me.
        Last edited by Bob La Londe; 11-25-2017, 10:07 AM.
        *** 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.


        • #5
          I purchased one some years ago. You can read about it here:

          In addition:

          I've since made a scratch engraver for it. The faster I tried to go with it, the more it would get lost. Come to find out the stepper settings that came with it were all wrong. Looked up new ones on the web and it's been fine since.

          I've cut some very thin aluminum with it. The other day I grabbed what I thought was .055" aluminum, turned out it was .055" steel. No problems cutting it. I also use it to make circuit boards.
          Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.