New to CNC

thriller007

Well-Known Member
I want to dabble in the CNC world now. I was thinking of a router or laser or????? Just something small to get me started to learn the basics. what do you recommend? I have looked at amazon but there is so much out there. what do you have experience with? Learning Fusion360 slowly as well.
 

Johnwa

Ultra Member
I’m playing with a generic 3018 router (30cmx18cm work area). It’s ok for wood and engraving soft metals. I have successfully engraved a piece of steel though.
I picked it up on a local buy&sell but there are lots on Amazon of varying quality. Just search 3018.
They are slow but are a good intro to CNC. Some people get in the trap of upgrading them. Don’t do that! If you fix the weakest link you immediately run into the next one.
 

thriller007

Well-Known Member
I’m playing with a generic 3018 router (30cmx18cm work area). It’s ok for wood and engraving soft metals. I have successfully engraved a piece of steel though.
I picked it up on a local buy&sell but there are lots on Amazon of varying quality. Just search 3018.
They are slow but are a good intro to CNC. Some people get in the trap of upgrading them. Don’t do that! If you fix the weakest link you immediately run into the next one.
thanks, I will check that out. Also thanks for the heads up on the upgrading.
 

thriller007

Well-Known Member
I’m playing with a generic 3018 router (30cmx18cm work area). It’s ok for wood and engraving soft metals. I have successfully engraved a piece of steel though.
I picked it up on a local buy&sell but there are lots on Amazon of varying quality. Just search 3018.
They are slow but are a good intro to CNC. Some people get in the trap of upgrading them. Don’t do that! If you fix the weakest link you immediately run into the next one.
well I ordered one last night, let the learning begin. What do you use to control yours? I was thinking of going with a raspberry pi. Don't know much about them but a buddy local to me recommends them and has a couple.
 

thriller007

Well-Known Member
Other than the side shields that looks like mine.
It did come with the offline controller you can control the router, move to and set the home, origin position etc. and to send the contents of the files directly to the router without needing a PC connected to it via a USB cable. don't know if this was a waste but it was only about $10 more. on a side note, Amazon shipping has been very quick. Left Ontario on Sunday and already to Calgary and left the Amazon facility there.
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Premium Member
Could you router letters right through a 3/8 board for a sign? Is it powerful enough for that? With a 3/8 router bit? Perhaps with multiple step downs? Program it with fusion?
 

thriller007

Well-Known Member
Could you router letters right through a 3/8 board for a sign? Is it powerful enough for that? With a 3/8 router bit? Perhaps with multiple step downs? Program it with fusion?
Yes that would be no problem if I used smaller bits. It would have to be a small sign though since the bed is only 30 cm x 18 cm. As they come from the factory it is set up with an er11 collet with 1/8" size. I would need to buy a 1/4 collet to make use of some regular router bits. I know they do bed surfacing with a 1/4" shaft size not sure how much I could push it trying to take much of a cut with a 3/8 bit. Kinda like how you eat an elephant - just one bite at a time! It uses small bits but takes many bites.

You can program with Fusion although I have not gone that route yet. I have just used Easel to program and Candle to send gcode to the router. Interesting thing is I got up early today to design something in fusion today to learn more about that process.
 

Tom O

Ultra Member
I need to pick up one of those bed surfacers for mine that’s been sitting there it needs a spoil board. I’d like to upgrade the boards to a modern programming language like fusion or a centroid the present controls are 1st generation and very basic.
 

thriller007

Well-Known Member
I understand there is always something newer and better and beefier.
and here is the latest in that small size.
 
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