# Thinking of getting a CNC, any favorites?

Hi there, I am looking at adding a CNC router table/laser table to my home makerspace and was wondering if anyone had a favorite. I already have a really nice trim router that i would prefer to use with it and the laser functionality can be added/created later… The router i have is the Dewalt 611. I want the ability to cut pieces that are atlas 2’ square or bigger and the ability to cut soft metals would be a big plus!

Just thought this would be a good place to get some input from users of some of these machines.

Regards,

-Joe

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I have a Shopbot PRS Alpha 48x96 with spindle in the high school shop class I teach. 100% awesome! Great tech support. Great Warranty.

http://www.vicious1.com/specifications Awesome machine, insane features/functionality, unbelievable support, great forums, and best of all–that price tag, tho’!!

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If you already have a 3d printer, you may want to look into the MPCNC project on Thingiverse and make your own.

It’s probably the least expensive route to follow if you already have a router you want to use for the tool head and it has a lot of interchangeable toolhead mounts already designed for it.

Here is the main page:

And here is the mount for the router you listed:

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Hi there !

I don’t know your budget but we have a Stepcraft 2 600 by 400mm where you can swap the head from an HP spindle to a laser head or Vinyl cutter etc… Personally, I use it for routing only but I’ve tried few soft metals and it’s was perfect.

Also somebody manage to plug the D611 on : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHhKpJKJMJc

So yes we are really happy with it ! We cut 18mm plywood (1.5mm pass with a 3mm cutter).

The community behind is great as well :).

Hope It helps ! Check our page at http://www.letablilondon.com

Best,

Julien

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Shapeoko 3! I have one, great machine, great company! Check out my channel if you want to see it in action: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1qIml4_nky4rELA_rbljaQ?&ab_channel=NickCharlton

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I personally am not a huge fan of at home CNC machines but I have a friend with a shapeoko 3 fully loaded (small version) and it impresses me and I work on professional machines costing nearly 100k like a Mazak 4 axis machine and a Fanuc CNC lathe. The thing you should know before hand is that these machines cant do much more than engrave and almost always have horrible surface finish when trying to actually mill materials.

Check out the X-Carve from Inventables or the ShapeOko 3 from Carbide 3D. Both machines cost less than $1K, can use the DW611, and are well supported. Both machines use GRBL which is well documented and has code for laser implementation. The Shapeoko 3 is going to be more rigid but isn’t expandable as they don’t sell longer extrusions for it. The X-Carve can be expanded by adding additional lengths of Maker Slide and longer GT2 belts. I personally have a ShapeOko 2 running a DW660 router. Granted, it’s not the most rigid machine but it’s taken everything I’ve thrown at it, from 3/4" Baltic birch, to mild aluminum, to carbon fiber with excellent results. It’s my go-to machine for small jobs (I have 2ft x 3ft machine based on CNC Router Parts products for bigger jobs.) Best of luck - let me know if you have any more specific questions. -Michael 1 Like I bet it is awesome! but man that thing is expensive… This one is on the short list! i have a 1.5KW spindle on my shapeoko 3 and it can handle aluminium just fine (1500mm/min 1mm DOC) which is quite impressive for a small machine and the surface finish is excellent with the right end mill. Obviously not as impressive as the Bridgeport I use at my University lol! 1 Like Bridgeports are beautiful machines but still nothing compared with my mazaks. Built like tanks I have a vqc 15/40 from 1991 that still runs flawlessly and on that machine I have a 20 hp spindle. One more thing for Joe is that you should know how to use CAM software like fusion 360 etc. And if any of you would like to check out some of my work look at the gallery of my website egmmanufacturing.com Cheers, Alexander 1 Like A Bridgeport is over my budget and space allotment. Plus the workshop is in my basement sooooo not sure how I would get the thing down there… i have a bit bit of experience with cam software and fusion 360 but am a novice at best. I am looking to learn do this will help! 1 Like I had not seen this manufacturer before but they look promising. I’m looking in the sub 2k range not Inc. The spindle as I intend to start with my dewalt 611 to start with. 1 Like Is it as accurate as the units built out of the square extruded aluminum? The price is right! Just not sure if I want a product or a project. Haha yeh, our Bridgeport is several hundred thousand dollars! And is enormous! I honestly think a shapeoko 3 is the best bang for your if you just want to machine wood plastics and aluminium. There are other slightly better but more expensive options like the OX. Have a look at the Platform CNC, it’s about 4000$ without a spindle. Very strong machine.

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I was on the brink of ordering a Shapeoko 3 but instead spent a little more money and got the beast X6-2200L from omiocnc (\$2400 plus shipping?). This has better rigidity than the shapeoko as there are ballscrews and linear guide rails instead of belts (shapeoko). comes with mach 3 and USB can drive the machine fine. check it out!

I just donated some money to this guy, really great that someone put this much effort into a open source / hardware project like this. Haven’t built one myself yet, but contemplating it. Just need to calibrate my Vertex K8400 3D printer first. Don’t want to spend 120 hours printing parts to realized they are not fit for purpose…

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Man, you should build it, you won’t regret it. I can personally vouch for the effort he put into this project. He has sacrificed a lot to make this machine happen, and bring affordable CNCing to the masses. I met and talked to him at Maker Faire, and even though his tolerance for drinking is easily eclipsed by that of an 85lb. ballerina, the dude is a bonafide engineer with a passion for creating useful stuff that pushes the whole maker movement forward. As far as I’m concerned, it’s machines such as his that signal the impending demise of one-trick-pony machines like 3D printers. Why buy a 3D printer for more money when you can have a 3D printer, laser cutter, drag knife, plotter, etc… for less than the price of just a 3D printer? Seems like a no-brainer to me…

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When I have calibrated my new Vertex K8400 3D printer, and the new center parts update of the MPCNC is ready then I will start printing the parts I need and other the electronics etc.

Great fun anyhow to have a new project