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thought on buying a cnc machine

thinking about purchasing a cheap cnc. id rather work aluminum than plastic from a 3D printer.
thoughts on this?


whats your definition of cheap?

Under $500.00

Not possible

A good manual wood router is like 200$ you will need at least a few k to get something “decent”


this is the cheapest. and this guy says it aint so bad. for roughing truck and mount parts it might work.
but like i said, i don’t know. i’m asking the experts.

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Something like this is a good start

if you take a cheapo one you will most likely regret it.
I also started out like you, looking at chinese kit routers. After that I looked at better options and almost pulled the trigger on the ooznest. But in the end I spend around 4-5k on converting a manual mill to cnc which was a bit more capable. Anyway dont cheap out because it will cost you more in the end.


MPCNC has been used to cut aluminum and should be under 500 dollars for a reasonable work area. You’re going to be fighting an uphill battle with it and aluminum though (depending on how much Z travel you want).

Thanks. I’d rather not waste money. I was hoping it would at least pay for itself until I could afford 5k on a machine.
I just spent a small fortune getting and making things for vac mold forming. Enclosures have me vexxed.

Also, you should probably head over to /r/hobbycnc (reddit) if you want more advice. There are a few thousand people on this board (esk8news) I’d hazard a guess less than 1% of them have a CNC Router or Experience with CNC Subtractive Manufacturing.


shouldnt need more than 10-12 mm of z . i can take 2mm passes, right?
i’m just having visions of truck mount plates and maybe even a motor mount, but those are everywhere.

oh, i had no idea. this seemed to me like the. “i have every toy in manufacturing” crowd.
i’ll check out that reddit. thanks


I think you are looking at 1500$ for a decent Cbeam kit which is a good machine.


MPCNC: Introduction to The MPCNC - V1 Engineering Documentation

MPCNC Cutting Aluminum: Cutting Aluminum on a Mostly Printed CNC (MPCNC) - YouTube

MPCNC Z-Height for Alu Milling: Suggested Maximum Z height for milling - Advice - V1 Engineering Forum

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With that 140$ machine? I wouldn’t even try 2mm on hardwood.


There are a lot of people and manufacturers here that have several different backgrounds. Im in Cloud Networking but started my “adult-working” life as a CNC Fabricator. Others just dabble and others full-send (@Boardnamics for instance). But if you’re looking for a specific group of people that have several opinions and years of post history to read and review /r/hobbycnc would be an invaluable source of information.

Of course you’ll still get tons of insight from others here, but you’ll do yourself a disservice by only looking here for insights.

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i’ll start saving up.

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right on. i havent been to reddit in a while. everything turned into ARG.s and weird larpers. but i shall endeavor to look beyond my trolling days and seek out the more ernest and maker portion of that sesspool of crazieness.


and im a huge fan of everything boardnamics does. i dream of being on that level.

Read up more on cnc construction, whats important etc, milling makes a lot of vibrations and you need material mass to “soak them up”

Just invest in a sander or a good dremel and keep it simple