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I am new / Looking for CNC buying advice

2435 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  BalloonEngineer
I am thinking about buying a Chinese cnc router 6040 to try and do wood carvings i would appreciate any input and what software would i have to learn to make it work.
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Welcome to the Forum. Lots of CNC folks with experience dwell here and will surely be along soon.
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Welcome aboard.
I went with a Probotix Asteroid. Even drove to their shop in Ft Walton Beach and picked it up! Made for a nice 1200 mile mini vacation/road trip. I have been happy with it.

I use VCarve Pro from Vectric. Others use Aspire and still others use Fusion360. I tried them all and liked the VCarvePro best for price (about $700). Aspire is great for designing 3D models. I don't think I will ever get to that point. Just too dang old. And I couldn't get the hang of Fusion360, even if it is free to use.

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You might also want to read some posts by Gaffboat (Oliver), who is doing some outstanding work. You can address specific people on the Forum by putting an ampersand (@=at) and then the name, for example @Gaffboat. He's very helpful.
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Welcome to the forum.
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Welcome to the forum. Just a heads up , I haven’t heard one good thing about getting support after you buy a Chinese machine.
I’d stay with American companies such as Probotix , CNCrouterparts , amd Fine Line Automation etc
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Welcome to the forum.
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Hi Fdaen and welcome. I haven't seen anyone recommend Chinese that I can think of and Rick is right about support and parts. If you can't get it working because of software or hardware problems then it's just a big paper weight.
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Welcome to the forum!

I can second what Rick and Chuck and others have said about support on the Chinese machines. No first hand experience but have heard enough to know that if you're a tinkerer and good at electronics and mechanics then you'll probably be ok with one but don't count on getting on the phone with tech support for help.

Last year we built a Fine Line Automation 2x4 machine and it's been great (you can find the build here). And I have heard nothing but good things on the Probotix and CNC Router Parts like Mike and others have in their shops.

If you're wanting to do 3D carvings and a fairly easy to use interface then the Vectric line of products will serve you well. If you are more of a tech nut and get into the CAD world a bit more then Fusion 360 is a good choice, especially since it's free.

David
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Chinese Machines,
Thees CNC units do not have good support and seem to fail often. I have to agree with Cherryville Chuck, there is not much good to be said of the foreign machines.

Look to American Made units.
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I have a Digital Woodcarver, and Burl and Laney are available anytime for support. There is also a user group that has been great for sharing advice and guidance.

Vectric products are easy to learn, but you pay for it. For me, no frustration was worth it.
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While I agree with all the others who offer warnings, you can buy a 6040 machine from a reputable U.S. vendor who will support it

https://www.automationtechnologiesinc.com/Unassigned/cnc-router/3-axis-6040-1-5kw-usb-mach3-mach4-cnc-router-engraverengraving-110/

Not the cheapest of the 6040 type machines, but the available support makes it worth looking at. Note that most of these machines are limited to smaller cutters and low cutting speeds and depths, and a very small 16x24 cutting area.

The machine is only the first step. You will also need to buy a licensed copy of Mach 3 or 4, some design software (some is free), and bits.
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