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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone!

It seems like most people on these forums have professional CNC machines, but was hoping that there are some with experience or knowledge of 2 hobby CNC kits (cnc4newbies or openbuild) that I'm trying to decide between for my first machine.

I'm recently retired and plan to put more time into woodworking, which I've been doing as a hobby for several decades. I've been looking into getting a CNC setup for a couple of years, and now that I have more time to devote to it I plan to make a purchase very soon. My initial plan for a CNC is for home projects and gifts, initially starting out with some signs, inlays and other similar types of projects. I'll be starting out with wood, but may venture into using other materials, but for the most part I'll be working with wood.

This will start off as a hobby and to gain experience using a CNC, and depending on how that goes, I may start looking to earn some supplemental income as a (very) small business, solely to help fund my woodworking hobby :) If I do end up going that route, then I will likely upgrade to a more serious machine, but for now I'm really just looking for an entry level machine.

Price range has increased a little over time, but I've settled in the $2K (US) range. I'm looking for a packaged kit, as opposed to a DIY setup, and have researched a lot of the entry level and hobby kits and have narrowed it down to the following 2 machines

  • CNC4newbie New-Carve CNC (1000 dimension)
  • Openbuilds Lead CNC 1010 (40"x40")

Does anyone know any significant pros or cons of these two that would help decide which to go with? And are there any major concerns with either of these to be used as a starter hobby machine?

Thanks in advance for any input on this!

-Phil
 

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Welcome to the forum, Phil!

There are many CNC guys here and you'll get some good input, for sure. One thing about the hobby class of machines is that they may do well on wood even if you have to take shallow cuts and slow feed rates, but when you venture out to aluminum, brass, etc. they may not fare so well.

My suggestion is to get the most rigid machine you can for your budget dollars. Does your budget include software or is the $2k for machine and peripherals only?

David
 

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They are both very similar machines. At 1 m length, those extruded beams will flex a fair amount. You will have to use a shallow DOC (around 1.5mm in wood) and moderate feedrates (1000 mm/min range) to get decent cuts. If that's acceptable, then either one is probably OK. I own an extruded aluminum machine from Openbuilds and they are a good organization when it comes to getting you going. If I were in the market for an extruded aluminum machine, I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them.
 

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It seems like most people on these forums have professional CNC machines
But not all. Don't have one, don't plan on getting one. Even the steam powered one.
 

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Keep your eyes open for a used one of better quality. They pop up pretty regularly. That's a tight budget to get even an acceptable machine - plus software.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you David!
I was initially planning for the entire 2K budget to be for the machine, peripherals and software. Depending on how the software is that I get initially, I may choose to spend more on that if needed. And I'm sure there will be additional items that I'll end up needing over time, so I expect some additional outlays of cash.

-Phil

Welcome to the forum, Phil!

There are many CNC guys here and you'll get some good input, for sure. One thing about the hobby class of machines is that they may do well on wood even if you have to take shallow cuts and slow feed rates, but when you venture out to aluminum, brass, etc. they may not fare so well.

My suggestion is to get the most rigid machine you can for your budget dollars. Does your budget include software or is the $2k for machine and peripherals only?

David
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback Phil!

They are both very similar machines. At 1 m length, those extruded beams will flex a fair amount. You will have to use a shallow DOC (around 1.5mm in wood) and moderate feedrates (1000 mm/min range) to get decent cuts. If that's acceptable, then either one is probably OK. I own an extruded aluminum machine from Openbuilds and they are a good organization when it comes to getting you going. If I were in the market for an extruded aluminum machine, I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks John. I did start to wonder about that yesterday, so perhaps I'll start looking around. Other than these forums, do you (or anyone else) have a suggestion on good places to look for used machines?

Keep your eyes open for a used one of better quality. They pop up pretty regularly. That's a tight budget to get even an acceptable machine - plus software.
 

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Try CNCzone.
 

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Try CNCzone. What area are you in?
 

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It seems like most people on these forums have professional CNC machines
Even a $10,000 CNC Router is still basically a "hobby machine". And pretty much anything under $4000 is going to be very lightweight.

Of the two machines you mentioned, the CNC4Newbie definitely has better components. The problem though, as that as you increase the size, the rigidity decreases rapidly. So at this size, the components used don't really matter all that much, because the entire frame will be flexing. Anything over 18"x18" in this price class is going to be pretty flimsy

What it really comes down to with these machines, is what your expectations are. Pretty much any machine can do the same quality of work. If you're serious about using a CNC router, you'll likely outgrow this machine quickly. For some, it may be all they ever need.
 

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philv7,
My first machine was a C N C built here in the States by a company "Next ave Automation". Check them out on the web. The support is great and they have a good product. They make several different models to choose from. I believe the software still comes with their machines. They start out about $2000 I think now. Remember, once you get the machine you will have bits to contend with and a router to add to the machine. All of these are accessories to your new machine.
There are many more qualified people here than me, but this is what worked for me to start with. I do not mean to contradict any of the previous comments or any that may come after mine.

Good Luck,
Tagwatts1
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the info Frank. I'll take a look at the company to see what they have to offer.

-Phil

philv7,
My first machine was a C N C built here in the States by a company "Next ave Automation". Check them out on the web. The support is great and they have a good product. They make several different models to choose from. I believe the software still comes with their machines. They start out about $2000 I think now. Remember, once you get the machine you will have bits to contend with and a router to add to the machine. All of these are accessories to your new machine.
There are many more qualified people here than me, but this is what worked for me to start with. I do not mean to contradict any of the previous comments or any that may come after mine.

Good Luck,
Tagwatts1
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the additional input Gerry. Of course, now I'm starting to think about how I can increase my budget to get my second machine first :smile:
Lots more thinking to do now.

-Phil


Even a $10,000 CNC Router is still basically a "hobby machine". And pretty much anything under $4000 is going to be very lightweight.

Of the two machines you mentioned, the CNC4Newbie definitely has better components. The problem though, as that as you increase the size, the rigidity decreases rapidly. So at this size, the components used don't really matter all that much, because the entire frame will be flexing. Anything over 18"x18" in this price class is going to be pretty flimsy

What it really comes down to with these machines, is what your expectations are. Pretty much any machine can do the same quality of work. If you're serious about using a CNC router, you'll likely outgrow this machine quickly. For some, it may be all they ever need.
 

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Check out the new Iconic series from Axiom. The 2 x 2 is $4k but comes with 15mm linear rails, Spindle, and 16mm ball screws. Very good machine for the money, and then I suggest VCarve Desktop to start with as Vectric is a great company that has plenty of training videos and projects to help you get started with a cost of $350 and an upgrade path to their higher end software when you're ready. Does wood, aluminum, brass, and copper. Consister buying your second machine first.
 

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All I can say is:
I bought my turnkey CNC6040 router in 2013 from CNC-Carving, now called OMIOCNC dot com.
I have had ZERO problems with it.

Check out their site for the X8-2200L USB. About $2700
or the X8M. $1999.

UPDATE: due to the corona virus problem, they are currently not shipping anything.

FYI:
I use ACAD LITE, VCARVE DESKTOP 10, and MAC-3 on an old XP computer.
Of course XP is obsolete but it still work great
 

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All I can say is:
I bought my turnkey CNC6040 router in 2013 from CNC-Carving, now called OMIOCNC dot com.
I have had ZERO problems with it.

Check out their site for the X8-2200L USB. About $2700
or the X8M. $1999.

UPDATE: due to the corona virus problem, they are currently not shipping anything.

FYI:
I use ACAD LITE, VCARVE DESKTOP 10, and MAC-3 on an old XP computer.
Of course XP is obsolete but it still work great
Head on over to the introduction area and tell us a little about yourself - first name, location, etc.

David
 
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