Router Forums banner

Noobie... with an absolutely entry level CNC unit!!!

1707 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  MEBCWD
G'day team!

So, full confession... I suspect I've bought the wrong machine for the outcomes I'd like to create but I'm determined to learn all the same and see what's possible.

I bought one of these cheap eBay CNC router/engraver units.

Model: CNC3018PRO
Laser Power: 500mw / 2500mw / 5500mw (Optional)
Laser Wavelength: 12V, 405nm (500mw), 450nm (2500mw/5500mw)
Material: Aluminum Alloy + Phenolic Resin
Main Color: Black + Silver
Power Supply: AC 100-240V Output 24V 5.6A
Plug Type: US
Supported OS: Windows XP / Win 7 / Win 8 / Win 10 (32/64)
Supported Formats: jpg / bmp / png
Communication Port: Micro USB
Engraving Area: 300 x 180 x 45mm
Frame Size: 400 x 330 x 240mm(Not include the motor protrusion part)
Table-board Size: 300 x 180mm
Spindle: 775 Spindle Motor 24V: 8000r/min
Spindle Chuck: ER11
Step Motor: Fuselage length 34mm, Current 1.33A, 12v. Torque 0.25N/M
Drill Bits: Tip 0.1mm, 20 degree, diameter 3.175mm (Contains 10 pcs)
Software: GRBL Control
Laser Quick Replace: Support
Engrave Mode: Image Engraving, Text Carving, Scanning Carving, Contour Carving, Pixel Carving
Can Not Carve Objects: All metals, glass, stone, ceramics, jewelry, silver, reflective material, translucent & transparent material.
Can Carve Objects: All wood, bamboo, paper, plastics, leather, rubber, horn, sponge sheet, etc.


It's a 1/8 shank unit so I've already figured out that bits are more limited for routing.

Basically, I'm trying to route out a 70mm x 70mm x 25mm deep pocket in hardwood.

My first attempt was with a 1/8" 4 flute spiral upcut end mill. It works but there is HEAPS of chatter and I'm quite sure it's doing damage to the machine and bit. And that was in pine. I've uploaded a little video:

Next I tried a straight cut bit. It's 6.2mm wide and works a lot better than the spiral bit but is still struggling across the grain and jumping around a little bit. Video:

I've tried to speed up my feed rate but that's just too aggressive. I've tried 2 different motor speeds, 5000 & 10000 but that didn't seem to make a difference.

The concern I have, first and foremost, is that if I'm only routing out 1mm at a go, it's going to take around 7 hours to complete. Something tells me that's gonna be too much for such a hobby unit!

Can anyone provide any insight into how I might tackle this differently.

I'm using Fusion 360 on a Mac and Candle GBRL on a Windows machine.


See less See more
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Welcome to the forum, Jason!

How much flex is in the gantry, can you wiggle the router around? Is everything tightened properly? What if you used a shorter bit, would that help? Are you climb cutting or cutting conventional? I assume the bits are sharp...

A tip on your video, shoot widescreen like our monitors and we'll be able to see more of what you're doing.

  • Like
Reactions: 1
Hello and welcome to the router forum, Jason
Try taking Shallower passes
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Welcome to the forum Jason.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Use a conventional cut, rather than a climb cut. With a climb cut, the bit will grab and pull itself into the wood.

Try looking for single flute tools. A 4 flute 1/8" tool is not the right tool for cutting wood.
  • Like
Reactions: 4
I'm much less experienced than the other responders, but it seems to me that two of the issues that you need to address are: first, trying to cut 25mm deep with a 1/8" bit is going to be a long slow process. That's a long way down for a small bit. Second: using a bit that cuts twice the diameter of the shaft is going to induce vibration unless you cut very, very slowly.

Using either of these bits to do the job you have is going to be very a long process. As others have said, your stepover needs to be very small and your plunge depth need to be, too.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
make sure the wood is well anchored to the table, and cannot move. i would increase spindle speeds and decrease feed rate.

it is often recommended that depth of cut be 1/2 bit diameter...
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Jason Welcome to the Router Forums.

I agree the 4 flute bits are not for cutting wood. I also agree that a conventional cut would be better. A single flute bit will allow you to use higher feed rates and be easier to get the proper feeds and speeds. Just remember this is a small CNC with limited speeds and feeds so you need to stay within those limits, it will only cut as fast as the hardware and software will allow.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.