You are losing bed size, speed, some accuracy repeatability, and potentially power based on the size of router or spindle the the machine will accept but on the other hand it would still open up a lot of capability in a smaller form factor.
These type of machines are NOT built for production but for hobby they may be adequate based on expectations.
CAD basics doesn't take a ton of time to pick up but there are a bunch of options out there so it will take different times based on what is picked.
I have limited experience with CAM (I've only played with VCarve a little) so others can talk to the learning curve there.
So if expectations are appropriate on what these machines are capable, I personally, don't see why not.
I had friends that used these types of machines to make and sell custom cutting boards.
Hopefully you guys do get one. They can be a ton of fun and don't think a hobby machine can't do some really cool stuff. Signs, plaques, toys, embellishments, appliques, lithophanes, and of course templates.
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