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What materials can a cheap CNC router machine?

2696 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Stokestack
I've been 3D printing for a long time, but always wanted to machine materials like wood and metal too. So because my budget isn't huge, I searched for an affordable desktop CNC machine and came across the sainsmart 3018 prover. There's also a cheaper version, but I'm not that convinced with the acrylic frame. It's obvious, that milling steel is not realistic with such a machine. Wood certainly is, but what about normal Aluminum blocks, or thin sheet metal, like messing, steel or chrome plated metal? You can also buy a Laser but I guess that's more for engraving not cutting metal? I'd also consider upgrading the milling motor to a dremel for higher rpm and maby installing a spray cooling system.

Sainsmart 3018 prover: SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router 3018-PROVer Kit

Option 2 (less likely to buy): Genmitsu PROVerXL 4030 CNC Router with Carveco Maker Subscription
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I'm not sure what other machines are available to you in Switzerland but these CNC machines are rather small and will also be slow and somewhat underpowered, especially for cutting any metals. I put these in the toy category, and usually are more trouble than they are worth but might be fun to play with. Most people find them to be very frustrating because of their small size limits and underpowered drives and spindles.

I would recommend considering a larger CNC more in the hobby class that would have the power you want to do a few small projects in aluminum and should have no problems cutting wood items. These would still be a little slow but be heavier and tighter.
Welcome to the forum.
Since it sounds like you have a 3-D printer, you could give this guy's project a try. I'm skeptical that it has the rigidity to machine aluminum, but I'd say the stakes are pretty low considering the investment.
Couldn’t you 3D print a cnc router ?
Couldn’t you 3D print a cnc router ?
That's basically what the guy did in the project I linked to. He strengthened the assembly by using threaded brass inserts in the plastic blocks.
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