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View Full Version : CheapCNC Owners - Need more Comments and Pics!



samualt
08-08-2003, 09:04 PM
I'm thinking about getting one of the CheapCNC units. The Mid-range unit ( Item # KIT12-18P-145). It would only be around $1500 US in the end.

I mean, with 145 oz. Stepper Motors, 18" X 12" X 4" work area, and .00025" resolution on all three axis....How could I go wrong?

I'm also thinking about building one from scratch. But I think I would end up spending as much/more OR it wouldn't be as good as the above unit. I also like the idea of being up-and-running in a couple of weeks rather than many months.

So, if you have one of the CheapCNC units please lease us a message and feel free to ramble-on as much as you like! :D

WOODKNACK
08-08-2003, 09:20 PM
I dont have one but have emailed him. He said the top rapid speed is only 9 inches per minute. I have been tracing out pcboards with my Taig cnc mill and It takes awhile even at 30 IPM. One board I am doing is very complex and it take over an hour to do. At 9 ipm It would take quite awhile.

oh course this is just something you should think about.

ullbergm
08-08-2003, 10:37 PM
I thought long and hard about building a cnc (checked prices, sketched plans, etc.) but eventually i decided to go ahead and get a CheapCNC (the plastic 24" x 12" x 6" one, $1748 after shipping and everything. That's not counting the steppers, spindle or controller, i already had those)

The ultimate reason that i decided on buying one was that i dont have any cnc experience and i didnt want to spend a month building something and then not have it work as good as i'd want it to.

I'm hoping that the machine will arrive in a couple of weeks and then i'll post some pictures and stuff.

marvinstov
08-08-2003, 11:24 PM
Hi there,
I have been lurking and learning the past few months. I just ordered a "CS12-24 P (P)" last week. The new plastic one. Can't wait till it gets here. I am also building a machine while waiting on it to arrive. Will finish it tomorrow (been working on it about two weeks after work). I will have about $500.00 in my scratch built machine but I am sure it wont be as accurate as the "Cheap" one. Now I have to learn the rest, software, G-Code, drawing , converting etc. I have been experimenting with a Xylotex board and steppers with TurboCNC software trying to learn something. I really like the Xylotex (Jeff has been a great help) and the TurboCNC software. Easy to set up and use. I haven't cut anything yet, just have them on the kitchen table running them till tonight. Got the Z axis completed and working. Will complete the X and Y axis tomorrow. I am using some high quality drawer slides and a lot of hardware store stuff. Built a 30-12-5 volt power supply/control box (30 volt is completely separate circuitry) and bought a cheap ($15.00) computer on E-Bay to run it with. I have figured out that you can spend as much or as little as you want, depending on the accuracy and repeatability you want. All of it is a lot of fun. Most of the stuff I used to put it together was CAWS and eyeball engineering. I think it is going to work fine for what it is. I have some pictures of the power supply already posted and will post some pics of the machine soon. Thanks to everyone for all your comments and information. This forum is the greatest!
Good luck,
Marv

samualt
08-09-2003, 12:23 AM
ullbergm:
By providing your own motors, controller, and spindle are you thinking it will go faster? That is, more inches per minute?

I'm having a bit of a concern about speed and gantry clearance. I would have already bought one if not for those two things.

The gantry clearance on the Mid-range model is only 2". Even with the top-model it's only 3". That means you can't have parts in it that are very high. I was hoping for at least a 4" clearance. Four inches just sounds better some how. You wouldn't be relegated to just making plaques.

And the Speed of only 9 inches per minute scares me. I was hoping to do some artsy fartsy stuff and that would probably mean complicated designs. Anyone know what would be needed to speed it up? Or, more precisely, what is slowing it down? Would changing out the steppers, controller, or something else make it faster?

Hmm....

ullbergm
08-09-2003, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by samualt
ullbergm:
By providing your own motors, controller, and spindle are you thinking it will go faster? That is, more inches per minute?


That was not the intent, i believe my motors are very similar to the ones cheapcnc supplies, mine are 150 oz and the ones that the kit i got normally comes with 145 oz motors. So i dont think there will be much difference, it was just that i had already purchased some motors and a controller.



I'm having a bit of a concern about speed and gantry clearance. I would have already bought one if not for those two things.

The gantry clearance on the Mid-range model is only 2". Even with the top-model it's only 3". That means you can't have parts in it that are very high. I was hoping for at least a 4" clearance. Four inches just sounds better some how. You wouldn't be relegated to just making plaques.


That was another thing that nearly made me construct my own cnc, but in the end i believe that for what i'll be doing 3" will be sufficient. Whenever i actually build a machine it will have more clearance, but for now i think this will be fine for me.



And the Speed of only 9 inches per minute scares me. I was hoping to do some artsy fartsy stuff and that would probably mean complicated designs. Anyone know what would be needed to speed it up? Or, more precisely, what is slowing it down? Would changing out the steppers, controller, or something else make it faster?


Looks like Paul in this thread -> http://www.cnczone.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=832
Ran it at 12 IPM when he did the crest piece

It probably depends on the materials/depth of cut..
If anyone out there that is currently using a CheapCNC could post the speeds, depth of cut and materials they are currently cutting, it'd apreciate it.

paulried
08-10-2003, 12:37 AM
As most of you know from past threads, I have one and love it. Unfortunately it is currently packed back in it's crate and about to be loaded on a moving van! Look out Toronto, here I come...

I had a few problems with the machine at the beginning which all boiled down to my homebuilt computer's parallel port not generating a consistent signal. As soon as I switched over to my 9year old's laptop (long story on how she got it....) my problems were solved! Support from the company through all of it was great.

Cheers,

ullbergm
08-10-2003, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by paulried
[B]As most of you know from past threads, I have one and love it. Unfortunately it is currently packed back in it's crate and about to be loaded on a moving van! Look out Toronto, here I come...


Paul,
What kind of speeds/depth of cut do you ususally run it at when you are cutting wood?
Ever tried to do any aluminum on it?

Thanks,
Magnus

paulried
08-10-2003, 09:33 PM
Cutting depth has not been a problem. I usually go at 3/16-1/4", but have gone up to 3/8". This was during roughing passes. I do mostly name plates and engraving.

Speed is slow. I would guess at 8-10" per minute. However, the joy of CNC is start it, and walk away. It will be done, when it is done. If you look at a thread of about 2 months ago in this forum, I did a crest that took 4 tool changes and about 18 hrs if I remember correctly. There were pictures in the thread.

paulried
08-10-2003, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by ullbergm
Paul,
What kind of speeds/depth of cut do you ususally run it at when you are cutting wood?
Ever tried to do any aluminum on it?

Thanks,
Magnus

Nope to aluminum cutting, but I am sure it will be no problem. I have seen many routers cut aluminum. The cutter is the key.

ullbergm
08-11-2003, 08:07 AM
Originally posted by paulried
Cutting depth has not been a problem. I usually go at 3/16-1/4", but have gone up to 3/8". This was during roughing passes. I do mostly name plates and engraving.

Speed is slow. I would guess at 8-10" per minute. However, the joy of CNC is start it, and walk away. It will be done, when it is done. If you look at a thread of about 2 months ago in this forum, I did a crest that took 4 tool changes and about 18 hrs if I remember correctly. There were pictures in the thread.

Thanks, now i have some idea of how deep to go for each cut.

keithorr
08-11-2003, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by paulried
Nope to aluminum cutting, but I am sure it will be no problem. I have seen many routers cut aluminum. The cutter is the key.

I've seen some routers cut aluminum poorly. If the machine deflects too much, everything starts vibrating and the machine doesn't cut as much as it chips. A short Z axis will help keep things a little tighter.

WOODKNACK
08-11-2003, 10:28 AM
I learned that lesson on one of my homemade routers. Tried to mill some aluminum and it started to vibrate and before I could shut it down it vibrated really hard and drove the spindle into the aluminum. The machine was just not ridged enough to cut aluminum.

anoel
08-11-2003, 12:27 PM
I'm sorry but for $1500+ I'd be "pissed off" if I only got rapids of 9" per minute. My homeade machine with a homeade controller and 80oz motors will get rapids of over 33" per minute. And I'm not even using real linear bearings, I'd suspect that if I were I'd be able to approach 40". 9" per minute is like watching paint dry, even worse if you've got to make 4 passes, that's so slow for cutting wood with a high speed spindle, It'd be difficult to keep from getting burn marks from the bit in hardwood without slowing the spindle below 10,000 rpm.

WOODKNACK
08-11-2003, 01:01 PM
I agree it is to much money for what it does. When I emailed him about the speed I also asked about what the bearings are. They are only oillite bushing! Geeez you could build the exact same machine for $1500 less the he is selling it for!

I only have $1200 in my mill and have been very happy with the whole thing. Have had no problems and got well over 30 IPM with it!
Check out some of the things I have made with it!

I plan on using the mill to make some of the parts for my next cnc mill project!:D

anoel
08-11-2003, 01:50 PM
geez... yeah I would have expected ball bushings for that price. I see that he does provide them on the $2300 machine. But holy **** that's expensive still.

The $999.00 package is worth about $400-$500 at best and that's being pretty generous considering that the thing has to be assembled. Hell my new mostly aluminum machine with Geckos and servos and real linear bearings is going to only put me at about $1500 total. and I'll be able to get over 100 ipm rapids on it.

I can't believe that people are buying them. It'd be really easy to come up with a similar package and "way" out perform and out price the CheapCNC machine. It's only a matter of time before someone does.

MikeA
08-12-2003, 09:54 AM
Then do it! You will quickly find building and selling a product profitably is not priced solely on the sum of the parts it is made of.

anoel
08-12-2003, 11:12 AM
If I didn't already have a product that I make and sell (and takes up 90% of my free time, which is why I got into the homebrew CNC anyway to try to relieve some of that time. Have'nt done it yet but soon.) I sure would consider it, since the CNC hobby has gotten out of hand for me personally. I enjoy all things mechanical and electronic. and this hobby covers both bases and plenty more.

The whole pricing thing on things like CNC machines when it goes beyond the cost of parts and cost of assembly and packaging. goes into value and return on investment and total cost of ownership.

For $2300 I would consider that to be a bit more than an entry level learning machine. And would consider it to be more of an investment. At 9" per minute it would be very hard to realize a return if one were to try to make and sell a product or service based around that machine. (Yes, I realize that if you are looking to make a product you should be looking a little further up the CNC food chain.) But every body has to start somewhere right.

The reason that high end CAD/CAM software and CNC machines are so expensive is that they are able to produce results with a high degree of accuracy "and at a rate" in which the user can realize a return on investment.

It would not be difficult to make a controller/motor/leadscrew combination that would get that machine running in the 20"- 30" per minute arena at little or no more cost to the CheapCNC guys.

It'd be "a lot" harder to pick on a machine that runs at 30" per minute. But in Cheap CNC's favor, I will say that for an MDF or plastic machine it does look to be stable and about as rigid as it could be, given the material choice. Feedrates need to be up there though.

My first CNC machine that I made only ran at 9-10" per minute. I could not take it, Cutting did not bother me too bad but the jog rates were dreadful. And I bought a commercial Stepper/Controller package ( I won't go into details about that experience ) But I ended up building my own controller and things are mucho better now.

No way do I want to try to flame anyone. but I do know what it takes to make and sell a product and try to remain profitable. (not as a 100% living but it gets closer, one day I do hope to quit my day job.)

I hope this long winded post better describes where I was going with my other posts, It's sometimes difficult to not come off as harsh when you write.

mwalach
03-11-2004, 06:16 PM
I just joined this MB this month. I built a cnc machine for under $300.

marvinstov
03-28-2004, 07:41 PM
Just finished an enclosure for my Cheap CNC 24-12. Really quietens things down. My add some windows on the ends if necessary or some sound deadening material inside. Modified a 24"x48" workbench.

Marv

ljoe1969
06-09-2004, 09:18 AM
MWALACH.

WHERE'S THE FREE STUFF ON YOUR WEBSITE?

ynneb
06-09-2004, 09:33 AM
MWALACH.

WHERE'S THE FREE STUFF ON YOUR WEBSITE?

Maybe he means you can view his advertisment for plans, for free. :)
Why dont you just copy his machine off the picture he posted on his site.

Just right click on the picture and save it to your computer.
I am sure the members in this forum would help you with any questions about building it.

http://members.cox.net/walachcnc/pictures/plastic/1.jpg

gmfoster
06-14-2004, 08:37 PM
So where is the Website. Is that what the edit by balsaman is deletong the website?

ynneb
06-14-2004, 08:51 PM
So where is the Website. Is that what the edit by balsaman is deletong the website?

Yes.

There was a link there and some text advertising that the plans were for free, when in fact they were actually not for free. It was just a cheap advertisment scam in order to get traffic to his site.

If he had been a little more honest about his link, It may not have been altered. Even though advertising in this section of the forum is not really accepted.

I am sure all the members of this forum want to read true posts and not be led up the garden path by scams.

mwalach
01-04-2006, 02:27 PM
I haven't been on here in a while. I did give away free info for a while. I have since built a new machine (the one in the pics) and now sell the plans for them. I will see if I can modify my old post, sorry to mislead anyone. I honestly forgot I had posted this old link.

mwalach
01-04-2006, 02:32 PM
in case anyone is interested in buying plans they cost $30us and are sent via email in the form of a PDF file. I really do feel bad about the old link being left up, it was for an old machine I had build out of MDF, not plastic as the new machine in the plans is made of. If anyone has any questions you can contact me through my site,

www.members.cox.net/walachcnc

FPV_GTp
02-04-2006, 06:17 PM
ok

i know its been ages since anyone was on this thread

but just incase others want the link i found this on cnzone a very nice set of plans

http://cnczone.com/modules.php?name=Downloads&file=viewfile&id=4

cheers