This is my first post here, but I have been lurking on here reading as much as I can for a couple months now.
I need a CNC mill capable of milling aluminum, and with a 12"X movement, 6"Y movement, and 4"Z movement.
I plan on milling parts for my truck and some dirtbike parts.
Are there any off-the-shelf CNC mills for under a 2grand that can accomplish this?
If not, are there any Mills I can convert for the same cost?
Everything I have found on here has been either very small axes (X1, X2, etc), or fullsize machines.
Or am I dreaming...
Last edited by stevet47; 02-17-2009 at 04:00 PM.
Hi Steve. Welcome to the Zone.
CNC ready-to-go for less than $1000. Yes that is a nice dream. Maybe someday though.
The $1700 Taig/Gecko from DG1 is about the most capable low-cost Ready-to-go Cnc Mill. It has a 12" x 5 1/2" by 6 inch envelope. It WILL mill aluminum, just not at warp speed. You will have to add software.
If you want something ready-to-go in the 400 LB X3/X4/KX3 range, the best bang will be the $3600 Novakon NM-135. This is a highly capable mill, but you would have to add software and about $800 worth of electronics. You could convert a manual X3 mill, but that would cost you nearly as much for not nearly so much mill.
Last edited by Crevice Reamer; 02-17-2009 at 03:28 PM.
EDIT: I changed the origonal post to reflect the cost I am really talking about. When I posted it, I was rushed as I only had 3 minutes to do it between classes (I am a shop teacher).
You guys are fast... I was just coming back to change that $1000... with that price I was thinking more of a manual mill... For a CNC I guess $2k is more what I had in mind... or $1k PLUS the cost of the conversion.
Last edited by stevet47; 02-17-2009 at 04:01 PM.
i think now your starting to get in the relm of doable.
Grizzly X3, CNC Fusion Ballscrew kit, 3 500oz-in bipolar steppers, 3 203v Gecko's, Linear power supply from Hubbard CNC, Mach 3, BOBcad Pro Art V22, Rhino.
Are you willing to scrounge and work? I found an Excello 602 with a dead control for $350. There are several makes of older CNC knee mills out there with dead controls for about the same price. You gotta scrounge to find them.
I had the machine making nice parts for less than $1000 in additonal parts. Lots of time though.
What is the intended purpose of this mill? Light hobby use or heavy production?
How much of the conversion work can you do yourself? can you cut and trim the ball screws, machine and fabricate motor mounts, wire up electronics etc?
How reliable and accurate do you want the electronics to be? There are really low cost options, but it's no savings if you have to spend more money to replace them.
I am very mechanically inclined, but do not have many tools for metal working, so any mods I would have to do would mainly have to be limited to electronics.
I would say, I am not willing to experiment and attempt to build something that *should* work, if I am going to convert a standard mill to CNC, I want it to be something that has been done before and proven.
If that isn't possible, I'd rather spend a little more and get something off the shelf.
As for usage.. I would be a hobby machine, not something that will run 8hrs a day.
This is the type of stuff I am looking to make (the aluminum fork brace, and this is even a more complex design than I would cut):
So just the brace? Not the fork? The CNC Taig would be able to cut that brace.
As for the taig, that comes with everything I need to plug it into my computer and run, correct?