What is your budget?
I am looking to either buildor buy a CNC router capable of cutting thin carbon fiber and delrin. Who makes a kit to assemble. Also, what are the tolerances of these machines? I am going to use it to cut shock towers and other carbon fiber pieces. Any info would be appreciated!
What is your budget?
I wish it wouldn't crash.
Not real sure about that. But I would like a machine with pretty good accuracy +-.005. But relatively inexpensive.
I too am looking into doing a CNC for wood routing. 3 ft deep with open sides for long wood. I would be very appreciative if anyone can give me a good estimate on the technical level needed to do this and a fairly close cost estimate. Being new to this is really a drag when you know little to nothing about what's involved. Thanks
JGro, JoeCNC, and many other designs can fit this bill. Basic motors, power supply, and drive electronics will run you into $300-$500 range depending on scrounging skills and what you have on hand. You can spend a lot more on this stuff but you don't have to and it is the easiest part of the system to upgrade later.
So, figure you are building up from a floor of $500.
Now you need some raw material- a sheet of MDF, etc. You can easily drop $100 here. There is a lot of random hardware in these things, so figure in $50-$100 for nuts and bolts, less if you have a lot in your shop to pick from. Stick to designs with gas pipe, skate bearings, and no specialty parts or off-the-shelf assemblies, unless you work somewhere you can get this stuff as surplus for short money.
Your router will cost at least $100 new, bringing us to ~800.
From here, it's really up to you. You can build a number of different designs for this sort of price point if you keep it simple. Threaded rod makes a perfectly decent machine for many uses and is so cheap it's almost silly to not start out with it. Acme rod and nice screws can add $100. Don't bother with anything more than that.
If you don't mind roll-your-own software and have a box you can dedicate, EMC is perfectly good and very free. If you keep it simple, Mach will run 1000 lines of G-code in demo mode for as long as you want, or $160 as soon as you realize how little 1000 lines can be. From there the sky is the limit on software.
I would say $500 is the budgetary floor if you are a real cheap SOB. Bear in mind that you will probably build the second machine a lot cheaper because you'll learn a lot of the tricks of the trade, where to shop, not overbuy, etc. If you can afford $1000, try to get it done for $500, and if you end up at $550, then go out and buy bigger motors, ball screws, or whatever.