I'm a complete newbie to CNC machines. I want something to route pcbs and engrave aluminum. I was thinking a Zenbot Mini with a Proxxon IB/E to start out. I'm worried it might not be up to engraving aluminum, but then again, I have handheld engravers (cheap-o $20 ones) that work on the aluminum.
(As a side note I also might want to cut out wood pieces for my daughter's dollhouse stuff).
Your thoughts? I don't want to invest too much just in case I end up with a bunch of unused tools on my bench.
Personally, I wanted a turn-key machine that was 150lbs or under ...and affordable. I ended up with the Zenbot 1216. I've had it for nearly one year and I am still very happy.
The mini should certainly be up to engraving aluminium if you are looking for what you get with a $20 handheld device, and the result will be MUCH better. If you want to do diamond-drag engraving it may be hard on your spindle. Take a look at: Zenbot quick start notes ...for some examples (msg# 12 & 15) of engraving I've done with my Zenbot.