View Full Version : Just bought Spectralight, CNC N00b- advice?

06-06-2005, 01:21 PM
Hello all,

After working on some parts using eMachineShop for automotive projects I'm working on, I decided it would just be better for me to buy my own CNC! My experience with CNC mills is limited to what I did in school long ago, on a much larger retrofitted mill.

Any advice on the SpectraLight? I realize that this mill is not exactly a powerhaus, but should I have any trouble milling aluminum parts, as this is mostly what I want to do with it... Milling the occasional steel bracket would be nice, but are spectralight's steppers up to the job?

Also, I'm pretty familiar with working in AutoCAD and Catia- what's a good conversion program for cheap that will convert code to something I can use with the Spectralight software?

Thanks all, there's some great info in this forum!

06-06-2005, 02:18 PM
They look nice but for that price you can get a full sized CNC mill on the used market that would be many times more capable.

06-06-2005, 02:24 PM
I only paid <$700 shipped for it... Seemed like the price was right to me.

See listing (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7520171340&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT)

06-06-2005, 03:24 PM
Must have missed that one. The one I saw on their site there was 21k. The "benchman".

06-06-2005, 03:40 PM
Sorry- it's a Spectralight 0200 - the cheapie model. I realize it's just a toy relative to a big legit industrial machine, but I'm hopinh it will make the few little brackets and housings I want to make for my custom car hobby. Mostly machining aluminum... but perhaps plastic as well.

I'm thinking it'll be cool for making wood cuttings too.

06-06-2005, 05:19 PM
That is a nice price.

the highschool I went to had one of those and I did a little milling on it. There isnt much to the machine but it can do some aluminum and not much else(could do brass too). I used 4fl carbides when I was machining with it and those cut decently in aluminum running small passes at semi slow feeds, I dont remember exactly. The machine does work good for wood, and probably plastics.


04-07-2006, 03:48 PM
I have the same mill and can make all sorts o RC parts with it as well as engravings and 3d pictures

04-18-2006, 05:26 PM
I have a Spectralight mill as well.. Got it off Ebay for $286.00 got some newer stepper motors for it and added a xylotex board and power supply to update things a bit and all total I spent <$600. Runs great for me, can cut aluminum no problem and steel even stainless if you have the right tooling and use good judgement in feeds and speeds, depth of cut etc. It may take more passes but i am constantly amazed by what I see done with them.

Now I just want to seal the enclosure so I can run a flood coolant setup. Also a breakout board would be nice to control the coolant and spindle from within the code.

Just to give you an idea I cut a barbell shaped pocket in a piece of wood with curves and radius cuts in and out of one another. It cut it exactly as I wanted. I then took the same shape and cut a profiled piece allowing just a few thou for slip fit and it fit so well and tight that if i hammered it into the pocket I would need to insert a screw to get it out again. I am going to be experimenting with mine more now, look forward to exchanging thoughts with all you other Spectralight/Sherline users..


08-09-2006, 04:05 PM
Anyone using mach 3 with the spectralight?