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View Full Version : Need total kit for under $600



Noc65
09-07-2013, 12:55 PM
For assembly, I only have access to basic hand-tools, nothing powered, even a drill. I am looking to cut thin and light materials for prototyping air vehicles. Cutting very thin aluminium sheet would be the upper end of my anticipated needs. What are your recommendations?

ger21
09-07-2013, 01:03 PM
DO you need electronics as well for $600?
These are the only ones I know of in that price range, and they are very small.
Zen Toolworks (http://zentoolworks.com/index.php?cPath=14&osCsid=j2uc2jjadvod66cjr8qfm4mqs6)

Noc65
09-07-2013, 01:09 PM
DO you need electronics as well for $600?
These are the only ones I know of in that price range, and they are very small.
Zen Toolworks (http://zentoolworks.com/index.php?cPath=14&osCsid=j2uc2jjadvod66cjr8qfm4mqs6)

Yes. It's a machine for prototyping mostly ribs so hopefully it isn't impossible. $600 is the absolute maximum I can afford on the entire project unfortunately. What is the difference between the regular and F8 kits?

wizard
09-07-2013, 11:15 PM
In that price range you best be able to scrounge up lots of stuff. It isn't impossible and it would help if you had a well equipped shop but buying the stuff new isn't going to fly. Speaking of flying what sort of air vehicles do you have in mind?

I ask about the air vehicles because your post is classic in that it follows many others in providing little if any info useful to answer the question you posed. In a nut shell what you propose to do with the machine will dictate its cost. A machine for example that just cuts foam can be far cheaper than one machining glass/carbon reinforced resins.

Your lack of tools is a critical issue here too. DIY isn't feasible if you can't afford the required tools or you don't know how to use them. Beyond that machining is not an activity that can be accomplished without its own set of tools. I'd look for used and see if you can get lucky that way or up your budget. Frankly you will need to budget for shop tools anyways. More importantly if you don't look at tools as investments you will likely do what many do and by cheap disposable crap and then wonder why you are always buying replacement tools. $600 will barely get you started with a set of machinist tools and the other items you will need. I'm assuming here you are starting from ground zero. We are talking here a basic tool box to keep the tools in, a couple of good squares, a straight edge or two, dial indicators, a 6" caliper, suitable wrenches for the machine and the collets it uses and etc. I'm not even including here thinks like a belt sander/grinder or other burr removal tools. In other words I haven't even included the auxiliary power tools you will or may need.

Now don't let this get you down! I've started my tool collection years ago and am just now looking at a home CNC machine. Once I get it putting it to use won't be a problem as I have most of the other tools required. Granted many of those tools where acquired over the years working in the machine tool and automation industries. I guess my point is that you won't get yourself set up for $600 unless you are extremely lucky or can scrounge better than a pack rat.

Noc65
09-08-2013, 01:53 AM
Are the Shapeoko and CNC 3020T possible options?

https://www.inventables.com/technologies/desktop-cnc-mill-kits-shapeoko
New 3020 Desktop Router ENGRAVER Drilling Milling Engraving Machine CNC G | eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-3020-DESKTOP-ROUTER-ENGRAVER-DRILLING-MILLING-ENGRAVING-MACHINE-CNC-g-/180834936046)

I am looking for a CNC to prototype micro-rc planes (less than 2' wingspan). I am going to experiment with foam, plastic, balsa, and possibly aluminium sheet. I have an idea for modular wing that I'd like to explore so tolerances are far greater than what I could do by hand (admittedly I fail at cutting evenly by hand). I don't need any other big shop tools at this time because I'm working with small parts. Construction would be ribs and spar or solid 6" sections that fit together. The only other tools I actually expect to use are sandpaper, glue, soldering iron, and a hair dryer for fitting a film.

Given more specifics, does that help you make a recommendation? I posted in the DIY section because I figured the best I could hope for is a bolt together kit for this budget, which is absolute.

Moodaguda
09-08-2013, 04:58 AM
i am assuming you want to cut quadcopter frames
based on your budget you wont be cutting any soft stuff(Carbon Fiber, G10 sheet)
if you end up cutting aluminum sheets you will have to have a good rigid machine.
this machine cost me about 700$ and i have hand made it first then replicated all the parts trough it
if you are going to make one by your self you will need tools,
a router
Drill press
Electric drill
Circular saw
and some good woodworking skills
i have planned and slowly buying all the parts for this project for a year now.
its a good experience if you build it yourself.
check out my post.
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy_cnc_router_table_machines/186654-ongoing_390x660mm_mdf_computer-numeric-control_router_pics.html
199768
199770

wizard
09-08-2013, 10:40 AM
That is that most lumber yards and home centers will cut sheet stock for you and can do so rather accurately with their panel saws. So if one has a cut list for the major parts you can have them at least sized accurately to finish off at home. Once home a good square and a circular saw can do a passable job of breaking the parts up to final size.

This has several advantages. One MDF is a dusty dirty material to machine, so the more you can do else where the better. Second, maybe most importantly a sheet of MDF is heavy, smaller pieces of MDF are far easier to work with. Lastly as mentioned panel saws will do a fairly good job of keeping the cuts straight.


i am assuming you want to cut quadcopter frames
based on your budget you wont be cutting any soft stuff(Carbon Fiber, G10 sheet)
if you end up cutting aluminum sheets you will have to have a good rigid machine.
this machine cost me about 700$ and i have hand made it first then replicated all the parts trough it
if you are going to make one by your self you will need tools,
a router
Drill press

If one really wants too, you can get buy without a drill press. The problem here is that I would recommend against buying too cheap. The fact of the matter is drill presses are very nice to have but are a significant portion of his budget. A really decent one would in fact blow the budget.


Electric drill

Absolutely. The nice thing here is that corded ones can be picked up used fairly cheaply. I wouldn't bother with used battery powered tools though unless they are recent units using lithium based batteries. One thing he may be able to do is to pull the cost of this out of his budget as it is a common tool and most shops have more than one anyways.


Circular saw

Yes another requirement. Again one has to look out for cheap. In this case I had a bad experience buying cheap. What happened was that the cheap saw I bought had a rivet head sticking out on the side of the foot/ base or whatever you call it. If you tried to guide the saw with a straight edge it would bind right up as the blade was skewed with respect to the straight edge. For building tools like this, where quality of the cuts are important, the saw must be able to follow a straight edge or square. Hard lesson learned here, and frankly one tool I was happy to throw in the trash after purchasing its replacement.

By the way, the goal here would be better machining than standard carpenter work in the field. This means either a bench or table to cut on or a big sheet of foam and some ground work. I guess what I'm saying here is look long and hard at anything advertised as a bargain. You really need to be able to do high quality work with the saw you buy.


and some good woodworking skills

And some wood working tools that you may not have which again takes away from the budget.


i have planned and slowly buying all the parts for this project for a year now.
its a good experience if you build it yourself.
check out my post.

Nice machine you have there!😃😃

You mention using it to build a better machine, do you have a thread on that yet?

As to the poster that started this thread I think the big problem he will have is going DIY with a very limited shop. That will tend to add to the budget which is already thin. Even at ten to twenty bucks a pop tools add up fast, I'm thinking things like squares and the like. Buying decent power tools will be a lot more than $20 a pop new.