Quote Originally Posted by e97 View Post
Reviving this as I'm curious as well about the state of DIY vs BUY in 2018H2.
The volume isnt there to make purchased machines as cheap as DiY machines im my opinion. Consider a drill press of table saw, they are built in volumes that allows them to be sold in local hardware stores pretty cheap. So cheap that it would be hard to make your own of equivalent quality even commercial grade machine sold to industry are hard to compete with.

A router on the other hand is a low volume machine even in industry it isnt often a primary piece of shop hardware.
X6-200LUSB is US$2,199.00 - says .0025 mm/step resolution and 0.05mm position accuracy
Shapeoko 3 ~ US$1200 - doesnt mention resolution or position accuracy
I never heard of the X6 socant say much about it. The Shapeoko's however are not impressive at all. The fact that they can not offer up specs for the machine ought to say something.
is it possible to build a CNC as good as/surpassing X6-200LUSB for ~US$1000?
Id have to say yes but highly qualify that answer. First and foremot the size of the machine is a huge factor. You have to work a lot hardwer to get precision and repeatbility on a big machine. Also machine structure is a big factor, it is far easier in my opinion to get a precise machine in a moving table design. Moving tables though take up a bit more space for a given capacity.

In any event your expectations are also a huge factor in the machines final cost. The higher the quality you expect the more the machine will cost. For many users repeatability is more important than actual precision.

There are many factors that come into play that impact your final costs. For example if you are shop equipment poor you will need to buy kits, hirer fabrication of parts or buy shop tools. The better equiped you are with tools the lower your build costs will be and the greater the potential for high quality results. Note having friends with a wood working or machine shop or a well equiped Makers space can do wonders for your costs.

Your next issue is the cost of your parts and build materials! Paying list price for everything willblow out your costs so being able to find deals is well a big deal. Anytime you can salvage a useful component the lower your costs. Buying used never hurts either. In otherwords there are numerous ways to control your parts and materials costs over buying new.

So yes one can build a $1000 router (CNC). How well it meets your expectations though is an open question. If you want repeatability and precision at a low cost, go small with your build; it is just easier on the budget.

The nice thing about routers is that there are so many designs already out there that it is easy to model your machine on something proven. People have built with wood (even bamboo plywood), steel, T-slotted extrusions, Aluminum castings and more exotic materials. The list goes on but the point is you have all sorts of options when it comes to a build.