Need Help! Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?


View Poll Results: CNC Router Plan Choice for New Build

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  • Joe's Evolution 1.0 or 2.0

    0 0%
  • Kronos KRMx02

    0 0%
  • Gatton

    0 0%
  • BuildYourOwnCNC

    1 25.00%
  • CNCRouterParts

    2 50.00%
  • Other

    1 25.00%
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Thread: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

  1. #1
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    Default Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    I would like any help possible in trying to decide between the different CNC Plans out there. I have a small cabinet shop and want to build a smaller maybe 4 x 4 or 4 x 8 CNC to do panel cutting and maybe some sign cutting for my shop. I have already purchased both the Joe's Evolution 1.0 or even 2.0 and Kronos KRMx02 plans and like both of them - they both have pluses and minuses. But can't decide. Can anyone maybe give me their thoughts on these two or even others. I know there are a bunch out there like the ones built out of MDF - I think Gatton or BuildYourOwnCNC and I looked at the CNCRouterParts ones and they are a little higher price wise for me at this point. It looks like Joe's or Kronos can maybe be built in the 5 - 6k range give or take some, the other out of MDF maybe cheaper and the CNCRouterParts ones are a lot more - probably over 10k. Any help would be great - thanks. Even a comparison if anyone has one or a place to look.

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  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    Forget the Gatton and BuildyourCNC.

    The CNC RouterParts machine costs more, but will only take a fraction of the time to put together, and includes phone support.
    If you have a lot of time, build a Joes or Kronos.
    If you want to make money, get a CNC Router Parts machine.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    Thank you. And if I'm not correct I think both the Joe's and Kronos machines use mostly CNCRouterParts components, but maybe the main structure is pieced together to save a few dollars - currently my budget is only about 5k and I'd really like to get a 4 x 8ft machine, but I think that will only get me a 4 x 4ft or 5 x 5ft machine, which would work, but for me I have more time than money and since this is just a "hope it works" idea for a very limited part time business I really need to watch the budget. I've spoken with the guys and CNCRouterParts and they are great, I wish I could afford a full machine from them, but just can't right now so I need to figure out how to save a few dollars by doing some of the work myself. I just need to figure out what machine might be a better choice for long term. But thank you for the input.



  4. #4
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    The latest version of the "Joes" does use the CNCRP rack and pinion drives.

    Where you can save a lot of money, is to build the "structure" or frame yourself, as well as all of the electronics.

    CNCRP rack and pinion drives.
    Linear rails from Automation Overstock. A set of 200 profile rails for a 4x8 machine would be about $1200
    You can do your own electronics for between $600-$1000. There are a lot of options, so price can vary a lot.

    You can get a 2.2Kw Chinese spindle and VFD for about $300

    So yes, if you can build the frame cheaply, you can definitely build a 4x8 machine for $5000. But you may spend hundreds of hours designing and building.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    Looking at the Joe's EVO it's hard to see where the huge saving are over a cncrouterparts machine. If the saving is in sourcing the big pieces locally that should also be possible with cncrouterparts components ? Is it a case of Individual parts having a high premium over the kits ? The cncrouterparts website provides a high level of detail on their products, even some dxf files, that's unusual and admirable.
    Well it's your money, I'm sure you've been doing some number crunching.

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


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    Default Re: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    The old adage of "get what you pay for" is always true. If this is a "hope it works" idea that's a fair amount of money to throw at it in the event it does not do what you want. If you have not used CNC before, it's a real eye-opener when it does do what you want and even more so when you discover it can do a lot more than you realise let alone imagine. The latter part is to note because often it can become a case of a smaller machine can't cut bigger parts (easily) or needs full sheet material pre-processed and hind-sight always has 20-20 vision :-)

    If you build one and decide it is not for you consider what you'll do with it, if you want to sell it to recover costs, better is better :-)

    Good luck and keep us posted because it's interesting to hear others stories and adventures.



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    Default Re: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by SailRat View Post
    Thank you. And if I'm not correct I think both the Joe's and Kronos machines use mostly CNCRouterParts components,
    You should be asking the people responsible for those designs where they get their parts. They may buy them or have them made to spec.
    but maybe the main structure is pieced together to save a few dollars - currently my budget is only about 5k and I'd really like to get a 4 x 8ft machine,
    The more you DIY the more you get for your money. Let’s face it these companies are offering a service that youend up paying for. It cost money to cut, drill and tap all of those parts. That gets passed onto you. The various kits can be a good deal for someone without a shop but honestly an investment in tools isn’t bad either.
    but I think that will only get me a 4 x 4ft or 5 x 5ft machine, which would work, but for me I have more time than money
    If this is the case then kit really isn’t the answer in my opinion. You will piss away a lot of money that can be covered by effort extended in your free time.
    and since this is just a "hope it works" idea for a very limited part time business I really need to watch the budget.
    I’ve seen a lot of businesses fail over the years due to the mismanagement of funds. On the flip side buying or building the writing my machine can be a killer. Sometimes it makes sense to contract the work out so don’t dismiss that as a possibility.
    I've spoken with the guys and CNCRouterParts and they are great, I wish I could afford a full machine from them, but just can't right now so I need to figure out how to save a few dollars by doing some of the work myself. I just need to figure out what machine might be a better choice for long term. But thank you for the input.
    Selecting the proper machine is always a challenge! Sometimes no machine at all makes sense. If your idea involves processing sheet goods a job shop might help get you started. If not that a handheld router and a few templates might do the trick.

    In any event a CNC router is so versatile it can be put to work making money in many ways. The justification doesn’t need to be based on one project.



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    Default Re: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    I appreciate all the input so far. I also understand that the DIY method might not be as quick and/or as easy as just purchasing one from CNCRouterParts or a commercial CNC machine for that matter but I'm really hoping to keep the price down. And after pricing there really is a substantial price difference (based on the Kronos builds maybe half the cost) - I'm sure it's for the whole plug-n-play ability, support and probably all the 8020 aluminum. The thing with this is that I already have a full time job that pays my bills and what I have planned with this is really to see if I can start making a couple items a little easier, quicker and cleaner than doing it manually all by myself. I already have a new 1000x1000 X-Carve with a few upgrades installed on it and I've used it to try a few things I hope to do on a much larger scale, and to see if a CNC would do what I need it to do. This isn't a case where I shouldn't take money from an already running business and if it doesn't work I'm out the funds and capital which could hurt that business - it's money that was set aside from the sale of something not being used that I hoped would allow me to build a larger CNC to start doing this. I really do understand that it would be easier to just purchase one and start using it - if that was the case I would just order a ShopBot or something similar. This is for a part-time hobby business and in no way really ads to my pay - I hope at some point it might after I work out a few bugs in my design, but this is the start of that. I also have looked into having someone else do all the CNC work and that is not the direction I want to go with this - really most of it is for prototyping a few ideas and maybe eventually manufacturing and marketing them.

    My main use is for cutting baltic birch ply for a few cabinet/project designs I do - that's the main reason for the 5 x 5 machine. If it was 4 x 8 it would work for longer things which would be great, but 5 x 5 are the full sheets I usually purchase. The actual panels I cut are less than 36" in any dimension so a 4 x 4 would also work.

    I really started this post to get a few opinions mainly on the Joe's or Kronos designs - both designs use a lot of parts directly purchased from CNCRouterParts - they even have the links on their websites and the CNCRouterParts site to purchase them, so I'm sure it would be a little of the best of both worlds in my opinion. I'm just trying to decide between the designs - or if there is a better one out there I'm open to that too. But after pricing things out it still saves at least 3-5k to build one from plans. Not sure about the Gatton or BuildYourOwnCNC but I think the BuildYourOwn is mainly selling the whole machines already cut up and ready to be assembled and are a little on the pricey side if I remember. If someone can comment on any of the plan builds out there that would be great, especially if it's under 5k.

    I'm not trying to write off the thoughts of the comments about the CNCRouterParts builds because I know they have a nice unit. But I've talked to them on the phone and it still comes out to over 10k for a 4 x 8 machine, and the Kronos is under 6k - under 5k for a 4 x 4 unit.



  9. #9
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    BuildYourOwnCNC is probably the worst, by far. No rigidity, no speed, chain drive which gives poor motion. Lots of things wrong with it, and it very expensive for what it is. The Gatton is similar, but on a smaller scale. These are machines to get you into CNC as cheaply as possible, and would not be much better than an X Carve.

    It looks like the Kronos still uses the old style CNCRP skate bearing carriages. Older Joes machines use V rollers on angle iron, but many have upgraded to full linear rails. That's the route I'd go, as I mentioned in my previous post.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Design Plan Choices for a New CNC Build?

    I can understand a tight budget but even a DIY project can be expensive buying new parts from industrial suppliers. The two ways that you can control costs is to DIY as much of the labor as possible and to find as many materials as possible in a non prime state. Actually there is a third way which is to find a good deal on a used machine, which with the right deal can usually beat almost any other approach to getting a machine.

    So if cost is an overriding concern you need to be come adept at scavenging. That means E-Bay (often rip off pricing there), auctions. Craig's list and private sales. Frankly it can take a lot of time just to score a good deal. In other words going cheap puts you into an indeterminate time frame. However there have been several examples of guys making good scores for Aluminum extrusions and other materials for a build.

    Another issue is the reality that you 5 foot span, which is probably closer to 6 feet between supports (depends upon design specifics), demands a serious gantry beam. Things like this can make it much harder to source parts cheap. However the gantry beam is a very important element of a machine build so you need to make sound engineering decisions here.

    A little edit here; sometimes you need to keep an eye out for machines that might not actually on the surface have anything to do with a CNC router. For example extractors used on injection mold machines, die cast machine and the like often have ready made gantry beams. If you can pick up a crapped out one for a few hundred dollars, simply for the raw gantry beam, it would be well worth the money, even if you throw out most of the rest of the machine.



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