Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine


Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

  1. #1
    *Registered User* dominic25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    3
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Lightbulb Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    BobsCNC E4 vs. MillWright Carve King vs. Shapeoko 3 XXL

    I am a neophyte to CNC, but I’d like to produce my own products for my e-commerce store. As far as what kind of products I’d like to produce, I’m not exactly sure. Certainly signage type things like house plagues, address numbers, custom carved floating shelves, etc.

    I’m a graphic designer and internet marketer with over 25 years of experience, so the thing that will make whatever products I end up producing different, are my designs. That said, I am not a woodworker and no have no firsthand experience with CNC. I just feel like once I decide on a machine, and learn it, a whole new world will open up, my creativity will flourish, and new product ideas will be generated. So I want as many options as possible with the CNC machine I ultimately choose.

    I’ve been doing a ton of research, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to the following 3 machines (unless anyone feels compelled to steer me otherwise).
    Here are the considerations:
    BobCNC E4
    MillWright Carve King
    Shapeoko 3 XXL


    The only thing I can’t seem to find is a comparison of the 3 machines—hence this post.

    Thank you in advance for any guidance provided. I really appreciate it, as this is a rather large investment.

    Similar Threads:


  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    32783
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    I just feel like once I decide on a machine, and learn it, a whole new world will open up, my creativity will flourish, and new product ideas will be generated
    And soon after, you'll want a better machine. These are all very lightweight, hobby level machines.
    Of the three, I'd go with the Shapeoko.

    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)


  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3654
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    Personally I wouldn’t consider any of those, especially if the intention is to make money. They are extremely light weight hobby machines and I don’t see them having reasonable performance in substantial wood products. The target market for these machines is people involved in crafts focused on very light materials. From your post it doesn’t sound like this is you!

    The problem you run into with these machines is stiffness of the structure. A stiff structure is critical to getting good finish and reasonable accuracy. To be blunt if you are in business you don’t want to be screwing around nursing a wobbly CNC through a project. It can be frustrating to say the least. The ideal is to have the CNC do the work to the highest quality possible reducing secondary operations to a minimal.

    Some of the machines you listed are kits, kits can be a positive but you need to be mechanically inclined and in possession of the required tools and equipment to pull of the assembly. Tooling costs can add up if you do not already have some shop equipment. I’m not knocking kits here just trying to point out that people sometimes see a price tag and think that is it expense wise. Frankly there are some good kits out there, often based on extruded Aluminum T-slots.

    To be honest I’m not a big fan of T-Slot construction for a machines major structural parts. However in your case a kit might be the right choice if you are tool poor and want something better than a flimsey machine, a T-slot kit is “easy”. In a nut shellthere is a long slope of increasingly better machines before you get to commercial/industrial class machines. As such I’d inch up the budget a bit. You will really need a couple of grand to get a decent beginners machine.

    In this forum thread we cover DIY machines. That is machines personally built and most often personally designed. It is hard to tell if you are ready for this level of DIY action. When it comes to DIY, building your own router it is still cost effective as one can get good quality at reasonable prices. If you can scrounge well you can end up with significant savings over a purchased machine. In any event I’m not sure you are up to a ground up DIY machine.



  4. #4
    Registered pugsly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    49
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    Of those 3 I would definitely choose the Shapeoko, but as others have said this is not going to be a machine that will grow with you. Either buy one of these now and spend a couple of grand later on another brand, or just buy a better one to begin with. I have a CNCRP machine, which is a kit - for me it was a good middle ground between rolling my own and a turnkey machine. One thing about a kit - they are made to make it pretty easy to add in features / expand as your budgets and needs dictate so it could get you some flexibility / allow you to defer expenses until a later time.



  5. #5
    *Registered User* dominic25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    3
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    Thank you for all of this information. I must say, I was a little bummed to read it, but I appreciate the honesty, and am now rethinking the whole thing.

    Are these machines any better https://www.stepcraft.us/ ?

    What machine would you recommend, with a larger budget?



  6. #6
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    32783
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    Stepcraft is probably similar to the Shapeoko, maybe a little better.
    But still a lightweight hobby machine.

    My recommendation would be a CNC Router Part Pro series machine. These are much heavier duty and will last for years, and they have excellent support.

    You very much get what you pay for with CNC machines, and you don't get a lot for less than $4000.

    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)


  7. #7
    *Registered User* dominic25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    3
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    Could anyone here recommend a specific CNC Router Part Pro series? I'm willing to spend more for the right machine (within reason). Thanks again.



  8. #8
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    571
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    I agree...of the three the Shapeoko 3 is the better choice for a light hobby machine. Plastic V Wheels and compromised rigidity are the issue with machines in this category.

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    And soon after, you'll want a better machine. These are all very lightweight, hobby level machines.
    Of the three, I'd go with the Shapeoko.




  9. #9
    Gold Member Bob La Londe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1854
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    1 What do you plan to do with it?
    2. What do you fantasize about doing with it?

    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com


  10. #10
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    32783
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    Could anyone here recommend a specific CNC Router Part Pro series?
    The only real choice is what size you want.
    PRO CNC Machine Kits | CNCRouterParts

    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)


  11. #11
    Registered pugsly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    49
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by dominic25 View Post
    Could anyone here recommend a specific CNC Router Part Pro series? I'm willing to spend more for the right machine (within reason). Thanks again.
    You need to consider the size of the work area. 2'x2' or 2'x3' is benchtop territory. Once you go to 2'x4' you are in freestanding machine territory. The big difference is that the 2x2 and 2x3 are as big as they are going to get. You can blow a 2x4 machine out to a 4x8 without starting over, because it comes with a 4' gantry.

    One of the advantages to dealing with CNCRP is that they are an actual US based company (headquarters, design, manufacture, service). Call them up and talk with them and see what they suggest. I'm thinking that the CNCRP "standard" series may do all you need.



Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


About CNCzone.com

    We are the largest and most active discussion forum for manufacturing industry. The site is 100% free to join and use, so join today!

Follow us on


Our Brands

Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine

Seeking Advice on Best Budget Friendly CNC Machine