Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling


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  • Stepcraft

    0 0%
  • V1 Engineering Mostly Printed

    0 0%
  • Shapeoko

    1 20.00%
  • CNC Step High-Z

    0 0%
  • MillRight CNC

    0 0%
  • CNC Router Parts

    4 80.00%
  • Bobs CNC

    0 0%
  • MySweety

    0 0%
  • Creation Station CNC

    0 0%
  • Next Wave Automation Piranah/Shark

    0 0%
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Thread: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

  1. #1
    Member eddiegnz1's Avatar
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    Default Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    Of these ten (10) brands (not specific model numbers), which brand is most likely to be the sturdiest for milling aluminum plates when using a 2horse power spindle (NOT routers).

    a) Stepcraft

    b) V1 Engineering Mostly Printed

    c) Shapeoko

    d) CNC Step High-Z

    e) MillRight CNC

    f) CNC Router Parts

    g) Bobs CNC

    h) MySweety

    i) Creation Station CNC

    j) Next Wave Automation Piranah/Shark



  2. #2
    Member eddiegnz1's Avatar
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    Default

    We all know that none of these are the sturdiest above all (due to those that are in the $50,000 plus range... but in the price range of the above ten, which might be the sturdiest?



  3. #3
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    CNC Router Parts PRO series by a mile. None of the rest are even close.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
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    Mach3 2010 Screenset
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    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


  4. #4
    Member peteeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    Hi Eddie -Your asking a question that only you can answer. The machines in the list are not comparable. All of them were not designed to cut aluminium. Most of them can to some degree with care, a couple will be fine but I expect they are out of your budget. But only you know what you actually want to do and what you actually need. So the easiest thing is to ask the manufacturer will the machine do this? Will it do it day in day out for 5 years? etc etc and then you can form an opinion yourself. Spindles are not the right tool for cutting aluminium as a general comment they are too fast. Again they can but its a poor compromise. Sounds like your better off buying a small hobby grade mill $1000 or less and CNC retrofitting it. Peter



  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    CNC Router Parts PRO series by a mile. None of the rest are even close.
    Indeed. I would have said xzero cause of course, ive used it for aluminium. Since those are for right now unobtanium, the cncrouterparts would be the one on that list that would do the best job - its constructed in a broadly similar way to the xzero - sturdy. it does however use rack and pinion, which is not ideal for aluminium.

    for good aluminium machining you need linear bearings and ball screws with no play. "flex" is less important (unless the machine is made of gummi worms).

    going by brand name seems.. odd though. cncrouterparts also makes machined very much NOT suited for aluminium, and of course the pro is not in the same price range as most of the machines on that list.

    and as pointed out above, you dont list any actual mills. is that because you need big travel for sheet stock? if you make smaller things, even the crappiest iron frame mill with a cnc conversion will be better than ever single machine on that list for milling metal.

    wotzBotz


  6. #6
    Member Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    I do have a customer that cuts exclusively aluminum on his router, and I have to say it does an adequate job. It's a 5x10 MultiCam, weighs over 5000 lbs with a 7.5HP spindle, he normally runs it at 12,000 RPM with heavy mist coolant.

    Having said that, lightweight home shop type routers are just not built sturdy enough for a steady diet of aluminum. When metal cutting, mass is your friend. If I needed a machine that would handle cut areas larger than my mill will handle, I would be looking for a used fixed gantry machine like an old Thermwood or other machine of that class. I scrapped one about a year ago (and kinda wish I hadn't), would have made you a heck of a deal on that one.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    I do have a customer that cuts exclusively aluminum on his router, and I have to say it does an adequate job. It's a 5x10 MultiCam, weighs over 5000 lbs with a 7.5HP spindle, he normally runs it at 12,000 RPM with heavy mist coolant.

    Having said that, lightweight home shop type routers are just not built sturdy enough for a steady diet of aluminum. When metal cutting, mass is your friend. If I needed a machine that would handle cut areas larger than my mill will handle, I would be looking for a used fixed gantry machine like an old Thermwood or other machine of that class. I scrapped one about a year ago (and kinda wish I hadn't), would have made you a heck of a deal on that one.
    do you get a free 1000sqft garage and 3 phase hookup with that thermwood?

    wotzBotz


  8. #8
    Member eddiegnz1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    I wish there was a way that the Original Poster (me) could delete the poll or edit it. I fumbled this poll. I would do it differently now and only include 6 options in order to delete the 4 most expensive CNC routers on this list. I was just trying to learn which of the 6 least expensive ones on that list would do the best job on aluminum (best out of those 6). Obviously that would exclude the "Router Parts" brand and also exclude Stepcraft.



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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    Quote Originally Posted by eddiegnz1 View Post
    I wish there was a way that the Original Poster (me) could delete the poll or edit it. I fumbled this poll. I would do it differently now and only include 6 options in order to delete the 4 most expensive CNC routers on this list. I was just trying to learn which of the 6 least expensive ones on that list would do the best job on aluminum (best out of those 6). Obviously that would exclude the "Router Parts" brand and also exclude Stepcraft.
    Well, then your answer is none unfortunately.

    What travel do you NEED?

    wotzBotz


  10. #10
    Member eddiegnz1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    Quote Originally Posted by ihavenofish View Post
    Well, then your answer is none unfortunately.

    What travel do you NEED?
    Well, I didn't mean the best in the world. because then I'd have to agree with you and say that the answer is none of those six.
    But just the best one out of those six. So even the best "one" out of the cheapest six might be awful but the cheapest six are not all exactly equal when they all try to carve into some 1/4 inch thick aluminum plates.
    So there's definitely an answer but maybe you're saying that the best of those six is still not acceptable. But I can't afford extreme accuracy.

    I heard some people saying that if you cut slowly enough and in small enough increments that the Shapeoko is capable of reasonable results with aluminum (especially with a 2.25 Horse power Dewalt DW618K router)
    Sorry i'm newbie so I think by 'travel" you mean how much travel in the 'Z' axis right? if so i only need to carve up to 5/16 inch thick plates but mostly 1/4 inch thick plates of aluminum.



  11. #11
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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    best is not what were talking about here. "functional" is more like it. "not a waste of money".

    by travel I mean X Y and Z. There are milling machines that can be put together are in the price range of these routers that will do a good job. But these machines tend to be a little small. 4" to 5" in the Y and 8" to 12" in the X. If that is sufficient for you, then you should be looking at a mill and not a router.

    wotzBotz


  12. #12
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturdiest CNC For Aluminum Milling

    But just the best one out of those six. So even the best "one" out of the cheapest six might be awful but the cheapest six are not all exactly equal when they all try to carve into some 1/4 inch thick aluminum plates.
    I don't think anyone will really stand out above the others in this application. Meaning they'll cut 1/4" aluminum plates about the same. Machine setup and adjustment will probably have more of an effect than the actual machine being used.

    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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