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    Hobby CNC Router Mill

    Looking at getting something for cutting shapes in plastic boxes and acrylic (doing them by hand just isnt good enough, and takes far to long). Max thickness is 3mm, max box is 250 x 150. Will be used on and off - could be for a run of 30 boxes, and then nothing for a couple of months.
    Due to the infrequency of the requirement, and small size - I dont want to spend a lot if I can avoid it.
    Was thinking about a 3018 CNC https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_...+3018&_sacat=0
    Not really sure what is what. There appears to be the original unit - Sainsmart Genmitsu, but doesnt seem easy to access in aus, then there are a heap of copies on ebay and amazon.

    Open to any advice - but, a couple of points. It is purely for cutting plastic boxes with a max size as above, so I dont see the point in getting something with a 1m x 1m bed - unless there is a specific reason (as I then also need to find space for it).
    I havent used any cnc software before, so the simpler the better. Remember - its basic shapes to mount switches displays bulkhead connectors etc. And maybe using it to engrave labels or wording.
    With the 3018 - there seems to be 2 versions of software GRBL, or Mach 3

    Thoughts?

    #2
    I ended up with a CNC router (~400mmx900mm) ~18 months ago that needed assembly but had a decent spindle motor. Having got it up and running and learning Mach3 (somewhat) and Fusion 360 I would say unless you want to learn it and use it more often find someone to do the cutting and engraving for you.

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      #3
      What sort of plastics do you use? For acrylic and plywood a small laser sounds more suitable as you don't have to deal with a tool radius or hold-down on such small parts.
      6L FD3S RX7
      GR Supra
      Jeeps JK, CJ7, WK2

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        #4
        Originally posted by Paul M View Post
        I ended up with a CNC router (~400mmx900mm) ~18 months ago that needed assembly but had a decent spindle motor. Having got it up and running and learning Mach3 (somewhat) and Fusion 360 I would say unless you want to learn it and use it more often find someone to do the cutting and engraving for you.
        From a couple of youtube vids - mach 3 seemed like it would be reasonable to use. They seem to use mach 3 and easel. Is it really a hassle to work out (I get where you are coming from, and that was part of the point of asking someone that is already doing it - the hardware is generally the less painful to sort out......)
        The other thing about having/wanting to do it myself, is there may be some stuff that is one offs, I havent priced up a cnc joint, but cant imagine them turning anything on or programming for under $150?

        Plastics - appear to be Polycarb or ABS

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          #5
          Easel is pretty easy to use, and pretty reliable.

          I presume you have seen the All3dp intro guide: https://all3dp.com/2/cnc-3018-pro-buyer-s-guide/

          Im planning on getting a 3040 (bigger brother) in the new year, for similar reasons. It is a little bit more complex, but still cheap enough to play with. That being said the 3018s are so cheap now that i could swap over to that.
          Chris
          ------
          The MX5 Noujet (its up market) | The Hilux Complete Nugget
          I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. - D.H.Lawrence

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            #6
            Originally posted by takai View Post
            Easel is pretty easy to use, and pretty reliable.

            I presume you have seen the All3dp intro guide: https://all3dp.com/2/cnc-3018-pro-buyer-s-guide/

            Im planning on getting a 3040 (bigger brother) in the new year, for similar reasons. It is a little bit more complex, but still cheap enough to play with. That being said the 3018s are so cheap now that i could swap over to that.
            Yeah - cheers, also a few really thorough youtube vids by techydiy on the 2 or 3 models.
            I think its the way i want to go, but just a bit unsure on GRBL vs mach 3, and then trying to source a sainsmart unit seems difficult, and not sure how much worse the ebay/amazon ones are - heaps of the reviews say bolts/sections missing, threads already stripped..........

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