December 9, 2018 at 8:26 am #78670
My wife is wanting a CNC machine for Christmas…I have no clue about any of it. If anyone has one they’d like to sell I’d be interested…if some one could list out possibly with links on what I’d need to buy that’d be amazing as well. I live in Panama City FL, USA
RyanDecember 9, 2018 at 8:46 am #78673December 9, 2018 at 9:02 am #78681
I’m reading through pages now. I do t understand what the dual endstop in the Rambo is for…does it just save the file of what she’s cutting? Wouldn’t she be able to save the file and just upload it another day to make the same cut? Power amp 6 or 30 how do I know which I need? I’m also not clear on how to go from putting an image on the computer to setting depth to cutting etc.December 9, 2018 at 9:05 am #78682
Also how’s the LCD screen used?December 9, 2018 at 9:13 am #78683
Dual endstops are not for beginners. They allow each side of the cnc to love idependently, and sense their endpoints to finely adjust the angle of each gantry. Without them, you just make sure you start the motors with the gantry square (usually a tape measure works well enough) and each side moves in lockstep, keeping it square through the cuts.
The 30A is needed if you’ve got a heated bed for 3D printing, not for CNC.
The step you’re missing is the CAM or computer aided machining. CAM lets you define which lines to cut and to what depth. By far, this is the hardest thing to learn about CNC. Look for videos on EstlCAM, which is the simplest CAM to use. You’ll see how it works.
Fair warning here, this is not like your hp printer or your table saw. This is a significant skill set and the tool will not forgive you for some mistakes. This kit is built to be a good combination of inexpensive, flexibility, and performance. Ease of use is probably not it’s biggest strength, although Ryan’s setups and these forums do try to make this better. Some things are easier than others too. This machine is very capable, but it depends on the users abilities and patience.
I’m not trying to scare you away. We get all skill levels here. But the people that enjoy it the most have realistic expectations and enjoy the process as much as the result.December 9, 2018 at 9:14 am #78688December 9, 2018 at 11:30 am #78711
Yes, for a first CNC machine you are best off building the normal version, not the dual end stop. You’ll need the 3D printed set of parts, the parts kit with miniRAMBO and 6A supply sized to fit the tubing you get, and the router itself. Unless you are planning on building a very large machine the EMT conduit (3/4″ from somewhere like Home Depot) works with the 23.5mm parts. The suggested router is the DeWalt DW660, also available at your friendly neighborhood Home Depot or on Amazon. Since you are in the US you’ll want the DW660 mount option with the 6-32 hardware when you order the 23.5mm parts.December 9, 2018 at 8:03 pm #78847
Fair warning here, this is not like your hp printer or your table saw. This is a significant skill set and the tool will not forgive you for some mistakes.
I have to respectfully disagree here. This machine will do EXACTLY what you tell it to do. I think what Heffe is trying to say is that basic mechanic skills are needed. My biggest hurdle was learning to use inkscape to create a dxf file.
1 user thanked author for this post.December 9, 2018 at 9:33 pm #78852
If you’re keen on tinkering and can follow the instructions I’d say go for it. Ryan has done an excellent job of spelling it all out once you have the initial purchase out of the way. I had LOADS of prepurchase and what to purchase questions but Bill has laid it out for you above. Get just what he said. I didn’t have a printer so I bought printed parts kit from Ryan along with all the bolts and bearings etc.
The harder part is the “how to make files to cut” part. If you’re not terribly computer savvy you’ll find a bit of a hurdle here but not an impossible one. If you/she knows her way around a program like CorelDraw, Illustrator or Inkscape I think the hardest is behind you. I found ESTLCam easy once I understood it – but I’m still learning.
And you could build it together! I can see the happy marriage commercials now……”since my husband and I built our MPCNC we’ve never felt more connected. Order yours today!”December 9, 2018 at 9:40 pm #78854
She’s going to want to do projects like these etc. (they are just quick snapshots of the kinds of projects she’s done before with her scroll saw and what she’d like to be able to do) they are not our projects
Attachments:December 9, 2018 at 10:20 pm #78858
Maybe others can chime in with software options that will work. I’m from the graphic design world so I can use Illustrator in my sleep and am very comfortable with the DXF file export results – and then how to work them up in ESTLCam. If the MPCNC isn’t to be a Christmas surprise, maybe find out what her ability/interest levels are in learning some software. This will be the biggest part of the puzzle if you go for it.
But once she learns the software the sky is the limit!
[By the way……I started building a CNC machine nine years ago because I was working up a project on the scroll saw and thought “man this is gonna take forever – there MUST be a better way.”]December 10, 2018 at 5:35 am #78875
Carving designs like that is great for a CNC. The only difficulty is getting the top flat to the machine. If you’ve got a very steep bit, and the area is small, then it’s even a good beginner project. Others have mentioned the trouble with designing, the CAM looks something like this (this is an older version of estlcam):
On a paper printer, you don’t have to worry about how much ink goes on the page, and the software is just about installing the drivers. CNC has options for depth of cut, speed of cut, and dozens of others. There’s coordinates, unit conversions and parallel planes. Nothing is that difficult, but I want you to have realistic expectations. I will also mention thatI don’t believe any of the other cnc machines are any easier to use. I’ve never used one of them though.
1 user thanked author for this post.December 11, 2018 at 8:52 am #79015
Our local middle school has a name brand cnc that slips my mind right now but it was around $6000. The software was very easy to use but it is over $500 and it seems the price varies depending on the cut area. The last company I worked for was still using autocad 2004 and it would have been perfect for what I want, I have tried fusion but I feel it is a Lamborghini to get groceries in.
1 user thanked author for this post.December 11, 2018 at 9:55 am #79031
I’m not basing this on evidence, because I’ve never tried $500 software or a $6000 machine. But from my experience in other areas, I’m confident it will not be any easier to use and only marginally better at it’s job. I’m saying that purely because it costs so much. Then you get into machines that only professionals can afford or justify and the interface is usually worse for those types of products. Plus, given the complexities of CNC, it’s not possible to make it that much easier.December 18, 2018 at 10:18 am #79891
Any screen shots of the LCD menu? I’m running Repetier from PC and migrating to LR2 with LCD and would like to know what to expect.
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