CNC equipment can be a significant purchase for any shop, the machine plus training, and other cost mount quickly. A low end market is developing for hobbyist but even those are not cheap. Know exactly what you are getting into before you make that first purchase.
Advise to those thinking about purchasing CNC equipment. For those of you who are looking at getting into CNC equipment, here are some things to think about when justifying the cost of the equipment, particularly routers and P2P’s. These are somewhat hidden costs that the machinery people often neglect to tell you about. If this is your first foray into automated equipment, they may well be things you would never think about.
Choosing the right CNC machine based on projected capabilities and costs. We never build the same piece twice. I'm planning over the next six months to add a Thermwood CNC router to the shop. We are starting to learn and use CabinetVision and plan on using it to nest most of our case goods on to the CNC.
I have been researching the idea of getting a nested based CNC machine to aid in the construction of cabinets for our shop. We do 100% frame-less, almost completely mid level residential. Currently we cut sheet goods on an aging vertical panel saw, then line bore on a 23 spindle machine. We edge-band and assemble using screws and butt joint assembly.
Think carefully about what capabilities you do and don't need, and take a close look at the vendor's tech support system. You also want to look at support. How broad is their base? How many technicians are available to serve the machines they have out there? What is the cost for support? Is there a person available 24/7, and is there an additional charge for after hours calls?
Solid generic advice on getting the right machine for what you do at the right price. I am going to be purchasing a new or used 5' x 10' CNC router for panel work and machining solid wood. What are some features to look for or steer away from? Ball screw versus rack and pinion, moving table versus gantry, spindles, etc. And what should I watch out for in a used machine?
Pros discuss the cost versus capability trade-offs when considering a CNC investment. You might want to find out the weight of the 10 HP spindle you are considering upgrading. The weight of the spindle mounted on the aluminum tool plate of these lighter duty moving gantry machines can be an issue.
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