Hobby CNC router – What you should know about CNC router kits
The collected photos of the cheap homemade CNC router
Even an inexperienced DIY CNC interested person should notice something here:
A metric M8 threaded rod –
Metric threads are only suitable for screw connections, not for motion transmissions! They wear out after a short time and have a lot of backlashes. The flanks of the threads are too steep and too small to exert the power transmission of the engines on the “slides”. Within DIY CNC router, the threaded rod is “born”, in an 8.5mm hole in the aluminium sheet, of which the entire machine and all slides are manufactured. Travelling the bridge the components rub on each other.
Unstable installation of the milling motor bracket –
The milling motor bracket is fastened with two screws on a weird assembled bridge. The construction is supposed to mill 10mm deep into wood. Milling forces of about 150 Nm can be expected on the cutter. The machine is likely to tie itself to a knot in the ongoing process or fall apart completely. The assembly of the limit switch is done unprofessionally and without any knowledge.
The so-called “CNC control unit” –
Caution, dangerous! It is located in a wooden box; the cable ends are not secured, soldered or fitted with ferrules. Soldering is deficient. The board is screwed on the wooden floor without spacers. Seeing this, every EMC auditor would be scared!
EMC testing of the DIY Hobby CNC milling machine –
No separation of 12V and 230V. There is no strain relief. Caution: Danger! The required EMC test, which is necessary for the CE approval, cannot be passed here! The golden cord is 230 volts energized and leads without strain relief directly as the power supply to the milling spindle.
Materials of important mechanical components –
Here the wrong material was used for the key components: aluminium “slides” on aluminium! The backlash in the individual components will be about half a millimetre. By moving the milling machine or grabbing the “slide”, the entire mechanism would be bent. The engine was attached only by two screws.
The actual value of such a DIY CNC “kit” / DIY hobby CNC milling machine –
Often the purchase price is not justified in this case, the material value of the ill-conceived components is less than about 250 euros, at a sale price of about 2,000 euros. That should encourage to think about such machines!
What else is important to know about CNC router kits?
Homemade CNC router and stability
When buying a CNC router kit, you should have low expectations on the machine quality and the milling results. Even when you buy a homemade router of decent quality you should be aware of the following:
Because of missing stability CNC router kits can only mill soft materials like softwood and soft plastics. There can already be problems with milling hardwood. Precise metal milling is most unlikely.
How to buy a CNC machine correctly
Finally the crucial question remains: What are the main criteria to consider when buying a CNC router, to get good quality, safety and good value for money guaranteed?
Once we have summarized the most important criteria for you:
Consider your desires
Before you search for a suitable supplier, think about what you want to achieve with the machine. This can be best done using the following questions:
- What size are the workpieces to be processed?
- What accuracy is demanded for the workpieces? Long term, perhaps more accurately?
- Which engine power do I need for my hard/ soft material?
- How hard are the materials concerning the required torsional stiffness of the CNC milling machine?
- How exactly is the selected CNC milling machine adapted to my desired materials / workpieces?
- Will I later need an additional axis or am I going to process larger workpieces? Pushing the workpieces through possible?
- Do I prefer to process unlimited high workpieces?
The correct way to search a milling machine
When I exactly know what criteria are important for my target machine, I can start searching a suitable manufacturer. It is useful to gather as much information as possible. This can be obtained via:
- A structured website
- Customer reviews/ customer testimonials (Google)
- Reviews Comparison Reports (as, e.g. Precifast)
- Youtube channels (many providers have good Youtube channels showing the latest products in action)
- A counselling interview without obligation
Finding a reputable CNC router manufacturer
Essential for finding a suitable provider or manufacturer is not only to know WHERE I have to look but also what criteria is important to check.
- Am I offered a free no-obligation consultation?
- Do the offered machines have a valid EMC testing and CE statements?
- Are free screenings possible to help me in the purchase decision?
- Will I have enough clear understandable support before and after the sale?
- Is there free support even AFTER the sale?
- Do I have a contact person?
- Does the manufacturer emphasize friendliness and service?
- Do I feel advised and welcome?
- Are special requests allowed?
- Do I get a legal guaranty / warranty?
- Is the machine built of quality components?
- What about the longevity of the CNC router, is there any experience?
- Does the supplier / manufacturer refer to considerable references?
If you include these points in your personal choice, it will be easier to find a supplier of CNC milling machines, corresponding to your wishes, which will be trustworthy and competent assistance, before and especially after the purchase!