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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking Machines > Commercial CNC Wood Routers > Chinese Machines > ChinaCNCZone Steel frame 6040 router (for metal): impressions after first month
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2019

    Post ChinaCNCZone Steel frame 6040 router (for metal): impressions after first month

    Hi, a while ago i posted a question about this machine, as i intended to buy one. Got some good feedback, but little was known about these specific machines.

    About a month ago, the machine finally arrived, and i'm still new to CNC, but i'll share my experiences with ChinaCNCZone & the machine.

    First of all, what did i order:
    (i ordered via AliExpress, so i could get my money back in case something went wrong).

    There are options when ordering this machine, which options did i choose:
    - Mach3 USB
    - Linear rails (~250€)
    - 4th axis with servo (not stepper) (~500€)

    Total price: a bit more than 3000€ (3300$)

    Asking for info about the machine & ordering it went pretty well. It's still a chinese 6040, so you don't get too detailed info, but it's ok. Shipment went a bit wrong due to the Covid19 crisis. The machine ended up stuck in customs for 2 months. But the seller kept communicating correctly, also kept extending my aliexpress purchase protection, so after 3+ months of patience, the machine finally arrived, and all was well . This was also one of my motivations for ordering via ChinaCNCZone, they offer shipment to your door including customs etc... No shipping complications (unless a pandemic happens).

    What did i get:
    Here is a picture of the machine as i received it:

    The machine is configured exactly as requested. Linear rails on all 3 axes, 4th axis with servo motor, mach3 controller, ...
    The exact hardware specifications:
    On all 4 axes a 400W 220V servo of this type (and with the same controller as pictured there): https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32992008543.html
    The VFD: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32972338404.html
    The spindle is a GDZ-80-2.2B: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1533027635.html
    The mach 3 contoller: A variant/clone of the XHC mach 3 mk4 https://www.nvcnc.net/xhc-cnc-controller.html (mine doesn't have the nice shielding, just plain pcb with terminal blocks on it)
    Wireless remote thingy: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32961009131.html
    2 basic aquarium pumps for the water cooling of the spindle & the coolant to spray onto the mills.

    Here is the machine after i installed it:

    Getting it to work:
    As expected, i got some basic documentation, did have to scour for some more on their website/ask for some missing software to be mailed. But response was always very quick, no issues there. For more details on for example the VFD i looked on these forums. All those VFD's are based on similar principles/firmware. So after finding some manuals for these kind of devices, i now know how mine works. The mach3 is the usual cracked copy i assume. When moving the machine around, i heard something move in the controller box. That was apparantly the VFD whose screws had come loose during transport... Luckily there isn't much spare space in the controller box, so it could move around a bit, but nothing was damaged. After screwing it down again, all else was ok. What did annoy me a bit is that all the cables are led directly into the control box, and directly attached in there. I wanted to detach the control box before moving the machine around, but that was thus not easy >_<... besides that, no issues.

    Installing Mach3 (and figuring out its ancient visual basic like interface ) went ok. Their manual shows all the settings you need, and those settings seem correct (or at least a good start). Issues i encountered here:
    -For the 4th axis, there i noticed the chuck was rotating at double the speed vs expected using their configuration. But halving the relevant setting is easy enough .
    -The emergency stop button was connected to a different channel than indicated in their manual, but that was also easily solved.
    -Spindle speed doesn't match Mach3 settings. After investigating this, i found some ugly shortcut they took there... The control signal for the VFD is 0-10V analog signal. The XHC controller has a voltage reference input for PWM output signal for the VFD. They connected a 12V output from the VFD to the PWM voltage reference, so my spindle speed already got to the max 24k RPM's when configuring about 19k rpm.... I put in a little DC-DC converter module in between that makes exactly 10V for the reference signal. Now at least 24k in mach3 is 24k of the spindle. On the low end i still have an offset to figure out. So the connection between the USB controller & the spindle isn't quite as it should be. There luckily is a readout on the VFD display of the exact frequency it's set at, so at least you always know how fast the spindle thinks it should go, and you can then compensate for the differences.

    What have i done with the machine so far?
    My first test was engraving a little square in a piece of wood (you have to start somewhere). Went without issues (even though i just made an educated guess regarding feeds & speeds as a newbie). Dimensionally it was also pretty accurate, so a good start .
    I had some spare acrylic lying around, so i tried engraving it. I quickly noticed that just clamping down a piece of acrylic by its corners doesn't quite work. It still vibrates up & down in the center, and your depth is all over the place...
    So 3rd project: a small vacuum table for putting the acrylic on. Made a little wooden box with some spare wood, with 3d printed attachment for a vacuum cleaner, and programmed a drilling pattern for the top of the box for the CNC, and mounted a regular wood drill in it. I'm quite pleased with the result:.
    And when using it, engraving acrylic went very easily.

    For CAM software i stuck with FreeCAD so far, as for basic things like the above, it does a great job . I'm already quite familiar with it, and will experiment with other programs later on, but it was a good start.

    I know there is plenty more to learn & test for this machine. But in my original thread i noticed other people were also curious about this machine, so i think this post already contains a lot of useful information .

    Personally i'm pretty pleased. This is a nice 6040 with some good upgrades. I'm glad to have closed loop servos on all axes. I hope/assume this means no missed steps. With the linear rails on all axes & heavy steel frame i hope some basic metal milling will also work without too much issues. All in all it so far feels like the premium 6040 i was hoping for. Not perfect, but affordable & a good start.

    What do i want to change on the machine? First things i'd like to add is a probe, and also something for measuring the actual RPM in mach3. The controller has plenty of inputs left to do this with. There are also some outputs on there, so i'm considering connecting some relays so mach3 can automatically start the water cooling/flood cooling.

  2. #2

    Re: ChinaCNCZone Steel frame 6040 router (for metal): impressions after first month

    Thank you for the update Sven! Veru useful information

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2021

    Re: ChinaCNCZone Steel frame 6040 router (for metal): impressions after first month

    I know this post if over a year old. Thank you for the note and pictures.
    I am looking to purchase the same machine from CNCZone in the US.

    How do you like the machine so far? - any major issues?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2017

    Re: ChinaCNCZone Steel frame 6040 router (for metal): impressions after first month

    I'm also interested in "Steel" version. I have been looking for 6090 version. I wonder how well it actually work with steel?

    I don't have previous experience of these CNC machines. I would like to use it mostly for aluminium. There are three options of motors: normal stepper, close loop stepper and servo. Does anyone has experience of close loop stepper vs. servo? Servo is supposed to be much faster and stronger.

    Another concern is the controller. There is option called "DSP controller box". My understanding is that if you have this option, you can use machine with computer. Is there some benefits to use Mach3 in computer? For me it sounds more convenient to run machine without computer.

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