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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking > General WoodWorking > General CNC Router Questions
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  1. #1
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    Jan 2021
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    General CNC Router Questions

    Hi guys. New here and am looking to get into CNC routing. My time will be spent between wood and aluminum. So I'm most interested in a table top machine that will mill out some AL shapes in 2d and 3d. I understand that these machines are not built to handle these jobs like a mill, but I've seen enough to know that these types of machines can do what I want.

    So I came across a General CNC 40-915M1 machine that is listed for sale for $1500. The owner doesn't know too much about it and never used it. From what I can find General CNC went out of business or stopped making these units, but I really can't find too much about them. A thread on here mentioned firmware updates, but nothing really came of it.

    I guess they came with their own software. Will I be able to use my own software? I have CAD software, but no CAM software yet. Am I stuck with their software?

    Finally, are these machines any good? It looks pretty stout so maybe it would hold up well to aluminum. The other machines I've considered are the Shapeoko and X-Carve. My budget is under $3000. How do these machines compare? Is there another machine I should consider?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
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    Re: General CNC Router Questions

    I guess they came with their own software. Will I be able to use my own software?
    I doubt it will come with any software.
    They use a Chinese pendant controller, which likely loads g-code from a USB stick or an SD card.
    You can create the g-code for it in any CAM program with the appropriate post processor. I'd expect it to accept fairly generic g-code.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  3. #3
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    Re: General CNC Router Questions

    It comes with the I-carver software. I'm just not sure if it will still allow other software to control it at well. I don't want to buy it and then find out I'm limited to its own programming, which looks like it will limit the things I want to do.

  4. #4
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    35349

    Re: General CNC Router Questions

    There are two different software packages involved.
    Controller software, which "controls" the machine, and CAM software, which creates the toolpaths and g-code files that the control software runs.

    You typically can NOT change controller software, without changing the actual hardware that it interfaces with.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  5. #5
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    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    16

    Re: General CNC Router Questions

    Have you considered a foreign CNC milling machine? If you are not very satisfied with the machine you want to buy, I suggest you compare it. These are several foreign platforms. You can check the machines above: Alibaba, FORSUN CNC, Made-in-China, etc.

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