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  1. #1

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    New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    G'day everyone!

    I'm a bit of a tinkerer and love all the CNC projects I see and really want to get a CNC router to start getting into it.

    I want to do 3D topographical maps mostly but who knows what I will find and want to make when I have it. Hardwood slabs for flattening and designs too. I might dip into Aluminium one day as well.

    I've been looking into getting one from https://www.makerstore.com.au/ but there is so much to choose from and I'd like to future proof it a little bit so I don't waste too much money when I want to upgrade it.

    What would you recommend I buy with $5000AUD?

    It doesn't have to be from Maker Store AU. That's just what I've found so far.

    Here is what I'm looking for.

    Part Description
    Footprint 1500x1000mm sounds good for now with possibility of cheap expansion to 3000x1500mm. In a single car garage atm so space is tight but moving to a double car garage in a year or so.
    Spindle Something quiet, easy tool change, controllable with the computer and not three phase power
    Spindle mount Ability to upgrade to a better spindle later on if needed and the ability to tram the spindle. One day I want ATC.
    Transmission I don't need speed and much prefer accuracy and stability.
    Rails Obviously the stronger the better so I can put full sheets of plywood on it one day or a slab for flattening etc
    Controller Wifi is a plus, ability to do 4 axis if I want to one day and use a XYZ touch probe. Also I've heard some have fans on them that can suck up dust?
    Stepper motors I'm not sure if high torque NEMA 23's are needed but a few extra dollars is fine with me.
    Dust extraction I don't need it at the start but definitely want to be able to add it when I have more cash.
    Software As I'm starting out I am pretty flexible. I already use Fusion 360 for my 3D printer so maybe something that works well with that.
    Assembly I don't mind working with electronics and hardware. More fun for me.
    Laser I'd love to be able to add a little engraving laser at one point too if that's possible.

    If there's anything I've missed please let me know.

    I feel like this is a tall order but hopefully one of you guys with much more experience can help a noob out and save me a lot of time and money.

    So what would you do with $5000AUD if you got to start it all over?

    Thanks for getting this far!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Hi,

    1500x1000mm sounds good for now with possibility of cheap expansion to 3000x1500mm.
    That's very ambitious, every time you double the size the cost goes up ten times.

    Irrespective of what you want to do rigidity is always the key to a good machine. If you double the length of a member, lets say the gantry, the dimensions have to double also,
    from 50mm x 50mm x 5mm wall thickness say to 100mm x 100mm x 10mm wall to get the same stiffness. You can imagine how much more it would weigh and cost.

    If you need rigidity 'R' to do wood, then you'll need '5R' rigidity to do aluminum and '15R' minimum to do steel. This is one area where EVERY newcomer vastly underestimates,
    and despite me having done a lot or research and calculations beforehand I still under estimated the required rigidity to do what I wanted when I built my first mini-mill.

    I don't know how many machines are out there that look great, nice big size......but absolutely bloody useless because they are so flexible.

    Its MUCH easier to make a small but rigid machine and VASTLY more expensive to make a large rigid machine.

    Craig

  3. #3

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Thanks for the info and experience Joe

    I don't see myself ever doing Steel thankfully so that should keep the cost of rigidity down a bit.

    I think I will only do a few aluminium things too and I doubt I'll need super tight tolerances and going with slow feed rates is fine with me as I won't be in a rush or on any time constraints.

    Realistically it will be for mostly hardwoods.

    Do you think this heavy C Beam would be rigid enough for the gantry at 1500mm? How do you calculate what is good?

    https://www.makerstore.com.au/product/lr-chv-s/

    If I was to go for the small size I thought I could get the strong gantry but for the Y axis I could go with the cheaper extrusion and eventually replace it with the strong 3000mm version of the one in the link.

    Does rigidity matter as much with the Y axis?

  4. #4
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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Hi,

    Do you think this heavy C Beam would be rigid enough for the gantry at 1500mm? How do you calculate what is good?
    For my purposes I would say a resounding no.......but then I want/need to cut steel. As to what constitutes good enough......If you assume a cutting force of 50kg, or 500N
    then calculate how much the member will deflect, and that will give you an approximate lower bound on the accuracy/vibrational susceptible your design will be.
    I would guess, pure seat of the pants stuff, that a 500N force applied in the centre of a 1500mm beam (in your link) the deflection would be close to 1mm.
    Question .......'is 1mm good enough for what you want to do'.

    Does rigidity matter as much with the Y axis?
    YES it sure does, it matters in every axis, and also the torsional rigidity of all three axes of rotation.

    My suggestion would be to look at some commercial machines of the same size and capability. You will probably see that they are all made of welded heavy section steel, rectangular
    linear rails etc and way expensive. You might ask if commercial manufacturers do this its because its required......so how do you propose to replicate what they have done by using extruded aluminum?

    May I suggest go small to start with, maybe 600mm x 600mm travels. Then the extrusions that you are looking at become very useful. You will learn what is effective and what is not, and thereafter your
    design for a larger machine will be so much better for your experience.

    Craig

  5. #5
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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    What cutting area do you want / need?

    Big difference between small 300x300mm machine vs 2400x1200mm.

    If dealing with sheet goods, then it's easiest to have something to accommodate common sizes plus a bit around the edge.
    E.g 1200x600 - 1250x650 travel
    600x600?

    If you are talking about quarter sheet (1200x600) or larger, I don't think I've seen what I would call a decent machine for $5000

    DIY it's possible - so long as you enjoy the design/build and don't put any price on your time

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)

  6. #6
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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Hi pippin88,
    I chose 600mm X 600mm so that you could put a half sheet width (1200/2=600) in the machine, and if there were no obstructions fore-and-aft it could be up to say 2400mm or 3000mm
    long, its just that you could only machine in 600mm sections. At the completion of each section then advance the material 600mm until the full length were completed.

    Of course even this may be well less that OP wanted to consider, but as you say its so much easier and cheaper to make a small machine verses a large one.

    Craig

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Hi Thommo - Turn your messages on. Peter

  8. #8
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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi pippin88,
    I chose 600mm X 600mm so that you could put a half sheet width (1200/2=600) in the machine, and if there were no obstructions fore-and-aft it could be up to say 2400mm or 3000mm
    long, its just that you could only machine in 600mm sections. At the completion of each section then advance the material 600mm until the full length were completed.

    Of course even this may be well less that OP wanted to consider, but as you say its so much easier and cheaper to make a small machine verses a large one.

    Craig
    Craig, sorry, my "600x600?" was not in response to you. Was asking opening poster what sort of size they would consider.

    On mobile and was trying to save a bit of time...

    My machine is open fore-and-aft as you describe. Yet to make use of that though. Have to get the indexing right. Does mean the machine can take up a much smaller space day to day, vs a huge machine for the occasional large job. But much more fiddly to do a large job than a full sheet machine.

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)

  9. #9

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Sorry for the last response guys. Had a hectic day yesterday.

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post

    For my purposes I would say a resounding no.......but then I want/need to cut steel. As to what constitutes good enough......If you assume a cutting force of 50kg, or 500N
    then calculate how much the member will deflect, and that will give you an approximate lower bound on the accuracy/vibrational susceptible your design will be.
    I would guess, pure seat of the pants stuff, that a 500N force applied in the centre of a 1500mm beam (in your link) the deflection would be close to 1mm.
    Question .......'is 1mm good enough for what you want to do'.
    Wow 1mm is a bit much. I guess I need to figure out where to find some data for those Heavy C beams then so do some calculations.

    I thought they'd have some torsion to them but not that much.

    I also need to figure out what tolerances I am willing to accept. I can see some machines saying 0.2mm is their tolerance but I have no idea if that is good enough for what I want to do.

    I want to do a ~1500x1000mm Australian version of this with a hardwood like walnut one day so that is what I am basing most of my planning off

    https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/...v0/1000x-1.jpg

    Working aluminium is something that would be a "nice to have" feature

    This Lead CNC comes with a double gantry. Surely that would help a lot with rigidity along that axis

    https://www.makerstore.com.au/produc...cal-frame-size



    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post

    YES it sure does, it matters in every axis, and also the torsional rigidity of all three axes of rotation.

    My suggestion would be to look at some commercial machines of the same size and capability. You will probably see that they are all made of welded heavy section steel, rectangular
    linear rails etc and way expensive. You might ask if commercial manufacturers do this its because its required......so how do you propose to replicate what they have done by using extruded aluminum?

    May I suggest go small to start with, maybe 600mm x 600mm travels. Then the extrusions that you are looking at become very useful. You will learn what is effective and what is not, and thereafter your
    design for a larger machine will be so much better for your experience.

    Craig
    I think I am averse from going that small then big simply due to the fear of wasting too much money when I already know what I want to do.

    I know I need a work area of at least 1000mm so I can fit the map on but I don't need the full sheet size yet. So I was hoping to get a gantry of the final size I want and then eventually, when I have room, upgrade the Y axis.

  10. #10

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin88 View Post
    What cutting area do you want / need?

    Big difference between small 300x300mm machine vs 2400x1200mm.

    If dealing with sheet goods, then it's easiest to have something to accommodate common sizes plus a bit around the edge.
    E.g 1200x600 - 1250x650 travel
    600x600?

    If you are talking about quarter sheet (1200x600) or larger, I don't think I've seen what I would call a decent machine for $5000

    DIY it's possible - so long as you enjoy the design/build and don't put any price on your time

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    G'day Pippin,

    Realistically I need a 1000x1500 work surface but the extrusion I've found is only 1500mm or 3000mm to allow for that work area.

    Over a quarter sheet I guess you'd recommend steel instead of aluminium extrusion?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by peteeng View Post
    Hi Thommo - Turn your messages on. Peter
    Sorry I didn't realise they were off by default. On now

  11. #11

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin88 View Post
    Craig, sorry, my "600x600?" was not in response to you. Was asking opening poster what sort of size they would consider.

    On mobile and was trying to save a bit of time...

    My machine is open fore-and-aft as you describe. Yet to make use of that though. Have to get the indexing right. Does mean the machine can take up a much smaller space day to day, vs a huge machine for the occasional large job. But much more fiddly to do a large job than a full sheet machine.

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    I don't mind the idea of an open fore and aft design for my machine. I just need to make sure that I can index well with it and the gantry is able to fit a 1000mm wide piece under it.

    One of the selling points to the Mrs is that I can use it to cut down the time I make my maps and to make new map products for my side business.

    https://australianmetarmaps.com.au/i...lia-metar-map/

    This map is 1400x990 on the table and I have to hole punch over 260 little holes and it take me ages. If I could have a CNC do it quicker I can get it approved by her a lot easier.

    Hence why I can't go much smaller but I can print index marks and move the map in and out of the machine to reach different parts.

    I hope that helps with a bit of context haha

  12. #12
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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Hi,

    This Lead CNC comes with a double gantry. Surely that would help a lot with rigidity along that axis
    Yes the double gantry helps, and it would be double the stiffness in the +-Y direction, and the torsional rigidity in the B axis, that is parallel to the Y axis, being exerted by the Z axis/Spindle
    would be improved.....but how about those absolutely wimpy uprights? They'll wobble around like no-ones business.

    I think it may be time to take stock and do some very basic research before you spend a cent. In CNC its very easy to spend a lot of money only to find that the idea you were persuing
    is just plain out of reach. Its one thing to spend $5000AUD and end up with a useful machine, albeit limited in some respects, size for instance, but entirely another to spend $5000AUD
    only to find that you cannot achieve your aim because of machine flex. This forum is littered with posts from people whom have fallen for that basic error.

    Do yourself a big favor and don't do that........and especially for your wife's sake, if she becomes aware that you have used precious family funds only to miss your goal you can be bound that is the last
    cent you'll ever get to spend on CNC ever again.

    I don't know whether you use Fusion 360, given that its free for hobbyists and startups its a popular choice. Among the features of Fusion is that it has quite a good FEA (Finite Element Analysis) module which
    is absolutely invaluable to stress test your design. You may have noticed peteeng's posts on this forum and he makes exhaustive use of FEA. He is also a professional mechanical engineer and spent much of his
    career doing this, and his fluency and mastery of the method is superb. You and I are most unlikely to ever attain that fluency......however there are a number of very simple computational experiments
    that can inform your thinking. For example the seat of the pants guess I made about the deflection of the aluminum extrusion you linked to......you don't have to guess, you can plug the numbers into
    Fusions FEA module and you will get a good calculated estimate of the deflection.

    I would invite you to do the same calculation but using heavy wall steel rectangular sections, say 100mm x 100mm x 9mm, and 200mm x 100mm x 9mm. My guess is that heavy wall steel sections
    outperform aluminum extrusions by a wide margin, and as a gambling man I would wager by a factor of five. Steel is of course harder to work, it requires welding, which may be beyond your means,
    likely as a result of welding to require stress relieving and post operation machining, all of which are expensive........BUT, for any given sum of money spent steel is STILL head and shoulders
    ahead of any other material in terms of rigidity.

    I would commend you spend some time experimenting with an FEA program like Fusion 360 with different materials and different sections, all it costs is time and brain power and will inform your design
    choices. Then when you do spend your $5000AUD you will have a result to be proud of and give you satisfaction in use for years. Ill informed design choices lead to disappointment.

    Craig

  13. #13
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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Hi Thommo - If you read this thread I have been through this whole movie to build a very good machine, read the end and go backwards a bit to save some time and if interested then start at the beginning. Explains a lot of what you need to do. Peter

    https://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy-c...ight=brevis-hd

  14. #14
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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Hi,
    the first step in making some type of comparative study of materials is to email the supplier (Maker Store) and ask for the 'first moment of area' for the C extrusion. That's what an FEA program
    needs to calculate deflection.

    More common and typical rectangular sections, I beams, C beams etc are usually included in the FEA program and not a value you have to supply.

    Craig

  15. #15
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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Lead CNC are a bad design for a router.

    V rollers on aluminium extrusion = not acceptable as linear bearings.

    Tall skinny uprights.

    "Double gantry" is not great. Stiffness increases with section size / distance from the neutral axis. But you have to actually have material in the middle.
    Think of an I beam. Now take the web away and you are just left with the flanges - two flat plate separated by space. Are they going to be stiff? You need the web.
    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)

  16. #16

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,



    Yes the double gantry helps, and it would be double the stiffness in the +-Y direction, and the torsional rigidity in the B axis, that is parallel to the Y axis, being exerted by the Z axis/Spindle
    would be improved.....but how about those absolutely wimpy uprights? They'll wobble around like no-ones business.
    Yeah I see what you mean with the upright supports. They definitely seem like they could do with some extra bracing or something along the Y axis.

    Surely you could modify that though to add more support.

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    I think it may be time to take stock and do some very basic research before you spend a cent. In CNC its very easy to spend a lot of money only to find that the idea you were persuing
    is just plain out of reach. Its one thing to spend $5000AUD and end up with a useful machine, albeit limited in some respects, size for instance, but entirely another to spend $5000AUD
    only to find that you cannot achieve your aim because of machine flex. This forum is littered with posts from people whom have fallen for that basic error.

    Do yourself a big favor and don't do that........and especially for your wife's sake, if she becomes aware that you have used precious family funds only to miss your goal you can be bound that is the last
    cent you'll ever get to spend on CNC ever again.
    HAHAHA yeah luckily she's still in girlfriend territory so I have a bit more free reign on money but obviously every big purchase needs some form of approval.

    This is all just the research phase right now though as I like to really know what I'm getting into before dropping the cash which is why I really appreciate help from people like yourself who have been there and done that. So thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post

    I don't know whether you use Fusion 360, given that its free for hobbyists and startups its a popular choice. Among the features of Fusion is that it has quite a good FEA (Finite Element Analysis) module which
    is absolutely invaluable to stress test your design. You may have noticed peteeng's posts on this forum and he makes exhaustive use of FEA. He is also a professional mechanical engineer and spent much of his
    career doing this, and his fluency and mastery of the method is superb. You and I are most unlikely to ever attain that fluency......however there are a number of very simple computational experiments
    that can inform your thinking. For example the seat of the pants guess I made about the deflection of the aluminum extrusion you linked to......you don't have to guess, you can plug the numbers into
    Fusions FEA module and you will get a good calculated estimate of the deflection.

    I would invite you to do the same calculation but using heavy wall steel rectangular sections, say 100mm x 100mm x 9mm, and 200mm x 100mm x 9mm. My guess is that heavy wall steel sections
    outperform aluminum extrusions by a wide margin, and as a gambling man I would wager by a factor of five. Steel is of course harder to work, it requires welding, which may be beyond your means,
    likely as a result of welding to require stress relieving and post operation machining, all of which are expensive........BUT, for any given sum of money spent steel is STILL head and shoulders
    ahead of any other material in terms of rigidity.

    I would commend you spend some time experimenting with an FEA program like Fusion 360 with different materials and different sections, all it costs is time and brain power and will inform your design
    choices. Then when you do spend your $5000AUD you will have a result to be proud of and give you satisfaction in use for years. Ill informed design choices lead to disappointment.

    Craig
    I do use Fusion 360 for my 3D models that I print and have seen people use that feature but always thought it was way out of my league but maybe I should have a look into it.
    The heavy C beam has a dimensional drawing so I could draw it up and see what Fusion says. Might be a learnig curve but youtube has everything these days to learn from.

    Peteeng also got in touch to show me his Scoot2 which looks nice and sturdy.

  17. #17

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,
    the first step in making some type of comparative study of materials is to email the supplier (Maker Store) and ask for the 'first moment of area' for the C extrusion. That's what an FEA program
    needs to calculate deflection.

    More common and typical rectangular sections, I beams, C beams etc are usually included in the FEA program and not a value you have to supply.

    Craig
    I'll shoot them an email to find this out

  18. #18

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin88 View Post
    Lead CNC are a bad design for a router.

    V rollers on aluminium extrusion = not acceptable as linear bearings.

    Tall skinny uprights.

    "Double gantry" is not great. Stiffness increases with section size / distance from the neutral axis. But you have to actually have material in the middle.
    Think of an I beam. Now take the web away and you are just left with the flanges - two flat plate separated by space. Are they going to be stiff? You need the web.
    I guess it will add a little bit of rigidity but not in all the axis like I was expecting.

    I got an email back from Maker Store and they suggested the WorkBee V3 as being better than the Lead as it has linear rails instead so maybe that is what I could potentially go with instead

  19. #19

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Hi guys,

    I thought I'd just share what machines I've been looking at so far at this point of the journey.



    The WorkBee V3 - "The WorkBee V3 has linear rail in the Z axis which increases rigidity and reduces the chances of chatter. It can work with soft metals, woods and plastics."

    https://www.makerstore.com.au/product/kit-wbv3-cc/



    The BlueCarve Turbo - Gantry uprights look strong and everything else looks pretty good for a $3000 machine. Haven't got all the info back just yet though. [EDIT] Just got a PDF from Adam and added the link to it below

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCg-GOnBKlM

    https://www.facebook.com/Bluecarve/


    PDF Link https://1drv.ms/u/s!AkngIzm4Iut4gcUT...7HRIw?e=p9rMgY




    Tetra Motions Scoot 2 which is Peteeng's new machine - He sent me a message this morning showing it off and he's just updating the info package so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

    https://cncrouterkits.com.au/ - Not on website yet

    https://www.facebook.com/ScootCNC/


    All up I am enjoying learning all about this stuff but talk about axis is doing my head in a little bit. I'm a visual learner though so pictures usually help me understand a lot better.

  20. #20

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    Re: New hobbyist - Purchasing help - What would you buy with $5000AUD?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,
    the first step in making some type of comparative study of materials is to email the supplier (Maker Store) and ask for the 'first moment of area' for the C extrusion. That's what an FEA program
    needs to calculate deflection.

    More common and typical rectangular sections, I beams, C beams etc are usually included in the FEA program and not a value you have to supply.

    Craig
    I just modelled the heavy C beam extrusion in Fusion 360 but didn't realise the FEA part is in the paid subscription part of the program

    Bugger

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