If you want a CNC router, then you might ask yourself this question: Should I buy or build a CNC router machine? Would you prefer to buy a CNC router kit to assemble a DIY CNC router by yourself, or would you just buy a complete one? CNC router machine?
Nowadays, the use of CNC engraving machines accounts for an increasing proportion in the modern woodworking industry. As we all know, a CNC engraving machine is composed of a complete CNC engraving machine kit, which is composed of various CNC engraving machine parts. The quality and service life of the CNC machine tool suite determines the quality and service life of the entire CNC engraving machine. Whether you are buying a complete CNC router or a DIY CNC router, you need to choose the right CNC router kit and CNC router parts.
This article will briefly introduce the CNC router kits mainly used in creating routers, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a complete CNC router so that you can make a decision more quickly.
Buy a CNC router kit vs buy a complete CNC router
Pros and cons of buying a CNC router kit
- You can choose the CNC router kit according to your specific processing requirements. You don’t need to pay for features that you don’t need.
- Buying a CNC router kit instead of the whole machine can save a lot of money.
- Assembling the CNC router kit and debugging the DIY CNC router can really exercise your hands-on ability.
- After completing the DIY CNC router, you can get a strong sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
- It requires you to first conceive and design a machine model or type. This requires you to be very familiar with CNC machine tools, which is quite difficult for beginners.
- It takes a lot of time and effort to select, purchase and assemble all the necessary CNC kits you need.
- In addition to the CNC router kit, you should also purchase other small auxiliary parts or tools, such as wires, connectors, bolts, nuts, etc. Assembling all CNC router kits or CNC router parts also requires certain technical knowledge and skills.
- The DIY CNC router may only have a small size, such as 3040, 3018, 6090, 1212, etc., with simple functions. Can not achieve heavy or long-term cutting and engraving work.
Pros and cons of buying a complete CNC router
- The complete CNC engraving machine with heavy configuration can realize large-scale, long-term, and high-intensity work.
- Before buying the whole machine, there will be someone to answer all your questions. He/she can also introduce and recommend CNC router kits that meet your specific needs.
- You can tell the CNC machine tool manufacturer all your requirements instead of conceiving and designing the machine yourself. Therefore, you can purchase all CNC router kits and other auxiliary CNC router parts in one place.
- Signing a purchase contract with a CNC machine tool manufacturer can better protect your rights.
- The complete CNC woodworking engraving machine has been installed, debugged, and tested before leaving the factory. You simply assemble the machine after receiving it.
- Perfect after-sales service can solve all the problems you encounter in the process of using a full set of woodworking engraving machines.
- It may cost more than buying a CNC router kit.
- A complete CNC engraving machine may have some functions that you don’t often use.
- If you buy from a foreign CNC machine tool manufacturer, you also need to pay additional freight, customs fees, etc., and it takes a long time to produce and ship.
- If you are an unreliable manufacturer of CNC machine tools, you will get inferior products and it may be difficult to defend your rights. Therefore, it is necessary to spend time and effort to find a suitable CNC machine tool manufacturer.
To sum up
As mentioned above, buying a CNC router kit or a complete CNC machine has its own advantages and disadvantages. But in my opinion, buying a complete machine has more advantages than buying a CNC router kit.
If you don’t mind the trouble, have enough time and technical knowledge, and are willing to DIY a CNC router machine, then buying a CNC router machine kit may be a good choice. It can exercise your design ability and hands-on ability in the process of assembling CNC router parts. At the same time, this may save you a lot of money.
Buying a CNC router kit and assemble the CNC router parts yourself may only be suitable for small or simple machines. Therefore, if you are a hobby or just want to DIY a home CNC router, buying a CNC router kit is enough to meet your needs.
However, if you have a factory or workshop engaged in mass production, then a complete CNC engraving machine maybe your best choice. The whole machine has a strict production and testing process to ensure its excellent quality and stable operation. Even if you are a large-scale furniture manufacturing company with high output, the CNC engraving machine can also achieve long-term, heavy-duty, and high-strength cutting work. The complete CNC engraving machine has a variety of specifications to choose from and can be customized according to your needs.
The following FORSUN will introduce how to make a CNC router for beginners, and how to choose and buy a CNC router that suits you.
How to build a DIY CNC router?
Are you facing such a problem: you want to build a CNC machine tool, but you are not sure what kind of machine you want to build? We will try to create a framework that you can use to decide what your first CNC project should be.
The first thing you need to do is to take some notes on some of the questions you want to know beforehand. Try this questionnaire:
Cost: How much can you spend on CNC machine tools? Some are more expensive than others. Some will require more software or tools than others, which will add additional costs. Make a truly honest assessment of the level of the cost you are willing to handle for the project.
Difficulty: Following the cost is a realistic assessment of the skills you can bring in building the machine. Some machines are easier to build than others. Some people will prefer tolerances that are looser and easier to achieve. Strong woodworking and strong metalworking skills will also affect your choice.
Time: As long as you have enough time, you can build almost anything. But how much time can you actually invest in this project? How interested are you in creating the machine itself and using the machine after it is finished? Considering that before graduating to the final CNC project, it might be a good idea to keep working on simpler machines. You will learn a lot on simpler machines, and you will be more prepared to handle complex machines.
Project: What do you want to use your CNC machine tool for? This will greatly affect the type of machine you build and the specifications required for that machine.
How to create a CNC router for beginners?
The precise assembly of a CNC machine tool depends on the type of machine you choose to build, the customization options you choose, what you plan to make with the machine, and many other factors. Nevertheless, the key steps to build your own CNC machine tools are usually as follows:
1. Design your machine
Creating a design for your CNC machine will help you have a clear understanding of the completed project. You can choose to start with a sketch, and then use a program such as Scan2CAD to convert the drawing to CAD.
2. Get parts
Once you have designed your machine, you can continue to buy parts for it. Use the list above as a guide, but feel free to customize the machine to meet your requirements!
3. Build the framework
Your frame connects all the other parts of the machine together. Therefore, this is the first construction you will perform when building your own CNC machine. Metals such as aluminum are a good choice for your frame because they ensure stability and rigidity. In turn, this will help extend the life of other hardware.
4. Add gantry
Not all CNC machines are equipped with a gantry, but as one of the most popular design options, we introduce it here. The gantry allows your machining tool to move along the Y-axis; it will fix your tool above the work area. Ensure that the forces acting on the frame are balanced to reduce the possibility of deformation or shaking of the machine.
5. Introduce the Z-axis
Your tool itself will move up and down along the Z-axis. However, you need a place to put your tools. You install this shell on the gantry to provide your tools with a greater depth range.
6. Then the X-axis
Adding bearings and guide rails will help maintain the rigidity of the CNC machine tool and enable your tool to move back and forth along the X-axis.
Now that you have added the parts that allow your CNC to move forward and backward, it is time to add those parts that actually make it move on that axis. This is the drive system, usually composed of motors, pulleys, spindles, screws, bolts, and nuts.
8. Introduction of electronic parts
You are now ready to add many electronic components that form the core of a CNC machine tool. The key is the motor that will eventually drive the machining tool. In this case, you can choose a stepper motor or a servo motor. Learn more: Which Is Better, Stepper VS Servo Motors?
9. Put on the desktop
You can’t machine parts without a place to put them! Your cutting table can be made of plywood, MDF, or metal. But keep in mind that not all of these materials are suitable for the type of CNC machine you are creating!
10. From rotary motion to linear motion
The motor you install will cause the machine to rotate. However, your CNC machine tool usually requires linear motion. The spindle converts the rotary motion of the motor into linear motion, which means your machining tool will be able to move up and down.
11. Choose your controller
The CNC controller is essential to the operation of CNC machine tools. This is the part that interprets the signals given by the processor or computer and converts them into the signals of the electronic parts of the CNC machine tool. Therefore, it acts as the “brain” of the entire system.
12. Choose your software
Your machine is almost ready to run now! But first, you need to choose the software that controls the CNC machine tool. Most of them will use languages such as G codes to control the movement of the machine along the three axes, enabling you to perform machining operations.
13. Add your processing tools
There are a variety of processing tools to choose from. Metal cutting tools are one of the simpler varieties, but more complex machines may use laser or plasma cutting tools.
14. Start making things!
Your machine is now complete and you are ready to start working on your own project!
CNC router machine buying guide
If you decide to buy a finished engraving machine, you need to consider how to buy a cost-effective machine. We have summarized some of the most important criteria for you:
Consider your wishes
Before you find a suitable supplier, please consider what you hope to achieve with the machine. This can be best done with the following questions:
- What is the size of the workpiece to be processed?
- What is the accuracy requirement of the workpiece?
- How hard is the material related to the torsional stiffness required by the CNC router machine?
- How exactly is the selected CNC router machine suitable for my material/workpiece?
- Do I need an additional axis in the future or should I handle larger workpieces?
The correct way to find a router machine
When I know exactly which standards are important to my target machine, I can start looking for the right manufacturer. It is useful to collect as much information as possible. This can be obtained in the following ways:
- A structured website
- Customer Reviews/Customer Testimonials (Google)
- Comment comparison report (e.g. Precifast)
- Youtube channel (many vendors have good Youtube channels showing the latest products)
- Free pre-sale service
Looking for a reputable CNC router manufacturer
The key to finding the right supplier or manufacturer is not only to know where I am going but also to know which standards are important to check.
- Do I provide free no-obligation consultation?
- Does the supplied machine have a valid EMC test and CE declaration?
- Can the free screening help me make a purchase decision?
- Do I have enough clear and understandable support before and after-sale?
- Is there free support or even after-sales?
- Do I have a contact?
- Does the manufacturer emphasize friendliness and service?
- Do I feel advised and welcome?
- Are special requirements allowed?
- Do I have a legal guarantee/warranty?
- Is the machine made of high-quality components?
- How about the life of the CNC engraving machine? Do you have any experience?
- Does the supplier/manufacturer refer to a large number of references?
If you include these points in your personal choice, it will be easier to find a CNC router machine supplier that meets your wishes, which will be a trustworthy and competent help, especially before buying!
FORSUN CNC is a professional CNC router manufacturer. If you are considering buying a CNC router, you can consult us, and we will recommend you the CNC woodworking engraving machine that best suits your needs.