Lots of things to consider when you are buying a CNC machine. Among things you need to consider, in our humble (well, not very, lol) view?
- Price, price, price. Under $200 looks good to us. But, man do some of those upscale machines rock out boat!
- Power: Will the machine have a big-enough motor to slam through work? Remember a couple of points on motor size: a 5,000 milliwatt motor (divide milliwatts by 1000 to get Watts) is only a 5-watt motor (or laser or….)
- Speaking of lasing, you want to mill or cut burn or engrave? Because for milling, you want a motor. For cutting, burning, or engraving you want a laser.
- Does the machine support interchangeable heads to convert from milling (motor) to engraving (laser)? Do you care?
- How big a workspace and how much machine travel can you actually afford? Big workspace means bigger money….
Here’s out little mill – which handles up to almost 5″ by 7″: SainSmart’s Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit GRBL Control 3 Axis Plastic Acrylic PCB PVC Wood Carving Milling Engraving Machine, XYZ Working Area 300 x 180 x 45mm. $249.
Since we like the whole “Keep it in America” idea, though, for bigger machines we lust after one of those Bob’sCNC rigs. Like this bad boy: “BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit with the Router Included (610 mm x 610 mm cutting area and 85mm depth of travel).” $898. (You’re worth it, right?)