Machine Tool Vendors

Great source for us has been Amazon.  And – strangely – their  Woot property.

Yeah…funny story there:  Got a “Woot” email and there is our 3D printer and it was $169, or some ridiculous price.  A couple of hunsky’s later it shows up.

The current Amazon equivalent is the Comgrow version.  Click Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface Plate and UL Certified Power Supply 220x220x250mm for current pricing.

As mentioned on another page, Our 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?)

By the way, one of our readers has the CNC router, too and writes…

“The quality is good and the kit was easy to build. Note: this unit is not sturdy enough to cut steel.

On the software side I’m using DipTrace to design the circuit board. It exports “gerber” files that define the pcb trace routes and other details. I use FlatCAM to convert the gerber files to CNC Gcode file(s). The Gcode goes into the router’s software to run the machine.

I’ve tested the software path from board design to tool head movement and all appears to work well. Just a few more mechanical tweaks and I’ll be grinding out circuit boards.:

One of the keys to success in the shop is??

“DON’T BE IN A HURRY!”

Whether you’re printing plastic or cutting PCBs nothing will gum up the works worse that trying to run too fast.

Lot of things go wrong when you get “too fast” in your head:  Bits break, excess heat is created, the cuts get jagged, and on PCBs especially if you don’t have nearly-perfect eyes, finding a threat of coper can be a bravo-inch-tango-Charlie-hotel.

‘Nuf said?

 

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