CNC Wood router

If its got a cable, this is the place to talk about it.
Uppy
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CNC Wood router

Postby Uppy » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:38 pm

Hi all ....

Just joined this group ...

Ì am looking to purchase a cnc wood router to help produce better craft products for my wife's business ... I am after recommendations and info please .. cheersxall

Meccarroll
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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby Meccarroll » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:46 pm

Uppy wrote:Hi all ....

Just joined this group ...

Ì am looking to purchase a cnc wood router to help produce better craft products for my wife's business ... I am after recommendations and info please .. cheersxall


Some of the chaps on here use them and may come along to offer advice when they have the time, not me though, I don't own one. Maybe it would help if you could advise what you actually need to make with one.

mark270981
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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby mark270981 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:20 pm

Very much horses for courses on this.

I can only help with heavy industrial if this is the route you’re going down.
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Oakfield
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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby Oakfield » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:23 pm

I’m guessing you may be looking at the hobby end of the spectrum rather than a £60,000 beast.
The 3 that I know a bit about are the X-Carve, Shapeoko and the Workbee.
I have a small Shapeoko 2 which can turn out some pretty decent stuff, just a lot slower than an expensive machine. I am looking at also getting a Workbee. These are available in larger sizes and also can be screw driven as opposed to belt like most of the hobby machines.

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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby Meccarroll » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:19 am

Oakfield wrote:I’m guessing you may be looking at the hobby end of the spectrum rather than a £60,000 beast.
The 3 that I know a bit about are the X-Carve, Shapeoko and the Workbee.
I have a small Shapeoko 2 which can turn out some pretty decent stuff, just a lot slower than an expensive machine. I am looking at also getting a Workbee. These are available in larger sizes and also can be screw driven as opposed to belt like most of the hobby machines.


I have also been thinking about buying a CNC for quite a while now but also don't know much about them. Apart from the CNC bed and router, what are the elements that go to making up a CNC? Any advice would be appreciated.

Oakfield
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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby Oakfield » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:37 pm

The 3 that I mentioned are all available as a kit which comes with everything you need to get up and running. At least two of them also have their own, free software. Although that software may get a bit limiting for more advanced stuff. There is other free software available and also lots available to buy for varying amounts of money!
Let me know if you have any questions and I will try to help, but I’m not claiming to be an expert!

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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby Meccarroll » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:40 am

Oakfield wrote:The 3 that I mentioned are all available as a kit which comes with everything you need to get up and running. At least two of them also have their own, free software. Although that software may get a bit limiting for more advanced stuff. There is other free software available and also lots available to buy for varying amounts of money!
Let me know if you have any questions and I will try to help, but I’m not claiming to be an expert!


Ok and first of all thank you for the reply.

If I can ask: Say you have an idea to inscribe a bread board with wording and want to put this into action.

What software can you use, any? or does it have to be in a specific coding and once you have the wording how do you transmit it to the CNC? Does the CNC then have to have it's own decoding software.

I have an idea of the process but it's only a vague understanding, a bit of spoon feeding would help if you can help as and when you have the time.

Many thank's

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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby plutomoon » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:53 pm

Meccarroll wrote:
Ok and first of all thank you for the reply.

If I can ask: Say you have an idea to inscribe a bread board with wording and want to put this into action.

What software can you use, any? or does it have to be in a specific coding and once you have the wording how do you transmit it to the CNC? Does the CNC then have to have it's own decoding software.

I have an idea of the process but it's only a vague understanding, a bit of spoon feeding would help if you can help as and when you have the time.

Many thank's


I just joined this forum today and I have been pondering the same thing for weeks now. I'd be interested to know the answer too if anyone could share their experience. I'm not looking to inscribe a bread board but I imagine the process will be the same.

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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby Oakfield » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:27 pm

I was in a similar situation when I started and was completely overwhelmed with all the different software etc.
From my point of view there are 3 stages:
1. CAD (computer aided design) this can be done with a huge amount of different programs, some of which have nothing to do with cnc machines (sketchup for example)
2. CAM (computer aided modelling) this is taking the 2d or 3d design you just created and producing gcode(the language that a cnc machine understand) which is basically a long list of coordinates that tells the machine where to move too.
3. Sending, you also need a program to send all the information you just created to the cnc machine.

Some programs will do all 3 stages, like the free software for the X-Carve called Easel. This is a web based program, so you can sign up there and have a play with designing something without having a cnc machine.
Some programs will only do 1 part of the process.

I hope that made a bit of sense!

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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby Meccarroll » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:12 am

Oakfield wrote:I was in a similar situation when I started and was completely overwhelmed with all the different software etc.
From my point of view there are 3 stages:
1. CAD (computer aided design) this can be done with a huge amount of different programs, some of which have nothing to do with cnc machines (sketchup for example)
2. CAM (computer aided modelling) this is taking the 2d or 3d design you just created and producing gcode(the language that a cnc machine understand) which is basically a long list of coordinates that tells the machine where to move too.
3. Sending, you also need a program to send all the information you just created to the cnc machine.

Some programs will do all 3 stages, like the free software for the X-Carve called Easel. This is a web based program, so you can sign up there and have a play with designing something without having a cnc machine.
Some programs will only do 1 part of the process.

I hope that made a bit of sense!


Cheers for this, I sort of knew that you needed drawing software and decoder software but the above does help to start to demystify the way the software might be used a bit.

I have a cad programme which I have used in the past to draw curved handrails templates on paper which I then glued onto blocks of wood for band-sawing. The breadboard lettering was just an example of something simple to work around not something I intend doing. Maybe a CNC could be used for stair parts and templates.

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Re: CNC Wood router

Postby martin.pearson » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:40 am

First questions to ask yourself really are what do you want to do with it, what sort of accuracy do you need & how much support do you need. Answering these questions can often help with machine selection especially when it comes to what size machine you need & how rigid the machine needs to be.
For many it can be a very steep learning curve & I know of people who have made a fairly large investment & then given up & then sold it all.
As with most things there is not really a one size fits all machine especially at the Hobby machine end of the market, if you are machining wood then a gantry style router such as the x-carve or shapeoko might fit the bill but if your mainly machining metals then you should be looking at a CNC mill which then means a higher starting price. I will see if I can find some useful web sites for those interested to look at.
There is free software available you can use for both your design work (cad) & your toolpathing (cam) but most free software doesn't come with much support & it is often better to consider buying software where you get more support. Again it comes down to time, if its a hobby & you have lots of spare time to learn then great but if it's a business & time is money then you need answers fairly quickly & don't have the time to search for them


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