Home CNC mill

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YuvalS
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Home CNC mill

I am thinking about buying (or building) a small CNC mill for my projects: PCBs, Headlamps and also other stuff.
I have seen some small machines on Chinese websites, some DIY project and also Kikstarter offers.
Do you have any recommendation or experience using small mills at home for building lights? is it accurate enough for PCBs? Is it powerful enough for aluminum housings? 
THX 

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moderator007
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Have you checked into CNC routers. My brother has one and his made several nice custom auto parts with it.
He upgraded one of the cheaper models with a larger motor and a few other odds and ends and its a very capable machine.
Here’s a random video off the web. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvdu-qnwCf8

YuvalS
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moderator007 wrote:
Have you checked into CNC routers. My brother has one and his made several nice custom auto parts with it. He upgraded one of the cheaper models with a larger motor and a few other odds and ends and its a very capable machine. Here's a random video off the web. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvdu-qnwCf8[/quote]

The machine in the video seem way above my budget, I am looking on the smaller machines around 1500 USD 

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moderator007
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The video is just a example. My brothers is I think a 450 or 500 dollar machine. But they are hacks for more powerful motors and tighter tolerences with better rigidness.
Just guessing but I think his got around $750 in his with upgraded parts. I can ask him about more details if that helps.

YuvalS
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moderator007 wrote:
The video is just a example. My brothers is I think a 450 or 500 dollar machine. But they are hacks for more powerful motors and tighter tolerences with better rigidness. Just guessing but I think his got around $750 in his with upgraded parts. I can ask him about more details if that helps.

If it is not to much trouble, please ask him for the model/link

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CNCman
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A CNC Mill is expensive ! Go with a CNC Router ! Like “ moderator007 “ suggested. Thumbs Up
I am going to buy or build a 4-axis CNC Router, but I’m not ready yet.
Also I have done quite a bit of research on building one and watching videos.
You will need to watch many videos on YouTube of all the different models and decide your price range, take your time, don’t rush, take notes.
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One major consideration is the “ Z-axis “ rigidity. This is very important. These machines are made for cutting soft materials, but can cut Aluminum if taking light cuts. Many spindle, axis drivers, and servo/stepper motors options, take notes.
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There are several software options, but they don’t work on every model. The better models use AutoCad Fusion 360 free for Hobbyist, you can download and use it free as long as you don’t make more than 100K yearly using it. It is a Cad pgm for drawing parts and Cam pgm for machining parts combined into one pgm.
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If you order from China be careful of shipping charges because many stores ship only to US country free and You pay from the port it offloaded to your home, so that part can cost extra.
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Don’t get discouraged, there is alot to learn, but it comes with alot of rewards too. Wink
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EasyB
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It has to be CNC and not manual? I think there are small metal milling machines in your budget. Don’t know much about budget CNC machines but I would think they would not exist with the precision/accuracy you would need for small headlamp-size projects.

Edit: after watching the above video a 3-axis router seems pretty capable.i guess it’s just a matter of everything being rigid enough to cut aluminum.

YuvalS
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I started from watching videos but since there are so many options and some machines may be shitty I asked if someone has such machine and is satisfied  

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PaulRollet
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I prefer not to buy anything in China, as very often it turns out to be of poor quality and breaks down. However, their machines are good.

LiscLee
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This is a very interesting question, I can definitely say that you should thoroughly work on it, because for your future work you will need a very good, durable and reliable CNC machine that will not break in a month or two. I had the experience of buying cnc china and I can speak well about this equipment, I had practically no problems using it. However, the disadvantages were also present, and so a couple of years later I replaced it with another one from China, a new model. It seems to me that it will be profitable for you to purchase a CNC in China, since the machines there are reliable and are not as expensive as other foreign brands. Good luck friend!

pinkpanda3310
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Home cnc is a rabbit hole just like looking for the perfect flashlight. Some of the smaller ones are fine if you just want to do pcb work but if aluminium is the goal then you will undoubtedly find flaws in whatever small router you buy. I’m nearly done modifying the crap out of mine…

  

818nto
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If you’re willing to DIY and make another project out of it give this link a look.

https://wiki.printnc.info/en/home