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Thread: DIY CNC Router for under $4k?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    DIY CNC Router for under $4k?

    Is it possible? I'm not looking for anything to run a production shop, just using it for my hobby shop. Although, it'll need to be able to fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood and be able to cut it.

    I have a festool tracksaw and a SS tablesaw but I would love to just throw a sheet on a CNC and let it go to town while I either work on something else or drink a coffee. I guess this more of a "want" to have and not a "need" to have, which is why my budget on it is so low.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoang N Nguyen View Post
    Is it possible? I'm not looking for anything to run a production shop, just using it for my hobby shop. Although, it'll need to be able to fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood and be able to cut it.

    I have a festool tracksaw and a SS tablesaw but I would love to just throw a sheet on a CNC and let it go to town while I either work on something else or drink a coffee. I guess this more of a "want" to have and not a "need" to have, which is why my budget on it is so low.
    Not going to happen for a 4x8 foot machine.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Ray Fine 20w Galvo Fiber laser (For Sale) , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Qe60+ Vinyl cutter. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router

  3. #3
    There's a list of machines / designs on the /r/hobbycnc subreddit but 4x8 is a tough size to achieve at a low price. Shipping alone can be a budget buster.

    There is one design, the Maslow which is specifically designed to handle 4x8 sheets though, and there are a couple of designs where the tool either cuts an area under guidance (Handibot) or (Shaper | Origin) --- one hybrid is the Printrbot Crawlbot.

    I believe there's one recently announced which crawls around the sheet, but not recalling the name.

    Alternately you can cut larger sheets using indexed cutting.
    Last edited by William Adams; 07-13-2018 at 12:29 PM.

  4. #4
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    Its almost as slow as routing by hand but it is working. Wonder how long that little belt lasts?

    The Maslow however looks like an interesting project.
    Last edited by Bill George; 07-13-2018 at 1:25 PM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Ray Fine 20w Galvo Fiber laser (For Sale) , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Qe60+ Vinyl cutter. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router

  5. #5
    My DIY machine was well under $4k. I spent about $2800 as it sits now, that includes the dedicated computer and Mach4 license. The cutting area is 49" x 60". I do not have room for a 4' x 8' (don't really have room for this one! ). It is my own design, not any kit.
    I can fit 4' x 8' sheets and index, although I have not yet needed to do so. I can extend this machine to 49" x 100" fairly easily (have the materials to do so) and may choose to once I build my new shop in 6 months or so.

    It is a fair step above the usual smaller hobby machines: 500lbs, 600ipm rapids, cuts at 200+ ipm. 5 inches clearance under gantry (and uniquely adjustable to provide up to 12 inches!). I designed it to allow it to work on the ends of boards as well, something very few commercial machines are set up to do. It has a 2.2 kw, water cooled spindle, under g-code control for start/stop and rpm.

    IMG_0136.jpg

    I did get lucky on finding the large extrusions (80mm x 160mm and 80mm x 80mm) at a bargain price, $1 per lb. To build a duplicate at retail prices would add about $2000 to the cost, but I have not seen any other machine, including kit machines at even $5k, that is as big, stiff or fast.

    It can be done.
    Colorado Woodworkers Guild
    Colorado CNC User Group

  6. #6
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    I believe you can do diy 4x8 cnc for $5k. You pay more than money though on diy.

    I see a bunch of crazy designs on the diy cnc facebook groups.
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  7. #7
    My 3x6 machine that I am currently building will probably cost about $2k till its all said and done, but I used wood for most of the construction. It probably wouldn't be that hard to build a 4x8 cnc for $4-5k. You would probably have to compromise in areas like rigidity, which is a big problem with my machine. Something to consider would be what you want to do with it. If your only machining wood and plastics wood or aluminum extrusion would be fine.
    A doctor buries his mistakes, but I burn mine.

    If it ain't broke, fix it till it is.

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