To build or buy...


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After talks with the wife of what we could potentially do with a CNC router and maybe earn a little money with signage and other custom work, I'm investigating whether to build or buy.  I almost always lean towards buy...  Certainly not because I have the money, but because I don't have the requisite knowledge to build and don't really consider myself mechanically inclined (quite the opposite in fact).

If I choose to buy, do y'all have any recommendations on products to either look into or avoid altogether? 

Open to any input...  Thanks in advance.

Chris

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I'm not trying to sway you one way or, the other but here is the first video in a series of video's that Jason Beam built his CNC machine. I found this series interesting even though I have no interest in building one.

 

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I will second the video series that higtron posted.  I have worked closely with Jason with the design and build of my machine.   He is actually working on building his second machine right now.

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Depends on budget and requirements. I'd say under $1000, anything you buy requires assembly and/or is way overpriced for its capabilities, so building would probably be your best option. $1k to $4k is debatable. I think it's quite unlikely you'd build something with a budget over $4k (unless you go 4'x8' with big motors, a huge spindle, fat linear rails, extra rigid store bought alu extrusions and even a tool changer), that's already enough for a decent ready-made 2' x 4' machine i think. 

Also, even if you're not mechanically inclined you need to be ready to grab a wrench and adjust things whichever way you go, this would get easier if you went through the lengthy process of building it yourself.

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Sorry.... got busy going back to work after the holiday!  Budget would hopefully be under 4K if we were to do it. 

Mostly we would be looking at routing wood products; I don’t foresee any metal fabrication anytime in the next 10 years, if ever. 

When I say I’m not mechanically inclined, I can change oil and turn wrenches, I just don’t trust myself all that much with building a CNC router if I’m not following very detailed plans. 

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