CNC3-3018 Pro

This page is still work in progress.

As I've mentioned in the blog post about this machine, I ordered this hobby (or as serious hobbyists will say: toy) grade CNC machine from Amazon (DE) seller craftsman168 on 2019-09-05 for 182,77 EUR. I had seen similar machines for a while and had noticed this upgraded version on one of the big Chinese retail sites a day or two before for about 20 EUR less.

Being able to have it shipped directly from Amazon instead of waiting for a month, not having to deal with customs and not pay extra tax and fees (which would add up to even more), made it an easy choice to order there and then.

CNC3 3018Pro

Since there are different clones with minor difference out there, I am listing the details on my machine here:

The kit includes:

Remarks

  • Always get a model with a pre-mounted ER11 collet chuck / extension rod! There are clones with a really bad tool holder or where you have to mount the ER11 yourself by heating up the extension rod and hammering it on the motor shaft while making sure it is mounted true and centered.
  • People always say that the Z-axis mounts are 3D printed, but it doesn't look or feel like a typical printed part. It might be extruded or is a material I am not experienced with - nylon perhaps?
  • For the spindle motor I've seen these specifications: 3000 RPM at 12 V, 7000 RPM at 24 V, 9000 RPM at 36 V.
  • You will probably only use the offline controller once, because it can not be used together with USB and it is really fiddly to operate.

The Pro version is easier to built than the older one. Because all the holes are pre-drilled there is a lot less positioning / calibrating / squaring to do and results in a higher accuracy. The base frame is 2 cm higher which makes it more stable too. Overall the whole frame seems to be more rigid than the older version.

Build

There is not much to say about the build. It was pretty easy to put together the basic frame and the electronics. The manual is basic, but ok and guides through all steps with pictures. There is also a lot of videos available online showing the process.

It doesn't go beyond the basic build though. After that you still have to figure out what software to use, spindle speeds and feeds for different materials, even how to mount materials properly. But I expected this as a part of the pretty steep CNC learning curve anyway.

((FIXME: add manual)

Upgrades

TODO