Build Your Own CNC Machine

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
There should be plenty of kits in the 5K range but I think you will see a large variance in accuracy and material quality. I would look for a kit with higher quality linear railing and really understand how the unity braces on all axis. Remember this thing will want to shake violently if there is too much slop and for accuracy its important to understand how they reduce backlash. If you can get something used on Craigslist (ive seen occasional machines show up here in the seattle area) that might be a good way to go as you can see it in action.
Last edited:
This is my 1st post. Anyway I worked for a Company called Esko Graphic's long time ago we sold and serviced Kongsberg X,Y cutting tables even an old unit from the mid 90's would be a better choice at $5k. Kongsberg did make a unit that had a router head was a bit $$ as all Kongsberg stuff is. I'm sure if you look around for a used unit one could be found. I'm thinking a an old flatbed unit called a " die saw"mite work would need a little mod. lot's of companies quit using them years ago if you could find one. good luck zoomer !
A lot of these hobby-grade CNC machines have mediocre electronics inside (underrated parts, poor component choices, value engineered all over and the list goes on). The packaging can be very fancy to mask all these deficiency.

In general they don't last and the subsystems (stepper drives, control, etc.) they use go obsolete pretty quick unlike stuff made by Fanuc, Okuma, Yasnac, Mitsubishi, etc. Some use obscure sources where documentation (for future repair) and 3rd party support are non-existent and your only option is to fork yet another $1k+ or so from the machine integrator.

Maybe it's better to just make friends with your next door machine shop with a case of beer :)
Ug yes well I have already lowered my aspirations and am considering 2'x4'. I don't intend to etch PCB's or machine metal (but you know how that goes...), just to cut MDF, but still need precision. There are some completely assembles units that seem attractive and there are some good deals on that auction site. I am learning more and more about CNC with every day of research. The more informed I become, the harder it becomes to decide. I do have a nice 2'x8' sturdy base I need to go pick up soon.
Is CNC'ing 4x8x1" MDF for around 5K realistic?

Those plans use a rather small stepper motor and a 3 amp controller. That will be rather slow on a machine that large.

I have been collecting parts to build a DIY CNC machine. I am in no hurry since I have no place to put one right now, but retirement is 1 to 3 years away, and my retirement man cave is a 24 X 36 modular home seperated from the main house. Power tools, and loud things can be operated without hearing "turn that thing down." I want capability to cut guitar bodies as a basic minimum. There are DIY CNC machines from crude to $$$ on Youtube.

Keep in mind that you will need some sort of CAD package that can turn your ideas into "G" code that Mach 3 or even a PIC based system can eat.
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.