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I'd like to see what cables (make and model) people are using in their DIY's; a good source (store) listing for parts would be nice too.

Time for a desktop CNC router, my friend. 

CNC cookie mold machine.

Proxxon on the way, looks like what I was looking for.  Nate, as much as I would love a desktop CNC, I don't think I can quite justify it.  With that said, I did look, and it seems like there are options out there under $1000...

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Let me know what you're seeing under $1000, last time I looked anything that looked decent was more like $2k unless you built a lot of it yourself.  I still can't get over the hurdle of needing software and a computer to run the thing.  What I'd really like is a small CNC unit with a simple numeric control unit attached that allowed for manual, but precise operation.  I'm sure I could get that, it'd just cost $5k.

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Lots of CnC talk in this thread, so asking the question here...

Given the number of DIY projects and kit CnC out there, what are the most current recommendations?

I know several people have desktop CnC and would like to see what direction they would go if shopping in today's market.

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Lots of CnC talk in this thread, so asking the question here...

Given the number of DIY projects and kit CnC out there, what are the most current recommendations?

I know several people have desktop CnC and would like to see what direction they would go if shopping in today's market.

 

I'd recommend CNC only if you are willing to take up learning CNC. It's a lot of setup, most all of them (except the million dollar professional machines) use a special linux distribution, and you need to deal with all the tweaky little issues to get it to work. Then you need to learn how to program it, and how to solve problems with making three dimensional surfaces. 

 

Gabe Newall (CEO of Steam) said he got one of those million dollar machines to relax from work, only to find he was solving the same problems as at work all over again (making 3D surfaces in metal versus pixels). 

 

So unless you want to make a hobby of it you should sub it out. 

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Word of caution. Placed an order with Newsmartcom recently, purportedly based in Hong Kong, for some capacitors and other parts I was having trouble locating. All the parts were counterfeit - re-labelled copies (including the plastic capsules on the caps). Did some random test measurements, and things measured within range, but who knows what the performance would be under load - and I really don't want to find out. So all of it is garbage. Good news though is that paypal actually found in my favour in the dispute - guessing because the seller didn't follow the process.

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Lots of CnC talk in this thread, so asking the question here...

Given the number of DIY projects and kit CnC out there, what are the most current recommendations?

I know several people have desktop CnC and would like to see what direction they would go if shopping in today's market.

 

There is a new Shapeoko coming out (which I guess they have renamed the X-Carve). They are super easy to use, don't require much in the way of a computer (I use an old X201 with mine -- they are going for $100 on eBay right now -- and even that is more than is necessary), cost under $1K, and have idiot proof design software available. If you can draw a square in illustrator, you can use the software.

 

I'd recommend CNC only if you are willing to take up learning CNC. It's a lot of setup, most all of them (except the million dollar professional machines) use a special linux distribution, and you need to deal with all the tweaky little issues to get it to work. Then you need to learn how to program it, and how to solve problems with making three dimensional surfaces. 

 

Gabe Newall (CEO of Steam) said he got one of those million dollar machines to relax from work, only to find he was solving the same problems as at work all over again (making 3D surfaces in metal versus pixels). 

 

So unless you want to make a hobby of it you should sub it out. 

 

For desktop work, this is all nonsense. The Shapeoko/X-Carve requires you know how to load a browser in Windows or Mac OS (or Linux) and that you can connect a USB cable to the Arduino it comes with. It is all very complicated stuff.

 

If you need to do 5 axis stuff and want production level quality, yes, hire a professional. If you need some quick one off protos and have a little patience, desktop kits are pretty amazing.

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Let me know what you're seeing under $1000, last time I looked anything that looked decent was more like $2k unless you built a lot of it yourself.  I still can't get over the hurdle of needing software and a computer to run the thing.  What I'd really like is a small CNC unit with a simple numeric control unit attached that allowed for manual, but precise operation.  I'm sure I could get that, it'd just cost $5k.

 

The software that runs the Arduino on the Shepeoko/X-Carve will allow you to essentially do this from a computer keyboard, and it costs way less than $5K. It is very easy. There are easier ways, though, so my guess is that you'd not actually use it that way. I am happy to let you play with mine to your heart's content if you pop down to Hartford. If there is a good dinner involved, it might find its way up to you :)

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You vile temptress.  >:D   And yes, in a year the community appears to have made great strides towards offering just about exactly what I'd want.  Still not entirely sure how I'd use it but the X-Carve with it's footprint (16x16) is finally large enough to be useful to a whole lot more people than the previous 8" square sized models.

 

The reasons to visit, of which there were already many, continue to pile up.  I really need to do something about that in the springtime.

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