CNC Mill Picking

Fri 18 May 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

I am interested in purchasing a CNC machine for the shop space in our new house. I think I would like to stick to something around $1000 but would be willing to invest as much as $2000 if I can find the right machine. There are a lot of choices in this price range for hobby CNC machines. Some other selection criteria include:

  • Big cut area (I would love 4'x8' but that seems a lot) - I am interested in trying out thigns you can do with furniture.
  • Small detailed work - I also have a few small projects that require detail. I realize it will be difficult to have a machine that does both big and small.
  • Open source hardware (I just like these projects) - Something I can easily modify with a rich user community.

During my initial search I came across the following systems and communities.

Sienci DiyLilcnc Shapeoko X-Carve Openbuild community

I just stumbled across the Maslow and got really excited. The large format capabilities (4'x8') with the really low price ($350) would leave more than enough in my budget to buy two machines. In fact, I may be able to buy a Maslow and then use it to make the parts I would need another project like the DiyLilcnc (Although I just realized the kickstart for that is relly old 2011). There are probably other projects.