Using these plans, can anyone provide the approximate materials cost for a completed solution? For the moment, let’s assume I go with the Pro Combo ($240). Outside of a computer, approximately how much more will i need to spend? Another $250? $500? A ROM would be very helpful.
Interesting community here. I haven’t touched a CNC machine since school, it will be fun to dive back in.
Hi George –
Just finished my machine and I kept meticulous records of all my expenditures. My total cost was $1541 USD. Now, I upgraded a few items from Brian’s list, and they are: all three axis were upgraded to Acme 2 start 1/2″ threaded rods and all the associated hardware for them; I also had to purchase a new LCD monitor and keyboard for my old WindowsXP machine which is included in the total. I also elected to buy an empty DIY PC enclosure to house the power supply and 4 axis stepper controller board. Its now a ‘stand alone’ box with all the fittings on the front panel.
The only item left to purchase is the software license for Mach3. I am currently evaluating several CAM programs, but I’m leaning toward either CamBam or Fusion 360.
I ended up ordering a Bob’s CNC E3 router kit. It’s a bit lower end than Brian’s (at least, what i can determine from the pictures) but should certainly be sufficient for my beginner’s needs. All up cost, including buying $200 in Amara bits, totals to about $850. Reusing an OLD laptop from my mom and that cost is not factored in. If/when I grow out of this machine, I’ll simply use it to make a bigger and better one! 🙂
The kit arrives tomorrow, weather dependent (expecting 8-12″ of snow in the Northeast). I’m excited.
I’ll investigate free software to begin and then dive into Mach3/4 or other commercial solutions if the free stuff is not sufficient. We’ll see how it goes. Good luck to you as well.