It’s evident that CNC routers have taken over the woodworking and crafting scene in the industry through recent years. With this advanced tool, project outputs have never had precise cuts and sophisticated details than using a standard and manual wood router. It’s like CNC machines deliver a different set of standards among hobbyists and professionals after its release in the market. Overall, wood routers are still being used by the majority; however, if your line of work is more geared towards producing projects that require clean cuts and complicated design using a wide variety of materials, it’s best to consider adding a CNC machine in your workshop. The problem, though, is that most of these kits are highly expensive, and there aren’t that many low-priced models to choose from.
If you’re opting for a CNC machine but don’t know where to start, you’re reading the right article! Here, we’ll discuss what you should look for in a CNC machine and our recommendation: the BobsCNC Evolution 3. We believe that BobsCNC Routers are one of the best, if not the best CNC machine for the money. We’ll also guide you through the technical details you need to know when using this tool, such as the software programs you can utilize. Find out more below!
What’s a CNC Machine?
Before we proceed, let’s define what a CNC machine in simpler terms. A CNC machine router kit utilizes a computer program to let you manipulate the tool; thus, its abbreviation meaning is Computer Numeric Control. This machine is always compared to a 3D printer because of a few output similarities that both tools produce; however, a CNC router is more suitable for projects that require the tool to work with other materials. You can say that using this unit offers you more work advantages because it’s more convenient and efficient to operate than the standard wood routers.
Things You Need to Consider in a CNC Router
Indeed, CNC machine kits are not as widely used as the typical wood router, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t need to pay close attention to what the machine has to offer you. A few options still require you to make your choice, depending on your work needs. Below are some general factors you’d want to consider, especially if you’re new to the idea of using this advanced router.
Most of the released CNC kits are definitely on the high-priced tier, but you can be lucky and find one on a cheaper price range if you look further. For this factor, you also have to consider the operations you’ll be doing with your machine. CNC routers have different kinds, and some that perform more complicated designs and have specialized features tend to be more expensive. Focus on the router that can provide you with the output that most of your projects require.
Like traditional routers, CNC kits have varying speeds; this all goes down to the spindle motor that a machine is equipped with. Ensure that the spindle rate matches the speed you’re going for when working on a query.
This factor is crucial because you’ll be able to check if your computer is compatible with the unit you’re opting for. You’ll also see what software programs you’ll need to install to manage, manipulate, and access the CNC router with ease. Fortunately, we’re also going to have a section towards the end that deals with the software you can use to work with our featured CNC router.
The BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router is considered as one of the existing router machines that are most trusted by professionals and beginners alike. It’s a go-to router for novices that are still testing the waters of using a CNC machine, and are not yet ready to spend big on a unit. It comes with a DeWalt DW660 router, which has a good reputation among users because it provides accurate cuts with a speed that reaches up to 30,000 RPM. The router that the kit is equipped with lets you cater to projects that require a wide range of materials, like hardwood, softwood, and plastics. You can control the unit with an Arduino-based microprocessor, and it uses a USB port for its connection. You can run the router using Raspberry Pi, Windows, OSX, and Linux; this factor makes it versatile because of its compatibility.
As for its tabletop factor, the unit has a full cutting dimensional area of 17.7 inches x 15.3 inches x 3.3 inches on directions, X, Y, and Z. This allows you to work on various material sizes with much more ease. Lastly, this unit is one of the most convenient and portable routers in the market; it’s very lightweight and easy to assemble.
We’ve mentioned above that you won’t have a problem with finding BobsCNC E3 Software. In this section, we will provide you with an overview of the software programs that you can use to work with this unit.
This first software allows you to use it as a CAM program or a machine controller. The EstlCAM can do both functions independently. If you’re using machine controllers, such as Mach3, LinuxCNC, and GRBL, you can use this software to make CNC programs. On the other hand, you can also use EstlCAM for running CNC programs made using other CAM software. You can avail this at $59, which is the lowest price you’ll find in this section’s options.
This next software promises to take your 2D cutting on a whole new level. It aims to provide you sophisticated outputs of patterns with pocket, profile, drill, and inlay toolpaths. VCarve Desktop also allows you to create new designs with v-carve textures in it. This “Desktop” version is applicable for small CNC routers mainly used for hobby purposes and small-scale businesses. It’s a bit more expensive at $349.
If VCarve takes you to the next level, the VCarve Pro delivers you with many improved and convenient features to use on your CNC Router. Like the Desktop edition, the Pro lets you make designs and patterns with v-carving textures. The VCarve Pro provides you endless toolpath sizes and set-up sheets; because of these, the software is applicable to larger scale businesses and active production workplaces. It’s available for $699.
Aspire aims to offer you all-around software that brings you everything you’ll need for your CNC router projects. It provides you with unique features and efficient functions, such as Drilling, Profiling, Pocketing, and 2.5D toolpaths like Prism Carving, Fluting, Moulding Toolpaths, Chamfer Toolpath, and V-Carving; these patterns and texture strategies make way for you to cater to projects with sophisticated and complicated design requirements. At $1,995, this software is a serious investment. We recommend that you use this with your BobsCNC E3 Router if you’re taking on big projects for large-scale business so that the software price won’t burn such a big hole in your pocket.
Finding a good CNC router is hard enough, primarily because of the existing number it has in the market. Our pick, BobsCNC E3 CNC Router, is one of the best ones because of the ease of work that it can provide you in the long run. It’s also versatile because it’s compatible with most computer systems. As for its software programs, you can access and work with BobsCNC E3 with a range of software you can choose from according to your work queries and budget.