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Hobby CNC Router Basics - The Beginner's Guide

Are you looking forward to DIY hobby CNC router kit plans or coming up with an idea to buy affordable small CNC routers for hobbyists, small business or school education? Review the 2021 new hobby CNC router buyer's guide for machinists, operators and beginners, we'll offer you the best hobby CNC machines of 2021 with expert customer service to fit your custom hobbyists requirements.

What is a Hobby CNC Router?

Hobby CNC router is a type of small CNC machine for hobbyists with mini table size controlled by computer or DSP controller. It is a smart CNC machine tool that automatically calculates the tool path through a computer and the designed patterns on the object. Its principle is to use CAD/CAM software to design and typeset on the computer, and complete the design of the pattern to be cut in the CNC software. Next, choose the CNC bit, and automatically calculate the tool path (the tool path calculated by the CNC programming software according to the selected bit), then output the tool path file, and import it into the CNC controller. At last, run the simulation, after confirming that it is correct, then dirve the machine starting to run through the controller. A hobby CNC router is also known as hobby CNC machine, entry level CNC router, desktop CNC router, mini CNC router, small CNC router, advertising CNC router, CNC router for beginners.

Types

There are six types of hobby CNC machines: small CNC machines, mini CNC machines, desktop CNC machines, benchtop CNC machines, tabletop CNC machines, portable CNC machines.

Features

1. It adopts the linear guide rail specially used for CNC machine tools, the slide block is pre-tightened, with good rigidity and no gap.

2. Synchronous anti-interference design of software and hardware, high performance, industrial PC motherboard, to ensure the reliable operation of the system. Advanced three-dimensional intelligent prediction algorithms ensure the high-speed operation and high precision of curves and straight lines. 

3. Good software compatibility, compatible with type3, Artcam, Castmate, UG and other CAD and CAM design and production software.

4. It has the function of breakpoint and continuous routing after power failure, correcting the error code file in time, and automatic error correction when returning to the origin.

5. The whole machine adopts casting structure, strong rigidity, no deformation, double nut anti-backlash screw rod and guide rail to ensure high-speed operation and high precision.

6. The high-power micro-step driver makes the engraving more precise and stable; the high-frequency water-cooled spindle motor and the interchangeable spindle design enable carving, milling and cutting.

7. Fully automatic numerical control system, easy to upgrade and expand, large-screen display, easier operation, simpler maintenance, and more user-friendly design.

Applications

Hobby CNC routers are widely used in: small business, small shop, home business, home shop, craftsman, hobbyist, advertising, woodworking, signs, logos, letters, numbers, arts, crafts, building models, emblem, badge, display panels, furnitures and decorations.

1. Woodworking: wooden door and furniture, windows, tables, chairs, cabinets, panels, 3D wave plate, MDF, computer desk, musical instruments, etc.

2. Advertising: billboard, logo, sign, 3D characters cutting, acrylic cutting, LED/Neon channel, literal-hole cut, lightbox mold, stamp, mould, etc.

3. Die industry: copper sculpture, aluminum engrave, metal molds, plastic sheeting, PVC, etc.

4. Decoration: acrylic, density board, artificial stone, organic glass, soft metals like aluminum and copper, etc.

5. School education.

Technical Parameters

BrandSTYLECNC
Types

Mini, Small, Tabletop, Benchtop, Desktop, Portable

Axis3 Axis, 4th Axis (Rotary Axis), 4 Axis, 5 Axis
MaterialsWood, Stone, Foam, Acrylic, Plastic, Metal, PVC, ACM, MDF
Capability2D Machining, 2.5D Machining, 3D Machining
Price Range$2,480.00 - $20,000.00

Pricing Guide

How much does a hobby CNC router machine cost? The first thing you have to consider is the specifications, including machine frame, working table, spindle, ball screw, guide rail, gantry, vacuum pump, motor, driver, CNC controller, CNC operating system, rotary axis, limit switch, power supply, collet, rack and pinion. Machines from different CNC machine brands have different service and support, which will lead to the different costs and prices. Machines from different countries have different customs, different tax rates, different shipping costs. All of these factors will result in the different final prices. You will get a final price range of $2,480.00 to $20,000.00.


ModelsMinimum PriceMaximum PriceAverage Price
STG4040$2,480.00$3,000.00$2,580.00
ST6060E$3,500.00$4,500.00$3,800.00
STG6090$2,580.00$3,200.00$2,780.00
STM6090$2,800.00$3,500.00$3,000.00
STM6090C$6,000.00$20,000.00$8,200.00
STG1212$3,680.00$4,500.00$3,890.00
STG1212-4$4,480.00$7,000.00$4,800.00
STG1218$3,820.00$4,800.00$4,020.00
STG1224$3,980.00$5,000.00$4,180.00

Manufacturer Guide

STYLECNC is guaranteed hobby CNC machine manufacturer and supplier. STYLECNC provides all kinds of best hobby CNC machines for sale to fit your hobbyists.

STYLECNC's small CNC machines are equipped with:

Genuine software and system,

The best CNC bits, parts and tools.

STYLECNC offers cost price for your hobby CNC plans without any intermediate. You will get the best mini CNC machines with the affordable price from us.

STYLECNC also offers the best hobby CNC solutions, 24/7 free service and support, which is available free.

Buying Guide

1. Consult:

We will recommend the most suitable small hobby CNC machine to you after being informed by your requirements.

2. Quotation:

We will offer you with the detail quotation to the consulted machine with the best specifications, accessories and price.

3. Process Evaluation:

The seller and buyer evaluate all the details of the order to exclude any possibility for misunderstanding.

4. Placing an Order:

If you have no doubts, we will send PI (Proforma Invoice) to you, then we will sign a contract with you.

5. Production:

We will arrange the small CNC machine production as soon as receiving your signed sales contract and deposit. The latest news about production will be updated and informed to the buyer during the production.

6. Quality Control:

The whole machine production procedure will be under regular inspection and strict quality control. The complete mini CNC machine will be tested to make sure they can work well before out of factory.

7. Delivery:

We will arrange the delivery as the terms in the contract after the confirmation by the hobby CNC machine buyer.

8. Custom Clearance:

We will supply and deliver all the necessary shipping documents to the small CNC machine buyer and ensure a smooth customs clearance.

9. Support and Service:

We will offer professional technical support and service by Phone, Email, Skype, WhatsApp, Online Live Chat, Remote Service. We also have door-to-door service in some areas.

Safety Guide

The hobby CNC machine should pay attention to its operation method. The correct operation method can not only make the machine run normally and avoid damage, but also ensure the CNC operator's safety.

Safety precautions for operation:

1. After setting the routing position, the coordinates of the X, Y and Z axis workpieces must all be reduced to "0".

2. Adjust the routing speed and spindle motor speed to prevent the tool from being broken due to too fast and too slow speed during the routing process.

3. In the process of automatic tool setting, please note that the tool setting block must be insulated from the small CNC machine.

4. When routing, if the first cutter is not sure, you can slow down the feed speed, and then return to normal speed when you feel that the routing is normal. You can also simulate carving in the blank area to see if it is normal.

5. If the mini CNC machine is not used for a long time, it should be refueled and idling every week to ensure the flexibility of the transmission system.

6. The continuous running time of the machine should not exceed 10 hours per day. In order to ensure the cleanliness of the cooling water and the normal operation of the water pump, the water-cooled spindle motor must not be short of water. The cooling water must be replaced regularly to prevent the water temperature from being too high. As much circulating water as possible can be replaced with a large-capacity water tank.

7. After using the machine each time, pay attention to cleaning, you must clean the dust on the platform and the transmission system, and regularly lubricate the X, Y, and Z axes of the transmission system.

8. When operating a hobby CNC machine, it is best for the operator to wear a dust mask and protective glasses to prevent the dust and other dust generated during the process from invading the human body and causing discomfort.

9. Add a certain dust and dust removal device to the machine, and choose the dust removal equipment to use.

Installation and Operation

Step1, Machine Installation.

Warning: All operations must be performed under power off.

1. The connection between the mechanical body and the control box.

2. Connect the control data cable on the machine body to the control box.

3. The power cord plug on the mechanical body is plugged into the Chinese standard 220V (or 380V) power supply.

4. To connect the control box to the computer, plug one end of the data cable into the data signal input port on the control box and the other end to the computer.

5. Plug one end of the power cord into the power supply on the control box, and the other end into the standard 220V power socket.

6. Install the CNC tool on the lower end of the spindle through the collet chuck. When loading the tool, put a spring chuck of appropriate size in the taper hole of the spindle, and then put the tool into the middle hole of the chuck. Rotate the large wrench counterclockwise to tighten the spindle screw nut to secure the tool.

Step 2, Operating Procedures.

1. Layout according to customer requirements and design requirements, after calculating the path correctly, save the path of different tools. Save as a different file.

2. After checking the correct path, open the path file in the engraving machine control system (previewable).

3. Fix the material and define the origin of the work. Turn on the spindle motor and adjust the rotation speed correctly.

4. Turn on the power and operate the machine.

Step3, Starting.

1. Turn on the power switch, the power indicator light is on, the CNC machine first performs a reset self-test operation, X, Y, Z, axis return to zero, and then run to the initial standby position (the machine's initial origin).

2. Use the hand-held controller to adjust the X, Y, and Z axes separately to the starting point of the machining work (processing origin). The spindle speed and feed speed are appropriately selected to make the machine in a waiting state.

Step 4, Working.

1. Edit the file to be engraved.

2. Open the transfer file, transfer the file to the hobby CNC machine, you can automatically complete the file carving work.

Step 5, Ending.

When the CNC file ends, the machine will automatically raise the tool and run to the top of the work start point.

Troubleshooting

1. Alarm failure.

Over-travel alarm indicates that the machine has reached the limit position during operation. Please check according to the following steps:

1.1. Whether the designed graphic size exceeds the processing range.

1.2. Check whether the connecting wire between the machine motor shaft and the lead screw is loose, if so, please tighten the screws.

1.3. Whether the machine and the computer are properly grounded.

1.4. Whether the current coordinate value exceeds the value range of the software limit.

2. Overtravel alarm and release.

When overtravel, all motion axes are automatically set in the jog state, as long as you keep pressing the manual direction key, when the machine leaves the limit position (that is, the overtravel point switch), the connected motion state will be restored at any time.

2.1. Pay attention to the direction of movement when moving the workbench and keep it away from the extreme position.

2.2. The soft limit alarm needs to be cleared to XYZ in the coordinate setting.

3. Non-alarm failure.

3.1. Insufficient repetitive processing accuracy, please check according to the second item of the first article.

3.2. When the computer is running and the machine does not move, check whether the connection between the computer control card and the electrical box is loose, if so, insert it tightly and tighten the fixing screws.

3.3. When the machine cannot find the signal when returning to the machine origin, check according to Article 2.

3.4. The proximity switch at the mechanical origin fails.

4. Output failure.

4.1. No output, please check whether the computer and the control box are well connected.

4.2. Check whether the space in the settings of the machining manager is full, and delete the unused files in the manager.

4.3. Whether the wiring of the signal wire is loose, carefully check whether the wires are connected.

5. Machining failure.

5.1. Whether the screws of each part are loose.

5.2. Check whether the path processed by yourself is correct.

5.3. Whether the file size is too large, causing computer processing errors.

5.4. Increase or decrease the spindle speed to adapt to different materials (usually 8000-24000)

5.5. Loosen the tool chuck, turn the tool in one direction and clamp it, and put the tool upright to prevent the engraved object from being unsmooth.

5.6. Check whether the tool is damaged, replace it with a new one, and re-engrave.

Hobby CNC Routers for Sale

(9 Items)

4th Rotary Axis Hobby CNC Router for Sign Making with Wood, MDF, Aluminum

STM6090

$2800.00 - $3500.00

4th rotary axis hobby CNC router for sign making is the best hobby CNC machine for small shop, home business, and craftsman. The rotary 4th axis CNC router machine is used for custom signs & signage or DIY signs with wood, acrylic, PVC, MDF, plastic, foam, copper, aluminum.

2021 Top Rated Mini Desktop CNC Router for Small Business

STG6090

$2580.00 - $3200.00

2021 top rated mini desktop CNC router STG6090 is an affordable tabletop CNC machine kit with 2x3 table top for hobbyists, small business, home shop, craftsman, advertising, sign making, arts, crafts, and 3D relief carving. Now the cheapest small desktop CNC router for sale at cost price.

Affordable CNC Router Table for Sale with 4x8 Vacuum Table

STG1224

$3980.00 - $5000.00

Affordable CNC router table is an economical CNC router machine with 4x8 vacuum table, which is mainly used for furnitures, decorations, wood crafts and arts, sign making, cabinet making, now the best CNC router table for sale at a low price.

Low Cost 3 Axis CNC Router Machine with 4x4 Table Size

STG1212

$3680.00 - $4500.00

Low cost 3 axis CNC router kit with 4x4 table size (STG1212) is used for flatbed carving and cutting wood furniture, gifts, boxes, models, arts and crafts, signs, logos, jewelry carving, now the best 4x4 CNC router table for sale at an affordable price.

Small Desktop CNC Router Machine for Home Shop

STG4040

$2580.00 - $3000.00

The desktop CNC router machine is a type of small hobby CNC router kits for home shop, which is equipped with a 4th axis rotary table for 2D/3D machining in home business and small business, home shop and small shop, the small home CNC machine is widely used for woodworking, sign making, mold making, arts and crafts. Now the desktop CNC router kits for sale at a low price.

Benchtop CNC Router Kit with 2x4 Table Size

STG6012

$2780.00 - $3600.00

Looking for a benchtop CNC router kit with 24x48 inches table size for your business? Check out the best 2x4 benchtop CNC machine kit with with 2D/3D machining capabilities. You will get an affordable benchtop 2x4 CNC router machine from STYLECNC.

Small Entry Level CNC Router Kit for Beginners with 2x2 Moving Table

ST6060E

$3500.00 - $4500.00

Small entry level CNC router kit for beginners with 2x2 moving table can be used for 2D/3D carving of wood, stone, metal and acrylic in the industries of small shop, small business, home shop, home business, signs, advertising, arts, crafts, gifts, mold, electronic, etc. Now the small entry level 2x2 CNC router kit for sale at low price.

Small CNC Router Machine with Automatic Tool Changer (ATC)

STM6090C

$6000.00 - $20000.00

Small CNC router machine 6090 with automatic tool changer (ATC) and 2x3 table size is designed for those who need multiple tools for CNC routing projects without enough space for a larger CNC machine.

Cheap Hobby CNC Router Machine with 4x6 Table Size

STG1218

$3500.00 - $4500.00

STG1218 cheap hobby CNC router machine is equipped with 4x6 table size, standard DSP control system, stepper motors, water-cooling spindle. Now the 4x6 hobby CNC machine for sale at affordable price.

2021 Best 4x4 Hobby CNC Router Kit with Four Spindles

STG1212-4

$4480.00 - $7000.00

2021 best 4x4 hobby CNC router kit with four spindles is the best solution for advertising, woodworking, arts, crafts and other small business, the best 4x4 CNC router kit can process four pieces at one time to save time and improve the efficiency.

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