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CNC Machine Buying Guide

CNC Machine

Are you building DIY CNC machine plans for wood, metal, foam, stone, plastic, acrylic, leather, fabric, textile, and glass with styles of mini, small, benchtop, tabletop, desktop, handheld, portable, and large format?

Are you buying 2022 new CNC machine kits at lower prices than used CNC machine tools for small business, home shop, school, education, teaching, training, hobbyists, commercial use, or industrial manufacturing?

Are you looking for CNC machining service in USA, UK, UAE, Canada, Australia, Russia, South Africa, China, India, or other countries from Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Oceania?

Review the 2022 best CNC machine buying guide to CNC machinists, machine operators, beginners, woodworkers, carpenters, artisans, builders, metal fabricators, metalworkers, stone fabricators, stone workers, and foam fabricators.

You will find the best budget automatic CNC routers, lathe machines, milling machines, laser cutting machines, laser engraving machines, plasma cutting machines, digital cutters, laser cleaners, and laser welders in STYLECNC.

We will offer you the top rated affordable CNC machines for sale at cheapest price in the world of 2022 with 24/7 free expert 2D/2.5D/3D customer service to meet your business plans & ideas within your budget.

What Is A CNC Machine? - Definition

A CNC machine is a type of automatic Computer Numerical Controlled machine tool with multiple functions of cutting, carving, engraving, milling, drilling, grooving, bending, grinding, slotting, turning for hobbyists, small business, small shops, home business, home shops, schools, and industrial manufacturing.

A CNC machine is composed of machine frame, CNC controller, spindles, gantry, operating system, software, motor, driver, T-slot table or vacuum table, ball screw, guide rail, power supply, collet, vacuum pump, limit switch, rack, pinion, and more machine parts.

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. CNC refers to an idea of controlling a machine tool via computer instead of manually controlled by a machinist. New machines in CNC programming have enabled the industry to consistently produce parts to accuracies undreamed of only a few years ago. The same part, can be reproduced with the same degree of accuracy any number of times if the program has been properly prepared and the computer properly programmed. The operating commands which control the machine are executed automatically with high speed, accuracy, and efficiency.

How Does A CNC Machine Work? - Principle

CAD refers to Computer Aided Design, that is, computer aided design, which is used for 2D or 3D workpiece or stereo design.

CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacturing, that is, computer aided manufacturing, which is used to generate G-Code.

The full form of CNC is Computerized Numerical Control, a CNC controller is used to read G-Code to start machining.

In modern computer numerical control systems, the design of workpieces highly depends on software such as computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM).

The computer aided manufacturing software analyzes the design model and calculates the movement instructions during the processing.

The movement instructions and other auxiliary instructions required during the machining are converted into a format that can be read by the numerical control system through the post-processor.

The generated file is loaded into the computer numerical control machine tool for part machining.

After importing the program instructions into the memory of the CNC system, the computer compiles and calculates, and through the displacement control system, the information is transmitted to the driver to drive the motor to cut the designed parts.

Step 1, Design a 2D or 3D drawing via CAD software.

Step 2, Convert the CAD file into G-code via CAM software.

Step 3, Setup CNC kits.

Step 4, Start CNC programming.

Step 5, Start machining.

All Types of CNC Machines

How Many Types of CNC Machines? - DIY Guide

There are 16 main common types of CNC machine for sale, including lathes, laser machines, router machines, plasma cutters, knife cutters, drilling machines, milling machines, punching machines, boring machines, bending machines, inspection machines, wire cutting machines, water jet cutting machines, planers, grinders, and plotters.

6 Types Based On Concepts

There are six most common types, including mills, lathes, routers, lasers (laser cutters, laser engravers, laser etchers, laser markers, laser cleaners, laser welders), digital cutters, plasma cutters.

2 Types Based On End Uses

You will meet two basic types, including hobby CNC machines for small business and home shop (mini types, small types, benchtop types, desktop types, tabletop types, portable types), and industrial CNC machines for commercial use (wood, stone, metal, foam, plastic, wood plastic).

16 Types Based On Functions

There are ten most popular types, including cutting, milling, routing, carving, engraving, marking, printing, welding, cleaning, turning, drilling, grooving, slotting, grinding, sanding, and nesting.

5 Types Based On Materials

You will meet much more types, including woodworking, metalworking, foam fabrication, stone fabrication, plastic fabrication, and so on.

How Much Does A CNC Machine Cost? - Pricing Guide

When you are in need of a new CNC machine, you may wonder how to start. There a few things to consider including the table size, the parts, the accessories, the controller, the software, the service, and the setup options that are available to you.

Whether entry-level or high-end types, we will help you get to the bottom of all of these concerns and have you on your way to enjoying your new automated computer numerical controlled machine tool in no time.

The first thing most buyers want to know is what affordable CNC machines for sale usually cost.

The best budget CNC machine itself will range between $2,000.00 and $260,000.00, depending on the hardware and software that it uses.

The second-hand used CNC machines are relatively cheap, but there is no reliable guarantee of quality and support.

If you want to buy a new or used CNC machinery overseas, the fee for shipping costs, tax, and customs clearance should be included in the final price.

The CNC router machine costs from $2,580.00 to $150,000.00, the CNC milling machine is priced from $3,000.00 to $120,000.00, the CNC laser engraving cutting machine has a price range from $2,400.00 up to $260,000.00, the CNC lathe machine cost is from $2,800.00 to maximum $11,180.00, the CNC plasma cutting machine prices are from minimum $4,000.00 up to $30,000.00.

Pick Up Your Budget

Types

Minimum PriceMaximum PriceAverage Price
CNC Router$2,580.00$150,000.00$6,580.00
CNC Laser$2,400.00$260,000.00$5,120.00
CNC Plasma$4,000.00$30,000.00$6,260.00
CNC Mill$3,000.00$120,000.00$8,210.00
CNC Lathe$2,800.00$11,180.00$5,680.00

What Are CNC Machines Used For? - Applications

CNC machine is a smart power tool used for hobbyists, small business, and industrial manufacturing. It can mill, turn, drill, grind, engrave, etch, cut materials such as wood, metal, foam, plastic, and is widely used in the field of machinery manufacturing and automation.

CNC lathes are used in automobile manufacturing, aviation, aerospace, electronics, arts, crafts, gifts, woodworking, and instruments.

CNC mills and boring machines are used for the processing of large and complex structural shells, brackets, boxes, and precision parts such as aerospace and automotive engines.

CNC machining centers are used for parts processing of industries such as military, aerospace, energy, machinery manufacturing, ship manufacturing, and large-scale mold making.

CNC grinders are used to meet precision grinding cemented carbide, hardened steel, granite, glass, and more high hardness and brittle materials..

CNC EDM machines are used for precision parts processing and mold making, taper hole or special-shaped hole drilling.

CNC press brakes are used for mass production of sheet metal in motorcycles, automobiles, electronics, home appliances and other industries.

CNC automatic production line is aimed at the mass production of bulk shell and box parts in the industries of home appliances and automobiles.

Technical Parameters - Specifications

BrandSTYLECNC
Table Sizes2' x 2', 2' x 3', 2' x 4', 4' x 4', 4' x 6', 4' x 8', 5' x 10', 6' x 12'
TypesCNC Router, CNC Laser, CNC Mill, CNC Plasma, CNC Lathe
FunctionsCarving, Engraving, Marking, Cutting, Turning, Drilling, Milling, Grooving
ApplicationsHobbyists, Small Business, Small Shop, Home Business, Home Shop, School Education, Industrial Manufacturing
MaterialsMetal, Wood, Foam, Plastic, Fabric, Leather, Acrylic, Glass, Stone, Paper
Capability2D Machining, 2.5D Machining, 3D Machining
StylesMini, Small, Benchtop, Tabletop, Desktop, Handheld, Portable, Large Format
Price Range$2,000.00 - $260,000.00

Features & Advantages - Benefits Guide

CNC machines are electric discharge machines that integrate mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and information technologies.

It is a working machine with the advantages of high precision, high efficiency, high automation, and high flexibility, stability and reliable quality in mechanical manufacturing processes.

The technical level and its percentage of the output and total ownership is one of the important indicators for measuring a country's national economic development and the overall level of industrial manufacturing.

Automation

As the name implies, CNC indicates that this form of machining relies on computer control. This means a higher level of automation, which is the best solution for high-precision work.

The main function of CNC machining is to be able to create other things from a piece of material. Although traditional machining methods can achieve these goals, the automation makes it more efficient to save time, and less error space.

Multipurpose

For example, CNC turning makes it possible to manufacture "complex external and internal geometries, including the generation of various threads."

CNC milling is better for making holes, grooves, and repeated movements to create complex 3D shapes. It is versatile, easy to set up repetitive motions, and is usually used to make molds.

Multifunction

There are no cutting tools in this industry that can handle all the manufacturing processes, but CNC is the closest.

It can create curves and angles in flat and smooth substrates.

It can add grooves and threads to create a locking mechanism.

It can stamp and engrave, cut and drill, and add texture and contour.

Since it is run by a computer program, you can customize it to do almost anything you can imagine.

CNC programming uses CAD to create a model of the final product.

As the process progresses, this is a rough draft. It can also identify any problems in the design.

Then take a picture of the prototype, which will create a copy and enter it into the machine.

Safety

CNC machinist uses the computer to control the machine to run, which creates a safe working environment and reduces the occurrence of workplace accidents.

This is particularly important because workers have to bear the repeated manual labor in the past.

CNC machining ensures that the products produced are consistent to meet quality control guidelines.

Human operation error is a common safety hazard, which can lead to accidents, so there is no need to worry.

Convenient

CNC machining process is efficient and computer-led, it is easy to mass produce to save time. You only need to make multiple machines run on the same program.

For many companies, how to expand scale while maintaining good profit margins is a challenge.

CNC machining has the function of storage, so there is no need to worry about reloading the program every time, and there is no need to re-enter commands every time the product is produced.

The benefits of CNC machining make it the best solution for manufacturers.

How To Use A CNC Machine for Beginners? - Using Guide

Nine basic steps to operate a computer numerical controlled machine in workshop.

Step 1. Edit & Input CNC File.

Before machining, you should analyze and compile the file of the project. If the file is more complicated, do not program on the machine, but use the programming machine or computer programming, and then back up to the control system through the U disk or communication interface. This can avoid increasing the auxiliary time of machining when using the machine.

Step 2. Power On.

Generally, the main power is turned on first, so that the machine has the power-on conditions. Start an control system with a key button and the machine is powered on at the same time. Information is displayed on the CRT of the control system. At the same time, check the hydraulic, pneumatic, and input Give the connection status of the shaft and other auxiliary equipment.

Step 3. Solid Reference Point.

Establish the movement datum of each coordinate of the machine before machining. For machines with control systems, this step should be performed first.

Step 4. Import & Call To CNC Programming.

According to the program medium (U disk), it can be input by computer, programming machine or serial communication. If it is a simple program, it can be input directly on the control panel with the keyboard, or input section by section in MDI mode, and process in sections. Before machining, the origin, tool parameters, offset amount and various compensation values in the machining program must also be input.

Step 5. CNC Program Editing.

If the input program needs to be modified, the working mode selection switch should be placed in the editing position. Use the edit key to add, delete, and change.

Step 6. CNC Program Inspection & Debugging.

First lock the machine and only run the system. This step is to check the program, if there is an error, you need to edit it again.

Step 7. Project Installation & Alignment.

Install and align the lower spare parts to be processed and establish benchmarks. The method adopts manual incremental movement, continuous movement or handwheel to move the machine. Align the starting point to the beginning of the program, and set the tool benchmark.

Step 8. Start The Coordinate Axis for Continuous Machining.

Continuous machining generally adopts the program machining in the memory.

The feed speed of CNC machining can be adjusted by the feedrate override switch, and the feed hold button can be pressed during machining to pause the feed movement to observe the machining conditions or perform manual measurement.

Press the cycle start button again to resume machining. In order to ensure that the program is correct, you should review it again before machining.

In the milling process, for the plane curve project, a pencil can be used instead of the tool to draw the project outline on the paper.

If the system has a tool path, the simulation function can be used to check the correctness of the program.

Step 9. Shut Down.

After machining and before turning off the power, pay attention to check the status of the machine and the position of the spare parts.

Turn off the power of the device first, then turn off the power of the system, and finally turn off the main power.

How To Buy A CNC Machine? - Buying Guide

There are many varieties of CNC machines in the world, and there are also many brands and manufacturers. This phenomenon has pros and cons for buyers.

The advantage is that customers have more choices, and buy more useful machines from machine shops.

The bad thing is that after seeing more, they don't know which one is the best to buy.

As the saying goes, cheap is not good, and good is not cheap.

So, what things should be considered when buying CNC machines?

Meet Your Requirements

A CNC machine cannot do all the work. In order to be able to process different materials professionally, the manufacturers classify them into many types.

If you buy a CNC mill to carve bakelite, or buy a certain large industrial CNC machine to cut small crafts, it will not only waste a lot of money but also have a bad effect.

Similarly, if you buy a desktop CNC machine for home door making, it may not work properly at all.

So before you buy, you must communicate clearly with the salesperson to let him know your purpose, including the size of the workpiece, the material of the workpiece, the machining effect and so on.

Types & Models

If you need to cut a sign in your advertising shop, you should buy professional hobby CNC routers with custom configurations.

If you need to turn wood, you should buy a CNC lathe machine for woodworking.

If it is used for mold making, you need a CNC milling machine, and then determine the model of the mill according to the size of your milling project.

If it is used to cut metal, you should buy a plasma cutter, or a laser cutter with fiber laser source.

If the material to be milled is graphite, you must choose a CNC mill dedicated to graphite, because the protection level of ordinary CNC machines is not enough, which will cause damage or even paralysis of the machine.

Therefore, you should buy professional CNC machines according to your own business plans and projects.

Sample Making

Before buying, in order to ensure the ability of the machine you selected, you must let the sale manager to make samples based on your designs.

The advantage is that you can see the the actual machining effect, as well as the time it has used.

Contract Signing

After the above three points are completed, the signing of the procurement contract must be carried out.

A complete contract is the best guarantee to guarantee one's legal rights.

First of all, the contract should clearly indicate the purchased model, configuration, price, delivery time and delivery method, training method, warranty terms, and specific payment methods.

After the contract is signed, the corresponding deposit shall generally be paid according to the contract.

For the signed contract, we must abide by its content agreement to avoid unnecessary conflicts with the seller in the future.

Delivery & Training

After the machine is shipped on time, the technician from the supplier will help you to open the packing box and inspect the machine in your workshop (if you have paid for door to door service, the technician will arrive at your workshop before the machine arrives).

You should carefully check the machine appearance whether it is damaged during transportation. If it is good, check the machine parts and accessories according to the packing list and the terms of the contract.

Next, let the technician setup the machine (including the hardware assemble, software installation & debugging).

After setup, make a sample test on the machine. If the finished project is well, the delivery inspection will be completed.

According to the contract, the user shall pay off the balance. The operators are required to have a strong sense of safety responsibility, and they must have proficient machine tool operation skills before starting their jobs.

In the training process, you should be proficient in choosing different cutting speeds and using different bits & tools for different materials.

This requires the skills and experience. A good mastery is better for extend the service life of the machine and tools.

Service & Support

When you encounter problems during use, you must first get in touch with the dealer, communicate clearly to understand the problem, and do not deal with it yourself.

This may cause the manufacturer to not give the warranty, and it may also cause an accident without knowing the machine.

In terms of after-sales service, we can require the manufacturer to strictly follow the contractual agreement. If you encounter deliberate delay or have a bad attitude, you can complain to the person in charge.

Summary

The above six tips are the precautions for the purchase of CNC machines summarized by STYLECNC for you.

We hope to help you buying the right machine, and wish you to own a good machine that you want to buy.

If you have more questions about CNC machines for sale, don't hesitate to ask for help, and let us know if you need any further assistance.

A CNC router machine is a professional automatic computer numerical controlled machine that uses a CNC controller with the control system on the computer to drive the X, Y, and Z axis to move, uses G-code commands to control the router bit to cut along the tool path generated by the CAD/CAM software, and removes the excess parts on the substrate to achieve the final results of cutting texts and patterns. CNC router kits can work with DSP, Mach3, Mach4, NcStudio, LNC, OSAI, LinuxCNC, PlanetCNC, Syntec, Siemens, FANUC, and more controllers based on the business requirements. CNC routers can do relief carving, rotary carving, flatbed cutting, 3D routing for wood, aluminum, copper, brass, glass, plastic, acrylic, and foam.

A CNC milling machine is an automatic power milling machine with CNC control system designed on the basis of handheld mill. A CNC mill can perform drilling, boring, tapping, contour milling, plane milling, plane cavity milling and milling of 3D complex surfaces. It is divided into vertical mill and horizontal mill. It can complete 3-axis, 4-axis or 5-axis linkage to cut and mill aluminum, brass, copper, iron, and steel with high-power spindle motor and servo motor to ensure the spindle to run with high speed to improve the machining accuracy, precision, and tolerance of the metal parts. It is widely used in aviation parts, auto parts, mold making, machinery parts, train parts, and shipbuilding parts. CNC milling machines with tool magazines are also known as CNC machining centers.

A CNC laser machine is an automatic laser machining system with CNC controller for cutting, engraving, marking, welding, cleaning various substrates with laser beam. Laser cutters are used to cut shapes and profiles on metal, wood, foam, acrylic, plastic, leather and fabric. Laser engravers are used to etch and mark texts and patterns on metals and nonmetals. Laser welders are used for metal joints. Laser cleaners are used for surface treatment for rust removal, paint stripping, coating removal, oil, stain, dirt cleaning on metal, stone, wood, and rubber. A laser machine features with dieless, contactless, no deformation, no damage, high speed, high precision, stable and reliable machining quality. CNC lasers have been applied in personal customization for hobbyists, commercial use in small business and industrial manufacturing.

A CNC plasma cutter is an automatic cutting system that uses a CNC controller to drive the movement of the plasma cutting torch on the CNC plasma table to achieve the purpose of metal fabrication. Before starting work, you need to compile a program, and then transfer the program into the CNC control system, which will send forward, backward, left and right commands to the drive system, which will control the forward and reverse rotation and speed of the motor to drive the action of the plasma cutter. The most common types of plasma cutting systems include conventional plasma arc cutting, dual gas plasma arc cutting, water jet plasma arc cutting, oxygen plasma arc cutting, and fine plasma arc cutting. CNC plasma cutting machines can cut carbon steel, mild steel, tool steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, iron, alloys for machinery, shipbuilding, steel structures, automobiles, pressure vessels.

A CNC lathe machine is an automatic computer numerical controlled power tool for turning conical, cylindrical, and curved surfaces of round shaft parts or disc parts. The automatic lathe uses a CNC controller to drive the cutting tool to move and turn the parts according to the designed files by CAD/CAM software. The basic composition of CNC lathe includes I/O device, CNC control system, servo motor and driver, measurement feedback system, auxiliary device and machine bed frame. It can perform facing, OD turning, taper turning, thread turning, grooving, eccentric turning, surface turning, balling, quasi-turning, boring, embossing, cutting, reaming, and drilling. Compared with manual lathes, it can automatically turn parts based on the customer requirements without manual operation. The most common types of CNC lathes include CNC metal lathes and CNC wood lathes.

Feature Stories & Articles

How to Build a CNC Machine from Scratch? - DIY Guide
How to Build a CNC Machine from Scratch? - DIY GuideCategory: CNC BlogJul 06, 2022

Are you learning & researching on how to make your own CNC kits for beginners? Review this DIY guide on how to build a CNC machine step by step from scratch.

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