Electronics > Mechanical & Automation Engineering

recommendations for a quality 6040 CNC machine

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I've got a 3040, and a 3020  from 13-15 years ago ,
Built really solid, straight, square ! no backlash, excellent quality, I run with a 18k RPM water motor and Planet CNC controllers
It is mainly large aluminium block and bar and steel with std extrusion deck.  heavy.
In the past 10 years I bought  2x  6040 machine chassis.
Both were built of types of extrusions, rubbish ball screws and carriages, rubbish bearings. Junk.
They weigh about the same as the old heavy 3040.

Has anyone got suggestions of a source for a higher quality end of the scale 6040 chassis ?
Happy to spend money...
Does not matter if it comes with some chinese copy controller or not, I'll probably just toss it.
I need a large deck surface area for light duty sheet ally.


If you're happy to spend the money, then buy a Datron. They don't list prices, and I guess you it will make you really happy to get rid of your money in this way.  :popcorn:

Sorotec (from Germany) also makes some nice routers, although I would avoid their cheapest offerings, and go with at least two linear bearings per rails. You can expect to pay around EUR3000 or 4000 for a Sorotec, but that's exclusive motors and electronics.

FS3MG is also a nice machine, and sold via Ebay. Gotteswinter has one (or an FS4MG) as an upgrade from his Sorotec.

Another machine worth mentioning is the RatRig Stronghold Pro. It similar to the "improved" Shapeoko and X-Carve machines, but the "Pro" version has ball spindles.

For the Chinese machines. There is a lot of garbage, but there are also some decent ones. The absolute minimum I would consider for myself will be with rectangular rails which are supported over their full length. There are some with blue anodized parts that conform to this rule. And you can buy such a machine (a small one) for less then EUR2000. But in general, you get what you pay for.

And DIY is also an option, especially if you already got such a router. One model I particularly like is in the attached picture. I found it on instructables and it claims to cost EUR500, (but that is probably for the material only, and not for time, toolwear, etc). This model is mostly a clone from a Sorotec. I suspect that even made from wood it will perform decently if you stiffen up the frame by adding some steel beams in important locations. (The Sorotec version has a thick aluminium plate on the back side of the gantry to stiffen it up.

Also, flat ground aluminum tooling plate is easily available (in the EU, I guess GB too) And it costs around EUR10 to EUR15 per kg. Designing and building one yourself is a valid option, but it depends a lot on:

* You skills.
* The value of your time.
* Whether you consider it fun or a nuisance.
* Whether you manage to buy something in your price & quality range.
* Moon phases and planet alignment.

With DIY you also have a lot of options. Do you want "cheap chines rails" or better quality (Hiwin, SKF, INA, etc) There are also huge differences in prices and qualities of ball spindles (even from china). A rolled 1605 spindle can cost around EUR50 while a ground C3 tolerance ball spindle of the same size can easily be EUR300 or more.

thanks for the comments

That is a bit of a short answer.
I gave some examples with different price / quality / DIY / precision tradeoffs. If you want better advice, you have to narrow down this range of compromises first. There also appear local manufacturers to be sprinkled around the world. but they may be a bit hard to find. Is there anything near you (and is that important to you?)

no other important items.  Certainly rails rather than rods for bearings, specially for large machines.
This company has received good reviews from like minded critical hobbyists :


they have a range of platforms. Sorry I wont consider anything inside western Europe, all prices out of this world from any other continental point of view. I think Europe can only compete with Europe...


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