Sainsmart 3018 CNC Router
A few years ago I bought a CNC (computer numeric control) diode
laser cutter, because I thought I could learn
to use it to make prototype pickup parts. It did work well on
some materials I wanted to cut, but not on others.
I needed something that would machine many different materials,
so I bought a Sainsmart 3018 CNC router.
In my opinion, this is one of the most useful machines a modeler
or luthier could have.
The Sainsmart uses the same GRBL computer language that my laser
cutter or a 3D printer uses
so programming it isn't difficult. I can actually use CAD
programs like Fusion 360 to write the programs
I need to make my parts. This machine makes a good trainer for
anyone who wants to learn how to operate
a larger CNC router without spending a lot of money or
taking college programming courses.
The machine itself is small and uses Dremel sized cutters, which
is a nonissue because I'm not cutting steels
with it. It excels at softer materials like wood, inlay
materials like shell, plastics, and aluminum.
Best of all, with some modifications I can mount my laser
cutter's cutting head to the Sainsmart
and use it as a laser cutter! More powerful cutting motors for
this machine are available too.
I use this machine to cut out pickup bobbins and pickguards, and
I'm also experimenting
on making the molds I need for my Honajector 1OZ injection
molding machine on it.
I can also use this to make my own circuit boards for effect
The only downside is I'm now looking at a new machine large
enough to make full sized
guitar bodies or necks on...
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