This is a great product for beginners, Customer service is great and solved a minor problem I had with the assembly. This company has your back on any problems you have with the basic machine. Finding a source for software to do the automatic milling cuts is a bit difficult but not impossible, I did finally find a reasonable priced third party source for the basic code that feeds into the Grblcontrol code provided. I am now looking for another control code to replace the Grblcontrol software. The Grblcontrol software doesn't seem to be very modern in the way it accepts commands. For example when you input a circle it requires that you input a X, Y, J, I at each cut, even if one of those value hasn't changed from a previous setting. Modern coding makes the assumption that unless you change a setting it will use the previous value. That means you need to go into the code and change each line to add those values. Very time consuming.
As soon as I opened the package, I knew to expect quality.
Everything was there. You need some imagination to follow the build instructions (they're better than IKEA, though). I installed the gizmos that hold the bed to the "slidee" things upside down. Not a big deal to change, but be careful. Overall, it does feel like quality.
Ninety minutes, and it was done! Looks good and the control panel does what you'd expect.
More to come after I make my house numbers and a PC board!
This machine is exactly as it is billed. An excellent beginners machine. If you are looking for a production grade, fully assembled, plug and play device, this is not it. If you are looking for a beginner hobbyist machine to be used as a stepping stone into the CNC world, this hits the mark. All the necessary beginner level software is available on line, for free.
So I was looking for a fun project to handle some automatic CNC type projects. While i have a large Manual Mill - having something compact and automatic was a strong attraction.
This is not something for milling steel or such - but for wood, plastic and such - it is a great little machine.
Assembly of the 3018 PRO is simple and straightforward. I do recommend watching their assembly video - it answers most any question as to direction, sequence, etc.
As to customer service - they are OUTSTANDING. I had a linear bearing that was sticking and precluding the Y-Axis from moving - contacted via Email - they responded within 24 hrs - and within a few days I had a whole new set of bearings. And it works like a champ.
This is not something for a novice IMHO - you must have a bit of a feel for assembling items - you are blending plastics with Aluminum and bakelite/arcylic - so amount of torque is critical.
Also remember this is a $200 unit - not a $5000 CNC mill.
While I have not had it running for a long time - initial work proved it very easy and smooth to operate and it did a great job.
My ultimate intention is for plastics and PCB work for school and personal stuff - and this will be perfect.
this machine is 100% for people who want to tinker and play with things, if you're looking for plug and play you're in the wrong place. but if you're willing to tinker and test things, you're gonna have to trouble shoot things, you're gonna have to mess with it, but if you're willing to put in the time you can get some pretty nice work out of it
in short, if you're someone who loves to tinker and you're looking to dip your toes into the world of cnc, you cant go wrong with this machine.