|Item Weight||16.9 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||10.7 x 5.7 x 16 inches|
|California residents||Click here for Proposition 65 warning|
|Item model number||7x7|
|Item Package Quantity||1|
Zen Toolworks CNC Carving Machine DIY Kit 7x7 F8
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- 7 x 7 x 2 inches travel capacity
- PVC Frame, Steel guide rods and precision linear bearings provide maxium accuracy and rigidity
- F8 Leadscrew with ball bearing end support
- Effective backlash elemination with Anti-Backlash Leadscrew nuts
- New Nema 17
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NOT INCLUDED: This is just the CNC machine with motors. You need 3 Axis Stepper Motor Driver to manage each motor, a spindle/cutter(a Dremel would work) & DC power supply for the driver. You need PC with standard printer port & CNC software. You need a way to mount and secure the spindle tightly to Z-axis plage on the machine. We offer Spindle Kit complete with mounting frame for this machine. We offer 3 Axis Stepper Motor Driver that we use with our CNC system.
You can see some video demos with this machine in action. Go to youtube & search for "Zen Toolworks CNC"
You are looking at a DIY CNC carving machine kit. Now you can build your own CNC carving machine to do relief carving, letter cutting, inlay & all other interesting features to enhance your woodworking, PCB or other projects.
The body of the machine is constructed with high density PVC boards. Steel guid rod, linear bearing & stainless steel lead screws are used to construct the moving parts. The anti-backlash brass nut design will virtually eliminate all backlashes. New Nema 17 stepper motors for all three axis are included. Installation is easy if you have bench vise & power screw driver that will really help. Assembling CNC is so fun & only takes around 3-4 hours to complete. You will be amazed by what can be achieved by this machine. Finally you can build your own CNC machine for a price that's within your budget!International Customers: You are responsible for *any and all* additional fees, customs taxes, penalties, interests, or charges that are applied to your shipment for this order process. Customers can't refuse or return products while in customs to avoid import duties or above mentioned fees. 15% restocking fee and return shipping fees apply to any return other than defective product or seller's error.
Seller is responsible for defective parts, no return can be accepted after assembled.
Top Customer Reviews
Short reviews are great but I decided that mine should be a bit longer and in depth so anyone who reads it will have a better idea of what exactly a Zen Toolwork CNC Kit is. In short It is a GREAT item. If you want a short review see below.
Short Review: A Must have. One of the Best Investments I have ever made as far as tools go. Buy it!!!
A MUST HAVE for anyone who wants to get started with CNC with an excellent well made precise and affordable machine. If you want to design prototypes, carve foam, plastic metal or wood (this machine is perfect for doing wood engraving as it has a fantastic detail level even when down to extremely small designs with the right bits) or even if you just want to make small custom and/or precision parts on occasion for models or RC vehicles; or perhaps just do a little custom engraving once in a while this machine is more then able to handle the task without emptying your wallet. And it's a Kit! So you get to have a great time building it!
Arrival: From the time it shipped to the time it was at my door was 2 days. I live in NJ and the CNC kit came from CA so that was very fast shipping!!!
Upon opening the box I found everything very well packed, very tight and secure. I did a parts count and everything is where it should be with a few extra screws, bolts and washers.
The material that makes up the body of the machine is very strong. Much stronger then I would have initially though. The box must have weighted in at over 40 pounds, as the body material is very heavy and sturdy. Anything that was not made of the gray body material (such as the driver screws or the rails) was steel or stainless steel.
Quality: All parts except the motors are brand new. However in the description it does say that the motors are used. Considering that the Stepper motors are probably the most expensive part of a CNC machine this is where the real savings are as the motors while used are very well made and appear to have a lot of life left in them. I don't think I will be burning out any of these 3 motors any time soon. So everything came as described or better. For the price paid the quality can not be beat and surpasses what most people would expect for a CNC machine priced well under $1200 even under $300 as Amazon has them listed at an absurdly low $299.95. As far as CNC machines go less then $300 is near free when you compare it to others of the same size. This machines ability appears to on par and in many cases better then the "cheap" desktop models others are selling for $1100 on up. After building it and seeing what can be done I can say that this is one of the best deals out there for any type of CNC machine or tools. All moving parts have multiple ball bearings so nothing is dragging. Even after reading all the positive reviews I was still pleasantly surprised at the sturdy design and well made parts.
Ease of Assembly: All you really need is a cheap Walmart $1 Hex Key set, a small vise, a Phillips screwdriver, a power screwdriver (saves a lot of time but not really needed) and some common sense. Total tool cost for what is needed to assemble this kit if you don't have any tools at all (everyone has screw drivers right?) would be less then $30 and that is with a cheap power driver or about $10 to $15 without the power driver. The tough part is getting the small side of the driving screws to fit the ball bearings as it is a tight fit and they need to be pressed into the bearing. I found it easiest to get the driving screws into the bearings first as I do not have a drill press handy (a cheap $40 one from Sears could do it) and then use a small vise to gently press the edges of the bearings into the body parts. If you have access to any kind of drill press this can be done really easy using the press to put the driving screw into the bearing after it is in the body. It took me about 4 ½ hours to assemble and I had to back up a few steps because I forgot to check the alignment of a few holes (this means I put a few panels on backwards because I was not paying attention) and had to disassemble a few steps back to reposition a few of the body parts about 3 or 4 times. That was my fault however. The only customization that needs to be made is a mount for your cutting tool. I have a dremel tool so fabricating something was easy enough. Even a quick fix however would be fine because once attached you can use the machine to make a better mount. I will say I had a great time just building this machine. I am already tempted to order another one just to build it. Maybe I can talk a few friends into buying them and letting me do the assembly. Everything was easy and well made and fit where it was suppose to fit. When you read the online instructions for assembly it says that you should take your time and it does not have to all be built in one day but once you start you just get into it and have such a good time that you really want to finish it all at once. This was a 0% frustration build and very fun.
You will still need to buy a power supply and driver card but they can be found cheap online. You will have to make your own interface cables for the driver to talk to the motors but it only takes about 10 min a cable (You will need 3) if you want to wrap it nice and make sure it is all insulated. This is the one area you don't want to be cheap on price or time about (I spent about an hour doing cables and about $10 for wires, tape and connectors at Radio Shack. Get the color variety pack. It helps to color code). If you cross a line you could fry out your board or your stepper motor so make sure everything is separated nicely and insulated well. Most importantly make sure you have a male/female Printer cable! I did the whole build, wires and all; and at 1:30am I was looking forward to a dry run with just a sharpie to check out the level of details that can be done and to make sure everything was working correctly after building the unit and getting all excited about running it when I realized I had no printer cable. Plus it was snowing so badly that everything was going to be closed the next day so I had to wait a few days to get one. These are all over EBay if you just type "CNC Cable" in the search so if you don't have one you can get one shipped for less then $10 if you look online. If you have any mom and pop computer shops nearby they may have one there if you look and odds are it will be free or only be a few dollars as the cables are not used much and just take up space. Everything went together really easily. Electronics as well.
Size: This is a desktop CNC Machine so it is small enough not to be in the way, about the size of a large desktop laser business printer or about 1 ½ times the size of a desktop printer/scanner/copier and 2 times as high; which is great if you do not have a lot of room. I currently have mine sitting on a rolling laptop table and it takes up about 60% of it. 100% with the card and power supply but that is because I have it mounted to a Plexiglass base as I am in the process of building a housing for the electronics) Do not let the size fool you however. The work area sounds small on paper but once it is built there is more working room then initially thought. There are many things that can be fabricated with a machine this size that would surprise you. If you check out Youtube there are some good postings of some of the basic things this machine can do as well as a great video of a detail engraving on an aluminum block. While Zen Toolworks appears to be a young company and this CNC machine is still a fairly new product, I expect to see a lot more of these videos soon as it is the least expensive machine you can buy and one of the best investments anyone can make for their shop. This desktop CNC Machine is just big enough to make almost anything you could want a small 3 axis CNC machine to make in the work area AND the worktable is raised enough so that a larger then 7x7 item could be fabricated and/or engraved in sections without the frame getting in the way. It is small enough to be out of the way if you have a small shop or even an apartment with limited working space.
Level of Detail: The first thing I did once I got the machine built was to use a small metal bar and attached it as a mount with some screws to hold it in place and some zip ties for a pen so I could do a test run on a sheet of paper. I used Mach3 and jogged the unit manually to see how accurate it is. Jogging produced a good level of detail but the small amount of time that it takes to tap a button doesn't allow for a real test of the machines detail levels as you can not get really fine levels just manually jogging the machine. So the next thing I did was to use Mach3's Lazy Cam feature and just typed out my Fiancés name, picked a font and did a drag and drop. It took about 5 min to do the 8 letter name. I had the machine set for a fairly small font with the lettering outlined so it was a hollow letter which is why it took that long to make. The font size on paper would be similar to a #10 font size if you were to use a printer. Just using a cheap pen and only being held in place with zip ties I was able to produce an extremely accurate and very fine level of detail. No misses, skips or miss alignments. It doesn't sound like much but considering the small size and type of font once you see it done it is very impressive. To get an idea find a hollow text font and in size 10 print out a name. This machine did that with a pen and with a much thinner line going point by point without missing a beat. Let's say that after that I was very impressed. Not only was it perfectly drawn the round parts of the path where actually round and not just short lines. Next I found a Dragon image I liked so I used inkscape to create a Vector path and had the machine draw it out. It was a fairly detailed path and again it was hollow like the text so each line was really 2 lines and every object had a border. Total time was a little over 27 minutes and the detail level again was excellent and very surprising. I am very impressed and the fine level of detail that can be achieved with this machine and it is more then worth the price. Again one of the best tool investments I have ever made. The level of detail is far better then I expected even after reading the other reviews and I plan on doing some wood carvings this week. If you have to do any engraving, prototyping, fabrication, light production or 3D carvings especially in wood this is the best you can get without spending several thousand dollars.
After a few weeks of playing around I have been able to fabricate parts from Wood & Plexiglass with no problems. The level of repeatability is amazing. I can cut 3 custom shape panels from plexi and lay them one on top of the other and they are perfect copies of each other right down to the drill holes lining up perfectly every time. I also did some wood cutting in layers. After 3 or 4 passes with this machine over the same spot slowing cutting a thick wood part out everything looks like just 1 cut. this is a quality product.
Overall the construction seems solid, using quality components. My kit came up short on the M4 hardware (lockwashers and flat washers) so I had to buy a few more, but everything else was present and accounted for.
For electronics I'm using a driver board purchased on eBay and the combination works well with LinuxCNC and Mach3.
I bought this machine for milling custom PC boards, but I haven't gotten to that yet. So far I've been learning to use the machine with either a pen or a Dremel tool. I haven't taken any measurements but to my eye the accuracy and repeatability look good and this machine should be capable of making PC boards and other fun projects.
When I contacted Zen they told me I should "buy an old Pentium with XP". Fair enough - but this should be obvious up front. The "complete" package should really include a five year old computer - with a parallel port (USB to parallel will not work). So be aware, the computer you have at home probably will not work - unless you have an old XP machine in your attic.
Finally, if you post questions to the ArtSoft Mach3 support groups be prepared for very experienced folks who are very happy to give you responses that show how clever they are -but are not particularly useful.
I'm not saying this is a bad product or Mach3 is a bad product - but it does have some very significant restrictions and constraints - that are not obvious until after you buy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was easy to assemble and the costumer service is awesome.
The PVC frame is light and strong so it is easy to carry from one place to...Read more