Tex_Lawrence wrote:From lots of reading and asking questions (like the OP), my opinion has hardened that the price point for a cnc that is relatively trouble-free is $10K+.
No one would ever make a rule like that, but that's what I've developed from my research.
Of course you can build one yourself, but if you add in a value for your time you will end up with that same $10K+ figure.
I have a CNC router of commercial quality in my shop. Certainly capably of production work. I had options added like a full 8" rotary axis with dedicated drivers built in, added 10" "Z". My machine has a 3.2kw water cooled spindle and all NEMA 34 motors. Ball screw on "Z", not acme screw. HiWin rails, all STEEL gantry and all steel welded base.
The machine total was $5200. With shipping to my shop, installed to include wiring and setup - total $7200.
The machine is 51"x51"x10" It is a VERY robust machine and after 2 years I am VERY happy with it.
I have seen 48x48x6 machines at $2400, but you need to account for shipping and installation. I always figure $2,000, but it could be less.
There are many factors in selection of a machine to fit the need.