A mini CNC router is modern compact equipment with relatively low productivity, with which you can not only engage in your favorite hobby but also make products to order. Gradually mastering the intricacies of working on a machine, you can even establish a profitable business, for example, making furniture or advertising products.
Meanwhile, the investments are relatively low. And to master this technique you do not need to undergo long and expensive training.
Mini CNC Routers design
The machine has several main components.
- A mill is a special tool that is used to process materials.
- A collet chuck is a device in which the mill is attached and held securely in place during operation.
- A spindle is the part that sets the rotation of the mill.
- The gantry is a movable structure on which the spindle with the milling cutter is mounted.
- Motors. There are at least two of them in the machine: one ensures the movement of the mill and the other – of the working table.
- Gearboxes are devices that transfer motion from the motor to the gear wheel. Its movement along the helical racks allows the gantry to move.
- The guides are metal “rails”: the gantry moves horizontally along them – along the X and Y axes.
- Control system. It includes the PCI board, controller and interface board, LPT.
- Power supply unit, which is included in the complete set.
Depending on the model, the machine can include a cooling system, an automatic tool change system, and a rotary device. The vacuum table is another feature that can be included in the equipment’s configuration.
The working tool (mill) can move in three directions: up and down, vertically, as well as horizontally along and across the working area.
Manufacturers also offer additional options. Among them is the presence of a fourth axis of movement of the tool. This makes it possible to create products not only in 3D, but also in 5D format.
Where are CNC Routers used?
There are a lot of applications for such equipment. Compact machines are convenient for making original souvenirs, furniture and processing various elements made of wood. Mini-milling machines are also used in industry, where they help to cut different details with high accuracy.
For engraving and cutting wood, it is better to use Wattsan engravers.
What mini CNC router is the best choice for home use?
But what if you do not spend money and instead make a small machine with your own hands? Blueprints with comments can be found on the Internet. And in stores you will find almost everything you need to design such a machine.
This will definitely help to save money. But it will not be possible to achieve the same quality of processing materials on a handmade machine, as on the factory equipment. The quality of the product will be lower. It will take more time to produce it. And it is unlikely to be able to compete with products created on a professional machine.
Brand-name equipment that has already proven itself will perform better anyway. As for the cost, as well as the price-quality ratio, there are enough options on the world market. You should only choose the most optimal for your tasks.
If you need to cut wood, use Wattsan cutting machines.
Let’s take a look at some popular models.
WATTSAN 0404 mini
The machine is compact and easy to operate. Among the advantages of the model, experts mention high cutting accuracy. This is ensured due to the all-cast body, which gives stability and reduces vibration of the tool during operation. Spindle (N=1,5 kW) with collet chuck ER-11 rotates at speed of over 24000 rpm and moves in the working area at 6000 mm per minute.
Modern NcStudio software allows you to perform complex operations and create small details. The machine is equipped with a stepper motor and water cooling.
Low maintenance costs are an additional advantage. On this machine you can perform 3D machining of workpieces, do engraving, and cut different materials. The working area is 400 by 400 by 100 mm. The machine weighs 100 kilograms.
If desired, you can expand the capabilities of the model. For example, you can buy and install a DSP controller RichAuto A11, add a working tool sensor. Assemble the system of units’ lubrication with oil mist, or install an aspiration system.
WATTSAN 0609 mini
The Wattsan 0609 mini is a desktop milling machine with a large working area of 600 by 900 mm. However, like the other entire Wattsan machines the 0609 mini has a durable solid body that neutralizes vibrations ensuring accuracy. The framework is annealed to remote stress therefore, you can be sure that the milling will not lay you down during operation due to temperature or mechanical factors.
The machine comes with a 1,5 kW spindle and collet chuck ER-11. Spindle rotation speed is 24000 rpm, while idle speed of the gantry is up to 7000 mm per minute.
The CNC router is controlled via the NCStudio controlled system that can be easily upgraded with a DSP controller for easier use.
The Wattsan 0609 mini is an ideal model for those who want to turn their hobby into a business in the future, as the machine has all the features necessary for both amateur and professional use.
WATTSAN M1 6090
The model features a welded reinforced steel frame that provides increased stability of the machine. Two-phase stepper motors. It is equipped with a N=1,5 kW spindle with water cooling system and ER-11 collet chuck. Spindle speeds range from 6000 to 24,000 rpm. The gantry moves at up to 25 thousand millimeters per minute. Positioning accuracy is 0.05 millimeters.
The machine performs material processing in three coordinates. Control system – NcStudio. The working area is 60 by 90 cm. The CNC router can be upgraded if necessary.
WATTSAN A1 6090
As in other models of the brand, a solid base is used here – a welded steel frame that reduces vibration during operation. The complete set is supplemented with durable HIWIN guide rails. The NcStudio control system is used.
Spindle N=1,5 kW with collet chuck ER-11 and water cooling is installed. Spindle travel speed is 6-24 thousand rpm, gantry travels at up to 25 thousand millimeters per minute. The system provides accuracy of positioning up to 0,05 millimeters.
Two-phase Yako 2405 motors are installed in the machine. With the size of the working area of 60 by 90 centimeters the machine dimensions are 1450 by 1200 by 1600 millimeters. If desired, the milling can be upgraded and tuned.
How to choose a good mini milling for your home workshop?
When choosing such equipment, according to experts, it is important to focus on several basic parameters. Those which directly affect how easy the machine is to use and maintain, as well as what tasks it can solve.
- Quality of components. This determines the strength, reliability and durability of the equipment, and also affects the quality of the work performed on it.
- The maximum dimensions of workpieces that can be processed on the machine.
- Design features and assembly quality level of the machine. It is preferable to choose equipment assembled in automatic mode. In this case, the quality is higher than with manual assembly.
- Type of engine. The best option is a servomotor. The quality of products made on machines with such an engine is higher than on models with stepper motors.
- Software. It is important to check what software the manufacturer uses in his machine, whether it can be combined with common graphic editors.
Mini CNC router advantages
Compared to conventional models, mini milling machines are easier to operate and maintain. In most cases, a single-phase 220/240 V power supply is sufficient for their operation.
The modularism of configuration allows each buyer to select the option and the features he needs. And there is no need to overpay for the functions, which an owner simply will not use.
Finally, an important advantage of mini-models of millings is their compact size compared to conventional machines. This makes it possible to place mini CNC routers in a limited space, for example, in a workshop at home or a garage, and even in a workroom.
Why is the WATSAN 0609 mini the most popular choice?
With this machine you can cut and engrave, create a variety of products from wood and other materials:
- furniture liners;
- furniture facades;
- advertising items, including three-dimensional letters;
- souvenirs, promotional products and so on.
A full-fledged desktop version of the milling machine is in demand not only among those who want to engage in woodworking as a hobby. The model is also popular with professionals who produce high-quality items for sale. WATSAN 0609 mini is used by companies that produce furniture, souvenirs, interior design details and exterior design of buildings.
The model is the best choice for people planning to start their own business. The balance of price, ease of use and a sufficient set of functions makes this machine the most suitable option. Due to the fact that you can master the equipment quickly, it pays for itself and begins to make profit soon.
The size of the working area of 60 by 90 by 10 cm is enough to process small and medium-sized workpieces. The T-slot slatted table makes it possible to work with small parts.
Working speed of the machine is high. Spindle rotates at up to 24000 rpm. In one minute the working tool covers a distance of up to 5 thousand millimeters.
The model is equipped with a stepper motor. The CNC router is controlled by NcStudio software. You can create blueprints of future products in ArtCAM or Type3 programs.
All-cast body makes the machine very stable, minimizes vibration during operation and provides durability of the equipment. The model weighs 200 kg.
The standard complete set of WATSAN 0609 includes a 1,5 kW spindle with collet chuck ER-11. Also the built-in cooling system, which uses water mixed with refrigerant, is mounted.
On customer’s request the machine can be equipped with DSP controller RichAuto A11. Installation of an automatic tool movement sensor is available as an option.
The mini milling machine WATSAN 0609 belongs to the junior series of milling and engraving equipment of the manufacturer. And despite the prefix “mini”, it is successfully used for performing complex tasks and creating original products of high quality.