fyi list price is overstated by woot by $20. sainsmart site says list is $249.90… ( https://www.sainsmart.com/products/sainsmart-genmitsu-cnc-router-3018-diy-kitB ) and currently it is $199.99 as the (recurring) deal of the week.
Also same unit with different badge-engineering is regularly $189.99, eg https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PHSHVWK/ as opposed to the Sainsmart-badged version (
https://www.amazon.com/Genmitsu-3018-PRO-Control-Engraving-300x180x45mm/dp/B07P6K9BL3/ ) where the price is bumped up by $40 so they can offer a $40 coupon to make $199.99 look like a deal.
Come on Woot, make us some deals like you used to do… there has to be some reason for coming here nowadays…
Two comments, since I have one of these and just spent a chunk of the weekend learning how to use it and maybe my notes can be helpful… or maybe not, who knows.
First, price: This “same” machine (no Sainsmart brand) is available from Aliexpress for $160. It’s cheaper, but it will also take 2-3 weeks to get and will have no tech support, so take that into account.
- It doesn’t have limit switches. Coming from a 3D printer background this bothered me because I couldn’t home the machine. Except for a router, where your work stock is in a slightly variable location, auto-homing to an arbitrary corner doesn’t actually mean much.
- Those motors are pretty weak, like half the torque of my 3D printer motors. I finally got mine milling some plywood and the X-Axis would lock up. Maybe my fault due to squaring of the guide rods, maybe related to the quality of the rails and lead screw, maybe because i was overloading the motor. Not sure yet.
- Eight of the bolts on mine were used to secure the linear rails by bolting into the tapped ends of the rods. The quality of the tapping and the length of the bolts combined to be impossible to use, I had to get some longer bolts. It appears this kit includes 8 longer bolts, so maybe they’ve remedied that.
- Some of these come with an “offline controller.” It’s not included here, and I would say that’s no loss. You can’t have that and the computer hooked up at the same time and it’s capabilities are very limited. This is said with the assumption that you’re going to want a computer running Candle / UGS / DrufelCNC / CNCjs or something to manage the machine.
- If you want to do anything beyond engraving (as in, 2 dimensional paths) the generation of a tool path is not always trivial. That’s where much of my learning time went - into Fusion 360 figuring out how to generate tool paths. I think for 2D stuff there are much simpler ways to generate the gcode for the CNC.
I’m not sure if you helped me or not, as I have no idea yet what it means being a newbie, but I read every word and will remember it as I put my 3018 Pro together this weekend.
The price seems to hover at $200 for this model. I bought one on the Mother-in-law site with the upgraded Offline Controller, extra collets and bits for $195 and no tax plus 6% Amazon credit today.
Also, the sellers of these are posting links to download the software, manuals and other goodies in their copy which I’ve been collecting. I imagine they were called out for not packaging that stuff with the kit and are using the path of least effort, which points to less support.
Thanks for your post. I’m sure it will make sense to me as I learn a new hobby,
Yeah, the sale is over, but to amend my previous note for the sake of not spewing incorrect information into the world, these steppers may not be any weaker than the ones on my printer (Ender 3). They are doing a slightly different thing, pushing a bit through material, so I might try to upgrade them anyway, but it appears my statement about torque may have been incorrect.