This post was written by KENNETH HILLRIEGEL. Thanks a lot.
The SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router 3018 MX3 was designed with me, the absolute beginner in mind. This excellent self-teaching tool allowed me to try all kinds of ideas on an inexpensive platform without the risk of damaging expensive equipment.
Advertising a generous working area of 300 x 180 x 45 mm (11.8 x 7.1 x 1.8") IS NOT accurate because of the New limit switches, the new MX3s actual engraving area is 266 x 156.5 x 37 mm, to get this simply move the Messa Aluminum bed to the left to center the working area. Still, this easily accommodates most of my projects.
I have cut a wide range of materials such as Wood, Plastic, Acrylic, PVC, PCBs, soft aluminum all had great results.
Engrave metal surfaces but keep in mind this is not an industrial milling machine, the control board is exposed. I have cut on metal surfaces with it, the surface you may want to engrave could be aluminum, copper, silver, or gold no problem.
This means you can personalize your own handcrafted projects.
Remember, when your engraving anything you may want to surface an area, Make It accurate with the Z axes. This makes for a beautifully flawless, even engraving. Want to see some I have a few you'll see in photos if you surf around my blog.
So make sure that you put in something that you really want to stand out. This can be an image or quote. I know to engrave on a gift, recipients appreciate the thought with the craftsmanship.
It all started with a dream for me, I was to Own a CNC benchtop Router. I needed to learn how to create the cutting path for carving, cutting anything 3 axes can do.
I still want a larger one, but with more power comes more to go wrong with having little Skill.
The Router has been so forgiving, I made a lot of Mistakes, but learned from every one of them. The Router is very accurate when you take your time, It's Super easy to put together unlike the first Router I purchased (the 3018pro). The MX3 came with great instructions, The instructions go into a level of detail But search the PDF instruction manual on the Sainsmart wiki you may find the booklet instruction a little hard to read due to its size.
I'm ready for SainSmart to build me a bigger one, You may be happy to know they are working on one. I have to add customer service is the best! I never had a better experience. In the Facebook Group (SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Users Group), they have a great response with questions. I personally have had excellent communication with Sainsmart Customer service, answering emails in a matter of a day or so. You can Find more info About the SainSmart tools on their website.
Best yet Laser cutters are available for this unit, be sure to Check out the Sainsmart official website for everything they supply and when it will be available. This 3018 MX3 Would be my second Router from SainSmart, I've had this New MX3 for a reasonable amount of time Now I'm ready to share what I've learned.
1) Very much appreciated the set up of Parts and tools in its own Clearly marked Divided Case, this made finding the correct Parts, Bolts, nuts, and washers a breeze.
2) New Upgrade Sent extra tools. I wasn't robbing my toolbox for the proper Wrench for the er11 collet chuck, Also pre-installed on the motor. Yes, this was Pre-installed No More Heating, on the older version the instructions were to heat up the chuck and press fit over the motor shaft.
3) The MX3 version has a new controller board, Z-axis zero, limit switches for safety, I even caught that the Set screws are Hardened steel No more stripping out the Hex headed softer set screw.
4) New acrylic side Guards in this new kit, These make a great deflector Not only for Safety but also for Debree and contained the mess from cutting makes clean up easier.
5) A little lost Working area compared to my 3018pro, The new Mx3 Messa measures 300x180mm, but the limit switches Will only let you get 266 x 156.5mm Max working area and 37mm Z height for Engraving If you Move the Messa to the left to get even spacing.
6) Mach3 Ok at first I did have thoughts of changing out my board. But after getting into Mach3 And finding it remembers where I want to be when I open up, it just simplified everything. I just have to remember that my old 3018pro still needs a home every time I start it, or I get the runaway train going on, and that's not fun diving for the power plug cause abort won't work in the candle. My first thought was to get a bigger router, Make one somehow. I was led to Mach3 For configuration tools to do all this, I'm Really Happy I never changed anything with this Router as far as control. I do have the full version of Mach3, and I'm killing it with 2million plus lines Carving Engraving You name it I'm just experimenting, The Router never missed a beat It homes rights where I started. I may have posted once I was having trouble But come to find Out it was my error Not the MX3. Heres another real appreciation for Mach3 when you get the mach3 Software set up, it is configured to the Router. They built it that way, Create the profile they recommend. Play with Changing the settings and Never worry that your original has been lost. Simply Create another one using the original mach3 mill profile and start all over if you have to, Its that easy.
7) Z probe and homing limit switches, I couldn't ask for a better way to get the Router to go to a home position each, and every time.
This Works well for me I like to work on a spoil board, and when it is done running the Gcode, it allows me to check to see if I had missed steps or maybe it is out of position This has happened due to excessive force with improper speeds and feeds.
For the Z probe that was supplied, I found it was a little large 19mm to be exact. This left me with very little room to zero and got backed off my work on top of the spoil board. This would be the only modification I made was to use an Aluminum plate that was only 3.14mm thick.
8) About the limit Switches- Even though I lost a short travel distance, It seems to me this can be Modified at a later time. But for now, It is beautiful. It gives me Great ideas for Modifying my Older router the 3018pro, which I will be Putting the Laser engraver on.
9) User-Friendly Can't even describe the simplicity of learning CNC Programming with the New Mx3. First, you may be a little intimidated with the 500 pages of the Mach3 Instruction Manual, But trust me You don't need all that is offered If you are not Trying to build your own Router. The benefits of the Software are the simple editing of each and every configuration, Want to adjust your Z probe No problem simple edit save and close.
10) Would I recommend Buying the MX3 Router over the 3018pro or later models, Yes I would Heres Why.
The later models Don't have the limit switches. They protect it from Breaking or stripping out the Lead screw, Yes you can add the limit switches to the following model, But you also have to modify it to keep the switch in place and to work, you need all the wires and Maybe even guided instructions on which switch gets hooked where. Think this is all worth the extra money Saved? Not in my opinion.
Hope This Helps You decide on your next purchase, Stick with Sainsmart website for all your orders. Remember Unbelievable bargains may just end with a long waiting period, with no customer service, So be careful who the seller really is.
Even though Amazon Shipped it, I still used the Sainsmart website rewards points I got from signing Up. Get your rewards, sign up today.