So you have your first 3D printer and you think you have mastered it. Where do you go from there? Well, if you have a 3D printer in the first place, chances are you are a maker. One tool every maker should have is a computer numerical control (CNC). Like a 3D printer, a CNC creates 3 dimensional objects. Only it’s subtractive rather then additive, like the 3D printer. This means it starts with a block of material and removes bits until it forms the 3D object. Where as the 3D printer starts with nothing and creates objects using melted plastic layer by layer.
So why would you want a CNC if your 3D printer already makes 3D objects? Well, a 3D printer creates the objects layer by layer which creates problems with strength. The CNC can create objects from materials such as wood, plastic and even aluminum. Therefore your parts are much stronger.
CNC compliments 3D printing because you can use the 3D prints where strength isn’t required. Tenn uses the CNC to create the parts that need to be strong.
Say for instance you want to make a personal trophy. You could create the entire thing out of plastic with a 3D printer. But let's face it, it would be very light and not feel like a real trophy. So if you print the top part with a printer then carve the base with a CNC it would feel more like a trophy. In fact, you can even engrave a little nameplate to attach to the base.
CNC is so popular for the 3D printing community that they created an open source CNC called the MPCNC, which stands for Mostly Printed CNC. https://www.v1engineering.com/assembly/
That lets you create a larger CNC but you need a workshop or lots of space in order to use it.
But if you don’t have space for such a large CNC you can purchase a desktop CNC about the size of your 3D printer. This lets you create cool things as you see in the images below.
So if you use your 3D printer for more than printing figurines, then a CNC would be a great asset to your toolset. I am building the larger MPCNC for my woodshop and will likely get a desktop one for the office where I keep my 3D printers. With the CNC you can also attach a laser for precise engraving. More on that later.
Features Of the Alfawise Desktop CNC Engraving Machine
Now that you know what a desktop CNC engraving machine is, it is time to take a look at what the Alfawise Desktop C10 CNC 3018 Engraving Machine can do. Here, we'll take a look at some of the features of this high-quality engraving machine.
Spindle and Laser Are Quickly Replaceable
The first feature of this desktop CNC is that the spindle and laser are quickly replaceable. The laser is what traces the image that you'd like to engrave, while the spindle is what cuts through the material. It is nice that you can quickly replace the spindle and laser if they end up needing to be replaced.
This engraving machine is made of aluminum material, which makes this desktop CNC very lightweight and easy to carry. While some people don't care if it is lightweight or not, it is still nice to have an engraving machine that you can easily carry. The size of this engraving machine is 33cm x 40cm x 24cm.
Performance Of the Alfawise Desktop CNC Engraving Machine
Now that we have taken a look at the features of this engraving machine, you may be interested in seeing how well this machine performs. Fortunately, this engraving machine performs well. As a DIY engraving machine kit, it may take a little while for you to assemble this desktop CNC. However, once all the parts are assembled, the Alfawise C10 CNC 3018 Engraving Machine works well. Let's take a look at how this machine performs, as well as other advantages of buying it.
It is not uncommon for engraving machines to cost thousands of dollars. That is why the price of this engraving machine is very affordable compared to other desktop CNC machines. But just because this desktop CNC is cheap doesn't mean that the quality isn't good. This high-quality machine performs well and is perfect for engraving wood, acrylic, plastics, and more. Keep in mind though that this product cannot cut hard metals or materials with a hard texture. So if you need a product that can engrave these materials, you may need to spend more money on a desktop CNC that can handle such materials.
Arrives As A Kit
This engraving machine is a kit, meaning that you must put the parts together yourself. Many people like the experience of assembling an engraving machine, while others prefer to have their desktop CNC to arrive assembled. If you don't mind assembling your own engraving machine, this machine is a great product for you. Keep in mind that some customers mentioned that it can take a while to assemble this engraving machine. Therefore, don't expect to have it assembled within half an hour.
Spindle Is Designed To Cut Through Wood, Plastic, PCB, Acrylic and Similar Materials
So, what can the spindle of this engraving machine cut through? Well, it can cut through a variety of materials. It is recommended to use it mostly for engraving wood, PCB, acrylic, plastic, and materials similar to those. Note that this desktop CNC cannot cut through hard metal (such as brass, steel, iron, etc), jade, and other items with a very hard texture. Therefore, if you need an engraving machine that will cut through hard metal, this product isn't for you.
Things To Consider When Purchasing A Desktop CNC
There are many considerations you need to keep in mind when shopping for a desktop CNC. These considerations will help you choose an engraving machine that will fit your needs. Let's take a look at the top considerations to keep in mind when shopping for the best desktop CNC.
What's Your Budget?
First, consider what your budget is. Can you afford to buy an expensive engraving machine? Or would you rather purchase an inexpensive machine that may not have as many features but will be much more affordable? If you are in the market for buying a cheap engraving machine, this Alfawise C10 CNC 3018 Engraving Machine is a great option. It is very inexpensive compared to other engraving machines and it performs well.
What Do You Plan On Engraving?
Next, consider what you need your engraving machine to cut through. Do you plan on engraving wood and plastics? Or do you plan on engraving hard metals? Unfortunately, if you plan on engraving hard metals or materials with a hard texture, this product won't work well for you. The Alfawise Desktop CNC Engraving Machine can only be used for engraving wood, plastic, PCB, acrylic, and materials that don't have a hard texture.
Does the Desktop CNC Come With Replacement Parts?
Unfortunately, it is common for parts of engraving machines to break. When they do break, it is important to consider if your engraving machine comes with replacement parts or not. The desktop CNC that I have reviewed today has a laser and spindle that can quickly be replaced. Because the laser and spindle do most of the work, it is common for these parts to break first. If and when they break, you can rest assured that you can easily replace them.
How Much Space Do You Have For An Engraving Machine?
Another consideration to keep in mind is how much space you have available for an engraving machine. What's nice about this desktop CNC is that it can easily fit on a desktop. Therefore, if you don't have a lot of space for an engraving machine, this product may work well for you. In addition to being lightweight, it is also lightweight, making it easy to move around.
Final Thoughts On the Alfawise Desktop CNC Engraving Machine
In conclusion, the Alfawise C10 Desktop CNC 3018 Engraving Machine is a great option if you are shopping for an inexpensive yet high-quality engraving machine. This desktop CNC is designed to be used on plastics, acrylic, wood, and other soft-textured materials. It is lightweight and compact, making it a great option for those who don't have a lot of space for an engraving machine. Keep in mind that this product does not come assembled, so you will need to assemble it yourself once it arrives. It comes with all the parts you need, but it may take a little while to assemble. All in all, the Alfawise Desktop CNC Engraving Machine is a great option for you. I hope this article has helped you decide whether or not this product will fit your needs. Still not sure if this product will work for you? Check out our review of the EleksMaker A3 Pro 2500mW Laser Engraver.