May 18, 2021

How Much is A CNC Machine | Average & Running Costs

I am often asked, “How much does a CNC machine cost?” There are several factors to consider, and we will cover them in this post. Now that you have decided exactly what you want, you will want to know how much the CNC machine will cost. The cost of a CNC machine will vary depending on what type of table saw you buy. The cost of your router, where you buy it, and how much you want to spend. It’s easy to forget about the running costs.

Factors that determine machine price

SHARK HD510 CNC Machine

Material

CNC machines use different materials to make parts, determining performance and durability. Steel and aluminum are materials used by several manufacturers, and they last longer than copper in machining. 

That shows there is more quality material in steel machines than in copper. That explains the cost of steel and alloy machines. Tough materials cost more than the rest. Another aspect that determines the price is the availability of the material used. Materials that are not difficult to find are more affordable than scarce materials. 

Size

The size of the CNC machine determines the cost. Big machines use more material hence more cost. It is also time-consuming, and that makes it cost more. Large materials also require a lot of CNC machines to be completed. 

Man standing next to a cnc cutter

That is why a smaller CNC machine is more affordable than a bigger one. The chances are high that big machines are complicated to make. The seller must increase the price to cover up the cost incurred during production. The more complex the CNC machine is, the more it costs. 

Number of parts 

Bulk production is one of the factors that determine cost. If the CNC machine produces more items simultaneously, it does not cost much and uses less power and effort. If it is a small-scale machine, the machine becomes affordable. 

Individual parts take time and more resources hence the cost. When working on bulk production, you put the machine on automatic, which means less labor for the user. 

Additional costs such as the cost to run a cnc machine

Some users think cost comes with the amount used to purchase the CNC machine. However, they forget you need accessories, labor, power, and material. You might be paying rentals as well if you are renting the warehouse. 

Tax and shipping costs must be paid, and that needs consideration. That is why I recommend a budget before purchasing your machine and equipment, and it would help if you had a profit.

Hobbyist CNC machines

Upgraded Version 3018 Pro CNC Router Kit

The Upgraded Version 3018 Pro CNC Router Kit is convenient and works on plastic, wood, soft metal, and acrylic. The mechanical parts come with straightforward instructions in the manual that make it easy for beginners to assemble and use the CNC router. 

The new control board has a driver chip, fixed heat sink, and external fan makes it safe to use. It has an offline controller option that makes it convenient. You can operate without a computer and come with an SD reader. 

LiFuJunDong 4 Axis USB CNC6040 Router Engraving Machine

The LiFuJunDong 4 Axis USB CNC6040 Router Engraving Machine is versatile. It works with multiple materials, and that makes it exciting to use. Hence it is a hobby machine. You are not limited to creativity. 

It is a high-speed CNC machine with a lubrication system that makes it accurate. The cooling system cools the spindle, protects the machine from burning out, and makes the waterproof design durable. It is used for engraving and creating badges and plates. 

CNC Piranha FX 1774

The CNC Piranha FX machine has a touch-screen interface that makes it convenient. The size makes it ideal for small-scale projects, it works on wood and plastic, and it is for 3D carvings. 

You have unlimited creativity, and it is easy to operate. It uses the VCarve desktop design software and a 2.0 USB port. You save the program to the USB drive and plug it into the pendant. You select the file and run the machine.

Entry-level CNC Machines

BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included 

The Evolution 4 CNC machine is a great starter machine for beginners. It comes with a Makita RT0701C router and a microprocessor. It works with the Universal G code sender platform version as software that runs on multiple operating systems by Microsoft. It takes you through the learning process with the help of an informative manual.

MYSWEETY CNC 3018PRO-M Mini DIY CNC Machine, 3 Axis PCB Milling Machine

The MySweety CNC machine has simple instructions on how to use and assemble it. It works on multiple materials, such as acrylic, wood, and paper. It is a 2in1 machine with two 5mm acrylic baffles on both sides. That allows you to monitor the engraving process. The offline controller helps you control the CNC router without connecting to the computer. 

Mcwdoit CNC 3018 Pro Router

The Mcwdoit CNC 3018 Pro Router is a budget CNC machine that is average in size and allows you to work offline. The 1GB USB drive stores multiple projects without running out of space. It is enough for personal rather than industrial use, making it ideal for beginners. 

Unexpected costs of CNC machines

There are factors to consider that cost you when using a CNC machine. These are into two. Buying the machine, materials, and serving the CNC machine are expected costs incurred using the CNC machine. However, unseen factors cost you more than you can imagine. 

The flexibility of designs determines the amount you will spend on your CNC machine. Complex machine designs come with complex geometries. Working hours also increase, and you must know the hourly rate on different CNC machines.

The material you will work on either increase or decreases the cost. You need to consider if your machine makes the material easy to work on. The amount to be removed from the material determines the time you spend on the project and the cost.

The issue of labor can be underrated. A programmer converts CAD files into CAM files, a machinist sets up the machine before production, a quality controller, and the post-processing needs an expert. Of course, devices do not require human power, but there has to be an operator. That is how labor costs you in the production industry. 

Buying used CNC equipment

Guidance is critical when buying used CNC equipment. It can be again, and it can be a loss, depending on your steps. You need to list expectations, note differences in CNC machines, and go for your specific needs. It helps you save money if you buy wisely—research before purchasing the machine.

Run a thorough inspection before you buy the machine. Check the machine parts, functionality, movement, and tool alignment. If you do not trust yourself, look for an expert to do that for you.

Considering that the machine has been used, pay attention to the quality. Look out for problems and check online for better models than second-hand machines. Do not buy from random dealers but look for recommended dealers. If they have websites, take your time going through reviews.

It would help if you researched the maintenance cost of the particular machine you want. Avoid picking a CNC machine that will cost you more than expected. I advise you to buy from a dealer who provides guarantees and maintenance services. 

CNC Machine price by CNC type

Prices differ depending on the type of CNC machine and brand. The top brands are Haas, Mazak, and Okuma. CNC lathes range from $10,000 to $4300,000, CNC mills from $6,000 to $300,000, CNC VMC from $6,000 to $275,000 and HMC from $15,000 to $350,000. 

CNC Mill Price Comparison

The CNC Mill ranges from $60,000. The entry Mill machine is on $6,000 and the high end on $300,000.

Conclusion

Using a CNC machine has created many opportunities in the woodworking industry. You can use these machines to make wood products such as kitchen cabinets, cribs, doors, furniture, etc. Now that you know how much a CNC machine costs, what price range is most attractive to you? You might also be interested in How to Operate a CNC Lathe Machine.

David D. Hughes
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