March 6, 2022

CNC 2418 vs 3018

Overview of the CNC 2418

The working area covers 240x180x45mm, and the Software is 2418 GRBL control. It supports Windows XP, Win7, Win8, Linux; Power supply: 110V-240V. The 2418 CNC router machine can carve wood, plastic, acrylic, PCB, PVC, soft metal like copper and aluminum. However, it can not carve hard metal or jade.

It features a 775 spindle motor that produces high-speed (7000 rpm). It makes use of a specially developed engraving integrated mainboard with customized software. Its features are much better than similar models.

The CNC 2418 is a great CNC router to work on. It comes with a 2500mw laser module. It can be bigger depending on your choice. It also engraves plastic, light wood, acrylic, PVC, PCB, MDF material, and smooth surfaces.

Do not use materials such as metal, steel, or any rough surface. That will not work. To use hard materials such as wood, the surface of the metal, and aluminum surfaces, use the 5500mw laser or 15W laser module. 

        Features and properties

Convenient control

Connect to computers via USB port and controlled by GRBL. An offline controller is for easy remote control without computers.

Easy to Install 

Some components and core components are already assembled. The customer needs to finish with the rack according to the installation instructions. The control board wiring is a connector and does not need professional knowledge.

T8 screw rods

It comes with T8 screw rod driving units, three 42 stepper motors, and a 775 (12-36V)24V spindle motor with a rotational speed of 10000r/min. These contribute to the high performance of the CNC machine.

Versatility

This engraving machine engraves plastic, wood, acrylic, PVC, PCB, wood, or the like material, but can not carve hard metal. The manual, software, list, and an assembly video is on the USB.

Durable Material

It is of 2020 aluminum profiles and black injection molding material of good appearance, high precision, and durability.

GRBL Control Board

Connect to a computer via a USB interface as it gives an output of 2P/3P and supports PWM, TTL functions, which can achieve greater practicality. It features a multifunctional offline controller configured to control the engraver without connecting to a computer.

Efficient Motors

Three 42 stepper motors are on each of the three-axis for easy movement. The 775 (12-36V)24V spindle motor on the Z-axis can reach the speed of 10000r/min.

        Pros

  • Versatility
  • Durable 
  • High speed
  • Convenient
  • Easy to Install 

        Cons

  • Measurements could be clearer

Overview of the CNC 3018

The CNC 3018 engraving machine has a working area of 30cm by 18cm. The product weighs 8kg and has an integrated motherboard. That can make the hardware and software communication smooth, for a better product experience. This product can engrave wood, acrylic, soft aluminum, plastic, PCB, and PVC. 

You can use it for various projects with fewer problems. While you are working, the controller will advance 16 to 20 motions, thereby maintaining a stable acceleration. CNC 3018s require some assembly to get started. The CNC machine setup is straightforward, although some work is required to get the CNC machine running, including the attachment of parts, learning the CNC software, and inspection of the machine.

For a budget machine, the CNC 3018 and Pro version has the potential to do great work. To get the most, learn about engraving and milling. That means researching spindles, end mills, speeds, and feed rates, which will prevent loss of time and money through accidental damage of bits, work material, and machine parts.

Master the ins and outs of machining to cut material like brass and aluminum 6061. And if you upgrade the spindle, you can cut anything you want.

        Features and properties

Spindle motor

The spindle motor drives the machining process, as it gives speed and power that determine what materials can be cut. The 3018 uses a 775 spindle motor with an ER11-style chuck. For this speed and power, try not to engrave anything harder than brass or aluminum 6061. Anything harder can result in the motor burning out or breaking some parts. 

End mills and collets

End mills cut material, and the type of end mill used determines the type made. Three standard end mills are ball, bullnose, and square, but other types are available. Make sure to research the type you need. Consider the material for the making process, the number of flutes it should have, and the best coating for your project.

Collets attach the bits to the spindle. The CNC 3018 uses ER collets for ease of access. They come in different sizes for different diameter end mills. The collet’s outer diameter fits the chuck attached to the spindle.

Control board

The control board is the brain of the machine. Having a good board gives you consistent results when cutting. The CNC 3018 has one that uses Grbl, but other programs are also available.

Power supply 

The power supply is important. If the 775 spindle is not powerful enough for your needs, you’ll need to get a new motor. Upgrade the power supply depending on the new motor’s power.

Coolant

CNC engravers do not come with coolant, but it can be helpful when cutting certain metals and is required with others. That is needed if you have upgraded the spindle motor.

Accessories 

The CNC 3018 comes with extra drill bits, an SD card reader, and an ER11 collet with an extension rod.

        Pros

  • Rigid construction
  • Good quality components
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Consistent
  • Affordable 

        Cons

  • The software could be better

Feature comparison

The features are almost the same. However, there are slight differences that come with CNC machines.

Price Comparison

Both are affordable CNC machines. That does not compromise the performance and quality. 

Use comparison

They both work on several materials except hard ones.

Is the CNC 2418 better than the 3018?

Since these are almost identical in features and use, the user can hardly notice which one is better. However, 2418 is better than 3018. It operates at high speed, with customized software, and you can use a laser for harder materials. 

What can a CNC 3018 do?

It is versatile. The CNC 3018 cuts all types of plastics, soft aluminum, woods, acrylics, PVCs, PCBs, and a wide range of other materials. The CNC machine works on a mechanical level. If you just started with CNC engraving or milling, this is a great place to start.

David D. Hughes
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