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Wednesday, October 4, 2023
HomeCNC Router MachineUpgraded Desktop CNC 3018 cuts Aluminum FAST!

Upgraded Desktop CNC 3018 cuts Aluminum FAST!


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Finally, my $200 Chinese Desktop Genmitsu CNC 3018 can cut aluminum… after 2 years of upgrades, testing, and tuning.

00:00-1:00 CNC Trailer
1:00-2:41 Project Intro + Goals
2:41-6:16 CNC Upgrades V1
6:16-8:26 CNC Upgrades V2
8:26-10:33 CNC Upgrades V3
10:33-12:24 Final CNC cutting like butter
12:24-12:59 Outro

CNC V3 Final Upgrades:

Genmitsu CNC 3018 PRO: https://amzn.to/3MoPu1t
Genmitsu CNC 3018 PRO (cheaper): https://amzn.to/3wzY7PV
Makita CNC Router RT0701C: https://amzn.to/3lqeZTS
400mm MGN12H Linear Rails: https://amzn.to/3FYHCRW
Z-axis: https://cnc4newbie.com/store/en/other-products/z-axis-sliders/xcarve-slider-belt-6-or-8-p92c79c37/
(this is not the exact z-axis I used in the video, but it is similar, the exact one seems to no longer be available on their website, sorry)
Metric T-slot Nuts: https://amzn.to/3ogw97T
Metric Hardware: https://amzn.to/3oaXpVG

CNC V2 Upgrades:

500W Spindle Upgrade: https://amzn.to/39vPwpq
Z-axis: https://amzn.to/3sGjRZ6

3D Printable Parts:

Makita Motor Mount: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5389163
Z-Axis Adapter: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5389163
Electronics cover: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5389163

Final Feeds and Speeds:

Spindle RPM : 27,000
Feed: 600mm/min
Depth of Cut: 0.75mm
Endmill: Yonico 2-flute 2″ 1/8″ or 3/6″ dia carbide endmill (31212-SC)

The Awakening – Patrick Patrikios
Treat Yourself – Dyalla
Hollow Bells – Cxdy
Depth Fuse – French Fuse



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  1. are you stupid? After all, all the surfaces that the milling cutters are subvibrave.
    And you work with a milling cutter for 3 hours, deepening by 0.05 mm, then that place becomes dull.
    Attaching the cnc to the table or where you keep it and then it will jump less will be another updrage

  2. all, an important note is that the default Z-axis stepper is not strong enough to pick up the Makita spindle. Eric probably didn't notice it as he used the Z-axis stepper received with the Z-axis he used in the middle of the video. please note.

    Eric, excellent work thanks for the help

  3. I just discovered this channel by also turning to google for inspiration and guidance. I too have been "developing" an upgraded mini CNC to cut aluminum. I set mine up inside a Harbor Freight blast cabinet that I picked up cheap from Craigslist and modified for this project.

    Subscribed Boiii!

  4. Thank you for a fantastic video and for giving away your hard earned experience.
    I have thought about getting one of these for aluminum for years, but it is always a steep learning curve, and too much confusion, what to buy, when I want to start out cheap.
    I have followed your description and ordered a 3018 Pro and all the other stuff now, allthough I live in Europe, and it was more practicel for me to find the parts closer.
    I don´t know if the upgrade z-axis will work, it would be far to expensive to get it from Canada, so I have found one that looks kind of ok – we will see.
    Again thank you, now I can´t wait for the parts to come in ?

  5. about the only other thing you could do is replace the bakelite sides with aluminum, and maybe use it to cut a replacement for your 3d printed adapter in aluminum.

  6. I seen you were saying the link for the z-axis you put in the description isn’t the exact one your using. In the link you put they have 6” travel and 8” travel which one you recommend to get to make your setup?

  7. I think if you stabilize the base more and get rid of the 3D printed plastic parts and replace them with metal ones, chances of chatter and vibrations are going to be very very slim.

  8. the nema motors that come as standard, can they move all that assembly well in the z axis?

    In the event of a problem, can a higher torque nema motor be installed without changing the electronics? In that case, for how long?

  9. I just totally blown away from result! Such a solid journey and amazing result! Thank you for sharing your valuable investigation! And yeah my 3018 is need that chrome >:D

  10. So what I got out of your video is to buy the most expensive tool you can afford… do your research and make sure that $$ is spent for what you are going to do with that tool. Use a hammer for nails, a screwdriver for screws, a drill press for holes, a saw for cutting, a mill for milling and a lathe for turning, etc…. to me, the fun part is thinking about the projects and designing them out on the drawing board. Also enjoy making my own tools, but you can just buy what others have designed for you, as you can always trade-off time for money. It's not the destination, it's the journey. Thanks for the video!

  11. Hey Eric, would you be able to make a step by step guide on how you would go about making this desktop CNC? Especially for someone that is just getting into it.

  12. for a cnc mill , rigidity is more important than all other factors.. The last one I made which is still use is box steel filled with concrete in a concrete base. 320 lbs , and the weak point is actually the spindle power which is 1.5 kw.anyway , excellent work finding all the weak spots in the design.

  13. Awesome video. I'm planning on going down this same path. The question I have is which stepper motor are you using for the Z axis? Did you upgrade the X and Y stepper motors also? And are you running off the same stock control board ot did you have to switch that out?

  14. Have you tried using a larger collet and tool with the 500 W spindle? it doesn't seem like the 500w motor is struggling that much, and most of the impact appears when upgrading your tool usage. Maybe I am wrong, but the increase in cutting looks like a mix between cutting tool size and your motor upgrades.

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