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Anyone use or thought of using a small CNC machine?

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Just getting back into the hobby and thinking about the next couple of scratch-builds as well as my workshop set-up, and got thinking about the possibility of using a small CNC machine for cutting out bulkheads and some other parts.


To keep it simple, I'm thinking of a 2-axis machine only, straight cutter bit, that would fir say a 300mm x 600mm (or even 900mm) piece of ply, and be able to cut thicknesses up to 6mm.  Would just be a matter of plotting plans in a CAD program to then have the keel and all the bulkheads cut out.


Now, it may be quicker to still trace parts on the wood and cut out with a bandsaw/scrollsaw and then sand, but CNCing would give a more accurate cut, no (or little) finish sanding and repeatability.


I'd be interested to know if anyone else has looked into this, and if they consider it either worthwhile or a waste of time/money/effort (I'd probably do a kit one to keep costs down).  Or do you feel it take something away from scratchbuilding (I'm focussing on POB models here).


So, any thoughts on practicality, use, benefits for the ship modeller?  I couldn't see any other topincs here relating to it.

And if you have one or have thought of it, any pointers on plans, etc?




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My problem is not knowing a thing about CAD/CAM. However, I have seen some very innovative software packages out there.... At any rate, if you are only looking at wood cutting, maybe a look at CNC routers or 3D profiling machines would suit you ? I don't think I would buy anything less then a three or four axis machine. I have looked at some of these and some that are light duty but high rpm motored might work well for scale model ship pieces. For 2D work, some of the laser cutters are coming down in price ( though I haven't look specifically at these ).... I do think that you either need to have a lot of 'discretionary income' or a commercial aim to justify the cost ... My .02



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