What do I need to buy so I can start CNC’ing?

To be able to make your first CNC project, you need, at minimum, the following items:

  1. CNC base machine (STEPCRAFT 210, 300, 420, 600 or 840)
  2. A Spindle (HF500, Kress, Dremel, Dewalt, Proxxon, etc).  Please watch this VIDEO for an explanation of all our spindle options.
  3. Tooling (also know as “end mills”).  You will need an end mill for the particular material that you intend to cut/carve.  STEPCRAFT sells a Starter Tool Set that comes with an assortment of tools to get you started cutting and carving woods, plastics, aluminum, carbon fiber, composites and two bits are included for engraving.
  4. CAD/CAM Software.  STEPCRAFT includes a free year subscription to Fusion 360, which is a very powerful 3D design and CAM software system. However, Fusion 360, while powerful, is also time consuming to learn and become proficient at.  STEPCRAFT also sells Vectric programs (Cut 2D, Cut 3D and V Carve).  These programs are better suited for the beginner and will have you up and running with your first projects in a matter of minutes.

NOTE: Having a copy of a Vectric program is a good idea, even if you intend on learning Fusion 360.  Vectric programs are quick and easy to setup a job where Fusion will become quick once you learn how to use it.  Think of Vectric programs like a sprint and Fusion 360 more like a marathon when it comes to the end result with creating CNC projects. 

That’t it!  These are the minimum things you need to get started with CNC’ing.  You can also check out STEPCRAFT’s Complete System Packages for preconfigured systems that come with everything you need to get started as soon as you receive your new CNC system.

Categories: Before You Buy A CNC Router, Common Pre-Purchase Questions

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