10.09.2020, 23:01 - Autor: Mark B.
I have a CNC 3018 Pro. This machine is a very cheap but still goog useable starting-point for milling small things. At a price point just a little above 200 USD you can't beat it! But I suggest a small addition to that one (if it's not included in the set) - a "Offline Control Board" let you generate G-code and save that to a SD-card which you can enter in the controll borad. Then you can start the milling-job from the controll board and the machine don't need to be connected with a PC. So you can have that little helper sitting somewhere and do it's dirty work standalone.

A more pricier but also much stronger option would be a CNC 2030 with a 400W spindle. This one also has a controller build in and you just slide in a SD-card with the G-code and start the job.

Both mills are still small and take not more space then some standard 3D-printer. By the way they are both great for milling PCB's as well...

I use POM and PVC mostly but if you are willing to wait some time longer the CNC 3018 will do aluminium as well. I recommand mill-bits with 1 or max. 2 flutes for plastics and aluminium!

The parts have after milling or 3D-printing sharp edges which can lead to damages on the platters so we sould get rid of them... Therefor is a vibration tumbler handy. I tryed also rotation tumblers but they produced offern broken parts. The vibration ones let the parts circulate slowly in the bowl which cause very rarly a damage.

Fill the tumbler with abrasive sand for sandblasting or waterjet-cutting and dial in the time with try & error.

I also own a Anycubic Photon and that printer did also quite well but the whole resin-stuff is to messy for me and 3D printing take much longer then CNC milling.

Beside that I also own an Anycubic i3 Mega which I really like but filament-based 3D-printing just don't work for such small parts as headcombs very well. I tryed to outsorce 5 test-parts to a professional printing service and I got them one time manufactured on an Ultimaker and one time on a powder-based industrial 3D-printer. Beside that the combs from the filament-based printer even with 0.05mm layer height had a quite rough edge and thatfor needed much more time in the thumbler to get parts in the desired dimentions was a nightmare. I would forget all filament based printers!

The industrial ones produce great quality parts and you could also 3D print aluminium or other materials but the price of this printers is higher then a fully equipped data recovery lab so they are not an option. So if you pan to use 3D-printing instad of milling your best bet would be an resin-based printer like the Anycubic Photon.