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cnc mill vs cnc router Answered

um two questions whats the difference between a cnc milling machine and cnc router is it that the mill moved the work and keep the tool stationary and the router moves the tool and keeps the work stationary and the next question is which do you think is better to build i want one for mainly small gears and pcbs to make a larger machine and some gearboxes? 


I think others here have adequately answered your mill vs. router questions. I know it's been a while, but just in case others come across this page looking for answers: I recently found a resource that can go into a bit of detail about what a CNC router is and does, and you can find it here. A CNC router is great for wood.

Well I'd argue a Mill is a 3D machine, and a Router is a 2.5D machine at best. A mill is stiff enough to work metal, a router isn't/

Steve, who has both.

 i would say that it depends on how deep your router can cut for it to be called 2.5D or 3D and besides when u think about it 2D doesnt really exist

....2D routers certainly exist...no Z axis on some of them

i kno but thats not what i ment lol
think about it even when you draw a line with a pencil there is still some depth lol but so small that it doesnt need to be taken in consieration thats why i said that when you think about it 2D doesnt exist 

I know exactly what you mean, but if you have no real Z axis control you sure as hell only have 2 dimensions under control, so the machine is a two axis one.

What matters for the machine is the stiffness of the whole thing from job to cutter tip. If the machine is too "soft", you can't cut anything.

so what your saying is that i should make the mill 

You COULD make a milling machine for metal. I'd balk at the idea, though I have a comprehensicve engineering workshop I could make one in. If you go the mill route, you are much better off either buying a raw machine, like a Sieg or getting a scrapped one and fitting new leadscrews and drives.

Routers, with FAR less demanding loads, take a lot less building.


well its more like this i was planning to make a small one to make a bigger one with. i would use the smaller one to make the parts out of wood then cast them  in aluminium i figure with a small cnc mill i can make the parts as square as possible so less work for me. but another question is do u think i can use a nbm pm 42l stepper and use some gears to increase the torque could i at least mill aluminium  

Its not so much torque you need to work metals as mechanical stiffness - the cutter will flex away from the workpiece.

another 2axis machine would be a lathe. in 3D cnc terms, they'd call it the A axis. and then have an X axis, which is the machine moving the cutting tool across the material. ofcourse then, there would be a set depth to cut into the metal, meaning it would basically just cut down a rod to a smalled diameter.

I wonder if one could use a CNC mill to make punctuation? 'Cause that would be cool.