The invention of CNC (computer numerical control) router machines have made it a lot easier to cut, engrave, carve, drill, mill, or groove on different materials.
Aluminum happens to be an industry favorite as it is lightweight and quite durable. Finding the best CNC router for aluminum will ensure that you are able to cut the aluminum precisely.
These machines can additionally cut other materials like copper, MDF, acrylic, wood, stone, and glass. Indeed, you are only limited by your imagination with the CNC router.
As a 3-dimensional cutting and milling machine, CNC routers, in comparison to other products, are effective in ensuring that there is no wastage or errors.
CNC routers also come in many forms: they can be operated for personal use from a desktop CNC router and can just as well be found on an industrial scale in manufacturing plants.
Best CNC Router for Aluminum Comparison Chart
BobsCNC E3 CNC Router
Universal Gcode Sender Platform
Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX
MYSWEETY DIY CNC Router
Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Linux
DIY CNC Router Kit, MYSWEETY
Windows XP SP3, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Linux.
3018 Pro CNC Router Kit
Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
Upgrade CNC 3018 Pro
Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Linux
CNC Router for Aluminum Reviews
1. BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Review | best CNC router for small shop
If you are just starting out on a small scale, perhaps in your own home office or as a small business, then the BobsCNC E3 is worth looking at.
In order to operate this CNC router, a USB cable can be connected to an Arduino-based microprocessor. Also recommended is the use of Universal Gcode Sender Platform, a Java-based software. This program can be used via Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX.
The DEWALT DW660 cut-out tool and wooden frame included in the box conveniently provides you with almost everything you need for CNC routing in a single purchase. The highly durable Baltic Birch plywood frame has been carefully cut with laser.
The SG20U rail system is set up on the framework, alongside a GT2 bet drive for the Y and X axes. Its 5amp motor will work up to 30,000 rpm with no load. In spite of this, this CNC router weighs only 3.2 pounds.
As the gantry height is 3.3 inches, this does however limit the maximum thickness of the materials that can be cut using this CNC routing machine.
The power switch is safe from sawdust damage, making it ideal if your main material happens to be wood. Also, the spindle lock will make it relatively easy for you to change the bits without any tools.
1. Comes with a DEWALT DW660 cut-out tool.
2. Features a SG20U rail system.
3. Uses a spindle lock system.
4. Operates with Arduino-based microprocessor.
5. Compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX.
1. Very easy to assemble and lightweight.
2. Bits can easily be changed.
3. Power switch is protected from sawdust damage.
1. Thickness of the material that can be cut is limited.
2. No laser module feature.
2. MYSWEETY DIY CNC Router Review | best home CNC router
As a budget friendly choice, the MYSWEETY 1610 CNC machine is a scaled down version of an industrial CNC machine. It is operated via a stepper motor. The spindle motor has a speed of 7,000 rpm and will cut smoothly and accurately at a relatively high speed.
The cutting plate on this simple DIY kit CNC router is made of aluminum, making it sturdy and stable.
It comes with the GRBL software, but a few other programs like PCB and Toolpath Creation can also be used.
Though this CNC router is perfect for beginners, some knowledge of technology will be required when assembling. Instructions are provided in any case to assist in this. However, the board is pre-programmed and the wiring is already done.
This CNC router is compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Linux.
Apart from soft metals like copper and aluminum, this CNC router can be used to cut acrylic, PCB, PVC, wood, plastic quite effectively. The MYSWEETY 1610 CNC machine is thus quite flexible as it is able to handle without any fuss light duty tasks.
At the same time, the MYSWEETY 1610 CNC machine has a relatively small cutting area. This means that its usage is limited, in addition to the fact that it can handle only light-duty tasks. Also, some of its components are made of plastic.
1. Operated through GRBL control software.
2. Runs with the Nema 17 stepper motor.
3. Uses aluminum cutting plate.
4. Compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Linux.
5. Compatible with PCB and Toolpath Creation.
1. Lightweight, portable, versatile, and durable.
2. Easy to set up and operate.
3. Produces smooth, accurate cuts at a reliable speed.
4. Quite affordable compared to other CNC routers.
1. Will only handle light-duty tasks.
2. Relatively small cutting area reduces usage.
3. Some components are made of plastic.
3. DIY CNC Router Kit, MYSWEETY 3018 Review | best hobby CNC router
The MYSWEETY 3018 GRBL is perfect for those small businesses or home offices looking to expand and take on more orders. It can also be considered by those who are looking to explore what CNC routers have to offer and intend to use it as a hobby or side project.
But it is not an industrial grade level CNC routing machine.
While it uses the GRBLControl software, all other CAM (computer aided manufacturing) software programmes can be used to cut designs.
Additionally, commands issued by the software to the hardware of the MYSWEETY 3018 are quite effective and smooth.
The stepper motor of the MYSWEETY 3018 is quite reliable can be operated by Windows XP SP3, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Linux. It can also be connected to a USB.
Made of aluminum, PVC, and plastic components, the motor will work up to 10,000 rpm. It is a relatively highly intuitive machine and will therefore offer the operator a high level of performance.
Upon your purchase of this device, you will find the CNC router machine quite simple to assemble even though it is not intended for beginners. It can be used to engrave plastic, wood, PVC, wood, acrylic, aluminum, and other such materials.
It cannot however engrave on hard materials like jade or other hard metals.
Buyers are essentially getting an engraving machine, 10 pieces of bits, and one extension rod with ER11 collet with their purchase of the MYSWEETY 3018 GRBL.
1. Operated via GRBL software and other CAM programmes.
2. Uses the stepper motor.
3. Motor runs at a speed of 10,000 rpm.
4. Compatible with Windows XP SP3, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Linux.
5. Can be connected via USB.
1. Easy to assemble and operate.
2. Software program is quite intuitive.
3. Stepper motor is of a reliable quality.
1. Few components are made of plastic.
2. Some of the tools included seem inadequate.
4. 3018 Pro CNC Router Kit Review | best CNC router kit
The 3018 Pro CNC Router by Uttiny is an upgraded version of the 3018 model. What this means is that it still has the GRBL Control software as the previous model. Additionally, the manufacturer has kept the large working area and spindle.
What has been added to the 3018 Pro CNC Router by Uttiny is greater stability. Also, the offline controller is another new feature, which now no longer requires you to connect the CNC machine to a computer or a laptop in order to download your files.
The X, Y, and Z engraving, in addition to the cooling fan and the spindle, can be changed and adjusted manually. The motor speed can work up to 10,000 rpm. The 3018 Pro CNC Router is compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
This router is quite easy to assemble and operate. This is because the core components of this CNC router have already been put together by the manufacturer. Indeed, it should not take you more than 20 minutes to get it up and ready to execute commands.
Apart from aluminum, this CNC router can be used to engrave plastic, PCB CCL, wood, and plastic. It can carve soft metals like copper. However, materials that have a very hard texture, like hard metals and jade, cannot be used with the 3018 Pro CNC Router.
Most of the components of the 3018 Pro CNC Router are made of aluminum. This means that there is some machine oil already on the metal components when it arrives in the package, which can be a bit annoying for the person unboxing it.
1. Operated with the GRBL control software.
2. Uses a new Offline controller.
3. Motor speed can work up to 10,000 rpm.
4. Can be manually adjusted.
5. Compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
1. Very easy to assemble and operate.
2. Don’t need to connect to a computer with the offline controller.
3. Greater stability compared to previous model.
1. Machine oil can be a bit of an inconvenience.
5. Upgrade CNC 3018 Pro Review | best entry level CNC router
With your purchase of the Upgrade CNC 3018 Pro, you can rest assured that your fantasies of designing beautiful handicrafts for your near and dear ones are going to be fulfilled.
It is a good choice for beginners as they can pick up on the ABC’s of CNC routers as the open layout of the machine will conveniently let you see how any adjustments made play out.
The machine is light and can be fully assembled and ready for use within 20 minutes as all its components do not require positioning. The manual also provides easy-to-follow instructions for the assembly.
The precision of the device is enhanced due to the strength of the CNC 3018’s metal body that comes with its integrated units and fewer assembly step. This machine is able to inscribe on a range on a wide range of materials, including plastics, soft aluminum, woods, acrylics, PVC, and PCB.
The motor is equipped with a speed of 10,000 rpm. It operates with cutting edge software that has a GRBL three-axis control board which in turn allows the devices to function seamlessly.
It is compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Linux. Mac is not supported, however.
1. Operated with GRBL controller software.
2. Motor speed of 10,000 rpm.
3. Machine has an open layout.
4. Compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Linux.
1. Fewer assembly steps maximizes overall solidity of machine.
2. Minimized operational issues because of intelligent software.
1. Does not support Mac.
2. Clamps to hold down material are too large taking up too much space.
Best CNC Router for Aluminum Buying Guide
1. Motor size
Servo motors are ideal for high speed operations that require continuous load changes and provide high torque capacity. They are highly efficient and not too loud when in operation. The motor will also not heat up.
Stepper motors, on the other hand, are less expensive. Their movements are based on pulses and will not receive feedback from an actual location. They operate at medium to low speed and high torque applications and are also quite easy to set up and operate.
Stepper motors have a long life as the motor will not be damaged as a result of any overload. However, the motor is quite loud when it is set at moderate to high speed performance.
Whichever type of motor you do choose, it is additionally worth picking a CNC router machine that will work effectively and require minimum supervision.
2. Automatic Tool Changer System
If you are considering investing in a CNC router because you are a business and will be changing tools occasionally during the production process, then one way to deal with this is to get an automatic tool changer system. This will minimize operator errors and decrease time spent between jobs.
If, on the other hand, your interest in the CNC router is more of a hobby where you only really need to use one tool at a time, then perhaps a sign making CNC router may suffice your requirements. In this instance, it is not necessary to get the automatic tool changer function.
Aside from this, having some understanding of what a CNC router does and, thereby, investing in an updated software will yield accurate cuttings and updates regularly.
Additionally, you may want to think of obtaining a specialized software if your business manufactures complicated components.
A spindle is the motor that does the cutting via a cutting tool. They come in many shapes and sizes. Factors like the application and cycle time will allow you to make heavier cuts.
It is a good idea to investigate the capacity of the spindle before you make an investment. This will involve examining aspects like power requirements, spindle motor type, torque, etc.
4. Router Size
It will be wise to consider a CNC router size by factoring in present and future production. This is all the more the case if you are a small enterprise as you will want to make sure that you are not limiting your production simply because your CNC router cannot handle a larger material.
Ultimately the best decision that can be made for your business is to opt for a CNC router that will give you plenty of room for expansion without having to invest in another CNC routing machine altogether.
5. Vacuum System
The ability of the table to hold down the material to be cut is another significant factor. The vacuum pressure the CNC routing machine has will determine how heavy the material to be cut can be.
The heavier the machine, the better its construction can be said to be. But if you need to move the CNC router around, then it will be a good idea to look for one that is both sturdy and weighs the least.
7. Dust and metal shavings
The very nature of CNC routers is that it will produce a lot of dust, sawdust, or metal shavings. Setting up a vacuum system in the area will keep the production space clean.
It is a good idea to get some understanding of how much dust will be created by the CNC routing machine as this will then help you to determine where you can place the vacuum system for optimum coverage.
Also, make sure to place your computer in a place that is near enough from the CNC router in order to operate it but also far enough from it to protect it from being damaged by the dust.
CNC router machines are a great investment for any workshop. This is because their ability to precisely cut through various types of materials means that they can perform tasks that even 3D printers cannot.
However, most manufacturers are also intimidated by CNC routers as programming them may raise the cost of owning such an exclusive machine.In spite of the costs that can sometimes be associated with owning and operating a CNC routing machine, there are options out there that meet the