At last a proper review of 3040T Chinese CNC machine

Why i got this machine?

As some one who loves his 3D printer and laser engraver/cutting machines. that all operate on g-code and x and y and z axis thought a CNC machine would be the next bit of kit to get and should be a doddle to progress in to.

Well, its been my biggest doorstop for a long time and with the help of a few videos and the terrible instructions that came with it i now finally after a years have a fully operational machine. I brought the machine at the end of 2017 as got a good deal on it. was shipped over from Germany turned up in 3 boxes. Was a scary thought as the first box turned up on day one second and 3rd came a day later.

Why review this now.

This is being placed here as a help guide for others as limited information on these machines and not much help for the beige machine not the one with black control box same name but works using a serial port controller.

I went with the USB controller version as did not have any old school pc machines kicking around with water-cooled spindle.

the software link was emailed to with Mach 3 rnr motion controller plugin and some instructions for a 3020 machine in Chinglish.

So i built and set up the machine according to guide. spindle fired up and had movement. went full-on with a complex engraving program machine started and crashed into x and y-axis hit estop nothing happen pulled the plug. the fear across my face what was i doing wrong. then tried something less complex again was not working for me axis were flipped and not working right.

My son was born so my life was turned upside down. so it was stored in a part completed enclosure.

Every time the wife travelled down to wales or i had a spare moment or so i tinkered with the machine not getting any ware i then took control box apart to see what the controller was.

it’s called MACH3 USB controller card red card there is not much on it found pinout for the board.

From that, I figured out i could add limit and home switches using, figured out that IN1 was E-stop IN2 was limit switch IN3 was home switch IN4 was for a probe.

Added some wires and drilled out a hole to run the wires out. tried touch ground and end nothing while trying to configure in mach 3 first auto-config wouldn’t work as not serial card nothing was showing on the diagnostic page. gave up again.

Was driving me nuts was seriously thinking about selling it. bit the bullet and re-read the install guide started with a fresh install on the newly built pc. looked at each screen grab page noticed that pin was all set to port 3 with different pin number so e-stop was port 3 pin 1. hit estop machine stopped eureka moment. I then followed these and added 2 and 3 and 4 for limit, home switches and probe.

i then tried to configure soft limits to solve crashing issues. no joys kept on crashing not working correctly. was driving me nuts thought well my 3d printer and later both use limit switches might try that.

I ordered some micro switches were not sure how to install them as all things i found on Thingiverse were for older machines or wrong machine type. again life and time got in the way fast forward to the lockdown of covid-19 as stuck at home and finished off my backlog of jobs in the mancave.

i desided to give my self a week to get it working or sell it. after watching a few videos i desided to remix a microswitch holder giving it adjustment then armed with some M3 tape i stuck mu limit and home switches in place in series so 3 for homing and 3 for limits.

mach3 works that the home switches after homeing become limit witches. so if tripped E-stop is activated. cool cannot damage the machine.

i then revisited softlmits and realised the error of my ways looking at the videos realised that safe zone 1.0000 was 1″ and i was running in mm so 1mm is noting now set to 10mm so has a chance to stop before hitting limits.

so now had fully operational machine. will drill and tap all my switches eventuly but for the time being it works dont fix it.

Would i recommend buying a small hobby cnc?

3040T yes i would but be prewarned as will all Chinese product there if no support unless helped by the community. you will need to understand your bed and zeroing where your material placed on that bed.

i am still working out which software will be easiest for me to understand when it comes to designing love fusion 360 not used the CAM side of it yet. have just made some suff using freeware and free trials.

Thanks for helping getting my machine dialed in.

For end-stops and z probe and edge finder script would recommend Charlie Sarsfield you tube channel got me thinking on how to fix stuff. also has a edge finding tool for zeroing the machine i am yet to install this. but on my list of mods.

would also check out GruBrew channel for tips on limit and home switches and google for series wiring of micro switches.

If you are in the same boat i was please feel free to contact me and will gladly pass on my knowledge.

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