ROBO CNC Router Review

März 04, 2022 0 Kommentare

Comgrow ROBO CNC Router Review [2022]: Tested

Article from https://mellowpine.com/cnc/comgrow-robo-cnc-router-review/

Comgrow ROBO CNC Router Review [2022]: Tested

Comgrow ROBO CNC is an affordable, feature-packed, beginner-friendly CNC router.

It is a compact 3018 CNC router machine that can fit on top of your desk that is ideal for engraving materials like wood, MDF, plastic, and acrylic.

ROBO can double up as a laser engraver if you get the laser attachment provided by Comgrow.

In this review, we take a deep dive into what this CNC router can do, including tests on multiple materials to help you understand its real-world performance.

Read this until the end to see how this CNC fared with different materials.

 

What's in this article?

  • Comgrow ROBO CNC review
  • Testing ROBO Router on Diffferent Materials
  • Frequently asked questions

 

Comgrow ROBO CNC review

I reviewed ROBO CNC considering its size, material capability, frame, spindle, linear motion, software, electronics, upgrades, community, support, and many more.

Comgrow ROBO CNC review

  • Size
  • Material capability
  • Chassis
  • Linear motion
  • Spindle
  • Noise levels
  • Controller and electronics
  • Software
  • Accessories
  • Upgrades
  • Assembly
  • Community
  • Customer support

 

Size

Comgrow ROBO Size

 

Comgrow ROBO Size

Size of Comgrow ROBO 3018 CNC router

 

ROBO CNC has a footprint of 18.1" x 13.8" and has an aluminum body. It weighs around 16.5 lbs.

The number "3018" in the product name of "Comgrow ROBO 3018 CNC" represents its working area of 30 cm x 18 cm (11.8" x 7.1"). It also has a Z-travel of 1.8".

Unlike other 3018 CNC like the Genmitsu 3018 PROVer, ROBO CNC has a longer Y-axis than the X-axis.

Its work area is supported by the Y-axis aluminum base that has T-slots to attach clamps and vises to hold the work material.

 

Material Capability

Comgrow ROBO after cutting pinewood
Comgrow ROBO after cutting pinewood

Comgrow ROBO CNC can work on most soft materials (non-metal) like plastic, acrylic, PCB, wood, and wood composites.

With a 1/8" end-mill attached to the spindle running at 10,000 RPM, you will be able to engrave 0.019" thick pinewood at a speed ranging from 0.7 to 2.36 ipm.

When engraved, you can feed in the same wood piece at a speed of 3.93 - 5.90 ipm.

A 0.039" - 0.078" thick acrylic can be engraved using a 1/8" V-bit at a speed ranging anywhere between 1.96 - 4.72 ipm.

However, I pushed it to cut way harder than this without affecting the machine.

More about it on the However, I pushed it to cut way harder than this without affecting the machine.

 

Chassis/Frame

T-slot aluminum workbed

T-slot aluminum workbed

 

Comgrow has used a frame made of aluminum alloy for ROBO CNC that makes it quite rigid for a 3018 CNC.

The machine is small and has four rubber feet attached to the bottom. It helps reduce the noise and vibration while milling.

The Z-axis assembly and motor mount is made of ABS which makes it light but at the same time rigid.

Overall, it has good rigidity and is easy to install and maintain.

 

Linear Motion

Linear guides and lead screw on the underside of Comgrow ROBO CNC

Linear guides and lead screw on the underside of Comgrow ROBO CNC

 

ROBO CNC is lead-screw-driven on all three axes.

Along each X and Y axis, the machine uses two 0.47" (12mm) linear rods to support the machine movement.

You can also control the X and the Y-axis manually by rotating the adjusting knob. It will be helpful to make some small adjustments.

However, there is no manual adjustment for the Z-axis which would have been a nice addition as you need to depend on the controller or computer for moving the Z-axis all the time.

 

Spindle

Spindle with ER11 collet and wrenches
Spindle with ER11 collet and wrenches

ROBO CNC router comes with a standard 60W 775 spindle, which has a speed of 10,000 RPM. You can control the RPM using the GRBL Candle control software.

The spindle has a heat dissipation fan to help it run for long hours of operation. I was able to run it for around 2 hours without stopping and there was no heating issues.

The spindle is underpowered if you want to cut hardwood but it performs well for engraving on most materials I tried. It even performed a decent 0.05" deep cut on soft pine wood.
ROBO CNC has a very rigid build compared to other 3018 CNC machines. The machine can be made powerful enough to engrave on aluminum with the right spindle upgrade.

Noise Levels

I used a smartphone-based app for measuring the noise levels and it was around 75 dB, 2 to 3 feet away from the router while cutting pinewood at 5 ipm with a doc of 0.05" and the spindle running at 10,000 RPM.

At about three yards it's quieter than a dot matrix printer. You can use it in your home without any worries if you keep the door to the room closed.

 

Controller and Electronics

Stepper Motors

NEMA 17 stepper motor on Comgrow ROBO CNC

NEMA 17 stepper motor on Comgrow ROBO CNC

 

The lead screws along the axes are driven by stepper motors, each having a holding torque of 67.97 oz-in.

The stepper motors used are 40mm single shaft NEMA 17 stepper motors. ROBO CNC has three motors, one for each axis.

 

Controller and Electronics

Arduino control board onboard ROBO CNC (Source: Comgrow)

 

ROBO CNC uses a three-axis Arduino-based control board. The control board is placed in a black enclosure behind the X-axis gantry.

For homing operations, ROBO CNC uses a total of six limit switches, two for each axis.

It uses an offline controller which lets you engrave and cut without a PC. You can also connect ROBO CNC to a PC using a USB cable.

When not using the offline controller, it can be hung in the back of the electronic enclosure. It will stay there and not move around when the machine is milling.

You can load the G-code file to the offline controller using an SD card. Then the loaded file can be selected using the control switches.

Offline controller for Comgrow ROBO CNC

Offline controller for Comgrow ROBO CNC

 

However, it is much more easier to control the machine using a computer rather than the offline controller.

Comgrow ROBO CNC has an E-stop switch at the front which you can use to stop the spindle and the movement of the axes if anything goes wrong.

 

Software

Candle GRBL software interface (Source: Comgrow)

You can use any software of your choice like Fusion 360, Easel, Etc for CAD operations. They can also generate toolpaths.

For laser engraving applications, Comgrow recommends LaserGRBL and LightBurn. Both can import image files in PNG, JPG, JPEG, DWG, BMP, and PDF file formats.

LaserGRBL is available only for Windows OS, but LightBurn is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux OS.

For controlling the CNC, they provide a card reader and a memory stick that has test files, Laser grbl, and GRBL Candle loaded on to it.

GRBL Candle is easy to learn and use, if you are a beginner GRBL Candle is a good way to start.

It is a better idea to copy these files onto your computer than use it directly from the memory stick.

It can also work with Easel software, which is an all-in-one software package for CNC and can do CAD, CAM, and control operations from a single interface.

 

Accessories

With the Comgrow ROBO CNC machine, you will get wrenches, clamps, power adapter, milling tool kit, tool holders, cables, screws, and a Z-probe.

The accessory kit contains 8 end mills, half of which are four flute 1/8" cutters and the other half are engraving bits with a 20° taper and 0.1 mm tip.

Since the Z-axis is not having a manual control knob, the Z-probe will help you easily zero the Z-axis.

Whats in the box with Comgrow ROBO CNC

What's in the box with Comgrow ROBO CNC

Upgrades

Comgrow laser head (Source: Comgrow)

 

Comgrow provides some laser and rotary roller upgrade options for the ROBO CNC router.

The laser upgrade is directly attached to the Z-axis spindle mount using a metal sheet buckle. 5W and 10W laser head upgrade options are available.

You can get your ROBO CNC customized with necessary laser upgrades while purchasing it from Comgrow's official website.

Even if you choose not to get any upgrades when you buy the machine, you can still purchase them later.

Comgrow rotor upgrade (Source: Comgrow)

 


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