Supported Materials



I am about to get my first 3D Printer, but I have been researching CNC machines for years, but due to wanting to cut 4x8 sheets, and knowing I would only use the machine a few times a year (Probably a lot really) for personal use, I didn’t want to be spending 4-5k for most of the kits around.


Now that I am finally getting a 3D Printer, a mate of mine pointed out the MPCNC, and eventually I came across the LowRider, seeing as I had the Crawlbot in my short list of CNC machines if I ever bought one, I was extremely excited to see a DIY version of one, and such a nice build at that.


Back story out of the way, I do have a question, not really to determine if I will make a LowRider, but I guess to determine if I should also get a smaller MPCNC for other projects.


My concern is materials, I predominantly work with plywood, usually 12mm (1/2"?) or 19mm (3/4"), because I like its strength, look, etc. But I would also like to etch and cut soft metals and acrylic/perspex. Is this build capable of this? I’ve seen mention of the MPCNC doing this, but since the LR is relatively new, I am yet to see any real info of this.


Thanks for your help guys.

For the most part the LowRider is more capable, for thin materials it is plenty strong.

Any material really, as long as it is not something ridiculously known to be hard to machine like work hardening stainless or something like that. You can cut just about anything as long as you have your CAM right. How good your gcode is relative to what kind of job you’re doing is really important. The right end mill also makes a big difference. Many of us vouch for the single flute end mills, the kind that Ryan sells at the shop, because they’re so versatile. They cut through wood, aluminum, and plastics.

I don’t know much about the lowrider because I haven’t made one, but those goals are very achievable. Also like to add, the lowrider gets more rigid the lower it cuts, the MPCNC is the opposite.

Thanks guys, this is exactly the answer I was looking for. I would probably say, 95% Plywoods, ranging from 12-22mm, I doubt I would go more than 22mm, if I did, it would be a one off. Perspex maybe 3% of the time, from 6-12mm, I can’t see I would ever go further than that, and Aluminium the remainder, 2-3mm max, possibly powder coated so add another .1-.2mm or so.

Sounds like this will be a fun project to build, modify and learn, alongside the 3D Printer.

You hit the nail on the head.