Delivery time is about 4-5 weeks for complete machines and 1-2 weeks for kits.
Raw 1.5 is an updated version of the popular Raw 1.3 machine. The big difference from 1.3 is the machine’s double thickness of the plates and stronger construction.
A real CNC machine
This machine is very strong compared to other DIY machines in this price range. The machine has steel reinforcements and quality parts and a real Z-axis construction. A complete Raw 1.5 weigh around 40-60 kg and is not made of weak plastic parts and 6 mm thin timing belts like many other machines. The machine has 6 safety, calibration switches and a Z-axis calibration plate. This is as close as you can get to a “real” CNC machine in this price range.
What can I cut with a Raw 1.5
Soft wood, hardwood, chipboard, Mdf, plastic, lighter aluminum cuting, sketching, 3D cutting and engraving, etc. Note that aluminum is hard to learn to cut and there are better machines for it such as laser or water jet. If you plan to cut a lot of aluminum, you should look at more expensive industrial machines.
Underneath follows a lot of text and explanations. The questions are many and we break down everything so you know exactly what to choose.
How do I choose options?
- In the “Electronics” drop-down menu, you can choose to include the electronics assembled in a box or in parts. If you choose to have the electronics assembled in a box, then everything is ready and you just need to plug in the machine after its built. If you choose unmounted, you must build a box for your electronics and follow our video instructions on YouTube.
- In the “Pre-built machine” drop-down menu, you can choose to have the machine fully assembled to get you started quickly. You can read more below what is included in a pre-built machine. A pre-built machine is much more expensive as we basically build the machine completely and pick it apart in large sections so you can easily rebuild it. You should also select “Electronics” assembled in a box to get started immediately.
- You also need a spindle/Router and that must be purchased separately. If you purchase our “Spindle with inverter” product at the same time, we will wire it as the same time we prepare your machine. You can also buy a spindle/Router on Ebay and connect it yourself, the choice is yours
Is it difficult to build the machine?
If you are somewhat handy, it’s not that difficult, just follow the video instructions and study the machine’s drawings. If you are unsure, we also offer the machine as ready-made and what you need to do is build the last bit which is easy. I have had customers who successfully built our machines with their children and without any experience at all. The electronics may seem scary but it’s easy and we’ll explain you just need to follow our instructions. You can also buy the electronics ready-made in a box where everything is ready and you just need to plug in the machine after its built
Is it difficult to operate the machine?
It’s always tricky to do something new but after cutting your first piece you will understand. Once you know how to do it, it’s very easy.
Pre-built machine as an option?
You can buy the machine in parts or as pre-built. With pre-built, we mean that the machine comes in large parts that you easily assemble using our instructions. We build the machine as we do with our complete machines, but then break it apart to make it easier to ship. What cannot be done in advance is to attach timing belt or racks and cables, but it’s easy for you to do, all cables are completely soldered and labeled. When you get the machine, you need to:
- Mount the lower frame with brackets and screws
- Mount the Y-axis beams with corner plates
- Attach all motors to the plates
- Mount the X-axis assembly and attach it to the Y-beam
- Mount the Z-axis assembly with a screw
- Mount the cables and fasten the timing belt/Racks
- Calibrate the machine
Timing belt as drive
Timing belt has a good precision and is both cheap and fast. Timing belt can even be better when engraving as well as for 3d or wood cutting. Timing belt runs smoother than racks but do not handle tough materials at high speeds. You can do anything with a timing belt as you can with racks but in some cases the speed must be reduced. Timing belt is for you who cut occasionally and in regular materials such as wood or plastic. You can upgrade to a rack at any time if you notice that you need a stronger machine. Our experience says that those who chose Timing belt have managed to cut what they need without having to upgrade.
If you do not choose “pre-build machine” then you will have to thread/tap the plates and some of the profiles yourself. For this you need taps in size 4,5,8 mm. This is not difficult but choose good taps that do not snap. If a thread snaps in any profile, it’s almost impossible to get it out.
Spindle or router
You can buy this as a separate product and choose between a professional air cooled 1.5 KW spindle with inverter or a standard router. The router we have is a cheap Makita, Bosh or Dewalt copy with an ok precision and perfect to begin with. We also have special adapters so you can have 3,4,6,8 mm endmills. The 1.5 KW spindle with inverter is for professional use. You can also start with a dremmel to cut into very soft materials or engraving.
We do not include the baseboard seen in the pictures (the black table) due to shipping costs, but it is very easy to do it yourself. The table consists of 7x 12mm MDF or Valchromat strips in the 13.5×93.5cm dimensions that are screwed into place. You can also cut a rectangular board that you cut holes in when the machine is ready. The dimensions of the board should be: 98,5×93,5cm. a large rectangular board is more stable than strips. Go to your local hardware store and let them cut that board for you or do it yourself.
We do not paint the plates for our kit, but only if you choose “prebuild” as optional below. The color of this machine is Black instead of red as our Extended model. You can leave the plates as they are and just brush them and add some finish. Note, you must paint and grind the plates yourself. The plates can have scratches and printed text on them. That is how we get the material from our suppliers.
The electronics are the most complicated part of a machine and you can choose to buy it prebuilt in a box or build it yourself by following our instructions. We recommend Drivers or TB6560 card over Arduino. Arduino is simpler electronics and we have chosen to not sell it any more since it’s too weak. If you want to build with Arduino then we have video instructions for that but you have to buy the parts yourself seen in the video.
There are so many different variations that we need to give a basic explanation of what to choose. Arduino for example is a USB version of CNC electronics but it is weaker than drivers and with few possibilities. We have chosen to stay with the traditional electronics at it’s the best, most reliable and the strongest. The “Old” electronics is what is still used in today’s industry and there is no need to switch to others at the present time. The disadvantage of the older version is that you need a computer with Printer Port and a 32 bit operating system. But you can buy a computer with printer port form eBay for example (look for Dell Optiplex 790 or 780 or other computers with a printer port). You can buy such a computer for 50Eur and it should only be used to control the machine so it needs no performance, draw and prepare your files on another computer. If you choose to purchase a computer with printer port, you can reinstall Windows to a 32 bit version by downloading this file http://getintopc.com/softwares/operating-systems/windows-7-professional-free-download-iso -32-64-bit / and then buy a license on eBay for 2Eur if you like.
Another advantage of an older computer is that the software becomes cheaper. To control your machine, you need Mach3. Mach4 is out there but it’s full of bugs as they try to switch to USB. We recommend that you stay with the older version and upgrade when the time is ready. You can always upgrade at a low cost as all you need to replace is the breakout board or card that costs around 50Eur. Everything else on your machine is compatible with the USB version that needs a few more years. If you still want a USB version of the electronics, we have a module that translates the Printer signals to USB, this module is available for purchase as an extension and we have it as an option.
Choice of electronics
We have 3 options and you can choose to assemble the electronics yourself or buy it “assembled in a box”. When you choose to buy the electronics from us, everything is included, such as motors, power supply, wires and even the smallest parts. Note that the spindle / router is not included, it must be purchased separately.
- TB6560 This card is a very good alternative to drivers. The card is both cheaper and easier to install with our instructions. Note that this card is of the latest model (red circuit board) and much better than others available on the market. If you read about the card and see negative comments, they most likely have the older version (Blue Circuit Board). The disadvantage of these cards is that the resolution is 1/16 step instead of 1/32 as drivers. 1/16 step is enough for you if you cut wood or plastic and for easy engraving / sign making, you will not notice any visual difference. You can choose to purchase the electronics pre-assembled in a box or assemble it yourself with our instructions.
- Drivers and Breakout Board This is the most professional electronics but more expensive and complicated to assemble. The advantage of drivers is that you can replace a driver if it breaks for some reason, but a driver costs as much as the tb6560 card above so the choice is yours. There are many different drivers both expensive and cheap. The ones we use are in the middle range of quality and performance. You can choose to purchase the electronics pre-assembled in a box or assemble it yourself with our instructions.
- Drivers and Breakout board with USB
If you want to run the “older” electronics with a newer computer that has an USB port, we will install a module that translates the signals. This is expensive and complicated so this option is only available pre-assembled in a box. The advantage with this is that you can use the machine with any computer you like, even with your laptop. Note that “Homing” does not work with USB. Homing is when you drive home the machine to calibrate the Y axis and the X axis. To circumvent this, you can easily calibrate the machine by hand by measuring from the corner plate to the side plate on both sides. When the measure is correct, turn on the electronics that locked the motors until the machine turns off.
The machine comes without any software but there are free demo versions of all the software needed. We use Mach3 to run the machine, Estlcam or V-carve as Cam software and Google sketchup (free) or CorelDraw, Fusion 360 for drawing. Check out our article “How to Cut Successfully” to see examples of how to work with the machine.
The precision is a balance between user and machine. It’s about how well your drawings are, spindle quality, spindle speeds, and how fast you cut. At a normal speed of about 2-4000m / min, the machine has a measured accuracy of about 1-2 / 10mm. This machine is the result of many years of development. We have cut several thousand meters of material with machines like these and done it daily for many years. An aluminum machine cannot have the same precision as a 1 ton steel machine. Aluminum vibrates at load and high speeds. We have added as much steel as we can and the machine is much more stable than other “Aluminum” machines. This is what distinguishes a cheaper aluminum machine from a more expensive industrial machine.
The small wedges on the side plates in our illustrations are not necessary, the plates are thick and they are not needed.
Paypal fees are very high in terms of these amounts, so we recommend that you make a bank payment. We have to apply the Paypal fee if you choose that option.
Width X-axis: 990mm (1225mm total with motors), Length: 1000mm
Cutting Area: 765mm (Width) x 720mm (Length)
height below the z-axis: 125mm (keep in mind that the endmills are not longer than about 5cm so it’s about as deep as you can cut until the spindle touch the material.
- 2x 8mm thick side plates
- 4x 6mm corner plates
- 2x 6mm Z-Axle plates
- 2x 6mm X-Axle Plates
- 3x 4mm engine plates (included but only needed for racks)
- 3x 4mm bearing plates (included but only needed for racks)
- 20×40 aluminum profiles
- 20×60 aluminum profiles
- 20×80 aluminum profiles
- Shaft clamps and steel rods for u-track bearings
- All screws in different sizes
- All nuts in different sizes
- All tiles in different sizes
- 4x sliding bearing block 20mm
- 4x axle support 20mm
- 2x 20mm steel axles 32cm
- 1x Delrin nut with anti-backlash function
- 1 x trapezoidal screw 32cm
- 16x high quality U-track bearings
- bearings 8x22x7mm
- 2x flange bearing 10mm
- 1x coupling
- Drawings on the whole machine
- Timing belt, steel reinforced
- 3x Pulleys
- 4x spacers and screws
- 6x Brackets
- 6x Hole plates
Drivers and breakout board as an example
- 2x Cable chains
- Shielded cables 4 lead 16meter
- Shielded cables 2 lead 21meter
- 4m of other cables
- 4x DQ542MA drivers
- 1x DB-25 Breakout Board
- 4xNema 23 motors 3A
- 350W 14 A Switching power supply
- 12x M4x20mm screw (For switches)
- Printer cable
- 6x Limit micro switch
- Electronics box 30x40x10cm
- 5x DIN Male and female plugs
- Shrink hoses
- Cable spiral
- RGB connectors
- Cable covers
- USB cord
- Hardware for the electronics
- Instructions to build the machine
- Support all the way
- Downloadable content with more instructions, drawings and close ups
To build the machine you will need
- A stable table atleast 1x1m
- Power drill
- Drills 4-8mm
- taps 4,5,8mm (Only if you build the machine yourself)
- Solder pen (Only if you build the machine yourself)
- A set of hex keys
- A set of Screwdrivers
- A set of wrench keys
- Metal file (Inly if you build the machine yourself)
- Electric tape (Inly if you build the machine yourself)
- Electric socket for the power supply and approximately 2 meter grounded cable (Not included since all countrys have different standards. You will find it in your local hardware store)
NOTE: the kit includes wiring of high current between the power supply and the electronics. This must be done by someone experienced. High current is dangerous. We do not take responsibilities for faulty wiring or injuries. The wiring from the electronics to motors and switches are low current and harmless.
To operate the machine you need:
- Mach3 (Demo avlaible)
- CAM software like V-carve. There is many free CAM softwares, just search for ” Free Cam software”
- A spindle or router and some endmills. We recomend that you cut with 3-4 mm endmils and use larger ones for clearing.
- A computer with a 32 bit operating system and printer port. Or other computer depending on your electronics.
All the instruction videos on how to build the machine can be found here http://rawcnc.com/instructions-on-how-to-build-a-raw-1-5/ You will also find them and many other videos on You tube
Here is an example on the instructions on how to build the Raw 1.5 machine. When you receive your package, you will also get exploded drawings and additional instructions
Raw 1.5 cutting aluminum
Raw 1.5 Speed and strength test
Cutting a fidget spinner