3 axis machines are nice for very simple prototype parts but as soon as you need to mill objects from multiple sides with multiple tools this can quickly become a a pretty manual process. A 4/5 axis machine could solve that problem though these are drastically more expensive. If this machine could not only be used for prototyping but also for production at a certain extend it could quickly pay for itself though.

Things to look out for:

  • control software future-proof (Linux, open source)?
  • replacement parts are affordable and quickly available?
  • tool selection (requires expensive special brand/kind)?

3 Axis Machines

Haas Minimill

€ 27.000+

Shapeoko 2

Full package: € 1061

Open Hardware/Free Software




Microproto CNC Mill


KarlG's "kleine robuste Fräse"

a compact sturdy 3 axis mill developed by KarlG in the forum. very precise. To order over pm from KarlG but the list seems to be long...

basic kit 1500€ (no motors, electronic and software)

assembling and calibration 500€

forum link (all german)


4/5 Axis Machines


5 axis cnc milling and 5 axis 3d printing

From £5000 (approx. $6300)


Ship from Canada

They seem to have pissed off at least one customer in a major way:


mills ranging from consumer to pro range with accessory for 4th axis

Roland MDX-40A

Optional 4th axis

$ 13,000


apertus° decided to get this one in the end.

$ 7000+

around 15 - 20 k$ for full package with tool changer and 4th axis.

They also have an injection molding accessory for 800$:

User Feedback:


  • no European Reseller (we shipped it with DB Schenker to Europe for a bit more than 1000€)
  • no CE
  • 110V supply for cooling pump, rest is 230V

Interesting analysis of their design decisions :

Charter Oak Automation High-Capacity Square Column CNC Bed Mill


CNC 3040

4 axis option probably from China



from China

4 & 5 axis

Pocket NC P5

5 axis desktop CNC mill - still awaiting crowd funding campaign launch, no product until 2015

3500 $ target price


5 axis CNCs

different configurations for soft and harder materials - no pricing information on website