Compact CNC Mill Evaluation

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1 Notes

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)?

2 3 Axis Machines

2.1 Haas Minimill

€ 27.000+

2.2 Shapeoko 2

Full package: € 1061

Open Hardware/Free Software

2.3 Sherline

2.4 Othermill


2.5 Microproto CNC Mill


2.6 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)


3 4/5 Axis Machines

3.1 5axismaker

5 axis cnc milling and 5 axis 3d printing

From £5000 (approx. $6300)

3.2 Novakon

Ship from Canada

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

3.3 Haase

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

3.4 Roland MDX-40A

Optional 4th axis

$ 13,000

3.5 Tormach

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 :

3.6 Charter Oak Automation High-Capacity Square Column CNC Bed Mill


3.7 CNC 3040

4 axis option probably from China


3.8 Noname

from China

4 & 5 axis

3.9 Pocket NC P5

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

3500 $ target price

3.10 NS CNC

5 axis CNCs

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