Zen Toolworks CNC carving machine 7×7 DIY Kit Review of 2021

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For woodworkers looking to get their first DIY CNC carving machine, Zen Toolworks CNC carving machine 7 x 7 is going to be a really great choice. This Zen Carving Machine comes in 2 different sizes 12x12 and 7x7. The 7x7 model is the smallest and most affordable CNC router kit offered by Zen Toolworks, though that doesn't make it any less functional, you can get through with all your woodworking projects, big or small, using the 7x7 kit.

One of its most distinctive features is that it's suited to operate with any workload, whether you use it for a small carving project or for a much larger job, Zen Toolworks 7×7 CNC Carving Machine can get it done. Another interesting fact about this kit, it’s a lot of fun to assemble together, and you can have it mounted within 3 to 4 hours.

Product Name

Size

Standout Features

Price

7x7

PVC Frame, Steel guide rods and precision linear bearings provide maximum accuracy and rigidity

12x12

Rigid PVC Frame with enforced Aluminum gantry, Steel guide rods and precision linear bearings provide maximum accuracy and rigidity

Zen Toolworks CNC carving machine 7×7 DIY Kit Review

Zen Toolworks CNC carving machine 7×7 DIY Kit Review

Whether you know exactly what you want, or you still need a little push to decide on the CNC Carving Machine 7x7 DIY Kit. Here's a rundown of the features this 7 x7 has to offer:

1. A high-density PVC Frame and precision linear bearings. 

Since the machine is made out of a PVC frame, it’s perfect for working on hard materials, offering higher accuracy and rigidity. You can use it for working on materials like wood, aluminium, PCB and hard plastic.

2. Stainless steel components 

This CNC is made from PVC and steel components which means there will be less maintenance. Rigid components also give you the confidence of using the machine for your high intensive projects.

3. Includes Anti-backlash lead screw nut

CNCs are heavy machines made to create other workable machines and expect many of them to give you some backlash. The best part about this CNC carving machine is that it comes with anti-backlash lead screw nut that virtually eliminates all backlash.

4. F8 Lead Screws with ball bearing end support for all 3 axis (X, Y, Z), 

The machines has F8 lead screws for all X,Y and Z axis that allows an 8mm linear movement for every 360° rotation of the motor shaft. Recommended maximum Feed Rate of 1200mm/min.

5. NEMA 17 stepper motors included for each axis.

The CNC comes with 3 NEMA 17 stepper motors, one for each axis but be aware. You’re not going to get any spindle motor or a bracket kit. If you want, you can buy the motor and bracket kit separately from Zen Toolworks website. 

6. Offers a 7”x7”x5” cutting area.

The assembled machine is only 10.7”x 5.7”x16”, perfect for workshops with reduced space. So provided you have just begun learning using a CNC then this is a perfect cutting area. Good enough for you to make some nice wooden artworks. That too with a precision work of 0.001”.

7. Complete assembly guide 

Most CNC do the same work but each of them may have a separate mode of operation. This 7 x 7 CNC comes with numbered parts for easy assembly. You can also find more information on the website’s wiki and online forums if further assistance is needed. Else just drop me an email and I’ll personally help you out. 

Additional Features

  • It can be operated using Arduino and/or Mach3.
  • Utilizes software compatible with the most common operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux).
  • It can be mechanically mounted and sent ready to use if preferred.
  • Easily add handwheels for more control (not included with the kit).
  • Get 3D add-ons for an improved printing experience (sold separately).

Note: The spindle is sold separately, you will need 3-axis stepper motor drivers and DC power supply for the drivers, you need a PC with standard printer port and CNC software


Specifications of Table

Zen Toolworks CNC carving machine 7×7 DIY Kit Review
  • Lead Screws: Stainless-steel precision Acme-thread lead screws with anti-backlash nuts (for X, Y & Z); F8 (8mm for each rotation).
  • Weight: 16.9 pounds (7.6 Kilograms)
  • Cutting Capacity: 7” x 7” x 5”
  • Clearance Under Z-Axis: approximately 1.5”
  • Stepper Motors: NEMA 17 stepper motors with dual shaft. (easily add hand wheels for manual operation, not included)
  • Frame: PVC frame with stainless steel components.
  • Max Recommended Feed Rate with F8 Lead Screws: 1200 mm/min
  • Resolution: 0.001 – 0.002 inches
  • Footprint: 20” x 17” x 17” (X,Y,Z)
  • Limit and E-Stop Switch Set (optional)

Materials and Use-Cases

Zen CNC Kit adapts easily to most materials, its frame makes it simple to lay in the material you prefer, get it fixed, and start working on it. Once you’ve done the calibration of the board, you can start saving time in all the tasks you used to do manually. Its 3D structure adds more possibilities at the moment of shaping your projects, you can work on a 2D layout (using only X-Y axis), or you can add depth to the material (including the Z axis on the software), here are some examples:

Use Case 1: Work with wood

The 7×7 CNC kit works perfect for carving wood, whether it’s carving, letter cutting or inlay, the Zen Toolworks CNC carving machine will get the job done in less than half the time of a manual woodworking. You can make sculptures, dishes, appliques, rosettes, shelves, wood reliefs and boxes, and much more.

Use Case 2: Cardboard

You can use the mill to precisely cut your cardboard pieces and have them ready to assemble to your project in no time. You just have to upload the shapes you want to cut into the software, fix the piece of cardboard to the workspace, and easily have an entire project ready faster than ever before.

Use Case 3: Aluminum & Brass

You can use the mill to carve or engrave aluminum or brass in a more efficient and accurate way. Check out the online guides and forums for more details on carving harder materials.

Use Case 4: PCB

Once you have installed and configured your carving machine, the PCB printing process will be faster than ever, allowing you to do more work with less time, completely eliminating the mess of dealing with your classic acids.

Use Case 5: Use it for 3D printing

This CNC carving machine can also be used to print 3D models, its structure allows the use of a variety of materials; for example, you can model using plastics, wood, PCB, resins, wax, acrylic, and so much more, leaving the rest to your imagination.

Use Case 6: Sculpting

Similar to the 3D printing, you just need to introduce your model into the software and let the mill do the rest for you. Use whatever material you’re comfortable with and watch it being transformed into a masterpiece.

Use Case 7: Engraving

I personally enjoy engraving my stuff with CNC machines. No matter what the material: Jewelry, granite, polycarbonate, acrylic, stone or whatever you want to engrave, it can be done using the this CNC carving machine, from simple designs to extreme detail, almost everything you need is included with the kit. 

Use Case 8: Use it for heavy-duty works

If you have your own workshop, you can put the 7x7 kit to good use and give it long or heavy tasks, with little supervision, all you need is the right settings to keep it working for as long as you need it.


Some Projects to Try:

  • Wood routing
  • Wood relief
  • Soft metal routing
  • Wooden signs 
  • Aluminum coasters 
  • Keychains
  • Necklace pendants

Conclusion

Zen Toolworks CNC Carving Machine 7x7 DIY Kit is a great machine for beginners and professionals. It doesn't matter where you are in the learning curve of woodworking. This machine has everything you need to create hobby projects and also make your hobby a commercial enterprise. 

Now, the final decision is up to you. Was this machine what you were looking for? Is it just perfect for your work? Or is it not suited for the job? Let us know why.

Have you purchased this or another Zen CNC Kit before? Maybe you would want to have another functionality added? You can answer all these questions in the comments section, help us improve our products, I listen to you!

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