First Venture into CNC

For my first venture into CNC I thought I would buy a Sain Smart Genmitsu Router 3018-Pro. This is the low end of CNC engravers and at the time mid-2020 was around £200.

The reason behind the purchase is primarily to make brass nameplates for some of the engines, including the boiler door engraving for the miniature traction engine project. However, the more I read about this the more I want to also use this to carve wood in 3D.

The package arrived in around 3 days and I have to say it was an exciting unpacking and assembly process.


  • Effective Engraving Area: 300 x 180 x 45 mm(11.8 x 7.1 x 1.8”)
  • Frame Size: 400 x 330 x 240 mm(15.7 x 13.0 x 9.4″)
  • Frame Material: PF+ Aluminum – extruded aluminium and reinforced plastic panels
  • Z-Axis Component Material: Nylon – in the manual these are describe as Bakelite
  • Spindle: 775 motor, 24V, 10000 RPM
  • Rated power: 60W; Maximum power: 120W
  • Step Motor: 1.3 A, 12V, 0.25 Nm torque (2.2 in lb)
  • Drill Bits: Tip 0.1 mm, 20 degree, Diameter 3.175 mm
  • Supported OS: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, MAC OS
  • Software: Grbl control(Candle)
  • Power Supply: 24V/5A

Must admit that the assembly process was very straight forward, a rather simple manual that is easy to follow if you take your time. The part quality was very high, the only questionable features are the spindle, spindle motor that are rather crude. Also, the T-nuts and bolts are not that great, I will be making some T-nuts and tidying up the fixing system.

I will add my experience of using this as I go, next step is to look at the software and see what design options I have. I also need to add a page on CNC so that I can share the knowledge as I go, ok this might take some time as this is my first venture into CNC.

Carbide Create

Genmitsu CNC Software

Early days learning and software that you will need to get started.

mild steel T-nut


Just had to make some proper T-nuts that work in the beautiful extruded aluminium table.

engraver, end mill and slot drill

A look at the engraver bit, end mill and slot drill in the CNC for machining wood and brass.

sainsmart genmitsu spindle play

I need to upgrade the Genmitsu Z-axis as there is just too much movement. A first look at what needs to change on this Sainsmart machine.

sketch for a cnc spindle

My simple CNC spindle idea. Great for the Genmitsu 3018-pro.

If I get fed up with the Genmitsu CNC machine this will be easily adaptable to turn into a toolpost spindle.

Genmitsu 3018-pro z-axis

Linear Bearing Rail Size

The z-axis has a lot of slack/play. After bearing changes I investigated further and found out the standard z-axis rails supplied with the machine are under size. Hence they are unsuitable for the bearings.

Tiamu Z-axis upgrade

Tiamu Z-axis for Genmitsu 3018

Just bought a Tiamu Z-axis for Genmitsu 3018, my original plan was to machine this complete assembly from scratch. Then reason kicked in and I thought that as I could buy this for around £100 it was not worth me spending probably 3 days designing and making parts. Plus it was delivered really fast.

Genmitsu 3018-pro to 3020-max

Genmitsu 3018-pro to a 3020-max

This is my homemade  conversion of a Genmitsu 3018-pro to a 3020-max. Maybe not exactly a 3020-max, but a lot of the changes have been included. Plus I think the spindle upgrade I’ve made is better. 

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