3D printing has become much cheaper and accessible, but there has been a lack of decent CNC routers at the same price point. Now the 3018 CNC Pro from Sainsmart aims to fill that void.
Featuring a working volume of 300 x 180 x 45mm, this CNC router goes together well and is capable of machining timber, acrylic and aluminium. It can also engrave copper to make custom PCBs. This machine largely succeeded with everything I threw at it. For this low price plus a one year warranty, I am very impressed and recommend this for beginners looking to get into the hobby.
I have done a fair bit of CNC machining over the years by am by no means a professional machinist. I look forward to the great tips knowledgeable viewers will post in the comments to assist others.
For any cutters you buy, ensure they are 1/8 inch or 3.175mm in shank diameter.
Purchase the Genmitsu 3018 CNC router:
Amazon (machine):
Amazon (offline controller):
Amazon (laser add on, untested by me):
If you can’t get shipping from Amazon, you can buy it direct from Sainsmart (unfortunately more expensive):
3018 Pro wiki:
Carbide Create:
Pic to SVG converter:
Lithophane creator:
Easel Inventables:
Previous video on lithophane maker:
Previous video on Kiri:Moto:
Buy quality and affordable filament from X3D. Buy 3, get 1 free and a free sample pack with every order: www.x3d.com.au
Take a look around and if you like what you see, please subscribe.
Support me on Patreon:
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source: https://sebastienizambard.net/

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49 thoughts on “CNC router for $200 – Sainsmart Genmitsu 3018 Pro review and tutorial”

  • One other person mentioned this, but it’s important to repeat I think. A climb cut does a better job with CnC milling. Google “climb cutting vs conventional cutting” for more info.

  • do you have solution for brass machining? cnc machine which can machining brass parts faster and cheaper??'pls. contact @ GUPTAKMANISH29@GMAIL.com thanks

  • Thank you for taking your time with this. I got one of these as a birthday present and am having a bugger of a time with the software. Going to try the ones you used. Any chance of a more in-depth analysis of the software? Sorry about the pup. Always hurts when they leave us.

  • Peter Callaghan says:

    Great video. I really appreciate the clarity and concise explanations. (Are you in a wheelchair? I am, and I had a wonderful dog, Whiskey, who used to pull me around. An amazing animal who is also sadly missed and irreplaceable. I feel your pain).

  • Christian Robert Adzic says:

    Thanks man for this nice video and I'm so sorry for Webber. I know how this is cos I also loss my German Shepherd 2 months ago.
    My best regards.

  • Michael,Sorry for the loss of Webber…….at about 14:00,on your Laws Cotttage plaque/sign……was that done in reverse relief,milling away everything except the raised text/features,or was each feature done seperately,and then mounted to the board?Either way it is a beautiful piece,and I'd like to do something similar,once I get my new machine 3018Pro assembled(maybe today!)If it is all done from a single plank,then that is really a big job.What was the run time on something like that?As a disabled ex-Machinist/Toolmaker,I understand the extra effort it takes to do anything like this.Most days the pills don't help at all :-(……Thank You for sharing!!!

  • Getting a small, cheap CNC before throwing serious cash at a large machine is very sensible. I bought one of the Gearbest T8 machines (nowhere near as well sorted as this unit) and it was just perfect for learning how to drive the software, learn to write a little gcode and generally operate a CNC before throwing £1500 into a WorkBee.

    BTW – for machining plastic parts I built a water tray so that the job was done completely under about 2mm of water. Made a big difference to the finish and no sign of melting even when cutting HIPs sheet which has a fairly low melting point.

  • I think it can be said with a lot of truth that when you stop playing with your toys you are old……By a long stretch of the imagination this machine is but a toy, but in the right hands it can make music. Playing with toys is what keeps your mind working and the principles that make this work are the same as a full size machine only you get more joy doing it for fun by yourself. BTW, from the comments I see you have lost a best friend……my condolences.

  • Davidius of Borg says:

    Hi Mate, thank you for the amazing detailed instructions. I am very very tempted to purchase one of these but the thing is I only have purpose for it and that would be create wax stamps for my partner. She gets a way to create her own custom wax stamps and I get a free toy – win win :-). The thing is Im not sure if this is up to the task even if I was using something like jade or a soft metal such as a copper alloy. In theory if I do it slow enough and with the right bit and high speed I can get the detail I would love to get your feedback on it as some who no doubt has hundreds of hours experience with this machine. I know even soft metals might be a a challenge for this but even using Jade might be possible as the key is the fine detail and the smooth finish. I have tried using a 3D printer to do these but the texture of the layers means the wax won't separate properly when used and even post-processing with painting to smooth out the surface works but very fine detail gets lost as the wax will not seperate it just gets stuck in the small crevices. I suspect the reason metal is needed is for the heat absorption/dissipation and smooth finish for a clean separation. Any input here would be very much appreciated.


    RIP Webber

  • I wonder how It would be possible to set the machine to process Gerber and Excellon NC drill files for milling circuit boards- it only does g-code? Is there any way to translate the file types? Thank you friend for your valuable input.

  • thank you so much for this video, explain exactly what i want to know about the machine things related with aluminum,, muchas gracias, bendiciones

  • I think I need your help with that machine. My machine creates 8-12% smaller parts and I have no idea where I can adjust it or fix this issue. A circle of 10cm is at the end just 8,8cm. Do you have skype? Would really appreciate if you can help me.

  • I have a franken 3018 that has been upgraded. It started life as what you got. I've made a new gantry with more travel, upgraded to a machifit 1000w motor, upgraded the steppers, made stronger supports, and swapped to a PI with a CNC hat to control it. Now I'm going to make my own bigger one with the same controller.

  • Thanks for amazing video and sharing your experience with this machine, my question is, is it possible to make engraving on mobile phones with aluminum, plastic or glasses body ?

  • Highly reccomend using wd-40 as your aluminium lubricant in the future. As long as your feed rates are correct wd-40 keeps the piece cool and the machined finish perfect and shiny. Awesome video.

  • Sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my buddy Dugan (Black Lab as well) after 16 years of growing up together. Couldn't ask for a better friend. I'm sure he is showing Webber all of his favorite spots up there!!!

  • The tool paths in g-code are made for specific tools. The engraving bits you are using are good for engraving but to cut the example 3d relief, you need other bits. Unless there are notes in the g-code telling you which bits it's using it's mighty hard to tell. It is probably something like a small ball nose end mill to get the detailed carving. Larger square nose end mills are often used to rough out a lot of material before carving the detail.

  • I've been looking for an entry level setup to learn on and make items for our Fire Dept and local Police Officers with. This seems to be a viable option. I will be looking into this more soon. But, what software does my computer need to have, in order to run these machines? I am very new to this and am a bit uncomfortable with machines that don't have dials on them (I don't even have a DRO on my mill).

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