CNC Routers for FRC Robotics


That does not look like that good of a deal for a straight endmill. If you don’t have good local tooling companies, maybe look at WCP. If you really can’t think of anything else to use the voucher for, then you might as well get a couple. 548 got some V-carve bits from Inventables in the past. They are nice for engraving and chamfering.
This year, we plan on buying a somewhat random assortment of endmills for odd jobs and the Carvey clamp set with some threaded inserts. You can’t use them directly with the VR-5050, but you could make a random piece of MDF into a wasteboard for small, odd parts.


The 63-080 bit from Inventables looks to be an Onsrud bit. If so, that’s very high quality, and an absolute steal for the low low cost of $0.


Is there much of a difference between that kind of “normal” spiral single-flute and “O-flute” for cutting aluminum on a router?


The sheets of delrin are a pretty good deal. You can make some nice parts on your router with it and cuts really nice. The aluminum isn’t bad either.

Deburring tool, and ferrule crimper are also good deals.

Those bits are nice, but I would rather have some “free” material that is reasonably priced than “free” pricey cutters.


We had a stepcraft donated to us with the ATC and that spindle. I would not recommend it for the specifications you are looking for. We have tried aluminum on it multiple times, While it technically works, It has lots of issues and we have to cut very slowly and with minimal depth of cut. I don’t remember exact times but iirc our t gussets took about 15-25 minutes each to cut from 6061 0.090 aluminum sheet. It does cut polycarb very well and at a reasonable speed. We also had a airblast set up to help keep the cutting path clear. If you have more specific questions about it I can try to answer them.


Do you know the specifics of the machine (size/model)?

They have two atc spindles, did you have the 500w or 1000w version?



iirc we have the 500w spindle but we weren’t having issues due to the spindle being bogged down the issues we had cutting aluminum were due to the machine not being rigid enough and the stepper motors losing steps while cutting. When we got it the d series was the only model available. I think we have a D840. I don’t know if the Q series is any better but the stepcraft software to run the machine isn’t all that good. We used WINPC-NC which came with our machine and it doesn’t like to work all that much.



We bought 2 of those bits and 3 of these with our $100 voucher.

We use the former for precise parts and the later for cutting gussets out of sheet stock. Congrats on the upgrade!

Make sure to have some form of coolant


my best guess would be your CAM settings are wrong, though it really depends on the CAM software you’re using. In order for us to get good cuts on our PRSalpha, we had to basically take the smallest chip we could while keeping cycle time reasonable. If I remember correctly, our stepdown was around 0.050" with an Onsrud single flute endmill in 6061 with a feed of around 0.002"/tooth. If you want you can also take a finishing pass with a higher rpm and faster feed. The other thing you might want to check is the evacuation direction for chips, downcut vs upcut vs compression. Upcut is best for aluminum, and I’d also add some cutting fluid or coolant, WD-40 would probably be fine. Just make sure it doesn’t soak into your waste board.

With these settings you should be able to hold 0.002-0.003" tolerances, although I’ve machined gearboxes that are ±0.008" and work fine.


Just pulled the trigger on the x8 after months of adjusting my budget and getting new sponsors to offset other team costs. Needless to say I’m very excited to see where this leads our team! The $200 discount that runs until tomorrow really sealed the deal for me. :slight_smile:


Congrats! I think you’ll really like it. Feel free to post questions in here, we’ve been running student trainings with ours for a few weeks now.


Just pulled the trigger on the x8 after months of adjusting my budget and getting new sponsors to offset other team costs. Needless to say I’m very excited to see where this leads our team! The $200 discount that runs until tomorrow really sealed the deal for me.

Glad to know there are other teams using omiocnc x8. Our school will be getting one soon. Any preparation steps we need to do before the machine arrives? This will be the first experience with a CNC for the everyone in the team.


Some preparation steps.
Consider whether you need an enclosure for safety and to contain metal shavings. If so, design and build.

Request software and documentation from OMIO support. This was not included with our machine.

Locate your Windows XP machine and load software

Visit Mach3 website and view tutorial video. MACH3 Interface and Homing, Limits, Offsets is helpful

Buy your tooling

Develop and learn your CAD/CAM/Mach3 path, so you can train students.


Hey all - I’m looking for a CNC that we could actually use in our limited classroom space. I’m looking at a Shapeoko XL right now - I’ve got a new benchtop toolbox that it could live on and fit perfectly. It’s only 1.25HP, which isn’t ideal, but in theory I could upgrade the router and have a bit more power for aluminum, right?

It basically has to fit on this thing.

I know, I know, this isn’t a Velox or an Omio or really that amazing. It doesn’t provide us with a ton of power, but it’s what fits in what my 200-over-capacity-school can possibly accommodate. :confused: I’ve got machining sponsors, but not being able to do literally anything in house is agonizing, particularly for rapid prototyping parts out during the first week or so of build season and be able to knock out a few parts here and there as needed. Thoughts? Could this be upgraded to be a little speedier?


While the Omio X8 wouldn’t fit on that workbench, the Omio X6 should. It uses the same 2200W spindle and has the same construction as the X8, although it does appear to have slightly different/smaller stepper motors. I’m not sure if any FRC teams can speak to the X6’s performance on aluminum, but it may be worth considering.


We purchased an X6 this summer and have had no issues at all cutting aluminum. We cut 1/8th" sheets at 12IPM and 1/8" depth of cut, and could probably cut faster. We have also cut significantly thicker/more complicated parts without a lot a difficulty. There is definitely a learning curve but I never felt as if we were limited by the machine’s capabilities and I doubt it is significantly or at all worse than the X8.

Overall I would definitely recommend the X6 if you don’t have space for the X8.


Still on the Shapeoko, would a Porter Cable 7518 like comes on the Velox be an option to swap in? Would that even be helpful? Or is it more limited by the rigidity?


I would be more concerned about rigidity/deflection than I would the power of the spindle. Particularly because the Shapeoko uses belts rather than ball screws.


By the way guys I really want to say thank you for turning this thread into a serious repository of knowledge and help. Every time I see someone directing a person in need of help to this thread there is always someone that is there to answer them and it keeps a nice record of past discussions that can all be found in one place. I’m so happy to see this has become everything I had hoped it could be!

Thank you all for improving and helping our community!


The X6 looks to be a pretty decent size. I think it just depends what you think you’re going to be using the machine for. In our case I went with the x8 because we can make slightly larger electronics boards (multiple pieces), larger intake pieces, and more gussets at any given time. We use the kitbot and I do not plan on making a different drivetrain anytime soon, so longer parts weren’t that big of a concern.

The x6 looks to be a nice cutting size and I think it would fit your bench just fine.