Review: Onefinity CNC “Machinist” X35

CNC & Machining
Review: Onefinity CNC “Machinist” X35

Manufacturer: Onefinity

Price: $2,018 as tested

Link: Onefinity CNC X35 Machinist

Summary

The X35 “machinist” is the smallest version of their cnc machines available, at 16 inches by 16 inches working area. This model, the x35, is their original generation of machines. There are newer beefier ones available but even at the bottom end, this thing is very rigid.

Assembly

The kit comes in pieces and you have to assemble it on your own, as well as supply a spoilboard. This is pretty common in this class of CNC. The brackets and crossbars on this machine are super beefy compared to the other machines I see out there ask kits. The vertical mounts are not flat stock (as many use), they are these huge beefy blocks.

Assembly is easy, the instructions were easy to follow.

In use

The supplied computer and display boot up pretty quickly and are quite responsive. Loading files is intuitive and getting your positions set is painless. The machine can really move when it wants to, which is refreshing. It does have a palm router, which works fantastic for wood. I’d love to have an upgraded spindle for doing metals, but this will do.

I’m using a standard palm router, which works beautifully for wood. I have piles of these round plywood scraps and they make great bases for my houseplants. A little bit of v-bit action and they hold water a little better. This machine acted like it didn’t even know the wood was there.

This machine is perfectly capable of machining aluminum. It’s super rigid. Admittedly, a palm router isn’t the best for metal machining, but it does work. Keep in mind, the machine can only do it’s part. You have to know what you’re doing and that’s where things fall apart. I’m not reviewing my personal skills at creating proper feeds and speeds, so we’ll just say that the machine did great.

The machine actually pushed through my huge errors in math. This looks bad but it’s 100% my fault.

The reason you aren’t going to see a ton of pictures of machined aluminum are that I keep making stupid mistakes – I rarely machine metal any more – and destroyed all my end mills.

The included display and software felt nice and responsive. It’s pretty big too. Controlling the machine was no problem and they even sent a game controller that can be paired with the device for easy navigation. As you can see on the screen, there is also a nice little probe that can do all 3 axis. That’s pleasant.

I did not see any way to override speeds while it was running a file, but I may just not be familiar with the system. I also didn’t see any kind of graphical display of the toolpaths like you would have with mach3 or linuxcnc. I really like having the graphical display of the toolpaths because that is how I check to make sure I won’t hit any of my clamps. Again, I may have just overlooked the option.

Like most cnc machine reviews, I’ve barely scratched the surface (pun intended) of what this machine can do and I’m looking forward to getting more opportunities to make chips with it.

upgrades

Speaking of upgrades, one thing I love about this machine is the upgrade path. They don’t want your machine to become obsolete, and totally useless so there is a constant upgrade path to make it bigger or more rigid. That means you can get the bottom of the line to get your feet wet and then expend outward depending on your needs. I love this.

Conclusion

The newer machines are sturdier and have a new display system, so I was expecting this one to feel lacking in some way. I am very impressed and frankly surprised with how strong and sturdy this thing feels. The brackets look like plastic in the example images, but everything here is metal and very rigid. Compared to other hobby level routers, this really does feel impressively solid. 

It is easy to recommend this to people. The price is relatively low and the rigidity you get out of it is impressive. While I haven’t tested the newer more rigid machines, I can only imagine they would provide better surface finish, with this great experience.

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at CalebKraft.com

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