Jon showed many examples of commercially available CNC machines, ranging from a Sainsmart Genmitsu CNC 3018 kit costing $250 up to a 4'x8' ShopBot machine with
automatic tool changer for $45,000. A couple of examples of different approaches to CNC machines are the Maker Made CNC Maslow which stands vertically and is 2D
only, but has a 4'x8' working area, for $500, and the Shaper/Origin handheld CNC router for $2,500. With this handheld machine, the operator roughly follows the
intended part profile and the machine corrects for any error, getting its position reference from guiding tape that was previously applied to the work piece. This
would be especially useful for machining very large objects like floors or tables. Jon is considering upgrading to the Carbide 3D Shapeoko machine.
Why would anyone want to use CNC instead of a bandsaw, jig saw, or router? In order to make multiple parts of the same type or to machine complex shapes which would
be difficult to cut on hand guided equipment.