Nicholas Lee wrote:root question - what is the primary purpose (what will we build) with a CNC subtractive/additive machine?
small scale (pun intended), it makes sense to start out small platform.
For my money, I'm wanting to build parts to hold the off-the-shelf stuff in the orientation I need for a given project.
Example: my laser-aimer. I milled up the holder for the potentiometer out of aluminum and the sliding mount for it from polycarb. I probably could have sketched it up in a cad program and had a RepRap turn it out much easier- especially given how loose my tolerances were.
I guess for the projects I'm imagining doing, I'd rather have a manual mill than a CNC of the same price, as I doubt we could get the quality from the CNC that we'd get from the manual. A quick glance at Craigslist recently showed Bridgeport-type vertical milling machines at between $2k and $4k. I think it would be hard to get a CNC of that level for that price.