Frequently Asked Questions
How do I buy the DMC2? How does the Kickstarter work? What happens next?
The DMC2 is sold in two variants: the Kit Version and the Fully Assembled Version. Both include exactly the same components, but the kit has some additional tools that aid in assembly.
The DMC2 will be available to purchase on Kickstarter for a one month period. During this period, you can purchase a DMC2 machine by submitting a pledge on the DMC2 Kickstarter page for the desired configuration plus accessories etc. This pledge is a pre-order and at the end of the Kickstarter one month campaign, the pledges are processed and we receive the money to begin mass manufacturing the DMC2. This means that in approximately 3 months after the Kickstarter campaign you will receive your DMC2 machine.
If you miss the Kickstarter window, you can still pre-order a DMC2 machine but you will need to wait approximately 3 or more months until we begin manufacturing the second batch of machines. Eventually after a few batches of orders the DMC2 will be in stock on the Shariff DMC website for normal purchase.
Do I need software? How do the controllers work? Do I need a computer?
The DMC2 comes with two off the shelf controller options for controlling the CNC. One runs the open source software GRBL, which can interface with many generic g-code sending programs such as Universal G-code Sender. The other controller is specific to Mach3, and requires Mach3 to operate. Both controllers connect to a computer via USB cable. You need a computer to operate the DMC2 and interface with the controller of your choice, and you need to download the software of your choice.
If you do not wish to use either provided controller and want to use your own, for example a LinuxCNC controller, you can instead wire your controller to the step, direction, endstop, estop signals etc on the DMC2 breakout board.
Please note, the MPG handwheel is only compatible with Mach3, and the automatic X and Y probing only works with Mach3. Typical g-code sending softwares do not have these two features built in (but do usually have automatic Z probing, such as UGS). These features can be implemented - and we’re working on it.
Generic g-code sending softwares are usually free and can be installed on windows, linux, mac, or even a raspberry pi. Mach3 on the other hand is a purchased software from Mach3 and only works on windows.
Do I need anything else (in addition to the bare DMC2 as sold) to start machining?
Buying a DMC2 (kit or assembled) contains everything you need to have the machine ready to run, minus the computer and software needed to control it. To start machining parts, you will also need end mills, coolant, a bucket for coolant, and likely a workholding solution such as the 4 inch precision vise shown. End mills, the 4 inch vise, and the MPG are all accessories you can purchase with your DMC2, and will shortly be available for regular purchase on the Shariff DMC website.
How hard is the kit to build? Should I get the kit or assembled DMC2?
The DMC2 was designed to be as simple and easy to build as possible - but it is still a large and complex machine. The kit is recommended if you have some experience with using hand tools such as ratchets and torque wrenches. The frame needs to be carefully assembled and checked at various points throughout the assembly to ensure that critical components are parallel and perpendicular to one another, and the entire build will take an estimated 50 hours to complete. If that sounds manageable, then choosing the kit will save you plenty of money. The assembled machine contains the exact same parts as the kit, and is trammed/squared and ready to run upon delivery.