Onefinity CNC Review-Woodworker [2023]- Yes or No?

Onefinity CNC Review-Woodworker [2023]- Yes or No?

Onefinity CNC Review-Woodworker [2023]- Yes or No?

Onefinity CNC is a relatively new entrant in the hobby CNC space that's becoming popular fast.

What stands out in this CNC is the smooth and innovative design unlike most other desktop CNC routers in its category.

Among the CNCs offered by Onefinity CNC, the Onefinity Woodworker is the one preferred by most hobbyists.

The Woodworker has two variants, X-50, and the X-35, the only difference between the two being the diameter of the cylindrical shaft used on the X-axis.

Woodworker CNC is customizable and you can buy the frame, linear motion components, and stepper motors from Onefinity and then chose your own electronics and controller setup.

The X-35 version without the controller and interface will cost you around $1,564 and the same configuration will cost you roughly $1,947 for the X-50.

If you purchase the controller and interface from Onefinity, the X-35 will cost about $2,070 and the X-50 will need you to spend around $2,453.

In this review, I take an in-depth look at the Woodworker CNC router from Onefinity.

Onefinity Woodworker CNC Review

I reviewed the Woodworker CNC from Onefinity for its quality of build, material handling capabilities, ease of use, the features it provides, and support.

1. Dimensions and Size of Onefinity CNC

Onefinity Woodworker size
Onefinity Woodworker size

Both the Onefinity Woodworker X-50 and X-35 versions provide a cutting area of 32 ¼” x 32 ¼” x 5 ¼” and have a footprint of 46” x 45”.

You will need a table that is a little over 46” x 45” to ensure there is enough room to place the controller box.

The Woodworker can cut workpieces with a maximum thickness of around 5 inches.

The two sides of the work bed are open and this means you can slide in a 2 ½’ wide workpiece of any length through it provided you properly support the portion hanging out of the work bed.

2. Material Capability of Onefinity CNC

3D carving an eagle on Onefinity Woodworker
3D carving an eagle on Onefinity Woodworker

Even though this CNC is named Woodworker, it can cut a wide variety of materials including plastics, hardwood, aluminum, and brass.

You can use it for creating intricate 3D carvings if you pair it with the right 3D design software.

It is quite a capable CNC router that can mill aluminum easily.

As an example, it can mill Aluminum 6061 at a 100 ipm feed rate for a 0.04” depth of cut using a Makita router with a ¼” bit.

Surfacing aluminum is even faster at an impressive 275 ipm at 0.015” depth of cut with a ¼” bit spinning at 30,000 RPM.

It easily beats the likes of Shapeoko Pro and X-Carve Pro hands down when it comes to material capabilities.

3. Chassis/Frame of Onefinity CNC

Onefinity Woodworker frame
Onefinity Woodworker frame

It has an all-metal construction and unlike most hobby CNC routers out there Onefinity uses cylindrical hollow steel shafts for the frame rather than aluminum extrusions.

Steel construction provides excellent rigidity while the cylindrical shafts ensure that the flexing is minimal.

The Y-axis rails use 35 mm steel tubes on both versions of the Woodworker.

The X-axis rails on the Woodworker X-50 use steel tubes with a 50 mm diameter and the X-35 version uses 35mm steel tubes for the X-axis.

The 50 mm steel tubes allow you to use heavy and powerful routers or spindles. 

All other components on the X-35 and X-50 are identical other than the X-axis shafts.

The Woodworker does not ship with a work bed and you will have to make your own work bed for the Woodworker.

The lack of a work bed is a con of Onefinity CNC router.

Its main competitors, the Shapeoko and X-Carve both come with a workbed.

This means you need to add the cost of a DIY workbed to the overall cost to gauge the actual cost you'll incur.

Onefinity does provide excellent guides for making a work bed for their Woodworker machines.

This also means you are free to choose a work bed type of your choice.

4. Linear Motion in Onefinity CNC

Ball screw and cylindrical shaft linear guide in Woodworker
Ball screw and cylindrical shaft linear guide in Woodworker

All three axes on the Woodworker are driven by a ball screw mechanism.

The X and Y axes use a 16 mm ball screw and the Z-axis uses a 12 mm ball screw.

A downside to using ball screws is that you need to lubricate it occasionally to keep it going smooth, but it is quite an easy task.

Ball screw mechanism does not have backlash errors when compared to lead screw drives and offers excellent accuracy and resolution when compared to belt drives.

It also means you get a rapid speed of 500 ipm on the X and Y axes and a rapid speed of 200 ipm on the Z-axis.

The axes slide over the cylindrical guides that also act as the frame for the machine.

The speeds and accuracy are great on the Woodworker and it lets you cut workpieces fast with a good finish.

5. Spindle in Onefinity

Onefinity does not bundle a router or spindle with the Woodworker, this means you are free to choose a spindle that fits your project requirements.

You can also use a router instead of a spindle with the Woodworker.

Onefinity recommends the Makita RT0701C for woodworking.

The controller has an output for connecting a VFD, which means you can use a VFD spindle and control its speed through the control software via the controller.

6. Controller and Electronics in Onefinity

Stepper Motors

The stepper motors used on the Woodworker are NEMA 23 stepper motors with 178 oz-in of holding torque.

It uses two motors for moving the Y-axis, this prevents racking and provides smooth motion with accuracy.

The motors are capable of performing up to 256 microsteps and can perform 250K steps/second on each motor output. What this essentially means is that you can perform really minute movements with great control.

Controller and Electronics

Controller and Touchscreen interface of Onefinity Woodworker
Controller and Touchscreen interface of Onefinity Woodworker

Onefinity uses a fork of the Buildbotics Machine Controller as the controller for Woodworker.

The Buildbotics controller uses a Raspberry Pi board and is a computer in itself.

Hence, you do not require a separate computer to process G-code or control the machine.

It can control up to four axes and has integrated stepper motor drivers, all of which are housed inside a neat metallic case that does not take up much space.

The driver can handle up to 6A per motor at 12 - 36 V DC, which means you can upgrade your stepper motors without worrying about upgrading the controller.

You can connect your computer to the controller using an ethernet cable and it does not matter which operating system you are using on your computer.

It does not require any drivers to be installed and you access it through any device that has a web browser.

Additionally, you can connect the controller to your WiFI network and access it wirelessly through your smartphone or computer connected to the same network and use it to control Woodworker.

If you have multiple Onefinity CNC machines in your shop you can hook them up to the same network and control them through a single smartphone, tablet, or computer.

The controller box has a Red E-stop button on top which can be used to stop the CNC in case of emergencies and it enhances the safety appeal of the CNC.

Onefinity offers a 10.8" touchscreen display that you can use to control the device. The 10.8" display costs roughly $123. 

If you love playing games on your console, you can use the same gamepad joystick to control the machine manually.

You can also hook up a USB camera with the controller to monitor the cutting process.

Onefinity does not provide homing sensors on the Woodworker, but it uses an unconventional method of homing.

The controller detects the small variation in the motor current the instant the motor hits the ends of the axis (this is called the stall current) and recognizes it as the home position.

The controller has a breakout board connection terminal that uses a male DB25 port. You can connect third-party controllers like the Geckodrive G540 for advanced control features.

The controller has four USB ports, an HDMI port to connect a display, a DB25 port, an ethernet port, and multiple input-output ports for connecting motors, VFD, and other accessories.

7. Software used in Onefinity CNC

Buildbotics Control Software
Buildbotics Control Software

The software for controlling Woodworker comes preinstalled on the Buildbotics controller that is provided with the kit.

You can access the software using a web browser on any device that can connect to the same network as the controller or through an ethernet connection with the controller.

The software is only for controlling the machine and does not have CAD/CAM capabilities.

You can use any CAD/CAM Software for designing and generating G-code.

The control software for Woodworker accepts standard G-code and is really easy to use.

The software has a minimalistic and simple user interface and does not require any processing power from the device (computer) that is used to control it as all the processing is done by the controller.

You can even control the device without a computer if you purchase the touchscreen interface that can be added on as an additional accessory.

8. Laser Module

7 W Laser kit for Onefinity Woodworker from J Tech Photonics
7 W Laser kit for Onefinity Woodworker from J Tech Photonics

Onefinity officially supports the 7W laser from J Tech Photonics and it does not void the Warranty of your Woodworker.

Note that its competitors Shapeoko and X-Carve CNC machines do not officially support laser modules.

You can purchase the laser module from the official website of Onefinity for around $671.

It uses a 445 nm laser and comes with an adjustable laser diode driver.

You can use it for engraving on a wide range of materials with good accuracy.

The kit comes with everything you will need to hook it up to your Onefinity Woodworker.

9. Accessories with Onefinity CNC

Wall Mount System

Onefinity Woodworker wall mount system
Onefinity Woodworker wall mount system

This accessory will let you hand the Woodworker off a wall saving precious floor space in your shop.

So, if you are limited by space in your shop this accessory can really help. It reduces the floor space required to place the machine to less than half.

However, it will take up some vertical space.

It comes with ¼” steel mounting brackets and bushings. But you will need to provide some 2” x 4” wooden studs as the mounting brackets require wooden studs.

Onefinity 3-axis Touch Probe

Onefinity 3-axis touch probe
Onefinity 3-axis touch probe

If you need better accuracy than the stall current detection homing method used on Woodworker you can purchase this $93 accessory.

It integrates seamlessly with the controller and will let you automatically home all three axes on the Woodworker.

I highly recommend this accessory as it will make your life a lot easier.

Installing it is also easy as it only requires you to plug the cable into the controller, no crimping or soldering is required.

Suckit Dust Boot Basic

Onefinity Suckit Dust Boot
Onefinity Suckit Dust Boot

The Suckit Dust Boot is a necessary accessory if you plan on cutting wood or any material that produces dust.

The basic version comes with a 1” long brush and costs around $67.

Onefinity has a Pro version that they sell for around $90. It comes with a 1.5” long brush in addition to the 1” brush.

The dust collection port is 2.5” in diameter and you can connect any standard shop vac or dust collector.

It is made of transparent polycarbonate and allows you to view the cutting process.

The brushes attach to the dust shoe magnetically and can be easily removed for tool changes.

10. Assembly

You get the Woodworker delivered as pre-assembled parts and all you need to do is put them together using the assembly manual provided.

The assembly, calibration, and software setup will take less than an hour.

In fact, it probably has the shortest assembly time among all desktop CNC routers that ship as a kit.

This is great for those who want to get straight to cutting.

The electronic components are designed to be plug-and-play and do not take up any time at all to assemble.

However, to reduce shipping size Onefinity does not provide a wasteboard in the kit and you will have to make one yourself.

Onefinity provides detailed video tutorials on assembling the Woodworker which should clear any hiccups you may face while assembling it.

11. Community

 The Onefinity Woodworker is a fairly recent product, but it is fast gaining popularity among hobbyists and small businesses.

The online forum of Onefinity is highly active and you can easily find solutions to most queries in the online forum.

You can share ideas and get inspiration from projects that others did through the large online community of users.

As of now, Onefinity has a waiting period on its orders which is an indicator of its growing popularity.

12. Customer Support

Onefinity is based in Ontario, Canada, and is owned by Kirbre Enterprises Inc.

They provide excellent customer service along with a one-year warranty for all of their products.

You can contact them through email or phone for any support related to their products.

13. Final Thoughts

Onefinity Woodworker is a well-built machine with good rigidity and excellent material handling capabilities.

It is a good CNC router for small businesses that do not want to spend too much on a CNC machine especially when the production requirements are low.

The different variations are priced very competitively giving its competitors like Shapeoko and X-Carve a run for their money.

Onefinity also eliminates the need for a dedicated computer for running the CNC router.

The software is robust and can work with any CAD/CAM software that generates standard G-code eliminating additional software expenses.

Additionally, the quick setup time allows you to start cutting from day one which is a perk for those who hate a painstaking assembly process.

Overall, it is a well-performing CNC machine that is proving to be quite good and is fast gaining popularity among hobbyists.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I transfer files between the computer and controller without an ethernet or WiFi connection on Onefinity CNC?

You can copy the files onto a USB stick and plug it into one of the four USB ports on the controller and then use the files through the touchscreen interface.

The Onefinity controller accepts standard G-code generated using any CAD/CAM software.

About John Abraham

Hey I'm John. I write about Manufacturing, Metalworking, CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com

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John Abraham

Hey I'm John. I write about Manufacturing, Metalworking, CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com


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