Thinking about buying a Carbide 3D Nomad

Hi all, I’m interested in purchasing a desktop cnc router. I plan on cutting .25 aluminum and .50 ABS.
I have a supplier that sells 8" x 8" x .25 aluminum in bulk and that’s my preferred size.
Can I use 8 x 8" sheets on the Nomad?
Can the nomad cut .25 aluminum and .50 ABS?
Does the Nomad hold up after daily use? or do you constantly need to adjust, fix, calibrate etc.?

I estimate I will run the machine 3 hours per day three or four days a week. Will it hold up under that work load?


Can I use 8 x 8" sheets on the Nomad?

Yes. Workholding is a bit tricky at that size but the masking tape/superglue method should be OK given the surface area.

Can the nomad cut .25 aluminum and .50 ABS?

Yes - if you are whittling down a most of a 8"x 8"x 0.25" aluminium block it will take a very significant amount of time and patience. If speed of cutting is one of your requirements the Nomad or just about any other “desktop” style mill is probably not the thing.

Does the Nomad hold up after daily use? or do you constantly need to adjust, fix, calibrate etc.?

As far as I can tell, one of the reasons there are less Nomad posts here than Shapeoko posts is Nomad tends to “just work” and the adjusting, fixing, calibrating is a minimum. If your accuracy requirements are very tight - a few 0.001"s - you will spend the normal amount of time fussing about.

Will it hold up?

If probably relates to how hard you run, but (again forum-wise as I haven’t had any problems) anecdotally Nomads have been run in day to day metal cutting operations and held up well.

Hope that helps!


As @PhilG says, yes, it’ll do it. Clamping is a little inconvenient for 8x8 stock (superglue/wax is about your best bet), but I’ll give a very firm “Second!” to “whittling down” a piece of stock that big. It depends on what you’re trying to do. If you need super high precision on little parts, then the Nomad is probably best. If you’re cutting out, say, Christmas ornament sized parts with lots of 3D, you might find the SO3 better. I have both. They each have places they shine a bit brighter. I found aluminum to be an exercise in patience with the nomad. It will do it, but it can be time consuming.

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Another option here would be to fashion either a longer bed which may be bolted to the table (I’ve seen 8" x 10" T-slot beds on eBay which I’ve been tempted to purchase), or to work up a clamping system which fastens either to the bed or say the threaded table and allows one to secure the material.

Please consider the material removal rates as noted at:

I’ve had to fiddle with mine a bit, but I bought one used and I’ve been pretty happy with everything. Support for the machine has been beyond what I had hoped for. I haven’t done aluminum yet, but plenty of others have and its something I’m hoping to jump into soonish.

For securing, I’d suggest the tape on both parts with CA glue like NYCNC has in one of the videos:

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