I use 6061 and 6063 aluminum 24" x 24" sheets, 4" x 48" flats, and 1" x 1" x 1/8" channels 12" in length; no wood.
I currently use a bandsaw because it's cheap and relatively easy. I dislike the bandsaw because of the tool marks it leaves behind, the inconsistency of myself feeding material through (crooked cuts), and the time it takes for my manual labor.
I am cutting simple plates from the sheets and flats then drilling 1/4" holes through the plates. I would like a machine that's all-in-one. Right now I take the aluminum, trace my patterns with a Sharpie, run them through the bandsaw, run each plate against a vertical sanding belt to remove burrs, center punch the holes for the drill press to find, then manually drill each hole with a bench top press from Craftsman.
Many, many steps involved that I want to simplify as far as time it takes from start to finish, as well as improve the appearance of tool marks and straight cuts.
In my college days, I took one machine shop class where I learned basic G-code. I have since lost all knowledge of it, but from what I remember, it wasn't difficult.
I work out of my garage, so size is somewhat an issue. I work with 24" x 24" sheets because that's the biggest size I can use/hold on my table top bandsaw. I could go bigger if I had a machine that could handle it.
I'm looking to spend anywhere between $3-$8,000 if I can eliminate many of the above steps/processes.
I'm very new to this, so any feedback is appreciated.
I'm located on the out skirts of Cleveland, Ohio.