Newbie to CNC which machine to buy - Router Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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I am new to CNC and looking at what machine to buy looking at around $4000. I saw the probotix comet, shapeoko and the millright power route. Any thoughts on the two? Or others that you might suggest?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 06:00 PM
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Welcome to the forum! Glad to see you have already been looking. We can probably give better advice if you tell us a little about what you are planning on making, and in what materials. Do you need to cut sheet materials, carve hardwoods or ?

The Shapeoko is a kit. Are you OK with building a kit? Kits from CNC Router Parts and Fineline Automation have their proponents here (for good reason).
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 06:34 PM
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I'd stay away from the Shapeoko. I don't have any experience with the millright CNC, but can recommend the Probotix Comet. I personally own their Meteor, as well as oversee another Meteor and Nebula where I work. I like their open frame (2 Y axis motors) design and linuxCNC which runs the machines.

They (Probotix) have recently updated their gantry design to a beefier beam, stiffer Z axis assembly, and taller risers so you can take advantage of the full 5" Z axis travel. A PC, monitor, keyboard,and mouse are included with linuxCNC already configured to run the machine.

You'll need software to create the toolpaths. Fusion 360 can be used, but I personally recommend VCarve Desktop as a far easier program to learn. They (vectric.com) have dozens of tutorials on their site to teach you the basics. You can download a free version to try out while watching the videos, although files you create won't cut until you've bought the retail version.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BalloonEngineer View Post
Welcome to the forum! Glad to see you have already been looking. We can probably give better advice if you tell us a little about what you are planning on making, and in what materials. Do you need to cut sheet materials, carve hardwoods or ?

The Shapeoko is a kit. Are you OK with building a kit? Kits from CNC Router Parts and Fineline Automation have their proponents here (for good reason).
I'm fine with a kit. I mostly am looking to do oak wood signs/plaques and the ability to upgrade to a laser would be a plus. Maybe some soft metal...but mostly wood. I'd like to get the best I can afford to run light production. Maybe 30 1515" signs a month amongst other smaller projects for now....and save for a bigger machine

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 10:33 PM
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Welcome to the forum! When you get a minute complete your profile with first name to clear the N/a in the left panel and also so we'll know what to call you. You can add your location, too. That often helps us to help you.

How much space do you have available for the CNC? Are you wanting to go with a router or will you choose a spindle?

I use Fusion 360 and it does all I need right now but if I wanted to do a lot of 3D work I'd have to get one of the Vectric products like 4D said.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbd153 View Post
I'm fine with a kit. I mostly am looking to do oak wood signs/plaques and the ability to upgrade to a laser would be a plus. Maybe some soft metal...but mostly wood. I'd like to get the best I can afford to run light production. Maybe 30 1515" signs a month amongst other smaller projects for now....and save for a bigger machine
Hey J...
Follow along w/ HonesttJohn and his build
CNCRouterParts Pro attempt to build....

i dont recall how much HJ paid, maybe he can give you some help.
I believe he is working on a 4x4. Also David has a build 2nd Build (first) - CNC Router

Mods... what about a Build subforum or post up current builds in the sticky area.
Maybe for a limited time?
Check Twice!'s sticky has been up there a good while. Why not something current?

There's a bunch of builds going on and sometimes they're tough to find.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 08:23 AM
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Welcome to the forum. We have a stinger and love it.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 08:41 AM
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For what you are describing, a Probotix would do you good. I have a Nebula and would get another machine from them in a heartbeat except I do a lot of 3d work, and I need a faster setup using rack and pinion.

Edison Auto is at the Vectric conference and says Probotix is also coming out with a laser attachment that can be used on their machines. Check with Mark for the details. And don't forget the cost of the software, too.

Vectric, in my opinion, is a lot easier to work with than Fusion.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 08:45 AM
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Don't think the CNC Router Parts Pro series line is going to fall into that price range. The Probotix machines are very close and also a good machine. The will also be offering a laser attachment soon according to their FB page.

Like 4D, I am also in charge of a "fleet" of Probotix machines that have worked out very well. For the amount your are looking at spending, I would go that route as they are ready to run when you get it.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 07:02 PM
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Welcome to the Router Forums.

I would be afraid of twits on the Millright CNC because of the open gantry design. I have heard mixed comments about Shapeoko and many were wishing to buy a different CNC. The Probotix machines usually get good comments and most of the people I know that own them like them. I like the double Y axis drive so you have an open bed design, opens more possibilities to you.

As far as laser add-ons there are several on the market but you do need to research and see if the control software will allow you to use a laser. If the CNC uses proprietary control software then they will have to provide the correct drivers to run a laser attachment.

A lot of people do buy a CNC with the thought of selling it later to buy a new one. If it does not have any resale value then you are back to square one and paying for a new machine again. If you can afford a little more then I would buy a better machine first.

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