Of course the guys want 4' x 8' but I'm familiar with having large parts hanging outside the volume and moving the work zone into the machine volume. The software just has to be powerful enough to support more complicated setups using Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Datum schemes. Hopefully the software makes this really simple.
To answer your question about 4' x 4' or 3' x 5' X/Y volume with decent Z axis capability.
In addition to wood signs and furniture parts we'd also like to be able to "mill" (route) plastic and aluminum as well as do vinyl cutting.
I'd recommend the Avid CNC Pro series. Add the Nema 34 plug and play kit, and the plug and play spindle package. Get's you right around $10K.
With the extra $2K, get Vectrics V Carve Pro, Mach4 to run the machine, and that leaves you with $1000 for tooling.
You'll need to build a wooden base, or you can buy their aluminum leg kit for another $500 I think.
I agree, After 2 years of research, Avid was the clear winner and has no problem cutting Wood, Plastic, Aluminum, Bronze, and Granite. Haven't tried vinyl but I'm betting it'll do that too. 😉
CamMaster was 2nd but out of my budget.
Ahren and Cory should be paying us something for all the advertising we do for them!!