I am so lost - Router Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Default I am so lost

So I have been looking into buying a cnc for sometime now. I have a background as a machinist so using cnc machines isn’t something new to me but purchasing one is. I have been looking recently at the Probotix, Avid and a Shapeoko. I know after reading several posts a lot of people aren’t fond of the Shapeoko and several people have given high praise to both Probotix and Avid. I don’t plan on making anything complex so I thought something more simple would be a better option. Signs, plaques, maybe some inlay work, are what I’m looking into as a steady go to. It will be slightly more then a hobby machine but not at the beginning. I’m slowly trying to build up a business for myself. So can anyone help out with some thoughts?

Also when looking at the Avid machines I’m lost as to what I actually need to buy. Are they good as far as providing additional information?

Thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 03:47 PM
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As I'm sure you have noticed there are an infinite number of options. It really depends on your budget and what your end goals really are. I have the Shark HD4 with extended bed and water cooled Spindle from Nextwave. I do all kinds of stuff with wood, plastic, aluminum and even records. I use V-Carve Pro. I'm starting to mess with Fusion 360 so I can do my own 3D designs.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 04:06 PM
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Welcome to the forum! Add your first name to your profile so we'll know what to call you and to clear the N/a in the side panel. Add your location, as well.

I hear nothing but good things about Avid. I went a different route and built my own starting with a frame from Fine Line Automation but I would be happy with an Avid machine.

Couple of questions - 1) how big do you want the machine to be, or what's your available space? 2) what power do you have available, specifically 240 single phase? 3) are you wanting to build or source components and wiring or are you looking for essentially plug and play? 4) will this be in a commercial shop or your home shop (I know you said starting out as a hobby)?

David
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Welcome to the forum! Add your first name to your profile so we'll know what to call you and to clear the N/a in the side panel. Add your location, as well.

I hear nothing but good things about Avid. I went a different route and built my own starting with a frame from Fine Line Automation but I would be happy with an Avid machine.

Couple of questions - 1) how big do you want the machine to be, or what's your available space? 2) what power do you have available, specifically 240 single phase? 3) are you wanting to build or source components and wiring or are you looking for essentially plug and play? 4) will this be in a commercial shop or your home shop (I know you said starting out as a hobby)?

David
Currently I am limited on space. I have space for a machine wit a foot print ~4’X4’. I have 220 wired already as well as 110. I would prefer single phase just because three phase is an additional pitb. I don’t really have a preference in terms of prebuilt or plug and play or even a kit. Honestly I am more interested in quality than brand name or popularity. If something happens to be popular and is a good machine I’ll go that route rather then some flashy machine that has endless bells and whistles but just looks pretty and isn’t really functional. This will be in a home shop environment for the time being. I hope this is helpful. Thanks for all the help!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 05:06 PM
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Most machines use 240v single phase to power the VFD if you're getting a spindle. The VFD creates 3 phase for the spindle. If you're going with a router then 120v is all you'll need. A footprint of 4x4 is fairly small, unless you're saying you have a footprint available for a 4x4 machine. Our 2x4 machine has a footprint of about 56" x 72" but that doesn't account for space around the machine to do work. Granted, it's larger than many other 2x4 machines but that gives you an idea.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 06:15 PM
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I have both -- a Probotix and an Avid Pro. The Probotix uses lead screws and that limits the speed. But it comes with everything you need to start making dust with only having to hook up the limit switches. It's a true plug and play set up including a computer and monitor with Linux loaded. I consider it a serious hobby machine. It paid for itself over 2 years of learning. It also let me get acquainted with the CNC world and whether I wanted to continue in it.

Then I got an Avid CNC Pro4848 complete kit. Granted, I had to assemble (I like to use the word build) it. But it worked. This is a rack and pinion machine and carves 4+ times faster than the Probotix. It's a nice set up and can make a lot of chips and dust. You have to provide the computer and can buy Mach 4 (mine was Mach 3) from them.

I use Vectric Aspire and can make files for both machines using it. I run both machines and throw a lot of chips out. I have an air cooled spindle on both. The difference is probably about $4k between a Probotix Nebula and the 4848Pro model. They both have support and are USA based. Avid is a bigger company than Probotix. What fits your situation and budget.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Most machines use 240v single phase to power the VFD if you're getting a spindle. The VFD creates 3 phase for the spindle. If you're going with a router then 120v is all you'll need. A footprint of 4x4 is fairly small, unless you're saying you have a footprint available for a 4x4 machine. Our 2x4 machine has a footprint of about 56" x 72" but that doesn't account for space around the machine to do work. Granted, it's larger than many other 2x4 machines but that gives you an idea.

David
If I need to I can rearrange my workspace to accommodate a larger overall machine footprint but as it is now 4’X4’ is that space I have available total.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 08:18 PM
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I've owned my Avid 4824 Pro for 4 years this month. Avid's kits are extremely well engineered, made with high quality parts, easy to assemble and they have great customer support. I bought the kit minus the spindle, vfd and related wiring. I added a 2.2kW water cooled spindle and Hitachi VFD. I built the base from 80-20 alum extrusion, more mass is better. The base has 4" heavy duty caster with screw out legs to raise the machine off the casters for extra rigidity.
It measures 5' 4" wide by 45" deep. The base is actually smaller but those dimensions are for stepper motors and other equipment on the ends. The only change I would make if building again; I would buy their air cooled spindle and controls which is simpler to install, get running and maintain. Other than 2 minor problems I created myself which Avid quickly corrected over the phone, it has run flawlessly for 4 years. After working for 42 years, my machine is strictly for hobby use, I don't need a job. I've machined wood, aluminum, soap stone, acrylic and diamond drag bit on glass.

The cnc has a dust collection shoe which was installed after this picture.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-27-2020, 12:46 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

Ross,
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia


Enjoy the knowledge of others that can be found within.

ĎMembers are requested to add a first name in their profile as we are a very friendly bunch here'.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-27-2020, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
I have been looking recently at the Probotix, Avid and a Shapeoko.
There's a HUGE difference between these machines, as none are even in the same class.

If you can afford it, an AVID Pro series machine is the way to go.

Imo, the Probotix is way too slow for what it costs. They probably limit the speed due to the lightweight gantry.

The ShapeOKO is an entry level hobby machine.
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