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I am looking for advice in selecting a new CNC machine. I have it narrowed down to either the nextwave HD510 or the axiom iconic 6. Can anyone with experience with thse two help narrow this choice? Am I missing a better product in a similar price range?

Thanks
J
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Welcome to the forum, Jay! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel and add your location to your profile, as well.

We do like photos so show us your shop, tools, projects, etc. whenever you're ready. What sort of woodworking are you planning or doing with the CNC?

All I have heard about the Shark is how much flex it has although I understand they may have improved it somewhat. No experience with either machine other than a friend who has a Shark that's a few years old and his has a lot of flex. Others may chime in soon with other info for you.

David
 

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Curious how you narrowed it to those two. Is it because you saw them at a Woodcraft or Rockler? There are lots of brands and machines to choose from. The most important criteria is knowing what you want to do with it, size of pieces and materials you expect to work with. Nextwave are made in US and Axioms are imported, but as David said, Nextwave doesn't have a good history of being stiff.

My criteria for a good machine is stiff and fast. Rigidity is obviously key to precision and quality of cut. Proper chiploads in wood require fairly fast feed speeds at the speed of most routers or spindles. So both are key. Neither of those two brands are very speedy, but the Axioms I have seen are relatively rigid.
 

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Mike
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NextWave has improved its machine rigidity with the release of the HD510 but it still has noticeable looseness and still contains a lot of plastic in its structure. For a hobby machine, they are not a bad deal because they do come with Vectric VCarve Desktop so you don't have to look for a CAD/CAM package for project design. It does not come with a router or spindle normally.

They have had some problems with packaging the machine to limit shipping damage. There have been a few problems with the pendants also, and the computer control software they have is really problematic. NextWave has been saying for years that they were working to make their spindle controllable by gcode but so far they the only indication I have seen of that has be in the new post processor they have and that looks like it is still in the early testing phase.

The Axiom Iconic 6 is a tighter machine with more working area and does come with the spindle but not the design software. This would be my choice if these were the only choices I could choose from.

As Richard points out it really depends on what you really want to do with the machine. If you want to use it as a hobby machine then those two machines would probably be okay but if you would like to make some money in a small business then I would say look at other machines.

If you think you can build one from a kit then I would look at the Avid machines. They are well-engineered and they have a lot of happy customers. At this point in my life, I would go with an Avid Pro, years ago I might have designed and built my own.

So the bottom line is, what do you intend to do with a CNC?
 

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The latest version of the Shark HD5 is not flimsy. I have run 30 plus projects using Red Oak, Black Walnut, Red Cedar, Plexiglass, plywood and more with it and I have no doubts it will continue on doing so. Enjoying using it.
Which Shark CNC do you have ? I have all but decided to buy the 510 and have been reading here and overall the reviews don't seem to be too good. Have you had any trouble with the pendant not working right or any other issues that bothers the use of the machine ? I know there are other choices out there in this price range but I just don't seem to like them as much as the Shark. BTW they have a promotion in March to get the spindle at no extra charge. Any info you would share is appreciated.
 

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I have the Shark HD510. I have made over 130 projects on it now. Some of those projects have been 17 of the same pattern. Lanterns, canteens and coins 30 on my last batch.
It does what you tell it to do. Its rugged. No fiddling with it.

Pendant works fine with the exception of don't vacuum over it the static discharge will make you unplug it and plug it back in. If you don't vacuum over the top of it works fine. USB port prefers short file names and it has some limitations as far as how many folders you can have in the root directory. I have used it with long file names and 20 files in the root with no problems but if it's not reading the new files move the old toolpaths into a old tool paths directory and it will work fine again. I would add a 3' long usb cord that puts the wear and tear of unplugging the usb on the end of the cord instead of into the side of the pendant...(phoneman experience 42 years plugs wear out)

Put down 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF using nylon bolts holding the first board down to the ttracks. Then glue a new nice flat waste board on top of that. Then level it with a planer bit in the CNC. After that gets cut up I flattened out a 25"x25" section and use a quarter inch piece of plywood as my waste board. I have replaced 4 of them these past 4 months. I like clean cuts and almost always cut through the material. A fence on the left and the front end makes easy alignment of parts. I use screws and fine brad nails. Most any thing you put up much higher than that you can figure on hitting it at some time or another.

The water cooled spindle to me is not a big issue... I like it that the router Blows the chips clear and I can see what it is cutting even in a 1/8" grove. The noise and dust is cleaned up with a foam box. With out this box your shop will be one dusty mess.

If you don't lock down your material and it stands up and binds the router it will blow a fuse in the main controler box that is where the power cord that feeds the controler box it is accessed from outside and it's in your manual but I have blown 2 fuses in the past 6 months and both were my fault one cutting to deep and fast with a 3/4" pocket bit and the other was when a piece of walnut stood up on it's end and jambed inbetweeen the router collet and the edge of the shark... 3" puck round and it jambed it all up and blew a fuse. After replacing the fuse (buy them from shark they are hard to find locally and same price as local wholesalers)

I upgraded Vcarve to pro cost about 300.00 so I could use the tiling function past 25" and the gadgets. I think I have made over 40 boxes now with the box joint creator.

Build a foam 1" thick box that sits over the top of it with 2 plexiglass windows and a 4" dust port on one end and the end you work from put a 1" opening so fresh air can sweep across the table to the dust port.
Here is a bunch of stuff I have made with the CNC plus a shop vac quiet box and box fan filter box and more as well as the CNC box
Shop update 2019 (tzo.com)

I don't have any regrets on this machine. I have not had to call shark on any thing. I have hundreds of hours now on the shark. I lube it about every 30 hours (Granger has the lube. I do wish the grease zerks were a bit more handy) Retirement is great.

Feel free to email if you have any questions.
 

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I have the Shark HD510. I have made over 130 projects on it now. Some of those projects have been 17 of the same pattern. Lanterns, canteens and coins 30 on my last batch.
It does what you tell it to do. Its rugged. No fiddling with it.

Pendant works fine with the exception of don't vacuum over it the static discharge will make you unplug it and plug it back in. If you don't vacuum over the top of it works fine. USB port prefers short file names and it has some limitations as far as how many folders you can have in the root directory. I have used it with long file names and 20 files in the root with no problems but if it's not reading the new files move the old toolpaths into a old tool paths directory and it will work fine again. I would add a 3' long usb cord that puts the wear and tear of unplugging the usb on the end of the cord instead of into the side of the pendant...(phoneman experience 42 years plugs wear out)

Put down 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF using nylon bolts holding the first board down to the ttracks. Then glue a new nice flat waste board on top of that. Then level it with a planer bit in the CNC. After that gets cut up I flattened out a 25"x25" section and use a quarter inch piece of plywood as my waste board. I have replaced 4 of them these past 4 months. I like clean cuts and almost always cut through the material. A fence on the left and the front end makes easy alignment of parts. I use screws and fine brad nails. Most any thing you put up much higher than that you can figure on hitting it at some time or another.

The water cooled spindle to me is not a big issue... I like it that the router Blows the chips clear and I can see what it is cutting even in a 1/8" grove. The noise and dust is cleaned up with a foam box. With out this box your shop will be one dusty mess.

If you don't lock down your material and it stands up and binds the router it will blow a fuse in the main controler box that is where the power cord that feeds the controler box it is accessed from outside and it's in your manual but I have blown 2 fuses in the past 6 months and both were my fault one cutting to deep and fast with a 3/4" pocket bit and the other was when a piece of walnut stood up on it's end and jambed inbetweeen the router collet and the edge of the shark... 3" puck round and it jambed it all up and blew a fuse. After replacing the fuse (buy them from shark they are hard to find locally and same price as local wholesalers)

I upgraded Vcarve to pro cost about 300.00 so I could use the tiling function past 25" and the gadgets. I think I have made over 40 boxes now with the box joint creator.

Build a foam 1" thick box that sits over the top of it with 2 plexiglass windows and a 4" dust port on one end and the end you work from put a 1" opening so fresh air can sweep across the table to the dust port.
Here is a bunch of stuff I have made with the CNC plus a shop vac quiet box and box fan filter box and more as well as the CNC box
Shop update 2019 (tzo.com)

I don't have any regrets on this machine. I have not had to call shark on any thing. I have hundreds of hours now on the shark. I lube it about every 30 hours (Granger has the lube. I do wish the grease zerks were a bit more handy) Retirement is great.

Feel free to email if you have any questions.
Mark I really appreciate the great response you sent me. I am glad you mentioned dust collection because that is something I have been thinking about and what to use. I cannot picture exactly what you are talking about with the foam and plexiglass hood for dust. Could you send a picture of it. The point I am at now is waiting until March to order the machine, their promotion doesn't start til then on the spindle. I have downloaded the free software from Vectric and been learning that for the last few days. Next I am going to build a table and have that ready when the Shark is delivered. Does it take more than one person to install the gantry ? If you send a picture of the foam box you can send it to my email. Thanks again
 
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