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Hello Everyone, first i would like to say hello to everyone on the forum. My name is Colton, and i've been reading around for quite some time now. There's alot of great information on here, and thanks to everyone that contributes to the forum. I have found a few items i would like to start produce and sell, and have made the decision to purchase my first CNC router. I will be cutting acrylic and wood mainly, and need a cutting area of at least 24x24 inches. I really want the Camaster Stinger, but it is out of my price range at the moment. I am looking for a machine under 3500 to test the waters, and if my ideas are as good as i think they are i should make my money back quickly and than will purchase the Camaster Stinger. So far it seems as if my best option is the Shapeoko 3, however i would like to hear from you guys, and see what you would recommend also. Thanks for any help you can offer!
 

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Hi Colton and welcome. Sorry but I can't help with your question. Now if it was about handheld routing or router tables....
 

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Welcome. There have been a number of strings with lots of information and choices of CNC starter machines. You can use the search feature to locate them, or just go into the CNC Forum and just poke around. There's a wealth of information there.
 

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There is a huge gulf in capability between the shapeoko and the camaster machine, larger than the delta in price. The advice I read was to buy your second machine first. If there is a particular project you wish to test market, have you considered subbing out the manufacture of your prototypes to someone with a more capable machine? If they sell like you hope, you can buy the camaster or similar robust machine first.

The shapeoko machine can certainly let you dip your toes into CNC routing, but I believe most woodworker’s will soon outgrow it, and the software it is supplied with. It is limited in it cut depth and speed (.024” at 96ipm?), well below the recommended speeds for most bits. Cutting too slow actually hurts bit life (the chips from cutting carry away heat).

$3500 may put you in range of some more substantial kit machines (consider CNC Router Parts pro machines) or if you are up to it, a DIY build. My DIY has a 50” x 60” cut area, 2.2kw spindle (up to 1/2” shank bits) and I have cut with a 1/2” dia bit, 1/2” deep at 200 ipm. I only spent $2700, but found some very good deals on materials.
 

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Welcome, Colton. Personally I'm not into CNC routing but there are obviously plenty of forum members who are, so you won't be The Lone Ranger here. It would be great if you could take a few moments to start building a personal profile so we can get to know a bit about you. We are a friendly bunch, you know! First name and which country you are from would be a good start.
 

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Welcome, Colton. You already know what a great community this is, and we're glad you're here. I, too, am getting ready to take the plunge, and am interested in any feedback you get.
 

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I am building a DIY machine currently, and the cut area will be around 21"x27.5", which is about the same area you are looking, just in different proportions. My build will come in around $1500.

The benefits are you will get a much better machine in that price range you are looking for, and you will learn a LOT about how CNCs go together and how they work.

The drawback is time. I started planning my build back in January/February. And it will likely be late November or early December before it is making sawdust. Much of the time is research and design, from figuring through the various rail and lead screw options to sourcing the materials you want to use. If interested in my build, I have been documenting on this forum under MikeMa's CNC Build.
 

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I am building a DIY machine currently, and the cut area will be around 21"x27.5", which is about the same area you are looking, just in different proportions. My build will come in around $1500.

The benefits are you will get a much better machine in that price range you are looking for, and you will learn a LOT about how CNCs go together and how they work.

The drawback is time. I started planning my build back in January/February. And it will likely be late November or early December before it is making sawdust. Much of the time is research and design, from figuring through the various rail and lead screw options to sourcing the materials you want to use. If interested in my build, I have been documenting on this forum under MikeMa's CNC Build.
Do you have plans on your CNC design and the parts you are going to use?. I would like to look at yours to get a basic idea of what I want to do.
 
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