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I'm getting close to a purchase decision for my CNC ... and confusion is setting in. Given how many posters are talking about buying a CNC soon, I thought I better enter the discussion.

I'm a one man shop, currently making cutting boards & serving pieces in quantity for sale at craft shows. I'm beginning to do more B to B sales, and have decided it's time to add a CNC to my crowded 2-car garage.

I want a turn key solution. I have a real job in addition to my serious woodworking hobby; I don't have time for a DIY CNC build. I need a minimum 24" x 30" workspace.

I have basic computer skills, but I'm a beginner at CADCAM. On a positive note, I have a mechanical engineer and an operator of a small machine shop in the immediate family, so I have smart people I can call on. On the negative side, I don't know a local woodworker that has a CNC that I can call on for help.

I had all but decided to buy a Probotix: their Linux architecture and small business approach is *very like* the approach of the company I work for in my real job. That's appealing. However, I do question the scale of the operation and available design/training resources. I am looking at their top-of-the-line Nebula, which has a 37" x 50" workspace.

I know there are several Probotix fans in this forum, and I take that as a big positive for that choice.

The new contender for my budget is Legacy's bottom-of-the-line Explorer system, with the expanded 24" x 48" work space. It appears to me that their training program is quite advanced, which I like a lot. Their Utah home - where they host training - is more accessible than Probotix's Florida base. The system seems less well defined to me, though, and the expanded workspace (24" x 48") is still smaller than the Nebula's. I'm not sure that I can buy the bells & whistles I want for the system and keep it under budget.

Budget is $10k for the CNC + software. I'm going to spend a bit more on the shop to move cabinetry, install electrical and perhaps build a small outbuilding for lumber storage. Total cost will be under $12k.

Your thoughts & wisdom will be most appreciated.
 

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David
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Looking forward to the ride with you, Henry. On the Legacy 24x48, do you know if that's the true working area? Last year I built the first Saturn 2x4 and the actual cutting area on it is 26" x 50". That's still well under the Nebula's 37" x 50" but it is larger than the Saturn model name, so that allows me to get all the way around a 24" x 48" piece. Just curious...

David
 

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Henry,

You've seen what I've done with my Nebula (got some stuff on my albums), and how intricate 4d gets with his. And I'm just a old retired trucker who has trouble checking his email.

You don't need to go anywhere for training if you get Aspire or Vcarve (get Aspire, do it right). Start playing with their free version which lets you do everything but download the files. And watch the tutorials. Go back and read MT Stringer's thread - he just got a Probotix Asteroid. All you have to do when you get it from Probotix is put the limit switches in, hook the wires up, put your thumbdrive (with your design file) in, and hit go. Decide on a spindle (I say go air cooled ) or router. You can be rocking for about $8k including machine, spindle, shipping, some bits, and Aspire. It comes with it's own computer already set up for your particular machine.

Just my opinion, Legacy makes a good machine but they are overpriced. When you call Probotix you can talk to the guy that built your machine and get great CS. With Legacy you get an employee who answers the phone who may or may not (most of the cases I've heard about) know what they're talking about. They are not noted for their CS in real life. But they do have some great software videos - which they say is their own, but is really Aspire.

Once you know what you want to do you can redo the Probotix bed to your needs.

Just my opinion.
 

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And you don't need an engineer or machine operator of any kind to do this. Just a little patience (my strongpoint- lol) and a few hairs to occasionally pull out. Once you start getting the hang of it, there isn't enough available time to play with it.

I suggest a good executive office chair, cable tv hookup, a fridge, microwave, and internet access in the immediate work area.
 

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+ 1 What John said.

I started knowing nothing about CNC routers or the software for designing projects. The software part was the intimidating factor. So, I downloaded the trial versions of VCarve and started watching their tutorials and playing with the software. It came around pretty quickly for me. Not sure why, but I seem to be able to vision how a project should look and now I can design it.

I just got my Probotix Asteroid up and running. Heck I went to their shop and picked it up! Well, it was sort of a mini vacation for me and the missus. All I had to do was connect the cables to the control box and install the limit switches on the rails. They don't come installed from the factory for fear of being damaged during shipping. I agree fully.

I too have a cramped garage, but it is a one car garage. Lots of tools in that garage along with the usual - washer/dryer/freezer/insulation and mini -split AC :surprise::grin:

Getting back to the Asteroid, I have no experience with Linux, but it is pretty basic and easy to learn. Really easy. Kind of like a scaled down version of Windows. All you really need to figure out is how to find your files on the thumb drive and start the control software. Pretty easy.

The bottom line is the training is not really needed, it is the learning how to use VCarve software to design your projects. The videos help tremendously.

Good luck. Remember, we like pictures...lots of pictures! :smile:
 

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Theo
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I suggest a good executive office chair, cable tv hookup, a fridge, microwave, and internet access in the immediate work area.
What, no toilet? Downright uncivilized. :laugh2:
 

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+ 1 What John said.

I started knowing nothing about CNC routers or the software for designing projects. The software part was the intimidating factor. So, I downloaded the trial versions of VCarve and started watching their tutorials and playing with the software. It came around pretty quickly for me. Not sure why, but I seem to be able to vision how a project should look and now I can design it.

I just got my Probotix Asteroid up and running. Heck I went to their shop and picked it up! Well, it was sort of a mini vacation for me and the missus. All I had to do was connect the cables to the control box and install the limit switches on the rails. They don't come installed from the factory for fear of being damaged during shipping. I agree fully.

I too have a cramped garage, but it is a one car garage. Lots of tools in that garage along with the usual - washer/dryer/freezer/insulation and mini -split AC


Getting back to the Asteroid, I have no experience with Linux, but it is pretty basic and easy to learn. Really easy. Kind of like a scaled down version of Windows. All you really need to figure out is how to find your files on the thumb drive and start the control software. Pretty easy.

The bottom line is the training is not really needed, it is the learning how to use VCarve software to design your projects. The videos help tremendously.

Good luck. Remember, we like pictures...lots of pictures!
I suggest a good executive office chair, cable tv hookup, a fridge, microwave, and internet access in the immediate work area.
What, no toilet? Downright uncivilized.
Adding to John's post I am all in at 10k with my mobile table, 32 inch monitor and robo arm. I went all in and got the 4th axis and went straight to aspire. I am getting ready to order the tool bit sensor touch pad. Mine is air cooled spindle as I did not like the thought of water around my table and wood.
 

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What, no toilet? Downright uncivilized. :laugh2:
There's usually no plumbing for that ........ but one of those portable camping toilets would work, wouldn't it?
 

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+1 what HJ says. Probotix makes a decent ready to run machine. I have experience with several of their models, but not the Nebula. If you want a ready to run with good support, go Probotix.

I also know a guy who has had a couple of the Legacy machines and swears by them. He has hosted learning seminars at his shop in Colorado. Not aware of any training for the Probotix machines, but like several have already said, the machine will do what the software tells it, so the real training you need is on the software. I am also a Vectric software supporter.

I myself, just built the FLA Saturn 4x4. If you were in to a somewhat DIY machine, I would pressure you in to looking at them further.

Good luck on your decision.

Dave
 

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Hi Henry, You can save a much amount of money if you don't mind China CNC router. I bought same machine from China FALA CNC the price is USD7700
I'm getting close to a purchase decision for my CNC ... and confusion is setting in. Given how many posters are talking about buying a CNC soon, I thought I better enter the discussion.

I'm a one man shop, currently making cutting boards & serving pieces in quantity for sale at craft shows. I'm beginning to do more B to B sales, and have decided it's time to add a CNC to my crowded 2-car garage.

I want a turn key solution. I have a real job in addition to my serious woodworking hobby; I don't have time for a DIY CNC build. I need a minimum 24" x 30" workspace.

I have basic computer skills, but I'm a beginner at CADCAM. On a positive note, I have a mechanical engineer and an operator of a small machine shop in the immediate family, so I have smart people I can call on. On the negative side, I don't know a local woodworker that has a CNC that I can call on for help.

I had all but decided to buy a Probotix: their Linux architecture and small business approach is *very like* the approach of the company I work for in my real job. That's appealing. However, I do question the scale of the operation and available design/training resources. I am looking at their top-of-the-line Nebula, which has a 37" x 50" workspace.

I know there are several Probotix fans in this forum, and I take that as a big positive for that choice.

The new contender for my budget is Legacy's bottom-of-the-line Explorer system, with the expanded 24" x 48" work space. It appears to me that their training program is quite advanced, which I like a lot. Their Utah home - where they host training - is more accessible than Probotix's Florida base. The system seems less well defined to me, though, and the expanded workspace (24" x 48") is still smaller than the Nebula's. I'm not sure that I can buy the bells & whistles I want for the system and keep it under budget.

Budget is $10k for the CNC + software. I'm going to spend a bit more on the shop to move cabinetry, install electrical and perhaps build a small outbuilding for lumber storage. Total cost will be under $12k.

Your thoughts & wisdom will be most appreciated.
 

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I think the above guy sells those Chinese machines. Betcha you'd get a lot of support and parts availability.
 
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I'm getting close to a purchase decision for my CNC ... and confusion is setting in. Given how many posters are talking about buying a CNC soon, I thought I better enter the discussion.

I'm a one man shop, currently making cutting boards & serving pieces in quantity for sale at craft shows. I'm beginning to do more B to B sales, and have decided it's time to add a CNC to my crowded 2-car garage.

I want a turn key solution. I have a real job in addition to my serious woodworking hobby; I don't have time for a DIY CNC build. I need a minimum 24" x 30" workspace.

I have basic computer skills, but I'm a beginner at CADCAM. On a positive note, I have a mechanical engineer and an operator of a small machine shop in the immediate family, so I have smart people I can call on. On the negative side, I don't know a local woodworker that has a CNC that I can call on for help.

I had all but decided to buy a Probotix: their Linux architecture and small business approach is very like the approach of the company I work for in my real job. That's appealing. However, I do question the scale of the operation and available design/training resources. I am looking at their top-of-the-line Nebula, which has a 37" x 50" workspace.

I know there are several Probotix fans in this forum, and I take that as a big positive for that choice.

The new contender for my budget is Legacy's bottom-of-the-line Explorer system, with the expanded 24" x 48" work space. It appears to me that their training program is quite advanced, which I like a lot. Their Utah home - where they host training - is more accessible than Probotix's Florida base. The system seems less well defined to me, though, and the expanded workspace (24" x 48") is still smaller than the Nebula's. I'm not sure that I can buy the bells & whistles I want for the system and keep it under budget.

Budget is $10k for the CNC + software. I'm going to spend a bit more on the shop to move cabinetry, install electrical and perhaps build a small outbuilding for lumber storage. Total cost will be under $12k.

Your thoughts & wisdom will be most appreciated.
Hi. Not sure if my 2 cents worth will be any good but I'm awaiting for my ShopSabre 23 to arrive tomorrow. I was looking at all of them ( Camaster, Legacy, Axiom Precsion Elite ). I have an Axiom Precision AR6 Basic right now. Its accurate but the electronics are way underpowered for the size of the machine. Just sold a CWI HDX Professor last week to make room for the ShopSabre 23. I chose the 23 over all of them pretty well because of the sturdy design and also coming with VCarve Pro. I have VCarve Pro already but its a bonus. The Axiom is made in Taiwan. Very good craftmanship and way more accurate than the one I just sold, even though it cost way more. Mostly due to the fact it had the HSD spindle. Quality of the build of that machine was absolutely horrendous compared to the Axiom. ( chipped paint, missing or loose capscrews, no post processor with the machine, its not even listed in VCarve to choose a Post Processor) I also chose the ShopSabre because they have all parts in stock in case something were to ever break down. I would have a part in a few days even though I'm in Canada. I had my CWI down for over 3 months waiting for a stepper driver. Chinese manufacture. That's why I have 2 machines. Can't afford to be down that long. Even a couple of days I'm losing tons of money and I'm a small business. The 23 is also a true 30x40" cutting table. Another bonus. Hopefully its a good as I have been told. If you ever listen to their Podcast. Its a bit bias towards their machines but they mention a guy whom I contacted and he has the 23. He makes incredible stuff. I've seen it. So hopefully you take a bit of my advice. I just wish I had someone out there to guide me a bit.
Bentley
 

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l don't have a CNC. But I taught marketing for almost 40 years and wrote the attached pdf about how I'd go about making money from CNC. A lot of what you're planning to do is spot on. Thought you might like to give this a read. Learning to work the machine is one thing, generating a steady flow of B to B clients is quite another.
 

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