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Ultimately I purchased with the Shark Pro for several reasons. Simply stated, I wanted a warranted, turnkey solution from an established national woodworking Distributor with in-house technical support. I wanted someone else to have already debugged the compatibility between the mechanics, electronics, and software. I've purchased online from Rockler many times without problems. When the Shark was initially released, I traveled 70 miles to the nearest Rockler store to scrutinize it. At first I was apprehensive the polymer structure would flex too much or the rod & linear bearing construction with a central drive screw would bind. Both of these turned out to be non-issues. I played with the VCarve software demo and after watching the numerous VCarve training tutorials I had reasonable confidence it would meet my needs. The VCarve software has surprisingly versatile tooling control without having an unwieldy user interface, and has other modules available as my needs grow. It can create basic graphics, import, trace, and manipulate existing graphics. You'll still need a dedicated graphics package like CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator to create advanced artwork. Support after the sale was a big concern. Al Wolford of Rockler (Shark distributor), Tim Owens of Next Wave Automation (Shark manufacturer), and Mark Moran of Vectric (VCarve software) all promptly answered my multiple inquires and gave me confidence they will be there when I get stuck in the future. While the table size on the Shark was more than adequate for my current needs, I bought the Shark Pro because I learned a long time ago to buy more machine than you need because you will always grow into it.

read my full 2-page technical review on my website under "Press Releases" -> "Reviews"

Mike Pientka
 

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Mike,

Nice post.

Well thought out decision.

I don't have the Shark, but I do have the Larken 2424 Camtool. Full CNC router with a couple of upgrades.

I also have the Vectric package. V-Carve Pro, Photo V-Carve, and Cut 3D. I will say that Vectric has about the best customer service and support of any company on the planet. They are in the UK - so there is sometimes a time delay due to time zones, but they are FAST, and they are GOOD.

I do hope you enjoy that shark. Looks good from where I am sitting.
 

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Hi Mike
I too bought the pro and was wanting the regular one for my projects and before I knew it I was carving 23" squared signs with the Shark Pro, and then moved to purchase the Aspire software, and wow that software is great, it does everything that V-carve does and 3D carving too. I did have a few small problems with tthe shark pro when i got it up and running, Fan didn't work (loose connector inside the black box) gantry didn't move one way, ( zip tied plug wasn't tight enough). After all that, smooth sailing and all smiles.
Joe
 

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I have the shark pro also for about a year now . Did some nice work with it. Easy to work with it and the v carve program is easy to learn. Check out my latest bench redone on show and tell.
 

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I'm looking at the Shark but also considering the Carvewright .Can anyone tell me why I would choose one over the other? It seems that the Carvewright is more versatile in that the length of your workpiece is unlimited, while from what I understand on the Shark you are limited to 25 inches. Correct me if I'm worng please. Thanks
 

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Hi

You are right on about the shark but you can always reclamp the stock down, I'm a long time user of the Carvewright systems. point and click system, you will find many on both sides of the fence, if you like to playing with computer and setups the Shark is for you if not the Carvewright machine is for you..plus you have support for the Carvewright machine right on line..with the great Carvewright forum..

CarveWright Corner - The Front Page
http://forum.carvewright.com/forum.php
CarveWright.com

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I'm looking at the Shark but also considering the Carvewright .Can anyone tell me why I would choose one over the other? It seems that the Carvewright is more versatile in that the length of your workpiece is unlimited, while from what I understand on the Shark you are limited to 25 inches. Correct me if I'm worng please. Thanks
 

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Shark and longer routing

Yes, it's been a bit hard to route say a 6' sign with the Shark. Many of us Shark owners have developed "work-a-rounds", but now with the new version of VCarve (6.0) it's become a lot easier as the software will now allow you to split your design! You still have to re-position your work but there are many "tricks" for doing that.

I still think the Shark Pro or Pro+ would be your best bet if you plan on developing a business of any type as you will find as your business builds you may need a larger CNC router and why take the time then to learn a new machine and software. With the shark you will have the understanding of machine operation, use of software and have the bits to start with.

Just an old signmakers (still doing a lot of freehand routing of signs) thoughts...

Be Safe & Take Care...

Mike
 

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Hi

You are right on about the shark but you can always reclamp the stock down, I'm a long time user of the Carvewright systems. point and click system, you will find many on both sides of the fence, if you like to playing with computer and setups the Shark is for you if not the Carvewright machine is for you..plus you have support for the Carvewright machine right on line..with the great Carvewright forum..



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We have an Epilog Mini Helix Laser Engraver and a Carvewright in our shop. The Carvewright is so maintenance intensive that we are thinking of replacing it with a different CNC machine. The Carvewright definitely creates too much down time.
 

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Hi Mike, welcome.
 

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I have purchased two in the past, one for each university I was / am at. Heaven forbid I end up at another university in the future, I will buy another one for there. I do like them, a lot! My only gripe is that the router head flexes too much when cutting carbon fiber, even when I have the feed rate turned down to 5 ipm and a fresh milling bit put in. I am going to have our machine shop make a new Z axis mount in aluminum.

That said, I am sure Next Wave did not intend for their machine to cut out carbon fiber rocket parts. :D
 
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