Router Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
Hoping you can help me out. I've done so much reading up on the different CNC options and I'm still lost.
What I want: route signs, engrave, cut medium sized pieces for projects.
CNC's I'm leaning towards: Shapeoko XXL or Shark HD4
I'm open to other suggestions as well.
There's a big price difference, but they seem to be about the size I'm looking for.
I don't know anything about any of the software offered, and I know it will take a while for me to learn it.

What say you??
 

·
Administrator
David - Machinist in wood
Joined
·
4,198 Posts
Welcome to the forum, Aj! And thanks for completing your profile.

What is your budget? How much floor space do you have available for the CNC and getting work onto the machine? Do you have adequate power for a spindle if you plan to go that route? Is this a hobby need or production in a shop? Based on the machines you're leaning toward I'd say this will be hobby more than production.

Our CNC is a 2x4 and that's considered to be on the small side but the footprint is about 60" x 72" and it weighs around 600 lbs. as configured. I'd love to have a 4x4 but we don't have the space for that and in the nearly two years we've had this one the largest piece I've cut easily fit on the machine.

David
 

·
Registered
Oliver (Prof. Henry)
Joined
·
2,236 Posts
I know there are better and stronger machines out there, but I'm happy with my Shark HD. It handles all the chores for the projects I make, and has a small enough footprint to fit in my shop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RainMan 2.0

·
Registered
Rick
Joined
·
17,578 Posts
I know there are better and stronger machines out there, but I'm happy with my Shark HD. It handles all the chores for the projects I make, and has a small enough footprint to fit in my shop.
I have to say I’ve seen some pretty impressive signs coming off of yours already Oliver .
I think there all capable to a point , and the user certainly helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts

·
Registered
Mike
Joined
·
3,941 Posts
Aj make sure you get the free spindle. It runs on 110v so there will not be a problem of needing 220v power. You will be limited to 1/8" and 1/4" shank bits but that should not be a problem.

Remember a CNC machine is not meant to replace your other tools, is is just one more tool that you can use to make your projects. CNC work is about 80% or more computer design and 20% shop time.

Next Wave Automation has beefed up their machines somewhat but they do still have a lot of plastic parts. It is a hobby level machine and it should serve you well. It does come with Vectric VCarve Desktop software (VCarve Pro if it is an extended bed) which I recommend for most hobbyists. It will probably do everything you need it to do.

I do have 3 of their CNC machines and do make money with mine. I try to stay away from large projects because I have a small shop but you can use tiling for larger jobs if needed. I do consider them hobby machines because they are limited in size and feed rates but will do most jobs that the average hobbyist will encounter. I have made some modifications to my HD1 but it is still limited in what it can do. I have been considering buying a new, bigger, faster machine but that need to see how the rest of this year goes.

You might check and see if there is a local CNC group that you can join, we have one here in Dallas that meets at one of the local Rockler stores. It is mostly based on the use of Vectric Softwares but we do talk about machine maintenance and problems people have.

Looking forward to seeing your first projects, have fun with it and remember it will take a little time to learn the software so it is best to play with it as much as you can.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gaffboat
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top