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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Our small company does a lot of MDF work working and recently we've been thinking about getting a 4' by 8' CNC router machine. Due to the complexities of building our own and finding software for it, we are limited to only buying all-in-one systems. We've looked at Carbide/Shapeoko, but their biggest platform is just 33 inches. Do routing machines come as large as 4x8? Or at least 4x4 so we can work on half a sheet at once.
 

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For something turn key that size I'd tend to lean towards Shopbot or Legacy. Each offer a couple days training to get you familiar with the machine. Shopbot is in NC, Legacy in Utah.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Welcome to the forum, Brett! Yes, lots of choices in the commercial machines with lots of options on each. What are y'all building and in what quantity? That may have some bearing on how you need to proceed.

David
 

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For awhile Probotix was willing to build a 5' x 9' CNC running on LinuxCNC for around $10k. When the demand for their smaller CNCs started growing they stopped making the large model but might be willing to build you one if you call them up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=vsGREPhdITU
I've been very impressed by their support since I bought my Meteor 25"x50" from them a few years back. My controller failed recently and they sent me a new one for free.

4D
 

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Yes, 4 x 8 is possible

Hello,

You may want to check this website: <www.maslowcnc.com>. They exhibited their router cutting a 4x8 sheet of plywood at the San Francisco Bay Makerfaire last month. It may be a good starting place for your search.
 

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Mike
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Welcome to the Router Forums.

One thing to consider is how much use will this CNC get. If you are just going to use it now and then for small projects then you probably don't need a heavy duty commercial grade machine and a hobby level machine might be all you need. If it will be used everyday and run all day long cutting large intricate projects then you probably need a heavy commercial machine.

If you tell us what you are making and production quantities then we may be able to give you better ideas for what we think might work for your company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Welcome to the Router Forums.

One thing to consider is how much use will this CNC get. If you are just going to use it now and then for small projects then you probably don't need a heavy duty commercial grade machine and a hobby level machine might be all you need. If it will be used everyday and run all day long cutting large intricate projects then you probably need a heavy commercial machine.

If you tell us what you are making and production quantities then we may be able to give you better ideas for what we think might work for your company.
Hello! It will be for smaller usage, so a hobby machine. It wont be cutting every day, maybe once per week or something.
 

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Now you're talking a different story. You could probably get away with a Probotix Meteor or Nebula and save a whole bunch of $$. Those are what I call "serious hobby machines".
 

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Mike
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Hello! It will be for smaller usage, so a hobby machine. It wont be cutting every day, maybe once per week or something.
You would probably be better off buying a good quality hobby machine and if you can get all your parts out of a 4x4 piece that would save money, floors pace and you could put the money you save into better software. As John points out Probotix would be a good choice and they might be willing to make you a one off machine that would fit your needs and allow you to grow a little bit at a good price. A lot of the cheaper hobby CNC machines will be limiting but Probotix, Legacy and Shopbot would be good places to start looking. Then you can ask a few more questions.

I know if you buy a CNC and learn how to use it you will find all kinds of other things to use it for in your business and possibly expand your line of products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you everyone for your help! Today we ordered a Shapeoko XXL and it will be delivered next week! It's not as large as we wanted, but it is still 33" x 33", and we feel we can still do a lot with that, including just chopping up MDF into smaller panels and then re-assembling them later upon installation! They also said that they might be releasing an upgrade kit for XXL in the future in order to make it 4' x 4'.

I can't wait for it to arrive to start learning how to use it! I've never even used a hand-help router before so it'll be fun learning all about it. I've already bookmarked some YouTube videos/tutorials!

I'd also like to point out you guys gave me 2 pages of helpful replies in this community, and at another CNC router community where I posted a similar question ended up only getting me condescending/snotty replies, so good job being nice & friendly to me!
 

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My shop uses a Laguna Smartshop 2 with a 5'x10' vacuum down table. Laguna offers a wide variety of routers. Not sure what you are hoping to spend but im sure they could offer a demo model or something.
Laguna is taking offers for demo machines after an upcoming trade show. Their equipment is top notch and I've seen one of the larger machines in their shop. You should be able to arrange a visit to the big manufacturers for a demo or at least a closeup inspection before deciding. Big money, worth sticking with a good company.
 

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Rick
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at another CNC router community where I posted a similar question ended up only getting me condescending/snotty replies, so good job being nice & friendly to me!
I suspect I know where this other forum is :(

I wanted to mention CNCrouterparts.com earlier , as from my research I believe it's pretty good bang for the buck , and expandable. But they require assembly , and I believe you wanted turn key .
There electronics are plug and play , but you must assemble the actual router table.
In my case I actually want to assemble it , but I understand when others are busy and don't have the time
 
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