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I currently have a Carvewright and I am looking at moving up to a larger more capable CNC. I have been looking at something for around $8k, specifically I have been looking at the Probotix Meteor or the CNC step High-Z S1000/T. Has anyone ever compared these two and offer any opinions between them.

I plan to do customized end grain cutting boards with inlay designs, wood carved plaques / signs and looking into doing ADA signs.
 

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I doubt you'll find anyone who has seen both models run. I own a Meteor and am very happy with it's performance and what it cost me. Looks like you'll get a bit more X/Y/Z travel range with the Meteor (26+" x 50+" x 5"). The CNCs from Probotix (made in the USA) come with a PC running Linux and use LinuxCNC as the control software. They have a raw MDF bed leaving you to come up with your own clamping/hold-down strategy. You can use a router, or a spindle (recommended if you do much 3D carving).

Their Z-axis design is unique and may cause the need for some careful clamping consideration.

I can't speak to the High-Z S1000 as I'd never seen one until you mentioned it.

4D
 

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I have the Probotix Nebula and would buy another Probotix with no hesitation. The Meteor was all I really needed. With Aspire and the rotary I got $8k in everything. I don't use the rotary, but got it just in case.
 

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I agree with 4D & HJ on Probotix. For a ready to run machine, I don't think that you will find a better machine for that kind of money.
Go with the vfd and spindle rather than a standard router, you won't be disappointed.
Probotix has excellent customer support and there are many on this site and others that can attest to that and are very willing to help out.
Dave
 

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To preface the Probotix machines are nice.

I will say at 8000.00 you are getting really close to that 10,000 or 12000 that can get you into an entirely different league(4x8 spindle even 6x13), even ready made. DIY 12,000 will get you the world if you wan to learn and can drop that on a hobby. Heck, 8000.00 will get you a machine you may never need to upgrade if you build it yourself.

Even a name brand Laguna low end 3HP spindle 4x8 CNC are only going for about 15,500.00 right now. If you had the experience or nerve to go Chinese you can get something that blow away anything Probotix makes, closer to industrial for 8000.00.

For 8000.00 I have built a few joecnc machines, actually you can probably get away with 4000.00 to 6000.00 depending what you want, but that's not ready made and it's not a kit. It's not for the faint of heart, but it will make you very knowledgeable on CNC when it's all said an done. Once I had a few joe machine built under my belt I never went back to Probitx, Shopbot, Carvewright and Zenbot which I have all owned.

If you want to make signs for a living you really do need to be able to drop sheets of 4x8 plywood right on the machine. Limiting to smaller stuff really limits your abilities for signs.

If you want that 4x8 sheet capability and want something simpler than a Joes machine(www.joescnc.som) but can still deal with a kit to get more for your money the CNCRP pro machines are nice and you get nice support. I have worked with them for years:

http://www.cncrouterparts.com/pro4896-4-x-8-cnc-router-kit-p-253.html
 

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dovetail_65,

I cannot help you with your problem. But I do have a question, I hope you can answer. I have a small CNC Piranha, built by New Wave Automation. It is a great little unit. But it is small. I have been looking at the machine you said you have the X CARVE, I am looking at the larger model they offer. Can you give me some feed back about your machine? what size is your X- Carve?

I do not have a lot space to work in and I only do this as a hobby type activity. So any information you could give me about the X-Carve, I would appreciate. Does this unit come as a kit to build still? Was it hard to assemble and have it work as it should?

Thanks,
Frank
 

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I didn't mention that I also got the spindle with my Nebula. That was an $800 option (but well worth it). Take that away, along with the rotary, the bigger bed, and the software (which you will have to get no matter what the machine) and you're close to $5k, I believe, for a plug and play machine with it's own computer included. Plus great customer warranty and service by people who make it here and speak English. Just my 2 cents worth.
 
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dovetail_65,

I cannot help you with your problem. But I do have a question, I hope you can answer. I have a small CNC Piranha, built by New Wave Automation. It is a great little unit. But it is small. I have been looking at the machine you said you have the X CARVE, I am looking at the larger model they offer. Can you give me some feed back about your machine? what size is your X- Carve?

I do not have a lot space to work in and I only do this as a hobby type activity. So any information you could give me about the X-Carve, I would appreciate. Does this unit come as a kit to build still? Was it hard to assemble and have it work as it should?

Thanks,
Frank
I think you meant to ask someone else. I dont have personal experience with X carve. I have heard some good things, I have heard some not so nice things about X carve. I personally dont like it.
 

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Mike
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The Probotix Meteor has a larger cutting area and larger Z axis capacity. The CNC step High-Z S1000/T has higher feed and rapid speeds ratings, The feeds and speeds on the Probotix were reduced to keep the long lead screws from whipping and causing vibration. Lots of support from users and company.

The CNC step High-Z S1000/T uses ball screws instead of lead screws so it should be slightly more accurate and be a bit tighter machine. Not sure how much weight the CNC step High-Z S1000/T will handle for a spindle, they don't show mounts for routers or spindles. Probotix is USA based and the CNC step High-Z S1000/T is Europe based and has a division here in the states but the machines are constructed in Europe and sent the the USA, about a 4 or 5 week lead time. They don't have any ready made machines, they are all build to order. They don't list a phone number for support here in the USA so that is a question I would want to ask before I bought a machine from them because if you have to call support in Europe to get answers then you are probably entering into that "can I understand the tech?" and "How much will this cost?".

You might check into the Saturn series plug and play machines here https://www.finelineautomation.com/ they should fit your budget and are really nice machines.
 

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I have personally dealt with finelineautomation.com, in days past he used CNCRP parts for most stuff.

I always received fast email response from him and the parts I purchased came to me fast. So whatever parts he uses now I would not hesitate to buy from him, whether parts or a full machine.

At a glance it does appear he still uses and/or sells quite a bit of cncrouterparts.com parts.
 

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dovetail_65,

I cannot help you with your problem. But I do have a question, I hope you can answer. I have a small CNC Piranha, built by New Wave Automation. It is a great little unit. But it is small. I have been looking at the machine you said you have the X CARVE, I am looking at the larger model they offer. Can you give me some feed back about your machine? what size is your X- Carve?

I do not have a lot space to work in and I only do this as a hobby type activity. So any information you could give me about the X-Carve, I would appreciate. Does this unit come as a kit to build still? Was it hard to assemble and have it work as it should?

Thanks,
Frank
I have an X-Carve 1000x1000 with Dewalt 611 router. I built it and upgraded it (a lot). I had never used a CNC previous to this purchase, so it has been a good learning experience. The 'free' software will only get you so far. I spent a lot of time trying to get Easel to do simple things, like carve text. The money I spent on VCarve Pro changed my entire development process. VCarving, text, pocketing and 3D carving were now a lot easier. I'm spending my time on design, not working around what the software won't do. Definitely try their free trial software.

I'm getting tired of the inaccurate cuts, constant tweaking, and re-carving. I do more machine maintenance than I do carving. Right now I've pretty much decided on replacing it with a new Axiom Pro+ AR8 CNC with 4th axis.


Without spending too much more, you can actually get a usable machine, fully assembled, like a Probotix, If you want to tinker with the machine, get a X-Carve. Better yet, get a CNCrouterParts.
 

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I have an X-Carve 1000x1000 with Dewalt 611 router. I built it and upgraded it (a lot). I had never used a CNC previous to this purchase, so it has been a good learning experience. The 'free' software will only get you so far. I spent a lot of time trying to get Easel to do simple things, like carve text. The money I spent on VCarve Pro changed my entire development process. VCarving, text, pocketing and 3D carving were now a lot easier. I'm spending my time on design, not working around what the software won't do. Definitely try their free trial software.

I'm getting tired of the inaccurate cuts, constant tweaking, and re-carving. I do more machine maintenance than I do carving. Right now I've pretty much decided on replacing it with a new Axiom Pro+ AR8 CNC with 4th axis.


Without spending too much more, you can actually get a usable machine, fully assembled, like a Probotix, If you want to tinker with the machine, get a X-Carve. Better yet, get a CNCrouterParts.
What did that X carve actually end up costing you?
 

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I think I originally paid about $1,200. Then I added a bunch of small change upgrades. My final upgrade was for their latest upgrade set. It was basically their new X-Controller and large, one piece X gantry. I also had my son make me some end plates from aluminum to raise the Z height.
 

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That includes some kind of software, motors and a controller though, right? Because there a quite a few reliable, ready made table top CNC for that price that just need mach3, a controller and and router.
 

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Damn -- it's in Houston. Anything within a few hundred miles from me and I'd go get it!!!!

Mike or Frank------ one to jump on!!
 

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Damn -- it's in Houston. Anything within a few hundred miles from me and I'd go get it!!!!

Mike or Frank------ one to jump on!!
I already looked at the post and part of the price he is listing is what he paid for shipping so that's $400 that I would not consider part of what he paid. He wants someone to pick it up only but wants them to pay for his shipping cost to have it sent to him. Maybe that's just my old age talking but just seems like the original cost is being exaggerated to make it sound like it is worth more. Of course the $50 for the metric collet set is a kind of waste also because I don't have a bunch of metric shaft bits.

I am having a hard time figuring out if I can fit a 2x4 machine in my shop if I get rid of my 2 2x2 CNCs so this one would be even harder to find room for and I'm kind of leaning away from a lead screw machine this time around especially on this size machine. That is one reason they have limited the feed rates for their larger machines. Of course you need to consider the size of jobs you will be doing most of the time be cause small jobs most of the time don't allow the machine to reach the full design feed rate.
 

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His total discount is only about $1000. To me, that wouldn't be worth it. I'd rather pay for exactly what I want.
 

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Everything is negotiable. Get rid of the MDF bed and you can set it up any way you want to go deeper than the top frame. 80/20 lets you configure a lot of ways. That's my biggest complaint about mine - the Z axis depth. What you do, Mike, wouldn't be a problem. That's a pretty good sized bed and could be set up to handle multiple configurations.

Got to talk to you about the going over the clamp feature that I didn't know even existed.
 
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