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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know nothing about wood working, I want to get into hi quality 3d wood carving basically I would like to learn how to make very detailed wood carvings of animals, nature, or what ever I want to learn how to make it look good like the wood carved pictures on etsy

I would greatly appreciate any info or opinions

I am in Texas and I prefer it to be shipped to me from the USA unless there is something I dont know

I dont care about if free software comes with machine

Not sure if I should care about a getting a machine with a lot of support like a forum or a machine that is popular

4 axis for carving logs is not that important to me, might be nice to get a machine that I could add it later on maybe years from now but I could live without it


this place says they are wholesale and that is why they can sell cheaper, is there a reason why I should not go with this machine for such a low price ?
IEC1212 CNC Router $3,199.00


this looks like the machine above but i guess it is more because they are not the wholesaler ?
Automation Technologies KL-1212 CNC Router 48 x 48 inch $6,199


JCUT-1212 $2950 on ebay free shipping from china


Pilot Pro 5050 DIY Kit $6,100.00
5050 Stand $1400.00


Pilot Pro 5050 Assembled $6,550.00
5050 Stand $1400.00


shark HD4 extended $4,999.99
2 foot by 4 foot which is smaller than I want anyways
I was interested in shark HD4 but then I read a lot of people saying something about the machine sways or what ever because it has plastic where it should have metal and the machine can not do what other machine can do because of this


Camaster Stinger II SR-44 Starting at $12,995


Laguna Swift CNC Router 4′ x 4′ 3HP $13,645


Axiom Elite Series AR16 ELITE $13,999
 

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David
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Welcome to the forum, Clay! Add your first name to your profile so it shows in the side panel. Add your location, as well. That often helps us to help you.

What space and power do you have available? The footprint of the machine needs to be considered along with the bed size. Some 4x4 machines are pretty large and others just slightly larger than the bed.

Of the ones you mentioned, and budget fitting, I would get the CAMaster. The handful of guys I know who have that machine really like them.

Do you have the supporting woodshop to prepare your stock for cutting on the CNC?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
woodshop not sure if that is the name of some software

if that is not the name of some software no i am going to try to fit it in a room in the house

why is the camaster better ?

can the camaster make more finer detail ? this is mostly only thing i care about

the wholesaler that sells the IEC1212 CNC Router $3,199, has a 4x8 foot IEP1325 machine that has better specs for details than the IEC1212
and it is $4,999

there is a ebay seller selling a 1325 4x8 foot for $3,777
if you google "1325 router furniture cabinet door machine on sale free ship for May Day Holiday"

i dont understand what makes camaster a better deal for someone like me that just wants to learn how make art pictures out of wood to sell
 

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Most of those cheaper machines ship from china, and shipping (and tariffs) is not included in those prices. Shipping can be a significant additional cost (there is usually no shipping included on any of the machines prices). They will also come with little to no documentation, training or support. Depending on your experience and knowledge, these can be very important. Those with "free" shipping is usually only to the nearest ocean port - you will be responsible for picking up from port (and paying any tariffs due) and shipment to your location. Not too bad if you live in Long Beach, more of an issue if you live in Denver.

The automation technologies machine is one of the Chinese machines, but imported by a US company that will provide documentation and support.

CAMaster is US built, well documented and well supported, with factory training available, which is why it has been recommended.

There are other options in the price range, including shopsabre or shopbot. One option you may wish to consider is a kit machine from CNC Router Parts or Fineline Automation. You would need to assemble yourself, but they are good machines at a lower price.

Note that 3D carvings are very time consuming, especially one anywhere near the 4 x 4 size. They can easily take 20 hours or more. The more detail you want (and the smaller bit used to cut it) the longer it takes. Here the speed of the machine can play a big role, a machine that can 3d carve at 400ipm will take much less time than one that can only do it at 100ipm. Do not be mislead by the quoted "rapid" speeds, try to find cutting speeds.

When David asked about the rest of the shop, it was referring to tools to prepare large glue ups (need to be able to joint and plane and cut boards to size before glue ups, or before putting onto CNC. You will also need dust collection (a vacuum won't be enough). Also most of those machines require 220V power. Most people would not want them in the house (probably can't fit through anything smaller than a garage door anyway). Off the machine, you will need to sand and apply a finish to create a finished carving.

How are you intending to create the artwork (designs) to cut? Some of the software to create 3d models runs $1600 and up, and there is a signifiant learning curve. Between the time it takes to create the files, and the time it takes to run them, such carvings must often sell for a considerable cost to represent a reasonable return.

My DIY machine has a cutting area of 49" x 60" and cost me $2800. You will not get anywhere near that price buying commercially.
 

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Mike
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First, Welcome to the Router Forums.

I'm also in Texas.

The IEC1212 CNC Router $3,199.00 is sold by a company in Pennsylvania but they are made in Asia and shipped from Asia. I contacted their tech support (they only have email support). You will have to pay import duties and taxes plus the $700 shipping cost for this unit (not the $10 shipping cost they show, that is if you buy 25 of them they will only charge $10 shipping for each one) to get it to the US and may have additional shipping fees from the port of entry to your location. They say they will issue an invoice with reduced cost shown so you can pay less import taxes and duties, THIS IS ILEGAL and I would not want to get involved with any company that would do something like that. Tech support was in broken English so I question if they could answer any questions with a reasonable answer. I am attaching the picture of the machine as they show it on their site. If you notice there is only one gantry upright support. I ask their tech support person if this is how that model CNC is made and they said yes it just has the one upright arm. I don't really think that is how they build this model but that is how tech support says the machine is built. on the discription page for this model it says it has a Two Year Limited Warranty but on their Terms and Conditions page they say One year warranty and "Should a return for repair be necessary, buyer need ship it back to our warehouse at Asia at own cost. The unit must be insured for the full retail value. If the unit is shipped by a non-approved company or is not in original packaging when it arrives, IEHK reserves the right to refuse the shipment.

I think I would really bypass this one!
 

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Theo
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Methinks this is going to be an interesting thread to follow. :smile:
 

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Mike
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Automation Technologies KL-1212 CNC Router 48 x 48 inch $6,199

There are several reasons that this machine cost more that the IEC1212 CNC Router $3,199.00

This machine is imported to the USA and taxes and duties are already piad for and I'm sure they do it legaly. This is a rack and pinion machine with Nema 34 steppers. It has a gantry height of 8", twice as much as the other machine. It runs on the well known well documented Mach 3 control software not the PCI, Ncstudio that is poorly documented. This one has a vaccum table built in and the other does not. It has a one year USA parts warranty. They have a USA based phone tech support as well as email support.

So this machine is worth a lot more as far as I'm concerened.
 

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Mike
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The JCUT-1212 $2950 on ebay free shipping from china

Has a 6" gantry height.
It has small stepper motors so that limits speed and torque.
It uses NcStudio or you can pay an extra $400 for motion a controller that will run on Mach 3 (that does not include the Mach 3 software or pay $500 for DPS control.
For software, it lists Type 3 (not sure what that is), ArtCut and ArtCam which are probably pirated copies that no telling how old the versions are, there will be no support for the software.
The spindle is a 1.5kw with an ER 11 collet and that limits you to 1/4" bits and will be underpowered for some projects.
You have the cost of shipping to your location from the seaport and cost of taxes and other fees. You will be importing it so you will also need to get a broker to help you get it into the USA and will have to pay his fee(this is probably required for the first CNC also). The second machine will not require a broker or that additional fee.
They also offer to give you an invoice lying about how much you paid for it so you can save on the import fees. This is against the law and you could get in a lot of trouble you don't need.

Again I would avoid this machine.
 
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Pilot Pro 5050 DIY Kit $6,100.00 or assembled for $6,550
5050 Stand $1400.00

This is a lighter weight machine.
Small Nema 23 stepper motors will limit feed rates.
Set up to use a trim router (Bosch Colt). They do offer a 2.2kw spindle but it might add to flex in the system.
They don't say what software they include so I would say it is probably free open source software or limited trials. I would not consider it in the value of the CNC.
They say Z axis of 7" to 12" for their machines. That's interesting. They also show those pictures of someone walking and hanging on the gantry. I would not one of the ones they did that to.
They have several add-ons available that will just add to the cost.

To me it is pricy for what it is but that is my opinion.
 
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shark HD4 extended $4,999.99

A lot of plastic that just adds to the flex of the machine.
Small Nema 23 stepper motors, they are slightly bigger than the original HD steppers but still limit feeds. Not really a problem because you have to work within the flex limits of the CNC, they are just limited.
Several people have reported that theirs was out of square from the factory and I have squared 3 of them for my customers and have one more to do for another customer. They are not checking the alignment at the factory to let that many get past them.
Two of the new ones I have worked on were missing screws, one had 2 screws missing in the router mount, the other one and a screw missing in the router mount and one missing on the gantry plate. Again a quality control problem.
Tech support is hit or miss. They know the standard answers but have problems with the more technical questions. I have an older Shark and have to get registration codes for all my equipment every year. They always send some bad codes the first time and I have to go through the process again to get codes that allow me to use my equipment. I actually have 3 of their machines, I won't buy another one.
Proprietary control software. You could build your own controller to get passed that proprietary software but you would still have a machine with a lot of flex and slow speeds.

One plus is part of that cost is for the Vectric VCarve Pro software.

Like I said I would not buy another one but I will say that if you stay within the limits of the machine they will do a decent job.
 
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Camaster Stinger II SR-44 Starting at $12,995

This is a good choice for many reasons.
The only thing I don't like about the Camaster Stinger II SR-44 is the cheap MDF spoil board with t slots installed. The t-slots pull out easily. they need a good spoil board.
They use WinCNC control software and come with the computer and monitor.
They come with Vectric VCarve Pro design software.
They come with a 3.5HP router- I do recommend upgrading to a spindle but the router will work fine.
Rack and pinion on the X and Y with ball screw on the Z.
High feed rates to help reduce cut times.
Well build heavy machine.
They have great customer service and tech support.

This would be a good one if you want precision and speed and have the room and money in your budget.
 

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Laguna Swift CNC Router 4′ x 4′ 3HP $13,645

Uses HHC controller, I prefer Mach3, Mach4 or WinCNC but that is personal taste.
good feeds and speeds. Well build machine
Good 3HP spindle
Rack and pinion on the X and Y with ball screws on the Z.
I have heard mixed thoughts on their customer service and tech support.
To me they are a bit pricey compared to the Camaster Stinger.

Decent machine but I would go for the Camaster first.
 
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Axiom Elite Series AR16 ELITE $13,999

I'm not too familiar with the Elite series but the Pro+ Series is a good entry level machine
The frame on this one is welded steel but the gantry supports and some of the other parts are structural cast aluminum, this is not a problem but does cut down on the weight that helps to limit vibration.
It does have an industrial controller so if you have problems their customer support will probably be the best place to check for solutions.
Ball screws on X,Y and Z so should be good for accuracy but will limit how heavy of cuts you can make.
Has decent feed rates but not as good as the Camaster or Laguna.
The 3HP spindle is a good spindle.
I have heard nothing but good things about their customer service and tech support.
I consider it a little on the pricey side compared to the Camaster and Laguna


I think I would pass on this one also but is is a nice machine
 
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Okay clayclay you have my opinions about the machines you posted.

When David asked about a supporting woodshop he was referring to a shop full of tools to machine lumber to use for your blanks. If you don't have any tools then you will have to pay more for wood ready to be cut.

I think you are worrying too much about the precision of the machine for doing 3D carving art projects. You want the most precision for doing parts that need to fit together. 3D is somewhat forgiving and doesn't require really tight tolerances. You can do good 3D projects on entry model machines if you work within the limits of the machine. Even A good solid commercial CNC in the $100,000 range can be pushed past its limits and produces poor quality work.

You say you are going to fit it in a room in your house, have you thought about how you would get one of these fully assembled heavy machines into your house? Do you have the power required for the machine in your house where you want to put the machine? I think you need to be looking at a kit machine.

Check out the CNCrouterparts Pro series machines here PRO4848 4' x 4' CNC Router Kit | CNCRouterParts This would be my choice and I am considering buying one to replace my current machines.

I think the PRO4848 4' x 4' CNC Router Kit with the Plug and Play NEMA 34 CNC Control System would be a good choice. The 2.2 kW Plug and Play Spindle / VFD System would be a good addition to the system but you could use a router or add your own spindle if you think you are capable of wiring it correctly.

I think this is the route you should consider if you really want to put it in your house. Really boils down to available space, available power and your budget for the machine the needed design and control software.
 

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...Check out the CNCrouterparts Pro series machines here PRO4848 4' x 4' CNC Router Kit | CNCRouterParts This would be my choice and I am considering buying one to replace my current machines.

I think the PRO4848 4' x 4' CNC Router Kit with the Plug and Play NEMA 34 CNC Control System would be a good choice. The 2.2 kW Plug and Play Spindle / VFD System would be a good addition to the system but you could use a router or add your own spindle if you think you are capable of wiring it correctly.
Does @clayclay know how to put these together? There's plenty on here for help on that.
I wish I knew otherwise I would have bought one of those and saved some bucks.

Oh let's not forget ShopSabre since we mentioned Camaster

SS 23

SS RC4
 

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Wow, Mike! Those are very good reviews and write-ups on the machines in question. We should parse the review threads into a sticky and add to it at some point. Good job!

David
 

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I had to purchase one for my program at work. so as many others did here, I studied and researched and made lists and comparison charts and....

Mike did a great job! when comparing prices, make sure you are comparing apple to apples... as one upgrade here can jump the price to a new level there.

since I was new to the cnc world, I went with camaster ($40k+) because of the extremely helpful support forum they have.

if it were my money, and I already knew about cnc's I would likely look to spend less money elsewhere (more research, lists...)

don't be afraid to look for used, as many folks buy them and find the learning curve too steep, next thing you know paint cans and lawn chairs are stacked on top of it... read it on the forums more than once.

remember the motto - you get what you pay for. "4 Foot by 4 Foot Hi Accuracy Hi Repeatability Machine" won't be cheap...
 

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I got a plug and play from Probotix just to see if it was something I would really get into. It is a learning curve!!! After getting a better understanding of things I got CNCRP Pro kit. It carves a whole lot faster, but at over twice the price. Support and parts availability ARE IMPORTANT!!!! Especially support. Both these companies are US based and answer their phones and emails in English. Right now I'm running both machines.

As mentioned before, 3d carving is a slow process.
 
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Wow, Mike! Those are very good reviews and write-ups on the machines in question. We should parse the review threads into a sticky and add to it at some point. Good job!

David
These were just quick observations and a little first-hand information but it would be good to have a sticky that really reflected the differences between the most available machines. like on the first one I did take the time to contact their tech support to see what kind of knowledge the tech actually had. They are one of the enter the question and then get a standard answer to give the customer. Remember they said that machine only has one gantry support arm!

It would be a very time-consuming effort to list all the ones that are out now. Some of the Chinese machines are good machines but a lot of them are cheaply made and have a lot of hidden costs involved to get them to your location. The ones that are already imported by a broker and tested already have the hidden costs taken care of and some of them have USA support in place. I would not get involved with any company that tells you they will help you cheat on the import taxes and other fees by providing you with false documentation, remember you are signing your name on federal documents that are falsified and could lose everything you own if they did take you to court.

Okay I'm off my soapbox for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the information everyone

I wanted to make at least 1 post to get info from a cnc community before buying a machine
Now I am leaning towards buying the
Automation Technologies KL-1212 CNC Router 48 x 48 inch, T slot, Vacuum Table, Helical Rack and Pinion

No one is going to be using the extra room in the house I would like to try to tilt the machine somehow to get it in there

CNC routerparts PRO4848 kit I am not too sure about my capabilities to put a machine together properly

$4,275 CNC routerparts PRO4848 kit
$2,575 Plug and Play NEMA 34 CNC Control System
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$6850
then i would still need a spindle the PRO4848 kit might be the best deal for a expert with cnc machines but I am not wanting to put together a kit because I am new to cnc

After asking this forum and all the info Mike gave so far the Automation Technologies KL-1212 is what seems like the best deal for me since the Camaster $12,995 is out of my budget
 
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