View Full Version : How much or how little

Bruce Page
10-30-2007, 11:53 PM
does it take to get into a used benchtop CNC router system?
I知 not interested in the Carvewright/Sears machines.

At this point I知 not sure if I知 serious or just wundering. :confused:

Bob Reda
10-31-2007, 7:20 AM

Check the shopbot web, they have a section for classifieds, you will get a good idea from there.


Ron Johnson
10-31-2007, 7:26 PM
What table size are you looking for?

Peter Elliott
10-31-2007, 11:00 PM
I am curious too.

I really looked hard at the Carvewright but I continue to read the mechanical issues. I know there a few that have had none but it seems pretty high.

Shopbot smallest is 48x48? If I remember, the benchtop version.

Does someone make just a tad smaller?

A step up from the Carvewright...


Bruce Page
10-31-2007, 11:51 PM
I知 probably just fantasying more than anything else. I was wondering if you could pick up a small bot for a few k. I don稚 want to go commercial, just play. I値l dig a little deeper.

Rob Wright
11-01-2007, 12:47 AM
Well - I have was in a similar situation last year. I saw the carvewright machine and wanted to get into something for a lower cost to see if it was something that I would be into and like. I passed on the carvewright because of the software limitations and the non-standard coding options - no DXF import of CAD files was the biggest.

So I looked around and decided that I was going to build a small tabletop one from hardware store parts. The electronics scared me a bit - so I bought the steppers and control assembled and wired ($350). The control software (Mach 3) used to run the code and the table was $150. Parts to build the table $125. The Mach 3 program can take simple DXF files and convert them for use on the router. After up and running I bought a copy of Vcarve Pro to really do some neat things and give more flexibility on signs and other cutting and routing tasks. When I decide to upgrade to a real CNC (shopbot most likely) the Vcarve software is not wasted. The steppers and control unit will be able to be sold on the CNCzone Forum for not much of a loss. You wouldn't need Vcarve - but sure is nice.

Th table isn't perfect. I have some small backlash issues and it cuts slow (20 inches per minute)

Does it work - yes
Is it accurate - most of the time - but I don't need 0.001 inches accuracy.

Does it get me understanding the whole process of CNC - yes

Was it fun building a CNC that can cut some neat things out of roller skate bearing, EMT ridgid conduit, aluminum angle, and all thread? YES

and yes it is ugly!

Keith Outten
11-01-2007, 7:22 AM

ShopBopt has a new CNC router that is geared toward the home market that starts at $3,995.00. It wouldn't take much effort for this machine to pay for itself in just a few jobs, from then on you own a free CNC Router. I won't even expand on how much fun these machines are to operate :) I expect 90% of the commercial signs that I make could be done on the new "Buddy" model or the 48" benchtop.
It is extremely rare to find anyone who purchased a ShopBot that isn't totally satisfied with their machines, that says a lot about the kind of equipment they manufacture.


Here is a link to their price list:

Introducing the ShopBot PRSstandard BT32 "Buddy"

The new ShopBot PRSstandard BT32 is the perfect tool for the weekend woodworker or the serious do-it-yourselfer. "Buddy" is an affordable way to incorporate CNC into a variety of home improvement and craft projects, and its small footprint makes it ideal for the garage or basement workshop. Buddy can replace many of the tools you currently use!


Peter Elliott
11-01-2007, 1:21 PM
OK, where getting somewhere.

$4K for a small setup, about 2x that of a Carvewright and I can imagine worth the bucks.

But you go to shopbot website and use the links and it tells you little about what you actually get. The "Buddy BT32" that is.

What does this $4k machine get you? Is this out the door ready to start or do you need the accessories to get this working.. I am sure it's a matter of what your milling.

I guess would $4k BT32 get you what the Carvewright can do, out the door?

Any Shopbot employee guys on our SMC?

Also, I hear Camps are good, maybe look for one of these?

Thanks Keith...


Peter Elliott
11-01-2007, 1:27 PM
I found this... It helps... I think?? anyone care to tell the difference.

I guess you have to buy the router? what else? Yes, a computer but tool wise?

Durham, NC (August 20, 2007) Big things come in small packages. That statement may be a clich, but ShopBot proves it痴 true with the launch of their new, compact, PRS CNC systems the PRSalpha and PRSstandard BT32 "Buddy." Following the launch of their full-size PRS systems in January, ShopBot has taken the technology and mechanicals of those tools and scaled them down into a machine suitable for use in garage or basement workshops, sign shops and smaller-production, professional woodworking facilities where space is at a premium.
The newest ShopBot CNC, which, like its larger brethren, carries a designation of either PRSalpha or PRSstandard (depending on motor and drive system) is a Personal Robotic System designed for industrial, commercial or residential applications in wood, acrylic and non-ferrous metals. The smaller PRS CNCs incorporate many of the same features as ShopBot痴 full-size systems, yet weigh less than 500lbs and occupy less than 16 sq. ft. of floor space. The PRSalpha BT32 provides the speed and accuracy necessary for precise cutting and milling applications and detailed 3D carving, while the PRSstandard BT32 offers an affordable opportunity for the hobbyist and serious do-it-yourselfer to incorporate the advantages of CNC into home-improvement projects.
The PRSalpha BT32 CNC features:

AlphaStep closed-loop motors on all three axes that monitor the motor shaft to detect and correct any loss of synchronicity between signal and motion

Cutting speeds of up to 600ipm

Positioning speeds of up to 1,500ipm
The PRSstandard BT32 CNC features:

Low-backlash gearhead stepper motors on all axes

Geckodrive microstepping drivers on all axes
All ShopBot BT32 CNC systems feature:

Bishop-Wisecarverョ precision bearings and hardened steel rails on each axis providing smooth cutting motion and extended durability

Rack-and-pinion power transmission on each axis

Industrial control box

Z-zero Plate

X and Y Proximity Switches

Dust skirt ready to connect to your dust collector

32" X-axis travel

24" Y-axis travel (Cutting surface provides Y-axis motion)

6" Z-axis plunge depth


BT 32 "Buddy"p. 2 of 2
As with all their CNC systems, ShopBot provides a two-year warranty on the PRSalpha and PRSstandard BT32 CNCs. All ShopBots include CAD/CAM software for easy 2D and 3D part design and toolpathing and a Windows-based, full-feature control software for advanced CNC productivity. ShopBots are compatible with most other CAD/CAM design software packages. ShopBot Tools offers free customer support, including nights and weekends (by email and voicemail), in three languages English, Spanish and Russian. The company痴 website also features a customer forum, www.talkshopbot.com, where hundreds of ShopBot owners offer tips and support and share production ideas.
About ShopBot Tools Inc:
ShopBot Tools, based in Durham, N.C., designs and manufactures low-cost, high-value Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) cutting machines. ShopBot was founded by CEO Ted Hall, Ph.D., a Duke University professor of neuroscience, who developed the tool while building plywood boats as a hobby. After several years of development, the company began shipping tools in 1996. With more than 4,000 ShopBots in 54 countries, ShopBot is one of the largest producers of CNC routers for woodworking and plastics in North America. The company employs 25 people in the Durham, N.C. area. For more information, visit www.shopbottools.com.

Leo Voisine
11-14-2007, 9:30 PM
I had the opportunity to purchase a used Larken Router in new condition.

It has 24 x 24 x 4 cutting capacity.

The Shopbot is cheaper and a larger cutting capacity.

I have seen a lot of really nice results from home made CNC routers.

Kent Fjeld
11-19-2007, 9:17 PM
I built a Joes CNC model 2006 I found at this site lots of other designs and Ideas http://www.cnczone.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=48

Cut area is 24 x48 here is link to my thread


I order kit from Joe (CNC cut MDF and HDPE you purchase everything else)
It was a blast building it and I am have as much fun using it . :D
The site wonderful . It is just like this site full of great people passing on ideas and Information.

Hope this is useful to you