Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234
Results 46 to 56 of 56

Thread: Is a CNC router a good investment as far as making money off woodworking?

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    45,417
    I'm finding this discussion interesting...the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of acquiring a CNC for my shop, both for personal enjoyment and for potentially paying for itself in some way.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #47
    For reference....I am a woodworker with no interest in profit. My wifey gave me a CNC router for my 50th just over a year ago. My interest was just to make stuff. All sorts of stuff. I have used it for everything - wood parts, jig parts, circuit boards, cutting cardboard, name plates (engraved in Al), plastic, etc. Amazing how versatile they are. As mentioned in several posts, it is just another tool in my shop. No regrets!

    Also for reference - I have a 24x48 CNC Rotuer Parts Standard model. I use a Bosch 1617. VCarve Pro, IntelliCAD, Corel, etc to draw. Mach 3 to control. I have been learning Fusion 360, but have not created anything from those files yet.

    Still learning! Very fun toy! As others pointed out, buying the basic machine is only the beginning! Software, a base, dust collection, bits, assorted bits and pieces, etc. It adds up in a hurry.

    Tony

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    I still have VCarve 5.5 licensed to me. When I sold my other router the buyer had his own software. I might purchase Cut3D if I have a need for it, but for right now since I can not justify spending $7000 on a CNC router. More or less decided on the Automation Tech one, or something like.
    I am re-thinking my smaller router and now looking at CAMaster desktop sizes. The one I purchased works great I just need bigger. I looked at something like the Axiom but frankly I want a PC not a hand held controller. I am happy with Mach 3, but I can see having a better control program would help. Pricewise, now thinking a Camaster might work. I would be making custom wood items to be laser engraved.
    Last edited by Bill George; 06-22-2018 at 8:29 AM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Ray Fine 20w Galvo Fiber laser , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Qe60+ Vinyl cutter. Automation Tech Chinese 6040 Router running on Mach3 and UC400ETH, Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bloomington, IL
    Posts
    5,898
    Buy your second or third machine first.

    Never seen hardly any unhappy camaster machine owners for sure.

    Honestly I love the 4'X4' or 5'X5' size machines. Can you swing that?
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    2,884
    I would love to Mike, but I can pay cash for the smaller desktop ones and I really do not want to borrow money. I am hanging out over on the CAMheads forum looking for a good used one, near me. There is one in Iowa but I will not know if its going to be sold or not until next week.

    On another subject I am wondering IF I need to pay for VCarve9 since I already own and the Windows 10 computer when or if I purchase new? I have asked for a Quote.
    Last edited by Bill George; 06-22-2018 at 8:57 AM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Ray Fine 20w Galvo Fiber laser , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Qe60+ Vinyl cutter. Automation Tech Chinese 6040 Router running on Mach3 and UC400ETH, Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    45,417
    Bill, it would be nice for you to join the Camaster owners. Stout, study machines 100% Made in USA except for the (industry defacto standard Italian HDS spindles) and excellent customer support. The only comparable I'm familiar with is ShopSabre. I hope you're enjoying your time on Camheads...great group of folks who are not afraid to share!

    If 2x4 can meet your needs, then the Stinger I SR-24 will kick things up a notch for you. If you can fund the larger Stinger II SR-34 or SR-44, then that opens up more project options for you. Longer is no issue with the SR-24 since you can easily tile long projects, however, as long as you can manage with 2' of width.

    On your question about VCarvePro, you can get them to delete the "standard" Vectric software from the order if you buy new and use your existing license. You don't need to re-buy that. You likely don't have the option of using your existing PC for WinCNC as that's bundled with the machine and mated to the controller--the computer is a WinCNC "component". All Camaster machines are hand-built and fully tested before leaving the factory as a turn-key system. They can't do that if they allowed a 3rd party computer. What you can do is take your exciting Win10 machine and use it as your design machine...most folks prefer "separation of church and state" when it comes to those functions. While I'll do some really simple things in the shop on the controller computer or tweak and error, I prefer to do the drawing and toolpathing in my office on a more capable computer with a much larger display.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Marquette, MI USA
    Posts
    335
    Bill...
    One thing to consider if you are selling a product would be to realize the thruput or cycle times of the various machines. Another is operator attendance. Larger tables can cut multiple products from larger blanks. Stronger machines can reduce cycle time per part drastically. All of this hinges on how many parts you will need to cut in a given day and if that cutting requires you to babysit the machine, or get to spend time performing other operations. Some times doing more parts just wears out the operator.

    Now this scenario is out of your budget, but I sold a small format ATC machine to a busy signmaker in WI that was using a 2 by 4 single collet machine. He was able to double his daily output in 2 hours less per day by reducing required operator input with an ATC. And did it on a 2 by 3 table that was custom built for his process.

    My point is that some machines print $20 bills and some print $100's. A more robust machine that you borrow for may end up being cheaper in the long run than a small one that leaves you wanting. Like Keith says: "Don't buy a CNC machine based on price alone. Find the one you need and save till you can afford it."
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Technology & Training
    The Ultimate Woodworking Machine
    GCnC411(at)gmail.com

    YouTube: Islaww1

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    2,884
    I guess I am also looking at the resale value of CAMaster when it comes time to move to the retirement village .
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Ray Fine 20w Galvo Fiber laser , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Qe60+ Vinyl cutter. Automation Tech Chinese 6040 Router running on Mach3 and UC400ETH, Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    45,417
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    I guess I am also looking at the resale value of CAMaster when it comes time to move to the retirement village .
    You'll probably take it with you , but a robust machine like Camaster or similar is going to hold value better than something that's more hobby grade should that not be the case. That's more or less been true for most high-quality, "more professional/industrial" tools in general woodworking, too. The used machines that I have seen sold on Camheads, while priced attractively, were not sold for rock bottom prices in my observation. They were good deals, but not unexpectedly low. I suspect that the mid-size machines will sell for higher used than the desktops, however, simply because of the market and how many of them are produced vs the larger machines.

    Gary's wisdom above is sound...I'm so glad I decided to take the plunge and go with the 4x4 machine over the 2x4 machine. While so far my work has been smaller, that ability to cut larger or cut more iterations at once will be valuable to me. For example, a product I'm going to be marketing has an individual size of 220mm x 70mm. I can cut a very large number of blanks at one time using a tool path array which saves me time on that job as well as frees up the machine for other files faster. Yes, my initial investment was about $5-6K more than I was probably going to put out for the tabletop with a spindle and all the fixin's, but I believe I'll make up for that in other ways. While I paid in full for it, I was effectively borrowing money from myself to do the deal and I'm happy with the prospects of a return over the next year or two.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 06-22-2018 at 3:56 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    2,884
    When I first retired a little over 10 years ago I put $10-12K into a PlasmaCAM. I loved it and made some money with it, but the plasma dust was too much to handle not to mention sheets of steel. It went to a good home. I then had a small wood router next and it was great, learned a lot and made some nice family gifts. But my lasers now are a pretty steady income stream, and I do not work cheap. Lose jobs because I do not give my time away. (Former Union member), I am hoping to use a larger router to supplement my laser work. We will see. Thanks guys.
    Last edited by Bill George; 06-22-2018 at 7:40 PM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Ray Fine 20w Galvo Fiber laser , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Qe60+ Vinyl cutter. Automation Tech Chinese 6040 Router running on Mach3 and UC400ETH, Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router

  11. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    45,417
    Bill, there was a dude at the Aspire Camp who did amazing work that combined the CNC routing with Laser engraving and cutting. It was eye opening...very complimentary for sure as each tool has its own strengths and the combination is killer. Maybe someday I'll have a laser, too. It's an attractive idea, but not something I can do now. Since you've had success with your laser providing income, applying the same effort and principals to the CNC will hopefully pay off, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •