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Thread: Which CNC

  1. #1
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    Which CNC

    Looking at CNC routers. Leaning more toward water cooled spindles, as I don't wish to buy twice. Something in the smaller 25 x 36 size range, but with a 4th axis option. I will be using it on wood primarily and occasionally aluminum. There are many options out there with price ranges around 5,000 to $10,000.00. Just one problem. I don't know squat about CNCs quality, options etc.. SHop Bot, Grizzly, Next wave, Stinger, Axiom.....etc..
    What to look for and what to avoid. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Look for a heavy welded frame so it will be rigid. Stay away from Nextwave, it is a plastic machine that has rigidity issues. I made the mistake of buying one and you always have to compensate for the rigidity plus they use small motors. Not worht the price. If it were me I'd seriously look at the Stinger as it really has no negatives. Company is highly regarded, good support, good forum and you can find them occasionally used on their forums. I never heard anything negative about them. Shopbot is good also. Not a welded heavy frame but they are well respected and have a good forum for support.

    I have a 4th axis rotary and have never even connected it to the machine. Many people want them but find that they really don't use them. Know you have a need not just a want before spending that money.

    DO a lot of research and try to find out what parts they are using so you can get a good comparisson between machine but I can tell you that is very difficult. Some of them will be Chinese machines that they rebranded and marked way up. Not that there is anything wrong with a Chinese machine, I have one and have no complaints but there is no reason to pay the prices that some are charging to put a sticker on it. You should be able to get a pretty good machine if the budget is under 10k. Try to go see as many as you can in person so you know what you are comparing.

  3. #3
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    Another USA made option for similar pricing to camaster stinger of same size. https://www.shopsabre.com/cnc/router/shopsabre-23/

    I personally have an Axiom 2x3 and like it as well.

  4. #4
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    Ron, I was in your shoes 7 years ago and after much research I chose the Camaster Stinger. The Stinger is about as turn key as you can get. The machine comes with a Windows 10-Pro PC loaded with the user friendly and very capable V-Carve Pro along with the industrial rated WinCNC machine controller.

    I ordered mine with the HSD 1.7kw air cooled spindle upgrade and I’m extremely happy I did. Some 3-D (2.5) finish cuts can take up to several hours to complete. The thought of listening to a screaming router for that long would drive me (and my neighbors) nuts.

    I agree with Bobby’s comment on the 4th axis lathe. I know several people that have it, but no one that really uses it. You can order the Stinger “lathe ready” and add the actual lathe hardware at a later date if you think you might want to.

    As I said above, my Stinger is going on 7 years old and it is as rock solid and accurate as the day I took my first cut.
    Please help support the Creek.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    - Steven Wright

  5. #5
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    Thank you. It is a bit mind boggling looking at all the brands and claims, etc. Having it 4th axis ready may be the ticket. The 4th axis is for some handles I make as well as some smaller spindles that cost to have done at a cnc shop.

  6. #6
    Well, that makes a difference if you already have a purpose for the 4th axis. For most of us it sounds like a cool idea but we never get around to trying it.

  7. #7
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    Hi Ron,
    It doesn't necessarily require a heavy welded frame for rigidity. I own 2 of the Avid CNC (formerly CNC Router Parts) machines and they are quite rigid. If fact, here is a demo video showing their 48" x 48" version (I have this exact same machine) machining 1" thick aluminum plate. The frame is made from aluminum extrusions. Very stiff! They also offer a rotary option that can be added at any time.
    David

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHSfDhyhWgU

    cncrp Pro4848 cutting 1 inch Aluminum (6061) Plate.jpg
    Last edited by David Buchhauser; 01-31-2020 at 10:47 PM.

  8. #8
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    Before we spend a lot of time discussing this, what is your budget? We went through all this a while back and the poster was planning to spendů. $500. There are a lot of folks running CNCRP / Avid machines the Pro Version and they are just fine.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller

  9. #9
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    Hi Bill.
    From what I gather, by the time you add in the 3d soft ware, rotary, etc., it adds up to around 9-$10,000.00 pretty quick. I would rather spend less, bu don't want to buy twice either.

  10. #10
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    Ron, I make no bones that I'm a fan of the school bus yellow machines from Camaster that are US made in Georgia (including most components that actually can be US sourced), but there are other good choices today. Ordering a machine that's 4th axis ready is a good idea; ordering one with the full fourth axis setup might not be. Many folks buy them and then find out that they either don't have actual projects to benefit from that, don't have the desire to learn the extra things require to support wrapping 3D to use that 4th axis to it's best advantage or find out that it's "not a lathe in the traditional sense". While you are thinking about adding CNC, don't just focus on the machine. Also take a look at the support community...that's a very valuable thing.
    --

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

  11. #11
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    Ron thats certainly a realistic number, and if I had it to do over again… I would have went Yellow like Jim did. Think resale value when you maybe decide to go commercial.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller

  12. #12
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    Thanks to all for their input. Obviously plenty of research to do.
    Best wishes.

  13. #13
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    OK. I was searching the CAMaster web page to no avail. May be going blind, and it seems I have not been activated yet on the forum. So can anyone tell me the overall height of the stinger 1? I am contemplating where I would put it and space around it. It won't be going into a corner but the head of the machine may need to be close to a wall. Thank you in advance.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bontz View Post
    OK. I was searching the CAMaster web page to no avail. May be going blind, and it seems I have not been activated yet on the forum. So can anyone tell me the overall height of the stinger 1? I am contemplating where I would put it and space around it. It won't be going into a corner but the head of the machine may need to be close to a wall. Thank you in advance.
    https://www.camaster.com/wp-content/...ayout-2017.pdf

    Stinger 1 SR-23 Dimensions.jpg

  15. #15
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    https://www.camaster.com/wp-content/...ayout-2017.pdf

    That's for the machine dimensions only. Any stand would obviously come into play whether you buy it or build it. BTW, there's currently a nice promotion on the Spindle upgrades on Stinger I. Contact Cody or Grant at Camaster for more details.

    If you are not yet approved on Camheads, message me with the user name you setup and I'll "ask" to move it along.
    --

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

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