Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 38

Thread: Need To Buy a Decent Benchtop CNC Under $1000. Suggestions?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,833
    Jim forgot about the American made ShopBot Tools in Durham North Carolina.
    Talk to your tax expert about the Tax Law 179, assuming you have a registered company.

    It's a risk but you might consider bidding a large job that will pay for a higher quality CNC Router. That's what I did, paid for my 4 by 8 foot ShopBot real quick.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    55,478
    You're correct, Keith, My bad. Sorry...
    --

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

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Memmer View Post
    Mark, thanks for your response.

    I "need" to add it for a number of reasons.

    The main reason is, for years I've been jobbing out my work to local machine shops. The work is good quality, but the lead times with the best vendors (I've learned to use only the best shops, which are also the busiest shops) can run 4-6 weeks. That's killer for a small online retailer with quick turns. Worse, on CNC work in particular, they charge $500-600 for setup, and the only way that makes sense is to run a couple hundred units at a time. Then I have far too much inventory and far too much capital tied up in that inventory.

    I bought a very nice Epilog laser last year, which cuts most of our materials just great. However, several others get far too much char with laser and do much better machined. Thus CNC.

    I do not have a lot of physical space, so I need something small.

    Thank You,
    Scott
    If you are not adverse to financing, you can use PayPal Credit in the Shapeoko store. So long as you are diligent in planning and sticking to a payment plan you get 6mo same as cash. That will stretch your $1000 a bit, especially if you are able to start "saving" money on jobs by moving them in-house.

    However, if you somehow screw up and don't get it paid off by the 6th month the back interest applies and well, not good.

    Most places that list PayPal as a payment option will also accept PayPal Credit. This does require you provide a payment guarantee to PP-C and can affect your personal credit score if you set it up in your name. Not sure if it can be used with a corporate pCard but might be worth investigating.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    Have you looked at the Shaper Origin?
    $2500 but does a lot and not limited to certain size work.
    It has no problems cutting cast acrylic, Nylon 6/6, Delrin. But keep in mind that the SO is not exactly the same force-multiplier as a gantry style CNC. Because the SO require constant engagement by the operator, that operator can't be doing a 2nd task. However with a "true" CNC the operator can be monitoring the CNC (not always best idea to let them run unattended) while doing other tasks such as additional CAD or deburing of already milled parts.

    The SO however is GREAT for stuff too large or one-off fixture projects. Another claim to fame is portability and I've done that a few times, making a project much easier because the mountain could come to Mohamed. It can take some creative jigging however to set up a job with the SO simply because it doesn't have fixed points of reference.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Shohola, PA Pocono Mountains
    Posts
    1,334
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    Around the 2009 recession home inspectors were going out of business or taking 2nd jobs right and left. I was worried also but dipped into my pocket and paid $3500 for an Infrared camera and training. I was one of the only inspectors getting work and ended up getting work for years just because I included a scan which found lots of problems even on new homes. Donít hold back if there is an upside on the horizon.
    Back when IR Cameras were the size of a 1980's VCR Video Camera in the early 90's I worked for Sony in San Diego. Sony hired a guy to sweep the Picture Tube Plant scanning all the Circuit Breaker Panels and all the Program Logic Controller Cabinets. I was a Senior Maintenance guy on Shift in my area the first time he came in. I would open the cabinets and he would scan the operating panel. On a RF Generator that was used to heat the metal band that has the 4 holes to mount a picture tube had a Hot Spot. One of the leads to the 208 Three Phase Power was HOT. So we get a report the next day with a IR Picture of the Hot Spot and a Color Picture of the Hot Spot and data where the panel was. Next maintenance period I shut down the operating equipment and felt the wire and sure enough it was hot... I cleaned up the Copper and torqued the connection and all was good. Two weeks later he came back to Sweep all the problem areas for correction. That was a Great Preventive Maintenance TOOL...

    I know the price of IR Equipment has dropped since the mid 90's and many Manufactures in your area may already do this in house now.... But that might be an additional source of business for you.

    AL
    1 Laser, 4 CarveWrights, Star 912 Rotary, CLTT, Sublimation, FC7000 Vinyl, 911 Signs, Street Signs, Tourist Products and more.
    Home of the Fire Department "Epoxy Dome Accountability Tag and Accountability Boards".

  6. #21
    Bruce, not closing any doors, but leaning cheaper and smaller for now. Tiny shop.

    thanks,
    scott

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Young View Post
    If you are not adverse to financing, you can use PayPal Credit in the Shapeoko store. So long as you are diligent in planning and sticking to a payment plan you get 6mo same as cash. That will stretch your $1000 a bit, especially if you are able to start "saving" money on jobs by moving them in-house.

    However, if you somehow screw up and don't get it paid off by the 6th month the back interest applies and well, not good.

    Most places that list PayPal as a payment option will also accept PayPal Credit. This does require you provide a payment guarantee to PP-C and can affect your personal credit score if you set it up in your name. Not sure if it can be used with a corporate pCard but might be worth investigating.
    Rob, thanks. I've actually got plenty of cash in reserve and could easily pay cash outright. However, I have my next reserve plateau goal in mind, and I hold myself to that pretty tightly. Business is steady (in fact, growing) and income plateau is straight-lining to early spring right now. I tend to do a lot of research before jumping, but the Shapeoko entry-level machine would certainly give me more than I need. Software fairly easy to learn as well?

    Thanks So Much,
    Scott

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Memmer View Post
    Rob, thanks. I've actually got plenty of cash in reserve and could easily pay cash outright. However, I have my next reserve plateau goal in mind, and I hold myself to that pretty tightly. Business is steady (in fact, growing) and income plateau is straight-lining to early spring right now. I tend to do a lot of research before jumping, but the Shapeoko entry-level machine would certainly give me more than I need. Software fairly easy to learn as well?

    Thanks So Much,
    Scott
    The Carbide Create, Carbide Create Pro and Carbide Motion software are relatively straight forward to use. I've noticed that they don't always seem to stick to the accepted norms for user interfaces but that's only annoying for about 15 minutes.

    Unless they (Carbide3d) have changed their policy, you can get 1 year subscription to Carbide Create Pro free. That gets you their advance v-carve functionality as well as the ability to manipulate gray-scaled prints for 3d carving. All of this can be done with other software but free is free. Not sure what the rate is after the year is up.

    If you are going to be doing 2D and 2.5D only and a minimum of v-carving, Carbide Create is fine for setting up jobs.

    You can also get the necessary files for Fusion360 to generate the NC files.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    55,478
    Scott, any of the machines that have been mentioned can likely do the work for you once you learn the software, etc. But keep in mind that you say this is for business use so you don't have to subcontract out runs of things that you sell. Be sure your expectations for throughput and quality can be maintained by whatever machine setup you decide to go with. There are a lot of small businesses that use the less expensive hobby-focused machines for sure. But there are also many that really need small that is also more industrial/production capable because of speeds/feeds, etc., to keep up with the business.
    --

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

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    SE PA, Central Bucks County
    Posts
    269
    I'd suggest upping your price point and get a Carbide 3D Shapeoko. I have one (the XL) and it does everything I need. Regarding software, expect a learning curve but I don't use Carbide 3D's CAD software (Carbide Create); only Carbide Motion (their CAM software). You'd normally use the CAM software that comes with the machine. I use VCarve for CAD; it's far more capable and has a large, supportive user community. You can start out with VCarve Desktop, and add Pro (or Aspire) as your needs grow (if they do). Carbide 3D's support is quite good. Prepare yourself for some time to get the machine calibrated, though (there are many YouTube videos on its use and calibration). I also upgraded the Z with their HDZ (a ball-screw Z, which is superior), their Bit Probe for zeroing Z, and their Bit Setter (a poor-man's tool changer). Full disclosure; I purchased my Shapeoko Bit Probe on Etsy from a guy who makes them because Carbide 3D was out of stock at the time. If you get that far and want to contact him, PM me and I'll forward you contact info and you can ask Ted if he has more available (assuming Carbide 3D is out of stock, which they often are because it's a popular add-on). Shapeoko also has a forum with a classified section; used Shapeoko's come up for sale all the time (I bought mine used and it was basically assembled and never turned on). Good luck.
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 12-11-2020 at 12:13 PM.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    55,478
    Jeff, I didn't know you brought in a Shapeoko. I''d like to see that up close and personal once "the bug" is a little less of a concern, primarily out of not having been able to do that. While I have a larger setup, it would be nice to examine what I've often recommended for situations like the OPs. Maybe you, me and Steve W can get together since we effectively all live within 2-3 miles of each other.
    --

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

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    SE PA, Central Bucks County
    Posts
    269
    Jim, sure let me know when. I moved my CNC machine to my basement out of my main shop with a plan to refinish part of my basement as a finishing room and CNC room (it also has a 3D printer now).

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    55,478
    Sounds like a plan! A future plan, but a plan, nonetheless.
    --

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

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Ramsey View Post
    I'd suggest upping your price point and get a Carbide 3D Shapeoko. I have one (the XL) and it does everything I need. Regarding software, expect a learning curve but I don't use Carbide 3D's CAD software (Carbide Create); only Carbide Motion (their CAM software). You'd normally use the CAM software that comes with the machine. I use VCarve for CAD; it's far more capable and has a large, supportive user community. You can start out with VCarve Desktop, and add Pro (or Aspire) as your needs grow (if they do). Carbide 3D's support is quite good. Prepare yourself for some time to get the machine calibrated, though (there are many YouTube videos on its use and calibration). I also upgraded the Z with their HDZ (a ball-screw Z, which is superior), their Bit Probe for zeroing Z, and their Bit Setter (a poor-man's tool changer). Full disclosure; I purchased my Shapeoko Bit Probe on Etsy from a guy who makes them because Carbide 3D was out of stock at the time. If you get that far and want to contact him, PM me and I'll forward you contact info and you can ask Ted if he has more available (assuming Carbide 3D is out of stock, which they often are because it's a popular add-on). Shapeoko also has a forum (The Shapeoko Forum - Index page) with a classified section; used Shapeoko's come up for sale all the time (I bought mine used and it was basically assembled and never turned on). Good luck.
    Good thoughts, Jeff, thanks. This sounds like a reasonable approach.

    I really hate buying new when I can get something clean and slightly used. For one thing, in CA, where I live, sales tax is 10%, so a $2000 machine ends up becoming $2200.

    I'm also a patient guy, so what I usually do is wait for the specific model I'm seeking to show up used somewhere and then jump on it. If this takes months, so be it.

    Thanks Very Much. The Shapeoko forum sounds like a perfect place to visit.

    Thanks Again,
    Scott

  15. #30
    RE: Z Axis travel. Do any of the entry-level machines have additional Z travel, or can be adapted for more? It looks like the standard tends to be 65 mm, and I could use close to double of that.

    Thanks,
    sm

Posting Permissions

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