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Anyone know about the Digital Wood Carver CNC Router?

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Forum topic by soccer2010 posted 08-13-2017 01:48 AM 1997 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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soccer2010

112 posts in 2149 days


08-13-2017 01:48 AM

I am still looking for a CNC router and think the Digital Wood Carver look good. I’m looking to spend $3500 or less.

-- John


22 replies so far

View DS's profile

DS

2344 posts in 2140 days


#1 posted 08-15-2017 08:59 PM

I’ve never heard of it before. It looks like a fairly basic machine.
For me, the software tools that it comes with would make all the difference.

If it has good software, even a rudimentary machine will shine bright.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Desert_Woodworker

817 posts in 935 days


#2 posted 08-15-2017 10:17 PM

I would suggest the Laguna IQ- more money but you get an “industrial grade machine”, it comes with a water cooled spindle and does not require a lap top to run the machine. I’ve had mine since 2014, I have run the machine for 20 hours in one continuous run, and the cutting bit was not even hot. Great customer support.
Regardless, compare your choices, with base price, router vs spindle, software, I would highly recommend Vectric V Carve to start out and you can always upgrade to Aspire later.
Best of luck

-- Desert_Woodworker

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DS

2344 posts in 2140 days


#3 posted 08-15-2017 10:56 PM

The last thing you want is a $3500.00 paper weight. Software is the difference.

DW: I know you are in love with your Laguna. However, as for Laguna = “industrial grade machine”, IMHO, Laguna produces high-end hobbyist machines at best. Stepper motors, no feedback, not much more than a home position switch, Mach 3 Windows software-based controller. 400 ipm max rapid traverse speed. 200-300 ipm typical cutting speed. $35-50k price range.

A true “industrial grade” CNC machine has Servos, not steppers. Encoders on each axis so if a motor stalls it can correct itself. Mutli-tool carousels that travel on the gantry for rapid tool changes, real vacuums (20hp oil-separator vacuums and Made in America, vs. the cheesy 5hp centripetal Chinese ones), dedicated Fanuc hardware controllers so Bill Gates and Microsoft can’t “Blue-Screen-of-Death” your project. (Windows is NOT a real-time OS)
And oh yes, aggregate-head options for gang drilling, horizontal boring, etc.
1200 ipm rapid traverse, 1000 ipm high-speed cutting in sheet goods.

Of course, you’re into $135k for an entry level “industrial grade machine”. Though the Onsruds, which have the servos, but use a home-grown handheld controller (I’m not a big fan of those either, but they are passable) can go around $85k.

But I digress, a lot of real good work gets done on a Laguna. At my work, I have to suffer through one everyday.
Oh, how I’d love to talk the boss into buying a SCMI, Biesse, or Komo – or even an Onsrud. It would save him lots of time and money IMHO.

Somehow, I suspect John is looking for something more in the speed of a solid hobbyist machine.

John: What kinds of things do you want to make with your CNC machine?

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Desert_Woodworker

817 posts in 935 days


#4 posted 08-16-2017 02:24 AM

DS- Software is an important factor, but only half of the equation. You have 2 parts to a CNC operation- “Jobber” the person who runs the machine and the “Designer” the person who creates the “program”- CAD/CAM. Then the type of CNC machine, which I will not debate on this forum- I only suggest Laguna.

Where OP should begin, Vectric V Carve is a very popular software for CNC users. They have an unlimited amount of “free trial” in which, you can create and learn, CAD/CAM, with video illustrations of your finished product. Also, there are free tutorials to assist you.

Conclusion, if you can’t design and produce an end product with the free trial period software, then you may own a “ $3,500 paper weight”

DS “Somehow, I suspect John is looking for something more in the speed of a solid hobbyist machine.
John: What kinds of things do you want to make with your CNC machine?”

Well stated, “ a solid Hobbyist (CNC) machine” ? I my 4 years of experience- I broke down entry level from $1,000 to approx. $15,000. These are the type of machines that many of us Lumber Jocks use
$1,500 range – Inventables or other “you build”-
$3,000 – 5,000 range – Rockler or Digital Wood Carver
I suggest caution: go to You Tube
$5,000 – 10,000 – Laguna, Shop Bot, Cam Master, Legecy, Shop Sabre……
$10,000 – 15,000 – same as the above, but larger
Again, if you can’t make it work in the software…

-- Desert_Woodworker

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soccer2010

112 posts in 2149 days


#5 posted 08-16-2017 12:47 PM

I am definitely looking for a solid hobbyist machine with $3500 my limit. I will be using carve software, making mainly signs, gears and such for clocks and other various items. Thanks for the feedback. I have also been looking at the shapeoko.

-- John

View Joe Andrews's profile

Joe Andrews

66 posts in 1719 days


#6 posted 08-16-2017 01:12 PM

If you’re not set on a ready to run machine, you might look into a Joe’s EVO or the CNCRouterParts machines. The Joe’s is a scratch build but it isn’t difficult and is easily customizable for whatever size you need. He is also beginning to ship the Titan, which is a very nice and solid machine that comes as a bolt together kit. CNCRouterParts makes some really nice kits that are easy to assemble and are very solid. Neither come with software, but I would definitely recommend Vectric VCarve Pro or Aspire. They are extremely easy to use and will get you going quickly. Either Mach 3 or UCCNC for control software.

joescnc.com
cncrouterparts.com

View DS's profile

DS

2344 posts in 2140 days


#7 posted 08-16-2017 03:37 PM

I’ve heard good things about the Shopbot setup.
Oldnovice, Hans, has one and loves it.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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ArtMann

491 posts in 536 days


#8 posted 08-16-2017 11:58 PM

I went on the “Digital Wood Carver” website page and the pictures I saw lead me to believe that the machine is flimsy and would have to be run very slowly to avoid gantry flex. It is definitely a hobby machine. There are many, many other machines in the same class to choose from. Some are made in the USA. I don’t think this particular machine has anything special going for it.

I am not very familiar with Laguna CNC routers but if you view the following website, it will be very hard to believe that all they make are hobby machines.

http://lagunatools.com/cnc/smartshop-series/

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oldnovice

6156 posts in 3088 days


#9 posted 08-17-2017 03:36 AM

Yes, I love my Shopbot and I have yet to scratch the surface of it capabilty.
Shopbot now has some new model “starter” CNCs that look even better than my older machine.
Customer service was very important to me as I did not want to enter the CNC waters without a life preserver.
Shopbot and Legacy, one of my other top choices, both have a good reputation customer service and, while there are many others, with good CS, in my case it came down to one of these two.
On the other hand, at the time I was looking to buy, Laguna had one of the worst reputations for CS.

Since I have bought my Shopbot many new comers, mainly from China and India, have come to this market but I don’t trust off shore customer service and/or parts.

As far as software goes Vectrics Aspire is about as good as it gets for anything to do with CNC but it is not cheap.
Both my son, a CNC machinist by profession, and I have been playing around with Fusion 360 which looks like it has everything; CAD, CAM, tool path creation, 3D printing, sculpturing, carving, and rendering …. I might have missed something!
This Fusion 360 is not a cut down version but the complete package, and it’s FREE for students and hobbyists, as long as it does not provide income over $10K/year.
I have only had it for less than a month and I really like it ….. even better than the free version of the Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express which I have been using since 2002!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

817 posts in 935 days


#10 posted 08-17-2017 04:06 AM

Laguna Tools- good; Vetric software – good; Old Novice – bad

-- Desert_Woodworker

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oldnovice

6156 posts in 3088 days


#11 posted 08-17-2017 04:25 AM



Laguna Tools- good; Vetric software – good; Old Novice – bad

- Desert_Woodworker

What in the world have I done to you or written about you or do to inadvertently antagonize you?
I had to reply in this forum as you have chosen to block me too … what’s going on with you?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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soccer2010

112 posts in 2149 days


#12 posted 08-17-2017 10:10 AM

I usually find this website and its members so helpful. I have purchased the Digital Wood Carver and will pick it up in a few weeks. After a while using it, I will post a review on LJ.

-- John

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Desert_Woodworker

817 posts in 935 days


#13 posted 08-17-2017 01:42 PM

Old Novice- I was unable to finish the post until now- Your post on Shop Bot and Fusion good, but to add a comment on Laguna Customer service was “bad”. You stated “On the other hand, at the time I was looking to buy, Laguna had one of the worst reputations for CS.” which is tantamount to saying American cars are crap. Maybe they were but are they “bad” today? Since 2014, Laguna customer service has given me exceptional support and excellant value on my purchases of their products. Thus, I highly recommend Laguna products.
On a side note, there is a company CNC Shop Sabre, that is touting “American made” and promoting it with the infamous “Router Bob”, who happens to have been the former pitch man for Laguna CNC.
These CNC machines are like cars and everybody has an opinion… Sincerly, I hope that you enjoy your machine.

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Desert_Woodworker

817 posts in 935 days


#14 posted 08-17-2017 02:00 PM

S2010- Welcome to the world of CNC. My only advice to you, from experience, is to remember- the machine does exactly what you program it to do. If you program a mistake it will attempt to follow your commands, including crashing you tool bit or machine- They aren’t Saw Stops….
Enjoy

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Desert_Woodworker

817 posts in 935 days


#15 posted 08-17-2017 02:24 PM

Old Novice – If it matters you are “UNBLOCKED”

-- Desert_Woodworker

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