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Forum topic by HollywoodGT posted 02-05-2018 11:22 AM 1103 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HollywoodGT

11 posts in 133 days


02-05-2018 11:22 AM

Getting very very close on pulling the trigger on a CNC machine. What I’m looking for is good customer service, easy to use software, quality of machine upgrade able and I like the X-Carver because its 0% percent financing. However that isn’t a deal breaker for financing,


18 replies so far

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Rob

316 posts in 3009 days


#1 posted 02-05-2018 01:25 PM

If you mean the X-Carve, that’s what I have. The 1000mm model. It’s an ok hobbyist machine. For the money, it’s probably the best bang for the buck. Inventables Customer Service is good and the software they offer called Easel is ok to learn on but has its limitations. My suggestion is either to learn free programs like inkscape or bite the bullet and buy VCarve Desktop or Pro (depending on your needs), right from the start. If I had to do it all over again, I would download the trial version of VCarve from Vectric and become good with the program and then buy the CNC machine. I was a bit overwhelmed trying to build a machine and learn software at the same time.

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HollywoodGT

11 posts in 133 days


#2 posted 02-05-2018 02:10 PM

Thanks Rob for takling the time to reply. That was exactly the input I was looking for. I dont want to by a system and 3 months later having to sell it off loosing 500.00 plus. My thing is I’m more of a hands on guy and trying to learn programming could discourage me and then it sits and collect dust. Lol guess I could hire a person that runs the system and let them work with me.

I’m not overly concerned about the money as I am getting a machine that can do some light engraving for guns too.

Thankyou again

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Rob

316 posts in 3009 days


#3 posted 02-05-2018 03:25 PM

Hollywood, I’ve seen people buy their X-Carve for $1,200 and a year later sell it for $1,000 so there’s not much depreciation right now. I think it’s because the world of CNC is still fairly new to the hobbyist. Just an FYI, if you’re going to engrave guns and there’s any rounded parts you want to engrave, like the stocks, you’ll have to buy real software to make that happen. Easel is only a 2D program. At least it was the last time I used it but it’s been a couple of years now.

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CaptainSkully

1600 posts in 3580 days


#4 posted 02-05-2018 04:36 PM

Hey Hollywood,

I just replied on another thread, but I’ll post here too. I feel your pain. I’ve been a contributing member on the X-Carve forum for years (aka Midnight Maker). I believe in the product and the company. With that being said, when it’s time to put my money where my mouth is, I’ll probably get a machine with lead screws instead of belts. CNCRouterparts.com has similarly sized machines for just a little more money.

I went to the trouble to learn SketchUp, then became severely irritated when they changed everything and went online only. I already knew CAD from the 90’s, so that’s not an issue. I’m now switching over to Fusion 360 because it’s free and it’s a CAD/CAM solution. It will also handle both CNC and 3D printing needs. A lot of members have bitten the bullet and are using V-Carve. If/when I get serious about making signs, I will probably go that route also.

The reason for this diatribe is that I too am a hands-on kind of guy and the only incentive to learn this stuff is to then be able to make something. I do watch/do the tutorials but there’s nothing like needing to make something then fumbling your way through it. In order to have the payoff, you’ll probably want to actually have the machine in order to follow all the way through.

Keep us posted on what you decide and your journey. I’ll be living vicariously through you until then. Good luck!

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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bonesbr549

1557 posts in 3089 days


#5 posted 02-05-2018 07:50 PM



Hey Hollywood,

I just replied on another thread, but I ll post here too. I feel your pain. I ve been a contributing member on the X-Carve forum for years (aka Midnight Maker). I believe in the product and the company. With that being said, when it s time to put my money where my mouth is, I ll probably get a machine with lead screws instead of belts. CNCRouterparts.com has similarly sized machines for just a little more money.

I went to the trouble to learn SketchUp, then became severely irritated when they changed everything and went online only. I already knew CAD from the 90 s, so that s not an issue. I m now switching over to Fusion 360 because it s free and it s a CAD/CAM solution. It will also handle both CNC and 3D printing needs. A lot of members have bitten the bullet and are using V-Carve. If/when I get serious about making signs, I will probably go that route also.

The reason for this diatribe is that I too am a hands-on kind of guy and the only incentive to learn this stuff is to then be able to make something. I do watch/do the tutorials but there s nothing like needing to make something then fumbling your way through it. In order to have the payoff, you ll probably want to actually have the machine in order to follow all the way through.

Keep us posted on what you decide and your journey. I ll be living vicariously through you until then. Good luck!

- CaptainSkully

I went that route. I was looking at xcarve and other options form plywood with chain drive. I wanted to deal with learning cnc and I’ a computer guy by trade.

In the end, i did not to fool with calibration issues slipping wheels etc. and lost steps as some users at that time had spoke of.

I went the cncrouterparts. I bought the 4×8 and i invested in the controller and spindle. Its plug n play and wother the money. Drawback of the router option is two folld, one “NOISE”, as there are long runs depending on the job, that can be significant. 2nd, is being able to control speed of the bit. (invest in feeds-n-speeds software). Depending on material and bit, that makes a diff.

I started with the v-con-pro and they upgraded to leadscrews and much better with the bearings.

Company is top notch. When i bought mine and i was a newbie on cnc, they spent time talking to me and answering stupid questions.

I’d go cnc routerparts again in a heartbeat. I may addd a plasma next.

Cheers.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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N1ckname

1 post in 130 days


#6 posted 02-08-2018 12:45 PM

I just recently got onto CNC, and purchased a Shapeoko from Carbide 3D. While I can’t compare it directly to any other machine, lacking other experience, I can say that the customer service has been outstanding. I’m getting near-real-time email responses from customer support on Sunday evenings, for example. The machine itself is well-made and required only minimal tweaking to get it to come together and run well. The work surface was about 0.3mm out of square relative to the X-Y plane of the spindle, but that was easily shimmed. The key selling point for me was that it comes with both CAD and CAM applications (admittedly fairly basic) that have native OSX versions.

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HollywoodGT

11 posts in 133 days


#7 posted 02-08-2018 04:11 PM

Gentlemen, gentlemen I dont even no where to start to thank you for your input. Nicjname mentioned abbout Shapeoko that it is a CAD & CAM I believe operation system and I wonder if X-Carve will not do that? Just not sure I can pick up on learning the Cad stuff but then again I could hire someone and get some hands on training. That would work great for me.

As far as gun parts it would manily be the slides that a fairly flat but I may need to educate myself better. I will check out the CNC Routerparts and see what they have to offer

This is just a play toy for me . The ability to play with some signs and gun engraving etc. I’m getting close to retiring so maybe heading out in a motorhome hitting some hobby shows is a possibility

Once agin thank you for your input

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CaptainSkully

1600 posts in 3580 days


#8 posted 02-08-2018 04:28 PM

If you’re willing to limit yourself to stuff others have drawn up, then there’s already a ton of stuff out there that you can download. That way you could start carving stuff without having to learn CAD. It’s pretty easy to take someone else’s file and then generate the g-code for the machine you decide to get. Some like X-Carve’s Easel program will even take SVG files, which is basically a graphics file.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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HollywoodGT

11 posts in 133 days


#9 posted 02-08-2018 04:42 PM



If you re willing to limit yourself to stuff others have drawn up, then there s already a ton of stuff out there that you can download. That way you could start carving stuff without having to learn CAD. It s pretty easy to take someone else s file and then generate the g-code for the machine you decide to get. Some like X-Carve s Easel program will even take SVG files, which is basically a graphics file.

- CaptainSkully

It was my impression that you can take images and sown load them into X-Carves programs and it will machine that image? then the reast are letters and numbers for plaques etc

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HollywoodGT

11 posts in 133 days


#10 posted 02-08-2018 04:50 PM



If you re willing to limit yourself to stuff others have drawn up, then there s already a ton of stuff out there that you can download. That way you could start carving stuff without having to learn CAD. It s pretty easy to take someone else s file and then generate the g-code for the machine you decide to get. Some like X-Carve s Easel program will even take SVG files, which is basically a graphics file.

- CaptainSkully

Ok bare with me on this one. I looked at the CNC Routerparts site and they have a 4’x4’ that is slightly bigger than the X-carve for 1900.00 and the one that CNC has is 4’x4’ for 4100.00 now if I’m reading that right its an entire set up but not sure it comes with software? Is there simple software like what X-Carve uses to get started or I’m I thrown into the dep end with CNC and need to learn G code and Cam software???

View Rob's profile

Rob

316 posts in 3009 days


#11 posted 02-08-2018 08:05 PM

Hollywood, I had the same thoughts when I first dove into the CNC world. It’s not that easy to just import an image and have the machine carve it out (if using the X-Carve). Most of that is done by the Easel program for you including the G-Code. The problem for me was that although Easel did most everything for me, I never understood how it was done. Once I bought Vcarve Pro, I had to learn more. G-code is generated by the Post Processors I use within the Vcarve Pro program but I now needed another program to send that G-Code to the machine to do it’s thing. I use a program called PicSender but Universal G-Code Sender is very popular but has its quirks. Without question, the learning curve is steep. YOu will break many bits and ruin many pieces of material before you have any real confidence. MDF will be your friend as will Styrofoam. They are great to use for practice material so you don’t ruin the real material you want to carve on. I even bought sucker sticks in bulk quantity to mimic 1/8” End mills and V-Bits (Sharpened in one of those little hand held pencil sharpeners) when carving the Styrofoam.

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HollywoodGT

11 posts in 133 days


#12 posted 02-09-2018 03:22 AM



Hollywood, I had the same thoughts when I first dove into the CNC world. It s not that easy to just import an image and have the machine carve it out (if using the X-Carve). Most of that is done by the Easel program for you including the G-Code. The problem for me was that although Easel did most everything for me, I never understood how it was done. Once I bought Vcarve Pro, I had to learn more. G-code is generated by the Post Processors I use within the Vcarve Pro program but I now needed another program to send that G-Code to the machine to do it s thing. I use a program called PicSender but Universal G-Code Sender is very popular but has its quirks. Without question, the learning curve is steep. YOu will break many bits and ruin many pieces of material before you have any real confidence. MDF will be your friend as will Styrofoam. They are great to use for practice material so you don t ruin the real material you want to carve on. I even bought sucker sticks in bulk quantity to mimic 1/8” End mills and V-Bits (Sharpened in one of those little hand held pencil sharpeners) when carving the Styrofoam.

- Rob

Thanks again Bob ,,,Yes it appears that Shapeoko and X-Crave have a program that is more grab and go. Which limits your abilites and growth however I’m a huge newbie so I could be wrong. My friends friend just bought a SharkH4 and is runnng Vacarve Pro. he looked at the kits in CNCrouterparts and said they were pretty bar bones for 4100.00 NO spindle,swoftware, touch plate or axis ??? I said all greek to me

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copythat

128 posts in 628 days


#13 posted 02-09-2018 03:56 AM

I’m insane; I just purchased the Legacy Maverick 3×5 and Aspire software! I cannot wait until it arrives!

-- Rob

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Dwat

20 posts in 131 days


#14 posted 02-09-2018 08:16 PM

copythat,

I would very much like to hear about the journey with that badboy. I am drooling.

-- -There is no limit to what you can do if you do not care who gets the credit-

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HollywoodGT

11 posts in 133 days


#15 posted 02-12-2018 06:27 PM



I m insane; I just purchased the Legacy Maverick 3×5 and Aspire software! I cannot wait until it arrives!

Rob …I dont even know you and already I dont like you :-) What a machine that is !!! I think the one from CNCRouter parts would giove it a run for its money though. The cool think is once you get over the learing curve then the fun begins. I have a 50’ flat screen in my office and have apple TV or a similar one sio I can run Youtube video’s and be at the machine. Eventually I’ll have wiFi but the ground is frozen. Keep us all posted

- copythat


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