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Forum topic by redham posted 01-25-2019 09:02 PM 1091 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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redham

50 posts in 838 days


01-25-2019 09:02 PM

I have a restaurateur client who is pushing me to get a CNC to replicate decorative wooden mask. I have no idea what that would entail.

Here is a criteria that I am working with:

- Never worked with CNC’s before so i would need a software package that would account for this
- I do not have a formal engineering background
- Budget on $5K- $15K
- Prefer to have one with capacity where it can take 4’ ply if necessary. So 4’x5’ or 4’x6’
- Vetric seem to be the go to software from what I have read
- Do I need any other sofware to produce 3d 2’ decorative mask?

The output for this project should take care of the majority of the cost of the machine alone, but I want to have a back door option to sell if off if it sits idle.

Taking a close look at:

Shopbot
Laguna

Are there any other brand in the class I need to take a close look it? Willing to self assemble to save to the $400-500 freight cost of these machines.


28 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1828 posts in 551 days


#1 posted 01-25-2019 09:45 PM

I have a restaurateur client who is pushing me to get a CNC to replicate decorative wooden mask.
- redham

I don’t understand the reasoning behind this:
are you looking to purchase a CNC to satisfy one client for a one off project ?

a CNC is not just buy it and push the start button.
yes, there is a TREMENDOUS learning curve. yes, there is a very complex proprietary software package
you must have for each machine.

there are probably some carvers here that could carve the mask if you wanted to outsource it.
can you post a sketch or drawing of the mask in question ?

do you operate a woodworking business now ?
a major investment into a such a complex system such as a CNC is something that would be
beneficial to your shop and business. not just because some restaurant owner is putting pressure
on you to buy one just to do his project.
for your first introduction into the cost of producing a CNC project, I would suggest you
go to a sign shop that has a CNC and have them quote it out for you.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

405 posts in 3471 days


#2 posted 01-25-2019 10:36 PM

It does not seem feasible to buy a CNC machine for one project. I suggest looking for a shop with a CNC near you that is willing to do the work.

-- Steve

View sawdustjunkie's profile

sawdustjunkie

405 posts in 2105 days


#3 posted 01-25-2019 10:47 PM

I agree with finding someone to outsource the work for you. Even at $15,000 it would be hard to find a cnc that can do 4’x5’ or 4’x6’. I have a friend that has a Legacy and his is 4’x8’ and it was almost $35,000.
Legacy, Shop Sabre, CAMaster are some of the machines that are made that big, but the price is big as well.
I have a Axiom 24”x24” and it cost $6,000. They do make a 4×4 for just over $11,000 for a basic machine. An Elite is over $13,000 but still a 4’x4’.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

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Mike_D_S

595 posts in 2603 days


#4 posted 01-26-2019 01:58 AM

The software portion of the CNC is probably the biggest place people underestimate the learning curve.

Generating a custom 3D model to replicate an existing item is a non-trivial exercise and I believe you would need Vectric Aspire to do the modeling. My gut feel is that assuming you have zero experience doing 3d modeling you’e looking at 100+ hours of self training go be ready to make the first test cut on that mask.

I don’t want to turn anyone off of CNC as it can be a great hobby, but the learning curve is real and creating custom 3D models is one of the more complex things to do.

If this mask is what you want to do, my suggestion is you start by buying Aspire and teach yourself how to do the 3D model work. You’ll spend $2k on the software. If you like it and go forward, you would have spent the $2k anyway. If you decide its not for you, you can sell the Aspire license to recover some of your investment (Vectric allows one transfer of the license to a new owner I believe for a small fee).

Buying a full CNC setup and then figuring out it’s not what you thought is a good way to lose $5k or more very quickly.

mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Logboy's profile

Logboy

75 posts in 3618 days


#5 posted 01-26-2019 04:13 AM

Go ahead and tack on another grand to the price for destroyed bits and ruined material as you learn how to use it.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1864 posts in 2705 days


#6 posted 01-26-2019 07:02 AM

I’d be skeptical of the Laguna unless you’re a skilled CNC tech as their customer service record seems spotty. You might get stuck doing your own product support after spending 10’s of thousands. Shopbot has a stellar track record and I’ve always heard positive things from the people that own those machines.

If you’re very patient and can handle long lead times, Carl Bruce builds nice custom machines at much lower prices than any of the reputable CNC manufacturers.

If you’re near the Chicago area then you might consider visiting and checking out the 4×8 machine I’m selling. It’s a homemade machine but it’s well-documented, easy to maintain and very capable. It’s slower than a Camaster, Shop Sabre or Shop Bot but it’s less than half the cost of a 4×8 ShopBot and runs on a standard 20 amp 110 outlet. I used V-Carve to run it (and BobCad but I don’t recommend that for newcomers). All of the work on my website was done with this machine (haven’t posted pictures since getting the new machines).

I’m only selling it because I acquired a 5×8 AXYZ and a custom ATC machine and don’t have room for three CNC’s.

CNC for sale

Getting back on topic, if you’re just doing one model, it’s probably best to create the 3D object in modeling clay then send that out to a 3D scanning company. Learning 3D modeling is time-consuming and the software is expensive.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View dannelson's profile

dannelson

195 posts in 2759 days


#7 posted 01-26-2019 08:36 PM

PM sent Im interested if your considering outsourcing. Dan

-- nelson woodcrafters

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1603 days


#8 posted 01-26-2019 09:30 PM



The software portion of the CNC is probably the biggest place people underestimate the learning curve.

Generating a custom 3D model to replicate an existing item is a non-trivial exercise and I believe you would need Vectric Aspire to do the modeling. My gut feel is that assuming you have zero experience doing 3d modeling you e looking at 100+ hours of self training go be ready to make the first test cut on that mask.

I don t want to turn anyone off of CNC as it can be a great hobby, but the learning curve is real and creating custom 3D models is one of the more complex things to do.

If this mask is what you want to do, my suggestion is you start by buying Aspire and teach yourself how to do the 3D model work. You ll spend $2k on the software. If you like it and go forward, you would have spent the $2k anyway. If you decide its not for you, you can sell the Aspire license to recover some of your investment (Vectric allows one transfer of the license to a new owner I believe for a small fee).

Buying a full CNC setup and then figuring out it s not what you thought is a good way to lose $5k or more very quickly.

mike

- MikeDS

+1

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1603 days


#9 posted 01-26-2019 09:37 PM

Laguna is a reputable company. I have experience with the company, my CNC machine, and their customer service, since 2012. 5 Stars for the Laguna CNC and Aspire 9.5

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1603 days


#10 posted 01-26-2019 09:52 PM



I d be skeptical of the Laguna unless you re a skilled CNC tech as their customer service record seems spotty. You might get stuck doing your own product support after spending 10 s of thousands. Shopbot has a stellar track record and I ve always heard positive things from the people that own those machines.

If you re very patient and can handle long lead times, Carl Bruce builds nice custom machines at much lower prices than any of the reputable CNC manufacturers.

If you re near the Chicago area then you might consider visiting and checking out the 4×8 machine I m selling. It s a homemade machine but it s well-documented, easy to maintain and very capable. It s slower than a Camaster, Shop Sabre or Shop Bot but it s less than half the cost of a 4×8 ShopBot and runs on a standard 20 amp 110 outlet. I used V-Carve to run it (and BobCad but I don t recommend that for newcomers). All of the work on my website was done with this machine (haven t posted pictures since getting the new machines).

I m only selling it because I acquired a 5×8 AXYZ and a custom ATC machine and don t have room for three CNC s.

CNC for sale

Getting back on topic, if you re just doing one model, it s probably best to create the 3D object in modeling clay then send that out to a 3D scanning company. Learning 3D modeling is time-consuming and the software is expensive.

- JAAune


OMG! To vilify Laguna and ante up on ShopBot. without explaining why? Then you drift to selling your CNC.
Nothing surprises me here anymore…

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Logboy's profile

Logboy

75 posts in 3618 days


#11 posted 01-26-2019 11:53 PM

Laguna has a reputation for poor customer service with their CNC routers. I have a customer who bought one and it wouldn’t work right from the get go because they didn’t test it before they shipped it. Turns out some of the wiring was hooked up backwards. It took two months before he had it running. They don’t like to pick up the phone or return calls for tech support.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2812 posts in 962 days


#12 posted 01-27-2019 02:14 AM



The software portion of the CNC is probably the biggest place people underestimate the learning curve.

Generating a custom 3D model to replicate an existing item is a non-trivial exercise and I believe you would need Vectric Aspire to do the modeling. My gut feel is that assuming you have zero experience doing 3d modeling you e looking at 100+ hours of self training go be ready to make the first test cut on that mask.

mike

- MikeDS

I recently had an urge to get into the CNC game myself. Luckily for me the local WoodCraft has a group that meets there one night a month, and I went, just to take a peek.

What I learned in just a few hours was illuminating, and it saved me a few thousand bux.

1) I can get anything done that I ever thiught the CNC would make for me, for just a few bux over the cost of the wood. Reason, so many with a CNC dying for work to do.

2) Before I went the WoodCraft guy who heads up the group suggested that yes, Vectric Aspire was a real good place to start software wise, he even suggested I go to their website to download a “TRIAL COPY” of the software, which won’t save any work, but it allows you to trial ANY project you might want to do. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA yeah right….

a) The chick that is “the voice” of the software is British. Now I don’t have a thing against the Brits, but they speak differently than we do in the Stix, and they use different words than we do as well. So I couldn’t understand 95% of what she was saying on the first pass…......... I was just trying to figure out how to unload the training package….. 4 hours later I still was.

b) What she was telling me that was going to happen, be there, or anything, WASN’T.

I worked with computers for the last 8 years of my working days. I trained others to use the software we used. I consider myself to be higher than average in use of computers.

I’ve had 4 projects done by a really nice guy trying to pay for his $22,000.00 CNC in the past few weeks. Peanutz to have it done.

That is everything I can tell you about owning a CNC. I quoted Mike above because he isn’t telling a tale, His word is Gospel.

-- Think safe, be safe

View redham's profile

redham

50 posts in 838 days


#13 posted 01-28-2019 07:17 PM

Thank you all for commenting. I have a very busy weekend. Let me clarify on my original post. My primary business is contracting. A CNC would broaden my capabilities and do repeatable custom cutting for numerous applications.

I am making capital expenditure for equipment which will have a guaranteed revenue stream. I am not buying a machine just to satisfy one client to produce one run. Rather, this is an opportunity for me to acquire equipment that would enhance my business that I would otherwise not consider in investing because of the capital outlay.

Here are a few conditions that are taken into consideration:

- Access to a CNC is at a premium in my area becuase of this real estate it takes up and the overhead of said real estate.

- Access CNC’s are at a much higher premium than access to Engineers, designers and Draftsman

- I realize that there is a learning curve that I will have to dedicate time to really take advantage of the machine

- As a business I can on a part-time basis, bring in someone to run this job for a quick ramp up and/or trade time on the CNC for drafting services

- If I can, I will try to put some money into the pocket of guy who lost his job from plant closing

- Most sign business in my area will charge a premium for this type of project becuase it would take time away from their main turn key business

Size: There is no way I can fit a 4×8 machine without getting more real estate. I could squeeze in a 4×6 or a 4×5 at the most but I realize that 4×5 and 4×6 is not a typical size. So I will to consider other Desktop sizes.

Software:
I am certainly not discounting the learning curve for engineering software. I stated that I dont have a formal engineering back ground, but that doesn’t mean devoid of any design programs knowledge. Vextric Aspire seems to be the standard quality software from what I have read.

Hardware:
Shopbot seems to have a comprehensive website and is commented on several times by members of this forum. Laguna, from my perspective, has always had premium equipment but at very high premium price-tag. There seems to be a some debate about their customer service. In my book, if your charging a premium, your CS should be spot on all the time.

Any recommendations as far as CNC Hardware goes would be appreciated.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1381 posts in 1204 days


#14 posted 01-28-2019 09:41 PM

This post says more to me about the person writing it than it does about the advisability of buying a CNC router or the attributes of Vectric software..


I recently had an urge to get into the CNC game myself. Luckily for me the local WoodCraft has a group that meets there one night a month, and I went, just to take a peek.

What I learned in just a few hours was illuminating, and it saved me a few thousand bux.

1) I can get anything done that I ever thiught the CNC would make for me, for just a few bux over the cost of the wood. Reason, so many with a CNC dying for work to do.

Yes. A CNC router may not be the right tool for people who don’t have a good imagination.

2) Before I went the WoodCraft guy who heads up the group suggested that yes, Vectric Aspire was a real good place to start software wise, he even suggested I go to their website to download a “TRIAL COPY” of the software, which won t save any work, but it allows you to trial ANY project you might want to do. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA yeah right….

I learned the basics of using Vectric Vcarve with a trial version during the month before my machine was delivered. Someone who doesn’t find the fully functional trial software useful is either uninterested or perhaps unable to understand it.

a) The chick that is “the voice” of the software is British. Now I don t have a thing against the Brits, but they speak differently than we do in the Stix, and they use different words than we do as well. So I couldn t understand 95% of what she was saying on the first pass…......... I was just trying to figure out how to unload the training package….. 4 hours later I still was.

Wow! I don’t know that I would admit to being unable to understand English.

b) What she was telling me that was going to happen, be there, or anything, WASN T.

Refer to above comment

I worked with computers for the last 8 years of my working days. I trained others to use the software we used. I consider myself to be higher than average in use of computers.

I ve had 4 projects done by a really nice guy trying to pay for his $22,000.00 CNC in the past few weeks. Peanutz to have it done.

That is everything I can tell you about owning a CNC. I quoted Mike above because he isn t telling a tale, His word is Gospel.

- therealSteveN


View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1603 days


#15 posted 01-29-2019 02:12 AM

SteveN come on man give us a screenshot on what you can do- here is one -less than a minute

as for for your thoughts on Vetric- Bupkis

-- Desert_Woodworker

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