Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby mtylerfl » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:33 pm

I really like the Buddy because it takes up so little floor space when not running. My shop is a two car garage and the "compactness" of the machine when idle is greatly appreciated!

I also like the Buddy's "expandability". I mostly run small projects, so the standard Power Stick is what is typically installed (24" x 48" machinable area). When required, I can swap it out with my 6' Power Stick (48" x 48" machinable area) for larger projects. I don't have the longest Power Stick (48" x 96" area), but it's nice to know I have the option if I ever need it.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby joeporter » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:10 pm

The 24"X48" cut sizes are not equal. Comparing the gantry layout of the two machines, the Buddy allows you to pull a full 48" sheet through the machine with tiling toolpaths, thus you can cut a full width sheet of material without adding a PowerStick. The Stinger will only accommodate a 24" wide sheet. The Buddy is made out of the same materials as the biggest machines, but in a more compact package, so is very strong. Finally, the ShopBot people have always been friendly and helpful and I just don't think you can go wrong with them...joe
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby mtylerfl » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:02 pm

Very good point, Joe, regarding the ease at which mating tiling toolpaths can be accomplished on the Buddy for sheets of large material. The open-end configuration of the Buddy are well suited for that application.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby scubanimal » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:39 pm

All,
Thank you for your inputs, I appreciate the insight from your experiences. Space is a consideration, as is price of course. I do like the option of expanding, although this is a hobby machine I would not have predicted I'd ever really upgrade from my shark. ShopBot has been much more responsive to my inquiries compared to CAMaster, though I suspect the CAMaster will be significantly lower cost. Still trying to figure out what the differences are for that delta cost.
V/R,
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby mtylerfl » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:55 pm

I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble communicating with the folks at CAMaster. I've conducted Vectric software classes at their facility several times and it's always been an enjoyable experience for me, as well as attendees.

Maybe some of their personnel are on vacation and they're temporarily short-handed? I don't know.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby ger21 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:44 pm

If you're comparing apples to apples, I'd expect the price of the Camaster and Shopbot to be similar.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby Xxray » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:33 am

Are you asking questions on CAM forum as a guest, PM'ing sales staff ?
Whats your user name, if you don't mind me asking ?

I've never had any problems getting answers to my questions, before or after purchase. In fact my 1st thread there years ago before I purchased turned into a 3 page thread.
There is a subforum "Questions For The Sales Team!" , maybe try there http://www.camheads.org/forumdisplay.php?f=96

James McGrew, one of their top go to guys on sales and tech support, monitors this forum and of course Cam, I heard he was in the hospital with a foot problem, hopefully is out and better by now.
Gary Campbell is another top guy for questions, he is also on this forum [Don't think he has an official position at Cam as we speak, but still plugged into their inner workings].

I wouldn't worry much about tech support comparisons, both outfits are stellar if you ask me [Even though I own a Cam I browse and post SB quite often, great bunch of guys]
I can tell you that the Stinger is one stout machine, here I am going from distant memory but I advise you do a weight comparison of the 2 machines and factor that into your calculations - Heavier is better. Control software should also be a factor, am a big fan of WinCNC which Cams run, not sure what SB runs, maybe propriety or licensed software.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby scottp55 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:43 pm

Shopbot control software is their own, but fully functional version we actually use on our machines, is a free download for anyone to test drive;
http://www.shopbottools.com/mSupport/controlsoftware.htm

Oh, Make sure you are in "FULL" Mode to see all the options..."EASY" mode is like having both hands tied behind your back:)
A lot of stuff won't work until it's connected to your "Bot though.

Does Stinger I come with Cut2D by default like when I was comparing machines? Shopbot comes with latest VCP, but only Shopbot post-processors.
If so, make sure you add on the upgrade cost.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby Xxray » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:02 pm

Stinger comes with Cut 2D Pro, which is what I started out on.
Cam Weighs 450 lbs, very little worry about any flex or movement. Could not find any weight specs for SB, I believe it is considerably less [or was].
They seem to have various configurations that I never saw when I was looking at them years ago.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby Ollywood » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:21 am

I would always go with a fixed table design. More accurate and better fixturing options.
Can always make a vacuum hold down too.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby CosmosK » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:46 am

I went with Camaster a while back. If I remember correctly, the price was lower for a turn-key system and the support seemed to be better. I think Camaster supports the whole machine and Shopbot only supports the software, but I don't know where I heard that or if it's true (this would be during the warranty period). My machine runs well, I think it's going on 3 years old. The Camaster forum is very good, I've learned lots hanging out there. Shopbot forum is also good. I think it's ford vs. chevy to some extent. Guys do similar work on similar machines. As far as problems with the machines, I'd estimate you see about the same number of threads on both forums, but it's hard to tell. If you buy a complicated machine, you'll have to learn your way around it, and learn to do maintenance and the occasional repair. No way around this regardless of brand.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby CosmosK » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:56 am

So the comparison I made if done today would be:

PRS Standard 48x48: $12,200
Camaster SR-44: $12,995

Shopbot you provide a computer, Camaster it is included (with Cut2D). So, there's the difference. For me, I put value on a system that I could plug in and start running. I didn't want to worry about installing software, etc.

Whichever one you get, get a spindle upgrade and make sure you can do RPM control from g-code.. Good luck!
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby Xxray » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:10 am

I personally have done without a spindle just fine, I would see that as preferable depending on budget and the type of work anticipated, but not essential.

That to me would have to be balanced out vs the benefits of other upgrades you could make in the $1-$2+ K range, vacuum table, rotary lathe, dust collection or Aspire ect.
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby scottp55 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:43 am

Camaster supports the whole machine and Shopbot only supports the software,


SORRY, but I can't let that go by without saying Shopbot has one of the best support systems I've ever run across in company(Not as good as L.L.Beans...but then who is:).
Before we even bought the first one, I had a tech question, and sales didn't have an answer and said they'd transfer me to someone who did....30 seconds later I was in a 20 minute conversation with the president:)
My geek brother helped me set up the initial computer and was clicking through the checkboxes without reading them and MUCKED up....Sunday afternoon and I called Tech Support and was running 30 minutes later....I found this is not unusual, and Support always has someone on call...that has saved my neck more than once while I was in production mode.
Setting up second machine a month after delivery and found the Z-Zero plate had a 1/8" bow in it. It could have easily been our fault, but we didn't think so...had one next day shipped to us at NO cost....They took us at our word!
I did a Z upgrade and managed to mangalate some Z carriage bolt heads....ordered them, but they showed up 2 days later no charge.

I ordered the second machine with a MakerCrate like Shopbot uses to transport their Desktops to trade shows, and not only was it top notch, BUT the 2 guys making it knew I was in a wheelchair, and did a Mod to make it wheelchair compatible, AND were worried about the cutout height for my knees and sent extra spacers and contacted me personally to see if it was satisfactory....At NO charge!

My experience and many others stories let me know that their machine support is TOP NOTCH!!
Sorry for the rant, but their one of the best companies Dad and I have ever dealt with...and Dad ran a big iron CNC shop for 20 years and absolutely couldn't believe how good Shopbot was!
OK ...rant over and BP back to normal :D
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Re: Shopbot Buddy or CAMaster Stinger1??

Postby CosmosK » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:55 am

CosmosK wrote:but I don't know where I heard that or if it's true


I also said this though^^ :) Glad to hear that. Camaster has good support as well. They seem very similar. I want to say Shopbot has been around longer, but don't know.
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