Okay I know that's a wildly overly simple question... So let me clarify;
I currently own one of the original Shapeoko's. It's a fun small bed desktop CNC that is good for tinkering and learning, but not good for anything more than just hobby work. It's honestly taught me a lot and I like it, but I'm ready to move up.
I don't own any of the Vectric software but am going to buy either Aspire or VCarve Pro (I can't decide if I need Aspire or not yet, but that's for a different thread..) and I want to get a machine that will complement the power of the software. (Great job Vectric, holy crap.. )
Things I'd like;
- I want a larger machine. Right now my bed is roughly 14 by 12 with the cutting area being 8 by 10 or so. I want something that's a lot bigger.
- I want something that knows where it's cutter is relative to the table. This may seem silly and if you think its a bad idea, I'm all ears.. but one of my main complaints with the Shapeoko is changing bits from one cut to the next on the same piece and having the system "know" where the cutter head is relative to the work piece. All too often I don't quite get the zero point back to the right spot or the bit cutting head isn't exactly the right height..etc.. This is a failure of ME as much as the machine.. I just need some kind of help here and I have seen videos were they obviously have that figured out.
What else do I want? I'm still learning, but I want to make professional inlays and other items that I can sell at the local market.. (My father and I sell Peppermills, bowls, etc.. at the market and I want to get into more flat work. I do scroll saw work now but this CNC thing is amazing and beats the hell out of a scroll saw! hah)
So with that.. What machine should I be looking at? What features should I be considering?
I want something reasonably priced that is full featured but wont break the bank.. I mean I still have to get this approved by "she who makes decisions"
Two or Three thousand dollars would likely be my limit.
Thanks for your input guys.. I do appreciate it.