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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    21

    Looking for honest opinions

    Hello all, I am looking to upgrade from my current CNC. Without sounding overly critical of it, basically the current machine has rigidity issues and is limited in working area. It wasn't cheap and I don't want to make another mistake buying something that won't live up to the propaganda around it.

    After spending several months of online research (forums, manufacturers websites, youtube, etc.) I have begun reaching outto various manufacturers that seem to have machines that would be an upgrade from my current "hobbiest" model, one of those being CNCRP.

    I spoke to Dan the other day and he was helpful, however he pointed me to this forum for additional information.

    So what I am wondering is how do current owners feel about their machines, the good and the bad. As I stated above rigidity is a major concern for me, as my current machine has plastic uprights and plastic router mount.

    Also how is Mach 3 doing? I understand that the producer is no longer supporting it, confirmed by Dan at CNCRP, and Mach 4 does not work with the CNCRP machines. I have no experience with Mach anything as my machine is pendant controlled. It is a little concerning to spend close to 10k for a machine with unsupported software. Maybe my concern is unsubstantiated, either way looking for some input.

    Next question would be about backlash. Do you all experience an noticeable backlash in you maching?

    And finally, Dan wasn't able to provide any references other then this forum. Before I go spending close to 10k, I would love to see a Pro machine in person. I understand most people would be hesitant to do so, but if there's anyone in the Northeast willing to demo their machine and chat for a little bit that would be awesome.

    I just don't want to make a $10k mistake, I already made a $4k one.

    Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post.

    -Lee

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    185

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    First question would be what are you going to use your CNC for? And you’re unhappy with a hobby-level machine and want to replace it with another hobby-level machine? Then again, industrial machines are closer to $100,000 and pro machines like Camaster are $30,000 depending on size and features. The CNCRP is a quality machine with a company that provides solid support but it isn’t a pro machine with a pro level of rigidity much less industrial. Then again, I’m using a 5X10 machine for my sub business and it is doing well but I will upgrade to a pro/industrial machine at some point but it is likely a couple years down the road.

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    853

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    Honest opinion on the internet, come on man.
    As you wrote you better find some real person with a machine like that and ask his opinions about the machine.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    314

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    There is an awesome amount of information in these forums. Many folks will be happy to share their experiences.

    What would be useful to know is what are your plans, expectations and goals for a new machine. What are you planning to use it for, materials and tolerances etc. You mention rigidity is important, what about material throughput, volumes etc? Hobby, professional or commercial?

    Many folks here are in the "hobby" space WRT their own machines however many are also in this industry as a profession as well. The bottom lines are you get what you pay for so if you are expecting professional, commercial grade results be prepared to invest more for your returns.

    Not that I am cynical, (it's been beaten into me over time :-)) but also be critical of imported machines, they might be "cheap" (inexpensive) and come with some quite good quality components but be prepared to put some effort in to "making them right" - especially with Chinese manufactured machines. They tend to ignore quality of workmanship and/or pride in their products but overall, the machines are (often? or sometimes?) quite good but can be much better with a bit of effort and frustration added after delivery.


    Cheers,

    Harry E.
    ===

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1610

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    Hmm, you must have a Shark? I looked at one before I purchased the one I have now. I would not go less than a 4x4 foot machine. I have the CNC RP controller and pre-wired package running on Mach3 no major issues with it. The good news you can still use your VCarve Pro software after you upgrade from the Desktop version if needed. If I decide to change control system boards it will be the one using the Acorn controller.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  6. #6
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    853

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    You can get a UC100 or UC300ETH or UC400ETH and try Mach3, Mach4 and UCCNC and decide. Those controllers work with all of these 3 softwares.

  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    159

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    I like my 4x8 pro. But I now think I should have spent the extra on the nema 34 package. I also do not have the spindle yet. Just using a router. I've been thinking of adding sheet stock of steel as a skirt around the entire thing to increase the rigidity of the base itself. I think that any of my vibration issues are from that base specifically. I will not know until I do the addition though.
    That being said, the rigidity of the gantry is there. I just think the base they sell for it is rigid enough on it's own. I have cut 1/4 aluminum plate and without the spindle I had some deflection issues from running the feed tastes so high to keep up with the speed of the router. But that is the problem with using a router.
    I hate Mach 3 though. At least with Windows 10.i never connect the machine to the internet for fear of it breaking. Every so often I had the ess throw an error and I have to end up rebooting and resetting the ess before returning to the line I ended with. If I had the time and an exact model of controller as well as not having to research everything to get it going again, I would change to a better software and controller. I hate Mach 3. It's garbage and it works, but damnit, it's ancient and barely there. It does everything. I just do not trust it at all. Maybe it's Windows 10 and Microsoft's poor implementation of everything for the past few years. I swear that whatever ai those people are working on, is going to kill all of us. I'm almost done with my 4th axis setup but if I were to try and go to another controller I would need 5 axis,I think, for the slave axis and the 4th to work.
    But it makes things well.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    770

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Syrfddc View Post
    Mach 4 does not work with the CNCRP machines.
    -Lee

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

    Just curious, but where did you hear that Mach4 doesn't work with the CNCRP control system? If the system runs Mach3, and the CNCRP does, it should run Mach4 just fine. Also, note that the CNCRP control uses the SmoothStepper and ESS plugin for Mach4 is where most of the Mach4 setup takes place.

    More to the point, if you search around, you will find that there are folks who bought the CNCRP machine and control system and are running Mach4 just fine. The only issue I recall reading about has to do with spindle control. As for me I built my own control system using a PMDX 126, PMDX 107 (spindle control addon card) and ESS. I have never had any issues with my setup.

    I started out with Mach3, but when a Windows 10 update created an incompatibility, I made the switch to Mach4. (And yes, I installed the patch for Mach3, but thought it was an opportune time to upgrade). I have been very happy with Mach4 and am not sure why it has been so slow to catch on. IMHO, it's light years ahead of Mach3. It has a much better look and feel, and it runs great. Never a hiccup.

    Warp9 has a great tutorial on how to set up Mach4 (assuming you are using their SmoothStepper) and it makes setting it up pretty straightforward, quick and easy. If you were planning to upgrade to Mach4, you would download the Mach3 demo, set it up with the CNCRP XML file, then open the various screens and copy (or screen print) them for use in the Mach4 setup. Follow the Warp9 tutorial and you should be good to go.

    I don't own a CNCRP machine, so I cannot provide a firsthand opinion about their machines. What I can say is that most folks who have them are very happy with them. I've heard mention of vibration. Bolting the machine to the floor would probably take care of that. Folks use their CNCRP machines commercially, including making guitars, signs, plaques, 3d model for sale.

    Here's an example of a (Vectric Aspire) 3d model made with an older (pre- profile linear rail) version of a CNCRP machine:



    Gary

  9. #9
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    159

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by GME View Post

    Just curious, but where did you hear that Mach4 doesn't work with the CNCRP control system? If the system runs Mach3, and the CNCRP does, it should run Mach4 just fine. Also, note that the CNCRP control uses the SmoothStepper and ESS plugin for Mach4 is where most of the Mach4 setup takes place.

    More to the point, if you search around, you will find that there are folks who bought the CNCRP machine and control system and are running Mach4 just fine. The only issue I recall reading about has to do with spindle control. As for me I built my own control system using a PMDX 126, PMDX 107 (spindle control addon card) and ESS. I have never had any issues with my setup.

    I started out with Mach3, but when a Windows 10 update created an incompatibility, I made the switch to Mach4. (And yes, I installed the patch for Mach3, but thought it was an opportune time to upgrade). I have been very happy with Mach4 and am not sure why it has been so slow to catch on. IMHO, it's light years ahead of Mach3. It has a much better look and feel, and it runs great. Never a hiccup.

    Warp9 has a great tutorial on how to set up Mach4 (assuming you are using their SmoothStepper) and it makes setting it up pretty straightforward, quick and easy. If you were planning to upgrade to Mach4, you would download the Mach3 demo, set it up with the CNCRP XML file, then open the various screens and copy (or screen print) them for use in the Mach4 setup. Follow the Warp9 tutorial and you should be good to go.

    I don't own a CNCRP machine, so I cannot provide a firsthand opinion about their machines. What I can say is that most folks who have them are very happy with them. I've heard mention of vibration. Bolting the machine to the floor would probably take care of that. Folks use their CNCRP machines commercially, including making guitars, signs, plaques, 3d model for sale.

    Here's an example of a (Vectric Aspire) 3d model made with an older (pre- profile linear rail) version of a CNCRP machine:



    Gary
    Well, that's good to hear. I wish cncrp would support and release the setups for mach4. Especially since the windows 10 issue occurred. I'm still on an earlier version of Windows. I made an image of my machine to restore back to if I ever accidentally updated. I know that cncrp is not a huge company capable of moving fast, but I would like to see them move forward more.
    They added the plasma setup and are working on a 4th axis addition. I hope they add mach4 or something else to their line. Maybe it's because of the amount of people who bought them already that may be upset with lack of maxh3 support from them.
    I haven't had the time to learn what's needed to recreate the scripts they have for touch plates and whatnot . It has taken me a year of off and on work to get my 4th axis to where it is now. I could only imagine how long it would take to do the whole setup on my own.
    I will say that I'm mostly happy with my CNC. The price was what I could go for and I've learned so much in the time I've had it. I've created lots of stuff with it and I've grown confident in what I do know now. I also realized I need a CNC mill to do some of the work I want to do. I wouldn't know that without having this first.
    I do think bolting to the floor would drastically reduce vibration. I've even considered making forms to place on the bottom "shelf" and fill with concrete. I think the base needs more mass. Adding steel to every side too.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    21

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by GME View Post

    Just curious, but where did you hear that Mach4 doesn't work with the CNCRP control system? If the system runs Mach3, and the CNCRP does, it should run Mach4 just fine.


    Gary, I had seen it in one if the forums and questioned Dan at CNCRP about it, which he confirmed, Mach 4 does not work with there machines.

    Thanks for the response.

    -Lee

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    21

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Hmm, you must have a Shark? I looked at one before I purchased the one I have now. I would not go less than a 4x4 foot machine. I have the CNC RP controller and pre-wired package running on Mach3 no major issues with it. The good news you can still use your VCarve Pro software after you upgrade from the Desktop version if needed. If I decide to change control system boards it will be the one using the Acorn controller.
    You sir get the prize! Yes it is, I have learned a lot with it, but would not do it again.

    -Lee

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    21

    Re: Looking for honest opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by he1957 View Post
    There is an awesome amount of information in these forums. Many folks will be happy to share their experiences.

    What would be useful to know is what are your plans, expectations and goals for a new machine. What are you planning to use it for, materials and tolerances etc. You mention rigidity is important, what about material throughput, volumes etc? Hobby, professional or commercial?

    Many folks here are in the "hobby" space WRT their own machines however many are also in this industry as a profession as well. The bottom lines are you get what you pay for so if you are expecting professional, commercial grade results be prepared to invest more for your returns.

    Not that I am cynical, (it's been beaten into me over time :-)) but also be critical of imported machines, they might be "cheap" (inexpensive) and come with some quite good quality components but be prepared to put some effort in to "making them right" - especially with Chinese manufactured machines. They tend to ignore quality of workmanship and/or pride in their products but overall, the machines are (often? or sometimes?) quite good but can be much better with a bit of effort and frustration added after delivery.


    Cheers,

    Harry E.
    ===
    Harry, thanks for the response.

    I am not looking for an industrial machine, it would be impossible to justify 100k to my wife.

    At this point I am making small signs and random parts for other small projects. I would like to be able to have a larger work area, say 4x4. Developing this into a small business venture is certainly something that I am pursuing and don't really want to spend 10k on a machine that will be a let down.

    I am just a bit gun shy about not seeing one in person, and the Mach 3 issue, after being so disappointed with my current machine.

    Thank you for the response.

    -Lee

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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