As I’m putting together my X-Carve 500mm I’m getting excited about the tool and what I will make. However it’s clearly not a “heavy duty tool”. I understood this upfront, my initial goal is learning CNC terminology, workflow, and software.
I can see myself moving up to something larger in a year or two.
I also wonder if Inventables has any plans for larger machines.
Anyone else looking at larger CNC Routers?
At $6,000 the Laguna Tools IQ looks interesting (note the weight - 425lb / 193kg).
Motor: 3HP 220V / 30 Amp Single Phase
Spindle: Industrial Induction Spindle, Liquid Cooled
Spindle RPM: 6,000 - 24,000 RPM
Controller: Hand Held
Ball Screw: On All Axis
Gantry Clearance: 6 inches
Machine Work Table: 24 inches X 36 inches Machine Foot Print: 39½ inches X 50½ inches Work Envelope: 24 inches X 36 inches Weight: 425lb / 193kg
Laguna Tools IQ
I personally dont see myself going bigger in the foreseeable future, The 1000 mm unit has met my needs and I haven’t pushed its envelope yet and for what i do probably wont for a long time.
I went with a 1000 over a 500 because I had a Shark Piranha and it’s 10 x 13 work area first and out grew that before the new cnc smell wore off. Had it not been for Inventables and this forum, I may have lost interest in cnc altogether in my woodworking hobby.
Good move with learning about the craft with an x carve, it’s a small investment to educate yourself.
Since you are a ways out yet on the upgrade, A few things to consider.
Inventables customer support is something of an anomaly in the business world. I have only come across one other company that hit’s this level of after the sale service in my experience and they make rifles. Dont get your desires too set on any one company too soon. Do your research. No matter who you go with you may not have as good customer care as you do right here.
Pretty self explanatory. But more does not always mean better. You will probably spend more but this gets you better bling most of the time.
3.Where is it manufactured ?
Over seas manufactuing can lead to headaches if you have a breakdown and parts need to come from the other side of the planet. Shipping and customs can be aggravatingly slow.
This can be the same for manufacturers on home soil too so do your homework.
Sometimes a manufacturer doesnt survive or gets gobbled up by a bigger fish. Often, the parts supply goes with it. This may even happen with Inventables one day (I hope not!) Will you be able to locate replacement components elsewhere or is that thingawhatchamacalllit a proprietary piece that no one else has? If so, you can always use the machine for a wheel chock or paperweight.
My intent is not to discourage you form upgrading, but only to say take your time if you can, do the research on all aspects of the different offerings and make your move with solid insight and education.
It may make a world of difference in your satisfaction with whatever you choose to go with.
Best of luck to you.
the plan is on line to build with 80/20
The size can be made
4 x 8
4 x 4
2 x 4
I did upgrade to a 25x25 inch heavy duty machine. My shop does not have room for anything bigger.
This was a demo machine, but Panther discontinued the 25x25 size. So they sold it cheap.
now they sell a really nice 50x50 size. https://pantherautomation.com/
Travel: 25" x 25" x 6"
Solid Aluminum construction.
T-Slot extruded Aluminum work surface.
LCD monitor on pivoting arm.
Wireless keyboard and mouse with integrated keyboard/mouse tray.
16mm Ball screw drive system on each axis.
30 millimeter guide rails on X and Y.
Precision 20 millimeter guide rails on Z.
Premium Gecko Drive stepper drive system.
Step Resolution 0.0001″ or 1/10,000th of an inch.
4th axis output on front panel for connecting additional stepper-based accessories.
425 oz. stepper motors on each axis.
Top rapid speeds of at least 200 inches per minute on each axis*.
Drive electronics, power supplies and PC integrated into the machines.
Power distribution board, Router Power Safety System and emergency stop.
Software router control, w/power box on Z.
Limit/Home switches on each axis.
Front panel USB ports.
Z Axis touch plate port on front panel.
Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed Router,
Nice Allen! I’d love to know how the ball screw works out for you. It’s seems so much better than belts.
The ball screw drives are amazing. They are rock solid and are impossible to move while changing tools.
The only thing you must remember about a ball screw is (to quote the Terminator)
“It can’t be reasoned with It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever”
A few nights ago I was doing some profile cuts in 3/4 inch plywood and the vibration in the machine caused the AC plug on the spindle relay to come lose so the spindle lost power in the middle of the job. The machine never stopped moving it just did this to my (nearly new!) .25 straight flute endmill. Luckily I was right there and hit the e-stop quickly.
With the belt drive the worse that can happen is the belt will lose some teeth, with the ball screw metal will be bent.
I had a router stop on me once with the X-Carve. It just died while in action, but, like you, I was there right away, which was fortunate because that’s not always the case. But I’m not sure what’s worse-- replacing a $15 bit or replacing broken v-wheels and destroyed belts. The bit would certainly be easier to change and probably cheaper.
I’ve been looking VERY seriously at the Laguna iQ myself. The work I’m doing with the X-Carve is starting to fall into the light-commercial class, where I’m doing runs of 20-60 pieces in quick succession. Being able to use bigger bits, higher speeds and have less flex is very, very appealing.
I think I am just outgrowing the X-Carve! Never would have even been able to START without it, though!
Dan if you check out the IQ in person I’d like to hear your opinion. I’m on a short trip to Oregon this weekend and plan on visiting the Portland Woodcraft. The Honolulu Woodcraft doesn’t stock any CNC routers.
The Woodcraft site has only one review for the Laguna IQ and it’s not a good one. That review is more about after sale support, but CNC routing is not mainstream yet and I would not expect local support to exist. Which is why I got an X-Carve, to learn enough so I can support myself.
Laguna bandsaws get high ratings from the guys in my wood turning club, and the machines I have seen up close looked very robust and well finished.
I think we already talked about this Dan, when a few months ago I was ready to throw my XC out the window, but I think I would go with the CAMaster Stinger series. They are a bit more $$ than the Laguna but they are made in the states and you get real support and they are extremely upgradeable, with lots of useful add-ons. I talked to them a while back and they offer in house financing-- not sure I would go that way, but it’s nice to know it’s an option.
I certainly have been having a better time with my XC though, you guys really helped straighten me out and I’ve been pretty happy with it. I still look forward to a tighter beefed machine, but I’m impressed with how much I do make. In fact, I’ve bumped up my speeds so much that the XC is now always ahead of me.
Something that has really helped me be efficient with cutting is I started having panels made 28" x 28" so I get full use of the machine from one clamping and homing.
Are you thinking bigger work area? or more heavy duty machine? Both?
What kind of budget are you looking at?
That Laguna is 4x the price.
Angus, while I’m sure the Inventables solid state relay is high quality, the only way it would really fix any vibration issue like he mentioned would be if you cut off the plug on the router and screw it to the terminals, and likewise on the other side. Did you do that?
I drilled holes in the wall plate so I could use zip ties to secure the plug to the plate, then screwed the plate to the outlet.
I am not sure it is possible to build a 4x8 machine for less than $4,000. This bare bones 4x8 kit does not include any electronics (no motors, no controller, no computer, no software) just the mechanical components. And they want $4,200 for just that kit
This is 2x4 kit that includes everything except computer and software and they want $3,800
I am not sure that makerslide will work for a 4x8 size machine. For my 25x25 machine the end plates are all 3/4 inch aluminum and the gantry is 8 inches high. I guess you could use less rigid parts but it seems to me that if you need to cut 4x8 sheets you will need it to be super rigid so you can cut at reasonable speeds. Plus you will need the gantry and Z axis to be able to carry a much heavier spindle.
Are you wanting to use the X-Carve belt drive? I am not sure how feasible that would be on a 4x8 machine. I have never seen a machine that bif with a belt drive. (it may exist, but I have not seen one). I think you would be forced to use a rack and pinion drive system. And a precision rack and pinion system for X & Y with a ball screw for Z will be at least $900 (probably more).
I am certainly not an expert, so I may be very wrong. But it seems hard/impossible to do it for less than $4,000 (including motors and controllers)
Just the mechanical parts kit for a 4x8 plasma CNC frame are over $3,000 and the plasma frame does not need to be nearly as strong as a CNC frame.
Not to be throwing cold water on an idea (well, maybe a little), you haven’t included any allowance for warrantee expenses, customer support, labor for kitting the parts, administrative costs, insurance, etc.
Oh, and uh, maybe a little profit for all the hard work to bring it all together.
If you can make one under $3k you would own the CNC market. Here is another very simple basic mechanical only kit for a 4x8 frame and they want $3,795 without any electronics or spindle
For my products the 1000mm XC is sufficient in size, I would upgrade for rigidity and accuracy.
I don’t think you guys could have done better for the price, and I certainly can’t complain. Like I said it took a while to get it figured out but now that I’m on the other side of the learning curve the XC has been great.
I think it would be very interesting if Inventables offered a beefier version of the XC, the XX-Carve, that incorporated the mods and improvements that people have independently applied to the XC. Seems like a kit for $2500-$3000 with these improvements would be a welcome product.
That’s my opinion, I know there are a lot of other options out there but I doubt many of them can compare to the customer service Inventables offers not to mention the free software which just keeps getting better.