Cnc virgin

Hi guys basically I am a complete novice when it comes to cnc, I have a wood working background to some extent certainly not a master carpenter and my wife runs a small crafting business and we both really feel as though her business would benefit from the x carve. We have a very small working space, as we are based in the uk and work from home, anyway back to the reason why I’m here I probably have 101 questions to ask but I don’t want to bore you so I will throw a few out there… Any comments welcome

  • Would we be better off with the 500mm or 1000mm we will mostly be carving personalized gifts and signs etc

  • What’s the maximum size of work both machines can cut into may sound daft as one is the 500 and one the 1000 but does that but does that mean you cant work on a piece over 500 for the 500

-How long for the machine to carve say the word x carve into a piece of lumber

-would the easel software be enough to do what I want to do eg literally carving names and how much can you expect to spend realistically on aftermarket parts and software

-How long can you run the machine before it needs a cooling off period

-Any advice/comments welcome???

many thanks guys

    500mm rails:
    X-axis: 300mm
    Y-axis: 300mm
    Z-axis: 65mm
    1000mm rails:
    X-axis: 800mm
    Y-axis: 800mm
    Z-axis: 65mm

Those are the work area specs for each machine. Keep in mind you can have a board extend beyond the front and behind the machine. So if you have the 1000 and you had a 1200 mm board but only needed to carve the center 500 inches you could have 100 inches sticking out the front and 100 out the back.

1000 vs 500: depends how big your signs are. If they’re bigger than 300 mm then go with the 1000.

How long to carve “x carve” - There are a lot of variables that would effect that (feed rate, depth of cut, size of text, etc…). The easiest way to get an answer is open Easel and draw something that you would use it for. Enter the dimensions of the board you would use, put in the size texted you would use, select how deep you want and then hit Simulate in the top right corner and it’ll give you a fairly accurate estimation.

It sounds like Easel would be enough for you and it’s totally free. If you look up v carving you’ll see a technique of carving text using a V shaped bit. Easel doesn’t currently (but it’s being worked on) support v carving although there are ways to fake it and make it work.

Assuming everything is set right (feed and spindle speed are a good setting to not overheat the bit) you should be able to go an unlimited time without a cooling period. The spindle is air cooled, the stepper motors might get warm under load but shouldn’t get hot. People have done upwards of 18 hour carves with no problems.

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The difference in price is so small that I would recommend going bigger, or you will wish you had done so later. That’s where I’m at now.

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