The road less traveled

I started out with the 500mm kit way back when. I was a bit nervous about spending that much money on a kit, but overcame that and bought the 500mm machine. It has met my expectations and then some.

Then machine mania kicked in as I watched all the improvements that various people on the forum were making and thought I should upgrade my machine. Mine was the original so to get up to speed with the upgrades available, including the up coming “Screw Drive Upgrade kit” it would run me somewhere in the neighborhood of $900 USD.

Not too bad in the scheme of things.

Then I started thinking (usually a bad thing to do), the 500 did pretty much what I wanted to do, maybe not as fast or super accurate, or as big as some of the upgraded machines here but good enough for most of what I wanted to do.

So, if I took a different approach what else could I do with the $900?

With the 500mm machine I have, miscellaneous parts that I have, a beefed up TB6600 controller that I built, and the $900 USD, here is what I can end up with:

Old tech 500mm Xcarve
New tech 1000mm Xcarve
Independent 5watt laser machine (750mm x 750mm)

I think if I can find the space, I’m going with the three machine approach and just skip the upgrades.

Am I crazy? Well…, ok I’m crazy, but what do you think of the expansion idea?


Me, too. And if I don’t like something about it, I can change it!

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Not crazy at all. Sounds like a solid approach.

With the upgrades I’m doing to my Xcarve, my plan is to reuse the old parts and make a dedicated 1000mm laser Xcarve. I may even use the Xcarve to make the parts I’m missing instead of buying (unless it’s more cost effective to buy).

There’s nothing wrong with the stock setup and the new Xcarve features just make it stronger. For me, I had unrealistic expectations for what the machine can do as stock and my hope is that the upgrades that I choose to do at some point help get me closer to there but still knowing that the true end goal for me is a 4x8 or larger machine that can do fast full depth cuts and that’s not this. This machine got the feet wet and satisfied a desire for a CNC machine that I’ve wanted for many many years. I’ve learned a bunch and still try to learn as much as I can. I just need to use it more.

Maybe rail kit for your 1000 mm would be nice step-up.

Something similar to this. Possible to find 1000 mm kits.