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Printrbot Talk Forum • View topic - Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

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Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby David@Printrbot » 2014-Sep-Thu-21-Sep

Figured I should pass this along as I just posted this up today.

http://printrbot.com/2014/09/18/printrb ... a-testing/
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Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Sep-Fri-00-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby EddB » 2014-Sep-Fri-06-Sep

Testers will be purchasing their beta CNC machine for $3,500.

Wow. I have the time and I believe I am qualified to test and troubleshoot, but that cost for the beta test machine is enough to weed me out of the running.. I'm putting my son through college so I can't get one any time soon. (I have considered saving for the zen toolworks though.)
I'd like to see if it could make it's own replacement parts or machine an entire aluminum PB printer. Uses I think the average Maker/printrbot customer would expect to use it for. Could it machine $3500 worth of part before needing to put more money into it?
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Sep-Fri-06-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby PxT » 2014-Sep-Fri-11-Sep

Also, "final price will definitely be more". https://twitter.com/printrbot/status/512747967426486272

The Shapeoko 2 can mill aluminum (slowly) and goes for about $1000.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Sep-Fri-12-Sep

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RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby PxT » 2014-Sep-Fri-13-Sep

Looks like they are not trying to compete with Shapeoko, so perhaps the price is justified. Certainly a shock when compared to the initial prototypes we saw though.


https://twitter.com/printrbot/status/512999358850420737
"shapeoko is a "carving machine" not even close to the rigidity and capability of our Cnc. No comparison."

https://twitter.com/printrbot/status/512999774904418304
"it is not targeted at hobbyists, but is for hackerspaces, businesses, and schools. It's a serious machine."
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby plexus » 2014-Sep-Fri-13-Sep

Wouldn't a "serious CNC user" then prefer to wait for the final release to insure they are indeed getting a "serious machine"? I know I would. You shell out $3500US and then what? We have seen that after a beta there could be some serious upgrades made. I would think that "serious" users would rather spend the extra money on the final product once it proves itself as a serious CNC machine.

Hopefully I'm wrong. Why is PB releasing a "serious" CNC along side entry level 3D printers? wouldn't an entry level CNC have more of a market in PB's consumer base?
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby EddB » 2014-Sep-Fri-15-Sep

Quote from @printrbot on twitter about price of cnc: it is not targeted at hobbyists, but is for hackerspaces, businesses, and schools. It's a serious machine.

Same thing for the printrbot selfie or printrbot go? Schools, businesses and even hackerspaces/makerspaces already have a lot of "serious machines" collecting dust.

Schools and business had computers for a quarter of a century. Development only exploded once they entered the home.
School and business had access to 3d printers for at least a decade. Nobody cared. Development exploded when they were accessible/affordable to all.
Cnc? Been around for quite some time. Tons of options available to scholls, business and hacker /makerspaces!

When I heard the buzz that printrbot was releasing a cnc for the masses, I couldn't help think that great things were coming.
A business class/priced machine being released does not impact my life in the least.
When the average person is able to own one, experiment and learn hands on, some amazing things start to happen!
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Last edited by EddB on 2014-Sep-Fri-18-Sep, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby DonaldJ » 2014-Sep-Fri-16-Sep

I don't see the point of the vertical cutting bed. Sure, you save some space on the footprint but at what cost? I saw the video where some lubricant was being sprayed on the toolbit and it all goes dribbling down to the bottom. Mounting and securing workpieces will be a big PITA.

The vertical bed also means that the lead screws will be stressed in the wrong direction. Add a wasteboard and try cutting a big piece of half-inch Corian; I doubt you could maintain accuracy across the work area. But that's what beta testing is for, right?

Sadly, between this machine and the Selfie it seems to me that the shark has been jumped.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Sep-Fri-17-Sep

I bought into an assembled QU-BD mill/router beta in December 2012, supposedly the machine was working and just needed the mass production and shipping bugs worked out, to be shipped in a few months. I finally got a box-o-parts in April of this year (16 months) because a couple near-locals drove down to QB's HQ and picked up several machines. Still waiting for the missing assembly parts despite many emails and occasional promises of shipping, and have never received the spindle, vfd, cooing package, etc. To be fair, they did ship some missing parts along with a few duplicates ones I didn't need.

I'd be very careful about buying into this. Printrbot's certainly not QB, but there's still some risk. Did they forget to mention maximum part size, type of spindle (if any), cutting and travel speeds, or any other specifications, or was I just not paying attention?

WRT to marketing to schools, I just tried to buy a CNC lathe that was sold to schools as a trainer in the 80s and early 90s. Lots of them ended up essentially unused in a corner, then dumped several years later. Our local schools seem to pour big money into things like this (one just bought a seriously overpriced $40K laser saying it would be good to train students to laser engrave footballs, hopefully the moose gazette did it's usual misquote with that), then find out they aren't worth it. Watch any (at least here) school board talk about "technology upgrades" when they mean buying short lifetime PCs along with things like this CNC machine with 30 year bond issues, seems like they might have above average gullibility to high tech salespeople, or maybe that's just my mistaken impression.

Kirk

Unfortunately while the lathe was a local seller (rare in mooseland, also not a school), he'd sold it offline a month ago and forgot to remove the eBay offer. Found out when I tracked him down since he didn't answer email or offers - good thing I didn't click buy it now instead of best offer.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Sep-Fri-17-Sep

@EddB - if you're looking at Zen Toolworks take a look at Zenbot (no relation) too. I have their Mini, and while small it's well made.

Kirk
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby EddB » 2014-Sep-Sat-00-Sep

It looks like a complete 360° compared to the original announcement about the PB cnc made in May: http://printrbot.com/2014/05/14/makezin ... nc-router/

Quote from the article: Printrbot Founder and CEO Brook Drumm was on hand at MakerCon today to reveal a beta of the upcoming Printrbot CNC router. While it’s targeted as a tool for beginner CNC’ers, the machine is quite capable for maker-pros alike. It can cut wood, plastic, and aluminum at “respectable speeds,” according to Brook.
“We’re making a tool that I’ve wanted for a long time,” said Brook. He also emphasized that ease-of-use and low-cost are high priorities for the product.
End quote.

Unless this is a completely different machine that will be offered alongside this beta cnc. I was really interested in the original system that was shown/described! Schools would buy a lot more of these original designs. (I love that line.. The shark has been jumped!)
cnc-top-right.png

I am going to go with a very small desktop system right now. One that can machine custom pcb's. I would like something bigger that can handle aluminum, but that will have to be a future system.
Ed
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby evanalmighty » 2014-Sep-Sat-13-Sep

I wish they'd focus their effort more on refining their 3D printers.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Sep-Sat-21-Sep

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-------------------------------
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby spaceorange12 » 2014-Sep-Mon-20-Sep

Warning: Venting about to occur.

I remember the good old days back when Simples were $300. Pricing it that low was one of the best moves Printrbot ever made, and I think so because of Make Magazine's raves about its amazing value and the sheer amount of Kickstarted imitations online today.

Unfortunately, I think that they are taking large steps backwards from what people used to love Printrbot for. Now, accessories like the Printrbot Selfie sells for almost twice the price of the original Simple. Printrbot Go's are selling for upwards of $1500, and let's not forget what this post is about - a ridiculously expensive, and possibly soon to be more expensive, CNC machine.

Note that these are all personal opinions and you may have a different one, but Printrbot used to be a cozy little place where prices rarely exceeded $1000, and I loved them for that.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby David@Printrbot » 2014-Sep-Mon-21-Sep

Here are the specs for those that are interested...

Cut Volume: 24″ x 12″ x 5″
Electronics: TinyG – USB based CNC Controller
Power Requirements: 24 Volt
Spindle Motor:
670 KV
1.8 HP
16,000 RPM (16 Geared Aluminum Pulley)
Spindle: 8,500 RPM (30 Geared Spindle) 1.8:1 Ratio
Collet Requirements:
R8 Collet – 1/16″ to 3/4″ by increments of 1/32
ER16 Collet adaptors available
Tooling Plate:
Mic 6 Aluminum Plate 3/8″ thick
3/8 – 16 Threaded holes reamed for a 5/16″ pin
2″ hole center
Belt: GT2 5mm Pitch
Bearings: 15mm Linear Rail
Threaded Rod: 2 Star ACME Threaded
Aluminum PB Plate Cut: 1.5mm Depth / 2.5mm Step Over / 500mm/min
MDF PB Plate Cut: 6-8mm Depth / 5mm Step Over / 2000mm/min
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby bluewhale » 2014-Sep-Wed-13-Sep

I just recently got into 3D printing and researched a lot before buying my first printer. I went with Printrbot because of their practicality, low cost, and good reviews. My view of the company strongly rested upon their focus on value. I was planning to buy my second 3D printer from Printrbot, but after finding out about the extreme cost of this CNC I am no longer interested in the company. It doesn't matter to me that the CNC is worth every penny.

What bothers me about this is the idea of a company who creates their imagine under one light, begins to accrue a following, and then goes off in another direction. I understand the viewpoint of Printrbot. They want to make something better and provide a high quality machine to customers. They also would like to make more money (as do most businesses). The downside to this is that a company functions on more than just the products they create. Their image is a huge part of why people trust them. So for me, it's sad to find interest in a company that I came to expect value from only to see a defense of a $3,500 machine.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Sep-Wed-16-Sep

While I too think the CNC machine is too much for not enough (what's that 670KV spindle anyway, sounds like it's one of those RC motor conversions?), companies often have a range of products from inexpensive to big bucks. Don't write off Printrbot because of the CNC router - just ignore the router and concentrate on the value level products you're interested in, and hope the big buck stuff helps pay the expenses and keeps our prices down.

Kirk
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby teicher » 2014-Sep-Wed-21-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Sep-Thu-05-Sep

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225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
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Full Graphic display.
-------------------------------
Zen Toolworks CNC/3d printer
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Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
-------------------------------
Flashforge 3d Creator Pro
Dual Extruder
220x143x150mm
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Munson » 2014-Sep-Thu-07-Sep

Selling more than printers from a business perspective is a great idea,that is how Amazon spread its wings from selling books to selling a whole array of products.Perfect example is Kodak,they did not roll with the times and paid dearly for it.
The issues I see with printrbot is customer service.If a part is missing or if someone expressed displeasure with the company through the forum's things get taken care of.Selling a professional grade product with only the help from good people willing to help out is not fair for the customer that purchased an expensive product,especially to an education system that will be teaching students about the trade.When the teacher runs into an issue how does he carry on with his class?I think they need to beef up on customer service simply put.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby EddB » 2014-Sep-Fri-11-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby musk » 2014-Sep-Fri-12-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby spaceorange12 » 2014-Sep-Fri-14-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby musk » 2014-Sep-Fri-14-Sep

I didn't call him dumb or weak. I said his *point* was weak. Smart people can have weak arguments.

Do you have an opinion on the topic?
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Jdublu » 2014-Sep-Fri-14-Sep

I've taken part in a number of beta programs over the years, in both hardware and software. There is a certain mentality required to participate in a meaningful way in such a program. If you've assembled a 3d printer from scratch, you're most of the way there. If you are looking for a bargain, or to get in on the ground level, it may not be for you. In order to provide valuable feedback or test results, you need to be rigorous in your testing methodology and spend a great deal of time and effort in making that information accessible and useful to the manufacturer. By placing a significant barrier ($3500) in the application process, you very quickly weed out the unsuitable candidates.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Sep-Fri-14-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby musk » 2014-Sep-Fri-15-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Sep-Fri-15-Sep

I've heard that Inkscape and the laser plugin is a popular way to generate gcode. Never tried it, although I've used the router plugin (gcodetools) for CNC engraving quite a few times in the past.

A laser is on my want list, but the G0513 bumped it down a bit.

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby spaceorange12 » 2014-Sep-Fri-19-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby DonaldJ » 2014-Sep-Fri-21-Sep

Getting back on topic, doesn't anybody else think that the vertical work surface is not practical?

<crickets>
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby musk » 2014-Sep-Sat-02-Sep

Does the vertical workspace aid chip removal?
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Munson » 2014-Sep-Sat-05-Sep

Wow Mooslake,470 for a polished cube down from 1299,they are really pushing hard into the inexpensive printer market
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Sep-Sat-06-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Sep-Sat-18-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Threefer3 » 2014-Sep-Sun-13-Sep

This thing uses R8 collets like full sized Bridgeport mills. You can even get end mill holders that have an R8 taper so you can keep offsets of each tool so you can change tools without having to re zero every time. The unusual thing about this design is that the spindle does not move during Z moves, the table does, so this helps with making the spindle very ridged. The way the spindle is mounted in between the linear rails also is very beneficial for rigidity. On my Shapeoko 2, and like most other CNC routers, the spindle hangs off one end of the linear rail so that it is easier for the spindle to bend in and out during cutting and requires beefing up of the Y rail to counteract the forces. With the the spindle in between 2 linear rails the cantilevering effects are cancelled out by the opposite rail. This thing should be pretty ridged and be able to take some pretty decent bites out of aluminum. We will just have to see how a Z moving bed works out as there is an acme screw in each corner. It would be interesting to know how the bed is leveled and stays level. It looks like there is one NEMA 23 controlling the 2 top screws and one controlling the 2 bottom screws driven by belts. What happens if one of the motors skips steps and becomes out of sync with the other one? Would it become a feedback loop where one side gets out of sync causing binding which in turn causes more missed steps and more binding, etc. After seeing these videos the price seems more reasonable than the initial shock I got from the price. /// I hope they make a more affordable kit version out of wood so more diy hobby people could get into it. It really does look well built and well designed but it is definitely too rich for my blood.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Sep-Sun-16-Sep

While the spindle might be R8 and have 60mm angular contact bearings, notice the little radio control brushless motor driving it? Can you see that dealing with 1300 watts for very long? It's likely an 8 or 10mm shaft, and with bearings designed for a propeller. RC motor spindles are great for something like your Shapeoko or my Zenbot (I've been playing with one, replacing the motor shaft with an 8mm ER11 collet holder), but not for this class machine. A water cooled BLDC spindle seems more appropriate. While the R8 will take up to about 7/8" shanks, think that's usable in this machine? Especially considering full power will be for pretty short bursts? My ER20 imperial collet set (for the supposedly on the way QUBD milling package) goes up to 1/2", good enough for pretty stout end mills or router bits.

Maybe the market will be as enthusiastic as Brook, and snap these up by the semi load, but it seems awful spendy for what it is.

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby musk » 2014-Sep-Tue-12-Sep

I'm unfamiliar with what a person could currently buy for ~$5000 in the CNC arena. Can one of you guys link to a competitor's machine so other people can see what should be expected at that price? I'm assuming that the $3500 price is fairly well discounted for the beta testers and that retail will be closer to $5k.

Do machines cut metal awesomely at that price? I have no idea.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Sep-Tue-18-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby musk » 2014-Sep-Tue-19-Sep

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Oct-Wed-10-Oct

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Oct-Wed-11-Oct

Another DIY popular conversion (not as beefy as that RF-45) that's around the $2K range is Grizzly's G0704. The conversion even has it's own site, g0704.com , where the pre-conversion picture comes from, and very active discussions and support on cnczone.com that's 487 pages/5800+ posts long. I wish that picture was from my shop...

Image

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby DonaldJ » 2014-Oct-Tue-17-Oct

I'm beginning to suspect that this CNC project is a clever ruse, a bit of misdirection to disguise the underpinnings of the new Plus...
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby teicher » 2014-Oct-Tue-20-Oct

I don't know how many of you follow Brook on twitter, but he mentioned a CNC project at a much lower cost range last week:

https://twitter.com/printrbot/status/516755611942678528
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby David@Printrbot » 2014-Oct-Thu-00-Oct

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Oct-Thu-02-Oct

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby David@Printrbot » 2014-Oct-Thu-12-Oct

Our complete CNC lineup should cover most users/use cases. The beta is most likely going to be our middle tier product. Hang tight as I'm sure Brook will be releasing more info within the coming weeks.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Oct-Thu-21-Oct

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby PxT » 2014-Oct-Tue-14-Oct

Along these lines, Inventables has a new Kickstarter up for a similar looking machine:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ca ... ker-in-all
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby evanalmighty » 2014-Oct-Tue-22-Oct

Looks nice, but out of my price range for a machine like that. I'd rather pay more and get a real CNC
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Oct-Wed-11-Oct

It's a year (10/2015) until the Carvey's estimated delivery. Since it's a KS project (why; Inventable's got the resources to develop it in-house?) that means sometime in 2016.

It's a nice looking package, but there's nothing new or exciting there that justifies a year of development time. Not much of a spindle either; it's the standard 300W Chinese 48 volter that Inventable's already sells.

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby EddB » 2014-Oct-Wed-12-Oct

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Oct-Wed-13-Oct

The Carvewright (aka Sears Compucarve) appears to be a lot different design, where the spindle moves only in two dimenstion and the workpiece is moved by rollers, like a thickness planer. The Carvey has a moving table like a Printrbot as far as I can tell (the video didn't give a very good look at it cutting).

I don't know how well it actually works, but the CarveWright has the potential to work on infinite length items with external supports, while the Carvey is limited by the size of the table. I don't really want either, but if the CarveWright could use gcode it would be more useful.

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby teicher » 2014-Nov-Sat-07-Nov

Here's the new prototype Printrbot CNC, its called Beta 01 and looks more like the CNC we thought they'd release all along.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-z6iwzz0r0
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Nov-Sat-08-Nov

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby ChefScott » 2014-Nov-Sat-10-Nov

In the video Brook mentioned around 4 - 4.5 inches for the Z.
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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby wasabi_peas » 2014-Nov-Sat-11-Nov

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Nov-Sat-12-Nov

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Nov-Sat-13-Nov

I like that a lot better then the first version, looking forwards to seeing additional video of it milling. Wonder how it will compete with the Chinese 6040s in the same price range. Why acme instead of ballscrews?

They're somewhat shooting themselves in the foot without providing at least a driver for this beta. The choice of electronics will definitely affect how well it works - or doesn't work, which will be blamed on them. Tinyg's not a bad choice to ship with it. Wonder if they include the steppers or not?

Despite Brook's emphasis on milling metal, a router doesn't seem like a good choice for more than very casual use with soft metal. It'll be very noisy and likely have a limited lifetime. It'll be interesting to see what they'll be using in the video. Also that design doesn't look like it'll handle cooling very well; maybe mist (if you like inhaling that stuff), but flood would make quite a mess. Sitting there dripping WD-40 on the bit will get old very fast, especially with a router's noise level. Again, wonder what they'll use in the video.

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Re: Printrbot CNC Beta Testing

Postby thawkins » 2014-Nov-Sun-09-Nov

Moved from the wrong thread, where i posted it by accident.

Here is a usefull firmware for a cnc.

It allows the use of a basic RAMPS card, for a usb cnc rig. It runs grbl which is pretty much a standard in that space.

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