I am getting the bug to get a CNC. As you might expect, I have been snooping around the web and have perused the forum. Lots of info. This brand - Genmitsu comes up on a lot lists as ok on a few lists that I would deem to be fairly reliable. The product I am interested in is the Genmitsu CNC Router Machine PROVerXL 4030. Just curious if anyone in the GF world has one and if they can offer an opinion on it. The vids I have watched seem to show it to be reasonable - not perfect but reasonable. The other interesting piece is the expansion kits - a 6060 and 1000/1000 and it can be upgraded with more powerful Dewalt spindle. The price, of course, is what makes it interesting. I am also interested in one that I can get within the EU without massive shipping costs. The Genmitsu CNC Router Machine PROVerXL 4030 can, of course, be purchased on EU Amazon sites. Any insight is appreciated. There are EU machines like Sorotec and Stepcraft, but the expansion kits makes this seem more flexible and interesting. Any insight is appreciated.
I can’t speak to those machines but to CNC in-general. I have an X-CARVE (the 1m x 1m) and have not used it since I got my GF back in 2017. Same with my 3d printers, barely used in that time.
My X-CARVE has the Dewalt spindle and is VERY loud, and produces a lot of dust. I was building it onto a table that would have a cover when I got the GF. Never bothered to complete that project.
If you have specific things you intend to make using one, then it’s a pretty cool toy to add to the collection.
Same here. CNC and 3-d printer are both collecting dust (literally!)
That and the design - it’s leadscrew driven vs the belts & v-wheels of the Shapeoko and X-Carve. Since it comes with Carveco, you also know its controller is compatible with other stuff out there so you shouldn’t get stuck. Looks like a nice little machine for the price.
I had a ShopBot CNC machine…had to be in the shop and I got to where I wasn’t using it much…not true with the GF. Bigger learning curve for me but was able to do projects i wanted.
That struck me too. If practically any software can be used, then it could add up to something interesting. Doesn’t look difficult to build, either. Might be worth a go. Maybe Santa can bring one around!!
I’ve got a 48" x 48" machine with T-slot bed and Dewalt router and … I haven’t used it anywhere near as much as I’d thought when I got it. For me, I found the software side of things to be a fair pain in the rear, which has limited the utility – having to pay very close attention to the CAM means I can’t just “see how it goes”.
…instead, I have to be pretty darn sure I’m going to get what I want before I even turn the machine on. Little things, like does the gcode do anything stupid with G0? Did I get the ramp-in right? How precisely did I measure stock thickness, am I gonna cut the table because I got it wrong on one corner?
Also, definitely consider your approach to dust collection before you buy anything. These things sling debris everywhere so you want to think carefully about dust shoes, vacuums, and so on right at the outset. Or else put it somewhere without any other sensitive equipment (like lasers or 3d printers).
Add me to the list of people who don’t use their X-Carve. For the reasons given, it’s loud and messy (even a dust collection boot, there’s a lot of cleanup). But even more so: fixturing is such a colossal pain in the butt. Getting all the fiddly clamps perfect so they hold the thing in place but don’t get hit by the spindle. Especially when you add the dust boot. It doesn’t sound complicated, but my god it takes forever. And then homing and aligning it. Changing tools. Zeroing the z height. Finding the right speeds and feeds.
I do still use it occasionally for milling PCBs, but that is its own level of hell.
I really enjoy the simplicity of laser cutting and 3D printing.
I don’t use clamps much and the ones I do are made of MDF with nylon hold down bolts so getting hit by a mill isn’t a big deal. Usually I use the blue tape & CA technique or double-sided tape.
I really like the ability to get controlled depths and materials bigger than a 12x20x1/4" piece of sheet stock (with passthrough it’s 20x1/8"x available space in the front/back of the machine). There are projects that lend themselves to materials other than thin sheet goods.
All depends on what your focus is. Just like 3D printers and other maker tools.
Same here. nomad883. Only used since to cut carbon fiber sheet that is not laser happy.
Use my 1000mm x1000mm X-carve about 3 times a year. Works good for the intended purposes but because I use it so infrequently I forget all the important set-up steps in between uses. Can’t count the number of Z-axis limiting switches and bits I have broken because I forgot not to do the same stupid thing every time.
Like the above posts, I use the glowy the most but I disagree about other smart tools just sitting. I’m not familiar with this particular unit but I can say if you do gantry cnc never do belts. Belts work great for 3d printers but just too much slop for CNC routers.
the main thing you have to do is define your needs which is hard because that tends to evolve over time. A glance at this unit and my first thoughts were “nice but too small for so many projects”.
I don’t know what you have planned for projects with CNC but look at the Shaper Origin as it is very versatile and the design workflow is very similar to the Glowforge.
I’ve had a carvewright for many years and used it for a ton of projects until one day it died. My options were either ship it from Canada to Texas or fix it myself. Well after gathering dust for 3 years I finally tore it apart, found the problem and fixed it. By then I had my GF so I made 3 cribbage boards with it and engraved them with the GF. That was back in 2019. I haven’t used it since.
I’m going to throw another CNC option into the mix with caveats.
Since I don’t have the space for a dedicated CNC table, even a small one, I tried a friend’s Shaper Origin but it’s very un-CNC like having to guide it during operation. Maslow CNC is very interesting, open source and customizable, but I don’t have permanent vertical space available either. So I bought into Goliath CNC when I saw pop up on Kickstarter. It’s a three wheeled robot with a spindle and guide wires. They’re way behind schedule like most kickstarters but have started limited shipping and generally behave like a reputable company. (haven’t received mine yet, maybe in the next couple months)
Time to engrave them in the spoilboard
I did a lot of work on a CNC, first on mine with a tiny bed and then for others, but the universe puts a really annoying limit on them, namely that you cannot make an outside corner sharper than the diameter of the tool, and the narrower the tool the slower it has to go and the more cutting it has to do so it can take forever with a small tool. If you want to do relief carving there is no tool to do a compound surface smoothly and again the smaller the tool… etc.
I am really liking the Glowforge for not having those problems, though the burn can be an issue, even cleaning that up is less effort that finishing up after the CNC.
There are design techniques around that if you truly need a 90 degree corner. Depends on your design as to which to apply.
Most of the apps now allow you do do a high-speed roughing pass with a larger bit and then change over to a smaller, even tiny bit to clean up the edges (like a 0.1" final cut) including the corners. That eliminates the speed issues of trying to do a big job with just a single small bit.
The same is true here. VCarve for instance will allow you to assign multiple bits to a single 3D toolpath. You start with a large one and work your way down to the smallest one that makes sense for the detail you want - and the software takes care of creating the specific paths needed to get the finer & finer details that the previous tool couldn’t do as it works down the bits you’ve selected.
I hadn’t upgraded my VCarve for a couple or three years and was surprised when I finally went from V8 to V11 this year.
I have infinitely more control of the results with a CNC than I do with the GF. The algorithms used by GF to do any kind of 3D work are a mystery so I can’t know with certainty what depth and quality I’m getting without running a lot of tests with power/speed/LPI combinations. The CNC is far easier to define limits.
Each tech has its strengths and if you design for the machining capabilities you can extend your possible projects beyond the niche that any individual machine makes possible. One is not typically a replacement for another, just opens up different possibilities.
Perhaps ignorance on my part, or perhaps it was just so many years ago that much technology was not available. Also like those thinking using 450 LPI as taking too much time to engrave, I may not have had the proper attitude then. In any case, I went with the Glowforge in part because I did not want to go with CNC again
I went with the GF to simplify (although I knew I’d have more limited capabilities in terms of size/height - didn’t realize I was also giving up the speed edge lasers have over CNC routers). I just got a new CNC to upsize because of a specific project I’m working on (I’m going to carve 3D overlays for the entry doors in the new house).
The one thing I find interesting is how much better the software side of CNC routers has become even in just the last few years. The GF’s capabilities, although improving, are woefully behind the current state of the art for CNC CAD/CAM software. One advantage of cloud software or subscription based stuff is you get updates on a continual basis and don’t get stuck in an old capability paradigm as I did with VCarve because I wasn’t upgrading.
I don’t have a vehicle big enough to cart my CNC bed up here and I don’t want to disassemble it and make a new bed, but I am trying to figure out how to get it up here. Now that the basement is dry, I am thinking about bringing it up. I miss it. There are some things I can do. V carving letters is a nice thing. And that is where I left off the last time I used it a lot. I was reaching the end of my ESTLcam, and wasn’t quite ready to get into Fusion CAM. Looking at V-Carve would make some of the text work I want to do a lot nice.
I may not have used it a lot, but it is a good tool to have. But as @rpegg mentioned, it take a lot of setup time. On the other hand, after This Old Tony and RotarySMP redid some old Maho CNCs, I have the machining bug now. Crazy, I know.