Nicest CNC I can get for $3,698.00?

It’s starting to look like after a very long wait and a very frustrating email that I might not to be able to wait another 6 months for my Glowforge. Not the right forum to ask about other lasers that might be at least sort of usable but just brainstorming my next move atm and figured I would see what anyone might recommend for a CNC router in that price range? Would prefer a decent amount of z axis, at least 6" and larger the xy the better. 1m x 1m would be sweet, or even better if there are any units that have the ability to work with unlimited surface area via manual moving and alignment of the material, or even by moving the unit to align with the next section of the grid??


That’s one of the perks of this forum; the collective experiences are nearly boundless. I’ve seen many, many members with CNC router experience here. I’m sure they’ll chime in with their thoughts.


…and there’s laser suggestions.


You might search this forum for cnc discussions. There are several.
There are even more discussions about competing lasers.

Read up on both types of machines here, and due diligence outside the forum as well. I’m sorry that you have to go elsewhere. I hope you find what you need.


I don’t know anything about CNC machines - I’m sure someone actually helpful will be along momentarily - but I just wanted to point out that you can totally ask for laser recommendations. There are lots of users who have and use different brands, including Dan. There are probably a few older threads floating around discussing what else is out there. Some people might be exclusively team glowforge, but there’s never been any censorship about discussing other machines. And there are definitely quite a few people who have and love others.


I love my Shapeoke XXL, very solid machine.


Ok… I didn’t want to start directly asking for advice on competitors machines, but I’m open to ideas for direction either way. Both Laser and CNC are on my wishlist, and I have a lot of ideas for how to use either and I need to do something other than wait forever for the thing that never happens. I would prefer a Glowforge shipping notification in my email tomorrow but that doesn’t seem especially likely at this rate, so I feel the need to explore my options.

The part that is going to be hard with your specs is the Z. Every inch past 3 tends to cost a lot. If would help if we knew more about what you plan to do with it.

This is a great machine. I did the beta testing on it. Gives you 3in Z, 6in X, and 24in Y. The software gives you the ability to index very nicely so you are actually looking at 24x1000"

If you have interest in a 4th axis this machine will handle that as well.

The Shaper is looking very promising but no 4th axis and you have to push it around. The big plus is x and y are unlimited so full sheet ply here we come!


I have looked at the shaper origin. Definitely an interesting machine but not really what I want. I will look into the Handibot some more, seems interesting.

What I want to do? Well mostly I am a hobbyist with artistic inclinations, for one example I am involved in the festival scene in my area on various levels and would really like to have tools to assist in the fabrication of art / deco/ stage installations and hoping to further develop some of my inspiration and ideas into part of my business. So yea cutting, carving and shaping things as I come up with ideas is pretty much is my goal.

Also I have some interest in loudspeaker design so a CNC would be very helpful there, . At this point. 6" z axis isn’t a deal breaker, just seems it would be nice to have the option, but if it makes it prohibitively expensive to have that much depth then I’m sure I would be happy enough playing with a 2-3" depth


From what I see here I do think you’d get the most bang for the buck from the handibot. Yes, more Z is always better but 3" will cover 95% of your use cases.

A huge bonus with handibot is that they will bend over backward for you. It is a very small division of Shopbot but they have the full backing of Shopbot.

You also get me. :smile: I run the G+ handibot group and am a moderator at the official site. Not a very active group but questions get answered.


I am definitely taking a liking to the Handibot from what I see so far. Is the large sheet version somewhat new to market? I don’t see much online info, was hoping to see some video in action. Any suggestions? Also am I correct in thinking that the large sheet model is essentially the adventure edition mounted on a jig/transport with y axis? Is it possible if desired to remove the main unit from the jig and use in its more portable form?

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Oh, and can I put a laser on it? haha


You totally could… at your own risk…

It is brand new, like all new products it has been delayed several times… There is not much vidio out there. let me see what I can find.

You are correct but if you buy the extended there is no short base. You could by the adventure and then the add-on but trust me, Brian who runs handibot takes the better part of an hour to do the swap. took me several and a lot of cussing, Im happy to stick with the long version. I’d decide on one or the other and stick with that.

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Boring footage of my beta unit.

An earlier beta (in-house) showing how you index it for large areas.


I have this. It’s pretty close to your specifications if you are willing to assemble and trouble shoot on your own. They have a helpful group forum similar to this one.

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I have a Maslow CNC coming in a few days. It can cut full size plywood or even bigger and the price is right. Not sure how accurate it is going to turn out to be.

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I’m guessing you’ve seen this, but for anyone who hasn’t, here’s Brian Oltrogge’s YouTube channel - there’s some real good stuff on there! (lots of good casting videos)

Although that CNC router looks very familiar, I don’t think I ever realized the guy who makes sweet-lookin’ casting videos was also the designer of the machine.


Word is that it takes more tweaks than a belt drive.

There is lots of interesting options here so far Thanks! Problem is, I can really only afford one at best and I am wishing I could try them all, haha. I’ll take a more detailed look soon but based on what i know so far the Handibot seems the best suired choice.