What OTHER digital fabrication tools do you have/use


I love how you have given personal names to your top Bots.



I have a Zortrax M200 3D printer and a Tormach PCNC 1100 CNC mill with one of Tormach’s SBL15 lathes on order and due in time for the holidays. All of them are fed with designs from either GeoMagic Design or OnShape, both 3D CAD applications.



I’ve got a 1000mm x 1000mm X-Carve that I haven’t had nearly enough time to play with.



I have a RF45 Ajax controlled CNC mill in my garage, along with a cad/cam package.



Nothing…I am afraid. I would like to add a CNC router

Maybe not the correct place but as this is non-GF related & you all have such good taste…you ordered GF after all…lol.

Any recommendations? I have been looking but the choice is huge & I don’t really know what to look for. I would like a bench top one that can be expanded to larger as funds allow. Cost is a major consideration but I don’t mind paying reasonable price for quality.



Hi Dougie,
I don’t have one yet… but the X-Carve by Instructables looks like a great product at a reasonable price. On my Christmas list.



You are right, there are so many choices, but so many of them self-eliminate when you start doing some research.

I can’t tell you specifically as I don’t know how much money or room you have but if you want something ready to go you can not beat Shopbot for customer service. I so hope that GF can do at least half as well. They have CNC routers from full size down to the Handibot.

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As with all tech, the biggest question is your application. What you want to mill? If you want to mill wood and a few soft-metal items in a mostly flat-ish (more 3D than the GF but not the same as a full mill) format then yes, the X-Carve currently is the device of choice but if you want to mill hard metals or other objects in full 3D then it is not a great choice. If you are making miniature engine blocks or steam engines look elsewhere. Full mills require a lot more expertise, $ and space/power. The X-Carve is a great device and at 1000mm can eat huge materials. On the other end of the spectrum the OtherMill does extreme precision but on tiny objects (like PC-boards)

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Thank for the replies. I knew I could count on you :+1: I will look at the X-carve & shopbot.

Yes predominantly wood win the odd soft metal here & there is what I would be working with.



I have a Silhouette rigged up to Illustrator and that’s about it. I’ve been using Ponoko for about eight years or so though and have given the laser at the local makerspace a bit of a go (it wasn’t accurate enough for what I needed unfortunately, my 12" templates ended up about 12.1" so the makerspace laser is simply concept-only for me).



@Dougie - a friend has the Rockler Shark Pro CNC router and seems to be very happy with it. That also enjoys very good compnay tech support, I think. Looks like that is comparable to their current CNC Shark HD3 model.**

If you need to do much with metal and don’t need much of a work envelope, consider the Tormach PCNC 440 CNC mill. I have the larger PCNC 1100 model and can give the company a strong recommendation. If you contact Tormach, they will put you in touch with a user that is local to you and that is willing to demo or discuss the mill.



I got my digital calipers today and a dial indicator Micrometer. Really thinking and designing in millimeters. It’s so much easier.

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Oh god yes. Digital Calipers are an absolute must-have item for anyone who plans to cut pieces to match with anything else (enclosures, facades, anything…).



Thank you again for the recommendations.

@markevans536301 The shopbot looks very well built, very impressive.

@MikeH. Wow the Tormach looks incredible but way out of my price range. The sharkpro is again very well built.

@Duality, @henryhbk the X-Carve is just what I am looking for. Open source, upgradable & most importantly in my price range.

Thanks again to you all.



I had not thought of measuring tools but you are right, they are digital and oh so necessary. I have two sets plus several specialty types like depth gauge.



@Dougie make sure to watch some of the making videos on the x-carve. The machine is awesome, but the assembly is a beast… (once together pretty much universal like).



I have a Carvewright machine www.carvewright.com that I have been doing 3D model carving, it’s been a good low cost CNC carving machine to do most any project that requires making a detailed carving or routing out up to 5" thick wood. I just bought the Glowforge Pro, cant wait to get it and do about a hundred different things I have been waiting to try.

I have a very old 1990’s UNIVERSAL Laser (25 watt) that is almost dead, it is just about ready to bury in the yard!,



@henryhbk. Thanks. I watched a quite a few reviews of the x-carve & looked into it before I made my decision. I like the idea of building the machine myself, that will give me a good understanding of how the equipment works & will help with any required troubleshooting.

Oh…the carveright looks pretty impressive too, large projects on machine that size is very clever.

Note to self. Stop looking at CNC machines now choice has been made. :smile:



You will probably find the GF to be a ‘gateway’ drug the way I did the Handibot and want all the digital fab tools.



You’re not wrong. I have sneaked a peak at 3D printers as well. Lol. :joy::joy::joy: