My new CNC.

Zeegler

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That's really interesting. Please keep us updated on how you like it.

I assume that's the XL model.
 

Ripthorn

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This is the one I've had my eye on. Just not sure how much I would use one since I only build one-offs and I have a CNC mill.
 

valvetoneman

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Looks great

I'd like to get a CNC at some point no idea how difficult it is use one, how long does it take to learn the software
 

bad565ss

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I'm curious how much assembly and setup has to be done and how complicated is the software to use?
The machine is a kit that has to be assembled.
I've been doing cnc work for 35 years so for me it was pretty straight forward. Learning cad will take some time. Do that first or it's useless.
 

Zeegler

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The machine is a kit that has to be assembled.
I've been doing cnc work for 35 years so for me it was pretty straight forward. Learning cad will take some time. Do that first or it's useless.
I used AutoCAD in college, but that was 25 years ago so I'd be pretty rusty but I'm sure I could pick it up quickly. I'm definitely interested in getting myself one of these.
 

jvin248

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I'm curious how much assembly and setup has to be done and how complicated is the software to use?
I have a Shapeoko and got it when my kids were ten and thirteen and I supervised the two of them putting it together from the pdf plans as a family summer project. Simple. They had fun.

The hard part is the CAD. Don't buy a machine until you learn how to create what you want in CAD.
And it's 3D CAD. Old 2D stuff can get you started making the models but you feed the CNC with 3D code.

FreeCAD is free, works well, many youtube videos to learn it. https://www.freecadweb.org/
Fusion360 used to be free but they cut out/restricted the hobby level, now it's a monthly subscription around Onshapes cost
Onshape is $40/mo, cloud based, created by the Solidworks team after they sold the Solidworks company, so it will work a lot like Solidworks UI
Solidworks/Catia/SiemensNG are all pro level CAD systems with $5k - $20k price per 'seat' with annual subscription maintenance fees on top of that.
Some use Rhino, that will cost around the same as Solidworks, from memory

For machines:
cncfornewbie <- this is the one I'd get right now, though in rectangular format of guitar sized dimensions
xcarve
Openbuilds
Shapeoko <- I have the XL rectangular version. I may upgrade to a ball screw Z-axis

You will want a dust shoe (which you can build with the CNC itself) and a dust separator (buy or make) for your shopvac.

.
 
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failsafe306

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I have a Shapeoko and got it when my kids were ten and thirteen and I supervised the two of them putting it together from the pdf plans as a family summer project. Simple. They had fun.

The hard part is the CAD. Don't buy a machine until you learn how to create what you want in CAD.
And it's 3D CAD. Old 2D stuff can get you started making the models but you feed the CNC with 3D code.

FreeCAD is free, works well, many youtube videos to learn it. https://www.freecadweb.org/
Fusion360 used to be free but they cut out/restricted the hobby level, now it's a monthly subscription around Onshapes cost
Onshape is $40/mo, cloud based, created by the Solidworks team after they sold the Solidworks company, so it will work a lot like Solidworks UI
Solidworks/Catia/SiemensNG are all pro level CAD systems with $5k - $20k price per 'seat' with annual subscription maintenance fees on top of that.
Some use Rhino, that will cost around the same as Solidworks, from memory

For machines:
cncfornewbie <- this is the one I'd get right now, though in rectangular format of guitar sized dimensions
xcarve
Openbuilds
Shapeoko <- I have the XL rectangular version. I may upgrade to a ball screw Z-axis

You will want a dust shoe (which you can build with the CNC itself) and a dust separator (buy or make) for your shopvac.

.
Excellent information.
 

Tweaker

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I use Fusion 360 and it is still very functional at the hobby level... for free.

Cheers Peter.
100%. Especially for guys doing one off guitars or other projects, the hobby license is still the best option in my opinion.
 

bad565ss

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My recommendation to anyone interested in getting into cnc routers is to do your research. You want a rigid frame and drives that won't flex under load.
I would avoid belts and single v-roller set ups for guitar building. Brands I would consider are Millright, Cncfornewbie, Onefinity, and any of the
Workbee style machines from Openbuilds, Bulkman3D, and others that have 48 rollers that use 8020 style extrusions. When it comes to extrusions bigger is better. Also consider Z axis travels. You want at least 3.50", preferably more.
Machines like the Xcarve and Sienci Longmill and Shapeoko can get the job done but lack of drive torque and frame rigidity will be a limiting factor.
I'm limiting the discussion to the entry level priced machines (under $3,000). There are many more capable machines as you move up the pricing scale. My choice was driven by these factors and lead time which can be 8-12 weeks in many cases.
All of this advice comes from over 35 years of cnc
machining experience for what it's worth.
 
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Marty M.

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I've been cncing for about 15 years now. I'd recommend you get your cnc and learn how to draw and use it. It's like on the job training. You can build a guitar in 2D. The only thing you need 3d for is for a contoured surface like a neck, fretboard radius, and carved tops. You can actually write your gcode to do a fretboard radius surface if you can identify the points on the arc you want and can use a text editor.

I did this before 3d programs were affordable to the hobbiest. While knowing how to write Gcode is less necessary these days, since software does it for you, knowing what the basic codes do it a real benefit.


I'd recommend you learn how to draw lines, circles, and curves, then put them together into guitar part shapes and cut them out. As the old guy here, I use Rhino3d, as that was THE program 15 years ago.


I have a K22514, an Xcarve built up from a Shapeoko2, and a home built hardware store cnc router was my first go round with this. To anyone getting into CNC, I'd suggest you get a machine with supported linear guides and antibacklash screws at the minimum. Buy your second machine first...LOL.


No affiliation but this guy is on the right track.



NEW-Carve cnc machine (cnc4newbie.com)
 
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zdoggie

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thats what I'm talking about the lack of better quality and higher than anyone can stand prices results in the above
you go

zdog
 

captdan61

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I'm all done setting up my Millright Mega V except for a relay to start the router and dust collector.
Sample cuts showing .002" accuracy. Happy, Happy! View attachment 521831
Single cut Les Paul junior wraptail the mahogany neck out of koa. I really don't like you get much better than that maybe an engraved metal pickguard but in the traditional shape maybe a nice tortoise shell. That's what I make if I have the skills.
 

Rapdog

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Does anyone have experience with the next wave generation SHARK CNC systems? Expensive but seem rigid and have most everything you need. Is v-carve software good for 3D Les Paul type carves? Thanks
 

pshupe

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I had a SHARK CNC 25"x25" as my first CNC. I haven't looked into them lately but mine was made of phenolic panels a type of hard plastic. I think the aluminum extrusion type machines may be better.

I had it for a couple years then stepped up to a slightly larger more rigid machine. It was about 1.5x the price and has been rock solid. A Les Paul is quite a thick guitar so a larger Z axis travel is more helpful. My current machine has 9 1/2” of Z travel and I find that about right but could use a bit more.

Cheers Peter
 


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