3dprintforums logo



Page 2 of 7 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 13 to 24 of 76

Thread: Thom Carr 4 Axis CNC

  1. #13
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    united states
    Posts
    4
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Art Router Form Thomm Carr Nightmare Experience!!!!

    I bought this router just over 6 months ago. It took almost 2 months to arrive which was a little irritating but apparently very common with this company. Finally the machine arrived and looked pretty good with exception of missing several parts for the 4th axis (lathe) and dust collection, which I still have not received!!! So really I got a 3 axis machine for the price of a 4 axis which really sucks since the 4th axis is why I bought this machine as opposed to another. Originally this machine was descent for the price, it has aluminum rails with plastic gear tracks and router carrier housing. It is fairly accurate if you take it easy on the machine (run it slow usually not more than a feedrate of 20 even though Thom swears it will run at 60 just fine). Running it faster than 20 I do not recommend first of all because the stepper motors are too weak and make a popping noise which is a sign that the machine has lost step calibration and that the rest of the piece you are cutting will now be all messed up and you better stop the machine so it doesn't damage itself by running beyond its limits without knowing where it is anymore. Secondly the aluminum rails and plastic carrier are a little flimsy causing cut lines to not be straight or to leave obvious evidence of where the router plunges down into the material to begin the cut because of the carrier flopping around, this still happens at slow speeds but just not quite as much. Now after using the machine maybe twice a week for 5 months, it no longer will run all the way across the x-axis because the plastic carrier has become looser allowing it to twist and bind against the rails. This is partly a design flaw because the gear rails have screw heads that are sticking out, that catch against the flimsy carrier. The screws should have been counter sunk and the carrier should not be made of flimsy plastic with screws that easily become looose. Thom says he would send info on how to fix, but as usual has not owned up to what he promises. Just like the parts he has told me he sent at least 50 times now, but still have not arrived. He has even given me false tracking numbers to convince me they were on the way, extremely unprofessional!!! In the beginning he was helpful and he still sounds honest every time I talked to him, but he never follows through on what he promises such as sending what I paid for!!! Just story after story about how he is fixing a design or doesn't have enough employees or he is stressed and needed time off. Here's an idea if you cannot deliver something don't sell it!!! If it is not designed correctly fix it before you sell it, and if you are not going to send something, don't tell someone you are. Dishonesty is much worse than shortcomings, at least if he was honest and told me the parts don't work or weren't coming, I could have tried to worked around the issue instead of waiting half a year always thinking the parts are on the way. Even a partial refund might have sufficed. I have been ridiculously nice and patient with Thom, I mean seriously I have been waiting almost 7 months now, there is absolutely no excuse for this kind of poor professionalism! I don't want to add to someones stress, but I don't believe any of these stories anymore. Because if they were true, what business man in his right mind continues to sell something he cannot produce, they are still for sell on Ebay and on his website meanwhile several people are still waiting and hoping they will get all they paid for one day. The price may be low for a CNC but I regret my purchase considering all the hassle with the seller and flaws/limitations of the machine. Ebay has told me several times to report the business to the internet fraud division of the FBI, and have repeatedly refused saying that the mans seems to be honest but just having hard times. I am through being naive and am now looking into the info Ebay sent me. I wish I had just purchased a more expensive machine from a real professional that could actually deliver what I paid for without all the hassle. My recommendation DON'T DO IT!!! it is not worth it, I still make most things by hand because I cannot depend on the machine or the seller. CNC machines are supposed to be accurate and dependable unlike human hands if I can produce more reliable results by hand, then seriously what is the point in owning a CNC. The only benefit is being able to let it do some of the work for me and I stress some because I almost always have to make corrections by hand. I also try not to produce anything round because it has serious problems cutting correct circles!!! I would send it in to use the warranty or get a refund, but I would probably just lose the machine forever since the seller never sends anything he promises. I just want readers to know that I have been 100% honest about my experience with Thom Carr's Art Router, not just trying make anyone look bad. My purpose for writing this post is to help others, aside form a very small part of me that is still hoping Thom might see this post and finally send my parts! I don't even care much about the dust collection anymore, just please send the 4th axis lathe parts so I can use it and help me fix the accuracy and reliability of this machine or tell me how I can get a full refund and actually trust that I will get it. I will even remove this post or write a rebuttal if you will just come through for me Thom and quit lying to me and dodging/not returning my phone calls. My other reason for writing this post is to let people know what they will be dealing with if they purchase from this company, so they will give it serious thought before spending thousands of their hard earned dollars for something they may not ever get. Most people considering purchasing this machine are not rich like me and every dollar counts, which is likely why they are considering this low priced machined. My advice is keep looking for a better alternative from a reliable company.



  2. #14
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    240
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Hmmmm

    I disagree,

    cncguy... Feel free to holler at me and I might be able to help you with some of your problems. I can't help you with getting anything from Thom but a lot of the bugs you have, I had too and I just wanted folks to know that the machines works well for me...

    Interesting but with Thoms CNC you have to tune it and fine tune it just like any other machine. For mine I had the same issues you are having but everything has been resolved by working thourgh the mechanical problems both with Thom and on my own.... It is a little time consuming and not something that should be done when frustrated. Take your time andsetup the machine andbecome familiar with it.... You will be glad you did...

    On your machine is it a 48x48 machine? Mine is and I love it.

    My machine has been running for the past 2+ years and has made me a lot of money paying for the machine easily 10 times over. But realize I am a equipment engineer who has worked as a electro mechanical technician for 30+ years and I have been using a cnc router for the past 8 years. I started with a cnc router I built myself then I decided to buy Thoms machine..... I'm glad I did. There is no comparison Thoms machine kick butt!!!... But remember I have the know how to fix things and make them work not everyone does. If you are new to CNC you need to go slow with any cnc machine you buy and learn the machine.....

    I cut smooth and steady at 25 ipm with no issues. Yes the machine is more than capable of cutting at 100 ipm and I have done a few things that fast.....BUT!!! Cutting wood 20-35 ipm is just about as fast as you want to cut simply because of wood tear out. If you want to cut faster you need to buy a higher rpm spindle or router. You also need high quality sharp router bits and or Endmills. Don't even try to cut with made in China router bits... OR ...You will have problems.... Been there done that. Rockler has good bits reasonably priced. Buy your bits there, not the made in China Bits sold on Ebay... Done that and they worked for a short period of time then your machine will start giving you problems.. It only took me about 6 months to figure that one out!!! Trial and Error....SHARP LONG LASTING BITS ARE VERY IMPORTANT!!!!

    cncguy I had some of the same problems you had and mostly it takes time to work out the issues. You also have to cut shallow no more than a 1/4 inch depending on the king of router bit you are using as well as the spindle. I suggest until your machine is dialed in start at about 10 ipm and work out your machine bugs.... that is the key. Also on your motors have you set the timing? Make sure your motor timing is set for the speed you are trying to cut... Very important.....

    Thom isn't perfect but for the price you can not beat his machines. But you have to set them up correctly and you have to have patience and take it slowly when you first get the machine setup.... Not many cnc machines are plug and play right out of the box no matter who makes them....

    I call Thom whenever I need help ( I am way way past the 1 year warranty period on my machine) and when I have problems (Very seldom) he still helps me over the phone. Thats what I call outstanding support.... Last time he sent me new parts (FOR FREE) even though I was way past the 1 year warranty period.....

    (Smile) I also had to wait on the 4th axis .... It took about 10 months for mine to arrive but I wasn't interested in the 4th axis and it is still in the box.... Someday I'll hook it up.

    As for the motors not being strong? If I recall the motors are 305oz steppers. I can't hold the motors when its running....and I'm a big guy....

    Oh BTW... I had problems cutting circles too but as the above... you have to adjust the machine correctly.... Start with a BIG Circle at about 10ipm and when you see a bobble in the circle STOp the machine and adjust the gantry motor spring ( SLIGHTLY) until there is no bobble. THe springs are there to provide adjustment for the gear train.....I also had problems with my other home made cnc but again through trial and error once the machine was adjusted it worked great....

    BTW...

    For the record I am not in anyway affiliated with Thom other than a very satisfied customer. His machine works for me and it works well and it does things other cnc machines cannot do.... But again I am very experienced with CNC, mechanical, software, and electronics.. 30 years as equipment engineer. I just don't want anyone to think Thoms machines don't work and don't work well. You have to remember this CNC router isn't made for cutting through 3/4 sheets of plywood on a single pass.

    Yes I was a bit frustrated with the same probems mentioned below but patience and perserverence and the machine will work and work well If you learn the machine and its capabilities and get it tweaked in correctly....



  3. #15
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    115
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I agree and concur that these machines are to be avoided. I had one of his machines which cuts glass. It was poorly built and arrived broken. Thom is a nice guy and replaced a board for me once but the machine never ran correctly and was pretty bad. I eventually gave it away and bought a chinese jinan quick router and added a tangential cutting access. Having Thom's machine did teach me about CNC though. Also his cnc plug in for MAch 3 sometimes failed. Thom offered to send me a corrected four axis but it never arrived. He overpromises and seems to have issues finishing things. STAY AWAY!



  4. #16
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    240
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Sums it up

    I'll bow to the majority,

    To sum it up if you aren't good with mechanical issues or if you are new to cnc then I suggest you find another machine as it appears many folks who purchased a machine from Thom cannot make it work correctly.

    If you are experienced with mechanical issues and setup the machine correctly it is a good machine for the price. To get it setup and running the way it should will take you about 6 hours out of the box...... Setting it up right and and getting it dialed in will save you lots of frustration.

    If anyone needs any help with one of Thoms machines feel free to holler at me. Like I said I have had one and it works well for me "once you set it up correctly". I spend about 20 hours per week cutting wood and plywood with it and it is the backbone of my operation...

    I also agree that for some reason getting the 4th Axis from Thom takes a while.

    BTW...

    Forget Mach3 as a controller I use Kcam. For me there was no comparison as far as ease of use and reduced setup time.... Of course opinions vary... Lots of folks swear by Mach 3.



  5. #17
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    115
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I have 10 patents so I am not a moron mechanically and I resent the implication. 2.5 years ago the machines had a myriad of problems which Thom admitted. Maybe the machines are better now and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. The problems I had with design and setup cannot be explained away by my lack of skill. Why try to make bearings out of plastic when the world has figured out how to make a bearing...Don't even get me started about the other issues...... We worked on it quite a bit just to get it running and keep it running.. It did help me learn out about cnc and tangential glass cutting though and helped me make my new machine.

    Last edited by cambridgecnc; 02-02-2011 at 06:45 PM.


  6. #18
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    240
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Thoms machine works well for me.

    Hello,

    I didn't call anyone a moron and that was not my intent. I have my machine working reliably and on my machine all the problems I had were setup issues. I'm not sure what your problems were as far as the machine was concerned.

    The funny thing is at work I am always called when engineers and techs have problems getting a machine to work. They always blame issues on the machine design or a miriad of other excuses for problems they cannot fix. Nope...... 90% of the time it is something simple. By using a logical step by step trouble shooting approach most problems are easily resolved. If the machine works for one person it will obviously work for another. If it worked at one time it can obviously work again...... Reminds of a quote "what one man can do another can do".

    What I also said was that if anyone needs help they can contact me and I might be able to help get their machine running. I'll even go so far as to say if you are in Houston I might even invite you over (if you ask nice and if I have time as I'm always buried with orders or at my real job working on equipment) to see Thoms machine in action and possibly help you trouble shoot your machine if you have problems. I support Thom Carr as he has supported me "WHENEVER" I needed help. He has gone above and beyond to help me when I needed it.

    OK I'll try and help those here who are having problems with Thoms machine.... Don't give up and don't let it get to you. Work the problem if you are frustrated take a break. The machine works for me and it will work well for you too....

    If you follow my troubleshooting procedures below I'll bet you can get your machine working as reliably as mine. Don't pay attention to those who say no or it won't work or those who say it is a bad design. Trust me it isn't because if it was why would my machine be working? and working Well..... No BS here. I'm not saying Thoms machine is perfect as I have never met the perfect machine... some are just tempermental.

    Here are some but not all of the things I learned about this machine and how to set it up to make it run well. Although Thom knows his machine a lot better than I do and you should call Thom when you have problems....He supports his product irregardless of what you might see here. Call the man and talk to him even if you are mad or disappointed he will help you work out your machine problems. Thom is pretty sharp when it comes to CNC..... A lot smarter than most here on cnczone including me. But you'll figure that out when you talk to him in person.

    Yes, I had setup problems that I had to work through but I'm glad I did. Its a good machine at a fantastic price. But you gotta work through the setup issues. Every problem listed below I had; and every problem below was a setup problem... Not cutting clean circles was a setup problem. Losing position was a setup problem. Mach 3 is a good controller but I prefer Kcam as it is more user friendly with faster setup times between jobs. So I can't comment on the Mach 3 problems as I changed to Kcam when I got the machine. Thom helped me over the phone set it up using MACH3. We set it up using Mach 3 but the next day I switched to Kcam. Once I had the parrallel port pin addresses and settings it was simple to convert from Mach 3 to Kcam.

    The rack and pinion design of this machine makes it a bit tempermental on intial setup but you are getting a BIGGER cnc router as well as a cnc lathe for a cheaper price than just a cnc router as offered elsewhere. Look at it like this if you have one and it isn't working now you have nothing to lose by working on it right!! It's amazing what a 1/16 of a turn on the set screws will do for the accuracy andreliability of this particular rack and pinion gear train as well as the machine over all.

    I do agree the screws should be counter sunk on the rails and I think a metal rack and pinion grear train would be better with perhaps different gear pitch but it works for me as is. I haven't had any problems with the screws hitting the carriage but counter sinking them would be a nice touch. I should have thought of that........ I suspect if the screws are tight your problem is related to bearing and or carriage adjustments. I also removed the screws from my machine when I reworked the rack and pinion system and I used Red Locktite when I replaced them just to prevent that from happening. I also added more screws to mine as a precaution, every 6 inches on both the X and Y axis now has a screw that is locktited in place. I also re-leveled the entire gear train as it was damaged by our favorite shipping company. I used small 1.25 inch sheet metal screws so they probably didn't need the locktite but hey I was there and I always use loctite from force of habit.

    SETUP TIPS....

    We will start with the basics. Make sure your motors work as they should. Left and right up and down forward and backwards using the manual controls. If that is all good then here we go.

    Make sure the set screws that hold the motor shaft couplers to the gear drives and gears are tight and in the right position which is the " flat spot " on the motor shaft as well as the motor drive bar. Those pesky little set screws can cause all kinds of problems if they aren't set right and tight but don't over-tighten them because if you strip one out then you have a big job in front of you. ( Nuther words dont be lazy and use a ball driver..... use a good old fashioned flat bottomed allen wrench as there is less chance of stripping the set screw or breaking the ball end off of the ball driver inside the set screw hen trying to get it out...... ) Thats another free tip......

    Also Make sure your drive gears are centered on the gear track. Very important.....

    Make sure the X gantry is square to the machine frame........ Very Important use the end of the machine vertical supports to gauge this..... OR a large framing square will work too.....

    ALL good to go with the above...Great lets get your machine running....

    First step : Level the table to the gantry. It should be the same height in all 4 corners of the machine as well as in the middle of your work table. Take your time as once it is done you won't have to mess with it unless you use another table for other work like I do. I have 2 tables one which is lower that I use to plane round log slabs that won't fit into the planer or bandsaw. They are interchangeable but it takes a little time to change them out...Depending on what I'm doing. Also make sure the bolts holding the X-axis gantry are TIGHT!!. They have lock nuts on each bolt but check them anyway. The X gantry shouldn't move up and down at all. If it does your bolts are not tight. Remember your machine was at the mercy of a shipping company..... Shipping companies are known for gently handling crates......LOL.

    Second Step ........Set the gantry bearings correctly, make sure "ALL" bearings are engaging on all 4 sides of the rails for the Y axis as well as the X axis. Most of your problems will ocurr on the Y AXIS. If the bearings aren't engaging accurecy will be compromised and you will see bobbles when cutting. There are hidden set screws to adjust the bearings...... although I removed them and used bolts where I could to make setting them a little faster and more user friendly. Plus, I can never find a allen wrench when I need one...hahahahaha SOme day I will clean the shop LOL.... Anyway back to it. All the bearings should be moving when the gantry or carriage is moving. There should be no binding when you move the gantry and carriage slow and steady. If there is it isn't adjusted correctly. Again take your time setting it up because once you set the bearing depths you won't have to mess with them again.......Ever........ unless a bearing goes bad on you.

    Third Step ..... If one over-torques or under-torque the set screws that adjust the up/down position of the drive gear you will have nothing but problems..... Don't over-tighten the set screws, be gentle with them and set it up in each of the 4 corners of the work table by turning off the motors and moving the gantry by hand. You shouldn't hear or feel any gears jumping or not meshing. If you do adjust the set screws until the gears mesh smoothly. (Don't over tighten the set screws) slightly loose is better than too tight!!!. There has to be a little bit of play for the gears to mesh smoothly but not so much that the gantiy is loose when you apply hand pressure to them with the motors turned on. That is the purpose of the springs to allow the gears to mesh firmly while allowing for just a little play in the gear train. If you have adjusted and left the springs compressed (too tight) you might have to pull them out and "stretch them back out a little bit ". Compressed springs are not good on this machine. Been there done that.

    ALSO make sure your controller is using ramping speed control on your machine. I start at 20ipm for setup.

    4th Step........... After setting the gantry 4 corners ( A Tad on the loose side ) Start with cutting a big Square (SLOW CUT!!!) about 8-10ipm shallow cut about 1/8 depth with a good new sharp 1/8 end mill or router bit with the router set to max speed cutting slow like 8-10 ipm. Don't use a big bit and don't cut deep or fast..... Remember you are setting up the machine to run reliably not starting your own sawmill as that will come later.

    When the gantries are semi-tight watch for bobbles in the toolpath. If there is a bobble in the square in one spot stop the cnc and turn off the motors and manually move the gantry to the position of the bobble and turn on the motors and manually try to move(wiggle) the gantry by hand, If it moves at all you have to adjust the corresponding gantry gear set screw('s) to eliminate the bobble. Keep working on it until you cut a perfect square with no Bobbles in it.

    Once it is cutting a perfect 3 foot Square with no bobbles you are done.

    5th step .........Now use the same procedure to cut a large circle and work through any bobbles you might encounter using the same procedure above....If it bobbles turn off the motors and move the gantry by hand to where it bobbles turn on the motors and (wiggle the gantry) if it moves at all adjust the corresponding drive gear set screws (With the motors on) until there isn't any bobbling in the axis that is causing the problem...... If no bobbles then the machine is dialed in and you won't need to adjust it for a long time. It will cut nice smooth circles.

    6th step............. Cut both another larger circle and a larger square as well as a couple smaller circles and squares making sure there are no bobbles in the toolpath. If there is a bobble in the toolpath work it out using the spring set screws. It seems like it is quite a bit to set up the machine but after doing it a couple times and getting the feel for the machine and this procedure you will get to the point where you just know how to adjust the machine if needed.

    The reason you start with a square is so you know which axis is causing the problem. Its pretty simple to figure out if it is the X or Y axis when cutting a square. When cutting a circle it can be a little tricky figuring out which axis is giving the problem....

    Another tip once you have been cutting for a while.......On the Z axis a touch of WD40 lightly applied "LIGHTLY" to the linear rails with your (FINGER TIP) every week or so to help prevent rust and will eliminate any bearing to rail chatter that is generated on the Z-axis when sawdust gets into the linear bearings. The grease used on the bearings has a tendency to attract and hold sawdust.... WD40 won't get rid of it but it will smooth the Z-Axis if it starts chattering as it will. Sawdust is a nuisance.

    Another TIP .........Also on the table I installed adjustable bolts to adjust the height of the table as it is easier (for me) to level the table height to match the gantry than it is to level the gantry to meet the table. If you level the gantry to the table you might have to do the alignment procedures I listed above. But I have done it both ways but for me it is easier to level the table to the gantry as I don't have to go through the "time consuming" bobble steps above..... I figure on a first attempt at debugging this machine it will take about 6 hours to make it work depending but once dialed in it you will make more sawdust than you can possibly imagine.

    I'll also go as far as saying that I'll stack my machine up against any machine in the same price range and I'll betcha Thoms machine will run as good if not better. But you gotta find a commercailly available 48x48 machine for less than 3.5K unless the price has gone up on Thoms machines...plus can you find a machine in this price range that includes a cnc lathe? (Smile) Yeah I know the 4th "axis" is slow in coming but It will get there. Call Thom and tell him you need it and I'll bet he gets it to you.

    As for support from Thom call him and ask questions. Yes I mean just that, call him and he will get back to you HIS WORD IS GOOD..... When I call he always calls or emails me back. So give him a holler. To bad he isn't a member here on CNCzone but he is a fixer and designer rather than a chatter.

    Good luck hope this helps someone out there.



  7. #19
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    united states
    Posts
    4
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    This is an update to my previous post about the Art Router made by the Thom Carr Company. About a week after my last reply, Mr. Carr found my post and contacted me to resolve the issue. Thom and I worked with the machine for a few days, but could not figure out the issues. So a new machine was sent to me, which arrived about a month later. Aside from one end of the crate being ripped open during delivery the machine looked to be in excellent condition. I quickly set up the machine and prepared for testing and calibration. However, there were still a few issues. To make a long story short after a couple more weeks of shipping and a few more days of repairs and calibrations. The machine was up and running pretty reliably. It seems to have a descent amount of force for cutting wood as long as you are not trying to run to fast or too deep. It does not have more force than a grown man can stop with his hand; as another poster claimed because, I am a very averaged sized guy and can stop it with fairly moderate force of one hand or even a thumb with a little extra effort. The machine is capable of running precision cuts at a speed of 15-20 steps per second or slightly rougher cuts up to a speed of 30, both cuts never deeper than 1/8" per pass with standard router bits. I have yet to find 1/8 mill bits or an adapter to install them into the router, that the company recommends, but hope to try it soon because I hear it is much better than standard bits and do not doubt this claim because I have used Milling drill presses before and they are no doubt better at plunging than router bits are due to blades that spans the entire cutting end of the bit unlike router bits.
    During my last post I made some pretty strong accusations about these machines and wanted to give the company some due credit for coming through and helping me fix the issues. After my previous post, It would be obvious that I was lying if I said that the machine arrived quickly and was ready to go out of the box. The machine needed an unexpected amount of work to make it operate as it should. However, as an honest man I have to admit that it works pretty good now because the company replaced the malfunctioning parts and spent much of their time over the phone with me to help me correct the issues. As far as my recommendation of this company and machine, I would mostly recommend it for beginners to CNC or hobbyist. I say this because this company will teach a beginner from scratch to use CNC with relative ease. You should have a fair amount of technical and mechanical knowledge to be able to maintain, calibrate and troubleshoot this machine as you will need with any CNC machines. You do not have to be an engineer or professional designer like many of us CNCer's, but you should at least have moderate to strong abilities to spot problems with mechanical and electrical components. However, you can be a beginner to CNC just as I was, and they can teach you to do at least the basics in as little as a day. While you may experience some issues and/or delays, it is still a great value for a low price when you consider the amount cutting area, the 4th axis, and the helpful technical support spoken in very clear English because the machine is made in America.



  8. #20
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    240
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Wonderful News I hope you enjoy your machine

    Hello CNCGUY,


    Wonderful news. Feel free to contact me if you have any issues or questions with your machine. I have my machine running very well and it has been for the past 2 years. It was a bit frustrating at first though....... I am cutting at 45ipm at about 1/8 to 1/4 inch per pass using 1/8 inch straight bits as well as 1/2 and 3/4 inch roundover bits. Any faster and the bits I use don't leave smooth cuts. Although when using porter cable bits I can bump up the speed to about 60ipm cutting at 1/8 inch depths with a 1/2inch roundover bit. I tried some MCLS bits and they are over priced for the quality of the bits, porter cable bits seem to be the best bit for the money. Rockler has some great deals on overstocked and discontinued bits......

    If you can stop your machine with your thumb, that tells me something wrong with your setup more than likely the electronics or possibly motor timing or a bad supply. You might want to double check your dip switches on the motor drives to make sure they are set right and check the voltage coming out of the power supply to make sure it is correct. If not holler at Thom and see what he says. I also added some ferrite beads on the power supply motor feed lines to reduce noise. The ferrite beads helped quite a bit in this regard. I could see it on the O-Scope and it made the motors run smoother. I think I also added some filter caps here and there.

    I use a different controller other than the supplied MACH3 ( I use KCAM rather than MACH3) for ease of use. This allows me the option to time and synchonize the motors with the speed I am cutting at which helps a lot. To be fair I haven't messed with MACH 3 very much as KCAM for me is a lot easier to use. I can switch from one design to another in a matter of minutes. If you are new you might want to download the trial version and give it a try. I htink you will like it better than Mach 3. It makes life easier in my opinion......

    I kind of have to wonder about the shipping company as my machine also arrived in a torn up box. Freight companies!!!

    BTW..... For the 1/8 adapters check on Ebay. I bought a couple of them (buy the brass ones) that fit the router 1/4inch chucks. They cost about 15.00 and are WELL worth it as a time saver.

    Congrats...


    QUOTE=cncguyjl55;949361]This is an update to my previous post about the Art Router made by the Thom Carr Company. About a week after my last reply, Mr. Carr found my post and contacted me to resolve the issue. Thom and I worked with the machine for a few days, but could not figure out the issues. So a new machine was sent to me, which arrived about a month later. Aside from one end of the crate being ripped open during delivery the machine looked to be in excellent condition. I quickly set up the machine and prepared for testing and calibration. However, there were still a few issues. To make a long story short after a couple more weeks of shipping and a few more days of repairs and calibrations. The machine was up and running pretty reliably. It seems to have a descent amount of force for cutting wood as long as you are not trying to run to fast or too deep. It does not have more force than a grown man can stop with his hand; as another poster claimed because, I am a very averaged sized guy and can stop it with fairly moderate force of one hand or even a thumb with a little extra effort. The machine is capable of running precision cuts at a speed of 15-20 steps per second or slightly rougher cuts up to a speed of 30, both cuts never deeper than 1/8" per pass with standard router bits. I have yet to find 1/8 mill bits or an adapter to install them into the router, that the company recommends, but hope to try it soon because I hear it is much better than standard bits and do not doubt this claim because I have used Milling drill presses before and they are no doubt better at plunging than router bits are due to blades that spans the entire cutting end of the bit unlike router bits.
    During my last post I made some pretty strong accusations about these machines and wanted to give the company some due credit for coming through and helping me fix the issues. After my previous post, It would be obvious that I was lying if I said that the machine arrived quickly and was ready to go out of the box. The machine needed an unexpected amount of work to make it operate as it should. However, as an honest man I have to admit that it works pretty good now because the company replaced the malfunctioning parts and spent much of their time over the phone with me to help me correct the issues. As far as my recommendation of this company and machine, I would mostly recommend it for beginners to CNC or hobbyist. I say this because this company will teach a beginner from scratch to use CNC with relative ease. You should have a fair amount of technical and mechanical knowledge to be able to maintain, calibrate and troubleshoot this machine as you will need with any CNC machines. You do not have to be an engineer or professional designer like many of us CNCer's, but you should at least have moderate to strong abilities to spot problems with mechanical and electrical components. However, you can be a beginner to CNC just as I was, and they can teach you to do at least the basics in as little as a day. While you may experience some issues and/or delays, it is still a great value for a low price when you consider the amount cutting area, the 4th axis, and the helpful technical support spoken in very clear English because the machine is made in America.[/QUOTE]



  9. #21
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    240
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    2nd Thom Carr Machine purchased

    Just thought I would update this thread.

    I just bought a (2nd) new machine from Thom Carr and so far out of the box it has performed very well. No damage to the shipping crate this time. Some minor tweeks here and there and it is cutting excellant. Thom has re-designed the rails and from what I see so far it is an improvement over previous designs. My first machine is still making money and I have had so many orders I needed 2 machines running hence I bought the 2nd machine.

    I saw a comment somewhere that stated this machine wasn't good for commercial use. Hmmm... My 4x4 machine has been running about 20-40 hours per week for the past year with no major issues. I'll update this once the new machine has ran for more than a couple hundred hours, probably next month.



  10. #22
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    14
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Your experience may have been fine but mine has been miserable.
    The machine I received took nearly 3 months to arrive and when it did it could not even cut a circle. And yes I spend quite a bit of time on the phone with Thom Carr, but the issues were not resolved until I took the machine apart myself and discovered that two of the drive couplings were way too loose and wobbly and way out of alignment and did not allow the machine to stay on the gears, hence slippage, and no amount of adjusting and calilbrating would fix that. My solution was to re-design the couplings for both the Y and X axis which certainly helped machine function (I had to do this) My frustration has been going on for quite a while (In the midst of this I had some serious medical issues and had to lay off any cnc activity for an extended period.) But prior to this about two years ago I was promised a new replacement gantry with the improved design he has described numerous times to me. I have never received it, but I have had so many promises that the "check was in the mail" that I think he must consider this or me a joke. I have held off publicizing my opinion in regards to this art router because I held hope that Thom would come through. I should not have had to re-design a machine that I purchased in good faith. At this point the machine works as long as I keep the speed way down but the steppers will skip if I have a design where the cutter has to change directions rapidly. I am considering replacing the steppers with more powerful ones to counteract the inertial slippage. I apologize if my terminology is not technically correct. There you have it.....a rather unhappy customer.



  11. #23
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    240
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Update on my 2nd Machine

    My 2nd Machine from Thom Carr,

    I have been putting my 2nd Machine through the paces and it has been running about 3-4 hours per day since my previous post. I had/have some issues with the Z Axis and until I slow down to adjust it I can live with this minor problem.....I have raised the table to compensate for the Z-height issue. Basically the Z axis jams when going all the way to the top of the rails. I have been cutting only 4 different repetitive patterns since I received the machine and it has performed very well no major issues. This is out of the box with no adjustments made to the machine. I am sure the Z Axis problem is probably a simple fix but I need the machine running for now so I'll update this when I actually have time to delve into the problem which looks like an alignment problem.

    The big machine is still kicking butt and taking names although I pushed it a little hard like a dummy and cracked the bearing supports. Temporary fix in place and still running. I need to holler at Thom and get some parts when I can afford the down time which isn't foreseeable in the near future.

    I am considering a 3rd machine if I can figure out a place to put it. My Garage shop is fast becoming a manufacturing facility. Too much work and not enough equipment. I'm sorry to hear the problems that others are having with their machines. I dunno, it doesn't' make sense on how my equipment is running so good and others are having so many problems? I see speed is a constant with everyone who is having problems. Perhaps that is why my machines run so well. I don't cut any faster than 30ipm. When I use a 1/2 bit I cut at 25ipm. I'm curious as to the how fast others are cutting at and the depths of cuts. I don't cut any deeper than 1/4 inch per pass.

    Whenever I call Thom he is always there for support and he has never let me down. When I need parts I get them about 2-3 weeks after I let him know about the problem. hmmmm Leaves me itching and scratching. I wish I was close to see some of these problem machines as I am really curious..

    BTW... Any machines you guys don't want holler at me. I am looking to buy another one... I'll only buy a Thom Carr machine. A used machine with problems suits me just fine, of course if the price is right.






    Just thought I would update this thread.

    I just bought a (2nd) new machine from Thom Carr and so far out of the box it has performed very well. No damage to the shipping crate this time. Some minor tweeks here and there and it is cutting excellant. Thom has re-designed the rails and from what I see so far it is an improvement over previous designs. My first machine is still making money and I have had so many orders I needed 2 machines running hence I bought the 2nd machine.

    I saw a comment somewhere that stated this machine wasn't good for commercial use. Hmmm... My 4x4 machine has been running about 20-40 hours per week for the past year with no major issues. I'll update this once the new machine has ran for more than a couple hundred hours, probably next month.



  12. #24
    Registered
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    US
    Posts
    60
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by mlind View Post
    My 2nd Machine from Thom Carr,

    I have been putting my 2nd Machine through the paces and it has been running about 3-4 hours per day since my previous post. I had/have some issues with the Z Axis and until I slow down to adjust it I can live with this minor problem.....I have raised the table to compensate for the Z-height issue. Basically the Z axis jams when going all the way to the top of the rails. I have been cutting only 4 different repetitive patterns since I received the machine and it has performed very well no major issues. This is out of the box with no adjustments made to the machine. I am sure the Z Axis problem is probably a simple fix but I need the machine running for now so I'll update this when I actually have time to delve into the problem which looks like an alignment problem.

    The big machine is still kicking butt and taking names although I pushed it a little hard like a dummy and cracked the bearing supports. Temporary fix in place and still running. I need to holler at Thom and get some parts when I can afford the down time which isn't foreseeable in the near future.

    I am considering a 3rd machine if I can figure out a place to put it. My Garage shop is fast becoming a manufacturing facility. Too much work and not enough equipment. I'm sorry to hear the problems that others are having with their machines. I dunno, it doesn't' make sense on how my equipment is running so good and others are having so many problems? I see speed is a constant with everyone who is having problems. Perhaps that is why my machines run so well. I don't cut any faster than 30ipm. When I use a 1/2 bit I cut at 25ipm. I'm curious as to the how fast others are cutting at and the depths of cuts. I don't cut any deeper than 1/4 inch per pass.

    Whenever I call Thom he is always there for support and he has never let me down. When I need parts I get them about 2-3 weeks after I let him know about the problem. hmmmm Leaves me itching and scratching. I wish I was close to see some of these problem machines as I am really curious..

    BTW... Any machines you guys don't want holler at me. I am looking to buy another one... I'll only buy a Thom Carr machine. A used machine with problems suits me just fine, of course if the price is right.






    Just thought I would update this thread.

    I just bought a (2nd) new machine from Thom Carr and so far out of the box it has performed very well. No damage to the shipping crate this time. Some minor tweeks here and there and it is cutting excellant. Thom has re-designed the rails and from what I see so far it is an improvement over previous designs. My first machine is still making money and I have had so many orders I needed 2 machines running hence I bought the 2nd machine.

    I saw a comment somewhere that stated this machine wasn't good for commercial use. Hmmm... My 4x4 machine has been running about 20-40 hours per week for the past year with no major issues. I'll update this once the new machine has ran for more than a couple hundred hours, probably next month.


    you want to buy mine? its the new version "re design" with the gantry motor inside the gantry. and more aluminum? i have since purchased a second machine elsewhere and will resign using my thom carr router. i cant say anything bad about thom, he has been like a dad with me on the phone. but in the end i need stuff made and a machine to accomplish this. the new design is def nicer and less headache and more aligned.

    let me know if your interested. no electronics included ( accept the one motor inside the gantry )



Page 2 of 7 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


About CNCzone.com

    We are the largest and most active discussion forum from DIY CNC Machines to the Cad/Cam software to run them. The site is 100% free to join and use, so join today!

Follow us on

Facebook Dribbble RSS Feed