that is the most comprehensive comparrison i have seen to date, i will say thanks as it makes me feel pretty good about my camaster x3. on the machine side mine was built in october of 08 and has yet to give me any kind of significant trouble. it is built with industrial quality parts that are easily replaceable and readily available there is no propietary contol by the company. previous to this machine i had a 408 built in 99 that never lost a day of work and has been sold to a sign company in florida and is at work to day.
support, all camaster owners have the cell phone numbers of the owners and techs who build and service the owner community. the owner supported forum [url]www.camheads.org[url] is moderated by the owners of the machines in an autonomus manner in order to keep everyone on thier toes in credibility, camster provides direct live real time online support via internet, this eliminates the cost of having to send techs to a site for diagnostics, any tuning of the machine and training can be done this way.
controllers, wincnc is an excellent industrial controller that i have yet to find any limitations with. it uses a daughter board free of the cpu mother board, this allows for free access to the computer whill the machine is running or using a file, i can teach, be on the internet, and have techs and any one else watching my my machine (or any thing else) via webcam and this is all at the same time. i have yet to have any problem (and yes i have done some dumb screwups) that was not solved in a few minutes for 95% of any issue and within a shipping day of a needed part ( i fried a stepper motor and yes it can be done!!)
you asked for comparison's of the machines, one of the most attractive features of working with the owners of camaster is they have never badmouthed another cnc company to me in any form, and i wlii admit i met and researched 4 of 5 of the machines you have shown and none of them did this either, you have pickked a good lot for comparison! i will note this to represent that one will cut and carve at any speed over 600 ipm might be a stretch, yes it can be done not advisable but it could be done if you do not break bits or destroy material, rapids of 1000 -1500 are realistic, but i look for the quality of cut and common sense.
software, camaster includes vcarve pro with thier machines, to shopbot this is called partworks and to the best of my knowledge is include for them as well. it is an excellent file production program. it is not a cad program and many software companys provide software at a greatly reduced rate for educational facilitys. i have done a good bit of online training with this program for the new owners of camasters and all are making chips on the first day (provided the machine is correctly wired and ready to run). i have a friend who closed his cabinetshop and returned to teach woodworking and building trades in a local high school, i am helping him to implement his cnc program into the school, (he has a laser already) the administrators of several other local schools have been in tmy shop to see the machine and prepare for cnc in thier schools, in most all cases the need for cnc in education is immediate and desired so then comes budget, i have told many to go back to the school and as they walk down a hall look for the cost of signage, cabinetry, art production, sets for plays in theater, and many other uses of a cnc which could now be done in school using ciriculum as a method, add up that outsourced cost against the value of the teaching tool and the machine will pay it self off quicker than a school owned truck or other asset!! we are setting the course in addition to the neccessary learning needs (gcode, file production, safety etc.) to include a personal project for each student ( a sign for grandma, a new dash board for the ride, etc.) and a class project to be left with the school for each year, ( a display cabinet for the trophy's, cool signage, plaques, just to name a few) cnc has potential good educators will go in and pull it out, students in our countrys are not a lost cause and we can rebuild our manufacturing base to compete in a world economy.
thank you for asking for this, i have wanted to write this for a while and you helped me by providing the opportunity!! oh an buy the way i made a cannon in high school shop!
i will add this, the method by which the camaster gantry is built easily allows for reconfiguration shoud one desire to add a cnc lathe or the end boring capbility