Are you selling these or something? Just curious seeing how you have the exact same post on wood web http://www.woodweb.com/cgi-bin/forum...pl?read=602337 Got any pictures of your work?
SETUP & PROBLEMS. My Shark Pro was delivered on-time in 2 heavy boxes via UPS. Non-dedicated packaging was used, but the machine was well protected with styrofoam sheets and peanuts. No components were missing. The bottom plate on the base was bowed 5/16" high in the middle. While that looks bad it doesn't affect the table flatness. The single-sheet assembly instruction was text-only but kept referencing a photo of how to attach the gantry to the base so the XY-axis orientations were correct. I ended up referencing at the Shark Pro photo on Rockler's website. The gantry attaches to the base with 12 torx bolts; plan on having a friend to help. The bolt fit is snug which made vertical alignment fairly straightforward. With the base removed, the Bosch Colt Trim Router (purchased separately) slid snuggly into the Z-axis clamp. The Controler & Power Supply were prewired and the XYZ-axis connectors were labeled. No schematic was included, so I photoed all the connections for future reference and noticed the Line & Neutral connections were reversed on the Power Supply. I contacted Rockler who quickly responded that this Power Supply is insensitive to polarity and would not damage anything once energized. On the Controller enclosure, the hole for the USB connector was misaligned 1/16" so I had to fiddle somewhat to get the USB cable to mate. My new laptop runs Windows Vista, so from Next Wave Automation I downloaded the Windows Vista drivers, Control Program, and NET Framework patch. After 20 minutes of fiddling the Shark still wouldn't communicate with my laptop. With nothing to lose, I downloaded the Control Program for Windows XP instead and the Shark Controller immediately responded. Using the Jog command, I moved the router around the table to check for flatness with a feeler gauge. I noted one corner of the table was 3/32" high and the opposite corner was 1/32" low. VCarve Pro 4.6 loaded uneventfully and gives you the option of license transfer from Next Wave Automation to yourself. Download the Shark G-code post-processor from Next Wave Automation into the appropriate VCarve program directory. Slowly I stepped through VCarve's "Bullshead" demo instructions and created my first G-code file. I clamped a some scrap wood to the table, installed a V-bit in the router, and was CNC'ing sawdust within 3 hours of opening the shipping boxes.
my full 2-page product review is located at:
No, I don't sell these, I'm just another user. Originally I created the review for a consumer woodworking magazine (I won't name names) who liked the article outline I submitted but later decided not to pursue a finished article on this subject. Good eyes, yes, I've posted my review to a couple related websites so at least someone somewhere can find a useful bit of info. Attached is a plaque I made last month for my brother's wedding; I made the names removeable as a joke.
I'm a new owner of a CNC Shark Pro, too. I've had mine about 2 weeks.
I won't go through the song and dance of unpacking and setting up, except to comment that my machine seemed entirely undamaged, and my MDF table was about 1/16" high in the centre. And the process was straightforward if, like me, you've been mulling over this purchase forever, and have read everything available on the web about it -- so I knew that Rockler had an additional help sheet, etc.
I've replaced the table with a sheet of 18mm Baltic birch ply, which is much flatter than the MDF. I'm in the process of adding clamp slots and threaded inserts to assist with holding the work, since I'm not going to be buying a vacuum hold-down anytime soon. As an aside - I just *love* the meta-ness of using the Shark to modify itself I cut the new table 2" longer, since the old table ended distressingly flush with the solid ends of the Shark, denying me the opportunity to clamp work down at the table edge.
I've discovered that my view of router bit selection at my local stores has shifted dramatically - if it isn't an end mill, I'm not interested! What's with all these wiggly-profile bits?!
I bought my Shark in-store at the local Rockler, and I was somewhat disappointed at the bit selection. I think it would be good if they could have sold me a 1/8" ballnose and 1/8" end mill (1/4" shank) in addition to the V-bit and 1/4" end mill they had.
I've since made contact with a local-ish CNC bit supplier (Discount-Tools of Huntington Beach -- Google 'em if you like) who has most things I need. The bits there are reasonably-priced... most that I need are less than $10.
I'm utterly new to CNC work, but very experienced around computers. I set to work making a few cuts, and progressing through the demos from the various pieces of Vectric trial software. I made a part file for a cribbage board (with the skunk line in the wrong place - duh!) and cut that, after which I resolved to never profile-cut Jatoba again - the feed rates are kind of low.
I've now done a few small custom boxes out of 1/8" hardboard, a router bit holder (easiest project... ever) and played with v-carving logos and images into hardboard. And the whole table-replacement project. I've also routed a replacement lens for a Nerf gun's laser sight out of plexiglass, just for fun. I've accidentally routed a groove along one of my aluminum clamps when I forgot that the the program re-zeros and then moves to the start of the file.
I've also built a largish table and a 3' cube dust enclosure, since it makes a lot of dust.
I've made lots of rookie mistakes, too, but I'm having a much higher hit percentage now that I understand the relationships between feed rates, RPMs, and cut depths.
Oh - the Vectric V-Carve 4.6 software is excellent at what it does. Cut 3D looks pretty useful, but I've only got the trial of that - I have cut a two-sided bowl using that (top/bottom) with success. (7 hours, mind you).
For bits, my current selection is:
1/4" end mill
1/8" end mill, (long cutter)
1/8" tapered ballnose (super for carving relief like Vector Art 3D sample files)
60 degree V-Bit
90 degree V-bit
90 degree chamfer bit (like a V... but called a chamfer)
I got a 1/8" (and 3/16") adapter from MLCS ($4 each), and use the following bits with 1/8" shanks:
1/8" end mill (stubby)
1/8" roundover (no taper)
1/16" ballnose (haven't used yet)
0.050" end mill
For all these, I generally got as few flutes as possible.
My workhorse bits are: 1/4" end mill, 1/8" taper ballnose, .050" end mill, 60 degree V-bit. I have spares of these so I don't get downtime when I eventually screw up and fry/snap one.
About the .050" end mill - this is a fantastic bit for a lot of applications! Although I have to use the 1/8" collet adapter with it, I haven't noticed any runout issues. It cuts like a laser. It's so tiny that I don't get heating issues with it, even at higher RPMs. It cuts quite fast at .05 and .075 pass depth in hardboard and poplar. Now it's only slightly smaller than 1/16... but since it's decimal, I don't get stuck typing 0.0625 or 0.03125 or other endless series of numbers. Small point, but it is a plus. The biggest plus, though, is that it nearly eliminates the radius on inside corners when I'm profile or pocket cutting. When I'm cutting 1/8" hardboard, for instance, it leaves a 1/40" inside radius, and the material is soft enough that I can assemble my slot-in-tab constructions without any further finishing work. The cutter is only .15" long, so for thicker materials you might need something taller.
I've had very good luck doing 3-d relief models (like the 3d vector art with Vectric's machinist) using the 1/8" ballnose. It's a big bit, about 3" OAL, and expensive at $30, but with 10% stepover it does an exceptionally pretty job.
As for the Bosch Colt that I use with the Shark - it's a great workhorse. My chief complaint is that it doesn't go slow enough. Guess I need a spindle for that, but budget... budget. The product literature claims something like 16k-35k RPMS. It's almost always set at "1" for me. I haven't figured out a clever way to verify the speed, yet, but unless I'm using a tiny bit, higher speeds tend to get hot. Normally I try to work so that immediately after finishing a cut, the bit is no more than hot to the touch - ie, not uncomfortable to handle. Hotter than that, and I reduce cut depth and try to increase feed rate.
The Shark seems to be as precise as they claim - it's good to a mil or two at moderate feed rates, and gets sloppy to the tune of ~.005 to ~.010 if you max the feedrate and just wail away at things, or try to cut .25" deep at a time in Jatoba with a 1/4" end mill. Fortunately there's a dynamic feedrate slider on the controller app, so if you are wayyy too fast, you can dial it back without recompiling the file.
Now, one interesting thing I've noticed - and I'd love to hear if other Shark owners have seen this - is that there's an anomaly in feed rates. It seems like the first move after a feed rate change (like going from plunge to horizontal) is at the wrong speed. Examining the GCode file seems to confirm this - the Fxx commands are given after the G01 commands in each set. The post-processor seems to confirm this.
Now, I'm new to CNC, but one of the GCode tutorials I've seen sometimes issues G01 commands like:
G01 X0.00 Y0.00 Z0.00 F20
or suchlike... and I know whitespace isn't supposed to matter. So could the Shark controller be misinterpreting the feedrate changes as being separate commands when they're intended as a single item? Or is it just backwards?
Anyway, I'd love to hear from other Shark owners... be nice to know that there are more than two of us out here!
I got a cnc shark with a 12 by 26 table.I downloaded all the software and loaded bobcad.We cant get it to communicate.The control modules have no memory card and theres a 25 pin port that fits a printer port but I purchased the hardware to plumb it out to work for usb.Why dont my xp computer recognise it?My windows 2000 computers will not recognise it either when plugged in the 25 pin port .Any recommendations?Rockler in Ohio and Mn dont seem to give enough support and help when I call and email them.Victor
My Shark (I have the larger table, but that shouldn't affect the control hardware) came with two electronics boxes. One was clearly a power supply, and had a 110v AC plug and came wired to the control box.
The control box connects to each of the three axes - it came attached to the X and Z axes, and I needed to plug in the Y, but that was clearly labeled, and was a 4-pin connector.
Apart from that, the control box had a USB port (the largeish u-shaped type) and a slot for an SD card. The system came with a 1GB sd card.
There's no 25-pin port on mine. It *sounds* like you've got an older system with a parallel port. If that's the case, it might predate Rockler's sales of the system. Talk to Next Wave Automation, the manufacturer. They're at nextwaveautomation.com.
Since that i got the shark running.It took about a week of tech work but It works with mach 3 and Bobcad.It works well for simple lettering and I learned how to do pocketing with bobcad.The Main problem I have is that the y axis will tend to skip when I rapid traverse it across the board.When it skips it will tend to move the zero origin position as well with it.This causes the project to not turn out correctly.I wonder should I change something in the settings or is it because of the motor drive not working correctly or what?
this is called stalling or "loosing steps" and can be several things from config settings to binding. i am not well versed in mach three but there are other shark users, ther are several on vectric's forum
James McGrew CAMaster 508 ATC
I've had my Shark Pro for about three days now. Only two problems. My Colt router body doesn't tighten in the mount. I can rotate it by hand or when changing bits with it in place. I also notice the table wasn't in plane with the XY of the router path.
I've contacted Rockler to see what they'll suggest to do about the loose router. I'm thinking I could shim the table to level it with the router. I'll just have to find some thin shim material. Thinking I could make some with the Shark.
I've cut a few things so far, and am impressed with the accuracy. Currently wondering what I'll need to do more 3D carving with the Shark. Vcarve doesn't appear to do it. All ideas appreciated.
vector art 3d provides some free sample 3d files and the software to toolpath it, should you decide to carve more you can purchase files and tool path them then import them to vcvarve pro and make signs, add lettering text etc.
have you been to vectrics forum?
the training videos are on vectrics website and vector art 3d's forum is at the bottom of the forums
James McGrew CAMaster 508 ATC