View Full Version : Visited CNC Router Parts

08-03-2015, 12:25 AM
I recently started a new company offering large home theater subwoofers (18" and 24") and started with an older Shopbot CNC that isn't getting the job done in terms of speed or accuracy. So I've been considering a new CNC and while they're on two ends of the scale I'm currently focused on either a 5'x10' Pro CNCRP or a Camaster Cobra 5'x10' CNC. While Cory and I were talking I mentioned there is a nice car between the two choices. So there is definitely a cost difference and I really don't have the money for the Camaster but I can't afford to buy another machine that won't get the job done so I was definitely wondering if the Pro CNCRP would be a strong enough CNC for me.

I was in Seattle on business and contacted CNCRP via the contact form on their website and Ahren responded quickly that they'd love to have me. So I went out to North Bend, WA on Friday afternoon and was blown away by the beauty of that part of the country. CNCRP has a world class view right out the back of their shop, heck, the views on all 4 sides are fantastic. :) Cory met me and showed me around the shop and answered all of my questions. CNCRP has built a nice medium size shop that looked organized and efficient. But the reason for my trip was to take a look at the CNCRP Pro machine in person and determine if it was good enough to stake the growth of my business on it.

The short version is that the CNCRP Pro is an impressive machine and seemed rock solid, even on the steel bolt together frame. Is it as solid as a Camaster, probably not, but as I mentioned, I could buy a loaded Toyota Camry and the CNCRP 5'x10' Pro CNC for the price of the fully loaded Camaster Cobra 5'x10' ATC CNC. One of the main questions I had was regarding the CNCRP steel base and whether it was strong enough or if I needed to get a custom steel frame welded for me. My feeling coming out of it is that the CNCRP steel base is probably good enough but I'll likely beef it up with panels and a heavy shelf to add some rigidity and weight. The second main question I had was related to the midpoints splices of the rails on the CNCRP machine. While I'd rather there not be a splice, the alternative is much higher freight charges so I understand why they made the design decision they did. And based on looking at the joint and significant bracing, it doesn't appear like there would be any issue in operation.

For me, it was a great visit and I feel really positive about CNCRP as a company as well as making a really nice machine. A big thanks to Cory for spending so much time and sharing so much knowledge. And it was great meeting and talking with Ahren as well. I wish them the best with their business and I look forward to placing an order soon for a fully loaded CNCRP Pro 5'x10' CNC Kit.


Deep Sea Sound
"You don't listen to our subs, you EXPERIENCE them!"

Carol in AZ
08-03-2015, 12:37 AM
Good to hear, as I just started my build.

08-03-2015, 11:17 AM
i have the PRO4848 and was very impressed with the rigidity and size of the machine, its not a small toy hobby cnc machine, its a machine made to work. most of all i was shocked by the value i got for my money, for not that much less some other machines in the hobby market have unsupported rails and cheap routers for spindles.

CNCRP and the Cammaster might be hard to compare because they not really the same market but i don't really know anything about the Cammaster.

what kind of service does cammaster offer with there machine? do they set it up in your shop for you? do they train you(or your personnel), do they offer you on site services should something break?

CNCRP is a top notch company and they stand behind there product 100% but you assemble the machine, which means 99% of the problems with the machine will be ones that you created during assembly, and even thought the forum and cory are all very helpful, when things go wrong and the machine is not working well, the task of fixing it falls on your shoulders. which means your not making speakers and your not making money.

i am not trying to persuade you or dissuade you from CNCRP, i just think you should take into account everything that both companies offer, not just the price of a Toyota Camry(no matter how fine of an automobile it is)

08-03-2015, 11:38 AM
You didn't mention what spindle is on the CNCRP machine, but an ATC spindle can easily add $10,000+ to the price of a machine.

08-04-2015, 12:09 AM
You didn't mention what spindle is on the CNCRP machine, but an ATC spindle can easily add $10,000+ to the price of a machine.

ger21 - We had generally talked about either the PC7519 router I already own although I would likely go with the new CNCRP spindle if I bought the CNCRP machine, which I likely will. And yes, the $40,000+ Camaster includes an ATC, at least if I were to buy one.

08-04-2015, 12:24 AM
Jueston - You make some very good points in terms of building a kit versus buying a complete industrial class machine. I knew I was comparing apples and oranges but those are the two I'm considering. The cost is a huge difference. The amount of effort is hugely different and like you point out, I'm the one that has to figure out how to work out the kinks. But you also pointed out CNCRP gives great support and offers a solid machine. For those that don't know, Camaster gives very good support including remote support for computer issues, provides training, has a great forum in Camheads.org, and is a really good company too, at least based on all of my research. The two machines may be in different classes but I think both companies are very good companies led by people that truly care and want to put out a quality product and support their customers very well. Based on my research I didn't have much question about the quality of the company that is CNCRP, most of my questions were related to their product and whether their Pro Kit was strong enough to support a (small) business and for me at least, I have confidence the CNCRP Pro kit machine is very good and CNCRP will help me make sure it is fully optimized and correct.

08-04-2015, 09:14 AM
ger21 - We had generally talked about either the PC7519 router I already own although I would likely go with the new CNCRP spindle if I bought the CNCRP machine, which I likely will. And yes, the $40,000+ Camaster includes an ATC, at least if I were to buy one.

you will not be disappointed by the spindle, i have a water cooled chinese spindle instead of the air cooled one that CNCRP offers, but its a huge improvement over a router. the main reason i wanted a spindle instead of a router was the noise level, since the water cooled spindles are much quieter then a router, but after using it a little, it just seems so much more powerful and makes a better cut then the router did. every time i entered a cut with the router it started that high pitch squeel, when i enter a cut with this spindle it makes a much more pleasant cutting sound, and i get a rooster tail of shavings(i don't have a dust collection system hooked up yet) that lets me know that it is cutting without any resistance.

08-04-2015, 09:24 AM
welded versus bolted don't says too much..
example bridges are not welded but riveted.. there are serious reason not to welding..

this welded frame versus bolted is a myth..

counting on what cutting force is there, probably a 1/4 in bolt would be sufficient to hold..

another point, rails will be bolted on the frame and not welded.. so if your decision only pending on bolted versus welded, theres no ""only"" welded..

for spindle, I think you need at least a 3kw watercooled.. that sufficiently quiet and has the power you need... in my opinion...
a 2.2 kw portercable and a watercooled hasn't so huge pricedifferent that would compensate to listening all day a noisy handheld router..

by the way just make your research for atc..

there are a lot on aliexpress and alibaba sites..

3.2kw 3kw Atc Spindle Bt30 For Stone Engraving - Buy Atc Spindle Bt30,Electric Spindle Cnc,Electric Motor 12v 500w Product on Alibaba.com (http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/3-2kw-3kw-atc-spindle-bt30_1754635152.html?spm=a2700.7724857.35.1.v6HoGl)

Online Buy Wholesale atc spindle from China atc spindle Wholesalers | Aliexpress.com (http://www.aliexpress.com/w/wholesale-atc-spindle.html)

toolholders aren't so expenses too

ER25 BT30 COLLET CHUCK #B50 | CTC Tools (http://www.ctctools.biz/er25-bt30-collet-chuck-b50/)

overall about 3-4 K you might have atc....

08-04-2015, 01:21 PM
Victorofga - No offense but a bolted bridge looks much beefier than the CNCRP steel base. With that said, I tried shaking the machine and it was rock solid with their steel base and I would add a heavy shelf on the bottom as well as plywood reinforcement to tie everything together and make it even more rigid. The base was one of the reasons I visited CNCRP as I wasn't sure if it was rigid and heavy enough for my needs but IN MY OPINION it was more than strong enough for the speeds I'll be cutting. Also, while I was there, I saw the updated steel leg kit which is slightly different with rivnuts and two holes side by side instead of just 1 row and it seems even more robust. So while it might be nice to have a fully welded several thousand pound frame, for my needs I think the CNCRP steel leg kit will perform very well. And having an assembled base will make it even better for me personally to move and put in place and then pile the weight on as opposed to trying to move a 3,000+ machine.

I was just thinking about what size spindle I need as I definitely plan to go with a spindle as opposed to continue using the PC router. Interesting you suggest 3kw...I may just put a few hundred more dollars and go with a 5kw. Regarding an ATC, I know I could likely cobble one together, one interesting aspect of researching the Camaster is that they require some sort of servo or stepper with feedback on their CNCs with an ATC. They are concerned a normal stepper based system might lose steps and cause major issues when changing bits. I think they have a point so I don't plan to add an ATC to a plain stepper based system. Further, I'd rather order a Chinese spindle from a known company as opposed to some company on eBay or Alibaba.

Thanks for the good info and viewpoints.

08-04-2015, 02:42 PM
Do you have 3 phase power available?
If not, then I'd say get the largest spindle you can run on single phase.

As for "cobbling an ATC together", I wouldn't count on that.

08-04-2015, 02:54 PM
Do you have 3 phase power available?
If not, then I'd say get the largest spindle you can run on single phase.

Single phase only so good point on getting the biggest I can run. But you'd suggest I get the biggest spindle possible as opposed to just the standard 2.2kw? I'll primarily be cutting .75"/19mm Baltic birch plywood.

As for "cobbling an ATC together", I wouldn't count on that.

I'm sure I could cobble together an ATC if I was determined...but I have no plans to even try since the CNCRP Pro isn't a system with feedback such as servo controlled. In a few years, assuming the business is a success, I'll likely upgrade from the CNCRP machine to something like a Camaster Cobra Industrial CNC and at that point I'll get the ATC. And I'll owe a lot to the CNCRP for the growth of my business being based on a solid CNC that is an incredible value.

08-04-2015, 03:01 PM
Baltic birch is hard, and you want to be able to take a fairly heavy cut. The higher the chip load, the longer your tooling will last. Higher chip loads need more power.

I don't really consider Camster's to be "industrial" machines. But I've been using $100K+ routers for the last 20 years. :)
A Camaster isn't close to a real "industrial" router.

08-04-2015, 03:10 PM
I don't really consider Camster's to be "industrial" machines. But I've been using $100K+ routers for the last 20 years. :)
A Camaster isn't close to a real "industrial" router.

Thanks Gerry. I agree the Camaster Cobra isn't a true industrial machine but I consider it an entry level industrial machine, especially in the context of comparing to a $12,000 CNC kit. It's definitely not a hobby machine and I don't know of any other categories between the two to describe it more accurately.

08-04-2015, 03:18 PM
the welded frame actually more advantage for the manufacturer than for you...
with welding you simply cut to length and weld... with a bolted structure you have to cut more precise parts, adding braces and reinforcing the thin wall tubes.. then making the holes and tapping
a lot more complicated..

my concern always what profit could come out ... and easy to find less investment could result same output... with a 3 kw spindle, a 8-10 mm dia tool could cut trough the 3/4 plywood in two pass..
but true a 5kw makes simpler ..

what you describing, youll cut 99 percent of your work sheet goods..
while very impressive a big machine cuts trough in one pass a 3/4 material, might don't need you really..

with single phase you can drive an inverter that output 3 phase for a spindle with 3 kw..

the atc very comfortable, and on long run it returns you... a company that makes atc spindle, there must be some engineering.. and they are working..
which one is good for you, the best if you learn the differences between them and you can choose one fit for you..

the atc gives so many advantage that even a smaller just a 2.2 kw will work for you.. you make more passes... but everything going in one setup..
practically you can go with a simpler machine now and add later the atc... just sure the table already sufficiently large to accommodate later the toolholders, over the 4x8 sheet..

for driving system you can go with the hybrid.. it is stepper however it is closed loop... and its price between stepper and servo.. as factory says it don't need the ""tuning"" like servos need..

08-05-2015, 08:00 AM
I would likely go with the new CNCRP spindle...

CNCRP sells a spindle? Do you have the URL?

08-05-2015, 08:15 AM
they don't have it on the website, you can email cory to get the details, iirc its a 2.2 KW air cooled spindle with VFD.

it comes assembled, programmed, and tested for you, so its pretty convenient, but there is obviously a cost for this service above buying one on ebay and taking your chances as to weather you get a good one or a bad one, and then having to figure out the wiring yourself based on a manual which may or may not be in English.

09-15-2015, 08:37 PM
I have both machines in my shop side by side. I appreciate Ahren over the years and have pushed his products for him. He makes a great product (I know, I built 5 of them and still run 2 of them). I built my business on the CNCRP machines. I purchased one of the first sets of bearing blocks he made and haven't looked back since.

The Cobra cost me $40,000 more (508 with ATC and 20 HP vac at about $50,000) than the CNCRP (not the pro version). The extra production the Cobra does will pay the difference in less than 6 months. I plan to sell the machine at 2 years and should get 75% of my money back. So running this machine for 2 years should make me $120,000 in extra production than running the CNCRP. I also get 5 times the bit life by being able to cut faster. That saves me about $40 a day in just bits.

The welded frame has not had any issues in the 18 months I have ran it. The CNCRP needed to be tweaked and re-tightened for the first month and then about every year after. The Cobra was up and running within a day after it arrived. I didn't have to tweak or adjust anything except a cable that had a short in it (the computer cable to the machine).

My next machine will be another Cobra with ATC and vac table and 20 hp pump because of what I mentioned before. I love telling people I built my own machine, however great stories aren't worth much money in business.

If I was a hobby person, the CNCRP would be my first choice. For business, the Camaster would be my first choice. Eventually I will get a "real" industrial machine.


09-16-2015, 11:25 AM
I built my business on the CNCRP machines.

For business, the Camaster would be my first choice.



So glad to hear business is going so well for you and that you've grown so much. A CNC is an aspect of my home theater subwoofer business so I won't be using it full time like you do. But thanks for the info on needing to retighten the base periodically. I'm going to start with a 5'x10' CNCRP Pro machine and hope to grow from there. I can afford to pay cash for the CNCRP but I'd have to go into debt to get the Camaster Cobra and I don't want to put my young business in debt. But it definitely gives me something to work towards as I definitely wanted/want a Cobra 5x10 ATC. Oh, and I'm going with a DIY version of the Black Box Cyclone vac, which should work fine for my uses until I can get 3-phase power and step up to a regen vacuum hold down.

Good stuff...wish you continued success.