I have a project that justifies getting into my first machine. I’d love to do Elite, but it sounds like lead times are measured in months. If so, that won’t work. So I’m thinking I do an X50 and plan on upgrading soon.
I’d like to get what I need all in one shot rather than start out and keep running into roadblocks. For those of you ahead of me, what would you recommend?
Looking at the order page, I selected the X-50 Journeyman, and presumed I need the Onefinity Controller and 10.8" display. They currently are including the joypad, touch probe, and Carveco. (Is this much correct?)
What else do I need?
bits? (is there a starter combo set?)
Do I use a shopvac or will I need a specific dust control unit?
I’m intrigued by the idea of laser cutting and engraving too. I don’t need it immediately, but I’ll bet I will soon. Which of the three JTech units should I be looking at?
As you see, lots of questions. Any generous souls able to help? Thanks!!
Bits - Cadence MFG Jenny bits thru Onefinity.
Laser - Typically the more power in a laser the larger the laser beam, meaning the smaller the beam the more intricate the cut/engrave. I have the 7w and I then bought stand-alone xTool 10w and 20w to work while using my X50 for what it does best.
Dust Collection - Dust Deputy 2.5 sitting atop a small container using a hepa filter in your shop vac.
Makita router w/collets and spare nut
I use T-tracks some people don’t.
Good luck and keep the work area clean as a favor to yourself.
IMO, order the Elite in the size you want (I honestly can’t stress this enough). You’ll need the lead time to learn the answers to the questions you’re asking, learn new questions to ask (knowing what you don’t know you don’t know), plus you’re definitely going to need the time to get other shop equipment and set up the space. The CNC is literally the last thing you need to get/install, so this can work out well for you.
Figure spending 2x the total of anything you order here from Onfinity to get to the basic level of what you need to have. Figure on 4x for what you are going to want to have once you start researching.
Oh, and skip the laser attachment, they’re all underpowered and useless for anything but making charcoal and carcinogenic fumes for you, your family and neighbors. If you’re even remotely interested in laser, you get a stand-alone unit with an enclosure and air filtration.
And no one if going to be able to come in here and give you an exact list of everything you need - there’s a lot of flexibility there and some stuff will make sense for one person and not someone else. Go watch a LOT of YouTube videos and learn to ignore the ones with bad advice.
Final note. A “shop-vac” is not suitable for dust extraction. Don’t learn that the hard way.
as the Onefinity Controller is a stand-alone CNC Controller, the user interface on the display is mainly used to open the g-code file you want to mill, after you connected a USB drive with the file on it. You will also have to press “Play”/“Pause”/“Stop” to control g-code program run and press “Continue” on the popup windows when workpiece XYZ probing with the touch probe or on manual bit length probing on tool changes.
But you can get by completely without connecting a monitor directly to the Onefinity controller and skip buying the touch monitor, since the User Interface can be controlled completely from any remote computer. This even has the advantage that you can see the CAMotics.org 3D toolpath simulation that is not available on a monitor directly connected to the Onefinity controller, as the internal Raspberry Pi 3 has no 3D graphics acceleration package installed. In the case you use a remote computer, you need no USB drive since you can simply click the open file button and you will be able to select a file from your computer.
I have the HarborFreight dust collector. Dump the bag as the fine particles are bad juju. Get a 0,5 micron filter from Wynn https://wynnenv.com notice the picture on the first page as it is a HF with their filter.
Amazon sells a 1.5kw spindle and vfd that is 65mm which is the standard size of the Makita or get the 2.2kw with vfd which is 80mm. Pick the size Z at time of purchase of the X-50 you can always by a 65mm insert on Esty is you need to use a router while repairing your spindle. 2 is one and one is none is the rule I keep in mind when I need something to work.
Depends on your setup, I generally liked having the touch screen at the machine for the basic operation of the machine and performed all the CAD/CAM from my desk using the web interface to load g-code from there. At that point the local touchscreen is primarily used to home the machine, set the work zero and hit go. You can also hit go from the web interface, I found that when I’m making a bunch of parts having the touchscreen was easier than going back and forth to the desk. If you want to work with a laptop local to the Onefinity and forgo the touchscreen that can work too, I’d suggest designing in some sort of spot/mount to hold your laptop that is convenient to operating the machine same way you would with the touchscreen.
Do you know much about laser? Wondering what thickness each is good for. Can I cut quarter inch or half inch birch ply with any of the jtechs? I’m hoping there is a fit that will cut that stock as well as engrave but maybe I’m asking too much.
A touch screen on a CNC controller becomes more and more common on many machines but it has advantages and disadvantages. The Masso G3 Touch has a Touch screen too. Usually you have a keyboard and a display.
Remote operation over network is the advantage of the Onefinity Controller, as its User Interface is a web page delivered by a web server.
Connecting the Onefinity Controller over its Ethernet port is the most reliable way. It connects to your local network if you have a router with DHCP locally, but you can also directly connect a computer (e.g. laptop) to the Onefinity Controller which will then connect with a link-local connection without configuration. The Onefinity Controller also offers WiFi but since the Raspi is enclosed in a faraday cage, many people have problems. If they want WiFi anyway they use a WiFi dongle on one of the USB ports. For access to the User interface from remote, you need a web browser on the remote computer.
I’ll quote what I previously wrote on this subject:
“Oh, and skip the laser attachment, they’re all underpowered and useless for anything but making charcoal and carcinogenic fumes for you, your family and neighbors. If you’re even remotely interested in laser, you get a stand-alone unit with an enclosure and air filtration.”
And make sure that stand-alone unit is CO2 laser if you want to cut (anything besides paper - and don’t cut paper )
Look at the mfr’s own videos on youtube. 6 passes to cut through 1/4 mdf. Ridiculous. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Diode lasers are toys. But the fumes are no joke.
You don’t need to buy everything from 1F. You can easily make a table if you would rather save some money vs getting the QCW table. Unless you build an enclosed table you will want a dust boot. I bought mine off of Amazon and with a little modifications it works great. I use a 1hp HF dust collector with a 2.2kw spindle. It produces lots of chips when I use larger bits and it handles it just fine. I agree with Gary, don’t use the bag that comes with it. If you live near a Rockler they have a pleated filter that’s a big upgrade, a safety upgrade.
I have never bought bits from 1F. Not because they aren’t high quality bits. But because you should figure out what you will be doing and then choose the bits that you will do what you want. There’s no point buying bits you will not use. You are going to break bits so you’ll want spares and for learning I would buy cheaper ones, like SPE brand, until you get your feet under you.
I can’t comment on a laser because I don’t have one.
What I would think about is a spindle. You can do it now or down the road. Doing down the road will cost more over all but less upfront. I don’t know if they come with it or if you can add it but I would ask about the Z-20 upgrade.