Ok, I have been waiting for 10 years to get a CNC. I just never found the right balance of design, cost, features, etc.
Onefinity 50mm journeyman is ticking 90% of the boxes.
I just have a couple of questions.
-How easy is it tow tile jobs for items bigger than the cutting surface(say 4’x4’)?
-is the Makita router going to last? On other units I have heard these trim routers last a couple hundred hours then die. I guess an inexpensive way to see if CNC is good before considering a dedicated spindle.
-Is the QCW frame worth it and is there a model of the waste board strips for eventual replacement? I might need to move the unit occasionally so I’m thinking the frame will make that easier.
-is there a dust shoe for 4” hose? I have a 5hp dust collector that will suck the hair off a cat at 100’ I would like to connect the unit to.
Right now I have the following in the basket
Journeyman 48x30” unit
Touch probe wireless
And endmill assortment
I’m new enough to know only one answer to one of your questions: I just bought a dust boot for a 4" hose that I will link to my Oneida cyclone.
The boot is made/sold by Sola Vide Designs (Raytown, Missouri) through Etsy. They make them to fit either a 65mm or 80mm cutter (router or spindle) and several different sizes of vacuum hose for each. The 4" hose secures to a robust collar, and that attaches via magnets to the boot.
I plan to run 5" metal duct as close as I can to the unit, then narrow to 4" hose at a point directly above the center of my table. I’ll use part of Rowdy Roman’s boom arm (set up backwards) to point the hose generally toward the ceiling. But I expect some difficulty with rotation of the hose, especially if I (someday) make an enclosure. Doing that will bring the higher hose connection closer to the machine, worsening the effects of rotational forces. So I asked Sola Vide about making a rotating connection (in progress).
I can’t praise Sola Vide highly enough for their attention to customer service.
Easy. Since it is a CNC machine that is open on the front and on the rear, you can do projects of inifinite length by having the machine process the workpiece step by step (search for ‘tiled’). You only have to make sure that you can place the whole workpiece stably and clamp it securely during feeding. And of course you need to check if your CAM software supports tiled projects.
Some people, in what they do with the Onefinity, put so little stress on the hand trim router that they say they are satisfied with it. However, it can be assumed that they have never had a direct comparison with a spindle, both in terms of performance, reliability, operating characteristics, life expectancy, and, first of all, the high acoustic noise of the hand trim router. I doubt they would want to come back to the hand trim router if they had.
In general, one must note some facts that urgently speak against the use of a hand trim router in a CNC machine, as mentioned here, here, here, and here.
Since it is known that hand trim routers, when put under heavy load, especially at low speeds, get very hot which can lead to malfunction and tend to burn out, some people (who have not yet switched to a spindle) always put down a spare trim router, or keep a stock of hand trim routers on hand.
Technically, the main advantage (or should I say, the only advantage) of the hand trim router is that it is installed and connected easily. A spindle, which is an induction motor, is far superior but needs a VFD to run it. If you want to know about what is needed to use a spindle and a VFD, (besides searching the forum for VFD and spindle and control cabinet) you could find this thread and this posting meaningful for your decision.
There are many people on this forum who have installed a VFD and a spindle, you will easily find their success reports by using the search terms mentioned above. In general, people who plan to use the CNC seriously or even professionally will not use it without a spindle.
Possibly. But in case you already know you don’t want it, you can save the money and start right away with a spindle. Many people have done it that way.
If you have the machine on a table with casters and move the table around, the Any Surface Leveling System, which is an accessory (sold separately) for the QCW Frame, will allow to make the machine coplanar again after the move. But height-adjustable casters on your table can do this too (if you are willing to crawl around on the floor for it )
I’m using VCarve Pro from Vectric. I just upgraded from VCarve Desktop to Pro when I got my Onefinity. This software enables the tiling when you have larger sheet sizes. Honestly, I haven’t used it on the Onefinity yet (I just got mine a few weeks ago), but say that the tiling worked great on my Shapeoko. The software handled most of the work for me.
Remember to include the cost of the design software you will use in your budget.