CNC wood carving Machines. Valuable tool or expensive toy

This topic has gone cold, but I thought this clip might make CNC users take notice…?

I’m still awaiting the company announcement that a UK version is available…

Barry
Looks like it may have its uses, but seems a very handrolic way of trying to achieve what a cnc can do faster, and if you watch some of the cnc videos, much better on wood to created shapes…it’s seems this tool can only effectively ‘carve’ a flat surface that already exists, whereas the cnc’s available can carve thicker wood in shaped surfaces incorporating designs…you might have some problems trying to get this thing to work over an already shaped surface (e.g. a domed surface)… and given your penchant for wanting to avoid electronics and programming…I’m not sure you would find it that great to try and use…I watched a ‘test video’ for the tool, and although it seems simple to use, there is a lot button pushing, downloading, scanning, programming to do…lol…

Stu93

Hi everyone,
Well, I finally “took the plunge” (pun intended) and have purchased the OOZNEST Workbee self build CNC machine. I dont have it yet as there is a 4 week lead time but I purchased the recommended Vectric software which I have been using for the last 10 days.
Total cost of the system so far is a little shy of £2K but that includes everything from the CNC, new dedicated router, work boards, bench, software and all the other bits and pieces. As soon as I have the WorkBee I will let you know how I get on with that but for now I can give you an idea of how the software works. I purchased the VCarve desktop which gives you 3D capability and a good number of extras over the 2D sytems.
I am so impressed with the Vectric programmes which are easy to use and have a tutorial for every subject you can imagine. I have already set up 4 projects for designs I want to create ranging from a metal inlay platter to a drill grid for a solitaire board with 42 X 12mm dia at 20mm spacings.
Yes it takes a little getting used to but the possibilities extend far beyond my expectations and I cannot wait until the WorkBee arrives. I am currently working my way through all the tutorials and trying out all the different facilities.
I hope to recieve the CNC around the 5th of August so if anyone is still interested I will update you on the build process and also how my first design attempts work out.

Please do keep us updated @Redsilverdog and good luck! What will be your first project?

Hi all,
My first couple of projects will be a wizards staff, a brass inlay platter and a gavel and engraved panel for the chairman of my local bowls club. Using the various tutorials I have managed to create the platter pattern and also the finials for the staff which I normally spend many hours to create. The machining estimate for this is 3 minutes per piece (X3) and will be fully shaped which will save me time on the contouring and sanding. I would normally spend about 4 hours on the bandsaw, scroll saw, and bench sander plus a fair bit of time with a hand file.

This is the finished item. I have tried to transfer the CNC drawings over but the file type is being blocked.
I hope to have the WorkBee next week and I expect to take around a week to build it. I will make another post once I have it all together.
Steve

Hi all,
I have finished building the Workbee CNC machine and have created my first few items and I have to say two things from the off. The CNC is an invaluable tool and its also an expensive toy. I have spent hours watching the cutter head whizzing around pieces of wood creating some wonderful designs and shapes. So here are my observations which I hope you find useful. I would also add that I have no ties to Workbee or Vectric and these are entirely my own notes based on my own experiences.

The build.
The kit comprises two boxes filled with a number of smaller boxes and lots of extruded aluminium profiles. There are two methods to build, Reading the manual or following the video on the Workbee site. I chose a mixture of both as some of the construction was not immediately clear from the manual but easily understood from the video.
I took my time and spent about 3 days in all on the construction. I could have done it in less by working 8 hour days but I wanted to enjoy the build and also get it right first time. I was very pleased with the construction and all the parts were accurately machined and slotted together really well. There were spare screws and fixings in most of the packs and also spare profile retro fittings should you forget to install them during fixing. Overall it was a very enjoyable project and apart from a couple of times I never had to redo any of the build. The times I went wrong were when I was assembling one of the cross beams as I had used the wrong one and the second when installing some of the cables in the drag chain.

Wiring.
The wiring looms, step motors and electronic components were all clearly labeled and went together really well. There is no paper manual for the electrics and everything is online. I found it clearly written and in an good format. My one mistake was when wiring one of the step motors to the main processor where I had the cable the wrong way round. Once again all my fault.
Once finished I started it all up and was really impressed with all the LED’s on the processor and the way it all hummed away to itself just waiting to carve something. Unfortunately I could not get it to run although all the motors were working and I could manually move them around on the homing program. The problem was in getting my laptop to speak to the processor and I tried everything I knew to solve the problem. After a lot of trying to get it to work I called Workbee for some help. A very knowledgeable gentleman requested linking to my laptop and within minutes he was working away on my system from their office near Brentwood. He made a few changes to the programs and then set up a test piece from the Clip Art library and it all worked straight away. This was a moment of pure joy as the router began its task and started moving around along its programmed route.
Since then I have been designing all sorts of things and having a great time with it.
In summary I would make the following observations:

A really well made and engineered kit.
Easily constructed but make sure you fully read the instructions and understand the drawings.
Excellent support team who seemed really keen to help and were also genuinely interested in my plans.
Workbee had a real understanding of possible problems during the build and had covered most eventualities.
The 750 X 750 layout I chose gives more working area than I will ever need.
The accuracy of finished articles is superb and you can just keep on turning stuff out.
The Vectric software comes with all sorts of extras including a Clipart library and a user forum with many projects to try.
I had a problem with one of my designs when setting up a tool path. I emailed my design to Vectric who replied within minutes and had one of their support staff look at it and advise me how to proceed.

So, I am really pleased that I took the step to a true CNC machine. It has opened up many new possibilities for me without getting involved in commercial batch processing. I am still a hands on woodcrafter but CNC is going to be so useful. You can obtain a free trial version of the Vectric programmes on their website so give it a try and see how you get on.

If you have any questions I will be pleased to answer them based on my experience.

Hi All. The ‘Shaper Origin’ saga.

Looks as though I (we) may not even be able to get hands on with a Shaper machine until 2020/21and Festool have bought it, or at least the European rights:

I’ve just been “offered” the chance to attend a ‘course’ after which I would be able to buy a unit, but, you guessed it! Inflated price on exchange rates… US price $2500, but on the “only 399 Euro” course it’s only 2890 Euro… (3289 Euro total) and I’m betting the lucky people who are invited to attend the courses will have to travel to somewhere on “mainland” Europe, so even more expense.
Even this is reliant on being a “chosen one”…if picked to attend.

I doubt anyone from Festool or Shaper ever get to read this but here’s hoping…
A disgruntled ‘prospective’ customer.

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