I'm still trying to decide on whether to buy a machine or not. One consideration is the steep learning curve involved in manipulating programs and creating toolpaths. I'm wondering if I'll get frustrated and give up on using it. Is there a database of projects where people share files of projects so I can get some early wins while figuring out how to create my own? Great forum, thanks for all the info.
There is a learning curve to be sure, but that is what is fun! Don't worry about getting upset by not knowing how to do something, It's all part of the learning curve. I consider myself as a novice woodworker. I get many of my ideas from this forum and several others. At Mezaliclk states, Vectric has so many tutorials to watch, it will take you months just to watch them all. I have not gone to the Axiom training, but if you look on this forum, there are several who have and have nothing but good comments on the training you will receive from them. The trial software is how I got started just like many others. When I ordered my machine, there was a 10 week backlog and I played with the trial software the entire time. Watched the tutorials from Vectric. If you go online, there are thousands of videos from people showing you how they created there projects.
Will you make mistakes? YES. Will you make alot of scrap? YES. Will projects not turn out the way you expected? YES. We all make mistakes an learn from them. Don't worry about it! It's all part of the experience. There is plenty of help on this forum and the Vectric Forum. You will not be alone. JUST REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN!
Post by savannahdan on Dec 16, 2019 8:09:11 GMT -5
You might want to consider picking up a copy of Prof. Henry's "the Newbie's Guide to CNC Routing" book. My wife recently bought me a copy of it and I've enjoyed readying through it even though I've been doing cnc work for a number of years and am on my 2nd cnc machine. It's a very simple read but put's things in a simple way. He references Vetric's V-Carve Pro program and walks you through a project. As stated Vectric has quite a free few projects, tutorials and Michael's training is really top notch. Good luck.
I bought this book about a year ago. Lots of info and easy to follow. It's also a great go to guide. CNC Router Essentials, by Randy Johnson and George Vondriska. Amazon and others sell it Amazon has them for about $18. I think it was $24 when I bought mine.
Post by traindriver on Dec 16, 2019 21:16:14 GMT -5
Let me help you decide: get the machine. I had the same dilemma for 10 years, until Axiom first started producing machines. My machine is now over 4 years old, and I still haven't gotten around to trying all the things I've seen other people use theirs for. Start by going through the Vectric tutorials, they're really good. Check out people's projects on forums for ideas and you can modify them for your own, as I recently did with a project posted on this forum. All the forums I searched said the same thing: Save your money and buy your 2nd machine first - if you go with a cheaper machine, you'll kick yourself later and wish you'd spent the extra money. I followed that advice. Also, I highly recommend you get a model with a water cooled spindle. It's not just water-cooled, but it also will hold tighter tolerances. One of the people who post on this forum used a regular router and ran into issues that would never have occurred to me. I'm not an Axiom salesman, but I am a huge fan of their product.
For a "quick win", you can go to the DesignandMake.com website and purchase 2 1/2d files and carve them. That's one of the first things I did when I got my machine. Also, there are a few example 2 1/2D files that come free with the Vectric software.
Another quick win is V-carve inlay. This is one of those things that makes people go, "Wow, you are so talented!". This is one of the shorter videos on the technique that doesn't really tell you why it works out that way, only that it does. I followed these guys' instructions and was amazed that it worked out so well. If you've got to know how the geometry works, this guy, , does a great job of explaining why the settings are the way they are. Yet another quick win is stacked text. This guy does a good job explaining how to do stacked text.
I agree with everything Traindriver said: watch tutorials, cut some easy (but "Wow!) initial projects, and buy the best quality machine you can afford.
I started with a kit CNC (ShapeOko with laminate router as my spindle) and it got me started, but I spent more time learning the machine (electrical, mechanical, software, etc) than I did using it. I then bought a NWA Pirahna. Waste of money. It was only marginally better than my ShapeOko. Now I have 2 Axiom machines (AR4Pro and AR8Pro). I jumped the gun buying my second Axiom machine (I was anticipating WAY more work than I have received), but I use it (the AR8) all the time (longer work area) and the AR4 is going to be used for specialty projects (rotary axis work and dovetail joints (using a jig and specialized software).
Post by traindriver on Dec 24, 2019 14:30:31 GMT -5
Congratulations! A very merry Christmas indeed! These machines are so versatile, you will have all kinds of fun with it! Just think of all the money you'll save by making your own Christmas presents in the years to come!