We're about to purchase an AR8. But as of recent, I've noticed there is now an AR8 Pro, and an AR8 Elite. From what I can see, it looks like bigger clearance and faster IPM. Are there any other features I'm missing. Why might one go to the Elite vs the standard Pro?
Post by traindriver on Sept 23, 2017 21:38:00 GMT -5
Higher volume. Since you can rout faster, you can do jobs quicker, thus more per day. For me, personally, it would be nice to have the faster machine (I have had an AR8 for 2 years now), but there wouldn't be any need because my router doesn't run all the time. If I had someone else working with me, so it did run all the time, it would be worth it.
Traindriver, are you doing it as a side business/hobby or as a full-time job?
I'm more the hobby type of guy, although once I get better/faster at prep and finish, I'd like to jump in full time. I do other kinds of woodworking and some metal working, so I don't have my router running all the time, although I try to make something at least once or twice a week on it.
Post by lynkspyder on Sept 25, 2017 22:22:27 GMT -5
Even disregarding speed, the addition of the servos alone could be enough to justify the cost. With steppers and no feedback, once an axis slips, the machine is out of calibration and doesn't know it; usually leading to scrapping out a part. With servos, which is a closed loop system, providing feedback to the controller with encoders mounted to the shafts, corrections are made automatically. The machine always knows where it is. So while a cut may get overloaded, it won't cause the drive to slip. This is huge.
But, for me, perhaps just as important is the upgraded pendant. I'm still not a fan of pendant controlled machines. I'd rather send G-Code directly to the machine. But this pendant allows you to have more control over the machine than previous models. The pendant on this machine (and I can't find any documentation, just bits and pieces I've put together from pictures, HUST website, and YouTube) appears to have better jog mode options with a selector switch. This is far easier to setup a machine than with push button axis location. While I can't confirm it, the bottom right dial appears to me to be a feed override dial, which I can't believe is not standard with all machines. It is just dangerous without it. And speaking of safety, the pendant has an E-stop mushroom.
All of these items place this machine in an industrial class, rather than a hobby/mid-class machine. And having purchased an AR8 Pro earlier this year, the cost is not too far off for what you gain.
Don't make the mistake of assuming a closed loop control system on position for a stepper or servo drive. Both can be run open or closed loop with resolvers, encoders or back EMF sensors for position input.
I am debating between these two models. Have talked with axiom and they were awesome to deal with. They advised me that the servo motors sometimes need calibration and this requires the help from axiom. Can you give me your opinion and how you like the Elite. thank you