Price/Peformance TRADE-OFFS

 If Price is Your Primary Consideration

If you are reading this note, you are already aware that ShopBot is committed to providing high-quality and very affordable robotic tools. But if cost is making it difficult for you to get going with a CNC tool, there are several things you can do to keep the initial dollar layout to a minimum. Your tool will still have great CNC capabilities, but you won’t be paying for the highest levels of performance and may invest a little more of your time and effort in getting your tool fitted out. Here's what to consider:

  • Purchase an Entry-Level PRSstandard CNC. You can upgrade to a PRSalpha (our higher-performance, closed-loop CNC) later if you wish with a new Control Box and motors.
  • Develop Your Own Hold-Down System. As mentioned above, a general-purpose, high-volume vacuum hold-down system is expensive but it is not the only choice for holding down your material. If you need vacuum, consider a more affordable shop vacuum that can be used with templates for effectively securing your parts. Appropriately placed clamps or double-sided tape are other options. Click here for more info about Vacuum Systems. Check out the ShopBot Wiki and the Forum for more vacuum and hold-down info.
  • Go with a Porter Cable Router Instead of a High-Frequency Spindle. A spindle offers many advantages over a router (power, reduced run-out, less noise), but consider initially using a standard router to evaluate what you will actually need in your particular production situation. A spindle is more expensive and will probably require an additional electrical circuit and wiring. Go with a router to reduce your initial investment. Router vs Spindle
  • Attend a ShopBot Basic Training Session. We offer a monthly, two-day Training Class at our facility. Training covers use of your ShopBot and its Control Software as well as a thorough introduction to the VCarve Pro ShopBot Edition design software. We focus on getting from your idea to a Part File. (Some classes are now available free, online, in a webinar format.) Also, try to find a Camp ShopBot. These are user-organized, weekend sessions where ShopBotters share techniques and projects… a great place to learn new approaches to your work. Training and Camps can also clarify for you what you really need and what you don't need, and you'll find lots of advice on how to save money.
  • Pick Your Tool Up at ShopBot. Especially if you plan to attend a training session, you can save on shipping expenses if you pick your tool up while you are here. Please note that, if you pick up the tool at ShopBot, you must furnish us with a manufacturers’ certificate or you will be charged 6.75% NC state sales tax. With a manufacturers’ certificate, you pay $80. Give us a call if you have questions about this.

If Convenience, Timing and Efficiency Are Your Priorities …

We can provide a complete package that includes tool installation and training, as well as part design and production set-up if you need it. Note that the ShopBot Buddy and Desktop tools are shipped assembled. Gantry tools can optionally be shipped fully assembled (shipping costs are higher). We have a technically skilled and creative team ready to work with you. These additional services are not inexpensive, but may be a bargain for you in the long run if you are anxious to be productive quickly.

Even if we are going to train you, get involved with your design software early. Start using your design software before you get the tool, and learn how it relates to the ShopBot Control system, which you will be able to run in Preview Mode even without a tool. You will get maximum benefit from our training if you are already acquainted with the software.

Unpack your ShopBot before we get there. Have the set-up area ready and any new electrical service installed (and an electrician on call to hook up the Control Box if not already wired). Set up the computer you intend to use with your ShopBot. This will improve assembly efficiency and give us more time to spend with you on training.

Explore the resources and links available on this website to better understand your new CNC router and CNC production processes.

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