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View Full Version : Advice on RoboCutters EagleIII CNC Machine 400x600mm



Phizell
14-04-2013, 12:35 AM
Hi Guys,

I wonder if anybody can help? Thinking of buying a RoboCutters EagleIII CNC Machine 400x600mm from premiresign.co.uk and as I am new to CNC machines I would like to know if within the £1999 inc VAT price range I could do better?

It would be used for work on Hardwood and Softwood and would be used for a good 6 hours a day 5 days a week and though the bed size is smaller then I would like I am unable to find anything that seems to be better.

Any help or advice would be really appreciated.

Phizell
14-04-2013, 12:10 PM
Hi Guys,

I wonder if anybody can help? Thinking of buying a RoboCutters EagleIII CNC Machine 400x600mm from premiresign.co.uk and as I am new to CNC machines I would like to know if within the £1999 inc VAT price range I could do better?

It would be used for work on Hardwood and Softwood and would be used for a good 6 hours a day 5 days a week and though the bed size is smaller then I would like I am unable to find anything that seems to be better.

Any help or advice would be really appreciated.


Sorry should have said it will be working on boards no more 50mm thick and mainly putting Logos on the work

Bazzer
14-04-2013, 12:33 PM
Hi, I think the Z axis travel is 65mm on that model which might be a bit tight if you wanted to put a spoil board on the bed as well. Even without a spoil board using 50mm stock would only give you 15mm for the cutter and depth of cut, machine travel etc. Also I don't think they are VAT registered, so if it is a VAT registered company purchase that might be a factor. The guy that owns premiersign is registered on here but I can't remember his name.
I have the Eagle IV model.

GEOFFREY
14-04-2013, 01:28 PM
The premier signs guy is called Collin, and his ID on this RoboCutter. G.

Phizell
14-04-2013, 02:11 PM
Thanks Bazzar, for the info, I did want the Eagle IV but they are out of stock and wont be in for 6 weeks.

What is the machine like? Is it up to what I need in your opinion ( I normally work on 30mm boards, so I worked one having a 10mm sacrificial board) Very rarely will I need to work on something much thicker but when I do it will only be to engrave or route out sections that will not go all the way through the work piece.

I also thought that if I did get the eagle 3 then in a year or two when I need a bigger machine I could just change the bed and the supports (not 100% sure this can be done).

Any help and advice would be really appreciated as being new to the whole CNC thing I really don't want to waste money and in fact hope this will expand my work.

Many thanks

Phizell
14-04-2013, 03:12 PM
There is another alternative that I might be able to get hold of a Elu Model CNC 860 Type A1 CNC Routing machine (well used) but I have no idea what else I would need to have to make this work as it only has a Elu CNC 860 Control unit which I am not sure can be connected to cad software. The upside of this unit is that I can mount conventional routers to the unit.

If anyone has any ideas or any suggestions on what to buy, I could really do with as much help as possible as I have limited time in which to sort this out as I have imminent work pending.

Thanks

John S
14-04-2013, 03:32 PM
Have you thought about getting one of the 6040 routers off Ebay that come from Portsmouth for about £1200 and ditching the control box.

220V CNC 6040Z-S65J upgrade from 6040Z+S Engraver with 800W 24000RPM spindle | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/321049850267)

Just as an example.
A new control box will cost you around £250 to £300 with quality components.

Phizell
14-04-2013, 04:23 PM
Hi John,

I had thought about the 6040 but all I can find is mixed reviews and people saying you take a chance with them (also the Eagle has a years guarantee and 6 months on spindle) and not knowing really anything about CNC I am lost!!!! Hence why I thought the Eagle might be a good choice as its in the UK and the guy that sells them seems to know what he is doing.

I really could do with someone just pointing me in the right direction telling me if the Eagle machine is any good and as I get used to things I can progress, as I am lucky as I have a knowledge of electrics, engineering and machining, just not in this field at all.

I am really willing to learn and also help people as I move forward and learn myself.

Absolute maximum budget before VAT (It is for my VAT business so need an invoice) is £1650 but I could really only do with spending £1000 or less until this new line takes off and at which point I can invest and possibly build a larger machine myself.

Philly
14-04-2013, 05:10 PM
I bought my machine(a different machine) from premier signs, it was about £250 more than if I imported myself but I liked the idea of UK support. It was a waste of time, every problem with the machine I had to fix my self.

John S
14-04-2013, 05:16 PM
Sorry don't have a name to post to ? Phil ?

The 6040's are a mixed bag and as you say mixed results but basically a router is made up of two main modules, the mechanical part and the electronics.
Leaving the motors out of this which are usually good the electronics on the 6040 are sh́te, hence the new box needed.

Mechanically they are decent, supported rails on the X axis, unsupported on Y and Z but these are not that long anyway.
where they do fall down sometimes is the mounting of the ballscrew bearings which may / may not need seeing to.

Hard decision because by the time the Chinese 6040 is speced up it's close to the price of the Robocutter and given that this is serviced in the UK.

I'd like to know more on the robocutter though before spending especially the spindle.
in one lump of blurb it says 800w air cooled , later on it says 8,000 to 24,000 . Also no mention of what is fitted inside the box, does it have the crap Toshiba board fitted ?

Phizell
14-04-2013, 06:57 PM
Hi John,

I had read the info as a 800 watt with RPM of 8000 - 24000 but could be wrong ( Redsail,Cutting Plotter,Vinyl plotter,Vinyl cutter (http://www.premiersign.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=EagleIII)).

I have no idea what board is fitted inside and will have to ask, but I did make it clear to the guy it would have 6 hours use a day every day and he assures me that it will cope with the job and tells me the spindle has a 6 month guarantee however after reading Philly's comment its hard to say how good that guarantee would be.

Really not sure which way to go, as I could do with an "out of the box" complete system that works and needs little or no modification.

When I looked at the 6040 I was also a bit put of by the fact some people said they suddenly got import duty to pay on top. If I did go down this route, what control box and where from? I take it the control box works the x,y,z motors and if so are the ones that come with the 6040's that bad and why? (sorry as I say I have no experience).

I have at the most a week to sort this out because in about a two weeks I need to be using a cnc (I have experience of cad so hopefully not to steep a learning curve)

Many Thanks

Phillip

John S
14-04-2013, 07:15 PM
If you buy from one of the Portsmouth mob there is no duty to pay. their high shipping charges are to cover VAT and import duty and they don't see why they should have to pay ebay fees on this, tax on tax. If they say it ship in 2 to 3 days it does.
I have bought a laser cutter off them. They do have support but it China based and useless, all they want to do is give you the run around so you sort your own problems out.

Control box you have to build or get someone to build it, not saying the original one is going to blow up straight away but they don't have a good track record. You could always start off with what they send , stuff a big fan on the box and see how it goes.
Not sure if the spindle comes pre wired or they leave that to you ?

If you wnat out the box the original choice might be better but again support looks an issue and you are not close to any other members are you ?

martin54
14-04-2013, 09:11 PM
Can't help with the machine as I don't know the Company but how easy it is to use will depend on what you are doing with the machine.
Once you have a vector drawing done in what ever cad/design software you will be using you will then need to produce the toolpaths so the machine can cut it & for this you will need cam software. The cam software produces the gcode which is what actually drives the machine & for that you will need software to control the actual CNC machine.
Looking at their website they bundle mach3 & lazycam with the machines. Mach3 is the software that controls the machine, lazycam is the cam software.
What ever you decide to do about the machine itself you would do well to start looking at software now, both mach3 & lazycam can be downloaded from the artsoft website free so you could download them & familiarise yourself with them prior to getting the machine. Personally I didn't find lazycam that easy to learn & there isn't a lot of support for it which didn't help. There are other cam packages about both free & paid for which will work fine with mach3.

Phizell
14-04-2013, 09:33 PM
Hi Martin54,

I have been told a fully licensed copy of mach 3 is part of the package and that I should invest in cut 2 d as that is what the personal preference is for the guy that owns Premier sign (Colin) but it seems quiet expensive so good freeware alternatives that people can recommend would be appreciated.

I have checked with premier sign and they are VAT registered

I think that Johns suggestion of a 6040 might be more hassle than its worth especially if I cant get support from the company and I have this nagging feeling that if it goes wrong I will be stuck with a large paper weight.

Unfortunately there does not seem to be many people selling CNC machines within my price range in this country so I think my choices are limited.

Any help and advice taken gladly,

Phillip

John S
14-04-2013, 10:17 PM
but it seems quiet expensive so good freeware alternatives that people can recommend would be appreciated.



Phillip

It's not expensive, how much is your time worth, sounds like you want it for business, Cut2D has the fastest learning curve I have seen.
Problem with these freeware things is they were developed mainly as a hobby project by people with more time and money and it shows.

Download the Cut2D demo it will output code for the examples shown so you do at least get a chance to try it, Spend one night watching video's and another night using it and you are ready to go, it literally will be that easy.

JayPunchbuggy
14-04-2013, 10:23 PM
Control box you have to build or get someone to build it, not saying the original one is going to blow up straight away but they don't have a good track record. You could always start off with what they send , stuff a big fan on the box and see how it goes.
Not sure if the spindle comes pre wired or they leave that to you ?

I got one of the 6040 machines out of Portsmouth a few weeks ago... It worked right out of the box, I may have been very lucky.

I agree that the quality of the electronics and its enclosure is really not that good. But that said, it is working well for now. Without replacing anything major, I was able to upgrade the wiring quite easily. My spindle is now completely controlled by Mach3, cooling pump, speed, on/off etc... Will be adding a probe and limit switches at some point.

I may have been lucky, you may too, and not have to replace electronics.

Cheers,
Jay

Phizell
14-04-2013, 10:44 PM
Thank you Jay,

Looks like I have a lot to think about....what I did like from the 6040 was that the spindle is water cooled which I think may be a bonus with the amount of work I can see it doing.

Where did you find out what parts to replace and where did you buy them from?

Thanks for your input and help

Phillip

martin54
15-04-2013, 12:00 AM
It's not expensive, how much is your time worth, sounds like you want it for business, Cut2D has the fastest learning curve I have seen.
Problem with these freeware things is they were developed mainly as a hobby project by people with more time and money and it shows.

Download the Cut2D demo it will output code for the examples shown so you do at least get a chance to try it, Spend one night watching video's and another night using it and you are ready to go, it literally will be that easy.

I couldn't agree more John, cut2d was under £100 so not a lot for business software at all. Watched the tutorial videos & I was all set to go, some people have said it's a bit flashy but it really is easy to use & I don't have the time to sit trying to figure out how something is done or searching the net trying to find answers. The vetric forum is quite well supported as well so easy to find answers to questions if you have any.

I know the machine comes bundled with mach3 but if you were to download the latest version you would be able to get familiar with it before the machine arrived, least that would be one less thing you would have to do once the machine arrived.
If Jay has had to upgrade the wiring on his machine already then that's not really working straight out the box in my view, plus has he been running it 6 hours a day 5 days a week?

Fivetide
15-04-2013, 12:12 AM
I have the baby Blackcat (older version of eagle) from Colin, all i can say is he will bend over backwards to help you in anyway he can..

JayPunchbuggy
15-04-2013, 11:09 PM
Hi Phillip,

Didn't replace any parts, except for the IEC power cables. It came with euro ones, that wouldn't have connected the earth. Apart from that, I put it together as sent and it worked. No mods were needed.

However, I didn't like how the inverter was connected, and manually controlled. So I rewired the inverter to take its power from the main controller through the pump switch. This saved me from powering the inverter from the wall switch. I then wired the cooling pump to switch on only when the spindle was turning using the inverter's built in relay. Finally, I got a cheap RS-232 to RS-485 converter and used that to connect the pc to inverter. This, with a MACH3 add in driver, let me completely control the spindle on the PC.

So, I didn't have to mod anything, I just improved the set up by doing so.

Some day, I would like to replace the controller, so that I can drive the steppers with more than 24volts. This would give greater speed or torque if I need it... But it can wait.

I should write up the details rewiring I did, just haven't had a chance.

Hope this helps, and good luck with whatever you decide to get.

Cheers,
Jay

Phizell
16-04-2013, 08:54 AM
Hi Jay,

I think from all I have read I will be going down the Eagle 3 route just for ease and also backup.

Thank you so much for all your help though it really has pointed me in what I think is the right direction.

Thanks


Phillip

JayPunchbuggy
16-04-2013, 10:06 AM
No problem, Phillip.

I wasn't trying to stear you in one direction or the other. Glad you found my info useful in coming to a decision. I very nearly went for an Eagle...

I definately think that the Vectric software is very good. I am using VCarvePro and love it. Cut2D will probably be good as well.

Let us know how it goes!

Jay

martin54
16-04-2013, 12:41 PM
No problem, Phillip.

I wasn't trying to stear you in one direction or the other. Glad you found my info useful in coming to a decision. I very nearly went for an Eagle...

I definately think that the Vectric software is very good. I am using VCarvePro and love it. Cut2D will probably be good as well.

Let us know how it goes!

Jay

I looked at both vcarve pro & cut2d & both looked to be very user friendly which when you hate having to learn new software as much as I do is a good selling point. vcarve pro is obviously a much more complete package & if I had needed some sort of cad software then that would probably have been my choice. As it is I already had & was familiar with other vector based software so only really needed something to generate the toolpaths.
The other thing I liked about vetric was that having bought cut2d if in the future I decided I wanted to upgrade to say vcarve pro I got a discount that was almost equal to what I paid for cut2d.

John S
16-04-2013, 01:50 PM
Main differences in VCP and Cut 2D is VCP has more features including V carving, nesting and the ability to use multiple tools.
It also had more CAD features but neither in my opinion have what i call decent CAD capabilities.

That in itself is no problem as there are loads of good and free 2D cad programs out there.

martin54
16-04-2013, 07:36 PM
John are there any features that VCP has that make it worth having over Cut2D if nesting isn't a feature that bothers you & you don't have an ATC ?

I've got software for producing 2D vectors, not a CAD package but arty farty software as you called it lol. I opted for cut2d as all I thought I would really need is something to generate the toolpaths. Still all new to me so just wondering if I was missing something.

John S
16-04-2013, 08:38 PM
Main thing is the vee carving.
Cut2D leaves radii in the corners equal to 1/2 the cutter diameter.
VCP uses a vee tool and lifts it in the corners to make it appear to be sharp cornered.
If all you are doing are signs for big birds bedroom door cur 2D is fine.
If you want small detailed work you need VCP.