We have been looking at buying a CNC machine which a vacuum bed, ATC facility with capacity for atleast 8'x4' sheets.

We are totally new to the industry we are sign makers and we work with 2d vector graphics, plotting/printing etc. and we outsource our 3d items at the moment.

We want to expand to offer our own 3d cut plastic, aluminium, and wood lettering as well as other cut/carved 3d objects, on a variety of small and large scales.

We have got to the point now where we have ruled out making our own machine completely, we have ruled out buying a machine from china, and we have ruled out several UK companies who sell Chinese machines (we've heard some horrific reviews of certain companies).

We would love to go to AXYZ and buy one of their machines which would be the perfect setup for us, but we fear it is way beyond our budget, there is little room for compromise on what spec of machine we want so its difficult. we have no problem understanding the benefits of going with this company, and we have had great testimonials from heir customers, cost is the only issue.

We have one company Mantech which is a UK company but selling Chinese imported machines, but they are all CE certified, and they have provided us with testimonials from customers also who have given us raving reviews of their machinery, they also offer all the after-sales and parts etc, but of course we are very wary, as despite being a MASSIVE saving, it is still alot of money to invest in something and we do not want to regret our decision.

One major factor is we are in the Shetland Isles and this logistically is a bit problem, not only in getting the machine here and receiving the training etc, but in future for down-time during breakdowns, getting an engineer here and the parts etc.

Mantech spec/price:
CE Approved Fences & IR Light Guards, Quad Bag Dust Extraction & Hosing, Air Cooled 4.5/9KW Spindle, Handheld DSP Control Unit + USB Data Transfer, 6 Zone Vacuum Table including T slots & Vac Pump, Auto Cutter Height Measurement, Guide Rail lube system, Hybrid Stepper/Servo Motor Drives, Helical Rack & Pinion Drive (X & Y Axes). Reciprocating Ball Screw (Z Axis) etc.
Price: £ 20,035.00 Including 9kw Spindle with 6 Station Auto Tool Change (8í x 4í Standard Sheet)

the AXYZ machines, for the most basic 8'x4' machine start at around £30k....

You can understand the dilemma. I guess what we are desperate for is some impartial advice from people who really know what theyre speaking about, any help much appreciated!