The transition from the 2 to the 3 was not comparable, since the two machines were sold by two different companies and the 3 was a clean sheet redesign w/ the only shared parts being the Delrin V wheels and eccentric nuts and GT2 pulleys and belts. Please note however the recent statement that it’s okay for folks who wish to to source a Carbide Motion board (and pins, and Molex KK housings and a crimping tool) and install it in a Shapeoko 2.
The software will continue to work — we still provide Carbide Motion 3 as a download for folks who have machines w/ Grbl 0.9 which was what was provided w/ the machines back in 2015.
For the specifics of on-going parts availability please write in to email@example.com — I’m sure things will be supported for at least a year, and it should be for the foreseeable future — we still support the Nomad 883 Classic and it hasn’t been made for almost 7 years.
The overhang cutting area is nice, but there are joinery options which allow one to cut joinery into a board which is flat on the machine (see below).
A 3/4" overhang will allow one to do boards up to 3/4" wide — you just lose the ability to gang them up to cut multiples as shown at:
(though one can align them sequentially — one just loses the self-correcting nature of the ganged up cut)
That said, I have a sketched up design for when I get my Pro where a T-slot extrusion is removed and modified to make it into a vise to clamp (and register) boards vertically so as to cut joinery into them.
That said, I will note that while it’s conceptually neat, I find cutting joinery into the ends of boards somewhat tedious since it’s at a minimum (if one can gang up all four boards) a minimum of 3 setups:
- one to cut the boards to length and cut in any features (and if one wants to do features on the outside or along the top edge add one or two more setups for the flip and 3rd orientation)
- one each for each set of corners w/ all four boards in place (for fingerjoints and similar joinery options — dovetails and Knapp joints pretty much require 4 setups for the joinery, one for each corner)
(yes, I’m incurably lazy, just ask my wife — arguably this is why I bought into the idea of a robotic assistant)
For another example of a joinery technique cut fully flat on the machine please see: