Since upgrading my standard sized SO3 to an SMW fixture tooling plate with modular vices, I will happily say, without any fear of contradiction, that the machine is now improved beyond all recognition. I really enjoy cutting aluminium and have just got a new paying project on the stocks, since my test cut of arrow rest dampers.
About two months ago, I was considering purchasing a Pro/4 machine too. This HDM announcement… seemingly so soon after the introduction of the Pro/4 series is leaving me uncertain about which product to choose. The series 4, the Pro or the HDM.
I am in no particular rush and I do not run a business… yet. However, I would be a little ticked off to buy a machine that is updated in say… 6 months to the HDM plus or similar. It would be quite reasonable for any company to give out information that includes a broad sweep of a roadmap so that their customers, actual and potential, could plan their purchases in a rational manner.
I have also considered moving my work to Stepcraft’s machinery. With its automatic tool changer, laser, fluid bath, 4th axis lathe, ball screws, spindle, enclosure, ability to machine end on in the centre of the baseboard, I see that I could make such a machine work for me. I now understand where I would like to take my CNC hobby/work and the potential routes to getting there.
The announcement of the HDM threw me for a loop. I guess if I had purchased the Pro/4 series a couple of months ago, when I had considered doing so, I would now be feeling a little aggrieved. Why is the Carbide 3D planned roadmap not known to potential buyers?