Okay I need to know if I’m the only one having repeated issues with the Shapeoko Pro, because at this point it feels as if I was sent a damn brick and I’ve never had so many problems with any machinery in my life.
I’ve contacted and kept up with support through every issue, though the response time has been less than appealing (not even close to 3-4 hours as the auto-reply states, more like 24ish hours and sometimes several days.). However, once we’ve established that the issue is due to a manufacturer issue they’ve been hasty to send out replacement parts, and I’ve received quite a few…
I had been wanting a CNC from Carbide for years and I finally bit the bullet and chucked my card at the Shapeoko Pro, because you know… go big or go home?
Unfortunately I’ve had issues since day one:
After assembly I was unable to initialize the machine because the cable going through the gantry to the left motor was defective, one of the wires was missing continuity, so broken connection somewhere in the gantry?
I contacted support and after some back and forth I was sent out a replacement cable.
After hooking the replacement cable up I was able to initialize the machine…yeah no, just kidding.
This time it was my X homing switch that was faulty so the CNC just tried to Hulk itself through the Y-rail.
Contacted support again… and once more after some back and forth we concluded that it was due to poor connection between the switch and extension cable, the molex was poorly crimped.
I was sent out another set of cables…
Awesome, sweet, new cables lets go!.. Nope not this time either…
This time my left stepper motor was whirring and pointed towards a bad connection between itself and the extension cable, again due to poor crimped molex.
And not only that, but the Z motor was having issues as well and was feeling way hotter than any of the other stepper motors.
I pointed a temp gun at the molex that connects the Z motor with its extension and I got a reading of 92°F and it was climbing still… I turned off the machine when I had a reading of 125°F.
Contacted support again… because what else?
Back and forth, testing, moving motors around, tapping connections.
A replacement left Y motor was shipped out.
Alright maybe now… we get to actually run the CNC properly?
…No, of course not.
This time around it was my Z-plus that was skipping, to the point of not being able to establish proper Z0 at all.
Back to support! After some email exhange I had a video session with support who helped locate the issue, the skipping was due to screws not being tightened down by the manufacturer so I had to raise Z all the way up and line up hole on the back plate with the screws behind it.
Once said screws was tightened the skipping was gone.
Obviously after dealing with so many issues and waiting for support since day one, my return window was far gone.
So let’s just carry on to the next issue, the Carbide Compact Router.
I almost had a successful run, until the machine started going deeper… and deeper… until I paused the milling process (luckily I was standing right there, since I have no confidence in this machine). Turns out the bit had started to slip, okay cool, maybe I weak sauce tightened it?
I removed the nut and cleaned the precision collar and spindle with a toothbrush to get all the MDF dust out. Slipped the bit back in and tightened it back up… and that’s when the actual metal part of the spindle that keeps the lock in place etc… snapped. Mind you I’m no damn Iron Man and you’d figure the stamped wrenches would give in before the router?
The break looked rather clean, like a straight hairline fracture, so I’m assuming manufacturer defect?
My only form of ‘investigation’ was a round of select ‘adult words’ while taking some pictures and writing up another email to support.
I didn’t have any patience to wait however, or time since I had a piece to get done for a client. So I went and picked up a Makita router from HD.
After installing the new router everything seemed to be working as intended… finally (I believe this was 2 weeks ago).
Support was hasty to send out a replacement router without too much back and forth so I’m assuming they established that it was indeed a manufacturer defect.
Which brings us to… today and my current issue, the Z-plus is skipping again.
Of course the first thing I checked was the screws we tightened up earlier in this amazing adventure of problems.
This did nothing, they hadn’t budged since the first time. I checked every other screw I could possibly find and made sure everything was snug… still didn’t fix it.
So I contacted support again and explained the issue (also included a video, which I’ve been doing with many of the issues I’ve had), this was a week ago and the problem is still unresolved to this day.
Now… I don’t think I’ve ever regretted a purchase as much as I am doing this one.
I’ve ‘owned’ this machine since late September and for most of the time it’s just been collecting dust and costing me a ridiculous amount of money, time and sanity.
How is this even okay? What do I do with this? What’s going to break next?
The next time someone tells me to “Buy American, Chinese crap just break” I may just slap them across the face…