I have recently purchased a used Shapeoko XXL for $1300. It came with a 90° V-bit, bitzero, and a dust boot. The guy who I bought it from had it up and running when purchased. I have not had the opportunity to get it fired up but plan on doing so next week (currently out of town). At the moment I only have a couple of questions.
Since I only have the 90° V-bit, should I order the “End Mill Starter Pack” for $175 (Currently Sold Out)? Or are there just a few bits that I could use to accomplish most needs?
2)Software. I have downloaded Carbide Create and Carbide Motion and done some of the online tutorials for CC. Should I stick with this or is it better to learn V-Carve Pro or Fusion 360 from the start?
Also, If you have suggestions for starter projects or tips for staring out I would love to hear them.
Which endmills you need is determined by what sort of work you wish to do, in what materials and how you wish to approach it.
Similarly, software selection/usage is determined by what you wish to do and how you wish to approach it. Folks doing signage using Windows computers who are willing to pay for software are inclined towards Vectric software, while folks doing 3D mechanical CAD and willing to tolerate cloud software and Autodesk gravitate towards Fusion 360.
For starter projects, please consider one or more of the tutorials:
End mill starter kits may sound like a good idea, but you can do quite a lot with the #201 and a #102 end mills, depending on what you want to do. I did buy two different starter sets, but have only used two of the end mills from it - and broke one of them!.
Again, I would stick with CC and CM - the latest versions - and get to know your way around the processes and workflows. There is a bucket-load of tips and tricks on this forum, from experts and novices alike - just don’t get overwhelmed with the guidance you’re given! You can get rather more sophisticated software, but it could be at a premium.
Starter projects, hmm. There is a ‘Hello World’ test ‘project’ somewhere on the Carbide3d website (I’ll check in a minute) which you can try out - without damaging anything (fingers crossed) - which uses a marker pen. Otherwise, you could try simple boxes (loads of ideas on YouTube, especially John Clark’s page)
Of course, feel free to ask any questions on here!
Everyone uses their machine differently so uses different bits. Starter sets are a one size fits all approach and are a good deal IF and only IF you use all of the bits. The savings of buying them as a group is good but only if you use them all.
I use a #201, 301, 302 102 a lot. (the 301 is a 90 degree Vee) I would recommend you buy these and get others as needed. As already stated everyone uses different bits for different projects but one tool almost everyone needs but seldom uses is a 1" Fly Cutter to level their spoil boards. I use the Whiteside 6210. You can get this bit or many others similar on Amazon or other places but you will need one pretty soon after you start using your machine. So a good starting point would be these 5 bits I have suggested. I dont think you would be wasting money on bits you may never use but everyone is different. The #102 is a 1/8 bit and you will need a collet for that. I like the Elaire Collets from elairecorp.com. Depending on which router you have you get the corresponding collets. Carbide3d sells ones for the Makita and the Carbide3d routers. If you have a Dewalt Elaire has good ones.