Second Machine need your advice

SO i already have the shapeoko 3 the smaller one and am looking to purchase a second machine. Im considering an x carve but unsure. Any thoughts on either the XXL or the xcarve?

The X-Carve vs. the Shapeoko 3/XL/XXL is pretty much the same comparison as an SO2 vs. an SO3 — the SO1 was engineered for an 8"x8"x3" cutting area (and to fit in a UPS flat rate box), the SO2 for a 12"x12"x3" cutting area — expanding the machine worked quite well along the Y-axis, esp. if one added side supports, along the X-axis, well Wide Makerslide is an improvement over the Double X-axis upgrade, but I’m still mystified it took Inventables a year (or more?) to get around to doing it.

Do you want to be in a situation where you have to determine if a given cut will fit on the small machine and be done quickly, or require the larger machine which will result in it taking longer?

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Im looking to cut larger items but i have heard on the Xcarve its slower due to rigidly issues unlike the Shapeoko 3. ALso i want to run a larger water cooled spindle and from what i can see there will still be gantry issues on the Xcarve.

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Yeah, it’s funny how the Inventables forums have been a re-play of the early days of the SO1/2, w/ them re-creating upgrades which were already done, and working out ways to get around the limitations of Makerslide.

Oh, I forgot, there is an official page on this:

http://carbide3d.com/vs/shapeoko-vs-xcarve/

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The real limitation of a machine is its rigidity. With out rigidity there can be no precision. and when you start adding things like a water cooled spindle you add more mass, inertia, and torque to bear to the rigidity you have…The Shapeoko XXL is most rigidity challenged in the spoilboard, The X-carve is challenged in several places…one fairly simple rigidity challenge to address, or several… When I looked-and even still-the Shapoko had four things going for it.1) it was the most developed(rigid), 2) it was a balance of what would work most efficiently-no race cheapest, but no crazy expensive parts either, 3) Support from people who used it and genuinely wanted a buyer to be successful in using it…they didn’t do what ever it took to shovel a machine out the door and then forget to answer the phone or check email…they answered even when the question might not have been directly related to the machine, but was directly related to success with it. 4) Transparency. “We did this, Here is why, here is what we found about what we did, and here is how we are addressing it-what do you think?” Apparently, Carbide3D makes decisions based on getting the best machine out at a reasonable price, notice, best machine was first and price was last…both have their place, but I would rather have a better and more serviceable platform to build on than a cheaper platform to grow out of. You already pointed out you want to cut larger items and that you see rigidity issues in the X-carve, and that there will be Gantry issues…you found the answer with out our help-get that XXL on order!

PS-what I typed was exactly how I came to know the XXL was what I wanted. it was made to update, planned for rigidity, and growth. Once I figured that out, my only quam was not having a rail set for sheet goods-cutting area of 4’x4’ -but in looking at my primary project and the adaptability of the machine, that was not much of a reason to delay the learning curve.

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I bought the original SO3, and soon started wanting to do bigger projects, and did a lot of research on upgrading to something bigger.

for the price, you just can’t go past the XXL, as @YoMan has said, (nailed it, by the way) the SO3 is far more rigid than the Xcarve, it is a great balance between price and quality, and the support from Carbide 3D is probably the best I have experience from any company.

I think you’d probably be reasonably happy with the X-carve, and it would probably cut what you wanted to cut with it, but the SO3 XXL cuts faster, cleaner, and more accurately due to its rigidity, and design.

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Hey Will or YO Man! Just read your reply here, I regularly cut over sized panel with my SO3 (not XL or XXL) but of course I can’t handle the 4’ width. If this is interesting how I do it, just ask and I’ll be happy to explain. My SO3 is the perfect sized machine for my little workshop (9’ x 15’) with 20 some other tools in there with it and I am not limited by the 16" x 16" cutting area (only the width 16"). Anyways, enjoy your replys to everyone and your good natured approach. Jude

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I’d love to know how you put 6 quarts in a gallon pail! It sounds like a great tutorial as well. I have similar volumetric challenges in my lump at the end of the house…but because I my primary project for the Shapeoko would be larger sheets, I chose the XXL, having learned I could always cut more off, but adding back was more difficult with most things…
I enjoy your posts to! and your results with the Shapeoko are inspiring!

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Okay, I’ll work up a tutorial. My Dad always said “you can always cut a rope shorter but you can’t cut it longer” so when (as a kid) I had to tie the garbage cans into the trunk of the car, I’d tie 40 feet worth of knots in the 50 foot rope. Than I’d smile as Dad would untie the knots .Thanks Jude

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I’m looking forward to it, too :slight_smile:
Thats something, I want to learn to do.
I’m getting ready for my drag knife, and turning my table into a vacuum table.
I’m sure I’ll need to cut long pcs., sometime soon.
Thanks.

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Yeah, I still haven’t got that “On-saw” working. The off-saw works great, but the on-saw just can’t put that last cut back on.