Shapeoko 4 Pro capabilities

So I’ve had my pro xxl for some 12 months. But other than building it I have not had time to run a single program on it. That changed in December when I decided to try and cad/cam something that is a product. I can’t go into the product itself other than it’s basically a box, but it involves aluminum. I’ve posted the odd image and the odd question.

What I wanted to say is that I had a hope of what the machine could do, and over this weekend I proved to myself that it could handle that. The product involves cutting deeply into 1 1/8" 6061 350mm by 200mm billet, to an extent where it’s only 1.5mm to 2.00mm (sorry I am both units in and out) thick in most parts. I hoped, and researched, that it could managed, but I thought that “yeah probably I’m expecting too much”. A smaller machine than XXL would have been more rigid but I also want to do more wood furniture and art installations at scale, so here I am.

It’s not fast: the beech prototypes I did were a couple of hours each face, with 4 faces. The aluminum are 8 hours each face. But the machine either allows me to run small batch production (think 2 per month as these are high value products) or to prototype to send off to Xometry. It’s likely that I’ll prototype then send to Xometry to cut the rough and cnc finish myself, although I probably could also cast the rough through someone but I’m not sure how to do that.

My finishes are pretty great! I’m using the 4-in-1 Datron that Vince was using. It just works. I trammed and levelled my machine. I checked collet for runout. But my machine is still on a non level, on castors, wobbly surface, and it still is giving me a reflective finish. There is more to do but I think I can make most things I would want to with this.

I’m happy with the machine. :slight_smile:

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