I know it seems backwards, but I am looking to get an S3, but I actually need to set up the space first. Would a large bench which hold the CNC and has space for the laptop and other things be best, or if you could have it any way you want, would a small bench or stand that held the machine with a bench near it for the laptop be better? I have no feel for the amount of vibration, etc. Also, does the bench need to be as rock solid as possible, or is that not as big a factor as a layman might think?
Any other thoughts on what makes a nice space / bench / work area?
I built this to meet my expectations. I expect it needs to be flat and sturdy. You can likely get buy with less stability than this one and there are many you can find with a google search. But I am extremely happy with how mine turned out.
Room underneath for a vacuum, and a bucket, and a dust deputy or equivalent.
Sturdiness / rigidity are necessary for safety considerations, but any reasonably robust furniture will do, but confidence in the surface the machine is mounted on is a good foundation for squareness. My inclination would be a basic workbench from a home center. If you’re not going to pass material through from front to back, the machine would overhang this by little enough to make it work I believe:
I prefer my controller on a separate surface for safety considerations.
larger bed — a torsion box or something much stiffer than a sheet of particle board — weight becomes an issue and the machine goes from awkward, to difficult to move, possibly requiring casters or becoming essentially immobile.
Discussion of over-engineering of torsion box: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6790&p=53191
I set mine on a Gladiator workbench that I already had in my garage, and it fits perfectly (since they are 25" deep). As Will suggested, it’s right above where I already was storing my shop vac, which gets used every time I use the ShapeOko.
If I was building a spot from scratch, I’d put it in some kind of enclosure, to contain both the noise and dust. Nick built an amazing one, which you can see here. I think he also has a YouTube video detailing the build.