I am a new user of the Shapeoko XL. I bought the machine in March but due to COVID interference I just got around to using it for actual projects recently. Or trying to anyway. My machine has the Z-plus upgrade.
That being said, this machine does not perform as advertised. Specifically, it does not have the Z-depth that was listed in the specifications as purchased. I bought this machine specifically to allow for production of parts of a certain height. I found this thread:
…which essential has Carbide3D admitting they intentionally broke the original design by going out of spec and then pretended this was a feature.
On top of that apparently the included wasteboard, which is called exactly that in the documentation, is not a wasteboard. The Z-Plus upgrade means no bit can actually reach it. Its already kind of ridiculous this included board does not have any at leasn minimal threading for work holding, but now it is impossible to even modify it for that purpose.
So I went out and bought some 3/4 MDF to make a wasteboard to go on top of the wasteboard so this machine is even usable. Then I discover doing so means you can’t dublicate the included board because now the hieght of the work plane is above the clearance of the Y-axis rails so you can slide them underneath to section mill. I need this because I intend to use the entire advertised cutting area and the wasboad sections ouside of it are required for workholding (I bought it specifically because of this). Oh but there is more! Even with the aditional 3/4 inch of MDF no surfacing bit can each that, nor will the included #201 bit if you recess it into the collet entirely (also known as the safe way). So you actually need TWO wasteboards on top of your waste board, eating into your Z-depth even more.
In the thread I linked Carbide3D provided a DIY solution to restore Z-depth to advertises specs. The only problem is that you need a functioning CNC machine to make it. And it’s in aluminum, which most buyers have no intention of ever getting into let alone have the skill to do so out of the box even if they did. I am one of these.
I am very disappointed in this product, which is currently useless. But I know it is NOT useless for those who have the pre Z-plus specifications available to them. Where can I get this Z-plus modification plate since I have no way to make it myself?