MPCNC vs XCarve – Trying to decide.

New Home Forum Getting Started MPCNC vs XCarve – Trying to decide.

This topic contains 28 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of James Donnelly James Donnelly 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #20780
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    Hey Everyone,

    I am getting ready to purchase a CNC router and after much study I decided on the XCarve. Then changed my mind and settled on the MPCNC.Then I changed my mind again…And again….

    I was on the XCarve website with my credit card in hand and saw that they have a 3 week lead time. So here I am ready to order the MPCNC bundles and noticed the MPCNC spec’s the Dewalt 660 vs Xcarve’s Dewalt 611.

    I want the machine to do a range of functions from sign carving to engraving smaller objects. Will the 660 have the power and swing the bits that I need to handle the sign carving side of things?

    Any other thoughts regarding MPCNC vs Xcarve would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    S.

    #20782
    Profile photo of CheopisIV
    CheopisIV
    Participant
    #20861
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    I am weighing performance, cost, ease of assembly and support.

    MPCNC definitely wins in the cost category. Not looking good so far in the other areas.

    #20862
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    I am going to keep my opinion out of it but I would love to know why you feel that way about performance, ease of assembly, and support? I am always looking to improve things.

    #20866
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    Lack of information.

    Pricing is pretty straight forward and definitely more affordable than Xcarve.

    Ease of assembly is a no brainer as well. The MPCNC is definitely much more DIY. Not a bad thing. Sometimes building the tool is more rewarding than using it once it is done. In this case I have a moderate preference for a machine with a modest build time.

    Performance & support?? Not enough information to make a call. So far the activity level on the forum here is not what I had hoped for. Also, I have not been able to determine if the DW660 that MPCNC uses will meet my needs.

    Thank you for your reply.

    S.

    #20867
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Just ask specific questions and it is much easier to answer. Most people here don’t have both machines to compare the differences. I have only used my design and much larger machines I can not and am not comfortable making performance claims or actually comparing another company’s product. I tried to stay out of this post. I do feel both machines are more similar than most think. Relative to a large $200k+ machine if one cuts something in 2 hours and 20 minutes vs 2 hours does it really matter that much? All the electronics are not different enough to make a difference, and if it is you can use any board or steppers on either machine.

    Ease of assembly- have a look at the build instructions and parts lists. From what I can tell I have a lot less parts, by a very large margin. All screws and nuts need tightening over time, I think that is a big factor.

    I’m not sure what you are looking for in the forum activity. The information is out there, we are not doing anything vastly different over here. The biggest hurdle for most people is not the actual machine but how to mill, CAM, Bits, Endmills. Stuff that is usually software related. Every single time a build or machine question comes up I try to help and then add the information in the site somewhere. More information=less questions.

    You do not have to use the 660 on the mpcnc, there are dozens of mount for any tool you want. I have put up videos milling aluminum with a dremel, the 660 is for or 5 times the power of the first spindle used for milling aluminum. More power is not always better and at some point the mass and size are detrimental.

    Have a look throught the site, there really are not that many pages. Just have a look through the first three pages under the home menu, follow through the assembly page all the way through in order and that should clear up any question you have. Other questions have been answered in the short FAQ, and then there are so many videos made by mpcnc owners. I have not given away a single mpcnc ( I gave a friend one at the very beginning but he never put it together), so every video you see is legit.

    If you watch other videos I suggest turning them off as soon as they say “so and so sent me this machine, here is my honest opinion” If you give a crappy review no other company will send you free tools, find people that have bought them themselves.

    Again, ask specific questions and everyone in here will help. It is very difficult to answer…is it better? Example-I want to mill 2’by2′ signs out of pine mostly, should I use 1/4″ or 1/8″ end mills?

    #20939
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    I want the machine to do a range of functions from sign carving to engraving smaller objects. Will the 660 have the power and swing the bits that I need to handle the sign carving side of things?

    Also, most of the carving bits that I am seeing out there are 1/4 shank.

    If the 611 would be a better choice for flexibility & power, can you tell me how the MPCNC will handle the added weight? Any other downsides to the 611?

    I understand that some folks have designed 611 mounts. Where may I buy one?

    Thank you.

    #20941
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    Tubing question:

    I found this for 1″ OD x .049 wall stainless tubing: http://www.jmsonline.net/ss-tube-1-od-x-6.htm?gclid=CjwKEAiAu6DBBRDDr6-e_6698E0SJACvuxnyyjwvcV2HKYqxs6u9n1hSQvRFIIyeODzuEVBWEht9yxoC1trw_wcB

    Is this a good choice? It is the most reasonable I have found so far.

    Thanks

    S.

    #20942
    Profile photo of Wesley Gardner
    Wesley Gardner
    Participant

    ive been sign cutting for a year now on my mpcnc let me tell you its a tank with 660 minimal upkeep as well i have run the machine daily for 6-18hrs a day and still do its cutting signs right now even. I feel more connected to this machine vs if I bought one.

    #20944
    Profile photo of Wesley Gardner
    Wesley Gardner
    Participant

    oh and I do alot more then just signs I have tons of other projects I do with it as well

    #20946
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    Thank you Wesley,

    I appreciate the input.

    I worked on a similar machine back in the dark ages (DanCad, parallel port connected drivers & ACME drives) and we went through several design revisions to accommodate larger and larger routers until we found one with enough juice to have decent cutting performance.

    I had initially gotten the idea that the 660 only came with a 1/8″ collett. I just looked on Amazon and see one that has both 1/8 & 1/4.

    I am beginning to warm up to the idea of the 660. I would still love to hear from those running the 611 and where I might find the mount for the 660?

    Thanks again.

    Steve

    #20960
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    #20941REPLY |
    Tubing question:

    I found this for 1″ OD x .049 wall stainless tubing: http://www.jmsonline.net/ss-tube-1-od-x-6.htm?gclid=CjwKEAiAu6DBBRDDr6-e_6698E0SJACvuxnyyjwvcV2HKYqxs6u9n1hSQvRFIIyeODzuEVBWEht9yxoC1trw_wcB

    Is this a good choice? It is the most reasonable I have found so far.

    Thanks

    S.

    #20972
    Profile photo of srcnet
    srcnet
    Participant

    For what it’s worth, I built the machine this weekend. I built it in the living room of my apartment with minimal hand tools. The instructions are super clear and all the parts go together nicely. At no point during the build I felt there was a lack of information.

    Also, I see you are looking at Stainless tubing. Unless you already have a plan, you should try and get it pre-cut to the length you are looking for. Pay the extra few dollars as it is hard to work with. Bonus points if you can get them to drill the holes you need.

    #20979
    Profile photo of James Donnelly
    James Donnelly
    Participant

    If you can’t get it cut, you could use an angle grinder – better still, an angle grinder stand. Sorry, UK link.

    Nice clean accurate cuts, and part of the fun of making your machine. Sawing would be incredibly boring.

    #21028
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    James,

    I am not sure where the cutting question came up but why not gust use a tubing cutter? We cut 1/2, 3/4 and 1″ EMT with one all of the time and they make a pretty clean and accurate cut and are easy to use.

    S.

    #21029
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    A couple of questions:

    1) If the 611 would be a better choice for flexibility & power, can you tell me how the MPCNC will handle the added weight? Any other downsides to the 611?

    2) I understand that some folks have designed 611 mounts. Where may I buy one?

    3) I found this for 1″ OD x .049 wall stainless tubing: http://www.jmsonline.net/ss-tube-1-od-x-6.htm?gclid=CjwKEAiAu6DBBRDDr6-e_6698E0SJACvuxnyyjwvcV2HKYqxs6u9n1hSQvRFIIyeODzuEVBWEht9yxoC1trw_wcB Is this a good choice? It is the most reasonable I have found so far.

    Thanks.

    Steve

    #21030
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    Hey James,

    I just reread SRCNET’s post and figured out where the cutting question came from. I missed that the first time.

    I am undecided about stainless vs EMT. I am not sure if the stainless that I found is suitable and I cannot measure it to confirm that I am ordering the correct printed pieces. Also, the 3/4 EMT is MUCH less expensive and I am beginning to think that keeping my initial investment at a minimum in case I need to go in a different direction may be a good idea.

    Thanks for the input.

    Steve

    #21032
    Profile photo of srcnet
    srcnet
    Participant

    I got my stainless from Speedy Metals

    Edit: If you are worried about extra weight, maybe this will help http://www.vicious1.com/forum/topic/stainless-steel-quick-and-dirty-flex-test/

    #21034
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    Thanks srcnet,

    I am not really “worried”. I would say “uneducated”. I simply do not know if it is something that I should be concerned about. Tis’ why I asked 🙂

    Any thoughts on the matieral from Taco?

    Thanks again.

    Steve

    #21036
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    Hey srcnet,

    I was just looking at Speedy Metals. I had looked before but bailed when I could not get a shipping estimate without giving them personal information. I gave in and registered and their shipping is fairly reasonable. That may keep stainless in the game.

    They say in the item descriptions that the cut (length) tolerances are 1/2″ or more depending on length.

    What was your experience as far as accuracy/uniformity of cut on the pieces that you received from them?

    Thanks

    S.

    #21037
    Profile photo of srcnet
    srcnet
    Participant

    All the tubing I got was about 1/4″ longer than I asked for. As far as I know, that didn’t matter during the build. The rods can go a little over the corner parts. All the pairs were the same exact length though.

    Overall I am happy with them. I had to cleanup the edges / cuts with a file since they were a little sharp.

    #21042
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    srcnet,

    That is good to hear.

    My concern was that with the published tolerances that, ordering 36″ pieces, that I could get pieces ranging from 35.5 to 36.5.

    As long as they are uniform in length and not significantly short of the ordered size then I would be fine.

    Thanks again.

    S.

    #21494
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    A couple of questions:

    1) If the 611 would be a better choice for flexibility & power, can you tell me how the MPCNC will handle the added weight? Any other downsides to the 611?

    2) I understand that some folks have designed 611 mounts. Where may I buy one?

    Thanks.

    Steve

    #21497
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Please see the FAQ for Your 611 question. The 660 is recommended, if I felt the 611 was better I would recommend that. I don;t sell either one so I have no preference other than a performance stand point.

    You can get anything you need printed on something like 3D hubs.

    #21502
    Profile photo of Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    Thanks for the info!!

    The FAQ took a bit of digging to find and didn’t really answer my question completely. It is beginning to sound like the 611 is simply not a popular option.

    The 3D Hubs site looks like a great resource. Not having my own 3D printer leaves me unable to take advantage of all of the cool stuff on Thingverse. 3D Hubs solves that problem.

    Thanks again.

    S.

    #21503
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    the 611 is larger, moving it further from the axis. This makes it less rigid.

    I have never actually needed more power, But I always want more rigidity.

    We used to mill aluminum with a flex shaft grinder, no need for more power, and really don;t want to lose rigidity.

    3dhubs isn’t the only service. Another is makexyz.

    #21521
    Profile photo of James Donnelly
    James Donnelly
    Participant

    Sorry to hijack the thread, but I’m sure many Europeans would also like this question answered.

    As most probably know, the Dewalt DW660 is not available in 220/240v for us poor Europeans.

    Opinions/feedback about the Makita RT0700CX4?

    There is a great and cheap clone (Katsu is one branding) of this widely available.

    #21534
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    There are a few threads about non-US options. I can’t comment because obviously I can’t try them.
    It the parts list I suggest import spindles if you can’t get the 660. They are small and powerful. Overall dimensions are most important. I doubt you will ever run into a power issue, This has been coming up a lot lately. More details in the FAQ’s

    #21535
    Profile photo of James Donnelly
    James Donnelly
    Participant

    The spindle route is the one I thought I’d be going down, based on your suggestions.

    However, they are not a cheap option compared to the knock-off Katsu Makita clone, which is very well reviewed and only £36. The other attraction is that it’s more versatile and there’s no need to house the separate power supply.

    After posting, I went ahead and finally ordered one, so I’ll be in a position to give feedback soon-ish. I still need to build the thing, but I’ve printed all the parts and have the bearings from China. I can get all the hardware and conduit in a shop over here called Screwfix.

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