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I need to purchase a desktop CNC to allow my son to setup for Guitar building, I have looked at the Shapeoko and the Ooznest Busy Bee, the Bust Bee I am looking at has a max material height of 94mm and a max cut depth of 47mm is this going to do the job or should I be looking at another model, appreciate any advice

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12 hours ago, MJC said:

Ooznest Busy Bee

I assume you mean the Ooznest WorkBee?

47mm of usable vertical travel isn't a lot to play with. For comparison, the body of a Strat is 44mm thick.

The Shapeoko has a strong support base for entry-level CNC work and appears to be well represented. The Z height is claimed as 3" (75mm or so) which seems a bit more useful for guitar work. However the X and Y travel is done via toothed belt, which might struggle with heavy cuts and give good, repeatable accuracy. Screw-driven axes like on the WorkBee for X, Y and Z would be better.

It's a shame there isn't a cross between the Shapeoko and WorkBee, marrying up the better components of the two systems.

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For absolute beginners with plenty of community support it's probably hard to go past the X-Carve or Shapeoko, but both systems have belt-driven axes. That's not to say you couldn't do guitar work with them; there are plenty of examples out there by people who have used both systems to do just that. The Shapeoko looks more solid than the X-Carve, but I don't know if looks translates into anything meaningful in reality when comparing the two. The X-Carve claims to be more hackable than any other, so there's an option there to upgrade components as you go along (and there are also numerous examples of people who have done so). But there are software and hardware choices that have been made by both companies in the interest of keeping the technology accessible to everyone that would personally make me shy away from them.

If you're not afraid to get involved with the technical side of things, Probotix seem to make some pretty robust-looking systems. Even the numerous examples on eBay from China are an option, but be warned that at this level the machines are not plug-and-play solutions and the learning curve is much steeper.

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On 9/17/2020 at 5:19 PM, curtisa said:


be warned that at this level the machines are not plug-and-play solutions and the learning curve is much steeper.

No machine is plug and play. They all require some effort and learning.

I have people that buy my 3d guitar models on Etsy and I specifically state they are not for beginners. They still buy them even though they just got there machine and totally new to CNC. Then they bitch because they cannot put the model in the software and press a button to make it. Then they demand their money back?


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