I live outside of Atlanta, GA and am a new Probotix owner.
I've been looking at CNC machines for a few years and only recently stumbled onto Probotix, and I'm so glad I did. I'm a lead product photographer at a major retailer, and I'm tasked with fabrication of anything and everything, small to large, that will make things faster and more beautiful. I sold them on the need for a small CNC router, so they got me an X-Carve. Great little gateway CNC, but the poor thing just couldn't do the volume we needed it to do, and it was groaning and complaining within a year. However, it proved a need, and we now have a 5x8 PRS Alpha ShopBot. What a beast.
Anyway, I have my own ideas and not much access to the Bot it turns out (corporate, ugh), so I set about finding one for me and someone else who has a need. I have a lot of ideas for niche products as well as some mainstream stuff that need to be proved out before going to injection/thermo, nothing larger than a 24 inch mold. I thought I'd seen it all and was begrudgingly moving toward a ShopBot Desktop Max or a Camaster Stinger 1, both very very fine machines, but both in the $8-10k range for the same cut area. Only a few weeks ago I stumbled onto someone mentioning Probotix in a forum somewhere, looked into it, and started liking what I saw.
Some conversations with Melissa and Len, and boom, I just spent my first day cutting on an Asteroid. Having spent quality time with both an X-Carve and a maxed out ShopBot, I have to say that the Probotix is some serious bang for buck, else I would not even bother to take the time to write this.
I'm primarily cutting contra molds out of HDU and some filled resin in order to make production silicone molds easy. For all the learning curve with CAD, CAM and CNC, it is far and away preferable to manual layup of molds any day of the week, and it greatly extends your abilities to get into really technical layouts that would be difficult at best manually. And the material savings... One contra raw blank might be $40-50 to produce molds for 20 parts whereas just a Polyjet of 1 part of same is $40 at best (I've tried FDM and SLA and what a nightmare), over $100 finished by the bureau. Then you have to make perfect dupes of that part to make a family mold (unless you're wealthy and can make 20x $40 or $100 parts), finish those, then manually lay up the mold. Such a pain in the ass. With CNC it's just draw, cut, light finish, pour, and pour, and pour if you want more. Days and days and $$$$ saved.
Anyone who is contemplating Probotix and are reading this, if you're in the market for a home CNC, give the Probotix team a serious look. I don't think you can beat it. Sure, you can build your own if you want to spend the next 6 months screwing around instead of cutting. If that's your thing, great. It's not mine. I want to get ideas out of my head and into the physical world, not tinker with something that can be bought ready-to-roll. It's just a tool to me. Again, I've been through assembly of even pre-done kits, not even ground up. Nothing beats a pre-assembled and tested machine. There is just not enough money to save to deal with the headaches unless you just truly enjoy building CNC machines.
Anyway, enough blah blah from me. I'm just thrilled with my new Probotix machine. I'm happy to answer any questions from prospective owners.
Tell us about yourself and let us know which machine you have.
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