One of my interests involves robotics, especially autonomous self-charging robotics. However, I realize most of my skills center around microprocessors, wood construction techniques, electronics, and some limited computer software skills. I knew I was missing the ability to make custom, metal and/or wood components for my various projects. Thus, the need arose for a CNC machine. If only I knew how to use one!
After some online research, I narrowed down my options to a Shapeoko or a Probotix Fireball V90. The Shapeoko is significantly cheaper and everything is made with open source license rights. The Fireball V90 uses some proprietary components, costs more, but has a stronger setup and is more capable than the Shapeoko. After considering my needs, I decided I wanted to be able to carve and cut both wood and metal, focusing on aluminum. I’ll need to dedicate space on my workbench for either of these two machines, and dust collection will be an issue for either one. I understand I will need a separate computer if I purchase the Fireball V90, and I may need separate CAD software. Continue Reading