Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: BT48 Buddy vs PRSalpha 48x48

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fruitport, MI
    Posts
    61

    Default BT48 Buddy vs PRSalpha 48x48

    I will be attending the 2-day training session at Shopbot headquarters on May 3-4 and want to finalize my order for my first Shopbot on that weekend. I have narrowed down my selection to the Buddy BT48 alpha package with spindle OR the PRSalpha 48x48 with spindle also. I only have room for the 48x48 so won't be getting the largest powerstick nor a larger fixed table PRS. I was leaning towards the mobility of the Buddy but likely will not be moving it around based on my design of the work room. The Buddy comes mostly assembled and that seems to be the biggest plus for me, i.e. less hassle than assembling the PRSalpha. But does the fixed table and moving gantry offer advantages over the moving table of the Buddy that would make the challenge of assemble worth it form me. I am a real novice to CNC having only a Carvewright for my experience. I plan only hobbyist activities making things in the order of the monthly free projects from Vectric (plan to order Aspire 4), small furniture for grandkids, and projects to donate to non-profits for their silent auctions and plaques for my hospital and schools. I have no interest in making signs but likely will end up trying one or two for friends (not for sale). Can you Buddy and PRS owners share your thoughts on what I should consider as I make my list of pros and cons aiming at a purchase of one of these two Shopbots. Thanks in advance from a soon to be Shopbot owner.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
    Posts
    7,925

    Default

    I prefer a 4x4 over a BT48, and have owned them both. The 4x4 remains

    The BT48 with 4' powerstick needs more 'free area' than the PRS48 because the table moves in and out. Yes of course the BT is a great little machine and has a lot of versatility in terms of being able to expand its machining area and wheel it around the shop if needed. The BT will still have to be leveled with it's feet firmly on the ground before machining, so it isn't quite as portable as you'd think - meaning that you'd have to dial up the legs before you could move it. It is afterall, a robotic tool controlling a 'gyroscope' of sorts, so it needs to be planted to the ground. It WILL walk around the shop on it's wheels if you don't!

    Truth be told, I think I moved my BT48 exactly once, aside from rolling it off the truck. After you get settled into your spot in the shop, you probably are not going to want to really move it anyway! Another thing going for the PRS48 is that it is a bit easier on you in terms of material hold down. Since the gantry moves and not the table, it is much easier to use clamps and even set up a vacuum system without resorting to exotic methods.

    Hope that helps...

    -B
    High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced ShopBot CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training IBILD.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,296

    Default

    the 4x4 will take up less room you will need to have the front and back clear to use the buddy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Marietta, Ga.
    Posts
    320

    Default

    I have a Buddy and am well pleased with it, but I believe a fixed table machine would be a step up for me...I know you have limited space, as I do, but if I have a long piece to machine, I just use the "Tileing" feature in PartWorks/Aspire and slide the work through manually as you can with the 48X48. I know this sounds kind of rambling, mostly because the tought of parting with my Buddy to purchase a bigger machine is too painful, but if I had it to do over again, I would go with the 48X48. joe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vankleek Hill, ON
    Posts
    856

    Default

    I've had two of each style including my current BT48alpha. If you don't have the accessible space to use the longer power sticks which, for example, require 8+' to cut 4' or 16+' to cut 8' then the 4'x4' would be the best choice. With it's open ends you can still occasionally index longer parts if need be as long as you place your table strategically.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Garland Tx
    Posts
    2,221

    Default

    "With it's open ends you can still occasionally index longer parts if need be as long as you place your table strategically."

    like this... by a door!
    SG
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,825

    Default

    I had the exact same thing to decide two years ago when I was looking at a Shopbot. I figured if I really needed to cut something larger than 48" square I could do it with the power stick, and wheel the machine into a larger area of the shop temporarily.

    I ended up going with the BT48 Alpha and a 4HP spindle, has been very very good for me and what I do with it.

    I agree with the rest, if cutting 4x8 sheets is primarily what you will do, a 4x8 machine is what you want. But for what you are going to do with it, the Buddy or the fixed table 4x4 would work..

    When I spoke to the fellow at the AWFS in 2011 at the Shopbot booth, he explained the pros and cons of both machines to me and I decided to go with the Buddy. I can see the fixed table machine being more "rigid" if set up well as the table moving and flexing up and down on the Buddy can be an issue (in stock form). But, I can also see pros to the Buddy as well...

    AJC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fruitport, MI
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Thanks for the input. I am looking forward to attending the new user training at ShopBot headquarters in May. I think I want to see each of the machines and then decide. Right now I am leaning towards the Buddy because my future plans for my shop (garage) and exactly what I want to do are not written in stone. And my concerns are the accuracy and reliability of the machine. If both will do the same, then I will likely go with the Buddy. For the immediate future, the Buddy will stay in one position.... but who knows what I will want in another year after I retire and then really have the time to explore all I want to do with it. Feel free to leave more advice. Once I start to use the machine, I will try to repay the kindness.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fruitport, MI
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Ordered my Shopbot Buddy BT48 today after lots of thought, your help and discussions with others. With an unknown home shop future and being uncertain where my overall woodworking journey is going to take me, I felt I needed the flexibility of the Buddy. And I decided to order it now so it will be delivered 7-10 days after I attend the May 3-4 training session at ShopBot. That way things will still be fresh in my mind when I unpack and fire up for my first carving session. Thanks again for your help. Hope to post some projects after I get up and running.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,825

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeinWestMich View Post
    Ordered my Shopbot Buddy BT48 today after lots of thought, your help and discussions with others. With an unknown home shop future and being uncertain where my overall woodworking journey is going to take me, I felt I needed the flexibility of the Buddy. And I decided to order it now so it will be delivered 7-10 days after I attend the May 3-4 training session at ShopBot. That way things will still be fresh in my mind when I unpack and fire up for my first carving session. Thanks again for your help. Hope to post some projects after I get up and running.
    Joe,
    Although I am sure either would have made you happy, I can say after using my BT48 (Alpha version with 4HP spindle) for the past nearly 14 months, I am extremely happy with it and do not regret my decision. The machine is different sue to the moving table, but if you plan your cutting/work holding you can do pretty much whatever you dream up.

    Congrats on the machine! Just take the time while you are waiting for it to get to know the software, etc and it will save you some time when it arrives. I was cutting stuff the day it rolled out of the crate (I had an electrician wire things in while I was waiting for it to arrive). Awesome!

    AJC

Similar Threads

  1. Buddy BT48 Alpha table MKIII
    By Ajcoholic in forum ShopBot Buddy
    Replies: 101
    Last Post: 02-04-2018, 09:55 PM
  2. 2012 BT48 Buddy For Sale w/ Extras! :)
    By MaxFrenzy in forum For Sale/Wanted - ShopBot-related items only
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-26-2016, 03:10 PM
  3. Replies: 27
    Last Post: 04-15-2013, 11:35 PM
  4. PRSalpha BT48 Clamping
    By jfarrow in forum ShopBotter Message Board
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-11-2013, 12:14 AM
  5. PRSalpha BT48 buddy vs PRSalpha 48
    By aviationmachinist in forum ShopBot Buddy
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 12-02-2009, 07:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •