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Thread: 3 1/2 years later....

  1. #1
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    Default 3 1/2 years later....

    ....and what has changed, any updates on the path forward?

    http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/sho...r-Modification

    Hopefully JimmyD's keyholes are working better!
    Scott

    "It’s easier to fool everyone than it is to convince them they've been fooled" - Mark Twain





  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by srwtlc View Post
    ....and what has changed, any updates on the path forward?

    http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/sho...r-Modification

    Hopefully JimmyD's keyholes are working better!
    Nothing has changed, and there will likely not be a forward path.

    SB has fallen so far behind, that they can't afford to catch up to their competition.
    I noticed SB doesn't list pricing anymore, but I saw a reference to $30K, which I will assume is their flagship machine (Alpha).
    In that reference, it was asked what other machine could be purchased at that price, that exceeds the SB Alpha.
    I don't have personal experience with every machine, I do know people that own many different brands, that all come in around the $30K price, and far exceed the Alpha.
    There are many people importing larger machines, at significantly lower prices, and rave about them.

    Doing any kind of search on quality cnc machines, SB is rarely referenced.
    I can remember, when SB was the biggest name, and I longed for one. Since those early days in 2005, I've witnessed a steady decline in SB overall.
    There wasn't any significant improvement/advancements, especially compared to the competition. And by 2009/10, there was a LOT of new competition, with
    new tech and better constructed machines. Nothing is bolt together these days.
    There was the decline on this forum. Less interaction, and fewer people posting. That seems to be an indicator of a loss in consumer following and support of the company.
    That could be a major contributor to the reason the company doesn't care to advance; there isn't a consumer base to appease to. There isn't a reason to reinvest into
    a failing company. I wouldn't expect SB to make it through 2022.

    When I turn on the power, my expectations are simple. I want my machine to fire up EVERY time, I want it to remain reliable EVERY time, I want it to be accurate EVERY time, and also be rigid.
    Tah-Dah

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    When I was shopping for a machine back in 2012, I needed a "bolt together" machine to get it into my shop. The SB filled the bill and nearly 10 years later, is still pulling the load. While the SB may not be the best and certainly isn't the most up to date, it does what I want, when I want it. I've had very little problems with the machine, and it keeps on keeping on.

    I would love to replace the entire USB system with something more robust and I hope 8ball isn't right that the company is swirling the bowl. It has been an incredibly long time since anything new came out of SB. Maybe they will pull through. I hope so.

    A bad sign is the fact that this forum hasn't switched to an https interface yet. Virtually any site worth visiting now has https. It's a ten minute job to upgrade and zero cost. Like I said, a bad sign of their technical competence.
    ShopBot Details:
    2013 PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino
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  4. #4
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    Sigh............ I only look at the forum a couple of times a week to see if there is anything new.... hoping for the announcement of a total upgrade to my old PRT alpha. I haven't turned on my Bot in perhaps 3 years, but I gave up due to continual Com Errors. Like Coryatjohn, I needed a bolt-together machine as I had to get this into my basement shop.......... That feature alone could keep them viable if they updated their control system........... Sigh............. Chuck
    Chuck Keysor (circa 1956)
    PRT Alpha 60" x 144" (circa 2004)
    Columbo 5HP spindle
    Aspire 9.0, Rhino 5

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Default

    What I see more and more is people posting their SB machines for sale as they move to more current and better technology. This forum is dying off.

    It is sad that SB hasn't kept up. My machine has been a workhorse since 2009 cutting hundreds of sheets of plywood per year along with many other projects. Every Monday morning, when I turn it on, I cross my fingers that it will boot up and connect. That says a lot right there. Many, many times I've shut if off on Friday, turned it Monday morning and spent the day troubleshooting, trying to figure out why this or that wouldn't work. VERY frustrating! SB tech support has continued to be reliable and very good.

    I sincerely hope SB can get things figured out and move forward.
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Keysor View Post
    Sigh............ I only look at the forum a couple of times a week to see if there is anything new.... hoping for the announcement of a total upgrade to my old PRT alpha. I haven't turned on my Bot in perhaps 3 years, but I gave up due to continual Com Errors. Like Coryatjohn, I needed a bolt-together machine as I had to get this into my basement shop.......... That feature alone could keep them viable if they updated their control system........... Sigh............. Chuck
    If a bolt-together machine is necessary, there are other more viable options available for that as well. Take a look at the one located in Washington. They offer complete packages, or buy pieces as you want to expand, and they come in a standard and pro versions.
    SB owners have pigeon holed themselves, and as you Chuck, have let their machine set idle for extended periods, because of issues and not wanting to troubleshoot just to cut a few parts.
    For the price of a SB, I expect it to work every time, not sometimes. Purchasing a $500 toy, problems are expected, but not when shelling out thousands.
    It doesn't matter how good customer service or tech support might be, when they need to be called 95% of the times the machine is turned on. For businesses, that is money down the drain, and for hobbyists, it takes all of the fun out of it.

    As I've seen several people mention, SB needs a complete overhaul, from the bottom up. A failing company isn't going to invest that kind of time or cost, when they won't even answer their current customers with a fix for the simple issues.
    Tah-Dah

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8Ball View Post
    It doesn't matter how good customer service or tech support might be, when they need to be called 95% of the times the machine is turned on.
    Now that's completely unfair. I, for instance, have no such fear and will turn my machine on with every expectation that it works every time. So there are good machines with reliable records.
    ShopBot Details:
    2013 PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino
    Fusion 360
    Ferrari 360
    Prusa MK3S+

  9. #9
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    Mar 2004
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    Lenox High School, Lenox MA
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    I've owned my Shopbot for 15 years. I am a hobbyist so it has not seen 8hours of use 5 days a week. However, my machine has had very few problems over the years and they were minor. In each case I was able to handle the problem myself or with help from tech support. I cannot say that I am disappointed with my purchase. I have produced many projects that I have either used to decorate my home, items I have sold or gifts that I have given as gifts. I am a woodworker with over 40 years of experience, 35 years teaching high school wood shop. The items I produced with my Shopbot were all things I could not have done with traditional woodworking tools.

    Phil

  10. #10
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Henrico, NC
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    I picked up my PRS Alpha in November of 2009 to provide support for my sign and graphics shop, moved it 3 times while upgrading my facilities and can positively state my Bot has paid for itself several times over. I had experienced the usual grounding problems at first but was easily solved. I have had a few unexplained cutting issues over the years but can likely count them on one hand. Hardware failures (not user inflicted) have only consisted of a proximity sensor and 24v power supply. Yesterday I ordered a replacement chinese spindle to replace the original 4hp HSD as its progressively getting noisier (and I too am winding down). The ShopBot folks have always gone the extra mile for me when needed and the forum has proven a valuable resource as I don't recall my being the first to have a problem which hadn't already been addressed. If the chatter of Shopbot's demise is accurate the cnc world will truly be at a loss :-(

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