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Thread: PRSAlpha+

  1. #1
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    Default PRSAlpha+

    I was wondering if anybody knew if ShopBot was about to release an upgrade to the current PRSAlpha, it's a great machine, but looking at what centroid/acorn is offering - why isn't there an upgrade or even a PRSAlpha+ option to have that on a configured ShopBot from the factory?

    I'm to the point where I need something "more" and am looking at all my options, I absolutely love my ShopBot and would love to stay with them for my full sheet system but other than new dust boots and hose carriers, there hasn't been much in the way of further upgrade paths at the higher end of the spectrum for quite a while.

    I read through old forums about something is in the works but then I realize that was a few years ago, and each time, nothing seems to materialize.
    --------------
    Founder of CNCKing.com (Project files for your ShopBot Table Router) and CNCROi.com (Custom CNC Shop)

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WoodMarvels.com View Post
    I was wondering if anybody knew if ShopBot was about to release an upgrade to the current PRSAlpha, it's a great machine, but looking at what centroid/acorn is offering - why isn't there an upgrade or even a PRSAlpha+ option to have that on a configured ShopBot from the factory?

    I'm to the point where I need something "more" and am looking at all my options, I absolutely love my ShopBot and would love to stay with them for my full sheet system but other than new dust boots and hose carriers, there hasn't been much in the way of further upgrade paths at the higher end of the spectrum for quite a while.

    I read through old forums about something is in the works but then I realize that was a few years ago, and each time, nothing seems to materialize.


    This again?

    SB has fallen into the abyss concerning upgrading, or improving their platform.
    They are so far behind even the inexpensive hobbyist table top machines, it would require a complete retooling to become competitive, that it wouldn't make sense.
    There have been several SB employees claiming there are new improvements coming. This has been for years, and they are still producing the same thing.
    Don't hold your breath.
    There will be someone from SB here shortly, to reassure you that they are working on something great, and to remain patient, while staying tuned.
    Tah-Dah

  3. #3
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    Default

    I don't think they are as far behind as you think on the price/features for a non-solid frame system that can be brought in on a pickup truck and carried through a front door - I've been looking around at non-Chinese rebranded machines and they pretty much own the market as far as that is concerned. Lots of people like me can't get a forklift in the shop and are one-man operations where the lego-building quality of the ShopBot is a perfect match.

    There are lots of little improvements on both the software and hardware side that would really refresh the Alpha series as a whole, all of us know what they are, and I don't understand why this isn't being done, as I'm sure I'm not the only one wanting something incrementally better all around than what's in the currently being offered.

    Looking at a completely unrelated business, take a look at what Haas offers on their VF2 online ordering system, the options are VAST, ShopBot is the perfect platform to be able to do the same thing for their industry.

    I guess if I was the owner of ShopBot, the first thing I'd do is have a team dedicated to a + model of what they currently have and coming out with an upgrade path from frame rigidity to software improvements, that's completely something that I'd be willing to purchase as a customer even if it added 10-20K to the price but right now, there are few that move the goal post and haven't been any for far to long.
    --------------
    Founder of CNCKing.com (Project files for your ShopBot Table Router) and CNCROi.com (Custom CNC Shop)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodMarvels.com View Post
    I don't think they are as far behind as you think on the price/features for a non-solid frame system that can be brought in on a pickup truck and carried through a front door - I've been looking around at non-Chinese rebranded machines and they pretty much own the market as far as that is concerned. Lots of people like me can't get a forklift in the shop and are one-man operations where the lego-building quality of the ShopBot is a perfect match.

    There are lots of little improvements on both the software and hardware side that would really refresh the Alpha series as a whole, all of us know what they are, and I don't understand why this isn't being done, as I'm sure I'm not the only one wanting something incrementally better all around than what's in the currently being offered.

    Looking at a completely unrelated business, take a look at what Haas offers on their VF2 online ordering system, the options are VAST, ShopBot is the perfect platform to be able to do the same thing for their industry.

    I guess if I was the owner of ShopBot, the first thing I'd do is have a team dedicated to a + model of what they currently have and coming out with an upgrade path from frame rigidity to software improvements, that's completely something that I'd be willing to purchase as a customer even if it added 10-20K to the price but right now, there are few that move the goal post and haven't been any for far to long.


    There aren't many, that are willing to pay the price (or any additional price increase) for an erector set cnc.
    When there are solid, proven machines, made in the US, that are equipped with better systems, and cost less for more machine, people have moved on.
    Other manufacturer's support, far exceeds anything SB offers as well.

    SB fits in a particular market, and that market has been filled.
    SB has become reactive as opposed to proactive.

    I believe you should expand your research, and reading past threads, will bring it to light.
    Tah-Dah

  5. #5
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    If some people don't want to pay for additional upgrades, that's fine, at least make them available for those who do. Want to replace the USB with a network cable? Send is X$, want to have a Maglev for X and Y? Send us your kidney. I'm fine with that.

    They have a fantastic platform, it just needs to be expanded - and if you know of other companies that are comparable, please do share - I haven't found anything worthwhile so don't keep it to yourself.

    I got a quote from several other manufacturers, nothing compares to what ShopBot offers.
    --------------
    Founder of CNCKing.com (Project files for your ShopBot Table Router) and CNCROi.com (Custom CNC Shop)

  6. #6
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    Default

    I've read countless threads on this topic and one thing always glares at me. When bringing up the straw dog of the competition, I never read brand name and model numbers. It's easy to say "When there are solid, proven machines, made in the US, that are equipped with better systems, and cost less for more machine" when no examples are named.

    So if there are so many great machines, why is it that nobody is willing to actually specify what they are?

    I bought my SB specifically because I could fit it into my shop. I've found the machine capable of anything I've asked.

    I certainly agree that the Windows 95 looking control program running non-G code is a serious limitation along with the hairy USB interface sending line by line instructions. Seems a bit dated when gigabytes of memory are practically free.
    ShopBot Details:
    2013 PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino
    Fusion 360
    Ferrari 360
    Prusa MK3S+

  7. #7
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    Default

    Maybe that's the root of the problem, Shopbot owns the niche it's in and the competition is either DYI that aren't reliable in a production environment for business, junk Chinese imports/rebrands or something like a Shopsabre/nameyourclone that would be a challenge to fit in the front door of a shop.

    I have gotten quotes from ShopSabre, yes, you get more machine, but it's a totally different machine and price accordingly, I might as well just jump to a Thermwood and cry once, which I'm also looking at.

    This topic does keep coming-up, it's because we care and want to STAY with Shopbot, I love their approach, but without anything to expand into at the higher-end, they are forcing us to look elsewhere.

    We aren't talking about a fundamental change in specs, just options that would solve problems and improve rigidity and performance over time.

    I don't know why ShopBot doesn't have their own version of Acorn as an upgrade, just rebrand it and support it from the factory then build from there, it would be a leap in capabilities - throw in some hardware upgrades and they have something that I can stay with.
    --------------
    Founder of CNCKing.com (Project files for your ShopBot Table Router) and CNCROi.com (Custom CNC Shop)

  8. #8
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    Default

    What we are seeing on this forum now is mostly "For Sale" posts.

    This shows how ShopBot has not done much to move their machines forward. I've got a PRSAlpha I purchased in 2009. Since then, nothing has been done to make communications more reliable, be able to move the machine faster during jogs (see communications issue), flexibility of the machine (I've done as much as I can to decrease flex), the control software interface, G-Code versus their proprietary code, etc.

    They did own this market for many years. They no longer own it.
    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.

  9. #9
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    Just to update everybody, my PRSAlpha is now for sale (I'm near Toronto) and I just bought a Thermwood.

    I really wanted to stay with ShopBot, I have nothing but praise for this machine that got me to this point in life and the company itself, but there were no longer any upgrade paths with them moving forward.

    If it wasn't for my PRSAlpha, my shop wouldn't have a Thermwood in it in the coming weeks... for what it is, it's a wonderful machine and I'd recommend anybody wanting to start a business to get a ShopBot to get the projects rolling in the door till they upgrade to a more industrial machine.

    I'm keeping my ShopBot Desktop though, even after a decade, still runs strong and true and it's how I learned all about CNC machines eons ago.

    Jon
    --------------
    Founder of CNCKing.com (Project files for your ShopBot Table Router) and CNCROi.com (Custom CNC Shop)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodMarvels.com View Post
    I just bought a Thermwood.
    I'd love to know what model you bought and what it set you back. Looks like a huge upgrade to the SB, and the SB isn't even in the same league.
    ShopBot Details:
    2013 PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino
    Fusion 360
    Ferrari 360
    Prusa MK3S+

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