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Thread: PRSAlpha+

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Earth
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    203

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    I bought an older used CS40 which I plan to send to Thermwood in a year or two to completely refurbish - you can see the process here:

    https://blog.thermwood.com/bid/92113...hed-CNC-Router

    It's massive overkill for what I'll be using it for and that's the point, I can grow into the machine and "soon", it will be like a brand new machine at a fraction of the price of a new one... waiting quote for that but my guess is that alone will cost more than a new Shopbot it replaced, in addition to the purchase which cost more than a new Shopbot PRSAlpha with all the options too.

    Just comparing the capabilities, it's a whole other world and I can't wait to get it in my shop.

    This week will be training by the current owner, then I have to figure out how to get this 9K pound machine in my shop without a forklift.

    If it wasn't for ShopBot, this wouldn't have been possible - I just wished they had a dedicated team focused on not only improving the platform but working on the next generation to leapfrog back into competitiveness.

    ShopBots will never be a Thermwood, but they can be greatly improved.

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

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    3rd rock
    Posts
    104

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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodMarvels.com View Post
    I bought an older used CS40 which I plan to send to Thermwood in a year or two to completely refurbish - you can see the process here:

    https://blog.thermwood.com/bid/92113...hed-CNC-Router

    It's massive overkill for what I'll be using it for and that's the point, I can grow into the machine and "soon", it will be like a brand new machine at a fraction of the price of a new one... waiting quote for that but my guess is that alone will cost more than a new Shopbot it replaced, in addition to the purchase which cost more than a new Shopbot PRSAlpha with all the options too.

    Just comparing the capabilities, it's a whole other world and I can't wait to get it in my shop.

    This week will be training by the current owner, then I have to figure out how to get this 9K pound machine in my shop without a forklift.

    If it wasn't for ShopBot, this wouldn't have been possible - I just wished they had a dedicated team focused on not only improving the platform but working on the next generation to leapfrog back into competitiveness.

    ShopBots will never be a Thermwood, but they can be greatly improved.

    Jon


    This is a perfect example of what has happened to, and will continue to happen, SB users.
    SB users hit the limitations of SB's capabilities, and there isn't any desire by the company to innovate, or compete, so users move on.
    Not all users move to a Thermwood, but if it's in the budget, why not?

    Looking in the classis, the asking prices on these used machines are ridiculous.
    That isn't to say they hold their value, but that the owners believe they can recoup their loss.
    There's a good example just list recently. A machine that's 6 years old, but only used a few times. That doesn't increase it's value, it's
    still 6 years old, with no real support. For the asking price of this dinosaur of a machine, there are much better options (some a little more in cost) available.
    No, I won't name names, you can do the research, but for a few grand more than the machine mentioned, there is a machine with ATC, Z assist, 4th axis, AL, extended height Z,
    Lifetime phone support, and the list goes on. It's a solid welded frame and also includes the computer, monitor, and CAD/CAM software. The machine comes tested and ready to plug in and go to work.
    This particular company has a proven track record, with a 80% return on 5 year old machines.

    I had hoped SB was going to remain competitive, but without a desire to innovate, they've become stagnant.
    Those that have SB's and love them, it's good for them, for now. What happens when SB goes bankrupt?
    They are on their own. Either completely upgrade to a new operating/control system on the existing frame, or purchase a new, modern machine.

    Good for you, moving to a machine that will serve you well, and also has a proven record.
    Tah-Dah

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    975

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8Ball View Post
    No, I won't name names, you can do the research
    Of course you won't "name names". That's so typical of the straw dog arguments that circulate on the internet. I call this type of complaining "Fact free whining." I suggest posting it in "Truth Social".

    Comparing a Thermwood to a SB is silly. That's like comparing a 5x8 trailer to a Mac truck. Totally different machines. If Thermwood and their ilk was all that was available back in 2013, I wouldn't have had a CNC at all.

    I do agree that SB could do more to improve their control system. For those already with a SB, there are upgrade paths with more modern control systems available at a very reasonable price, unfortunately, just not from SB themselves.
    ShopBot Details:
    2013 PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino
    Fusion 360
    Ferrari 360
    Prusa MK3S+

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    3rd rock
    Posts
    104

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    Quote Originally Posted by coryatjohn View Post
    Of course you won't "name names".
    How would you care for people promoting other brands on your website?
    You seem to be the only person left, to defend SB.
    If you were actually interested in purchasing a real machine, you would trip over yourself trying to decide on what you could've had.

    I agree, Thermwood is a big jump, but they've been around a long time, and will continue to be around a long time. SB... not so much.
    Look how many SB machines are for sale, and continue to be for sale. There's one that's been for sale for 6 years. No one is interested in ancient tech.
    Tah-Dah

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    796

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    No. He's not the only one that still supports and defends SB. I get a lot of excellent work out of my machine. I have a PRS Alpha 5 x 10 and I use all of it. AND I mostly do metal. There are potential upgrade machines, but the cost for heavy iron is painful and then the learning curve, the lack of available support... so, to your point that SB is not being terribly innovative right now. I get that. But for a basic, nuts and bolts machine this one really hits 90% of the high points. And if they elect to go a bit higher on the tech scale, I will still be a fan. Would I like a tool changer and an acorn type upgrade? Yeah. Probably so. A little more accuracy? Yes. AM I ( or MOST of the people looking at this type machine) going to pay 80-150K for a machine? Not unless they have a very solid income stream that demands higher throughput and greater accuracy than you can get with a Shopbot. They are really excellent machines- but we have to know what OUR target projects and market are... and make decisions that make good financial sense.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    439

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    I purchased a used PR for about $2300 in the late 90's (the 1990's) and my PRT in 2001 when Shopbot's advertising offered a full size Cnc for under $5000. I build furniture and have used it to some degree on everything I have built since. Shopbot has always been very supportive of me and extremely helpful when I needed it. If not for Shopbot I probably would not have a Cnc so I am eternally grateful. If I was fifteen years younger I would probably be looking for a new or newer machine and would certainly look at machines besides SB but I would look at SB.

    I have been upgrading my machine in the last few years by adding a Phenolic table last year and a Gary Campbell/Scott Wooden Centroid Acorn Control Box in the last few months. My old SB which has been a reliable workhorse for 20 years now acts like an old friend after knee replacement. It is much more accurate and smoother without the washer boarding on curves and seems much more refined but I still call it my Shopbot.

    In 45 years in business I've learned that everyone, me included, knows better how to run and improve someone else's business. Hell I could even make Apple or Microsoft great not to mention any of the car companies. I never thought that my Miata was a Ferrari nor my Shopbot a Komo but both serve me well and I love both. Does SB need to improve their machines and control software and hardware? Yes, but I am sure they are aware and I have little idea of what they are developing. Changing the control systems would seem to be a gargantuan effort with all of the legacy machines still out there. SB seems to be still cranking out new machines but if they went out of business tomorrow I would still think of them warmly and fondly. They might even outlive me but then this afternoon is somewhat iffy for me.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    3rd rock
    Posts
    104

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    Quote Originally Posted by coryatjohn View Post
    Of course you won't "name names". That's so typical of the straw dog arguments that circulate on the internet. I call this type of complaining "Fact free whining." I suggest posting it in "Truth Social".

    Comparing a Thermwood to a SB is silly. That's like comparing a 5x8 trailer to a Mac truck. Totally different machines. If Thermwood and their ilk was all that was available back in 2013, I wouldn't have had a CNC at all.

    I do agree that SB could do more to improve their control system. For those already with a SB, there are upgrade paths with more modern control systems available at a very reasonable price, unfortunately, just not from SB themselves.
    If you want one option to compare...
    This is also a bolt together machine, they have standard and pro versions similar to SB, their machines are expandable to whatever length you want to take them to, there is the option for a prewired control system , or wire yourself, 4hp and 8.7hp spindle options, runs on Mach4 (much more stable), and the company is in the USA.
    Look at the reviews on the machines; there are several situated in industrial environments, and used commercially. I personally know people with these machines, and they are accurate and reliable.



    Who you ask? Check out Avid.
    This is just one option, that's comparable to SB and the portability that SB owners seek to get through doors.
    Tah-Dah

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,368

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    I bought a PR back in 2007 that I used to get a PRS in 2008 have been running that machine since. It has paid for itself and now just keeps making money. I did try Gary's retrofit upgrade with the Acorn but that was a failure as it would not run and had to return it. Gary blamed me that I tripped over the wires and caused the Acorn to not work without errors and even he had problems with it. So I ended up with the old control box that still is working

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