Purchased to create a backdrop (and other things) for our stage. Once you understand the abilities/limitations inherent in a vertical CNC with a sled, you can plan around those things...or at least understand when and where potential problems can occur within your design. For the price, it's unbeatable. I don't know of another CNC that can effectively cut 4x8 sheets of plywood for under $5000. Maybe they exist and maybe you have space for it...I don't. Some things to be aware of: 1) you will need 3rd party CNC software to run this, Inkscape, Easel, etc.. and something that can do SVG files, like Illustrator. Makerverse software that Makermade supplies is only to run the G-Code for the machine. 2) The machine is not that hard to put together, and the frame is easy with basic building skills, just be aware if you are making a full 4x8 cut, the farther you get to the corners the less accurate the machine is and the more likely it is to bump the floor on the bottom corners...so factor that into your spoil board height from the floor. 3) It's vertical. things will fall out if you don't tab your cutouts. 4) Honestly, I don't think you need all of the fancy elbows and stuff for the dust collection. If your shopvac has enough suction, you can run the flexible hose right up to the hole and the suction will keep it right there. The less "hard" attachments you have the less likely the machine will fight with the hose which can cause the machine to rotate and mess up your cut. Just zip tie the hose to the Z axis carriage and call it a day. The more flexible the hose the better. If you do it that way, you won't have an issue with dust collection, it actually works quite well. Our only issue has been when small pieces of material have fallen into the dust collection channel and clogged it...then it's a pain to clear it. 4) When working on a vertical canvas, thin material ( 1/8" or 1/4") has a tendency to want to "raise" up once it's cut. Be aware that the sled can bump into these raised sections and mess up your cut. So add lots of tabs to hold it down or tape works as well. Personally I would suggest MakerMade for more of a chamfer on the edge of the sled to help avoid this issue 5) To be honest, set up and calibration is a pain. I won't lie. There are YouTube videos to watch (thankfully). WATCH THE VIDEOS! If you don't, you will regret it. The videos will walk thru step by step on proper set up/calibration.
We worked ours close to 50-60 hours our first 2 weeks of ownership, it worked great and accomplished our goal, but there was a learning curve. People were impressed and ecstatic with our design. Our only issues (outside of the learning curve to run the machine) were 1) our machine came with the 15ft chains for the XL version (which is awesome!) but we built our canvas for the standard version, (we didn't order the XL) meaning we had to tie up the remaining 5ft of chain on the sled and then re-measure and re-calculate to find the right chain length. HOWEVER, it will allow us to set up the XL canvas without having to order new chains! 2) The 1/4" collet that came with the MakerMade router did not fit the 1/4" MakerMade bits. The collet opening (I think) is too small making the bits too tight and would not let the collet seat properly to allow the collet nut to screw on to the router. I ordered a 1/4" ER-11 collet from Amazon and it works brilliantly (which explains the 4 stars). The 1/8" bits and collet fit fine. All in all, this is a great machine. Fun to use!