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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    Newcastle
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    932

    Default Avid CNC 4848 pro (4'x4') build

    This thread details the original discussion around the Avid CNC vs Axiom AR4 vs Hammer HNC machines. I thought I'd start a new, clean thread with costs involved, and to document the build.

    3 main reasons for choosing the Avid CNC:
    1. Expandability - the modular construction means I can start small, and add on at will. I originally planned on getting the 2x4', but decided on the 4x4' when I thought about shipping etc.
    2. Format - the other machines I was considering were narrow and long, whereas the Avid 2x4 was wide and short - so better suited to my space.
    3. Price. By the time you spec the Hammer (usual Felder story - the price you see is not the price you pay!) and Axiom up, the Avid wasn't a huge amount more. Having said that, if it wasn't for the COVID-inspired tax incentives, I'd never have even considered these machines.


    I mess about with sheet goods a lot, so it was important that the work area could deal with reasonable fraction of a sheet - 1/4 or 1/2 or full. Then it's not too difficult to tile/index the sheet for the job.

    The machine finally arrived last week. Avid quote around 12 weeks from payment to shipping. This was about correct. Shipping then took another two months, thanks to COVID and some bugger parking a dirty great ship across the Suez canal. It came by UPS Ocean service, and would have arrived a week earlier if I didn't live in the extreme rural town of Newcastle. UPS will deliver directly to metropolitan areas. Anything else gets transferred to Toll.

    Shipping weight was 323kg. Great service from Toll - UPS never sent me any tracking info for the final leg of the journey, so the Toll man turned up at my door with a 300kg pallet, and nobody home to receive it. He unpacked the whole pallet and lugged the boxes up the stairs to put them behind my deck screening. Then the missus moved them into the garage when she got home as I was fortuitously working late .

    It's a lot of boxes:

    boxes of CNC.jpg

    Costs:
    Add up the cost of the machine and extras - all on the Avid Website.
    Convert to USD, and wire the $ to Avid. They take the cash up front - not when they ship.

    Shipping was just shy of US$1500. ie about as much as a hobby CNC will cost you here! I think COVID has impacted this hugely - getting anything from the US now costs an arm and a leg. Or several in this case.

    When the machine lands here, you will need to pay:
    GST on (the original purchase + shipping). Note that the AU$ value is calculated when the goods land in Aus - not when you bought it. In may case, the AUD had strengthened a fair amount, so I paid less GST this way.

    I was NOT charged any duty - I can't guarantee that this would be the case for anyone else, but it looks like the US-AU free trade agreement came into play.

    However, it still had to go through customs, which means I had to pay UPS (as customs agent) + import declaration fee + quarantine fee + disbursements (whatever that is) + GST on that little lot. Just short of AU$400. I expect this would be relatively fixed, so if you could find a busload of people and brought in a container full of CNC's, it'd still be $400.

    Avid have been excellent. Set up a video call after some initial email to-and-fro when I was thinking of the machine, and were very helpful throughout the process. A few of the boxes arrived damaged - looks like it's cosmetic, but I emailed Avid to let them know as it'll be a while before I can check everything. 'No problem - just let us know if anything's damaged and we'll priority ship it to you. It's all covered under shipping warranty'. They appear pretty customer focussed.

    I spent the weekend cleaning up the workshop and clearing space for the build. Final footprint is around 1700mmx1700mm as the electronic boxes set on the outside of the frame. I'll put pictures up as I go along.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Sydney
    Age
    43
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    177

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    Looking forward to it, step up from the machine I have

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    436

    Default

    How is the build going?

    Space permitting it is totally worth having a machine that can handle reasonable sheet sizes. Mine takes quarter sheet (1200x600) and I wish I'd made a half sheet machine.

    Unless doing production work, I don't think stepping up from half sheet to full sheet is worthwhile for most (unless you have no space constraints).

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    In between houses
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    1,784

    Default

    Is it going yet?

    I have a few “samples” we can test it out on.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    932

    Default

    It's almost done. I've got a ream of timelapse video of the build, which I'll get around to stringing together sometime.
    Around 25-30hours to get it together I reckon, mostly an hour or two snatched in evenings, so not the most efficient way to do it.

    I'm having some trouble with the spindle electronics - I'm sure Avid's site said it wanted 18A, but it came witha a yank 30A NEMA L6-30P plug, and the VFD documentation says it wants 24A, and may draw a 'significant' amount of juice on startup. Not sure whether this is the problem, but it trips my 40A RCD if I try to power it up. Sparky mate is coming around next week to have a look for me.

    The other electronics box is fine, so it goes left/right/back/forward and up and down without any problem. It just can't cut anything :/

    The other thing I didn't think through was sorting out vertical workholding. The machine is modular, so it's not hard to do - I just need 2 extra pieces of 80/40 aluminium extrusion. But it's not worth getting them from Avid, so I need to find something local that will take compatible fastners.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sydney Upper North Shore
    Posts
    4,361

    Default

    Did you buy the spindle listed on their site?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    932

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lappa View Post
    Did you buy the spindle listed on their site?

    Yes. Spindle and their plug & pray electronics. Looks like the 3HP spindle I bought has now been replaced by a 4HP

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    932

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    So, a stroke of luck: While browsing the internets for Aus aluminium extrusion, I recognised the packaging in a catalogue as being the same as some of the boxes the CNC bits arrived in. Turns out we have a branch of 80/20 here in Sraya, and strewth Bruce, they can supply the same profile, cut and bored to spec.

    They're more expensive than Avid's prices, at least for the fasteners, until you factor in paying UPS to bring the stuff to Aus. For example, Avid will sell you extra drop-in T-nuts for 70 US cents. Here, they're AU$3.50.

    The 40-80 UL 1440mm piece cost me just over $100, and the 1250mm piece was around $90. Cuts and bores cost extra ($2.50 and 3.50ea respectively).

    Nice to know that I'll have options for future expansion. Avid supply gear track and linear rails in thick cardboard cylinders, so I expect it'll be a fair bit cheaper to get those bits from the US, and source the extrusion here, rather than get a whole pallet of parts again.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    932

    Default

    Well, it turns out you can build one of these in about 15 minutes. Which is nice.


  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Box Hill
    Age
    64
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    158

    Default

    How did you go with the current draw on start up for the 3hp spindle? Looking great by the way..

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula
    Posts
    66

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    Great video. I really like the look of the Avid cnc, but a bit hard to justify since I really have no need for one! Yet.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Newcastle
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    932

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenjd View Post
    How did you go with the current draw on start up for the 3hp spindle? Looking great by the way..
    All sorted. I'm not sure what the sparky did, but it's working. Oddly, we also had to have the spindle plugged in to the VFD controller before switching on - we were trying to troubleshoot with just the VFD but it popped the breaker every time. Once the spindle was plugged in, it all worked after the sparky tinkering.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
    Great video. I really like the look of the Avid cnc, but a bit hard to justify since I really have no need for one! Yet.
    It's a great machine, and the software works well too.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    nsw
    Age
    50
    Posts
    592

    Default

    Hey Bernmc,
    do you know of anyone in Sydney that has an Avid CNC? I'm currently investigating the labyrinth that is the build/buy CNC router dilemma, and keep finding good info on Avid CNC's.
    I'd love to see one in the flesh and/or chat to someone who's got one, to see if they are better than what I build/source.

    I'd be keen on your feedback, and if you found anyone local that may have one I can go and bend their ear for a bit.

    TN.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sydney
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    630

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    Wondering how flat and true the 80/20 extrusion is? I imagine would have to be pretty good and was thinking would make a good fence for table saw.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    932

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    I'm in Newcastle, so don't know of anyone in Sydney with one. Happy to chat about mine/show it off.

    Avid quote pretty decent tolerances for their machines, so the extrusions must be flat and true to get them

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