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XYZ Carve or Heavy Mill


I am about to buy a CNC and would prefer to buy Australian made and 3D TEK looks very suitable to me.
I know that the XYZ is a much slower machine, compared to the Heavy Mill, but can anyone advise me please on just how quick, or for that matter, slow each machine is, and is there a difference in accuracy.
I have in mind making cheese boards and similar with the logos of the companies who sell cheese cut into the boards with a different coloured wood.
Something like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fuJsn2gUOk&t=5s
So clearly accuracy with a CNC is vital.
I hope to turn my idea into a small business for my retirement, where the CNC can do most of the work and I can just claim the rewards. :slight_smile: I am a bit frail these days, being into my 8th decade.


Either of these machines will produce the same result.
Looking at the finished parts, you ought not to be able to tell which machine was used in its production.
The Heavy mill uses a much more powerful spindle, with the ability to hold larger bits, and is able to cut a lot harder due to the additional rigidity. You would expect to be able to push the HM 3 to 10 times faster or deeper than the XYZ carve however endmill diameter and type of cut may not allow for this. That said its also as much about duty cycle and longevity.

The XYZ Carve and similar use palm routers that are designed to run for 1/2 an hour which is as long as you can hold onto one before your arm wants to fall off. They stand up to quite a punishment however are not designed to run for hours on end like the spindles in the Heavy mill. The linear bearing system in the XYZ carve and similar hobby routers are also more likely at home sliding a fly screen door than it is in a CNC machine and so they will not last forever or put up with the intensity of use that the heavy mill will.
There is also the price factor, the heavy mill is between 2 and 4 times the price of the xyz carve and similar.

If you planned to work it hard, for a long time then the heavy mill will pay off. The XYZ carve is a great entry level price tag to test the water and get into CNC. A great way to work with a CNC router for the first time knowing that if it’s not right for you the investment was not so large and the resale should get you out of it without much of a loss.

Either way, there is a lot of time invested in assembling, tuning and learning all the associated skills from the mechanical build, electronics setup, CAD or similar software, CAM software, machining principals etc. 3Dtek are here to help of course with the build and tune, however the user needs to be someone who enjoys the learning process is sure to be at least one skill in the list above that they do not already have in the toolbox. Even experienced woodworkers need to relearn how to how to apply all their skills & knowledge in a different way as there is no tool in your hand & no feedback to react to - all decisions are made upfront before hitting start.

They are perfect for the application you describe as they have the accuracy and repeatability to complete the task and expect the inlays to fit snugly. The time spent drawing up and setting up the job will pay off when you make the 2nd, 3rd, 4th of the same or similar object.
They allow you to be elsewhere in the workshop doing the detailed finishing human handy work while the detailed grunt work (that while you, maybe, could do accurately enough by hand - but will only be fun the first time) is being done repeatedly and accurately by the machine.

XYZ Carve or similar VS Heavy mill? Its a bit of a personal choice and is often controlled by budget.
Call 3Dtek to have a chat about your use case.


Thank you for such a comprehensive reply. Much appreciated.