Trying to decide between the Weeke Vantech and the SCM Pratix for our first CNC and would be interested in any input/experiance you all would have on the two. The SCM is less expensive, but i'm trying to deciper what, if anything I would be giving up to go that route over the Weeke
I am also looking for a first CNC router. I was at IWF at the stiles booth, and they had a customer service board with call times and which company had the most customer calls. Weeke far and away had the most customer complaints and calls.
In hindsight I wish I had bought a more stout rigid machine. I bought a machine like the SCM and given my time back I would have gotten an Onsrud.
With either the Weeke or SCM eventually you will have a part that needs to come in from overseas. If you have a real problem you will be dealing with someone for whom english is a second language.
I looked at Onsrud and it was more money. In hindsight the purchase price of the machine is insignificant. The cost of ownership over time and the service is the most important thing. Looking back spending 30% or more on the machine would have been worth it.
I'm a bit surprised by John's comments above. We have a Weeke Vantech 5' x 10' with offloading, and I wouldn't want to be without it. I haven't had a part yet that wasn't in Grand Rapids that I couldn't get for it the next day if need be. Service, support, and parts availability is top notch from Stiles. Like Bill said, the price of the machine is a secondary consideration compared to the support behind it. If your machine is down for whatever reason, the price you paid is insignificant.
The weeke Vantech and the SCM Pratix are almost un comparable to me. IMO, the Vantech is a superior machine, if only because it allows you to create parts on the fly at the machine. We program through Microvellum, but if any tweaks need to be done, I can do them directly at the machine instead of going back in the office.
If this is your first machine, you'll want this capability, because you can get stuff done at the machine. After you understand woodwop, you'll know what it needs when you're ready to tackle a design/manufacturing software.
I have always been a fan of big iron, Old school I guess heavy construction. I like Anderson CabMaxx and Exxact both have proven to be very durable with heavy loads and multiple shifts. I have never had an issue with an onion skin leaving an edge as I read that some have, I think the heaver machines give a better result.
i currently work for a shop with a Skill our sister company has a older Rover and agree with "Wood Dust".
I have worked for shops with most of the brands mentioned and their were pro/cons to each. When i asked the owner why he went with Biesse he said value to service ratio was the best. I am not sure what the cost differences are but expect to see some machine salespeople on here soon bashing one another.
I programmed and ran 2013 SCM - Morbidelli Universal 20 - with unload. Liked it, until I ran a 2014 Homag BOF 211. Now I'm on a Homag 5 axis and would never dream of working with anyone but Homag. Their software (Woodwop- same as weeke) is brilliant. I can allow operators to change toolpaths, reorder - change operations ordering... almost anything down to the dust hood setting- right there on the machine through woodwop.
So Weeke vs SCM? Who is giving you the better financing, how smart of a programmer/operator team do you have?
How deeply into bed do you want to get with stiles machinery?
We purchased the Giben GS-510 with direct drive, as well as the on and off feed. Giben service has been really helpful with our Omnitech Salexx PAL as well. I know from experience Weeke or any Stlies brands are proprietary with their service. I've seen and heard many stories of trying to upgrade or repair a machine, and it is impossible to get parts outside of Stiles and they are extremely proud of their parts $$$$. I will never own anything from Stiles as long as I have a say in machine purchasing. Give Giben a look, I bet you can find a machine to serve all of your needs.
I am not sure about the new machines, but I have a Pratix that is a few years old and love it, I wouldn't trade it for anything. the parts are available with Parts pronto in North America, and you can do everything at the pedestal . it is also open on one side, which is an amazing feature as you can put really wide sheets in if you buy some of the european stuff and let it hang out the side.
My buddy has a Weeke and it is a good machine, but his screen went on his computer at the pedestal and since it is part of the pedestal he had to get a whole new pedestal, cost him a fortune. Good luck.
FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards(return to top)
WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
A valid email return address must be included with each message.
Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
"Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.
You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.
WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.
Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).
Libel: Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.
Improper Decorum: Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).
Advertising: The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).
Repeated Forum Abuse:
Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.
There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).
The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
Forum Posting Form Guidelines
The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines
Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Thread Related File Uploads
Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .MP4 (Image Upload Tips) If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.