You Have Spoken: Mounds of Kit Changes Coming

Well, y’all sure spoke up about the changes. We ended the request for responses earlier than expected because of all the great feedback that we received. We received some very well thought out responses and suggestions and plan to implement many of them. Read on after the break for a list of all the things you suggested we could improve and what changes and additions we are making to accommodate them.

  • I am having issues getting the holes to line up – We hear you. On one of the machine we set up in the shop recently we had the same issue. The current system of using button head cap screws and having to put an Hex Key down the hole to tighten the nut are finally OVER. We are looking at a new design that eliminates all access holes and minimizes alignment issues. There will still very likely be some holes, but 1) they will now be CNC machined and 2) we will try to make sure the bolts will go fully through the hole so you won’t need to put a tool down it the hole.
  • The leg assemblies were extremely difficult to attach to the table, even with 2 people – Yeah, we didn’t like having to put those 2 big assemblies together either. It was proving very awkward to work with such large assemblies. We are determined to eliminate this aspect from the new design. Everything is going to be in smaller assemblies that attach to each other without the need to position the pieces in an awkward manner. We are going to make sure you can build it right on your workbench with only a single person.
  • I want to make my own base or use an existing workbench. I want a kit without legs! – This was a lot more common than we thought it would be. The reason why we put legs on the original design was we had so many requests for it. Now, it seems that half the people want legs and half the people don’t want legs. We are going to be taking a serious look at separating the legs from the kit and offering them as an option. If we do offer a leg kit as an option, you know it’s going to be solid.
  • The pdf assemblies don’t have part numbers identified. The part naming convention is hard to follow. – We are going to change both of these. The part naming convention is going to be semantic instead of a crazy part numbers. This will allow you to find everything at a glance on the drawings instead of having to reference it from a BOM. Additionally, on the exploded PDF’s we will be adding all of the part numbers.
  • I am having issues tramming the kit once it’s together.  – We see some issues with the current kit in that the options for tramming are somewhat limited. We are going to have tramming section at the router mount. We also have several design ideas in mind to automatically pull the table on plane with the gantry, reducing the amount of tramming that you will have to do.
  • I am having issues getting the whole thing to square up. The extrusions either twist or move out of alignment when I tighten the screws up. – This goes hand in hand with the holes lining up. The main problem is that the heads inside the track can move the extrusion slightly when tighten up because they are not constrained by a hole. We are looking to eliminate any connections that use this type of connection in favor of connections that will automatically square the frame when tightened.  We have an exciting new connection method for the 8020 pieces that should provide the maximum rigidity possible and automatically prevent mis-alignment.
  • I have a High Z style Z-Axis mod on my machine. It works great, but the carriages on the Z-Axis are not adjustable. Depending on the rail, it can cause excessive pressure or racking. – This is something that we became aware of and are in the process of testing a fix to make the carriages adjustable. We are doing a High Z style Z-Axis on the new kit and will be incorporating this fix into new plates.
  • I accidentally ran my gantry off the edge of the rail and it caused a real mess. Can we get some stoppers to prevent the machine from over traveling? – We will be designing stoppers into the new kit on the X and the Y-Axis. They will be rubber bumpers that prevent damage to the carriage if the gantry is run into them.
  • Can I get a rack and pinion drive on the Y-Axis for the FLA200 kit (2’x4′)? – Yes you can. We are moving to rack and pinion systems on the Y-Axis for the 2’x4′. 
  • When can we expect a 4’x8′ kit? – The old design didn’t allow us to make a 4’x8′ kit because some of the extrusions would have been too log for regular UPS and required shipping via freight truck. We don’t want to have to ship on freight trucks. With the new design, we are going to keep this in mind and make sure we stay under those limits. We will not be releasing a 4’x8′ kit with the 2’x4′ and 4’x4′ kits, but it should be coming about a month afterward.
  • Can you package the parts by assembly instead of all together? – Yes. We will be making this change. The extrusion pieces and the rails will probably not be packaged in this way, but we will be packaging all of the other pieces by assembly.
  • No homing switches available – We are going to be doing two things to address this. First, we are going to design the kit with built in switch mount points. Second, we are going to be prototyping a homing switch kit alongside the machine kits to be released about the same time as the machine kits. 
  • Can we get an instruction manual with the kit on assembly and run in? – Included with each kit will be a DVD that documents the entire machine assembly on video. We will run over everything including doing some test cuts and how to tram the machine. There will be sample portions of the video available for preview on the kit page, but we only plan on offering the the instructions with the kits.
Thank you again for all of the great ideas and feedback. We could not have put together such a great kit without your help. Feel free to send us suggestions any time as we always value customer input and want to be sure that you are getting the most out of your machines. 

Beta Testers

We are looking for a few more beta testers to test the new kit out for us and give us some feedback on everything from assembly to design to how it performs. We will be offering the kits to beta testers at a steeply discounted prices in exchange for the feedback. The 2×4 kit will be $1300 instead of $1899, and the 4×4 kit will be $1500 instead of $2299. You would need to get electronics from us as well as part of the beta testing. Beta testers will get their machines in about 3-4 weeks. If we need to make any changes in parts or design after you get the kit together, we will send you updated components to test out. If you are interested in beta testing a kit please contact us.