Not only does scratch building our own CNC router have the benefits of bringing our membership together, but it will also give us some real hands-on experience with doing the whole x-y-z table. Knowing this specific piece will allow us to create many more other computer controlled mills/routers/mechanisms which at least is something that I’m very interested in experimenting with.
IMO a 8×4 is simply too large for the space that we are currently in. Yes we do have an abundance of space in comparison to other makerspaces (when they first start out) but I honestly see that space coming to a premium as we acquire more and more pieces of equipment (laser cutter, more 3d printers, metal lathe?, etc…) that will continue to draw in members.
I’d be more inclined to go with a kit-build/scratch build vs a right out purchase. Something that can go at least 36″ seems like it wouldn’t hinder too many things that most people will want to build and I’d be okay with that being a min size (for at least one dimension).
The two above posts really stand out in my mind as to the type of router I think we can start off with and have a very minimal investment (Solsylva and Shapeoko 2). If we get more money (2-4k), the other kits would certainly be my top choice. If getting funds takes a longer time, I’m pretty sure that just between a few of us the cheaper ones will suffice (to help us build a larger one) and be within our grasps.
Someone want to start a requirements list so that we can actually get into some discussion on what’s important to all of us and whats just fluff at the moment?