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Surprise Stinger owner

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  • Surprise Stinger owner

    Well, a coworker had to make an unexpected move out of state and GAVE me his Stinger 1. I've never used a CNC machine. I've got a few 3D printers, but that's the sum total of my knowledge of this sort of thing. So now I have to figure out how to hook it up, what software to use (do I need licenses for the controller/Rip?) Can I use any of the 3D printer software I have with this? Are there free/open source tools I can use with this. I'm really looking forward to playing around with this thing for personal use (part of the agreement in taking this unit was that I wouldn't use it commercially). I understand I have an awesome machine here, but if I'm going to have to put thousands of dollars into software/licensing (Windows/WinCNC/whatever) then this is more like a "free as in puppy" gift that might wind up collecting dust... Where do I start? What do I need to know? I'm good at RTFM-ing but it didn't come with any FMs (or a router). Thanks!
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  • #2

    It looks like you have a decent amount of work to do before you even think about cutting. You'll need a spindle or router to do the cutting, it looks like whatever was on there is no longer there. The original user manual will hopefully be on the control PC still and that will give you a good place to start. Hopefully Vcarve is also on the control machine. That would give you the design software you need to do your work.

    You can use some free software you use for 3D printing to help design the STL files that can be imported into Vcarve for toolpathing. The big difference between the two is 3D printing is an additive operation while CNC work is reductive. The toolpathing in CNC is also much more critical to getting what you want than 3D printing. The toolpaths must be calculated individually based on tools, there isn't an option like there is in printing to have it all done automatically.

    If you get the machine up and running and the PC does have Vcarve go out to the Vectric website and watch the tutorial videos while you follow along. That is the best way to learn the new toolpathing and design process.
    4'x8' Stinger IV w/ 4.2 hp spindle and 4 tool ATC
    Mister system
    Phenolic Vac table
    Hurricane Vac
    Vcarve Pro 10

    Catholic school IT director, wannabe woodworker, Krav Maga instructor, and CNC enthusiast


    • #3

      Thanks for the info!

      Can I just stick one of my hand-held routers in there? Or would I be better off getting an "official" spindle (which I'm assuming has additional features like spindle speed, etc.)


      • #4

        a spindle is typically powered by a VFD. if you can determine if there is a VFD already in your control cabinet, you would be limited on a replacement spindle wattage by the output capacity of the VFD. No VFD, then it was likely a router setup. if you arent sure, post a pic of the inside of your control cabinet.

        maybe post a pic of a close up of where the router would mount.
        Panther PT-404 (aluminum)
        6 position ATC w/5hpHSD, Aspire 11/WinCNC, Recoil, Laser, Hurricane
        near bottom of the learning curve!!


        • #5

          Initially i would clean and hook up machine to make sure all is good do you have computer that came with machine ?
          James McGrew
          CAMaster ATC 508
          The principle of Measure twice cut once has not been replaced by a CNC

          Camera 1 ATC Closeup !

          fixed 4-27-2020


          • #6

            Originally posted by james mcgrew View Post
            Initially i would clean and hook up machine to make sure all is good do you have computer that came with machine ?
            Yes. Haven't had a chance to blow out the dust and hook everything up yet. It came with the control cabinet and the PC he was using.


            • #7

              IF you intend to turn power on to your CNC, you may look for the wires which would have gone to the router/spindle, and make sure that they are taped off and not touching each other or anything else beforehand.
              Panther PT-404 (aluminum)
              6 position ATC w/5hpHSD, Aspire 11/WinCNC, Recoil, Laser, Hurricane
              near bottom of the learning curve!!


              • #8

                If you have the previous owner's contact information, it might be a very useful thing for you to contact them and ask if the unit had a spindle and if so, which one specifically. That's material to what will work with the unit as it was built from the factory. Different size spindles (electrically) are not necessarily directly interchangeable. If you can't communicate with the original owner, perhaps Camaster will tell you the original configuration based on the serial number...and it's good to let them know you are now the owner, anyway. Support isn't free for subsequent owners, but it's still good to check in with them to register your acquisition.
                Last edited by Jim Becker; 06-08-2022, 09:05 PM.
                Jim Becker

                SR-44 (2018), 1.7kw spindle, Performance Premium, USB, Keypad, T-Slot table (y-axis configuration), WinCNC, VCarve Pro upgraded to Aspire

                Non CNC stuff...

                Festool "a good collection"
                Stubby - lathe
                Oneida Cyclone

                Retired from full time work in the telecom industry 9/2017
                Occasional commission work for others, but mostly for trunks/signage/guitars
                Located Bucks County PA