Pendent VS Computer

Hello all

I’m still on the fence on which machine I want to purchase. I really want a 4x4 as I feel the 2x4 ones will limit me in the future. The Avid it in the budget for the pro 48x48. Just not sure on the whole putting together and stiffness of the frame. The other brands of 48” ones all seem to have a pendant controller. Axiom, laguna, phantom that fall into the same price of the avid. What are the big pro and cons of the two different methods ? Would like to get a camaster but 21 grand is a big pill to swallow for starting out. Thanks for any guidance.

My personal view is that a pendant is a poor way to interface with a CNC machine if it is the only interface. I have used both machines with only a PC and ones with only a pendant. I thought that the pendant was more difficult to use and much less user friendly. I think a pendant can be very useful when it is an addition to a PC controlled machine. I have not used any of the brands you mentioned so I can’t comment on how good their pendant implementation is.

Thank you for the reply.

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I would look a bit deeper then Just whether it has a pendant for control or Windows based.
That’s a pretty small advantage/ disadvantage when. Looking at a CNC in my opinion. A pendant wasn’t what pointed me in the direction for avids machine …

When I was shopping I looked at all kinds of machines. Laguna was one of them. I steered clear of them simply because they are a Chinese rebrand when you get down to it. So justifying a price tag like that was a bit over the top when the internals, Ball screws, Spindle, Electronics etc is just a rebrand. If you search you can find out where the machine actually comes from and buy direct.

Machines that are steel welded. Then precision ground you will get a better ridgidity and precision when it comes to the machine layout. But with that comes a cost and in that cost is the fee to transport such a machine. Avid is able to ship these things with ease. Aluminum extrusion is a fine product for making something solid and I don’t disagree with their choices. They picked something that offers affordability, with ease of expansion, with simplicity.

I don’t believe any of the other brands you mentioned allow you to expand your machine at a later date. That can add longevity to the machine if you don’t need to replace the whole thing when you expand past it’s point.of functionality.

Most guys have come up with their own ways of machine the machine more ridgid if they so felt it was needed. It’s not a slouch though by no means.

Now speaking about Ball screws. Some will argue those are more accurate on CNC machines. But when you get over that 2x4 size you can start running into issues with the screw portion flexing under acceleration and deceleration. Avid has rack and pinion. There is literally nowhere for the system to flex. Monster CNC machines are all rack and pinion for this reason, it offers great precision over long distances.

This is just a couple.things. I had an excel sheet with 10 different machines on it all weighing the pros and cons. So do some reading and see what gives you butterfly’s when you go to the webpage

Best of luck.


Totally agree. I just bought my second Avid Pro4848. Winter project to assemble. I run a separate dedicated computer for each machine with nothing else on it. Make the files in my office, download them to a thumbdrive, and then use the machine’s computer.

A lot of the pendant machines are running the Rich Auto systems, and you’re very limited as to the naming of files since the display is limited to 8 chars., and then it messes up the file names if you used spaces. While I have an Axiom 2 x 4, I prefer to use my other systems that run on Mach3/Mach4.

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If you like the CAMaster then I would take a long look at the Phantom. They look to be just as solid but at a lower price due to their newness to the market. I decided on the Avid because of its ease of getting it into my shop and I wanted the ability to customize the motors and electronics myself. It was not my first machine so I was not intermediated by the build. If you need a turnkey machine with good customer support CAMaster may be worth the extra cost. Legacy is another company with great customer support and a solid machine but you are going to pay for it. Phantom has a good machine but still is establishing a track record for customer support.

I agree with Mr. Nick that the free pendant should not be a primary consideration, especially given how cheap these are today compared to the overall price of the machine. Also, regarding the machine size, if you think you’ll need 48" in both dimensions only rarely, consider saving $800.00 by going with the Avid Pro 4824 (which takes up much less space), and using the tiling feature of the software to get you the additional length when you need it. And as been pointed out, you can always upgrade the machine to 48x48 later on.

I assume we are talking about a “MPG” and not something women wear of their blouse :wink:

Point #1 our friends over at “Newfangled” refuse to give anyone their headers for compiling plugins and so you have no MPG market. There were a few attempts back some time ago from China to support Mach4 but they didn’t last long. None of them sold on Amazon will actually work fully with Mach4.

Point #2 the Contour Shuttle Pro V.2 actually works pretty darn well and the plugin is installed by default. Hint Get some NinjaTek Ninjaflex and print yourself a rubber part that wraps the edges and you have a great little MPG for $99. Be sure that part of the print creates a shock for the cord. That is the part that fails.

Point #3 you do need to start using the MDI though. Its there for a darn good reason.

Thanks for the help. Maybe I’m calling the pendent the wrong term for the Axiom . Maybe it would be the hand held controller that runs the machine as it does not need a computer like the avid for you to load up Mach 4 to run it. The axiom you just put your flash drive into it and load the file from that to run the machine.

I read up on the Axiom machines for you. First thing I always check is the accuracy and repeatability but all I got was the red flag “Resolution +/- .00589” (0.15mm)" which means is very, very low end.

AvidCNC starts with an average +/- .005" accuracy and a repeatability of +/- .002". When people start talking “resolution” its because their machine is complete poop.

I suspect the Axiom controller is Grbl. So very limited functionality. It is essentially an “Arduino with stepper drivers.” Google the quoted text from last sentence and you will see there are millions of those machines for far less money and same specs.

What it would be missing that is standard in modern CNC machines with motion planners like Mach4 and LinuxCNC would be scripting, work offsets, advanced probing and the list is very long from there.

From what I read, I would pass on the Axiom. I would get the Shaper Origin instead. Much more accurate and useful of a tool.

Thank you very much for looking at that for me. It looks like the avid is the way to go for that 13K range

Also when they say the 48X48 Pro model. Can you cut a full 48" in both directions?

yes, you can actually travel further than 48 x 48 which is very useful for machining edge to edge of a 4x4 sheet. I have expanded my machine to a 4x8 and can still travel beyond the edges of the material in both x and y.


That is one thing about AvidCNC, when they say a machine has a work envelop of 60" x 120" it is actually 64" by 128"

At least that is for the PRO60120

Sounds like the Avid Pro is about the best CNC for the budget of 12-13K then. I just don’t see a better brand out there for the Money. Does Avid ever do any sales at all?

Call them up and have them work you up a quote. Tell them your tales of woe and hardship and see if they can work you a deal.

I have never seen them have a sale on anything other than scratched and dented components.

Agree, I have an Axiom with the Pendant.
Using the laptop also allows me to make changes to the tool path on the fly.
You have a lot more control over everything.
The Pendant is very simple and many may like the faster learning curve.