What is an avid capable of? (Example feeds and speeds)

Hi! A bit of background first. I picked up a NextWave Shark HD 510 a while back and have been pushing the machine to its max. The CNC side of my business has been growing and it’s time to upgrade.

I’ve been debating if an Avid Pro would suffice or if the investment in a larger steel frame machine like the Smartshop II would be worthwhile. Given the size of my shop and the possibility of needing to move, there is something very appealing about the ability to deconstruct and move the Avid. Also, just logistics and the cost are obviously way lower.

All that said, I was wondering if anyone could give me some hard numbers on what this machine is actually capable of. For example, one of my high volume jobs is requires a 5.5 x 8" pocket 1" deep. I have been cutting that with a 1.25" carbide insert bit from Vortex.

My current machine for example takes about 9m40s to cut this picket in walnut. Well, I do 3 at a time and that takes 29m04s.

I’m just curious what I could expect from an Avid pro with Nema 34 and maybe the 4HP spindle.

I understand feeds and speeds and how to calculate them but also know that not all machines are equal.

I’m just curious about a rough gauge of what this machine is capable of. I surely hope it can do more than the 1/8" pass my current one tops out out before stalling, and I’m pretty sure it maxes out around 100 IPM. I’m spending days cutting these pockets and would like to trim that down.

I hope that all makes sense, thanks!

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Can you provide a link to the bit you are speaking of?

And why type of wood? And what is the total wood thickness? Do you have a picture of the finished pocket?


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Here is the bit: https://www.vortextool.com/8300-kit.html

I was introduce to it by my shop neighbor. It’s a solid piece of tooling.

This piece and a lot of my work is with walnut. These are 1.75” thick total and the pocket,
as mentioned is 1” deep.

In case it’s confusing from this picture. I do a profile pass with a .25” bit after clearing the bulk of material with that vortex bit. That tightens up the corners.

Welcome to the forum!

My estimate is that an Avid with a 4 HP spindle would be under 6 minutes per pocket with just a 1/4" bit. That would be a 0.5" depth of cut, 0.24" stepover, 135 ipm as recommended in this Amana Tool speeds & feeds pdf. No tool change required in this case.

I’m not familiar with real-world spindle performance (I use a Bosch router, and my CNC Depot spindle is still in the box), but if a spindle could handle a 1/2" bit at full feeds & speeds (e.g., 0.5" DOC, 0.48" stepover, 200 ipm), then it would take 2 minutes per pocket plus the 1/4" corner cleanup pass. Spindle power is a worthwhile upgrade if you want high MRR for production work. Someone else can chime in about Avid’s spindle options and real-world performance.

Does your 29m04s include the tool change and corner cleanup program? It needs to in order to compare apples to apples.

I’m surprised you can do 100 ipm with a 1.25" bit at 1/8" DOC on your Shark. Torque is typically the limiting factor on wood routers and lower HP spindles, and a 1/4" bit usually wins over larger diameter bits when it comes to MRR. What spindle do you currently have?


Thanks @Stephen, this is helpful. Are these the kinds of numbers you are able to run and still get good cut quality? Especially .5" depth. Or would the be more of a roughing pass that you would clean up? Not that a cleanup pass takes long, more curious about how the machine rigidity translates to cut quality.

I have a 3HP spindle on the shark which probably helps me push that 1.25" bit a bit more. But any time I have tried to go over 1/8" deep, even with a 1/4" bit, things usually start stalling or breaking. Mostly the controller fuse goes. Definitely pushing the whole machine more than they are really intended for.

And that 29 minutes is just the larger bit, I then change to the 1/4" bit and the profile takes another few minutes per piece. One of my main hopes for a new machine is an ATC as I do a lot of multi bit. Either CNC depot or my hope is that Avid can pull together their own solution as rumor has it they are working on.

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I can reliably make ~0.30" DOC passes, full width at 125-150 ipm using a 1/4" whiteside up/down compression bit (plywood and some oak). Avid N34 motors, 4hp spindle. I think it will do more, but I’m not in a hurry or running production. I think 3/8" tooling is a great middle ground if looking to push higher IPM. I haven’t experimented with it yet but I know some cabinet shops with the same setup running 3/8" tooling are cutting 3/4" BB in two passes at over 200 IPM.

There’s an old video I saw demonstrating pretty high speeds on some 3/4 BB. I’ll see if I can find it.

…Here it is

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Really, this can be answered by getting a speeds and feeds calculator and inputting the data yourself. It ain’t rocket surgery here :expressionless: AND you should be doing your own due diligence.

So let me answer your “real question” with the following statement;

“My experience has been AvidCNC publishes accurate data in relation to the performance of their systems. The electronics package, assembled by AvidCNC has performed as advertised with Zero (0) adjustments in the configurations. The overall kit qualify and completeness as well a documentation would be A+. With the few details that needed attention from the factory (which is amazing considering the kit parts count and complexity), they delivered in a timely fashion and generally with no additional cost.”

Signed, Me! Chief Architect @ subnoize llc

This fine nineteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord, twenty, twenty-three.

Thanks everyone. This has been helpful to get an idea. Feeds and speeds and calculators are a good starting point but it all depends on what the machine can actually handle. Chip loads can vary quite a bit. For instance my shop neighbor’s calculator says to run a 1.25" bit at 500 IPM and 1/2"+ DOC with ease. Amazing what a solid steel frame and 12HP motor will do for you if you have the space and :moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag:.

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There is also the issue of how one approaches the cut, regardless of machine. Is there a plunge at the beginning of the cut? Is it followed by a single full width pass on the end-mill down the center and then ‘spiral out’ after that? Plunging can take a lot of HP and stall a motor, where a ramped entry uses way less. Of course, a full width first pass takes a lot of HP as well. Irrespective of the machine if the cut has a shallow ramp-in it can accomplish the same thing as a very slow plunge and slow first pass, but can be run at much higher speeds. There are trade off’s all around and since this is just one big pocket it may not make much of a difference. Were it 20-30 smaller pockets one would definitely look at it more closely.

Also, if this is a job running over and over again, then paying more attention to feeds and speeds on the plunges and first pass when the tool is “buried” and using different feeds and speeds while clearing the bulk of the material afterward. This is less of an issue with moder CAD systems as most allow one to specify these independently. That said, I’ve seen people not take the time to optimize, and just throw in one set of values for both without considering that less HP is needed for those cuts when the end mill is not fully buried.

-Just thinking out loud there… That might be stuff you have already considered…

I am sure at the point where you are right now there seems to be a bit of “magic” in this but I can assure you there isn’t.

No, not really. Same motors and same spindle will give you the same results every time. If it didn’t we would be in real trouble :rofl:

The only dynamic beyond that is machine rigidity…

Steel is cheap. Welded steel is even cheaper which is why it’s such a popular material to build low end CNC machines with.

When you get into rigid CNC machines the material is cast iron, not steel. Specifically gray cast iron.

These machines from AvidCNC are customizable (unlike the welded steel machines) and generally are designed to be light and easily movable. This means you are not locked in to size or place for the machine.

Lastly, your ability to assemble the machine will also play a huge factor in this. I am sure you can find some poor soul who couldn’t follow instructions to save his life having a terrible time with his machine out on YouTube. You can find the same in my market, homebuilt aircraft. One guy builds a masterpiece. The next guy has a death trap he can’t find a DAR to sign off on.

What’s the saying? Milage may vary… but not your speeds and feed calculator :wink:

Sorry, I meant what chip loads different machines can handle. Again, my primary interest was getting a sense of what chip loads an Avid is capable of handling in terms of production times.

I also 100% agree that leveraging the building blocks of 8020 is a big draw in terms of customizability and movability. It’s one of the primary reasons I’m looking at it. But then again, I’m pretty sure there are lots of good steel machines on the market too.

Depends on what you are cutting. Material, tool, spindle and of course, the final product quality.

There are a lot of variables that would need to be defined to give you an answer.

And yes, I would have to whip out my trusty copy of HSMAdvisor to do it. You can pick up your own copy here;

I’m stealing this Quote big time!

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well, maybe, … mileage may vary, but you should still sleep with a machinist handbook on your night stand or better yet under your pillow. :slight_smile:

“Machinery’s Handbook” won’t crash, which is a plus.

Doesn’t make a good pillow though. And learning by osmosis doesn’t really work :frowning: I have tried.

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