CNC Shark and Shark Pro Routing Systems
Computer Numeric Control (CNC) routing capability is now both affordable and sized for hobbyist woodshops, thanks to CNC Shark and Shark Pro Routing Systems available exclusively through Rockler. Either package can add precision, convenient part duplication and new creative potential to your sign projects, cabinet doors and other carvings and designs. The original CNC Shark ($2,599.99) features a 15-3/4" x 31-1/2" MDF table with slots for attaching hold-downs; two come standard. The basic Shark system has a flexible interface that allows outside graphics to be imported easily and converted into line art for routing. It includes version 6.0 of VCarve Pro software and is also compatible with other popular design software. For a step up, Rockler calls the Shark Pro the "bigger brother" to the original Shark, thanks to a 28-3/4" x 31" slotted MDF table for nearly twice the workable area. Overall travel of the Pro is 24 inches in each of the X- and Y-axes and 4-1/4" in the vertical Z-axis. Twelve precision linear bearing guides ensure maximum rigidity for the gantry, and a 24-volt supply provides full power to the 1.8-degree steppers. As with the original CNC Shark, the Shark Pro requires a Bosch Colt compact router and a PC computer (not provided); it sells for $3,399.99.
CNC Shark Pro Plus
Rockler also offers the enhanced CNC Shark Pro Plus model with a number of added features over the two Shark base models. It comes with an aluminum T-slot top measuring 28-1/2" x 36" and an increased travel capacity of 25 inches for the X- and Y-axes and 5 inches of depth travel. A more powerful, enhanced controller allows up to 200 inches per minute, and the system has pendant control capability. Its precision modified stainless-steel lead screws have backlash reducing nuts on all axes. The system automatically turns the Bosch Colt router (not supplied) on and off. As with the other Shark systems, this option comes with VCarve Pro 6.0 controller software, but the Pro Plus model is also CNC touch probe compatible. It sells for $3,799.99.
CNC Shark Pro Plus HD
For the flagship of home shop CNC, Rockler launched its Shark Pro Plus HD model ($3,999.99) late last year. Unlike other Shark systems, this version is designed to drive a 1-1/2- to 2-1/2 hp mid-sized router for greater cutting power and use with larger router bits. It is fully compatible to fit Bosch 1616, 1617 and 1618 router motor packs, Porter-Cable's 690 and 890 series motors and DeWALT's 610, 616 and 618 machines. (You supply the router of your choice.) Its 28-1/2" x 36" slotted aluminum table and stronger drive system will support 25 inches of X- and Y-axis travel as well as two more inches of vertical Z travel than the Shark Pro Plus (7 inches here). Plus, the Y-axis can be extended up to 48 inches. Pendant control capability is included, as is Cut 3D software — a $300 value. A PC computer with a 2.0 USB port is required but not provided to load the included VCarve Pro software.