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starlab vs sidekick

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wmbrewer
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starlab vs sidekick

Postby wmbrewer » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:23 pm

Ive been digging deep and researching as much as i can, I'm brand new to the cnc plasma table world, never owned one, never worked with one, but its something I'm really interested in. Ive seen a lot of people mention starlab, and i have some semi local people who run sidekicks, however I'm open to other options.

Both set ups listed seem to pretty comparable... The only thing I've found is side kick is running 400imp faster than the starlab. I want a 4'x8' table, prefer a water bed set up, ill mostly be cutting 16g-18g, sometimes 3/8" and rarely 1/2"; both fit the bill...
Starlab delivered to my door is $16.7k while Sidekick is $20.1k

anyone have any suggestions on things to consider when picking in choosing? Or have any other tables to recommend that may fit my needs... Ideally id like to stay closer to the 15k range as i hope to pay cash and not go into debt.

I appreciate any and all input i can get!

BTA Plasma
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby BTA Plasma » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:51 pm

When comparing make sure your comparing the correct options. If a Star Lab in stepper form is cutting up to its rapid speed (600IPM) and another machine can cut up to its servo rapid speed (1000ipm) then the difference between the two would be servo versus stepper. You will most likely never cut faster than advertised plasma cutter capacity book speed (350ipm) so anything on top of that is good for positional speed only. The Star Lab has 2 positional speeds available outside of our Mega Series. The first is stepper which maxes out at 600ipm. The next is what we call out Supercharged servo which comes in stock form at 2000ipm and will also rapid as high as 2700ipm. That add on is $4200. If the table your also looking at rapids and cuts at 1000ipm with steppers then its positional speed is faster than a stepper Star Lab but at the same price as a supercharged servo Star Lab which easily has double the positional speed. That being said I don't think there is anything wrong with either

motoguy
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby motoguy » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:33 am

IMO, unless you're a 3 shift, 24x7 outfit, you don't need to worry about max rapid speed. As mentioned above, the fasted book cut speed is 350ipm (maybe 450ipm if you mismatch consumable and material...ie, 65A on thin gauge or something). Anything above that is "wasted", OTHER than as rapid speed (ie, moving from cut to cut). If you're NOT at the point where literally every last second matters, then the $5k difference would likely be spend on other items for your business. Air dryers, upgraded compressors, paint/powder equipment, welders, torches, etc.

I see that the "IPM Wars" are starting to heat up, but I just don't see the point of it (again, unless you're a high volume production shop where you NEED the time savings from those rapids). If you're not pulling a skeleton off, tossing another sheet on, and repeating all day...I don't see the point of the zillion IPM rapids.

That being said, if you buy a table that cuts well at 2k or 2500IPM, then you know it's well built (rigid, motion control, etc). That means it will give you excellent results at lower speeds as well.
Bulltear 6x12 w/ Proton Z axis & watertable
CommandCNC/Linux w/ Ohmic & HyT options
Hypertherm Powermax 85 w/ machine torch
Solidworks, Coreldraw X7, Inkscape, Sheetcam

Old Iron
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby Old Iron » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:17 am

Price is not as important as customer support, especially in your position be new to this.
Matt at Starlab, has proven his ability and willingness to help any way he can.
I referred him to my biggest customer the other day, SRC and they are purchasing a system from him.

tcaudle
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby tcaudle » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:03 pm

The speed versus torque is always an issue. Torque gives you fast starts (acceleration) and tighter turns. Speed gives you ....well more speed. If you have to trade one for the other (as in most circumstances) the better choice is more torque. Its easy to get 1000 IPM out of a table if you gear it to do that (or simply use direct drive to the pinion on a stepper. ) Kinda like being stick in HIGH gear and driving in town/ Lots of slow starts! There is an optimum speed/torque ratio for every type motor. The heavier the gantry the more toque you need. Simple Physics.

The more important things to consider are the controls , the THC and the add -on features (and costs) .

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_Ogre
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby _Ogre » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:35 pm

shopsabre vs starlabs: look at the support system as old iron mentioned
shopsabre is proprietary software, you will only get support from shopsabre and the few shopsabre forum members here

with starlabs the 2 most important support members here, for starlabs and candcnc, have already replied in this thread
stay with mach, sheetcam and candcnc; you can't go wrong
1000s of members here can help you out on mach, sheetcam and candcnc
that said... hypertherm support hangs out here too on a daily basis, no reason to go anything else :D
bulltear 4x8 cnc plasma table, candcnc bladerunner w/dthc, hypertherm powermax 65, sheetcam, mach3
laser cross hair for hypertherm torch http://www.plasmaspider.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12508
an ogre smiley :mrgreen: how cool!

wmbrewer
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby wmbrewer » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:52 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies, I've got a lot of insight from you all! I've tried to read as much as possible before dropping some serious cash on this. With that said looking at all the forums I've stumbled upon LDR. With a even lower price point it still seems to hit all the points i want, with still a lot of good feedback. I know you get what you paid for, but with starting a side gig from scratch, those extra dollars will be needed else where quickly I'm sure!
Im looking forward to jumping into this, and again I appreciate all of your comments!

JohnnyC
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby JohnnyC » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:43 pm

I have a sidekick and no complaints. Good machine.

ScottF
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby ScottF » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:08 pm

As a sidekick owner I also have zero complaints and absolutely love my machine. Like it has been said they are both good machines. For me one of the things that helped to steer my decision was that I have a different machine that runs Mach and I am not a big fan of it and didn't want to use it on my next machine. I would suggest that you speak with both companies and then speak with owners of both machines and get their input and find out what the ups and downs are of each one then make your decision. Sounds like you are getting some great info so far and I doubt that you will have any regrets if you choose either machine.
I don't have all the answers but I do have a lot of opinions....


ShopSabre Sidekick 8 with water table
Hypertherm Powermax 85 w/machine and hand torches
IR 5hp 60 gal,+ 60 gallons of storage and aftercooler
Lincoln Square Wave 200
14x40 lathe

BTA Plasma
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby BTA Plasma » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:40 pm

The Star Lab has not used Mach 3 for coming up on 2 years. When the Star Lab did use mach 3 it was a special version used only with the electronics used. Not all Mach 3s were created equal for every application. But the Commandcnc we currently use would be one of the top global contendors. That is to say it has evolved.

tcaudle
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby tcaudle » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:58 pm

the Sidekick uses WINCNC and WINCNC hardware . It's not MACH but its still Windows....be that your choice or not. ComandCNC is a GUI interface application that runs on top of LINUXCNC (open source) and LINUX OS (open source) using a Real Time Kernel (RTK) with no delay between the motion (position) and the inputs. LINUX PC's use the same file structure (and even some of the same programs) as a Windows PC but with a smaller footprint and no embedded processes you cannot turn off. Its easy to network a Linux PC with any standard TCP-IP network and it can have shared folders with Windows computers. SHeetCAM comes with the Starlab and runs on either platform. lots of other applications too. QCAD, Inkscape, Firefox, File Manger , PDF reader, and several other utilities.

CommandCNC is a pure CNC control that takes less overhead and resources to run than Windows. It shields the user from the script level interface to LINUXCNC that scares off most non-programmer types.

If you are going to be running a Hypertherm Plasma there are things you can do with CommandCNC that you cannot do with any other control.
I am not a Windows hater and I have used it since it was WIN 3.1 but its moving in a direction that makes it more and more difficult to use to build a PC "appliance". I still run WIN7 on several of my PC's but I am less than impressed with WIN 10 on my new laptop. After it suddenly just stopped and started an automatic update while I was working on a document/drawing and refused to let me cancel or delay i, t I down graded it back to WIN7.

WIN is moving towards cloud services, user "experiences" and mixed media.

Othog
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby Othog » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:34 am

I bought a LDR, does everything I want it to do, lots of online support. The owner will even reply to emails

txbobcat
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby txbobcat » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:39 am

I did a lot of research and looked at both in person. I ended up going shop Sabre but I don’t think Starlab would have been a bad choice either.

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tnbndr
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby tnbndr » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:09 pm

All good points posted above. But I if you are new I think you are limiting yourself by only looking at two options. Read these forums, there is a lot of info on other manufacturers , good and bad.
I bought an LDR 5 years ago and never looked back it does everything I want and for less money than you are talking. And after 5 years I can email or call Dan and he responds quickly and usually with a solution to my issue. That is more important to me than IPM!!!
Do your homework, I researched tables for 5 years before I retired and made my final decision.
Dennis
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txbobcat
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby txbobcat » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:04 am

tnbndr wrote: it does everything I want and for less money than you are talking.


Does everything you want but may not be the setup the OP is wanting. :D

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tnbndr
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby tnbndr » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:56 pm

Does everything you want but may not be the setup the OP is wanting.

It meets all the criteria he listed in his first post.
Dennis
LDR 4x8, Scribe, DTHCIV
PM45
DeVilbiss Air America 6.5HP, 80Gal., 175psi, Two Stage
[email protected], [email protected]
Miller 211
RW 390E Slip Roll
AutoCAD, SheetCAM, Mach 3
https://www.facebook.com/ikescreations?ref=hl
http://ikescreations.com

wmbrewer
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Re: starlab vs sidekick

Postby wmbrewer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:48 pm

After lots of digging, i did end up putting a deposit down on a LDR. Thanks everyone for their input!


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