Imagination to Reality i2R or Shark HD5

How are other systems alike/different from the Shark?

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Imagination to Reality i2R or Shark HD5

Post by Sandow12 »

I currently own a Piranha XL and have been happy with it. I do find the 12 inch size a limitation. Even just having the extra room for clamping would be helpful. I really like the pendant option with USB functionality. I had planned on upgrading to the Shark HD, but ran across the i2R. It looks like a nice machine for a hobbyist. Has anyone had experience with the i2R and any comparisons to the Shark and what makes the Shark stand out from the i2R? The i2R looks relatively new so I have not found many reviews on it.


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Re: Imagination to Reality i2R or Shark HD5

Post by Kayvon »

i2R is an Axiom machine. I've been very impressed with Axiom's CNC machines, but I don't have much experience with them beyond controlling the gantry in a retail store. They're very sturdy and solid. They also use a pendant system (I prefer the laptop setup that I have with the older Shark model). I would expect the i2R quality to be in line with the rest of Axiom's products, but I don't have any personal knowledge to confirm that.

The Shark still has several items in its favor. This forum is a great resource and helped me through some beginner problems early in my CNC steps. The Shark lends itself more easily towards any modifications, even non-permanent ones (check out Bob's 4th axis thread sometime). Shark's price also includes some Vectric software, which I highly recommend.

I can't say enough good things about VCarve/Aspire. Had I built my own CNC machine, I probably would have tried to cheap out on the software. That would have been a mistake, severely limiting my CNC capabilities. At the time, the CNC Shark came with a full version of VCarve. I believe they may have downgraded to a VCarve Desktop or something, so look closely before making a decision. Vcarve/Aspire can be purchased separately, of course, but it'll be an extra grand or so. With that consideration, Shark has an attractive price point, particularly for a well-supported, ready-to-go machine.
Last edited by Kayvon on Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Imagination to Reality i2R or Shark HD5

Post by csmithwoodworking »

The I2R is going away. It is actually manufactured by another company. Axiom is upgrading it to the Iconic series since they recently purchased the Iconic brand out of Canada. It has an air-cooled 1hp spindle. The frame and gantry aren't as beefy as the Shark HD5.

The Basic series from Axiom is closer to the Shark 5 series. It operates on a 2-1/4hp router and is much beefier. Sadly, they are dropping that line with the upgrade to the I2R to Iconic.

I've personally used the Axiom AR4 PRO & I2R4, Digital Woodcarver (1824 & 2440) and Piranha. I weighed out all my options for months and bought the Shark HD5EXT the first of this month. I'm not disappointed. If my budget would have allowed, I would have gone with the AR8Pro, but that wasn't going to fit my pocketbook. The Shark has certainly done the job so far.
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Re: Imagination to Reality i2R or Shark HD5

Post by Racer88 »

I just bought 2 machines from i2R. I got an i2R 8 and their higher end Executive 4x4 which is servo driven and has vacuum table. It's a beast! I have a shop running molds with 5 axis machines and plasma cutter. I was looking at all the machines out there and really liked the PC control. Works smooth with my flow on the larger machines. I was looking at Axiom and Shark then stumbled on i2R.I looked at the iconic and it def is below the grades of Shark and i2R. Not sure where you see the iconic being an upgrade. It looks like it's just rebranded with different covers and a nicer stand? I was going to go with the Shark HD5 but then stepped up to buying larger for my aluminum projects on the i2R Exec and carbon fiber for the smaller i2R. Good build but none of them had vac table option for my needs along with the PC. I ended up on a shopping spree but it's been worth it! I still need a small desktop machine to mess with at home though to make some small engraving for plates. Looking at the SD100 but don't like that router. If they had a spindle though would be better.

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