View Full Version : CAD user moving into the real world

04-06-2012, 10:58 PM
Hi folks I could do with some advise and guidance as cad operator I previously used local cnc companies for making my drawings come to life until recently becoming too unreliable. So having some understanding of machining and terminology I consider myself an utter novice in the real world and fancy buying a mill of some sort to have a go myself to learn which is where your advise and guidance would be hugely appreciated.

Reading about some companies mentioned here on this great forum I like to go with biggest overall Z capacity and ability to convert to CNC a year or so down the line. Loose budget for the machine itself around 2k mark excluding tooling and options primarily for cutting hard alloys and steel components out what type of machine would suit my hobby usage with hopefully at least 0.1 metric accuracy?

My garage is fairly capacious and easily accessible but 2m high ceiling and entrance may be the only physical restriction, I do have phase 3 but prefer a phase 1 machine in case of moving home. I think DRO on all axis be massively helpful option not sure about power feed I know what it is but how’s it actually used? and what scenerios do you use power feeds since most things i be making be complex shapes.

Surface finish for high accuracy is critical in some hydraulic things I wish to make is this possible straight from the mill with suitable tooling?

I read here some China clones are rebranded and painted not that I have anything against the Chinese is there a list of like for like machines anywhere? i have searched honesly but struggling to tell what's what from the descriptions

Work holding would be my biggest headache is vacuum bed worthwhile?

Is tilting head machine models stable when tilted or do they tend to vibrate more whatever its angle?

When I do convert to CNC would I still be able to use the mill in manual mode?

Cutting internal and external threads would be very handy but many machines don’t list tapping in their ads are all mills capable of tapping threads with suitable tooling?

Thank you and hope I can return some cad help in the future.

Robin Hewitt
05-06-2012, 12:39 AM
You want a lot of iron for accuracy, I would suggest an older machine. Knowing what to web-search for is usually half the battle, I suspect you want what is called a "toolroom mill", but I could be wrong. It's a sort of knee mill but has a wider bed which rotates a bit :beer: