PDA

View Full Version : What 'decent' Milling machine?



Chaz
15-05-2015, 09:58 AM
Having previously designed and built a CNC machine, I learnt a lot about what works and what doesn't. I dont want to waste time trying to get a machine to work as needed, I managed to get semi decent results, the kit was decent, but not sure my design did it justice.

So looking at this again however keen to buy something that is ready built and works.

I have 2 main requirements, a bit different, hoping that there is a machine that can do both.

The first is cutting of 2 gears, in brass or plastic. I have previously milled these from the 'top down' but had issues getting 100% centre when the one gear was flipped over. I believe now the better way to do that is to make 2 parts and join them together. A lathe is probably better to make the 'blank' and then use something to cut the gear slot. I dont know if these gears are custom or not. I have measured them and cannot find a module number they comply too. Some pics should be attached.

The second need is bike parts using Aluminium. I need something that can automate the production of a number of pieces as far as possible. Parts will be things like rear sets, levers etc.

Ideally it should have a auto tool changer or one where I can simply remove the tool and apply the new tool without having to reset the Z all the time.

Ive looked at a number of machines from companies like Axminster, Amadeal etc.

No fixed budget, cheaper is better but willing to look at machines that are anything up to 10K. Doesnt need to be new, 2nd hand also welcome. My preference is something that connects via USB like the PlanetCNC card or similar.

Size wise, not massive, but I dont want to buy too small and be stuck. A milling area of 300mm x 300mm sounds reasonable.

Any suggestions?

Chaz
15-05-2015, 07:18 PM
Anyone?

Thanks in advance.

komatias
15-05-2015, 07:25 PM
Anyone?

Thanks in advance.


All the hobby CNC's you mention above are similar in quality and finish. It is the aftercare that you should learn about.

You are doing the right thing in budgeting for a turnkey machine if you are interested in producing bits professionally.

Get something with either an ISO 30 or R8 spindle. Some of the Syil machines come with pneumatic drawbars that save time and really make life that much better. Worth finding out which ones.

ATC's are useful but you can live without them.

Enclosures are VERY GOOD! I wish I could enclose my mill.

Chaz
15-05-2015, 07:30 PM
All the hobby CNC's you mention above are similar in quality and finish. It is the aftercare that you should learn about.

You are doing the right thing in budgeting for a turnkey machine if you are interested in producing bits professionally.

Get something with either an ISO 30 or R8 spindle. Some of the Syil machines come with pneumatic drawbars that save time and really make life that much better. Worth finding out which ones.

ATC's are useful but you can live without them.

Enclosures are VERY GOOD! I wish I could enclose my mill.

Many thanks for the response.

I noted that the Axminster ones, probably like many, are all Chinese made. Not always a bad thing.

What should I budget for something that can work to 0.01mm with at least a quick change bit system like the drawbars (I assume its the clamp thing, powered with compressed air)?

I'm also sure that for these gears, a lathe will be needed, I dont want to try and find a compromise machine but certainly something that can 'turn' a material and mill will be ideal. I could do blanks on a mill and then look at options for cutting the gear.

Any thoughts on this mill?

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-sieg-kx1s-cnc-mill

Chaz
15-05-2015, 07:32 PM
http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-cnc-technology-ikx1-mill - at least it has a ATC of sorts.

komatias
15-05-2015, 07:43 PM
If you are able to get a machine for less than 30K to work at 0,01mm please let me know. It really cannot be done at this level of investment. You can get close to 0.01mm but if you are lucky and the moons align you may hit it one day. I would be content with 0.05mm on any milling job even professionally done. Thermal expansions and other sources of error will conspire against you.

May I suggest you go to the various shops and have a look at the machines? They are all much of a muchness in terms of quality and build. Its the extras that really make it.

Chaz
15-05-2015, 07:48 PM
If you are able to get a machine for less than 30K to work at 0,01mm please let me know. It really cannot be done at this level of investment. You can get close to 0.01mm but if you are lucky and the moons align you may hit it one day. I would be content with 0.05mm on any milling job even professionally done. Thermal expansions and other sources of error will conspire against you.

May I suggest you go to the various shops and have a look at the machines? They are all much of a muchness in terms of quality and build. Its the extras that really make it.

Ok, understood. Was being pushy in terms of 'spec'. 0.05 is acceptable for what I need, probably 0.1 too but thats max.

I want to go to Axminster in High Wycombe however still waiting for their technical sales team to get back to me and from what I can see on the shop pics, they dont actually seem to keep these in stock for viewing. Might be wrong, but lets see.

komatias
15-05-2015, 08:01 PM
Since you are in the area see Amadeal too.

Chaz
15-05-2015, 09:38 PM
Why is this so expensive?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ballscrew-CNC-Machine-MDL-A4-BSX-Mach3-ATC-Tool-Changer-4th-Axis-3D-Scanner/310562732677?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3Dc54e03e041af448384d fbad4648a4657%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26 sd%3D310471985621&rt=nc

Ive dealt with this company before, used to buy parts for our 3D printers. The item has 25 watchers ..... I fail to see where 10K is here. The spindle is a 150 Kress .... am I missing something?

Lee Roberts
15-05-2015, 09:55 PM
It's just a little trick we sellers on ebay do when an item is out of stock or short term unavailable, set the price mighty high and no one will buy it hopefully adding the item to their watch list ready for when the price is adjusted to something reasonable again.

If you just close the listing down - as a seller, you lose the intrest, watchers and so on that the item listing has attracted, this is only ideal really when you have a multiple quantity listing going where you have sold lots of the same item already and as such don't want to lose all that good work (a listing is placed higher on the search results page when it has sold well previously, positive feedback recived and so on).

.Me

Chaz
15-05-2015, 10:06 PM
It's just a little trick we sellers on ebay do when an item is out of stock or short term unavailable, set the price mighty high and no one will buy it hopefully adding the item to their watch list ready for when the price is adjusted to something reasonable again.

If you just close the listing down - as a seller, you lose the intrest, watchers and so on that the item listing has attracted, this is only ideal really when you have a multiple quantity listing going where you have sold lots of the same item already and as such don't want to lose all that good work (a listing is placed higher on the search results page when it has sold well previously, positive feedback recived and so on).

.Me

Ah, ok, makes sense. They have a number of machines at 7K, dont see the value.

Anyways - thoughts on this machine:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Syil-X5plus-Combo-CNC-Milling-Machine-with-4th-Axis-Integral-Computer/361099403162?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3Dce59a2d9f9434ce99f8 a24469cdd1fda%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D6%26 sd%3D261509184487&rt=nc

or the slightly cheaper non enclosed version:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Syil-X5plus-CNC-Milling-Machine-with-4th-Axis/260526294168?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3D6a84cc2444354fe5988 2587729f65233%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26 mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D361099403162&rt=nc

Syil X5 basically.

Chaz
15-05-2015, 10:35 PM
Ok, two Denford machines, look like 'old' quality. Both Mach3 converted.

Thoughts? Only thing Id like is probably a 4th axis. Assume that could be fit later?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Denford-Triac-VMC-3-axis-CNC-Milling-Machine-/181730576529?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2a4ffc8891

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Denford-Triac-Cnc-Milling-Machine-Mach3-Great-Condition/251949444531?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3D7e4d582ccb7a4b38a76 4510e07ff0cc8%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26 sd%3D181730576529&rt=nc

JohnHaine
15-05-2015, 11:48 PM
Denfords are excellent IMHO.

Boyan Silyavski
16-05-2015, 08:53 AM
The machines at Amadeal with spindle taper R8, big No for that money.

If i want to buy me a serious mill i will look for used VMC, at least buy Bridgeport and definitely stay away from small mills with funny tapers and unknown Chinese stuff.

You need at least BT30, ideally 40iso holder for a serious machine.

Chaz
16-05-2015, 09:07 AM
The machines at Amadeal with spindle taper R8, big No for that money.

If i want to buy me a serious mill i will look for used VMC, at least buy Bridgeport and definitely stay away from small mills with funny tapers and unknown Chinese stuff.

You need at least BT30, ideally 40iso holder for a serious machine.

Thanks. I did see a few bridgeports. What do you think of the 2 Denfords I linked?

Chaz
16-05-2015, 09:11 AM
Worth a punt?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cnc-Bridgeport-Interact-Milling-Machine-Fully-Working-With-Lots-Of-Tooling/161701814587?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3Dee048de5efcb4d3e990 1ae5c472f7142%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26 sd%3D271871077545&rt=nc

On these older machines, how do you get the gcode onto their 'PC' / Controller?

Chaz
16-05-2015, 09:12 AM
Cleaner version of the same thing. Looks a decent sturdy machine.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bridgeport-Interact-Series-1-Milling-Machine-With-Heidenhain-TNC-151-Control/361295236280?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3D8cb473e1658749408c8 7bbd810e2a152%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D6%26 sd%3D161701814587&rt=nc

Boyan Silyavski
16-05-2015, 09:23 AM
Thanks. I did see a few bridgeports. What do you think of the 2 Denfords I linked?

Depends. Small machines are way overpriced compared to used "real" machine. Cause people are lazy to organize moving or installing 3 phase at home, or fiddli8ng with VFD or just make small parts and don't have space.

I still don't have a mill but from looking of what motorcycle parts people order to my friend Jeff, i dont see that machine capable of doing them. Fork yokes for example. As i said stay away from small machines.
Man, my mill vice is as big as this machine if you know what i mean. You can not fit a good vice, the part and the bit on something so small. Not to speak of tilting vice.

You need a good used machine that comes with some stuff like holders, vice/es/ and if you are listening to me- that comes with servos. Yes its a good thing to retrofit steppers, no problems, but machine that comes with steppers is an amateur machine.

Cause you will hit the floor when you hear the prices of a good vice, good 4rth axis and so on if you want to buy them separately. And if you manage to find a good machine and retrofit only the electronics / something like CSMIO/ IP A / you could have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlQgMk6te_Y so you spend wisely you 10k

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 09:53 AM
Silyavski bet me too it and i was going to say same.

You can find Old machines like that Bridgeport that just need new life breathing into them.
You don't waste your time trying to use there old standard controllers just rip them out and retrofit with modern one. Often there control on these things are limited with very little memory.
You'll find on older machines the drives will require 0-10v analog signals rather than step & dir like modern stuff uses.
Ounce upon a time this made life difficult for your average person to retrofit or Very very expensive after market controllers so often things like drives and motors where replaced making it expensive and uneconomical in some cases.!! . . But not anymore now Cslabs have a analog Controller at sensible enough money that was designed just this purpose of retro fittng old machines. Even ones that use 12 or 24 logic.!

This means often all you need to replace is the Controller and with a bit of re-wiring you can re-use all the existing components and get the machine working like it's never done before.!
Just be aware thou most industrial spec machines require 3 phase power.! Often this is just for the Spindle not the Motors or drives. On many old machines like that Bridge port you'll find either Steppers or Brushed DC servos. Depending on drives etc often it just means changing or rewiring a transfomer so use single phase.
The Spindle is the main thing that will require 3 phase but often you can just run these straight from a VFD. Or you can buy Converter that will transform single phase to three phase if large HP.

Personally I'd wait for some Old iron to come along and replace everything with moderern servos and controller etc before buy those mickey mouse toys.

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 10:10 AM
Here's a prime Example of what 600 buys you in Old money.!! . . . . Purpose built CNC not converted Mill with 1000x500x450 travel. DC Servos, 7.5HP 40 taper spindle with power drawbar, Ground ballscrews and linear ways.

All this machine needed to get working was the controller replacing and 3 phase power. It uses Brushed DC servos which I will be replacing with modern Servos and the Spindle will be run from a Converter.
But the point is that if you had 3 phase power another 600 would have had this machine fully working and running like it never did before on it's old controller.
There are old machines like this coming up all the time at very low money and if you throw 2-3K at them you will have a very very good strong accurate machine will all modern components.
153461534715348

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 10:17 AM
Cleaner version of the same thing. Looks a decent sturdy machine.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bridgeport-Interact-Series-1-Milling-Machine-With-Heidenhain-TNC-151-Control/361295236280?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3D8cb473e1658749408c8 7bbd810e2a152%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D6%26 sd%3D161701814587&rt=nc

Not same thing at all. Same Manufacturer very differant animal. The first is much strong model IMO.

Chances are both these models use Steppers not servo's. If they do use servos they most likely will be Brushed DC servos and use 0-10v with maybe custom drives so do some research before buying if paying big money.
If controller is working then check out it's spec, memory etc and how it accepts G-code etc. If your planning on doing 3D work then often the controller is the weak link so paying for a machine with a working control is wasted money as you'll most likely rip it out.!!

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 10:46 AM
Get bidding.!!!!

http://www.1stmachineryauctions.com/lots/-matsuura-mc-500v

Chaz
16-05-2015, 11:03 AM
Silyavski bet me too it and i was going to say same.

You can find Old machines like that Bridgeport that just need new life breathing into them.
You don't waste your time trying to use there old standard controllers just rip them out and retrofit with modern one. Often there control on these things are limited with very little memory.
You'll find on older machines the drives will require 0-10v analog signals rather than step & dir like modern stuff uses.
Ounce upon a time this made life difficult for your average person to retrofit or Very very expensive after market controllers so often things like drives and motors where replaced making it expensive and uneconomical in some cases.!! . . But not anymore now Cslabs have a analog Controller at sensible enough money that was designed just this purpose of retro fittng old machines. Even ones that use 12 or 24 logic.!

This means often all you need to replace is the Controller and with a bit of re-wiring you can re-use all the existing components and get the machine working like it's never done before.!
Just be aware thou most industrial spec machines require 3 phase power.! Often this is just for the Spindle not the Motors or drives. On many old machines like that Bridge port you'll find either Steppers or Brushed DC servos. Depending on drives etc often it just means changing or rewiring a transfomer so use single phase.
The Spindle is the main thing that will require 3 phase but often you can just run these straight from a VFD. Or you can buy Converter that will transform single phase to three phase if large HP.

Personally I'd wait for some Old iron to come along and replace everything with moderern servos and controller etc before buy those mickey mouse toys.

Thanks to both. So basically look at something like the Bridgeport? I dont mind doing some retrofitting. I used the PlanetCNC USB controller before and loved it.

Thoughts on the Denfords, are they considered 'toys' or more like the real deal?

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 11:28 AM
Thanks to both. So basically look at something like the Bridgeport? I dont mind doing some retrofitting. I used the PlanetCNC USB controller before and loved it.

Thoughts on the Denfords, are they considered 'toys' or more like the real deal?

Forget PlanetCNC for retro fitting again it's a toy. You wan't ethernet for serious machine USB is rubbish and unreliable IMO.

Denfords are still toys but very good toys.!! . . . . . . By the way the Denford in Dewsbury you show I know the guy who Converted that to Mach3. He actually works for the Company who's selling it.

If your planning on milling aluminium then look towards a machine with high spindle speeds 5K is minimum 10K + better.

Chaz
16-05-2015, 11:32 AM
Thanks again all. Problem is no 3 phase at home. I could run a VFD for the spindle. Cant help but get the feeling Im biting off more than I can chew :-(

Mmmmm. I dont know enough about whats good and what bits are good and the potential money pit is big I think, especially if I need to start to retrofit parts.

Chaz
16-05-2015, 11:38 AM
Not same thing at all. Same Manufacturer very differant animal. The first is much strong model IMO.

Chances are both these models use Steppers not servo's. If they do use servos they most likely will be Brushed DC servos and use 0-10v with maybe custom drives so do some research before buying if paying big money.
If controller is working then check out it's spec, memory etc and how it accepts G-code etc. If your planning on doing 3D work then often the controller is the weak link so paying for a machine with a working control is wasted money as you'll most likely rip it out.!!

They have the same name and model from what I can tell. What is different between them? Trying to learn from what you are spotting as to what is important and what is not.

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 11:45 AM
Thanks again all. Problem is no 3 phase at home. I could run a VFD for the spindle. Cant help but get the feeling Im biting off more than I can chew :-(

Mmmmm. I dont know enough about whats good and what bits are good and the potential money pit is big I think, especially if I need to start to retrofit parts.

It's not difficult but does require some knowledge and plenty of research before commiting.

IMO all the machines you have shown so far are cheap (with exception of Denford) chinese imports. They are badged up with someone elses name on but all the same low quality machines.
I think you will be disspointed with the results and you will in the end up either chasing away problems they have and wasting money doing so or selling on.! . . . All cases you'll still Blow money.!!

Old machine and retro fit will serve you better in long run. Also You'll more than likely sell it for more than you payed if you ever do move on or upgrade.

To be honest for your needs with aluminium and plastics which requires higher spindle rpm/feeds I'd build a very strong Fixed Gantry machine and put the money into using good components and ATC spindle before waste on those Chinese Import Milling machines.
The mills will always perform below par for cutting aluminium and plastics compared to strong machine built and spec'd for the task.

Retro fitting a old machine with a high RPM spindle 8k plus would be only choice between building or buying. No way would I consider Small mill for cutting aluminium unless it had high rpm spindle and used Linear bearings.!!

Chaz
16-05-2015, 11:51 AM
It's not difficult but does require some knowledge and plenty of research before commiting.

IMO all the machines you have shown so far are cheap (with exception of Denford) chinese imports. They are badged up with someone elses name on but all the same low quality machines.
I think you will be disspointed with the results and you will in the end up either chasing away problems they have and wasting money doing so or selling on.! . . . All cases you'll still Blow money.!!

Old machine and retro fit will serve you better in long run. Also You'll more than likely sell it for more than you payed if you ever do move on or upgrade.

To be honest for your needs with aluminium and plastics which requires higher spindle rpm/feeds I'd build a very strong Fixed Gantry machine and put the money into using good components and ATC spindle before waste on those Chinese Import Milling machines.
The mills will always perform below par for cutting aluminium and plastics compared to strong machine built and spec'd for the task.

Retro fitting a old machine with a high RPM spindle 8k plus would be only choice between building or buying. No way would I consider Small mill for cutting aluminium unless it had high rpm spindle and used Linear bearings.!!

Thanks. I did build my own machine before. It worked 'OK' but not sure Ill do that again. Here is a vid of it cutting a plastic gear with a 1mm high speed endmill.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_jXTrO0rok

I could not get the rigidity I needed and making centre holes (on a different gear) proved almost impossible.

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 11:58 AM
Thanks. I did build my own machine before. It worked 'OK' but not sure Ill do that again. Here is a vid of it cutting a plastic gear with a 1mm high speed endmill.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_jXTrO0rok

I could not get the rigidity I needed and making centre holes (on a different gear) proved almost impossible.

Well what do you expect if you built it out of spagetti.!! . . . . . I'm talking about properly built machine built with substantial materials and correctly done.
If done properly then it's not difficult to build a machine that will do everything you need and do it much better than any cheap chinese import mill can.!

The difference between th 2 bridgeports is the series. MK1 & Mk2 They look like this.
1534915350

Chaz
16-05-2015, 12:01 PM
Well what do you expect if you built it out of spagetti.!! . . . . . I'm talking about properly built machine built with substantial materials and correctly done.
If done properly then it's not difficult to build a machine that will do everything you need and do it much better than any cheap chinese import mill can.!

The difference between th 2 bridgeports is the series. MK1 & Mk2 They look like this.
http://www.mycncuk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=15349&stc=1http://www.mycncuk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=15350&stc=1

Ye, understood and lesson learnt with schoolfees to match.

Can you link to something that you refer to as a suitable DIY type machine please? Appreciate your time with the feedback / comments.

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 12:19 PM
Going to be honest now and you may not like it.!!

It appears to me that you don't have enough machining experience yet to justify laying out big money on machines when you don't even know what you require.
For instance the best mill or CNC machine won't make relocating your part any more accurate if you don't know how to do it.!

The fact the machine you built doesn't make the grade is purely down to poor weak design and choice of materials. The fact you can't relocate on centre is down to your low level of experience.
If you'd made fixture jigs to hold your work and indexed to a known fixed reference point then it's easy.

But your machine is so weak it will flex like jelly so this can't happen. Trying to re-locate centres without a fixture is hard at best of time on any machine and requires accurate devices to help. So no matter weak or Strong if you haven't got the abilty or the equipment then you will always struggle.

Your weak build is to blame for low part accurecy for sure but has nothing to do with reloctating and no amount of strength in the machine will helps this as it's down to you to come up with ways to fixture.

Properly built DIY machine which uses good components will easily do what you want.

Chaz
16-05-2015, 12:24 PM
Going to be honest now and you may not like it.!!

It appears to me that you don't have enough machining experience yet to justify laying out big money on machines when you don't even know what you require.
For instance the best mill or CNC machine won't make relocating your part any more accurate if you don't know how to do it.!

The fact the machine you built doesn't make the grade is purely down to poor weak design and choice of materials. The fact you can't relocate on centre is down to your low level of experience.
If you'd made fixture jigs to hold your work and indexed to a known fixed reference point then it's easy.

But your machine is so weak it will flex like jelly so this can't happen. Trying to re-locate centres without a fixture is hard at best of time on any machine and requires accurate devices to help. So no matter weak or Strong if you haven't got the abilty or the equipment then you will always struggle.

Your weak build is to blame for low part accurecy for sure but has nothing to do with reloctating and no amount of strength in the machine will helps this as it's down to you to come up with ways to fixture.

Properly built DIY machine which uses good components will easily do what you want.

Ah, a bit harsh, but that OK.

I dont know what I need, hence the thread to ask for advice.

The relocation of the centre was badly explained. I dont think the machine had the rigidity to be accurate enough and the centre was the easiest place to spot this. But agreed, I have a lot to learn and yes, I dont know the techniques.

So I consider myself 'told off', no problems there. At least I tried based on what I could do on my own.

Are you able to link to something that you would consider suitable on the DIY side?

Out of interest, what would a machine like this cost in the UK?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26RNc0OA_fU

Its a Tormach PCNC 1100

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 12:29 PM
Ye, understood and lesson learnt with schoolfees to match.

Can you link to something that you refer to as a suitable DIY type machine please? Appreciate your time with the feedback / comments.

There are several Fixed gantry machines on the Forum search for those.
To get the strength you require then fixed gantry is the way to go and built from steel if possible. Moving gantry machines can do it but they need to be very very strong.

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 12:47 PM
Ah, a bit harsh, but that OK.

I dont know what I need, hence the thread to ask for advice.

The relocation of the centre was badly explained. I dont think the machine had the rigidity to be accurate enough and the centre was the easiest place to spot this. But agreed, I have a lot to learn and yes, I dont know the techniques.

Erm well sorry but better being said than just thought and seeing you taking wrong route.!

When ever you have to flip parts and require more than 2 it's worth taking the time to make a fixture Jig. Provided the Jig is well made and indexed to a fixed known location you will always get back to absolute accurate position. If the machine is made from jelly then you'll still be back in absolutle position you started it's just the machine doesn't go there if it's wobblying about.!!

Chaz
16-05-2015, 12:50 PM
Something like this?

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy-cnc-router-table-machines/182294-cnc.html

Found the vid of it milling alu, then found the thread.

Boyan Silyavski
16-05-2015, 12:53 PM
Not trying to sell you or anyone anything here but may be would be of interest to you. If time is not an issue, cause i am a bit busy right now.

I am currently designing a couple of small CNCs cause i want to start small home production of quality machines. All will be made entirely of 20mm aluminum plate. All 200mm Z axis.

So i have semi finished 3 designs of small machines. I don't want to load you with information now, just the thing is that maybe i will start making first the 600x400x200 moving gantry prototype. As i have semi finished drawing of the fixed gantry machine if you are interested i could provide you the drawing, only condition will be to use what elements i tell you, so you act like a test pilot :hysterical:

The said machine will easily handle 3kw spindle or even much more.

400x400x200mm, the bearing design and rails spacing is already tested on my previous build 1, the yellow machine, so no risks here. Parts will be around 3000$$ so you only have to put all together.

Apart from being light years better from anything i know of for the same $$ it would be extremely strong and beautiful, remember, all parts 20mm aluminum including the tool table.

Even the moving gantry machine will easily do the same plus its even more versatile. The yellow machine using mere 0.8kw spindle handles with fully extended Z aluminum with perfect finish with 1.5mm depth of cut, 800mm/min 12000RPM

And remember i am talking about OTT machines capable of working 24/7, not toys.


About the Tormach, i dont believe it could hold 0.05mm precision from what i have read around.

Chaz
16-05-2015, 12:57 PM
Not trying to sell you or anyone anything here but may be would be of interest to you. If time is not an issue, cause i am a bit busy right now.

I am currently designing a couple of small CNCs cause i want to start small home production of quality machines. All will be made entirely of 20mm aluminum plate. All 200mm Z axis.

So i have semi finished 3 designs of small machines. I don't want to load you with information now, just the thing is that maybe i will start making first the 600x400x200 moving gantry prototype. As i have semi finished drawing of the fixed gantry machine if you are interested i could provide you the drawing, only condition will be to use what elements i tell you, so you act like a test pilot :hysterical:

The said machine will easily handle 3kw spindle or even much more.

400x400x200mm, the bearing design and rails spacing is already tested on my previous build 1, the yellow machine, so no risks here. Parts will be around 3000$$ so you only have to put all together.

Apart from being light years better from anything i know of for the same $$ it would be extremely strong and beautiful, remember, all parts 20mm aluminum including the tool table.

Even the moving gantry machine will easily do the same plus its even more versatile. The yellow machine using mere 0.8kw spindle handles with fully extended Z aluminum with perfect finish with 1.5mm depth of cut, 800mm/min 12000RPM

And remember i am talking about OTT machines capable of working 24/7, not toys.


About the Tormach, i dont believe it could hold 0.05mm precision from what i have read around.

Sure, am interested. Can you provide more detail / info please?

Thought the Tormach looked OK for what it was.

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 01:02 PM
Something like this?

Found the vid of it milling alu, then found the thread.

Well it's nicely made but could be stronger. The Vid cutting aluminium is more like scratching than cutting. I've built Moving gantry routers designed just for wood that cut aluminium deeper than he is doing.
With a Fixed gantry machine and decent spindle it will do a much better job of munching Ali.!!

Chaz
16-05-2015, 01:03 PM
Well it's nicely made but could be stronger. The Vid cutting aluminium is more like scratching than cutting. I've built Moving gantry routers designed just for wood that cut aluminium deeper than he is doing.
With a Fixed gantry machine and decent spindle it will do a much better job of munching Ali.!!

Have just found a thread where you built someone a machine. Interested in doing the same for me? Feel free to PM me if interested.

Boyan Silyavski
16-05-2015, 01:14 PM
Sure, am interested. Can you provide more detail / info please?

Thought the Tormach looked OK for what it was.

For what it is, its OK. Ask somebody on machinist forum and they will say its a crap and you need HAAS mini mill:joker:


About the one on the video. Has some small important details overlooked and some weak links , that bothers me..., not up to my standard. of design i mean.

at the left is the fixed gantry, still not finished.




This is the one i intend to prototype first. I was going to hide it until ready and physically finished, but as sooner or later has to pass the "Dean test" , better now:loyal: than later
I will be starting to buy parts for it next week. It will be solid aluminum beast.

JAZZCNC
16-05-2015, 01:21 PM
Have just found a thread where you built someone a machine. Interested in doing the same for me? Feel free to PM me if interested.

Errr ye but I'm stupidly busy so it won't be any time soon.!! . . . . I'll PM my number for chat.

Chaz
16-05-2015, 01:22 PM
Errr ye but I'm stupidly busy so it won't be any time soon.!! . . . . I'll PM my number for chat.

Ok, I can wait till next weekend :-)

Just about to take my bike for a service, might call you from there or later on the weekend.

Thanks

Chaz
29-05-2015, 10:56 PM
Errr ye but I'm stupidly busy so it won't be any time soon.!! . . . . I'll PM my number for chat.

Worth a punt to then convert to CNC?

JAZZCNC
29-05-2015, 11:06 PM
Worth a punt to then convert to CNC?

What is . . ..?

Chaz
29-05-2015, 11:06 PM
What is . . ..?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bridgeport-Milling-Machine-with-DRS/131520266442?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3D4e21e650ce09498fb77 7cc333d3da90a%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D6%26 mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D261871605075&rt=nc

Sorry, my bad.

JAZZCNC
29-05-2015, 11:51 PM
Only if it comes cheap.!

Problem with these is while they are strong-ish for Manual machine they arn't ideal for CNC use for number of reasons. It takes a lot of work to convert these to CNC and personally I don't think the effort required to do it correctly is worth it. For what will still be an inferior CNC machine compared to purpose built CNC machine.
You'll be much better looking for OLD machine that started life as CNC machine. It will have structural and major components on it that are designed for CNC use. Like the Spindle, Ballscrews and it's supports, Linear ways and Motor mounts ETC.
Much easier to Retrofit with new motors and Electronics than start trying to shoe horn parts into spaces they don't fit or suit.!!

I'd Pass on this idea.!!

dodgygeeza
30-05-2015, 10:25 AM
Totally agree with Jazz on this, Look for an old Bridgeport Interact.
I picked a dead one up for 600 and they are much better and easier to retrofit.

Chaz
30-05-2015, 09:11 PM
Totally agree with Jazz on this, Look for an old Bridgeport Interact.
I picked a dead one up for 600 and they are much better and easier to retrofit.

Thanks both.

I actually went to Amadeal today and looked at their stock. A bit dissapointed, not 100% what I was expecting but still managed to see a X5 in the flesh. Decent looking, a lot of money. If there is a recommended 'old' machine to mod, Im up for it as long as its mainly electronics and not making a lot of plates and brackets etc as I have nothing really to easily fabricate with.

Ill look at Bridgeport Interacts. Any other to consider?

Ideally Id use this to make something custom with a high speed spindle if needed.

Chaz
30-05-2015, 09:15 PM
Totally agree with Jazz on this, Look for an old Bridgeport Interact.
I picked a dead one up for 600 and they are much better and easier to retrofit.

There are a number of these on ebay, with an 'older' type of CNC system. Are those systems usable or should it be chucked and something more modern applied? How much of their current electronics can be reused (if at all)?

Do you have any info about how you modded yours?

Was it the same as this?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bridgeport-Interact-Series-1-Milling-Machine-With-Heidenhain-TNC-151-Control-/361295236280?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item541edfccb8&autorefresh=true

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BRIDGEPORT-INTERACT-4-SERIES-11-HEIDENHAIN-151-CONTROL-6-750-VAT-/221647441714?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item339b378f32

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bridgeport-VMC-Interact-1-Mk-2-CNC-Milling-Machine-/151696952023?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2351d7cad7

or similar?

Thanks

komatias
30-05-2015, 09:35 PM
I spotted that last Interact. If you can mod it to run off single phase, it is a steal..

Chaz
30-05-2015, 09:37 PM
I spotted that last Interact. If you can mod it to run off single phase, it is a steal..

This one?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bridgeport-VMC-Interact-1-Mk-2-CNC-Milling-Machine-/151696952023?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2351d7cad7&clk_rvr_id=838962147255&afsrc=1&rmvSB=true

komatias
30-05-2015, 10:23 PM
yes that is the one

Chaz
31-05-2015, 08:10 PM
What is this worth?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Denford-Triac-Cnc-Milling-Machine-Mach3-Great-Condition-/251949444531?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3aa95b6db3

This might give me a starting point at least. Id be willing to spend a bit more for 'better' but short of someone building me a custom machine (hint hint Jazz), not a lot of options ready to go. Im loathed to spend as much as 5 - 8K on a Syil or similar unless its felt that its worth it .... dont believe it is from advise thus far.

JohnHaine
01-06-2015, 11:26 PM
I have a little Denford and it's excellent for what I want to do. A Triac would be nice as it's bigger, about the size of my VMB, but I don't have room for it. Unless you are very particular I'd have thought a Triac would be a good buy. When I got my Novamill I was thinking of converting an X1 or buying a KX1, but the Denford knocks those small machines into a cocked hat, it's just in a different league. A Bridgeport is great, but takes up lots of room, and is very very heavy! I would guess that with a Triac you would get the same accuracy as a Bridgy but won't be able to shave off metal as the same rate.

As for what it's worth, things are worth what people will pay. This particular one is not in an auction but you could try making an offer. I think eBay gives you a facility to see previous deals on similar items, so you could see what's been paid in the past? The price looks a bit high to me but I've seen some high prices for Denfords on eBay.

Chaz
02-06-2015, 06:33 PM
I have a little Denford and it's excellent for what I want to do. A Triac would be nice as it's bigger, about the size of my VMB, but I don't have room for it. Unless you are very particular I'd have thought a Triac would be a good buy. When I got my Novamill I was thinking of converting an X1 or buying a KX1, but the Denford knocks those small machines into a cocked hat, it's just in a different league. A Bridgeport is great, but takes up lots of room, and is very very heavy! I would guess that with a Triac you would get the same accuracy as a Bridgy but won't be able to shave off metal as the same rate.

As for what it's worth, things are worth what people will pay. This particular one is not in an auction but you could try making an offer. I think eBay gives you a facility to see previous deals on similar items, so you could see what's been paid in the past? The price looks a bit high to me but I've seen some high prices for Denfords on eBay.

So I found a Denford Traic PC, dont know much about the control system. What will the cost be to convert to Mach3? How much of the electronics is reusable?

Jess
02-06-2015, 06:53 PM
So I found a Denford Traic PC, dont know much about the control system. What will the cost be to convert to Mach3? How much of the electronics is reusable?
I think quite a bit technically is. Denford have been pretty good at providing documentation and so forth. So, in principle, you can probably wire a breakout board to those drives, if they're working.

However, the electronics are often pretty old and basic. Most of the conversions I've seen seem to replace everything, except perhaps the motors and maybe the transformer.

Personally, I'd budget for replacing all of the electronics.

Chaz
02-06-2015, 07:00 PM
I think quite a bit technically is. Denford have been pretty good at providing documentation and so forth. So, in principle, you can probably wire a breakout board to those drives, if they're working.

However, the electronics are often pretty old and basic. Most of the conversions I've seen seem to replace everything, except perhaps the motors and maybe the transformer.

Personally, I'd budget for replacing all of the electronics.

Thanks, including motors?

Chaz
02-06-2015, 07:09 PM
Wondering if this is the same mill?

http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/1605-Denford-Triac-Mill

Seems a lot might be reusable. So budget for a cheap retrofit? Budget for going servo versus stepper? Info welcome, many thanks.

JAZZCNC
02-06-2015, 07:10 PM
So I found a Denford Traic PC, dont know much about the control system. What will the cost be to convert to Mach3? How much of the electronics is reusable?

Depends on how old and what's inside.? Often if converting your better just replacing control and the drives with modern stuff. You'll have a far better performing machine.

The AC Transformer can be re-used but often the Caps and Bridge rectifier are on one of the boards your removing so you'll need to make a little board with new caps etc or use another PSU.
For this reason I prefer to use a new often higher voltage toroidal supply has the steppers are often well under performing. Along with smaller Switch mode PSU for Relays etc to save messing around with differant size Caps etc for differant DC voltages required. The stock transformer gives several AC voltages.

The Spindle speed controller can be re-used but you'll need Controller or BOB that can provide 0-10V signal.

The Contactors and Relays can often be reused, as can most of the other bit's n bobs inside.!

Not difficult to do but Not something I'd encourage anyone who as NO experience to take on.!!

Chaz
02-06-2015, 07:12 PM
Depends on how old and what's inside.? Often if converting your better just replacing control and the drives with modern stuff. You'll have a far better performing machine.

The AC Transformer can be re-used but often the Caps and Bridge rectifier are on one of the boards your removing so you'll need to make a little board with new caps etc or use another PSU.
For this reason I prefer to use a new often higher voltage toroidal supply has the steppers are often well under performing. Along with smaller Switch mode PSU for Relays etc to save messing around with differant size Caps etc for differant DC voltages required. The stock transformer gives several AC voltages.

The Spindle speed controller can be re-used but you'll need Controller or BOB that can provide 0-10V signal.

The Contactors and Relays can often be reused, as can most of the other bit's n bobs inside.!

Not difficult to do but Not something I'd encourage anyone who as NO experience to take on.!!

Thanks. Understood. I'm happy to do the electronics, sounds like a perfect match for a lot of new kit.

Trying to find some details of the spindle etc to see if it matches what I need in terms of speed / power.

Jess
02-06-2015, 07:37 PM
I think if the motors are working (at a guess, they probably are), then I think they'll be just fine.

I'd emphasise the 'budget for' though; worst case, you might have to fork out, but obviously, every penny you don't fork out, is a penny you can spend on your vices (and clamps, endmills etc.,)

The problem with the stock electronics is that it's basic (eg., the drivers are probably only half-stepping etc.,) and conservative (voltages are lower than necessary etc.,). So, it's not going to run as smoothly or as quickly as it otherwise could.

Having said that, it's also quality stuff; so it's often worth flogging the bits you don't need on eBay, especially if they're working - last I looked the motion control and driver boards seemed to fetch a decent price.

On my very small Denford, I've only replaced the stepper drives and DC supply (the original was part of the original drive board). I've been able to keep the door latches, e-stop, various relays, spindle control board, transformer etc., The main reason I replaced the drive board was actually that it was a real pain to interface to. After a couple of months of 'is it the drive or is it the BOB or is it my wiring' hassle, I broke down, bought a Gecko and had the machine working (with LinuxCNC) in a couple of days.

Chaz
02-06-2015, 09:24 PM
I think if the motors are working (at a guess, they probably are), then I think they'll be just fine.

I'd emphasise the 'budget for' though; worst case, you might have to fork out, but obviously, every penny you don't fork out, is a penny you can spend on your vices (and clamps, endmills etc.,)

The problem with the stock electronics is that it's basic (eg., the drivers are probably only half-stepping etc.,) and conservative (voltages are lower than necessary etc.,). So, it's not going to run as smoothly or as quickly as it otherwise could.

Having said that, it's also quality stuff; so it's often worth flogging the bits you don't need on eBay, especially if they're working - last I looked the motion control and driver boards seemed to fetch a decent price.

On my very small Denford, I've only replaced the stepper drives and DC supply (the original was part of the original drive board). I've been able to keep the door latches, e-stop, various relays, spindle control board, transformer etc., The main reason I replaced the drive board was actually that it was a real pain to interface to. After a couple of months of 'is it the drive or is it the BOB or is it my wiring' hassle, I broke down, bought a Gecko and had the machine working (with LinuxCNC) in a couple of days.

Thanks. Sounds reasonable. Does anyone have quick numbers for the cost to do this? Considering there is a converted (Mach3) Triac on Ebay for 3250, how much cheaper should I get this to make it worth while?

Jess
03-06-2015, 12:31 AM
Someone might have better numbers if they look for the actual specifications/cheaper suppliers/use a slightly larger envelope for calculations, but I'd guess you can probably easily spend 500-800 converting one depending on the parts you use even if you're 'just' replacing the stepper drives and you've got a few of the things you'll need.

These aren't recommendations as I've not personally used these - I'm just using the prices as a guide:

Geckodrive G213V drives (80V, 7A digital step drives) are $166 each, and an Ethernet Smoothstepper is $180. So, three drives and motion control board run to $678; once you get it shipped and Customs and Excise take their chunk of flesh for Duty and VAT, you might as well assume that that figure is already in GBP. Alternatively, you can get 80V, 5.6A drivers from Zapp Automation (a UK supplier) for 84 each, which with the smoothstepper and shipping sounds like it comes out to about 450.

On top of that, you might need breakout boards and you'll definitely need various cables, wires, mounting brackets, a mounting plate for all the gear and many, many cups of tea. So, yes, it's very easy to spend more than you meant to getting it working, so it's definitely worth doing some proper working out.

It gets rather difficult comparing the value of Triac models; one might have an automatic tool changer, another might be fully enclosed, another might be 13 years newer etc., If we're comparing against the one on eBay with the lurid guards, then that seems to have a coolant system installed. These are all potentially useful, but their value to you will vary depending on what you're doing (and some are easier to retrofit than others!)

What power supply does a Triac mill require BTW? If it's more than you can get from a standard 13A mains plug, you could get a nasty shock in the form of a bill for installing one of those circular sockets (unless you're lucky enough to already have the right one).

JohnHaine
03-06-2015, 09:20 AM
Look for denfordata on google to get the mill details as well as lots of info from people who have probably converted them to Mach 3 and / or modern drivers etc. for guidance I spent less than 200 on new drivers, a BoB and smps to get my Novamill working, using the original motors. All the electronics from China via eBay, 2m542 drivers. Psu is 36volt. There were no electronics at all with my mill so also had to use a KB electronics motor drive I already had, but you can use the one in the mill if it's working. Caution however, if it's a dc motor thyristor drive it is NOT isolated from the mains and you will need an isolating circuit to link the drive to your BoB.

Chaz
03-06-2015, 10:23 AM
Thanks both. Good info to consider.

Boyan Silyavski
03-06-2015, 10:34 AM
Or you could use:
-3 x Leadshine closed loop steppers 3nm around 200euro each kit shipped
-1 x PoKeys57CNC /still have not tested it but price and what offers seems unbeatable by any board/~150euro shipped

and for affordable price have a closed loop machine ethernet driven. thats what my calculator says , i spend all last night in similar doubts and researching options for quality versus price

PS. I found some new similar drives for around 160 so shipping could be combined like 3x160+50, which is even better. Not to speak of that understate the value is a must nowadays

Chaz
03-06-2015, 10:39 AM
Or you could use:
-3 x Leadshine closed loop steppers 3nm around 200euro each kit shipped
-1 x PoKeys57CNC /still have not tested it but price and what offers seems unbeatable by any board/~150euro shipped

and for affordable price have a closed loop machine ethernet driven. thats what my calculator says , i spend all last night in similar doubts and researching options for quality versus price

PS. I found some new similar drives for around 160 so shipping could be combined like 3x160+50, which is even better. Not to speak of that understate the value is a must nowadays


Thanks. For closed loop, you need some form of encoder? How is this fit to the standard motors?

Boyan Silyavski
03-06-2015, 11:07 AM
The motors come with encoders already. Its all in one, they call it Easy Servo. It seems on paper better than steppers, cause due to the precise control the steppers loose power at higher than normally RPM.

I would say with hand on my heart that IMO for metal working closed loop is a must. Not that steppers will not do it, but my mind feels easier that the machine is where i tell it to be :-)

Chaz
03-06-2015, 11:09 AM
The motors come with encoders already. Its all in one, they call it Easy Servo. It seems on paper better than steppers, cause due to the precise control the steppers loose power at higher than normally RPM.

I would say with hand on my heart that IMO for metal working closed loop is a must. Not that steppers will not do it, but my mind feels easier that the machine is where i tell it to be :-)

Understood. Thanks.

Just found a Triac VMC that looks like a worthwhile project. Depends on the final price though.

Jess
03-06-2015, 03:24 PM
Look for denfordata on google to get the mill details as well as lots of info from people who have probably converted them to Mach 3 and / or modern drivers etc.
Yes, everything should posted somewhere on Denford's forums; might need some digging though!


Caution however, if it's a dc motor thyristor drive it is NOT isolated from the mains and you will need an isolating circuit to link the drive to your BoB.
Given the simplicity of the circuit needed for this (in the common PWM output case, it's one opto-isolator, two resistors and a capacitor), I'd probably avoid a breakout board that has a non-isolated 0-10V spindle output on the basis that it's been overly cost-reduced.

Chaz
11-06-2015, 10:13 PM
So, Ive bought a Denford Triac VNC. Ive not seen the machine yet (via ebay), hoping that it should be collected tomorrow and delivered to me early Saturday.

Will post up a new thread once I have it and I can start looking at retrofitting the older system with something newer.

JohnHaine
12-06-2015, 10:19 PM
Let us know how you get on, happy to help if I can.

Chaz
12-06-2015, 10:52 PM
Let us know how you get on, happy to help if I can.

Thanks. First issue, no delivery tomorrow. The courier could not collect today. Will try tomorrow but not optimistic, so a bit delayed :-(

Cant really start till I see what electronics are on the mill, so dont know what to look at yet.

Chaz
16-06-2015, 03:35 PM
The story now continues here:-

http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/8800-Denford-Triac-VMC-with-ATC-Conversion-Fix

cnchobiest123
21-06-2015, 05:32 PM
are you used custom part bro?, how method cutting gear hobing or using wire edm?

just for beginner cnc >>>> http://cncmechines5axis.blogspot.com/