Thread: ATC Options?

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  1. #1
    Just supposing it were possible ;)

    If I wanted to fit an auto-tool-changer to my mini mill, what would be used for the spindle?

    That seems to be the only stumbling block really, the rest is just building and macro stuff. There seem to be a few variations - carousel, straight bank etc but all need a spindle that can be released automatically.

    Are ATC's for the rich boys only??

  2. #2
    OR for those that can justify 1500 for automation because it will pay for itself! Few on Aliexpress starting around $2000

  3. #3
    Bum, would have gone 5-600 just for the luxury but that's just too much ;)

  4. #4
    Haven't seen any cheap DIY worth looking into I think this is about closest but not for me.
    Last edited by lucan07; 08-05-2016 at 03:12 PM.

  5. #5
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 5 Hours Ago Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 1,311. Received thanks 126 times, giving thanks to others 3 times.
    The spindle is the hard part.
    Quite a few people use the Tormach system (TTS), which I think is essentially a modified R8 spindle/collet setup.
    You could go for a conventional ISO/BT spindle with a drawbar, and attach an airgun for loosening/tightening the drawbar.

    Best option is some form of ISO/BT gripper spindle, but they are expensive. I'm sure I've seen ISO30 ATC spindles for around 800, however you need to add a motor to that.
    I still have a DaleCNC ISO15 spindle cartridge sat in the workshop doing nothing if you're interested. It cost me about $1200, but I'm open to sensible offers as I've currently got no plans to use it on anything.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  6. #6
    its not too bad at the low speed end but my spindle is a 24,000rpm water cooled job, my machine was built for aluminium really so it needs the speed. Looking at 1600-2300 on Aliexpress :(
    Last edited by Davek0974; 08-05-2016 at 06:31 PM.

  7. #7
    I saw this skyfire cnc cartridge a while back. I don't know if it was ever launched - there was quite a thread on cnczone but it wasn't clear if they ever shipped anything. Pretty cheap, although needs a motor and an air cylinder on the drawbar, and is 6000rpm max.
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  8. #8
    Yep, plenty similar on Aliexpress, BT30, ISO25 sockets but all are low rpm so not really what i was after :)

  9. #9
    There is a German company that does them for Kress and watercooled spindles
    Stocking more goodies than just Smoothsteppers

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Davek0974 View Post
    its not too bad at the low speed end but my spindle is a 24,000rpm water cooled job, my machine was built for aluminium really so it needs the speed. Looking at 1600-2300 on Aliexpress :(
    Then you are going to struggle as once you go bigger on diameter to take a QC taper the bearings needed won't hold up to 24K

    If you can get away with just two tools, roughing and finishing then think about another 24K spindle mounted on another set of rails on the Z axis that can pneumatically push the second cutter down lower than the roughing cutter. Software then calls up the respective offsets and runs the second spindle.

    You can get a completer second spindle and inverter for as low at 175 on Ebay.
    John S -

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