Advice on Toolroom CNC Bed Mill

Dear All, We are a student run group at a university hoping to get the best value for a CNC bed Mill after a long year of fundraising for it.
We need these features.
Full 3-axis CNC NST#40 Taper Bed Mill Minimum 15" on Y-axis Manual Quill Minimum 15# on Z-axis Preferably New
Advice and links would be very much appreciated by a bunch of students hoping to learn something about machining. Thanks.
Duke University Motorsports.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'm certain most major machine tool builders have some sort of educational discount program that could get you started...
-- Bill
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

keep in mind that you will need tooling and other hardware to make chips. Something to bring up with the seller before you close the deal on a machine.
John
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Why do you want new? You should be able to find a very capable machine used for quite a bit less than new. Given you're using the machine in an educational situation, it is very unlikely that you will appreciate the ultimate value of a new machine. Obviously the warrantee is one glaring exception.
Regards,
Robin
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Robin S. wrote:

Robin, Buying new he would also get training. Pretty embarassing if the instructor couldn't turn the thing on and make a simple part.
Fadal and Haas are the two obvious choices.
I'd also look at Daewoo. I've heard good things about their VMCs. I have a Daewoo lathe and I'm very pleased with the overall quality and performance over the 6 years that I've had it. Daewoo also tends to load the control up with options that others may charge for.
Best, Steve
--
Regards,
Steve Saling
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True. But is it worth the price?
Remember that the school probably won't make money on the machine. It would be my opinion that obtaining a running machine which satisfies their job requirements would be the bottom line. Perhaps someone could be brought in to train them, and they'd still be far ahead.
I have been through a Haas training session with the factory tech or whatever. He was capable, but I knew so little at the time about CNC machining that it really didn't make sense. I wonder if the same applies here.
Regards,
Robin
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I've run these and they're nice. They're more or less 2.5 axis using the built in conversational software or g-code although there is a thread mill event built in which makes it 3 axis. In 2.5 axis you can edit and offset at the control. To run it in full 3 axis mode you have to load a g-code program but any changes you need to make have to be done at the pc and then reloaded including cutter radius comp. That a drawback in my opinion. All in all it's a nice machine though. http://www.southwesternindustries.com/swi/prod_bedmills1.shtml
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Thanks everyone.
We've done some research. We have departmental machinists who can train us, so we are looking for company's that doesn't include that since that would add cost.
We are looking for a toolroom mill over a 'toolroom production' mill so HAAS, FADAL and ATRUMP doesn't really work. The fixed head is the main problem in my opinion. We need that manual quill for tapping and drilling by hand.
We are aware of tooling and workholding costs as well as additions like mist coolant and broken bits at the hands of students.
We use Mastercam so we don't really need features on controller other than the 3 axis. TRAK is simple, but DNC key doesn't really tell you what you are doing or allow previewing.
We might add a 4th axis, so a controller that supports that would be nice.
I've asked around quite a bit and would appreciate info on dealers who sell both used and new machines.
The only reason of wanting a new mill is that we can't afford to lose time in case the mill breaks since we only have 1 mill, and we have a race car to manufacture every year.
Thanks..... more suggestions would be great. Plus side is we have 3 months to wait it out, so we can wait for a good used one to pop around.
Duke University Motorsports.
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It is my personal opinion that being a Mastercam machinist without knowing G code is like being an engineer without ever building something you've designed. G-code is not hard and it will save you in the end.
Don't become a PHD(push here dummy)machinist.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Atrump makes them with a manual quill. Here are some:
<http://www.atrump.com/toolroom/B3FC/B3FCP3.htm
<http://www.atrump.com/toolroom/B3VC/B3VCP1.htm
<http://www.atrump.com/E5fc.htm
<http://www.atrump.com/E6FC.htm
<http://www.atrump.com/E8fc.htm
They also offer several brands of controls as an option.
--

Dan

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

TZ:
    Why ever would you want to drill and tap manually? CNC's are readily able to drill holes. And as for tapping, order a machine with the rigid tapping option and you won't have to worry about tapping heads.
--
BottleBob
http://home.earthlink.net/~bottlbob
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

When buying new training is usually included in the price. Although you have machinists in your operation if they aren't familiar with the control that you have on the machine simple things like turning on the machine, jogging, G and M codes specific to that machine, etc. may be a problem.

Reading the above what you seem to be describing is a mill with a quill that can be manually operated. This would seem to be a retrofit "Proto Trak" type mill, and not a VMC. In your earlier post you indicated a Y travel of 15" which may be hard to find in a mill with a manually operated quill. Also these types of mills may not support a 4th axis.
Best, Steve
--
Regards,
Steve Saling
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

snip
snip
1. Why do you think you can't do drilling and tapping by hand without a quill? I do these things from time to time on my atrump (mostly to prove I could.) That's what the MPG wheel (that you will want anyway) is for.
2. Why do you want to drill and tap by hand? VMCs often have rigid tapping, and the Atrump and I assume others have floating tapping cycles that work with special holders, so you have two options before you get to a tapmatic style device. What's more, if you are going tap by hand, why not use an actual hand tapping device?
3. Some atrumps have quills, or at least did. I nearly bought one, bought the mill without one instead (I choose smaller/cheaper.)
4. Atrump's web site is, by their own admission, not so hot. Call them up and talk with them.
5. A haas toolroom mill at least has a low base price, you end up paying to add lots of normal stuff, but when you're done it's still not all that pricey. Haas had some racing specific discounts, they may still. (Though by all accounts they're selling all they can make.)
6. Just because it's new doesn't mean it won't break, and just because it's under warranty doesn't mean you won't be down for some period of time while somebody comes to fix it. What's more, it won't be under warranty forever. So some supplier who will be around to fix it one way or another is arguably a bigger deal than new versus used.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

snip
snip
1. Why do you think you can't do drilling and tapping by hand without a quill? I do these things from time to time on my atrump (mostly to prove I could.) That's what the MPG wheel (that you will want anyway) is for.
2. Why do you want to drill and tap by hand? VMCs often have rigid tapping, and the Atrump and I assume others have floating tapping cycles that work with special holders, so you have two options before you get to a tapmatic style device. What's more, if you are going tap by hand, why not use an actual hand tapping device?
3. Some atrumps have quills, or at least did. I nearly bought one, bought the mill without one instead (I choose smaller/cheaper.)
4. Atrump's web site is, by their own admission, not so hot. Call them up and talk with them.
5. A haas toolroom mill at least has a low base price, you end up paying to add lots of normal stuff, but when you're done it's still not all that pricey. Haas had some racing specific discounts, they may still. (Though by all accounts they're selling all they can make.)
6. Just because it's new doesn't mean it won't break, and just because it's under warranty doesn't mean you won't be down for some period of time while somebody comes to fix it. What's more, it won't be under warranty forever. So some supplier who will be around to fix it one way or another is arguably a bigger deal than new versus used.
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I've run the knee mill version of this machine. I think their bed mill has all you're asking for. One thing it doesn't have that the trak does have is a reader on the quill that's tied into the z servo. Nice feature on the trak. You manually lock the quill anywhere you want it and the z servo compensates for it. The knee mill has a lot of z clearance as the z servo runs the knee. Worth checking out. http://cncauto.com/cnc-bed-mill-BM3X.htm
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I hope you are also aware that a "broken bit" is a relatively insignificant bother compared to the destruction that a nice hard crash can do. At the hands of students, you may expect a fair amount of machine brutality.
FWIW, the best way to learn to cut metal is to feel it through your fingertips. That's how you gain an understanding and appreciation for feeds and speeds and lubricants and chip relief. You aren't going to learn any of that by pushing buttons.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

TZ:
    Do you really NEED a bed mill? My additional preference for a school machine would be one where service is excellent and quick. You don't want to have to have the machine sitting idle while waiting for parts to be shipped from Japan or Taiwan. Also I'd choose a machine that can withstand some crashes without destroying itself. Students are notoriously unconcerned about crashes, some may even crash it on purpose just to see what will happen. LOL     My first choices would be a Haas or a Fadal. Whatever machine you choose, try to get a deal on tooling, options, and maybe even software as well.
--
BottleBob
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I would think that a bed mill would stand more abuse. In any case he should dial the rapid traverse rate back by at least 50%. That would probably save on repairs.
--

Dan

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'd certainly look at Milltronics http://www.milltronics.net/products/mb/MB18_main.htm
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On 30 Apr 2006 16:06:54 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hi,
Fryer also makes toolroom bedmills.
MB11-Q 30 x 20 x 21 with a quill. http://www.fryermachine.com/machining/mb_q_series1.html or
MB10-R with tool changer 32 x 17 x 19 http://www.fryermachine.com/machining/mb_r_series1.html
I really think you should consider a tool changer machine for versatility. It will still drill and tap.
Get the remote handwheel, it lets you move all three axis manually while you are next to the part.
If you want to add a fourth axis later, you need to upgrade to the Anilam 5000 control, which would probably be a good idea in any case.
Since you are programming in Mastercam, you probably want to be sure that whichever machine you choose handles G-code well. Some of the machines lean more towards their proprietary conversational program than G-code.
Eastec is in Springfield, MA in a couple of weeks, if you can manage get there, you can see alot of the machines in person. HAAS, Fryer, Fadal, Southwestern and Milltronics are usually there.
Will
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