Haas mill advice



What's DNC?
-Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
m wrote:

Martin:
====================================================================http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Numerical_Control
Direct Numerical Control, also known as Distributed Numerical Control, (both DNC) is a common manufacturing term for networking CNC machine tools. On some CNC machine controllers, the available memory is too small to contain the machining program (for example machining complex surfaces), so in this case the program is stored in a separate computer and sent Direct to the machine, one block at a time. If the computer is connected to a number of machines it can Distribute programs to different machines as required. Usually, the manufacturer of the control provides suitable DNC software. However, if this provision is not possible, some software companies provide DNC applications that fulfill the purpose. ===================================================================    That might illuminate BD's comment: "Slave computers are a dime a dozen and proper DNC software can start and stop anywhere in a program."
--
BottleBob
http://home.earthlink.net/~bottlbob
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thank you,
-Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Martin, Check out this 15,000 to 40,000 RPM Air Spindle that can be used in the Tool Changer. It is designed as a kit for HASS mills. See the video at this site. www.bryanmachine.com
Call Steve Bryan for details. His number is on the site.
Good Luck, Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We have several VF3's the one I use is almost a year old it has the 7500 RPM spindle. I have engraved steel, brass and aluminum. I mostly run 6,000 rpm and the machine has a default of 15. inch feed in it's engraving program. I have used 20" feed in steel with .005 depth of cut. looked fine to me. I used a 1/16 diameter carbide ball end mill. The higher speeds are nice and they use it a lot on the other machines that run production. I cut mostly steel and make fixtures and tooling.
I think the higher speed with the higher rapids is a good idea. If the rapids seem to fast for you, you can set the default to a lower speed. Our foreman set max rapids at 50%.
We have the 24 tool changer and several times needed more tools than that. I would suggest you get as many tools as you could. You don't have to use all of them, but you can't use them if you don't have them.
We got the programmable nozzle for coolant which is a real nice feature. Also the USB port is nice to save programs on in addition to uploading to a server. Having a program on my USB drive saved me a couple of times, when someone deleted an upload they didn't think we needed any longer.
Also all the tables were not flat when new on delivery. So we milled off .003 and got the tables flat all the way across. This was to improve accuracy for the 4th axis.
Richard W.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just throwing in my two cents worth, all good answers and valid points. I have a 2001 VF-0E with 1mb memory, side mount tool changer and 10K spindle. I run mold bases with a laptop to DNC programs 4 to 6mb files to the controller.
Spindles above 15K require tool balancing, that at 10 and 12K is not as critical. 12K is a good way to go, I do a fair amount of engraving and the tool makes a big difference as well. Take a look at the Onsrun from J&L, I am getting good results. Once you get into ceramic bearings 15K+, any hard hit has the potential to junk the spindle. As a beginner, it is not a matter of if!
The 24 tool side mount tool changer has been much more reliable than the umbrella styles I have worked with. If you have hard water the tool tray will eventually rot out with electrolysis. Get to know your Water and Ice stores or consider an RO system. I have the eight tools I use most loaded in my side mount and touched off ready to go, so many of my programs can be run with the addition of drills or form cutters and setting the work offset.
Through spindle works well with deep hole drilling, but is generally not worth the added expense of tools, tool holders and maintenance. Programmable coolant will work great for the majority of machining.
High speed machining should be considered for 3-axis mold geometry small cuts at elevated feed rates. Instead of taking 40 blocks at a time the controller takes 120, more look ahead means less stutter when the code is flying across the screen.
The high intensity lights are great for set up and examination of the work.
The table slots are typical, I think the threaded holes are metric and work great with subsystems like Chick. I have an aluminum plate with tapped holes and dowels pin holes to locate plate work and can run three Kurt 3600V vises. The VF-3 I have run can hold five vises tight and the VF-4 SS ran with six no problem. Most rapids are fast enough to cover the table faster than you want to think about, use the 25% and 50% Rapid Override buttons until you get use to it.
Last I checked, most of these options are available as a C or D package, and I would get a VF-4 over the VF-3 for ten extra inches on the table and only a few dollars more :) You are marrying this machine, and will have to live with it for a while. Get the things you might need and pass on the rest that you just won't use.
All software has its pluses and minuses, I am using Camworks which will engrave out of the True Type fonts or can do single point text from the Solidworks sketch. I have used stand alone Cam packages and am getting back into Mastercam for an upcoming job. So whatever the sales people tell you it is not a Star Trek replicator. Invest in the software and training. Our Phoenix area Haas dealer holds free mill training classes, and the local community college technical classes and resellers are a great resource.
Just my humble opinion. Good luck. JL

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JL wrote:

JL:
    I'm impressed. I don't recall seeing you post before, I personally think you would be a welcome addition to the group.
--
BottleBob
http://home.earthlink.net/~bottlbob
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JL,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with these machines. Lots of useful data to ponder.
Are you suggesting that if you had to choose between the Super-Speed option and a larger machine you'd go for a larger machine?
Also, I am starting to think that the option for the X and Y slots on the table might not be worth it. After all, it seems that most of the time one would use a fixture or plate of some sort to hold the work down.
Should I be considering any other manufacturer other than Haas at this point? I am somewhat convinced to go with them due to proximity (we are in Southern California) and reputation. Westec is coming- up...should I wait and look at some other options? We do need the machine relatively soon...I just don't want to make a mistake. As you said, you sort of marry these things.
-Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
m wrote:

Martin:
    You can sometimes get good deals on machines that were running in a show like Westec. You're kind of limited by the options the particular display machine has though.
    Fadals are in roughly the same price range (and in Calif.). My personal preference would be for a comparable Haas if I had to choose between the two. Other's mileage may vary.
--
BottleBob
http://home.earthlink.net/~bottlbob
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hey Martin,
I started running Haas machines about twelve years ago. I have programmed for Fadal, Hurco and I still deal with Anilam on a regular basis. Just like the software all machines have their quirks. Usually, it is the little things like the way they manage work and tool offsets or throwing in a non-standard G-code if you are writing programs by hand at the controller. Westec is a great venue to check out all the machine tools and get a real feel for features and foot prints. If you can wait, take a look at what is out there. The similarities are greater than the differences. Our Phoenix HFO usually runs a Westec special to boost sales, I am sure other manufacturer's do to. Don't hesitate to hammer them for discounts or an upgrade package. . If you haven't already, check with your reseller on delivery times. If it is a popular machine it may be 6 - 8 weeks before it is sitting on your floor. Figure a week to power up and get a tech to do the set up and run in.
I was contracted by a company here in Phoenix to set up a fourth axis machine about two years ago. The XY threaded / slotted table had the advantage of about four extra inches in Z, so the rotary had a little extra breathing room. A Chick subsystem was chosen and could mount directly to the XY table. You are correct that most machines get a sub- plate / universal tooling plate / sacrificial plate, I have what started out as a three inch thick piece of 7075 bolted to my table. After eight years it is getting to 2 3/4" with a few oops gouges. The only time I take the plate off is when I need the extra clearance for a tall part or about once a year to check for electrolysis and re- grease the table. If you go with the VF-3 or larger you can count on the plate staying on there for quite some time. Marine grease is a must, and a big flycutter to keep it pretty.
For $5K more I would opt for the VF-4 over the VF-3 and with a package deal get the extra goodies - probably another $5K. 12K spindle would be nice, I have no problems living with my 10K. If I could budget I would get a a larger machine with the SS option, same reason I opted for the VF-0E at the time I bought mine. I wanted the 10K direct drive spindle, and the 30 inch X table. At the time it was $5,000 more than a VF-0 and to me a no-brainer. The VF-0E was really the same platform as the VF-2, the VF-2 at the time had the geared head. The VF-0 faded over time into the more common VF-2. For me the smaller footprint and big on options was the better choice. If you go with the VF-2 you can get three vises and most plate work on the table, the VF-4 will hold six vises and you won't have to open the end windows and move the part around if you do run a large piece. Occasionally that four extra inches in Y on the VF-3 / 4 would come in handy.
Granted we are talking about almost $20K difference between the VF-2 and VF-4. If you don't have a headache yet, what do you have in the way of tools, toolholders, and vises. The toolholders at say $100 a pop and pull studs at $20 a pop will set you back a decent chunk of change. What ever you have, you can always use one more. You should budget around $5K if you do not already have the basics in house. Tooling preferences would be a good future topic.
If you have any doubts the VF-2 10K spindle, side mount tool changer and add on package will be a great entry level machine and leave room in the budget to tool up and get going. If you are rolling the software into this budget count on between $6000 and $10000, still another topic. If you think you will grow out of the VF-2 in 6-12 months pull the trigger on a bigger machine. Production means more vises on the table, and less open door time. One last if, if you are looking one to two years out at adding another machine anyway by then you will know if you need the bigger machine or can add on another / more 2's.
Just a quick comment on the forty tool side mount. It is a larger circle that doesn't turn any faster than the 25, so your Cam post needs to index to the next tool way before it is needed. I have a handful of programs that use all 25 slots, most run at 12-18. And, the USB port is nice for the transfer, I have run programs from the USB flash drive - if it gets removed or bumped it is not a good thing, falls into the not a safe practice.
It really is a big purchase, a lot to consider, worth the time to get opinions and see what is out there. Do the math and one will fall out as the best choice. Sorry for rambling, this thread is getting kind of long, trying not to repeat to much of what has already posted. If this topic goes to far into left field drop me an email. Glad to help. JL

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ditto what he said, except, I have a VF-5 and would not have done it any other way, however, if you are going to do plate work on a 5, keep in mind that the spindle, even though it has 25" in Z, stops about 4.5" from the table, meaning you will either have to "elevate" your plate, or use a lot of extended holders, ask questions of your HFO.
I love my VF-5, the HRT 210 stays on the machine almost all the time, the chick foundation is worth its weight in repeating setups, keeping setups "keyed" off of the 50mm hole locations makes changing from part to part much easier, I also have the chick grid saved in Mastercam, thus when new jobs come up, I can accuratly lay the stock in position and get going right away, or place tooling / fixturing on location, lots of open space on the table to work with, even with the 4th axis on the machine.
BTW, I have the 7500 geared head option, I cut everything from delrin to 6al-4v Ti. with 17-4 and lots of 4340 in the mix.
Of course I bleed HAAS red, so after 15 years of working with them, I AM biased!
"D"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Interesting. My guess is that the VF-5 is designed this way so that you can mount fixtures on the machine and not loose operating volume?
-Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

<snip a bunch of very good advice and useful suggestions/observations>
Thanks for a very detailed discussion. I am retired and not in the market for a CNC machine, but I appreciate the very clear and detail summary and the time it took to type it up.
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JL, again, thanks for another post with lots of good info.
I have the Fadal guys coming out tomorrow to have a conversation. On first inspection it seems that they may have a very significant price advantage. Of course, the devil is in the details...I'll have to wait until tomorrow to learn about options and additional costs.
There are also other considerations. We know that we are very likely to move sometime this year. Perhaps towards the end of the year. Haas has told us that moving their machines is not a traumatic experience at all. Fadal's machines seem to be substantially heavier. Not sure how much of a difference that might make.

Does your plate cover the entire surface of the table?
Any pointers in terms of subplate design? What hole pattern have you found is best? Do you have both threaded holes and plain holes for pins? I would imagine the subplate bolts to the table via recessed bolts and t-nuts, correct?

It's starting to feel that way.

That brings up a question about a hypothetical scenario. On these machines, if you have to, say, machine something at the end of a 20 foot extruded piece...do you just open the side windows and that's it?

Yup, that's where you can drop a lot of change in a microsencond. We put some tooling in the package but I am sure it won't be enough. Is it ever?

Yeah, we've discussed this idea. It might make more sense to buy something just slightly larger than what we need for the work to be done now (which a VF2 will cover nicely) and then make decision on a larger machine a year or two down the line if things are going well.

Rambling? If this is rambling I want more of it!
Thanks,
-Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 11 Feb 2009 16:36:12 -0800 (PST), m

========You might also find these urls helpful http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune00&fC and http://www.haascnc.com/custserv_training.asp#lathe and down load the manuals, workbooks, etc. in pdf format.
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good resource.
Thank you,
-Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks everyone for offering varied opinon and guidance on this matter. Today we closed the deal on our new VMC. This is what we got:
VF-3SS 12,000 RPM direct drive spindle 24 tool high-speed side-mount tool changer 1400ipm rapids USB 55 gallon coolant system Rigid tapping Chip conveyor Programmable coolant nozzle Wireless probing system Wireless toolsetting probe Work offset, Macros, Spindle orientation Coordinate rotation and scaling 16MB memory High speed machining with look-ahead 4th axis wiring and 210mm servo rotary table with tooling block Early power failure detection Auxiliary coolant filter 24 pull studs (CT40)
At the moment it looks like we might go for MasterCAM but a SolidCAM evaluation is pending next week.
Thanks again,
-Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good choise as the base of the VS3 is the same as on as the larger VS4 & 5. Haas has been trying to "thin down" castings (some are even imports now btw). So you have the largest base by scale theoretically.
If your a Solidworks house, and have no cam history, look at the systems that run natively inside of SW. You will be MUCH better off down the road. Techsoft, HSMworks are two that come to mind. Ask your SW rep or Google. Mastercam and a couple others are now offering integration into Solidworks but unless they've changed their interface, you'll be sorely disappointed when switching between Cad and Cam.
-- Bill
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As a total newbie in that kind of machining (and i'm in R&D anyway), i've been following the conversation with great interrest. I'd like to have some explanations on a couple of things:

Does it means that there is some kind of device that prevents collisions when machining? How does it work?

What does it do, and how?
TIA JM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jean Marc wrote:

I just talked to haas about this the other day..
HSM enables the machine to look further ahead, so you get smoother tool paths with small movements (great for 3D surfacing) Also, it will adjust feedrates for a tool going into a corner (try to eliminate that damn chatter when putting a .5 em into a .25 R corner)
I'm in contact with haas to get me a trial run of that, The machine we got was a demo machine and they used up all the HSM time on it before we got it.. If I can prove that it is worth it, we'll buy it.
I would try to hack it, but by the time I figure that out, prolly be the same price.. lol
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.