Small CNC Mill Advise needed

Hi, I have been looking for a benchtop size CNC mill for prototyping small connectors for the aerospace industry. I have done some research and
we do have one here that we cant get to work but I was just wondering if anybody can give me any advise on weather any brand is better or worse that others. I am limited to what i can spend- i think if i really argued, i could get $5k approved but no more than that. I have seen several out there that are less than 5k... taig, microkenitcs, and some used lightmachines. any help will be appreciated very much! thanks
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Sell the one thats not working or post it here and you might get some more coin to work with. What do you have thats not working? I'm looking for a small on for my home shop.

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One of our CNC set-up guys brought in a Roland PNC-3000 CAMM-3. He says that if he/we can figure out how to set the dip switches and just basically how to use it, he will sell it to the company. we cant seem to find any information on this thing. he even said he called the company and the persone he talked to didnt have any information.
HotRod wrote:

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o crap... i spelled person wrong. guess im in for a whipping
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Hatchmar,
The work you want to run dictates what machine you could/should buy. Connectors can mean a lot of things
Material, type and size? 2 axis, 2-1/2 axis, full 3 axis profiling or 4 axis? Tolerances and Finish you need to hold? Tool changer?
The answers to these questions will set the parameters for your search and our recommendations.
For an industrial table top machine milling machine without tool changer your $5,000 may be enough to buy a used machine.
For a hobbyist table top milling machine then you may be able to purchase new for your $5,000 but again it depends upon what you need.
Tom
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Hi again, thank you for your responses, the majority of the material I am using is half-hard brass (360) but i'd say about 1/3 if what i machine is different types of plastics... peek, teflon, delrin, and some other wierd things i cant pronounce. the range of sizes is from 2mm square (sometimes smaller) up to approx. 100mm max tolerances are usually +-.01mm and finish 1.6ra I have tried to explain to my boss that a tool changer is not necessary for me because most of my quantities are less than 25 pcs. she thinks that it will be bothersome to stop between every tool to replace with a new one. i tell her that i have to stop anyway on most of the plastics to remove the stringy chips but i just cant get through to her.
brewertr wrote:

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On 4 Aug 2006 18:34:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

=============This is a typical "suit" problem where the person that does't know anything about the problem or its parameters insists on making the decision because they wear a suit to work and you don't.
It is an argument that you can't win because even if you manage to get the manual tool change machine, ever time there is a problem with it [and there is always problems] it will be your fault for not getting the tool changer like they wanted you to.
However the additional cost for a machine with a tool changer may cause the "bean-counters" to intervene, especially if you can put a bug in an ear somewhere (that won't get traced back to you).
Be reminded the base machine as purchased will only be about 1/2 the total cost. Machine tools are sold "stripped," and you will need several thousands of dollars of tools/tooling up front to do productive work in a commercial environment. Home shop / hobby machinists skirt this problem by making do with less cost efficient and more time consuming techniques trading time for money, which will not be acceptible in a commercial (even protoype) environment, while they gradually accumulate tools/tooling.
What may be of considerable benefit is a "quick change" rather than automatic change tooling system that will preserve your tool lengths. Tormac makes a good system for table top systems. see: http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID$40 670$ US for the starter package. Most likely another 500$ worth of holders, collets, etc.. see: http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_search.php?critFast=tormac&B1=Product+Search The initial set of tools end mills, face mills, taps, etc. will most likely run to 1,000$ or more for the good stuff. Given the abrasive nature of many of the filled plastices, coated carbide is worth the money. Also expect to invest another 1 to 2 K$ in set up tooling and fixturing mo matter what machine you buy.
Enco has a sale on a 2 axis Rong Fu which may be of interest. Note this is a two axis only machine and the spindle was not listed (R8 required for Tormac above). see page 3 of http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPAGE?PMPAGE=/Specials/brochures.html&catalog_name=august2006&rfx_page=1
other alternatices include http://www.cncmasters.com/CNC%20Jr%20Mill.htm?kc=eukyJDEulc15zWSkscgtIzyXsXUWcXcIuJpm7bCq http://www.tormach.com/Product_PCNC_main.html [down load users manuals and othe documentation in pdf format.]
Note that for these units you must supply the windows computer.
You will also need some computer software such as a cad program.
This does not need to be the real deal autocad ($$$$$), one of the clones such as InteliCAD will be adequate. see http://www.intellicadms.com /
One important item is a good wet-or-dry shop vac with attachments to keep the chips under control.
Good luck, and try to ease into things.
Unka George (George McDuffee)
...and at the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased, and the epitaph drear: A Fool lies here, who tried to hustle the East.
Rudyard Kipling The Naulahka, ch. 5, heading (1892).
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oh- also, I need 3 axis and a 4th would be nice, but not necessary
brewertr wrote:

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On 31 Jul 2006 06:51:23 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

===========What are the details of the one thats not working? Name? Problems? Or do you just want a new one?
If you look at history you'll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.
Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 24 (1509).
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No offense, but most the regulars here have little knowledge or experience in "benchtop cnc"
Suggest maybe try < rec.crafts.metalworking > if you haven't done so already

Then what exactly is it makes you think you can perhaps get any of them to "work" ???

Take a look outside--for a longer term forecast, suggest consult your favorite weather channel...

Seriously, probly cheaper to just have someone else do the r&d for you....after that ( and if you like ), go ahead and outsource the actual production to the lowest bidder, be it in China or wherever....or do in-house...the volume /quality req's will dictate.
Best situation is to try and do nothing...except perhaps a bit of the paperwork, etc....most of which should lie in the awarding contracts and writing / cashing of checks.
--
SVL




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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It comes down to accuracy and rigidness of the machine! Most of these bench top CNC mills for 2-3 thousands or less don't have ball lead screws. We have a MaxCNC and the XYZ lead screws are only 3/8"? threaded rod, can't even hold .1 mm tolerances. For better quality and accuracy, you have to spend $5000 or more.
Here is a decent one, with ball lead screws and 17" travel on X axis. http://www.microkinetics.com/cncdmill.htm
Here is another: http://www.tormach.com/Product_PCNC_main.html
Good luck! JS
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[Taig makes a very nice little mill here in the USA, and it's just been improved with a closed loop control system. You can get a new one with the 4th axis included for well within your budget. What type of mill do you have now, and what's the problem with it?]
Andrew Werby www.computersculpture.com

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what i have been using for the prototypes is our miyano le-22 milling/turning ctrs. and a miyano TSV vert. mill. The problem is that we are doing so much r&d with so many new products that I have been constantly using these machines. this takes away from our normal production boxing hours. all i am trying to do is get 2 machines that are dedicated to new business we need a mill first, then when the time is right, ill ask for a small lathe.
Andrew Werby wrote:

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