Whats your budget?
I am looking for a turn-key benchtop CNC mill or small footprint CNC mill. My immediate need is to mill some holes and slots in small 1" x 2" ABS electronic enclosures. This is for a small production run of around 100-150 units.
Down the road, I plan on using it for other things like woodworking and prototype PCBs.
What machines would be good to start looking at? I am currently considering the Taig CNC.
Whats your budget?
You should really take your time and reseach these small lathes for that price range there are tons of machines look at things like weight oof the machine size of the steppers does it have ballscrews. the check on who has them and how they like their machine. you are in the right price range for a good small machine new.
any of them will be able to go upstairs in that price range some a little harder but the weight of the machine will be much better durring cutting for stuff like vibration problems and better cut finishes.
The taig will do what you want. You can get the machine, a computer, software and tooling for under $2500.
If you are going to be working with plastic and wood and occasionally some aluminum you might be better off with one of the nicer aluminum chassis quality router tables. Widgetmaster makes some nice ones as do others and they are pretty cool. Some of them have quite a bit of travels for a small desktop machine which is nice. If you need to cut steels tho you are gonna hafta look at a mill of some sort. The taig is a very nice little mill and would work fine if it fits your travel requirements. For 3-4K you could also get a seig machine that would be pretty nice as well. There are a lot of cool things you can do with a quality router table and you can cut at pretty good speeds too on some of them.
If you like the Taig mill you should check out Saunixcomp's channel on youtube, he now has a tormach mill but he did a lot of videos about his Taig that were pretty cool. Lets you see what can be done on it. These little mills are nice but their travels are small as they are so make sure whatever you are making will work with your machine. A lot of guys seem to like the BF20 machines altho they are quite a bit bigger than the taig and you would have to make the retrofit yourself. YOu can buy a turnkey taig for a pretty low price and if that is what you want there are a lot of happy customers with them. Good luck man and peace
Thanks Pete, that makes a lot of sense. The Tormach stuff looks really nice and a good value for what you get, I just don't have a place for a machine this large. I've heard of people cutting harder steel on a Taig, I just wouldn't expect very high feed rates.
For the other machines you mentioned BF20, Sieg, etc. It looks like the only way that these are available as CNCs are through the various kit vendors. This sounds like fun if you come out ahead with a better machine, but I just need something that I can plug in and learn how to use due to time constraints.
For the computer, any chance I'd be able to use something in a mini ITX form factor?
As long as it has a parallel port(assuming you won't go usb) and a p4/athlonxp or greater then no problems.
I goofed and said Seig instead of Syil. They make the X4 standard model that is like in the 4k range.... there is also the LMS 3501 in your price range. Both of these are turnkey mills not retrofits( not that I feel that matters really). For $4k you should be able to get a decent quality benchtop CNC mill. Again look at the things you intend to make and figure out your necessary travels and accuracy requirements and choose from there.. Good luck.. peace