First I looked at getting a Taig 2027ER(from nick), then the MicroMill DSLS 3000 from microproto(just another taig with closed loop), and the CNC Super X3 from Syil.
Cost isn't really an issue as long as it's around $3000(under is nice). The biggest problem with choosing is waiting for it. I'm just home for under 2 months for the summer. I wanted to get something pretty fast to have some time to play with it before I have to start class up. I do intend to pay the mill visits every weekend as I would only have class 2 days out of the week. Ok so going on.
Nick says 4 to 8 weeks
Microproto says 4 weeks
Syil says 20 days to build and 25 days to ship
Before anything else. Which is the best machine? The Taig is proven to be a great machine and I haven't heard anything about microprotos closed system. I asked them about it and they say it can exceed feedrates of 60 IPM while the 2027 can only do about 30. Since the Super X3 is somewhat new I'm not sure if I want to just jump into that. Shipping the darn thing scares me also.
I'm tempted to just buy a taig off ebay but they pretty much go for what they cost new and I'm usually not too thrilled about the controllers.
What do I do? I don't know which one to choose. Which one would be worth the wait. etc. Advice very much appriciated.
Maybe I could build one instead. I'm up for anything.
I would get the X3. The rule is, get the biggest machine you can. For 3k, the taig is definitely not it. I have not found any pictures comparing the X3 vs a Taig, but It is much larger. Consider the weight
Something like 85 pounds for a Taig, vs 353lbs is what the Grizzly manual said about my X3.
So it will be a much more capable machine, I am very pleased with my X3.
Oh, it would be possible to get an X3 from Grizzly, and CNC it yourself if you wanted. I think theres a few kits that will mechanically put it all together for you, bolt on. Then you can buy a kit that will have all the electronics, there are plenty available. Or you could make the mechanical part yourself since you have the mill at your disposal.
I would go with the Taig cnc ready setup with the er16 spindle.
You would proly have it in 2 weeks plus you get a 2 yr waranty.
All though the taig is small and portable you can still make good size pcs with it.
As far as controller go with Xylotex they have a 4-axis setup with steppers.
The X3 seems like a big machine to start with your going to have weight issues.
The extra money you save will be needed for tooling and a bunch of other stuff.
I'm aligned with the idea of purchasing a mill for conversion. I will try to point out a few reasons below.
As has been mentioned getting the biggest mill you can afford is a good idea. Unless you are very sure that your interest are limted to micro machining. That extra capacity can make the difference, especially if you start to bolt on fixture plates or other special items. You do however have a size limitation based on your college lifestyle at the moment. In other words moving a big mill around a lot can be a pain in more ways than one. Generally the bigger the mill the better off you are at leaving it in one place setup.
Going the retro fit route gets you into Milling right away. That is assuming one can be found on the shelf someplace. A retro fit done yourself can be done at your leasure. If you take your time sourcing part you can save big dollars finding the required parts on E-Bay and at Ham fests and such. The savings can be significant over buying new. Of course this puts actual CNC operation off a bit in the future in exchange for cash.
Do the conversion yourself and you get exactly what you want. Or at least something that operates up to the limitations of the machine.
It is the limitation of the imported machineries cast iron that is the greatest deterent to the do it yourself approach. Expect that rework and adjustment will be required.
The other thing with the DIY approach is that you can build a solid CNC controller and have it available for future upgrades. If not that then you will have learned a great deal.
I dont think the X3 is the machine that is too big to start with, its still not that large. Its a medium sized bench mill.
Wizard gives good reasons I agree with. Outside of anything else, you will learn a great deal CNCing.
If you made the stuff yourself, it may or may not be faster than ordering a Super X3 from Syil. Depends on how much time you have, and if you can order everything at once. If you just bought the CNCfusion kit and some electrical setup kit, it would certainly be faster.
That is the correct link to the X3. On a side note, Grizzly's service is superb. I placed my order on a wednesday evening, by thursday afternoon it was shipped. At this point its out of their hands anyways, but New Penn motor Freight had it to my door in 3 business days. Had I have ordered it monday, It would be at my house by Friday. And their tech help has knowledgable folks.
THe Xylotex should work, as long as you get hte ballscrew kit. You could use hte machine itself to make all the hardware necessary for a conversion.
The Super X3 has a few extra things going for it, most of which are useless for CNC operation.
It has a tapping function, useless for CNC operation.
It has a more powerful motor rated at 1kw, it is probably not 1kw though.
Tachometer, so the spindle RPM is displayed.
The head rotates 180 degrees, probably useless for CNC operation.
The thing I really like is the head casting, the motor is inside the head casting. The normal X3 has the motor sitting to a side. THis is cosmetic though, I just htink it looks neater.
The conversion from Syil is plug and play, all assembled and tested for you. Time is worth something also. From the pictures, it looks like Syil did a very good job with the conversion. Of course Ronny has not gotten it yet, so I can only make this assumption by what I saw and everybody else saw in the thread.
Yeah I realize Syil does a very clean conversion. I would love to get one of thier mills but doing the conversion myself would be something I'd enjoy. Also the wait would eat me up because I have the time to do it myself.
I apoligize for my stupidity...I said I wouldn't have access to a mill...forgot about the grizzly...lol
I was thinking to not get the Xylotex drive box but instead to just get the 4 Axis System Kit which runs $425. I could just do the casing and setup myself.