I am looking for a 3-axis CNC milling machine to use for grinding knife blanks, making firearm accesories, and (after I get some metal working experience and proper licensing) making prototypes of/manufacturing firearms. I will likely use it for making tools as well. I want a machine to use for manufacturing as the business grows. I don't want a tiny or archaic machine that I will outgrow quickly, or that is so obsolete I will have compatibility issues with it.
My experience: Minimal knife making by hand, Certified Gunsmith, Firearms Instructor, Have used tools all my life and have experience repairing electronics, but no experience with milling machines or computer programming.
CAD Saftware: Bentley Power Draft XM
Looking at a Bridgeport Series 1 R2E3. Was used as a trainer at a tech school, never for manufacturing. Comes with EZ-Card File, all tooling and manuals, and added cooling tank for $5,000 (not including delivery and set-up). I believe it uses BOSS 8.
1) Is this machine a good fit? Why or why not? and what else would you recommend that should cost under $10,000?
2) Is this a fair price? If not, what would you pay?
3) About how long will it take to be making basic parts? How long of a learning curve do these machines have?
4) Are their compatibility issues between BOSS 8 and Power Draft XM? How hard are they to resolve? What are your solutions?
5) Do you have any other advice that would help a novice?
Very old technology is the BOSS 8. Servo motors. I was installing these back in 1984.
You would be better off with a EZTRAK. Conversational control but will also run G and M codes. Can be used as a manual mill as well. Technology that is at a minimum 10 years younger and support can be had. Wish I had one. had a BOSS 9 long ago. Would not have another. And at the time I worked for Bridgeport.
Unknown CAM package. I will let someone else answer that. Boss 8 is worth 2 grand tops.
(Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)