My Haas VF2 spends one third of it's time engraving. It is a waste of the machine's time, but after attempting to use a mini mill, I'm still looking for an alternative to increase my production. I need 20 IPM cutting with rapids of at least 300 IPM. It needs to be able to cut these rates in 1018 and also 4130 hardened to Rockwell 32.
The table X and Y movements can be as small as 3" x 3", but to be safe 6" x 6" would be better. I'd like to find a machine with a 2 ft x 2 ft. footprint that I can mount to a heavy duty table. I can make the table solid enough and bolted to the floor so that vibration is not a problem.
The next step is that I will need an automatic parts changer that handles pieces up to 2-1/2" x 6" x .375 thick.
If anyone can point me in the right direction, any help is appreciated. I don't have time in my schedule to build from scratch, although if anyone knows of components that might work I'd consider that. If I can find a gantry style setup it would be easier to use an automated parts changer.
The spindle speed needs to be around 6000 rpm, with variable Z feedrates. I normally use a Z clearance of .1" and .025" feedplane with an entry feedrate of 10. IPM and rapid retracts.