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Thread: Microkinetics users???

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    Default Microkinetics users???

    I am considering a small toolroom retrofit lathe for my shop. Low quantity part production work mostly in plastics, aluminum and brass. I am looking at the Microkinetics 1236 or 1340 machine. I have a CNC mill (servos) and am concerned about accuracy and power of the steppers. Also the lack of a feedback system is of some concern. Does anyone have experience with this machine or Microkinetics in general? I have spoken with them on the phone and they seem like a good company.

    Thanks for any input...
    Sam

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    Funny you should ask; I had the same type question a few months ago, but didn't get much advice, unfortunately.

    My first and only CNC machine is a Microkinetics Benchtop mill, 3 axis, purchased as a "turnkey" system which included a computer, the software loaded, a controller, and power supply. All installed and tuned up by the vendor. I did it this way to simplify the experience as much as possible, and have to go to only one source for answers.

    Understand, this is my first and only CNC machine, and may or may not be typical. With a few classes in programming under my belt, a pretty long history of working with CAD programs such as autocad, and about 30 years of machine shop experience, I thought I'd be in good shape.

    Generally, the machine has been a real thrill to use, for all the reasons a first-timer would anticipate. However, the unit had to go back to the vendor about a week after I'd recieved it, with a badly aligned X axis motor and a screw coupling that simply wouldn't stay secured. When it was returned it had a few extra superficial blemishes, but seemed to work OK. The X axis anti-backlash nut sometimes detaches itself from it's mounting location, but I've learned to watch out for that and check it frequently. The software is servicable, though I think the grid area where you view the toolpath is a bit quirky. I bought the extended version, which means that the motor/spindle is extended a few inches, giving the machine a deeper throat; more working area. Maybe the motor drive of the Z axis works well with the standard model, but I feel that the extended versions extra reach also distributes the weight in such a way as to put more strain on the motor; consequently I've learned to program upward Z moves at conservative (12 I.P.M.) speeds. At higher speeds the motor sometimes seems to stall a bit and lose its location relative to the home position. The Y axis screw is exposed to any and all junk that spills off the machine; no covers were available, so I made my own.

    Right now I'm waiting for a reply from Microkinetics technical support; yesterday the machine started to lose the ability to follow a given tool path repeatedly. None of the previous mechanical problems I've had are evident, it may be something I can't fix, and have to go back to the vendor again. I sure hope not.

    So, as sour a note as this is, bear in mind that I don't have much background to compare it with. I haven't abused the unit, quite the contrary. I've had the machine about 4 months, and there's a bit of love/hate going on already.

    Tom



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    Tom,

    Thanks for the report. The mill I have is from MSC with Centroid control. Servos not steppers. Very nice machine. The conversational software is great if somewhat outdated. (I got a machine that was new but had been in stock quite a while)

    As for the Microkenitics stuff, your reply has bee somewhat reinforcing of my concerns about stepper vs. closed loop servo control. They have been quite helpful. Mary Ann in sales activated my demo software so I could try all the features. I have found the DXF import very interesting. Works great if you draw your file in the proper order. (I use Autocad Lite 2000 and export a ver. 12 DXF) I am planning a trip down there for a demo soon. I too, have found the software simulation to be quite qwerky in some ways. For example, if I program and then add a tool change after, the path will be drawn in a completely different area sometimes. I don't know if the machine will cut properly or not in this situation.

    I actually have a small job shop that is ran for me mostly by a friend. Speed of the machne is somewhat important although cost is still an issue. Ease of programming is important too as he is pretty good but not a CNC machinist or cad user in his former job as a police officer.

    So far the closest competetor to Microkinetics is a machine from a dealer in Pittsburg which is full survo with a Siemens 802C control. Over twice the price. Conversational programming and comes with high ratings from 1 other vendor I spoke with. Can't see it yet though as he won't have some in until January.

    If you would like to talk some more about this please email me directly. rstms_999 at hotmail.com (I used at instead of the symbol to thawart the spammers. Perhaps we could share some more info.

    Thanks,
    Sam



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    I have the 1236 lathe from them and have had no problems with it. I manufacture valves for paintball markers and have had the lathe for about 9 months now and have made about a thousand valves on it and love it.



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    MicroKinetics in general have been nothing but helpful!

    Recently we ordered a custom driverack 3-axis system from MicroKinetics. Love absolutely everything about it! Everyone within the company is friendly, and we have had zero issues.

    We built our own CNC table, and just have used their driverack for motion control.



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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all the good comments on my company: MicroKinetics. I became a cnczone member recently. Regarding the issue with the graphics, this was corrected and many enhancements added. You can download the latest update free of charge on the website.

    Maurice



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    Default MicroKinetics 1340 for sale & MN controler

    If you want to buy mine i paid $6,500.00 for it used it has the threading option tailstock stedirest the tooling i have for it i'm keeping i have close to 2k in it the lathe has issues as you can read below. it had a few hours on it when i bought it and maybe 10-150 more since i just can't take the issues no more i live in Kansas if you want it its your for $4500 because i can get a Accuturn for that price



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    Quote Originally Posted by TitaniumCannons View Post
    If you want to buy mine i paid $6,500.00 for it used it has the threading option tailstock stedirest the tooling i have for it i'm keeping i have close to 2k in it the lathe has issues as you can read below. it had a few hours on it when i bought it and maybe 10-150 more since i just can't take the issues no more i live in Kansas if you want it its your for $4500 because i can get a Accuturn for that price
    Hi

    I'm new to the CNC zone. Is your lathe still for sale?

    All the best

    Terry



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    hi im new to cnc an about a year ago i got a Tos fnk 25 with anilam crusader 2 controler with 3nm dc servos and a dolphin cad cam . so far i had all kind of problems with d controler.... !
    now im thinking to upgrade to a pc based controler , i need it to b as simple as possible to instal and run ! so far im thinking of the Microkeinetics or mach 3 or cnc masters but im still very comfiused

    please need help any sugestions ?



  10. #10

    Default Mach 3

    I use mach 3 with my shopmaster patriot. It works well for a PC based controller. How much training do you have?

    Terry



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    hi Terry thanks for replying !
    with cnc very little !!



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