I'm shopping VMCs in the $15-20K range for a prototyping shop. Want a toolchanger and will be working primarily in Al and 300 series stainless. I also need the option to leave the sides of the enclosure open so I can do work on one end of a long workpiece (doing small features the ends of, say, 16' long aluminum extrusions). Vertical capacity shouldn't be an issue, and relatively short X/Y travels shouldn't kill me either. I'd like a machine made in, say, the last 15 years, and should be in very good condition.
Most importantly, it can't be too heavy. I'm bringing it up a freight elevator that will top out in the 5000lb range. It also needs to be able to fit through an opening 7' wide and 7'-6" tall.
I'm currently looking at a pair of Kitamuras - a 1996 Mycenter 0 and a 1997 Mycenter 2X. They're both local (Long Island NY), which is good.
Anyone have any thoughts? Much appreciated.
I am trying to find a good deal on a fully enclosed VMC machining center with toolchanger, reasonable travels, that fits in my shop without pushing me out of it and for a REASONABLE price.. Don't fret man they are out there and I am already looking into several different types of machines. THe size really becomes the issue mostly here because most machines that can cut stainless and run like you are gonna want them to are rather large in footprint. The Kitamura machines are a good example of a smaller quality machine. MY friend has a CNC job shop locally and they have a kitamura that runs small run parts for them and they said it is dead reliable. I kinda like the fadal VMC15 but it is probably out of your size constraints. Another good option for a smaller VMC I am finding is the drilling and tapping centers from Brother. They may not be called Milling centers but many people use them for machining all manner of parts. They are usually 30 taper and you would need to take lighter cuts than say a HAAS vf3 but it will get the job done. I am still not sure what to do here so if you come up with something that fits and works well please let me know.
There is a NEW small mill option out there called the MIKINI 1610L but unfortunately it does not have a toolchanger. Good looking little mill tho. Perhaps they will come out with a toolchanger equipped small mill soon.... If they could build it well they would probably sell a bunch as I am sure we are not the only guys wanting this capability in a small package...peace