# Thread: Diy ATC With the Tormach control

1. ## Diy ATC With the Tormach control

I know ATC has been discussed before, but I im scoping out the possibilities of DIY ATC. I am sure there are legitimate reasons for the \$4200 price tag, but If you just consider the cost of materials, It can't be that high ( around a \$1000). I mean it pretty much looks like Igus Drylin slides, an air cylinder, a stepper motor, and a fairly simple mechanism. Controlling it would be the most complicated part to me but now that Tormach has control for ATC, it seems like it could be a fairly easy thing to do considering you have a CNC mill to machine all the parts. Any thoughts?

2. Originally Posted by LazyMan
I know ATC has been discussed before, but I im scoping out the possibilities of DIY ATC. I am sure there are legitimate reasons for the \$4200 price tag, but If you just consider the cost of materials, It can't be that high ( around a \$1000). I mean it pretty much looks like Igus Drylin slides, an air cylinder, a stepper motor, and a fairly simple mechanism. Controlling it would be the most complicated part to me but now that Tormach has control for ATC, it seems like it could be a fairly easy thing to do considering you have a CNC mill to machine all the parts. Any thoughts?
The engineering, development, and prototype costs also have to be recovered if you hope to make a profit. Not to mention the cost of support and marketing.

DIY-ers don't have to worry about such things unless they are also trying to make a profit or value their time at much more than \$0.50 per hour.

Mike

3. ## The Equation

Toolchanger cost = C
Amount of money you earn per hour = M
Time to design, build, install and debug your own toolchanger = Tdiy
Cost of self-made tool changer = \$1000

If Tdiy * M + \$1000 < C, then build your own.

Once you determine that you need a tool changer, I think that you'll find that the TTC is a hell of a good deal.

Frederic

4. ## DIY ATC

Well if you need an ATC then I doubt you have time to make one, if you have time to make one then you probably don't need one.
Sorry but the reason for the ATC is to improve productivity and there is no way I would have bought one if I wasn't busy building parts with no time to figure out how to build one let alone the design time.

• LazyMan,
I think it's better just do it whether you need it or not, busy or not. Its because if you succeed, many diy to follow. Many people need it, but can not afford one.

• Hey LazyMan:

There's not a forum in existence in any language where you can post something like this and not be met with the type of replies you've received so far. Most based on assumptions without really knowing the details of your particular circumstances.

When I order my first Tormach I know I won't have enough in my budget to afford an ATC. This creates a situation where I'll either have to make one myself or do without.

Unless I win the lottery or a rich relative dies and leaves me a wad of cash, I'm not likely to shell out an additional 4K for an ATC.

In my wonderings about how I might make my own ATC I've considered an already built robotic-arm; then all I'd have to do is make a small tool tray for it to hold and program it to move into the various positions to swap out my various tools triggered by a fourth or fifth axis connection.

This is easier said than done I'm sure but, it's just one of many ways to go about making a working tool changer without having to pay the 4K plus shipping.

I wish you all the good fortune in the world with your ATC build. I hope you won't let alot of potentially intimidating and Not-So-Positive replies keep you from showing the rest of us any progress you make.

I plan to tackle this ATC thing after my machine arrives. You might be able to save me alot of effort in re-inventing that wheel if you come up with a working alternative to shelling out thousands more; as apposed to hundreds for a DIY ATC.

MetalShavings

• Hey LazyMan:

There's not a forum in existence in any language where you can post something like this and not be met with the type of replies you've received so far. Most based on assumptions without really knowing the details of your particular circumstances.
Hehe, those were my thoughts exactly. I understand what they are were trying to say though and I myself have occasionally maade those assumptions so I am not too surprised. I am planning on ordering a Tormach in a few months and would like ATC and would like to reduce my investment. I have built decent 3 axis CNC router (ball screws, supported linear rails) for quite a bit cheaper than the Tormach ATC including 3 gecko drives and miscellaneous electronics so material wise it cant be too expensive to do. Either way, I think It would be a fun project and certainly worth pursuing.

This is my inspiration for the moment, but I would probably Just use pneumatics for the transverse movement just like the tormach one.

• Hmm,

I just found this one ATC Cycle test on a Tormach Mill

It all looks very straight forward mechanically.

• I think you should go for it... However, owning the ATC, I think you are grossly over simplifying Tormach's implementation if it.

When installing, configuring and using the unit, I thought several times, how I can see why they charge what they do, and while it looks simple, the design is very complicated.

Not saying you cant get it done, just saying chances are its going to be much more work than you think it is.

David

• I think you should go for it... However, owning the ATC, I think you are grossly over simplifying Tormach's implementation if it.

When installing, configuring and using the unit, I thought several times, how I can see why they charge what they do, and while it looks simple, the design is very complicated.

Not saying you cant get it done, just saying chances are its going to be much more work than you think it is.
You are probably right, When I say its straight forward I am only referring to the mechanical aspect. I am lost at the control, but if I can purchase the Tormach ATC software plugin, or whatever it is separately for a reasonable price I will be in business.

Anyways, its all day dreaming for the moment. I Have to get the machine first.

• A simple wine rack on the end of the bed can go a long way to meeting one's tool changer needs. While this won't be suitable for all jobs, it would work well for a job that needs just a few tools and doesn't use the full table travel.

bob

• Originally Posted by LazyMan
I am lost at the control, but if I can purchase the Tormach ATC software plugin, or whatever it is separately for a reasonable price I will be in business.
You'd need to find out if the Tormach plugin controls the toolchanger "axes" directly, or if the Tormach just says "fetch me tool 6" and the toolchanger has a microcontroller built in to do the fetching...

Randy

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