Well it's final, Yes the loan that I've been waiting on so patiently has been approved.
So my next question/s is, I'm looking at the Basic PCNC Package II and was wondering what else would I need exactly ?
- 2 Ton hoist
- Silicone for the proper flood seal
- Mounting kit, but which one (123 blocks, threaded rods, etc..) ? I can't seem to find one on there website
- 12 pack of beer jk
I was also wanting to know if the computer was really worth the price, or should I just try and find a computer on sale at some store like Circuit city, Best buy, etc... ?
I own a laptop with the current software I'm using, and works out very well. So the only computer I would need is the controller computer and that's it.
Now as for Cad/Cam software, what should I do ? Someone said something about it coming with it, but I don't see this anywhere.... I'm not going to have much money left over after the machine, so I'm looking for something in the $200.00 - $300.00 range (Cad-Cam) ?
I'm using a few free programs at the moment Emachineshop.com software and CamBam. Which I love because they're very easy to learn and have great forum support.
Can I still use these programs or does Mach 3 not work very well with them ?
Thanks again guys !! Can't wait
Wanting to make my purchase tomorrow, so please if there's anything you can think of.....
i found e-machine shop to be very easy to use. so easy it is the only program i can even figure out. i have used it a few times to draw a part and export it as a dxf to sheet cam. it will work. sheetcam has been working good for me on 2-1/2d parts which is about all i have done so far. it is in your price range.
i have a few enco imported clamp sets that work ok. i would recommend at least one set to start with. get at least one set of 123 blocks to start. i have one set and think i am going to order a couple more shortly.
i had a local shop put together a computer for me with windows xp. i couldn't find one with windows at the big electronic stores. i am not a computer guy so i can't really tell you if there is any advantages to getting the tormach computer vs. buying/building your own.
Thanks, any links to the enco sets ?
As for the computer, yea I'm a bit stuck at the moment. The only reason I would buy what they tell me is because of the whole setup thing with making sure you mill is in correct movement.
Meaning if I have a move on the X axis at 0.004, then the endmill should be right at 0.004, not at .002 and so on.
As for any other products needed, can you think of any ?
Congratulations. Now hopefully everything is in stock and the process doesn't drag out with the "waiting game".
For a control computer, the best thing is to simply repurpose a machine you have lying around. Of course, that doesn't work if you don't have anything lying around. I didn't have anything lying around but I did know someone who did and I bought the machine from him for $50. The control computer doesn't have to be very powerful (i.e., can be an older /slower machine) -- as long as it is clean and tuned up (from a software standpoint). The Tormach computer certainly costs more than what you can get on your own, but it is cleaned up, ready to go, and guaranteed to work. If you buy one from Circuit City, Best Buy, a friend, etc. be prepared to spend some time cleaning the machine up -- uninstalling all the junk they put on there. Best thing is to install a fresh copy of Windows from scratch and without all the bundled garbage. Ultimately it boils down to how much your time is worth and how comfortable you are with computers. You might even be able to use your laptop for a little while (not recommended for long term) but certainly worth a try if you have nothing else at the moment.
For hold down kits, I purchased mine from J&L (http://www.jlindustrial.com/TGTEC-12...D/product.html). Made in the USA and obviously more expensive than the import sets, but higher fit and finish and doesn't smell like gasoline :-). I don't believe in skimping on the small things, but that is me. The mill is just the tip of the iceberg from a cost standpoint so get used to browsing the various tool websites (J&L, KBC Tools, Enco, etc.).
Mach3 and the Tormach work with standard G-Code so they can handle the output of any CAM program really. The main issue being whether the CAM package has a post processor that will work with the Tormach (or whether they let you write your own and you know what you are doing). The Tormach comes with a "demo" copy of Sheetcam (full version is only $180) that is limited to producing 100 lines of G-Code (if I remember correctly) so it is only useful for checking out/playing around. I would say stick with what is working for you now and upgrade later if you find out you need something different. The CAD/CAM prices on Tormach's site are for anyone who has bought a machine. In other words, you don't have to buy at the same time as the machine to get those prices so no hurry to decide.
I just bought a dell from their outlet and let me tell you I run solidworks,bobcad and mach3 to my tormach all at the same time with no problems at all. Plus I have a 3 year next day at your house warrenty. I got all the upgrades and paid 503.00 I went with XP pro
Well now that shipping prices have gone up, this exceeded my loan. So I'm now looking into the $50.00 - $175.00 range. However if you say my current software will work fine with Mach 3, then I'll just stick with that for now.
Anyone out there using Emachineshop.com & Cambam with Mach 3 ???
congrats on your new buy,
I really enjoy my machine so far. A pallet jack might be helpful. I had to put the machine stand on some wood blocks, so the engine lift legs could roll under the stand for final mill placement. The lifting bar was also helpful for keeping the mill balanced. The mill is quite a load for a engine lift , but can be done, just take your time. Once I had the mill on the base I used the pallet jack to lift it off those blocks and back down to the adjustable feet. The pallet jack is also helpful for final placement.
Got the pallet jack, just need the engine hoist. I'm looking at the 2 ton harbor freight hoist, looks to be enough. I have almost everything setup, but I'm not pushing the button until the software issue is resolved.
That's the last thing I need is to have a machine and no software to run it. I'm not trying to be cheap, but I have limits. I'd rather have a great machine and not have to worry about upgrading this or modifying that for better performance. I need something that is reliable period.
So anyone using Cambam or Emachineshop with your Mach 3 ???
Thanks for the help
Anyone please feel free to add anything you might think I'll need to get started.
you don't need any cad/cam to run it. if you learn g-code you can make lots of things. most of my parts have been manually programmed. if cambam will accept dxf files like i would assume it would, you should be able to export a dxf from emachinehsop and use it.
even with a cam program, you should learn g-code so you can interpret it. i am still learning it but with my book i can program just about anything i have needed so far. what may take an experienced cnc machinist an hour to write the code may take me a day or two though.
Yes I've took the time to learn the basics manually, but the kind of parts I'm making are way to complex for me to program them manually. I believe you're right, the programs should work.
Any new parts to show off ???