Today at work I was kicking around the idea of buying a small benchtop mill capable of engraving and making small molds in aluminum, plastic and maybe steel. I work with larger Haas vf series mills at work but have never worked with the smaller benchtop machines. Last week I programmed and machined 4 very small molds that almost looked funny being held by the massive vice and cut with a large spindle, which is what led me to thinking, hey maybe I could buy one. I'm guessing $10-20k for something new that has maybe 10" of travel. How about used? I'm very comfortable with Solidworks and Mastercam X software and Haas controls, keeping that it mind, what machine brands should I look into or not consider? I've been told there are a few controls very similar to a haas. All the mini haas machines are too big and have full enclusures. I would love a full enclusure but I don't think it is in the budget. Lastly a machine without a display that you could plug in a laptop to use as a display would be ideal and cost effective.
Thanks for any help,
Last edited by parsson; 08-30-2011 at 12:29 PM. Reason: ment as a private message
Thanks parsson for the suggestion. I will continue to research the website.
No other suggestions?
How about the Benchman MX? The engineering department at my school owns one. I believe it is out of my price range, but figured I'd see if anyone had good or bad to say about it.
If I had the money I'd probably buy a Syil X4. New is under 5k
Syil America X4 Standard CNC Mill | Bench top CNC | Bench top Mill | Used CNC milling machines | CNC Mills
Now we are getting somewhere, both the torchmate and the syil look really good. Neither show a auto tool changer, but I read the torchmate does have the option. I will spend some more time this weekend looking at each machine.
If anyone else has other suggestions feel free to post.
I'm really liking the Syil x4, other than its reputation for support. The tormach 770 I like as well, but might be a little large. Does anyone know if a Fanuc control is compatable with either? If not Is there an available post processor capable of going from mastercam x to a mach 3 control? What is the general concenses with the mach 3 control? Is it anything like a Haas or Fanuc?
Well after watching all the videos and reading everything I can find, I really like the tormach. I just have to figure out where I would put it...minor detail. Everyone who own ones seems to love them, the only negative I could find were non owners claiming most would out grow the machines capacity and the spindle was underpowered. I figure if that happens I should have the funds to upgrade. Any way, are there any common places on the internet for used cnc machines, other than ebay and the classified section here and on practical machinist? I figure If I can find a used machine in good condition I could justify spending a little more on tooling.
Thanks again for everyones suggestions