View Full Version : simplycnc maxi mill for gunsmithing

K Battenbough
08-14-2005, 02:43 PM
Hi folks, im new to cnc machining and am in the process of setting up a gunsmithing business.I was wondering if anyone has had any experiances with the maximill from these guys:- www.simplycnc.com and knows if it would be up to making rifle parts ie:- the helical cocking cam on the bolt, and the bolt head, etc ?
Many thanks

08-14-2005, 05:18 PM
Sieg X3 mill.. good machine, but I have always found it difficult to justify the price for their CNC converted machine, considering the manual machine can be bought in the UK for £800. You could convert one yourself for a great deal less.

K Battenbough
08-15-2005, 01:29 PM
Thanks for your reply longrat, do you know who sells sieg x3 mills and if you can buy them already converted to cnc, im just looking for a machine that can produce the above said parts (ill try to attach pics) without paying a fortune for it.

08-15-2005, 03:32 PM
I'm sure those parts could be made on an X3 with the appropriate equipment. The main UK source for the X3, and the cheapest that I know of, is Arc Euro Trade (http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/). I think some other places may also be selling them on but not sure. If you just need a system running ASAP, I guess the simplycnc setup is not bad, but you could buy the machine for £800 and set it up with big steppers or servos, Gecko drives etc and some decent cam software for considerably less. You might want to do a search and look out for Wabeco machines, I have seen these set up for cnc ready to go for about £4k I think. Beautiful machines, nicer quality than the chinese stuff, good as they are. I think they may be sold by a company called Pro Machine Tools in the UK.

K Battenbough
08-15-2005, 04:09 PM
Just looked at the cnc mills from wabeco and they look pretty good, are you sure youve seen them priced for around 4K, i cant find a price guide anywhere.That seems reasonabley priced to me, although i would need the 4th axis rotary table aswell.

08-15-2005, 04:25 PM
Hi there,

I've just been looking at the SimplyCNC machines and there are a few things that I don't particularly like (but it's not all negative). The biggest 'issue' for me would be that it is only the quill that is CNC driven - I would much prefer the whole head moving up and down. It also sounds like the cheaper version doesn't have ballscrews (although I may be wrong - there isn't much detail on the site). If it doesn't have ballscrews, then I would avoid it. It's OK on the smaller machines, but on a machine that size, you want ballscrews (unless you are willing to accept poor tolerances).

A few months ago there was an article in model Engineer's Workshop about converting the Sieg X3 to CNC. It can be downloaded from the Arc Euro Trade website. The guy who did that did it for about £2000 including the machine. His conversion also used ballscrews. That price didn't include software, but something like TurboCNC or Mach2/3 is very reasonable.

You should probably find out a bit more about the SimplyCNC machines from SimplyCNC, as I'm sure they could give you more detail on how they have done their conversion.


08-15-2005, 04:25 PM
I can't be sure on the 4k, I was told that by the guy who was demonstrating one at a show in London. Seeing them in action first hand, it is clear they are a cut above the rest.

08-15-2005, 04:29 PM
On a side note. Nice to see some countries in the UK haven't taken all the guns away! :D

K Battenbough
08-16-2005, 01:59 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys, i shall do abit more probing around and see what ill come up with, although im starting to have my doubts about a benchtop mill and might have to take a look at the bridgeports interacts, :( its amazing how once you start looking into something it can snowball into something else

08-17-2005, 01:25 AM
Not sure if there is a distributor in the UK but they're made in .de so I suspect it could be had. As a price point looking at the U.S. dist at the bottom line of the CNC ready to go mills it is about £4k ($7390 USD). See www.mdaprecision.com for more info on Wabeco in English. Although I've not bought a mill yet I've done quite a bit of looking first hand (at the importers here in Tokyo) and came to the conclusion the Chinese mills just wouldn't cut it for accuracy without extensive rework which in the end costs just as much as a Wabeco would. Also on the MDA precision site there is a link to GOLmatic machines - aparently there is some connection between these machines and a gun manufacturer. Personally though I'd be darn leary of loading a live round in anything made at home though hehehe.....

08-17-2005, 12:27 PM
Here is the link to what appears to be the UK distributor of Wabeco machines.

08-23-2005, 12:12 PM
K Battenbough
Kevin, I am having my MicroMark MicroLux Milling Machine #82573 converted to CNC. The machine is a SIEG X2. You are interested in a SIEG X3. KDN Tool & Automation Engineering Co is doing my conversion ( www.kdntool.com and kdntool@cox.net ). I mention this because they specialize in SIEG milling machine conversions, and build CNC mills from the bottoms up. They also are very flexible in listening to customer requirements, proposing solutions, and implementing them - all for a very reasonable price. I could not afford a conversion to CNC if it were not for KDN Tool. But you may ask what is the quality. Well the features available are so many, that I have purchased, that I can not elaborate on them all. So here are a few:
Zero backlash ball screws
Lubrication of the steel ways for all 3 axis - one shot pump
Optical limit and home switches
Various price point and torque stepper motors from different manufacturers
Inclusion of DeskCNC board into stepper motor driver electronics
Conversion from stock gear drive to belt drive taking the stock 2,500 rpm to 9,600 rpm
Bison ER-32 collet chuck system for tool bit holding
Solid state relay box to run collant pump, and optical limit switches
Incorporation of rpm tachometer and digital readout from Little Machine Shop
4th rotational axis
Working with my CAD CAM software author to insure that there is no G-code dialect problem with DeskCNC
Precision alignment of entire mechanical system
Upgrade stepper motor driver electronics to Geckos

I will not mention the price because it is related to the options you choose. You may purchase the mechanical subassemblies, electronics, and motors and assemble them your self. By the way they have shipped CNC conversions throughout the world. I mention all of this because I knew nothing about CNC conversions a few months ago. It seemed that the more I researched the subject the less I knew. So I started to research manufacturers of complete CNC desk top milling machines, but I learned that I could not afford any of their products. Well a fellow sent me a message, on a forum and told me that he was having his machine converted by KDN Tool. I looked into it, e-mailed them many times asking questions, reviewed their quotes, added more features, and I'll have my converted machine this Saturday. Hope this helped.


K Battenbough
08-23-2005, 01:40 PM
Thanks for the advice whelen, Ive sent them an e-mail and await their reply :cheers:

MDA Precision
11-05-2007, 10:13 AM
I am the US dealer of the WABECO, GOLmatic and Prazi line.
The WABECO and the GOLmatic are both great machines. The GOLmatic I call the Ferrari and the WABECO the Mercedes (there is nothing better out there than the GOLmatic...the WABECO gets close).

Our CNC version is much more powerfull than the original factory version and less expensive. The factory specs are max.100mm/min (about 40"/min). The MDA version con go up to 6000mm/min (240"/min) depending on the choice of motors and controller.

M. Menig
MDA Precision

11-05-2007, 02:18 PM

Have you seen this machine http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Syil-Super-X3-CNC-Milling-Machine-with-4th-Axis_W0QQitemZ320178918499QQihZ011QQcategoryZ12584QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem ?

I have bought from this seller and can say with confidence his serves is second to none.


Robin Hewitt
11-05-2007, 02:28 PM
starting to have my doubts about a benchtop mill and might have to take a look at the bridgeports interacts,

Chalk and cheese, cleverness is no real substitute for a massive amount of iron.

You can fit high precision ball screws to a bench mill but if the whole thing flexes 0.1mm when tool tip meets steel you won't feel the benefit. The only real test is to put a dial test indicator between chuck and bed, then heave on it and see how far it moves :)

To do those spiral grooves I think you may need an extra axis.

11-06-2007, 10:30 AM
the machine @ simplycnc is not an x3 but a machine like mine wich is similar to a vario bf-20 that is sold in germany under the optimum brand the z axis on this machine is not on the quill but on the z axis itself but from what i can see they kept the pinion system for the z movement wich is sad since the machine comes with an opening on top that can permit the use of a ratio or direct connection system here are some picture to compare
http://www.simplycnc.com/image/wm16.gif - http://www.weiss.com.cn/pic2/wmd20v.jpg
one thing they call it the wm16 if infact this cnc mill is build around the wmd16v then its work enveloppe is closer to a x2 then a x3 if not then the wmd20v falls in between the x3 and the super x3 in my own opinion the only down side as some would state is that it uses mt2 instead of r8 but if you do not intend on upgrading to a bigger machine then mt2 adapter offer plenty of capacity and they are not that hard to get.

edit: ok after looking at there brochure i have noticed that it is the 20 and not the 16 and it comes with the 20lv table wich gives you in the conventional form around 18 inches of travel on the x axis
i also noticed someone in this thread pointing to the fact that its not equipped with ball screw this is a huge no no for a cnc and you should avoid any small cnc that is not equipped with ball screw unless you dont care about precision or repetability wich i guess is not the case since you intend on using it for gunsmithing

here is the thread (http://cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39377) of when i got my wsm20v