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View Full Version : ANYONE OWN A MIKINI MECHATRONICS 1610L?



ruawake
06-12-2009, 01:22 PM
Hope to hear some feedback on this new machine from some owners.

Brains
06-12-2009, 10:10 PM
I would also like to hear from someone who has one, I have tried to contact Mikini heaps of times, only ever get a recorded message, no human has ever answered the phone, it worries me about the after sales service & the availability of spares should the need arise.

Tormach may end up being the machine of my choice, they always answer their phone & can speak to technical department no problems, but would love to get some remarks about the Mikini before I make my decision, they make some pretty huge statements about repeatability & accuracy, would be great if someone who has one to back the claims

All I will be doing is manufacturing components out of Aluminium, mostly 2D and some 3D stuff will come into play as well.

Look forward to some replies or opinions

Cheers

Brains

MIKINI MECH
06-14-2009, 02:49 AM
Hi,

Sorry to hear you have not been able to get through. We are on the phone with customers every day. If you don't get through, we are likely on the other line. Leave us a message or send us an email and we'll get back to you within the same business day. We are happy to answer any questions, and help you decide if our machine is a good fit for your application.

Regards

Mikini Mechatronics
831.254.2012

dynamotive
08-23-2009, 07:51 PM
I visited Mikini, in Watsonville, to look at the 1610L. Phil gave me about an hour and a half lecture on the machine. I’m no expert on CNC machines, but it looks very good, and it seems like they are making a serious effort to produce a quality product. I guess you could say that the machine looks like a scaled-down Hass mini-VMC, and like that machine, it uses linear bearing ways for speed and accuracy, and a Z-axis drive instead of a spindle (which means you get the full 16” Z travel). Phil said that the mill provides about 80% of the Haas’ capability for less than half the price. I watched him machine a steel plate with a carbide mill, and it buzzed right through it, no problem. The enclosure is very nice-looking, and the whole machine looks very good. The whole base, right down to the floor, is cast iron, which seems like it makes the machine much more rigid. It weighs 2,000 pounds, which makes shipping somewhat easier, and it can run off of a 20-amp 220 single-phase outlet. As a matter of fact, with the right plug, you can plug it into the dryer socket in your garage. It has a three horsepower tooth-belt drive motor, which seems like plenty to me. The motor has a special controller, so spindle speed programming should be easy.

The base machine doesn’t come with a CNC controller. What it has is a ‘controller’ with a 4-axis display (XYZA) on the front and a pendant which allows you to use it in manual mode. All you have to do is add a computer and (the recommended) Mach 3, and you’re ready for CNC. Your LCD monitor sits on top of the enclosure, and there’s a shelf for the keyboard. As an option, you can buy an ‘integrated controller’, which uses (he said) an industrial-quality mini-ITX motherboard. It fits in the back, all ready to go. The base machine uses steppers, and it comes with three stepper drivers which look very much like Gecko drives. There’s a place to connect the fourth one, of course. I said to him, what happens if you disappear? Can these drives be replaced with Gecko drives? He said, very easily. Since the machine in general doesn’t seem terribly complex, keeping it going shouldn’t be a problem. Servos are available as an option, although the steppers are undoubtedly just fine.

I asked him about the 4th axis rotary table, which is something I’m very interested in. He said that they are planning on offering it as an option, but the problem is providing something that is accurate enough at a reasonable price. Regular rotary tables just don’t cut it in angular rotation accuracy, because the worm is inherently sloppy. They have been experimenting with a special 6” Phase II rotary table, with some sort of better worm drive, and he said it should be available soon.

To me, the machine looks like an attempt to create a low-cost VMC that uses as many non-proprietary elements as possible, but which still has fairly high standards of speed, accuracy and rigidity. He said they use their own stepper drives instead of Geckos because the Geckos just weren’t consistent enough. Tool changers are not on the menu at the moment, so if you have a shop, and you need to churn out parts, get a Haas. But, if you want a nice-looking enclosed machine that can do some fairly serious cutting, and will easily fit in your garage, this looks like a pretty good thing. I’m seriously considering getting one, but first I have to make room in my garage for it.

Incidentally, I asked Phil how they got into this. It’s the old story. They needed to do a bunch of machining, and a machine shop quote brought them up short. They looked around for some kind of CNC machine to get, and eventually got a small one that proved totally inadequate. At some point, somebody said “Hey! We can do way better than that!” Now they have a couple of facilities in China. The assembly building in Watsonville is not in an industrial park, it’s on a kind of back road, but inside it are three or four machines being assembled, all spoken for, I gathered. Phil said waiting time on orders right now is about four weeks. I asked him how many machines they have sold, and he said “I can’t tell you that.” Can’t, or won’t? He also does not offer referrals, saying “We don’t ask our customers to sell our machines for us.” An understandable attitude, considering that they would have no control over what the customer said or did, but it seems that sales will be slower until enough of these machines get out into the world so that you don’t have to go to Watsonville to see one.

Brains
09-03-2009, 09:56 PM
That's great that you have visited Mikini, but I still need to at least see video's of the machine in action cutting parts out of Aluminium at least, I have read many posts of other forum members asking the same & Mikini themselves have replied that the video clips are on the way, but I have never seen any & if I am wrong please someone direct me to where I can view them.

Tormach gave me a list of clients in Australia which have their machines, I have contacted each one of them & I must say they all stated the after sales service and assistance was outstanding, no one bagged the product even the ones that had some issues with the spindle speed not being maintained right out of the box said Tormach was quick to send out the components top rectify the problem, you see I am worried about purchasing something which I still to date have never heard from an owner, then when you stated that they will not forward any clients details over so they can be contacted, it makes me very worried in thinking that they may not have any clients at all to date, the claims they make sound great but I need to be ensured by some owners or somthing that the claims are correct & not just sales pitch, I live on the other side of the world & its a huge decision for me, & I need to get it right, Im actually getting to the point now that the Tormach is the safest decision to make.

Anyway just my thoughts on it all

MIKINI MECH
09-21-2009, 07:46 PM
YouTube - Mikini CNC VMC Multi Application review 1610L Vertical machining center

YouTube - Mikini cnc 1610L - VMC 2.5 profile Press Die in 4140 hard steel

YouTube - HARD MILLING Mikini 1610L CNC VMC HARD Milling a HSS END MILL

YouTube - Mikini 1610L CNC machining center - Circular interpolating in 1045 carbon steel

YouTube - PRECISION CNC circular interpolation 1045 HIGH CARBON steel 2.500" BORE Mikini 1610L

YouTube - HIGH MRR CNC Aluminum machining 6061 T6 - Mikini 1610L CNC VMC - Material removal rate

YouTube - Mikini 1610L CNC Machining center VMC hog Slotting aircraft aluminum 6061 T6


Compare the Mikini 1610L to the Tormach PCNC 1100 and a HAAS Mini Mill
for use in a small business

http://www.mikinimech.com/dare%20to%20compare%20mikini.pdf

For direct comparison take a look at these 2 clips:

YouTube - Cutting 1" bar of 6061 Aluminum - Tormach CNC Application

YouTube - Mikini 1610L CNC Machining center VMC hog Slotting aircraft aluminum 6061 T6

mechie
09-30-2009, 05:51 PM
I've only had time to set it up and play around with it a little bit, but I can vouch it is a legitimate machine and it comes from a legitimate company. Phil has been very responsive to any issues I've had, and even made a small customization for my garage's wiring situation. If you want precision, it takes two clicks on the jog pendant before it moves .0001" in any axis. The machine looks very stout and is trussed for stiffness as advertised. I am a mechanical design engineer, and I peppered Phil with questions before I bought the mill; they did their homework when designing this thing: the table is scraped, not ground, the casting is both artificially and naturally aged, all axis are independently controlled, etc. I was looking to buy a Tormach before, and I think Tormach makes a good product if you don't need the precision, but I would rather have the ability to cut my own higher tolerance parts as opposed to having them sent out.

ruawake
10-01-2009, 12:11 PM
Would really like to hear how the Mikini mills some ss with some large tooling.

Thanks,
RU

howecnc
10-09-2009, 03:48 PM
I should have one in a week or two and plan on doing a comparison to the tormach machine I also own. The post I put up will be in the benchtop forum.

Smolder
10-10-2009, 05:56 PM
I've had a great series of email exchanges with Phil, and in each, heh has answered each and every one of my questions quickly, and fully.

I had been considering the Tormach, but the lack of a high-speed spindle option (and no, that bolt-on engraver doesn't count), keeps it off my list. Phil says the Mikini will soon have a 20K+ spindle option, which will enable me to mill my small prototype injection molds much each more easily than I do with my little Taig.

As soon as he has the new spindle ready to view, I'll be flying down to take a look and I'll post my thoughts here, once I do.

fillupc
10-15-2009, 03:45 PM
Ordered two of these machines at the beginning of this week. I will keep all of you posted as to my experience with the company and the machines. Actually, one is for me and the other for my Dad. So far, my only complaint would be time to ship. This may just be me. I am very impatient to receive my purchases following payment. Also, I need the equipment asap to mill some parts for other equipment that is currently at a stand still.

Wish me luck!

ruawake
10-16-2009, 03:59 PM
I think we all are waiting for a really serious comparison between the Tormach, and the Mikini, would also like to see industrial hobby's mill in this comparison. They seem to be roughly the same price, give a thousand or 3.

aussiedude
10-19-2009, 04:57 AM
Im the proud owner of a new Mikini 1610, its amazing, way better then most other small units. I wanted a "propper machine", not a converted mill drill which i have done a few of and never quite been happy with.

from the full torque DC spindle drive rather than am ac vfd to the linear bearings and ball screws on the axis instead pof standard ways etc this is always a few steps up from the competition. the dedicated control screen for manual mode is also a great help and the enclosure , oiler and flood system are all superb. When i added up all the extra $$ for the tormach bits and pieces and even then it didnt offer everything that the 1610 did it was a no brainer.
hope that helps.
Edit/Delete Message

roberto123
01-22-2010, 10:42 PM
I am just about to order oneof these machines, Phil has answered all my e-mails. I will post everything about my machine, I hope it is going to be great.

gerwent
03-18-2010, 06:05 AM
Hope to hear some feedback on this new machine from some owners.

Hi Ruwake,

I'd be happy to talk to you about my Mikini. 1610, I purchased it late Dec 2009 and recieved it early January 2010. So far so good It seems to be a really nice Machine. I've been getting great support from Mikini as needed.
I'm in Eastern Mass and would be happy to have anyone come by to see it and I'd be happy to answer any question you have about the machine.

roberto123
03-25-2010, 12:46 AM
I ordered a Mikini on 12/Feb/2010 I am still waiting to see it in real action, just like fillupc.
Now I'm wondering how to make the G-Code using MC9, has anyone done it?.

mechie
03-25-2010, 12:40 PM
I ordered a Mikini on 12/Feb/2010 I am still waiting to see it in real action, just like fillupc.
Now I'm wondering how to make the G-Code using MC9, has anyone done it?.

If you use the Mach 3 software that came with your mill (if you bought that option) you can generate G-code to run the mill after a few minutes of reading the software guide. Last time I checked, MasterCAM itself cost significantly more than the mill, so you may have a hard time finding users on this forum.

roberto123
03-29-2010, 03:02 AM
I read somewhere mastercam is about $4.5K, that is really expensive. I think the Mikini controller has K-cam already installed and ready to be used. I am still waiting to recieve my mill, damn!

TheMillMan
01-15-2016, 04:52 PM
I visited Mikini, in Watsonville, to look at the 1610L. Phil gave me about an hour and a half lecture on the machine. I’m no expert on CNC machines, but it looks very good, and it seems like they are making a serious effort to produce a quality product. I guess you could say that the machine looks like a scaled-down Hass mini-VMC, and like that machine, it uses linear bearing ways for speed and accuracy, and a Z-axis drive instead of a spindle (which means you get the full 16” Z travel). Phil said that the mill provides about 80% of the Haas’ capability for less than half the price. I watched him machine a steel plate with a carbide mill, and it buzzed right through it, no problem. The enclosure is very nice-looking, and the whole machine looks very good. The whole base, right down to the floor, is cast iron, which seems like it makes the machine much more rigid. It weighs 2,000 pounds, which makes shipping somewhat easier, and it can run off of a 20-amp 220 single-phase outlet. As a matter of fact, with the right plug, you can plug it into the dryer socket in your garage. It has a three horsepower tooth-belt drive motor, which seems like plenty to me. The motor has a special controller, so spindle speed programming should be easy.

The base machine doesn’t come with a CNC controller. What it has is a ‘controller’ with a 4-axis display (XYZA) on the front and a pendant which allows you to use it in manual mode. All you have to do is add a computer and (the recommended) Mach 3, and you’re ready for CNC. Your LCD monitor sits on top of the enclosure, and there’s a shelf for the keyboard. As an option, you can buy an ‘integrated controller’, which uses (he said) an industrial-quality mini-ITX motherboard. It fits in the back, all ready to go. The base machine uses steppers, and it comes with three stepper drivers which look very much like Gecko drives. There’s a place to connect the fourth one, of course. I said to him, what happens if you disappear? Can these drives be replaced with Gecko drives? He said, very easily. Since the machine in general doesn’t seem terribly complex, keeping it going shouldn’t be a problem. Servos are available as an option, although the steppers are undoubtedly just fine.

I asked him about the 4th axis rotary table, which is something I’m very interested in. He said that they are planning on offering it as an option, but the problem is providing something that is accurate enough at a reasonable price. Regular rotary tables just don’t cut it in angular rotation accuracy, because the worm is inherently sloppy. They have been experimenting with a special 6” Phase II rotary table, with some sort of better worm drive, and he said it should be available soon.

To me, the machine looks like an attempt to create a low-cost VMC that uses as many non-proprietary elements as possible, but which still has fairly high standards of speed, accuracy and rigidity. He said they use their own stepper drives instead of Geckos because the Geckos just weren’t consistent enough. Tool changers are not on the menu at the moment, so if you have a shop, and you need to churn out parts, get a Haas. But, if you want a nice-looking enclosed machine that can do some fairly serious cutting, and will easily fit in your garage, this looks like a pretty good thing. I’m seriously considering getting one, but first I have to make room in my garage for it.

Incidentally, I asked Phil how they got into this. It’s the old story. They needed to do a bunch of machining, and a machine shop quote brought them up short. They looked around for some kind of CNC machine to get, and eventually got a small one that proved totally inadequate. At some point, somebody said “Hey! We can do way better than that!” Now they have a couple of facilities in China. The assembly building in Watsonville is not in an industrial park, it’s on a kind of back road, but inside it are three or four machines being assembled, all spoken for, I gathered. Phil said waiting time on orders right now is about four weeks. I asked him how many machines they have sold, and he said “I can’t tell you that.” Can’t, or won’t? He also does not offer referrals, saying “We don’t ask our customers to sell our machines for us.” An understandable attitude, considering that they would have no control over what the customer said or did, but it seems that sales will be slower until enough of these machines get out into the world so that you don’t have to go to Watsonville to see one.


I cant find the company on the internet, are they still in business?

MichaelHenry
01-15-2016, 05:30 PM
I think that they just quietly folded up some time ago. I don't own one myself, but the Mikini owners here seem to be a helpful lot if you have questions about your own Mikini.

TheMillMan
01-15-2016, 07:14 PM
I think that they just quietly folded up some time ago. I don't own one myself, but the Mikini owners here seem to be a helpful lot if you have questions about your own Mikini.

Looks like i may go with a tormach, or a used DT-1 Haas if i can find one.

MichaelHenry
01-18-2016, 07:35 PM
Well, I do have a Tormach mill and, recently, a lathe. There are lots of helpful owners over on the Tormach forum and probably the Haas forum as well.

mcphill
01-22-2016, 12:50 PM
Mikini is indeed out of business. The machine mechanicals it was based on have been revived by the original Chinese designer, and is selling under the SkyFire brand. You can find a LONG thread about the development of that machine in this forum. I believe he has now shipped several machines to the US market.

donwhit123
01-18-2017, 11:23 AM
I have a Mikini 1610. When I got it the coupler was loose on the x axis drive and also on the z axis drive. While fixing the z axis I looked at the top of the ball screw. It looked like someone had driven the ball screw into the bearing by using a hammer and cold chisel.
I got this machine running and the spindle drive quit after very little use. I shipped back to Phil who said it was my fault and charged me $1000 to replace it even though it was still supposedly under warranty. Lately I was machining some wood and at the end of the program when the spindle stopped I heard a loud pop. A trace was burned through on the spindle drive board and also a transformer burned out. The spindle and drive are junk. It had very little torque at any speed.
I am replacing it with a Hitachi VFD and a 1 HP Marathon 3 phase motor. I built an adapter plate for the new motor an bored out the old motor pulley, pressed in a plug and re-bored and keyed it to fit the new motor.
I am using an Arduino to measure the pulse width modulated signal to the old drive and converting to a frequency to control the new motor speed. Also I built a little logic board to convert the FWD, REV signals to operate 2 relays connected to the VFD.
I am using an 0-10VDC signal from the VFD to measure load. I convert 0-10VFC to 0-5VDC on the little board with a voltage divider and run that to the volt meter on the Mikini operator panel. I think the new motor will give me more power and torque at any speed compared to the DC version that came with the machine. I am limiting the overspeed on the motor to about 1800 RPM + 20%.
I thought about using a permanent magnet motor, but was unable to find an economical method of control.
I think this could have been a good mill and had successful sales if Mikini in CA would have done a better job of quality control, not blamed the customers for the faults of the machine and most importantly, found a better spindle drive.
I would have bought a Tormach but at that time they did not have a machine with as much travel as the Mikini.

spumco
02-11-2017, 01:55 AM
donwhit123,

I just finished overhauling my Mikini completely. The only things left in it are the steppers, stepper drives, and toroidal PS.

If you need/want any OEM Mikini parts, please feel free to PM me. The spindle motor, drive, control panel, BOB, computer, ect. are all available and were working when pulled. I also have a C23 BOB from CNC4PC that's unused if you decide to gut all the OEM stuff.

-Spumco

donwhit123
02-11-2017, 07:56 PM
I finally milled some steel today with my modified spindle drive.
I made some changes to the original design.
I am now using an Arduino Mega board with 2 additional boards.
1 x Mega protoshield for Arduino[ID:192] = $14.95
1 x Relay Shield for Photon[ID:3051] = $30.00
I soldered a connector onto the protoshield for ground, forward, reverse and 10 milli HZ pulse width modulated speed control (green, orange, red and purple).
The protoshield piggy backs onto the Arduino. I do the logic in the Arduino for outputting signals to 2 relay shield relays which run the VFD in forward or reverse.
I use the Arduino PulseIn function to measure the high pulse of the PWM signal and use that to control a timer to output a 5 volt square wave frequency.
the square wave connects to an input pin of a SN7406 open collector hex inverter chip. The corresponding output pin gets pulled up to 24 volts from the Hitachi VFD.
This 24 volt square wave connects to an input on the VFD which controls its drive frequency and thus the motor RPM.
Also the VFD outputs a 0-10 VDC which can represent spindle load. I divide that voltage by 2 on the protoshield and connect the resulting 0-5 VDC to the meter on the Mikini control.
I forgot to mention that I sharpen up the I/O signals to and from the Arduino using a schmitt trigger hex inverter (probably not necessary.)
The drive motor is a 1 HP, 3 phase Marathon motor. Single phase power to the Hitachi VFD runs through a line reactor and output from the VFD runs through another line reactor connected to the motor. I also have braking resistors connected to the VFD.
The end result is that the Mikini controls work exactly as before. Speed is controlled very exactly and power is adequate for the machine. I am limiting speeds to between 375 and 3000 RPM, so the speed read out on the Mikini display will not be correct from 200 to 375 RPM nor from 3000 to 5000 RPM.
I forgot to mention I am using CNC Linux on a PC with a parallel port for running programs.