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View Full Version : Tormach have announced the PCNC440 - new mill



Sun God
09-23-2015, 09:37 AM
http://www.tormach.com/product-pcnc-440.html

After the presale period, $5k for the machine alone. Thoughts? Will this get more CNC machines in home shops?

Personally I'm underwhelmed. It's only $1800 cheaper than the PCNC770. And still seems awfully expensive for what it is. But hey, got to give them credit for trying.

George Bulliss
09-23-2015, 09:43 AM
I saw one in use last week and it looked pretty sweet to me. I'm thinking the size will be more of selling point than the price. If you need to get it into your basement, it's a lot easier machine to move. Looks to have the same type of assembly as the other mills but I was told it comes apart and goes back together much easier, and the assembly/dis-assembly of the others always struck me as pretty simple. Don't think I could get a 770 into my tiny shop, but I could probably come up with a way to squeeze this one in.

justanengineer
09-23-2015, 10:22 AM
Personally I'm underwhelmed. It's only $1800 cheaper than the PCNC770. And still seems awfully expensive for what it is. But hey, got to give them credit for trying.

My thoughts exactly. ~$5k should be the price for a minimally tooled 1100, not for this lil guy.

I'm still predicting their demise when someone builds a <$10k 1100 sized, real VMC of decent quality.

kf2qd
09-23-2015, 02:39 PM
the 440 looks an awful lot like the Sieg KX3 I got to play with a few years back. Dimensions are very close.

John Stevenson
09-23-2015, 04:12 PM
My thoughts exactly. ~$5k should be the price for a minimally tooled 1100, not for this lil guy.

I'm still predicting their demise when someone builds a <$10k 1100 sized, real VMC of decent quality.

Wake me up when it happens, do with a looooooong nap

Axkiker
09-23-2015, 04:27 PM
So I know very little about Tormach so maybe this question doesnt make sense. Ive always wondered why someone would go with a Tormach instead of retrofitting a full sized mill with CNC capabilities.

There seem to be plenty of used descent mills in the 2500 range and I cant imagine the parts to retrofit being over 2500. At the end of the day you would be at the same cost but have a much larger more capable mill

Like I said I know nothing about Tormach or CNC for that matter so I may be way off base.

Doc Nickel
09-23-2015, 04:58 PM
At the end of the day you would be at the same cost but have a much larger more capable mill[.]

-This is the part that trips up most production-oriented machinists. Not everyone wants, needs, or has the room for, a 'full-size' mill.

Part of the popularity of the desktop 3D printers is specifically the fact that it, a computer and a few tools all fit comfortably on a small desktop. People are experimenting with them, not aiming to put them into mass production of aerospace parts.

Personally, while I have a decently-sized shop, it's not that big, and already full of machines. I absolutely do NOT have the room for another "full size" machine- let alone one with a full cabinet like a VMC, let alone one where I'd have to be able to access the backside of the machine. (The 'machine room' of the shop is long but very thin.)

Even Tormach's 1100 would be tricky to stuff in here, and I'd likely have to sell or scrap something else to do so.

Also keep in mind that many- perhaps most- potential buyers of a "home shop" CNC like anything in Tormach's line, are working on small items. Custom knifemakers, gunsmiths, people making parts for bicycles, even the guys that make those aforementioned 3D printers- I've seen a lot of them using Taig and Sherline CNC machines to make parts for them.

Speaking personally again, I make parts for paintball guns. A "big" piece might be 8" square, while many of them are under 2" square.

The there's shipping. The shipping weight on that Tormach is something like 1,300 lb, crated, for the full-options machine with the enclosure. A typical CNC knee mill is easily twice that, and a true VMC could be four or five times that.

Might not be a big issue with you guys that live right next door to whoever's selling the mill, but for those of us that will have to have something shipped three or four thousand miles, it's a selling point. (Seattle is something like 2,800 road miles from here.)

Doc.

Lu47Dan
09-23-2015, 05:10 PM
So I know very little about Tormach so maybe this question doesnt make sense. Ive always wondered why someone would go with a Tormach instead of retrofitting a full sized mill with CNC capabilities.

There seem to be plenty of used descent mills in the 2500 range and I cant imagine the parts to retrofit being over 2500. At the end of the day you would be at the same cost but have a much larger more capable mill

Like I said I know nothing about Tormach or CNC for that matter so I may be way off base.

A retrofit kit with ballscrews and a control panel will run around $3000+, I have a Kondia CNC that I want to install a new panel on, but the money is not there as of now.
New is good, when you are just getting into CNC.
Dan.

John Stevenson
09-23-2015, 05:14 PM
Where Tormach score as do some of the other manufacturers is they are turnkey.

Not everyone has the skills, time or inclination to do a retrofit. Many just want to unpack it, plug it in and get working.

I have literally a shed full of dead CNC's, bought from schools and colleges when they broke or bought new. These are ideal to convert to say Mach3 as they have ball-screws fitted etc but they languish here as the time is just not available at the moment.

OTOH I shipped an ex demo KX3 up to Gert MKII ™ and it was fitted in her kitchen and working that same weekend. Since then It's been fitted with a second high speed spindle for second opp work and it's doing even better work.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/debs%20KX3_1.jpg

If Debs had pulled one of the ex college machines out it still would not have been done at this stage.

kf2qd
09-23-2015, 05:36 PM
A small shop making hobby parts - I am thinking of parts for RC cars and planes would probably be better served by a couple small machines - able to make multiple parts at the same time, and because the product cost is not all that high it is hard to justify a single machine costing $25,000 or more. the only way you might ever make any money is if the price of the machine is still up there when you quit. Smaller machines can be profitable at lower income levels.

The KX3 I played with a couple years ago would be a great machine for making RC car and plane parts. Not a huge market, but someone with a bit of imagination could make a go of it.

shawnspeed
09-23-2015, 08:41 PM
As far as a retrofit, on say a J head BP....By the time you buy the ball screws to retro fit ...and the software...and the servos...and while you are at it , you may as well have the machine scraped & re gibbed, to hold the good tolerances you are expecting...I would think you would be in the 10-12K range....not including the original purchase price...I looked at retro fitting my J2 , with a Proto Trax....I think the kit was 10K....But that was a few years ago...

TOOLZNTHINGS
09-23-2015, 08:44 PM
Wake me up when it happens, do with a looooooong nap

Me Too ! Great company !

garyhlucas
09-23-2015, 09:02 PM
I'm going to take a look at it on Saturday at MakerFaire. I'll give you guys a better rundown afterwards. I built my own small CNC and the cost was far higher than I anticipated despite the great deals I got on a lot of the parts, not to mention all the hours it took to do. I have all Tormach tooling and it works well and is priced right. If I go to sell I will probably take a real hosing on it, as it is 'shopbuilt' though it looks quite professional. I think Tormach knows exactly what they are doing, and no one will be cleaning their clock any time soon. You'll notice they dropped Mach 3 and did their own Linux CNC. That drops their cost quite a bit too. Also Mach 4 has been an unmitigated flustercluck. It was shown two years ago and still isn't anywhere near ready for prime time.

Spin Doctor
09-23-2015, 09:07 PM
Myself I really wonder just what the cost of 12 linear bearings and the required length of rail is. Small machine, dovetail ways. Just how long before apreciable (sp) wear begins to build especially on the x axis. I have to look again but what is the lube system? A manual one shot? IMO on a machine like this the lube system needs to automatic. Every x amount of time the system cycles as well as cycling once the control is powered up. At least they are solid mounting the head to the z axis slide.

wierdscience
09-23-2015, 11:14 PM
OTOH I shipped an ex demo KX3 up to Gert MKII ™ and it was fitted in her kitchen and working that same weekend. Since then It's been fitted with a second high speed spindle for second opp work and it's doing even better work.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/debs%20KX3_1.jpg

If Debs had pulled one of the ex college machines out it still would not have been done at this stage.

How well will those spindles handle steel if running small carbide endmills?I've been seeing the larger ones on Ebay,ER25 sized collet and the price looks to be coming down to around the $650 mark.

JoeFin
09-23-2015, 11:40 PM
I guess I was fortunate

for $6500 I scored a used Hurco MHP with an ungraded Dynapath 50 control system. I simply turned it on and started running parts with it about 4 yrs ago and never looked back.



http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa83/Freakindj/CB7007.jpg

John Stevenson
09-24-2015, 05:15 AM
Doing your own conversion takes an inordinate amount of time. Fine if you have the time and are doing it for yourself and the advantage is you then understand your machine.
But to do it to sell is a ball breaker. Everyone works out what it costs in materials, screws, motors, drivers etc then severely underestimates the time taken.

But no one ever reckons support into the equation. Seeing as we are talking about Tormach we'll go that way. They have a very good reputation and that has been built on service and support, just how much of the purchase price this equates to only they know but it will be higher than most think.

I know how much it costs Sieg as I do worldwide support for them on the KX machines.

Got only knows what Fanuc, Haas and the rest put aside. That's why there will never be a 10K machine. When in China last year I was looking at VMC's and believe me, direct from the factory they are cheap but even these will never be 10K.

Joe Finn did OK with what he got but there will never be enough of these machines to support demand and especially not in the area you live - sods law.

As regards the high speed spindles doing steel with small cutters then I can't comment. I only use them for engraving but seeing as the cutters are tiny and the chip load is very low because of the size of cutter then I can't see a problem. We probably put more load on with larger cutters in brass and alloy that a tiny cutter could take in steel ?

boslab
09-24-2015, 09:06 AM
I bought 4 fanuc robodrills for the works, they came with 12 months support, anything more was either a contract or charged, charged was very pricy, even getting someone there was 1200 per day, and that was discounted as I was buying 4, we got a better deal with HAAS, ordered 2 VF8s and got 2 years support thrown in free, mind the catenary cable under the table failed on one after a month, hell of a pile of wires to splice and heat shrink gluey connectors, it rubbed on the table rear ****plate, amazing, I could fix them but I still don't have a clue how to program!, learning this G spot code eludes me at the moment, time of life I suppose
I like the tormech, it's big enough to do some useful work but not like the VMCs if seen, the robodrills were 30k each if I remember, ok they can remove a serious amount of metal, so much that if you didn't buy the chip conveyer you wish you had as it's a real expensive retrofit surprisingly.
I'd buy a tormech in a heartbeat if finances improved, maybe after the money pit is finished!
Between the lot of us I don't think we have enough life left to try all the things we want to!, most men waste 1/4 of it or more chasing skirts, worst thing is we waste the best bit!
Jhon I showed the missus the photo of a mill in the kitchen and told her that's what you want, she thought it was the ugliest coffee maker shed seen, where's the chrome, she was joking btw
Mark

RB211
09-24-2015, 09:07 AM
I think the last thing I would ever do is CNC my Bridgeport, as then I would HAVE TO get it re-scraped, rebuilt. Much more appealing buying a Tormach. If it has to take lighter cuts, and more passes, so be it, I am not the one turning the wheels for hours. Cabinet with flood coolant, I'd imagine the cutters last a bit longer too. Besides, are ANY knee mills really adequate for CNC work, as in, the knee elevation mechanism?
What I would really like is a Tormach with NO support, no software, just the hardware ready to go, the rest I can do myself on the cheap.

Sun God
09-24-2015, 11:07 AM
Myself I really wonder just what the cost of 12 linear bearings and the required length of rail is. Small machine, dovetail ways. Just how long before apreciable (sp) wear begins to build especially on the x axis. I have to look again but what is the lube system? A manual one shot? IMO on a machine like this the lube system needs to automatic. Every x amount of time the system cycles as well as cycling once the control is powered up. At least they are solid mounting the head to the z axis slide.

For a small sized VMC like the OP machine, using ridgy-didge Hiwin components, about $600 at retail prices if you shop around. I'm pretty sure the Tormach's run on Turcite type bearing pads though.

The larger Tormach machines are also available factory fitted with an automatic oiler. Either way if the machine is already plumbed for a one shot I can't imagine it would be too hard to make your own automatic oiler for a total-loss system. Just an Ardweeno and a peristaltic pump operating at low volume.


Between the lot of us I don't think we have enough life left to try all the things we want to!, most men waste 1/4 of it or more chasing skirts, worst thing is we waste the best bit!

Speak for yourself, I never waste any skirt.

And yeah those Robodrill's (and the Brother Speedio) machines are brilliant. If I had the cash and the space one would be very, very high on my shopping list.

tmarks11
09-24-2015, 07:10 PM
My thoughts exactly. ~$5k should be the price for a minimally tooled 1100, not for this lil guy.
I'm still predicting their demise when someone builds a <$10k 1100 sized, real VMC of decent quality.

Then go into business and sell them for that much. My guess is that you will quickly drive yourself out of business. It is the indirect costs of doing business that drive the cost up, the things the guy selling one-offs out of his garage thinks shouldn't be charged because he can do it cheaper.

A CNC mill without dedicated support quickly finds itself without customers. These aren't really plug-and-pray devices. Go stalk the Syil forum on the zone and see how well their cut-rate sales approach with no after-market support (except for the occasionally poorly translate forum post) has done for them.

Toolguy
09-24-2015, 07:26 PM
I beg to differ. A lot of them are plug and pray!:p

JoeFin
09-24-2015, 09:58 PM
Really what your buying is the operating system

A lot of folks tried but the time-sharing quality of Microsoft shows the reason why these guys moved to a Linux based OS A professional quality machine operating system will have anticipations subroutines running simultaneously to keep the tool path true and accurate as well as be able to translate a variety of formats

It's a lot more then just driving servo circuits

garyhlucas
09-24-2015, 11:59 PM
To be sure there ARE some good deals out there. We just bought a 1997 Servo 5000 bed mill (weighs 5,000 lb, 40"X 20"Y 21-1/2"Z) for $6500. Controller was said to be dead. I figured we could fix it or replace. It had about 100 actual run hrs on it. Came with a full 10" 4th axis and an 8" 6 jaw chuck that had never been used. Also included 23 cat 40 tool holders, six with Jacobs Super Chucks, and a Nikken milling chuck with collets from 1/8" to 1-1/4". When we got it to our shop and hooked up all the cables everything works perfectly! Is this a score?

garyhlucas
09-25-2015, 12:04 AM
About those ball slides. I saw some 18" travel THK ball slides with ball screws on them. Guy was asking $600 each, about half I think of new. He let me have all 4 for $1200. Still a lot of money but as you can see building a new machine with ball slides would not be cheap. I kept the 4th one as a spare in case I do something really stupid!

John Stevenson
09-25-2015, 04:58 AM
Really what your buying is the operating system

A lot of folks tried but the time-sharing quality of Microsoft shows the reason why these guys moved to a Linux based OS A professional quality machine operating system will have anticipations subroutines running simultaneously to keep the tool path true and accurate as well as be able to translate a variety of formats

It's a lot more then just driving servo circuits

Many commercial controller run under Windows, the difference being they run with an add on motion control card that does all the real time stuff. Even Fanuc has windows based controllers.

It's only the hobbyist, trying to keep costs down that stick with just the operating system be it Linux or Windows.

Tormach in my book have made a good move in that they have took an open source system, Linux in this case and with their skills and money have converted it into a closed source system.

Linux has been round for 10 years ? mainstream but in all this time they have not moved it on one iota as regards catering to machinists as opposed to what the geek writers want.
It still cannot jog away, change a broken tool, reset the offsets and start from here. You have to go back to line one.

Also the trajectory planner is badly broken. Steve Blackmore in the UK has made a video of Mach running a code and then Linux running the same code.
Linux is slower and you can hear the difference in the lookahead.
I do believe that Tormach's guys have fixed this but not certain.

Main thing is Tormach, with PathPilot, now has a controller with a set of usable screens and not something thrown together by a geek on acid.

If I have to take exception with anything they have done it is the way they stabbed Mach3 in the back in their white paper. Having siad that just been back and it has been edited to take some of the sting out but they did basically say it was lacking in many ways and Mach4 was that far in the future it was untenable [ which I do agree with ]. Having said this they were happy to hang their hat and reputation on the Mach3 peg for 10 years.

But the sincerest form of credit they have done for Mach3 is to base their screens on the M3 layout.

Said it before and will repeat it again, until Linux has WORKABLE screens it will not go anywhere but that is also a problem with open source software, who does the work and who pays ? Tormach has done their work and it's now proprietary.

MrSleepy
09-25-2015, 06:06 AM
Go stalk the Syil forum on the zone and see how well their cut-rate sales approach with no after-market support (except for the occasionally poorly translate forum post) has done for them.

I have a Syil X3 ... bought it ten yrs ago for the equivalent of $1600.

I have only ever had one issue (after 2 years).. the power supply needed replacing as it was causing weird step dropout patterns as the supply current limited/crowbarred itself.

I contacted Syil and they identifed the issue.... and sent me a new power supply FOC..

The X3 came with a CD containing all the data sheets for the components they had used ,and all wiring diagrams.

I was under no illusion that the X3 was anything more than a modified Sieg and kit of parts , but I'm glad I got it.

Rob

Sparky_NY
09-25-2015, 07:10 AM
Many commercial controller run under Windows, the difference being they run with an add on motion control card that does all the real time stuff. Even Fanuc has windows based controllers.

It's only the hobbyist, trying to keep costs down that stick with just the operating system be it Linux or Windows.

Tormach in my book have made a good move in that they have took an open source system, Linux in this case and with their skills and money have converted it into a closed source system.

Linux has been round for 10 years ? mainstream but in all this time they have not moved it on one iota as regards catering to machinists as opposed to what the geek writers want.
It still cannot jog away, change a broken tool, reset the offsets and start from here. You have to go back to line one.

Also the trajectory planner is badly broken. Steve Blackmore in the UK has made a video of Mach running a code and then Linux running the same code.
Linux is slower and you can hear the difference in the lookahead.
I do believe that Tormach's guys have fixed this but not certain.

Main thing is Tormach, with PathPilot, now has a controller with a set of usable screens and not something thrown together by a geek on acid.

If I have to take exception with anything they have done it is the way they stabbed Mach3 in the back in their white paper. Having siad that just been back and it has been edited to take some of the sting out but they did basically say it was lacking in many ways and Mach4 was that far in the future it was untenable [ which I do agree with ]. Having said this they were happy to hang their hat and reputation on the Mach3 peg for 10 years.

But the sincerest form of credit they have done for Mach3 is to base their screens on the M3 layout.

Said it before and will repeat it again, until Linux has WORKABLE screens it will not go anywhere but that is also a problem with open source software, who does the work and who pays ? Tormach has done their work and it's now proprietary.

Although a lot of the OP used to be true, that is no longer the case for many of the statements. Tormach did do their work, with help from the linuxcnc community, and the result is NOT proprietary ! Fact is many things, like the new trajectory planner is now in the latest releases of linuxcnc. You can order the entire pathfinder backup disk from tormach, which has been done, and use it on any linuxcnc machine with minor changes to suit the hardware differences. Its part of the open source agreement. The linuxcnc forum has a lot of threads about the developing of the tormach modifications and them being shared with the public.

I used mach 3 for years and am very familiar with it. I switched to linuxcnc when I retrofitted a lathe. Mach is horrible on a lathe, no working constant surface speed (per forum post w/brian), horrible threading ( I personally was involved with the attempt with Art to fix this a few years ago), not to mention the random software funnies mach has been plagued with forever. The countless problems of Mach3 on a lathe is no doubt why Tormach went over to linuxcnc, just as I did.

I am with Tormach, moved on to linuxcnc and never looked back or had a single regret.

John Stevenson
09-25-2015, 07:35 AM
Although a lot of the OP used to be true, that is no longer the case for many of the statements. Tormach did do their work, with help from the linuxcnc community, and the result is NOT proprietary ! Fact is many things, like the new trajectory planner is now in the latest releases of linuxcnc. You can order the entire pathfinder backup disk from tormach, which has been done, and use it on any linuxcnc machine with minor changes to suit the hardware differences. Its part of the open source agreement. The linuxcnc forum has a lot of threads about the developing of the tormach modifications and them being shared with the public.

I used mach 3 for years and am very familiar with it. I switched to linuxcnc when I retrofitted a lathe. Mach is horrible on a lathe, no working constant surface speed (per forum post w/brian), horrible threading ( I personally was involved with the attempt with Art to fix this a few years ago), not to mention the random software funnies mach has been plagued with forever. The countless problems of Mach3 on a lathe is no doubt why Tormach went over to linuxcnc, just as I did.

I am with Tormach, moved on to linuxcnc and never looked back or had a single regret.

I do stand corrected and was going on old information.
However just been on Tormach's site and the only reference to upgrading path Pilot states it's only available to Tormach machine owners.

I also presume you will need the plug in board [ Galill ? ] that Tormach use ?

I do agree Mach lathe isn't great. I have also worked with Art on threading but the single pulse just isn't good enough on smaller machines.

Sparky_NY
09-25-2015, 08:07 AM
I do stand corrected and was going on old information.
However just been on Tormach's site and the only reference to upgrading path Pilot states it's only available to Tormach machine owners.

I also presume you will need the plug in board [ Galill ? ] that Tormach use ?

I do agree Mach lathe isn't great. I have also worked with Art on threading but the single pulse just isn't good enough on smaller machines.

The tormach uses mesa boards for hardware interface (5i25 / 7i77). Mesa hardware is fantastic ! Support is great ! You actually can talk to the designer of the boards or get a reply extremely fast from him. Its night and day compared to the smoothstepper I used with mach. (as a note, the above mesa board combo sells for $250)

Just as Mach needs to have its config setup for a particular machines hardware configuration, so does pathpilot or linuxcnc. Pathpilot is pre-configured for tormach machines naturally but its parameters are easily changed for other machines. Make no mistake, pathpilot is really nothing more than linuxcnc with a custom screenset, nothing magic, there does not need to be.

Unfortunately, linuxcnc is more difficult to learn at first. With the kind of power it has naturally comes more complexity. How about a variable diameter, variable pitch thread, accurate and repeatable ? No problem.

skunkworks
09-25-2015, 08:58 AM
Tormach is actually just using the 5i25 (replaces the printer port - actually has 2 printer ports worth of i/o) $89 (and the pci-e version 6i25) and is noted above - you can buy daughter boards that make the expansion almost unlimtied.

sam

Sparky_NY
09-25-2015, 05:57 PM
Tormach is actually just using the 5i25 (replaces the printer port - actually has 2 printer ports worth of i/o) $89 (and the pci-e version 6i25) and is noted above - you can buy daughter boards that make the expansion almost unlimtied.

sam

Yes, Sam, I seen that later. I just assumed they also used the 7i76 board. I bet they are using a standard mach-type breakout board with the 5i25 which is a pretty cool, and cheap, way to go for them.

justanengineer
09-25-2015, 10:05 PM
Then go into business and sell them for that much. My guess is that you will quickly drive yourself out of business. It is the indirect costs of doing business that drive the cost up, the things the guy selling one-offs out of his garage thinks shouldn't be charged because he can do it cheaper.


Never know, I just might. Realistically, we're not talking about a huge business that needs to provide instantaneous support of high end products, this is a small business with low-volumes, building low-cost machines, and that offers little support. Their many paid/sponsored minions online will beg to differ otherwise, but like the non-retirees I know who own these, I work 50-60 hour weeks at my day job and think their support hours royally suck for those who try to justify them as a hobby-business purpose.

I went through a paper cost study at lunch a year or so ago with a former Hurco employee bc I've seriously been wanting to build my own for a few years now and wanted feedback on how far off I was. Our best guesstimate was to build a basic PC controlled 1100 sized VMC for ~$8500 with tool changer and all control hardware aside from the PC itself. Its in the range I'd hoped for, but having just gotten married, still paying the house another few years, and life in general - justifying that much on a hobby machine that I wont have other engineers nitpicking constantly for months to ensure success is rather difficult.

justanengineer
09-25-2015, 10:09 PM
A lot of folks tried but the time-sharing quality of Microsoft shows the reason why these guys moved to a Linux based OS A professional quality machine operating system will have anticipations subroutines running simultaneously to keep the tool path true and accurate as well as be able to translate a variety of formats


I'm rather curious as to what Mazak does on the Windows-based Matrix controls, must be some way of getting around the Windows issues and drip-feeding the machine on the cheap. A few guys at a to-remain-unnamed supplier have been guilty of watching Netflix and surfing facebook while running parts.

MikeHenry
09-26-2015, 12:35 PM
My thoughts exactly. ~$5k should be the price for a minimally tooled 1100, not for this lil guy.

I'm still predicting their demise when someone builds a <$10k 1100 sized, real VMC of decent quality.

Feel free to design and build that machine and put them out of business.

lakeside53
09-26-2015, 12:44 PM
I'm rather curious as to what Mazak does on the Windows-based Matrix controls, must be some way of getting around the Windows issues and drip-feeding the machine on the cheap. A few guys at a to-remain-unnamed supplier have been guilty of watching Netflix and surfing facebook while running parts.

You don't have to use windows for the motion control. Even with Mach 3, you can send the real time stuff to an inexpensive off board controller. Many example out here; I even have one.

Opps.. EDIT : I see Sir John talked about this a page or two back..lol

garyhlucas
09-26-2015, 03:42 PM
Art from Mach 3 recently explained that motion boards that work with Mach 3 like the one in my machine don't actually do all the heavy lifting. Mach 3 doesn't send G-code to the motion boards.

dan s
09-27-2015, 04:12 PM
So I know very little about Tormach so maybe this question doesnt make sense. Ive always wondered why someone would go with a Tormach instead of retrofitting a full sized mill with CNC capabilities.

There seem to be plenty of used descent mills in the 2500 range and I cant imagine the parts to retrofit being over 2500. At the end of the day you would be at the same cost but have a much larger more capable mill

Like I said I know nothing about Tormach or CNC for that matter so I may be way off base.

What I think many people on this thread are missing, is the time element. A lot of people that are buying Tormachs because they are "essentially" ready to go out of the box. To them, the Tormach is just a tool to support a different hobby like, R/C toys, gunsmithing, motorsports, etc. They aren't interested in being machinists, or having the best/cheapest machines possible, or the challenge of building a machine.