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Tormach have announced the PCNC440 - new mill

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  • Tormach have announced the PCNC440 - new mill

    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.

  • #2
    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.
    George
    Traverse City, MI

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sun God View Post
      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.
      "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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      • #4
        the 440 looks an awful lot like the Sieg KX3 I got to play with a few years back. Dimensions are very close.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by justanengineer View Post
          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
          .

          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Axkiker View Post
              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.
              Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Axkiker View Post
                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.

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                • #9
                  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.



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

                  Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                  • #10
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      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...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John Stevenson View Post
                        Wake me up when it happens, do with a looooooong nap
                        Me Too ! Great company !
                        Toolznthings

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            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.
                            Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by John Stevenson View Post




                              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.



                              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.
                              I just need one more tool,just one!

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