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Machine recommendations

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  • Machine recommendations

    So as I have been looking through more CNC Mills than I can count From every well known to off-brand make you could think of, and others you've never heard of. I've come to terms with what I actually would like to have now. After 2 machines slipped through my fingers, probably for the best though.

    I really only needed to meet 3 specifications. My budget is $7500.

    1. Must be able to enter a doorway that is only 84" in total height. If things can be easily removed to meet this, I am open to that.

    2. Automatic tool changer, I've realized that the majority of things I make need at least a few tools. I would really like to be able to run the machine, and get work done elsewhere without worrying about a manual tool change somewhere in the runtime.

    3. The ability to run G-Code derived from a CAM software. Featurecam, Mastercam, whatever...

    It would be nice if the machine had the ability to accept a 4th axis. Just in case in the future I did a production run of something that would be more efficiently ran with a 4th axis. This is definitely not a requirement. But it would help me decide between one machine or another if everything else was similar.

  • #2
    Obviously looking at an older machine to meet that budget, like a Fadal 4020, which at least you can get parts for. You can fit a bunch of different VMC's thru a 7' door if you remove the Z axis motor.
    They all run G-code, you just need to have a post processor for the machine.
    You didn't mention what kind of travels you are looking for?
    $7500 isn't going to get you much. If you have to have it rigged and shipped, you can spend a large part of that budget.
    Then you need to deal with 3 phase power.....
    A lot to think about here.


    • #3
      My 7500 budget is for the machine. Rigging is a charge that is pretty much unavoidable.

      I have a phase converter in the garage that runs my manual machines. I was planning to get another that would be dedicated for the CNC alone.


      • #4
        With only $7500, your best bet is probably a used VMC like the Hardinge VMC-800 IIs. I've seen them sell fully functional with ATCs for well under $10K. There were a bunch of the Hardinge VMC-800 IIs and VMC-1000 IIs that recently sold at auction in the $3k-$6k range over here in MA. If I had the space, I'd have a bunch of them

        Some of the VMC's that sold over here a few weeks ago. They were all fully functional.