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Thread: Some basic questions...

  1. #1
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    Default Some basic questions...

    Hello, I am a CNC "virgin" and am looking at buying a milling center for a specific application, plus general machining.
    A machine is made to suit the "specific" application so I know the physical size of the machine I need plus what add-ons I require, but its way to expensive for what it is.... plus I know from talking to others that the actual software supplied with the machine is not great and is application "specific".... meaning that general machining is not really catered for.
    I have done some homework on G & M programming, which doesn't faze me too much and the operations I need to do are not that complex and mainly involves probe measuring engine blocks and heads, remembering where bore centers are etc etc.... to correct any existing errors when machining.

    My problem is with the vast numbers of machines out there and am currently looking at used machines to try and save me some dollars...
    What would be the average life-span of a mill before requiring re-manufacturing... I realize it probably depends on the type of work its been doing, but generally.... i.e 2000hrs, 4000hrs, 8000 ???

    Is a ball bar test, an adequate test to find wear issues?

    There are many different types of controllers as well - is there any to be avoided? ......maybe too complicated for a beginner to use? ....... maybe too limited or basic ?

    I know I need a good 4th axis table and was told by people (who should know) to get a Nikken due to their accuracy and small backlash. I stumbled across one which was virtually new and very attractive price wise..... so I brought it. The "bad" thing is has a DC servo motor (most machines appear to have AC motors?) but was told its relatively simple to change to a AC motor. Did I make a mistake or is that correct??

    Sorry about the nature of the questions but am alittle "green" on the subject and am not learning fast enough..... so any advice or comments on the subject of what to look for/avoid when buying a used mill would be much appreciated.

    Thank you...

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    Default Re: Some basic questions...

    Hello and good luck with your CNC venture.
    CNC mills last a very long time, many built around 1990 are still in full operation with out any major overhauls.
    Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea machines are usually reliable, mainland China is a little iffy.
    Fanuc is the G-Code control most used around the world, if you get a machine run by a Fanuc control, you can hardly go wrong.
    Look on my website for many program examples to give you a real good idea what programs look like and what you will have to learn to be good at CNC programming. Look here: www.doccnc.com
    Also look at what I have available for learning the deailed method of programming lathes and mills on my CNC DVDs.
    Again, good luck, write if you have any CNC related questions.
    Heinz.

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    Default Re: Some basic questions...

    Thanks for the reply Heinz.
    I am not a fan of the Chinese stuff they just don't seem to last like the "name-brand" stuff does.... would not even consider one.
    The thing that does concern me is trying to hold tight tolerances with an used machine...

    Regarding the programming, I understand and relate the basic machining/operating routines using G & M codes but what I want to do is more related to machining existing parts rather than machining new..... I would like to use the probe to find existing bore centers.
    Once it "knows" where they are, I would like it to compare and display the error and direction.... from where they actually should be (from a data-base of original dimensions) and then give the operator the option of correcting any error when re-boring to a larger size.... (i.e aligning itself on its "found" center or aligning itself on "design" center).
    Is it possible to do stuff like that using G & M ??
    Last edited by Cfin; 10-27-09 at 02:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Some basic questions...

    Absolutely. and thanks for buying a good machine!

    Actually the deals available in machinery (new or used) now are incredible, and most new machine tool dealers are also in the used machine market due to the economy.

    Call your local Haas, Hardinge, Mori Seki, etc. dealer up and tell them what you want to do, and how much you want to spend. The people there can not only sell you a machine, but can integrate the probe you need and get it running for you...

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