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$25k VMC Garage Buying Advice

We run a few of our 3-axis VFs with 8100rpm spindles on 30A circuits. No issues.

I suspect the reason why VF and UMC machines all have 70A nameplate ratings is because they share common electrical cabinets and switch gear that can accommodate larger/faster spindles, 4th/5th axis rotaries, etc. When those options are added, the nameplate ratings stay the same.

Fadal recommends a 70A breaker for a 4020

Running a 1/2 3 flute reasonable hard in 6061 I've measured 6-7 amps with a clamp on meter.

I did stall it once by being stupid, despite the fact it has the 20/30hp motor it didn't trip the breaker.

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When I put the 70A breaker in for the Fadal, I discovered that I'd been running a BP, SAG14 and an RMC55 of of one 30A breaker, all at the same time. P{robably the best idea at the time
 
……the only way I was getting power into the garage was doing it on the up and up. I also wasn't about to risk giving my insurance company an easy way out just to save the 200 dollars it cost me to get the piece of paper with the city stamp on it. If you, the op, or anyone runs electrical on your own, more power to you.

Many jurisdictions allow a homeowner/occupant do their own electrical installs as long as a permit is pulled and the job inspected when done if external to enclosed walls or before covering on enclosed walls. Of course passing an inspection means you have to know code and follow it so you gotta do it right.
 
Many jurisdictions allow a homeowner/occupant do their own electrical installs as long as a permit is pulled and the job inspected when done if external to enclosed walls or before covering on enclosed walls.
Absolutely. Mine does this as well. I probably would have gone this route if I owned the house. I was trying to imply without a permit since the question was why is the city involved. Poor writing on my part.
 
Plug -> phase converter -> buck transformer -> machine. There are plenty of people who run the same power setup as mine, minus the plug. It works great and it doesn't tie up that circuit for only the machine to use.

Come on. You said IT PLUGGED INTO THE WALL IN YOUR GARAGE. Big difference between plugging a speedio into a drier outlet and running it from an RPC.
 
does something like a Brother or a VF2SS maximize that revenue ratio?

Does for me (Brother S500X1).
I do a weird mix of stuff. Make my own products, but the bigger revenue comes from fast turn low volume parts (semiconductor).
Low volume/high margins. BUT, I also provide design assistance on some of those parts. IME, larger shops don't want to deal with low volume "one offs". Some of my work comes from those customers that get "no quotes", or 4-6 week lead times from larger shops. There are lots of "rapid turn cnc" services out there for simple parts for $$, but they are usually limited to a number of surfaces/types of features, and some look like they were cut with a chain saw 😆 I do everything from CAM. The Brother is easy and fast to set up when constantly changing setups. Haimer lives in tool pot #1, the Blum tool setter to set tool lengths, then off and running. I prove out the first run, then set rapids to 100%.
 
Does for me (Brother S500X1).
I do a weird mix of stuff. Make my own products, but the bigger revenue comes from fast turn low volume parts (semiconductor).
Low volume/high margins. BUT, I also provide design assistance on some of those parts. IME, larger shops don't want to deal with low volume "one offs". Some of my work comes from those customers that get "no quotes", or 4-6 week lead times from larger shops. There are lots of "rapid turn cnc" services out there for simple parts for $$, but they are usually limited to a number of surfaces/types of features, and some look like they were cut with a chain saw 😆 I do everything from CAM. The Brother is easy and fast to set up when constantly changing setups. Haimer lives in tool pot #1, the Blum tool setter to set tool lengths, then off and running. I prove out the first run, then set rapids to 100%.
Happy New Year everyone! Curious about how you compensate for the length of the Haimer when setting Z work offsets? The known length of the Haimer can be set into the Z External work offset as a negative value to possibly save a step or two...
 
Happy New Year everyone! Curious about how you compensate for the length of the Haimer when setting Z work offsets? The known length of the Haimer can be set into the Z External work offset as a negative value to possibly save a step or two...
I set tool lengths off-line as the positive length from the machine’s spindle face. I also measure the Haimer length when it reads zero in the same offline setup. It’s 6.9970 inches. I remember that number and write it down.* The Haimer then lives in the highest tool slot, which is 20 on my machine. I call up the Haimer using MDI and probe my Z0. I do not invoke any length comp on the Haimer (no G43 Z__ H20). I go to the work offset page and type Z6.9970 and hit Measure (Fanuc). If I then reference Z, the distance from the spindle face to part Z0 should be the number in the G54 (or 55, 56…) Z entry. A tape measure can be a sanity check. I happen to store 6.9970 in the T20 offset entry, but that number is only there as a convenient place to write it down - no G43 is ever used with it.
 
Does for me (Brother S500X1).
I do a weird mix of stuff. Make my own products, but the bigger revenue comes from fast turn low volume parts (semiconductor).
Low volume/high margins. BUT, I also provide design assistance on some of those parts. IME, larger shops don't want to deal with low volume "one offs". Some of my work comes from those customers that get "no quotes", or 4-6 week lead times from larger shops. There are lots of "rapid turn cnc" services out there for simple parts for $$, but they are usually limited to a number of surfaces/types of features, and some look like they were cut with a chain saw 😆 I do everything from CAM. The Brother is easy and fast to set up when constantly changing setups. Haimer lives in tool pot #1, the Blum tool setter to set tool lengths, then off and running. I prove out the first run, then set rapids to 100%.

Thank you! I think what you do is in the ball park of what I could possibly try later on.
 
Curious about how you compensate for the length of the Haimer when setting Z work offsets? The known length of the Haimer can be set into the Z External work offset as a negative value to possibly save a step or two...
The Haimer/Tsorn lenth is labeled right on the front. Auto set, type in length, save.

My understanding is that the Z External adjustment would change Z0. from the table, which I really like.
 
Come on. You said IT PLUGGED INTO THE WALL IN YOUR GARAGE. Big difference between plugging a speedio into a drier outlet and running it from an RPC.
It could be both.. You could run it to a 14-50R plug in the garage, which goes to an RPC, which is again plugged into a 6-50R. So the entire 3 phase system is plugged into the wall.
 
Follow up. I purchased and received a 2008 Super Mini Mill. The reasons I chose it in the end are 1) it's a common machine and I hope that will make my learning curve for operation and maintenance a little easier. 2) I decided smaller is better for my first machine fitting into a garage. When I get some experience I'll know better going forward. 3) Found a machine with a probe and good price. I came close to getting a Sharp, but, didn't find any already with probes.

For people in the future moving a mini mill into a garage
  • I have a nominal 84" garage door but reality was more like 83.5" of clearance
  • Like others, I resorted to removing a piece of trim to gain another half inch or so and that half inch was well worth it. Don't hesitate to do that.
  • I unscrewed the balancing threads so they were not poking out the bottom (I didn't notice this obvious item elsewhere)
  • The only trouble for this machine fitting thru is the wire conduit, but, it did not fit. I didn't want to remove it, so, in the end I pulled the conduit forward (like the conduit was leading the way into the garage) and tied it down with ratchet straps. Fwd was definitely the better direction to pull it than backwards and the ratchet strap prevented it from catching anything.
  • It still required some finessing to get thru.
  • But, if you pull down the wire conduit as noted and remove the trim straightaway, it should go in without too much difficulty
 
I personally don't think there's much better machines in a garage than a Brother (or Robo). Everyone's situation is different and people have different definitions of 'garage'. I live in the middle of SoCal and have a standard 2.5ish car garage with a 84" door. I started with a Fadal and a few years ago bought a new Speedio S700X2. Hands down the Speedio is better in every way. For me, the increase in productivity, accuracy, ease of setup, etc. easily makes it worth it. The Fadal worked, but if I knew what I know now, I would have just gone straight to the Speedio. It's not a zero sum game either. If something really happened, it's not worth zero. Would you lose a bit of money, probably. Is the machine still work a good chunk of change, yes.

IMO, the best option is to just go ahead and figure out the power. You want 3ph (via RPC or Phase Perfect) otherwise choices are severely limited. You won't need 50k to get going on a 25k machine purchase. Get 3ph sorted, a machine, a vise, a dozen or so tool holders and collets and spend the majority on the machine itself and buy whatever else you need as you need it.

Edit: Well, the Mini Mill should be fine. If it works out, you'll want to upgrade.
 
Renishaw: the winning factor of every machine purchase!

Im in the process of getting my first machine (possable a haas VM2) I have look at a few FV2's that were a decent deal but didnt have a probe so i passed on them. Just trying to weigh the options of the VM2 vs the VF2
 
VM is a better machine, but slower.
thats what it looks like to me also, a little more travel in y, more weight on the table not that its probably an issue though. Its slower rapids and max cutting speeds but for doing small runs and non production stuff i figure that is not much of an issue.
 
thats what it looks like to me also, a little more travel in y, more weight on the table not that its probably an issue though. Its slower rapids and max cutting speeds but for doing small runs and non production stuff i figure that is not much of an issue.
The VM vs VF, the VM is their injection molding machine(haha) but it has a tighter pitch ball screw so it has all those benefits.
 








 
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