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Compact VMC Selection $60k-$70k

Optiofab

Plastic
Joined
Sep 5, 2015
I am working in a very space constrained shop, and was tasked with looking for a compact footprint mill. Initially the thought was to get something like a Trak bedmill (must sit within a roughly 84"x84" footprint), but I'm trying to persuade them into a small VMC instead for all the niceties they bring along. I have a safety angle (they are nuts about safety) with the fully enclosed machine vs an open machine, which may end up as the deciding factor.

The machine has to be new, used is not an option. I have identified a few, but I would be curious if there are any others you guys think I should look into.

The work:
low volume (1-2 parts) prototype parts. Machine will probably sit for weeks on end, this is not anything like a production environment. Having the fastest machine is not a concern, accuracy/precision would be more important. Most work will be in the +/- .001 range, with occasional +/- .0002 on bores and features of size.

Part size:
largest would be 14" diameter x 4". Most will be able to be made in an 8" cube build volume.

Materials:
The materials we work are not commercially available, but think something along the lines of machinable ceramics, with occasional fixtures from 6061 and stainless steel. The "ceramics" have about the same spindle/machine cut forces of aluminum, so extreme rigidity is not necessarily required, but a solid machine is still desirable. We will put an aftermarket centrifugal and fine particulate filter system on the machine for the "ceramic" dust. Spindle speed for these materials rarely goes over 8k.

Budget: $60-$70k for the machine only, install/electrical/tooling is covered through other budgets.


Some machines I have identified:

The DEM 4000 seems to check the boxes for the most part. The educational aspect of the machine causes me some concern, but I read they can be optioned with a more capable Mitsubishi control? Curious if anyone has this setup.

Not a huge fan of Haas, but the Mini Mill would fit our requirements.

Brother speedio S500Xd1 would probably work well, waiting to get a quote from the dealer, but I suspect this one might be out of our budget.
 
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Starting a question by asking how would you spend my money on this forum should elicit some interesting responses. And I'm not talking machine related.

I'm happy with my Haas SMM2 but I only paid around 20k Australian for a lightly used reasonably new machine. Definitely would have gone another route if I was spending 70K on a new machine.
 
A 10k 14T S500 won't be very far from the top of your budget. Would probably be worth asking Yamazen if they have any demo machines they're running deals on.

One of my friends supposedly has a quote from Kitamura for a 3XV with all the bells and whistles for 80k. If that's true, you could probably get a lower optioned one for something starting with a 7.
 
Titan is carrying syil..... could get 2 for that money.

The group I work for has had to return a brand new Makino because to high of a percentage of their parts came from China. So I doubt SYIL is an option, and not one I would want for a variety of reasons.
 
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A 10k 14T S500 won't be very far from the top of your budget. Would probably be worth asking Yamazen if they have any demo machines they're running deals on.

One of my friends supposedly has a quote from Kitamura for a 3XV with all the bells and whistles for 80k. If that's true, you could probably get a lower optioned one for something starting with a 7.
Since speed and efficiency are not important, he should just buy the minimill. Fits the budget, 31 tools, cuts aluminum and occasional stainless, very light use case, any operator off the street knows how to use it. My money is on this being the final choice.
 
Since speed and efficiency are not important, he should just buy the minimill. Fits the budget, 31 tools, cuts aluminum and occasional stainless, very light use case, any operator off the street knows how to use it. My money is on this being the final choice.
I agree the mini is probably the best answer here. Could almost end up with two minis with that budget.
 
A 10k 14T S500 won't be very far from the top of your budget. Would probably be worth asking Yamazen if they have any demo machines they're running deals on.

One of my friends supposedly has a quote from Kitamura for a 3XV with all the bells and whistles for 80k. If that's true, you could probably get a lower optioned one for something starting with a 7.
I will have to look into the Kitamura, I thought they were all $200k+ machines. Demos units are a good idea, I could probably get that pushed through.

I agree the mini is probably the best answer here. Could almost end up with two minis with that budget.
The mini comes out over $60k when configured with the options we would want. So its not necessarily a given. TSC, probing, 10k spindle, and a few small options. Its also the shortest travels and lightest weight of the bunch. It does tick most of the boxes though and the haas control is pretty dead simple.

Makino and Syil in the same paragraph. Seriously.

That specific Makino and SIYL are mostly made in the same place apparently. Major flub on the person who selected the machine. That guy is no longer with the org, for that and other reasons.
 
The group I work for has had to return a brand new Makino because to high of a percentage of their parts came from China. So I doubt SYIL is an option, and not one I would want for a variety of reasons.

In what world would Makino sell a company a machine, then actually take it back when that customer climbed around and saw commodity parts from China in it? I've never heard of such shenanigans - taking a machine back is like a catastrophic failure for the organization who sold it (like- people get fired). If Chinese content % was a critical GO/NOGO for a customer, that would need to be mentioned by them up-front, and dealt with before a PO was signed.
 
That specific Makino and SIYL are mostly made in the same place apparently. Major flub on the person who selected the machine. That guy is no longer with the org, for that and other reasons.
Did he buy it off Ali Express? Maybe the badge was made in the same factory.


Edit.
Just a heads up, unless you can actually 100% back up a statement like this I would be very wary of posting it on the internet. Companies like Makino are large organisations that value their well earned reputations. If I was the head of marketing and sales at Makino I would 100% sue you for damages if your statement is not true. With more than 20 years experience on Makino's I can vouch for their reliability and quality, any issues we ever had were always due to lack of maintenance or user error. Probably hands down the best high speed machining centers I have used.
 
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In what world would Makino sell a company a machine, then actually take it back when that customer climbed around and saw commodity parts from China in it? I've never heard of such shenanigans - taking a machine back is like a catastrophic failure for the organization who sold it (like- people get fired). If Chinese content % was a critical GO/NOGO for a customer, that would need to be mentioned by them up-front, and dealt with before a PO was signed.

Yeah, it was a mess. Not Makino's fault at all, but I believe they were able to come to an arrangement that worked for both groups.


Anyhow, what are peoples thoughts on the Doosan DEM 4000? Weights over 2k lb more then a mini mill.

Also just came across the Hurco VM One. That could be an option depending on its price range.
 
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When I read your requierments I thought about Doosan but do love Kitamura. The extra rigidity of either would be well worth it.
 
I currently have two DEM 4000’s both about a year or so old. They are rock solid machines and I feel like I’ve made the best investment I could for the space I have to work with (2 car garage). I cut aerospace materials on both of them all day every day and never had a problem with rigidity, power, or accuracy/finish. I routinely hold tenths on bores and can hold tenths on profiles if I take the time to dial in my offsets. Very solid machines, I really don’t understand why doosan labels them educational…they’re more than capable of everything from plastic to titanium. So far I have 1150 hrs on my first one and 560 hrs on my second, neither one of them have ever even had an alarm (other than low grease). IMG_3993.jpeg
 
I currently have two DEM 4000’s both about a year or so old. They are rock solid machines and I feel like I’ve made the best investment I could for the space I have to work with (2 car garage). I cut aerospace materials on both of them all day every day and never had a problem with rigidity, power, or accuracy/finish. I routinely hold tenths on bores and can hold tenths on profiles if I take the time to dial in my offsets. Very solid machines, I really don’t understand why doosan labels them educational…they’re more than capable of everything from plastic to titanium. So far I have 1150 hrs on my first one and 560 hrs on my second, neither one of them have ever even had an alarm (other than low grease). View attachment 425350

Thanks for the feedback. Did you get the Mitsubishi control on your machines?
 
Thanks for the feedback. Did you get the Mitsubishi control on your machines?
No sir, just the standard fanuc control. I do all of my programming in cam so didn’t need anything special for a control at the machine. Has been very easy to use and extremely reliable. I do have the probes on both machines and the fanuc control does come with GUI software for probing which makes that just as easy as probing on a haas.
 
And the same question every other day gets old.
get the inexpensive standard MM
machining ceramic may damage machines, MM has inexpensive parts. done.
disposable machine
If larger needed MM2

I used to machine green ceramics in proprietary dental machines, carbide and diamond cutters, dry and coolant.
Usually have far more rpm's

AL2O3
ZRO2
 
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I currently have two DEM 4000’s both about a year or so old. They are rock solid machines and I feel like I’ve made the best investment I could for the space I have to work with (2 car garage). I cut aerospace materials on both of them all day every day and never had a problem with rigidity, power, or accuracy/finish. I routinely hold tenths on bores and can hold tenths on profiles if I take the time to dial in my offsets. Very solid machines, I really don’t understand why doosan labels them educational…they’re more than capable of everything from plastic to titanium. So far I have 1150 hrs on my first one and 560 hrs on my second, neither one of them have ever even had an alarm (other than low grease). View attachment 425350
From what I understood is that they are labeled as educational machines for two reasons. One is they aren't built in any way for speed, so tool changes etc are slow compared to their other machines. And they have the factory consent to give heavy discounts to schools. So it's a machine with limited factory options they can sell for cheap to get more people educated on Doosan machines.
 








 
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