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Cool CNC Features
« on: January 08, 2018, 10:43:51 PM »
So I've got a Mori Seiki SL1 lathe that I fully rebuilt with all new stuff and Mach 4 and I'm thinking about buying a Fadal VMC to replace my home built Bridgeport CNC. My Bridgeport CNC has been awesome, but I'm looking for more capacity and tool changer. I don't want to retrofit it but as Fadal's are old I want to be prepared to in case the electronics go.

SO I was wondering what cool features Professional CNC's have.

Here are some examples of physical features and neat programming ideas:
1. Tool Changer
2. Spindle Load - to know how much load is on the tool.
3. Seen some neat g-code manipulation where they have the machine spray coolant while moving the carriage around to clean it off after the part is finished machining.

Any other things a professional lathe or vmc would have?

Offline Davek0974

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Re: Cool CNC Features
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 02:22:03 AM »
I've been looking for used VMC to replace my converted Bridgeport - did you find one yet at a usable price?? Seems they have all gone up in value

I have spindle power on my BP - the VFD outputs it so i sent it to the CSMIO and that shows it on screen, very useful.
Bridgeport Mill, Mach3 V062, CSMIO-IP/A controller, AC Servo Drives
Re: Cool CNC Features
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 02:59:18 AM »
Not really. All the machines I find are in the 10k-20k range. I'm willing to spend some money as the Bridgeport conversion, if done correctly can fetch 8k, I think. You might want to consider that.

Let me get understand this - the VFD you're using can output how much power is being used? Then you send that out via CSMIO to Mach 4 so you can see the spindle load? Interesting and very creative.

Got a couple of obvious ones I forgot to add:

4. 4th Axis.
5. Rigid Tapping

Offline Davek0974

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Re: Cool CNC Features
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 03:05:10 AM »
Also got rigid tapping on my BP :) Works well at lower speeds as its only a standard motor not servo drive so if you go too fast it will over-shoot but not been an issue yet.

It also has two spindles, one goes to 24k. All controlled with the same control cabinet, i fitted as many bells as i could when i built it ;)

Yes the VFD outputs it as a signal IIRC and that goes to an analogue input on the controller.

Junk rebuilder VMCs seem to have dried up now, as you say they are all 5k plus, then you need 5k on controls/rebuild and thats if the ways are not shot.
Bridgeport Mill, Mach3 V062, CSMIO-IP/A controller, AC Servo Drives
Re: Cool CNC Features
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 11:35:32 AM »
Sometimes you can get pretty lucky finding some good iron if the machine is just for parts.  We found a 1997 Haas VF3 for 4k in Illinois a few years ago. 
As far as features
Having a Tool Measure Probe to get THO
We even set up a macro to check our drill, using our probe, to see if it broke before our tap.


Chad Byrd
Re: Cool CNC Features
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 11:43:49 AM »
Definitely I'll add those to the list

6. Optional High Speed Spindle
7. Probe for Part Location and THO
8. Macros for Broken or Worn Tools

4k for a Hass....dammm
Re: Cool CNC Features
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 01:50:46 PM »
Yep.  It was in need of a totally makeover; control and axis needed changing.  But it is a good and accurate machine. 
If you end up going with Mach4, you can do quite a lot with LUA.  You can integrate any idea you have with the Screen, GUI.
Chad Byrd
Re: Cool CNC Features
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 05:27:22 PM »
You say that!! I have no idea of how the screen, GUI and LUA work. I'd like to, but am clueless.
Re: Cool CNC Features
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 07:36:55 PM »
I ran a pair of Fadals.  They are known for the fact that Fadal used lots of standard parts and are mechanically very simple machines so very easy to work on.  They have box ways with turcite liners which is easily replaced, they use a PC style keyboard and a very standard CRT monitor not some funky special.  So they are usable and resellable.  Major complaint today is that they are not fast, especially the umbrella style tool changers with a geneva mechanism.  About 10 seconds to change a tool.  I've seen machines that do it in under 1 second!  The macro language in a Fadal is a version of Microsoft Mbasic!  I used to do lots of macro programming before we had CAM.  Fadal has a toolpath simulator that ran on DOS that you could test your program on.  Crude but it let you know you weren't cutting the end off the table with a face mill!

The one thing that I appreciate about Mach running on Windows is that I can also run a CAM program right on the machine and it takes seconds to post program change.  But windows is so unreliable when compared to commercial CNC or a PLC that the difference is stunning and costly.  I'd like to see 100% of the machine control function in the machine with a Windows HMI program only.  The machine should run standalone or from files selected on an SD card.  Oh yeah the 3D Printers already do this!
Re: Cool CNC Features
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 08:31:53 PM »
Setting up a machine with Mach to compare to high dollar controls would be a very difficult task.   But as far as a windows based professional controller....  I was pretty sure Hurco uses a windows based control.   And Haas uses Linux as their base CPU.
Chad Byrd