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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > HURCO > HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???
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  1. #1
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    HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    I have been trying to convince my bosses to invest in our first CNC mill for years now, instead of farming some jobs out to other shops, but they are so cheap, that it has been an uphill battle. They don't want to spend more then $10,000 and realistically I don't think you can find a quality 3-axis CNC knee mill that has not been worn out for under $20,000. Now I am talking Canadian funds and not US.

    I recently came across a couple of Hurco KM3P mills for sale by a shop about an hour away and was just curious how good these types of mills are and what
    should I be looking out for if we decide to go have a look at them? What warning signs should we be looking for to tell use these machines are worn out or going to be money pits?

    The seller posted a video in their online ad of one of the machines running, but I thought the spindle sounded noisy. I looked at some other video people have posted on youtube of the same model machine and some of them sounded just as noisy and others didn't.

    We mainly do low production at my work and most of that is custom jobs. I would prefer to get a HAAS MiniMill, but I know my bosses will never part with that sort of money, so I figured if I could find a low cost mill, to at least get us into doing some CNC work in-house and overtime they would see the benefits and perhaps be willing to invest in a better machine in the future.

    Any advice or input would be welcome.

  2. #2
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    1. how old? Fixing the old machines can cost an arm and a leg.
    2. what kind of experience do you have with CNC available to you at the shop
    3. what are you wanting to make on the machine some are better for one thing than another and it's best to get the right machine to start with
    4. What are the specs on the machine they can vary greatly on most machines based on options
    About Hurcos the machines are good. Nothing wrong with an old Hurco quality wise. Also CNC machines last almost forever if taken care of and most are taken care of. I have an 1983 MB1. If they hadn't hit a cover and broken a servo, and I wasn't have weird bugs most likely due to to much time sitting it would be a great machine.
    Now the Hurco is not perfect for me it was just the first one I found at the right price. The spindle is slower and weaker than I would like making jobs take longer. It didn't have coolant or an enclosure, which can hurt tool life and slow production down more. On the bright side a Hurco is a great machine for a beginner in a lot of ways. They don't need a CAD/CAM system to be easily used because they have a good conversational system saving on initial setup.
    A couple quick pieces of advice buying used CNC machines don't buy without seeing under power if you can't fix it (and even then it's a bad idea trust me I know). If there are problems be afraid, fixing problems can be very difficult and expensive. If it uses tapes I wouldn't buy it.The first thing you would need to do on a tape machine is a controller upgrade. Look at the taper size and type CAT 30 is very difficult to find tooling for. I recommend a 40 taper. Buying an working in production machine is best.
    I was able to get a Bridgeport Interact 316 for works out to be ~$8500 in Canadian dollars. With spare and some tooling The machine is in excellent condition for its age (1990) very little backlash (I need better tools to measure it) so the deals on old machines are out there if you watch, and the old CNC machine last. So what you want to do is very possible if you're careful.
    The spindle noise can vary largely depending on speed and microphone quality so a recording is a bad way to tell bearing condition. The only way to know is to hear it in person.

  3. #3
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaheiras View Post
    1. how old? Fixing the old machines can cost an arm and a leg.
    2. what kind of experience do you have with CNC available to you at the shop
    3. what are you wanting to make on the machine some are better for one thing than another and it's best to get the right machine to start with
    4. What are the specs on the machine they can vary greatly on most machines based on options
    About Hurcos the machines are good. Nothing wrong with an old Hurco quality wise. Also CNC machines last almost forever if taken care of and most are taken care of. I have an 1983 MB1. If they hadn't hit a cover and broken a servo, and I wasn't have weird bugs most likely due to to much time sitting it would be a great machine.
    Now the Hurco is not perfect for me it was just the first one I found at the right price. The spindle is slower and weaker than I would like making jobs take longer. It didn't have coolant or an enclosure, which can hurt tool life and slow production down more. On the bright side a Hurco is a great machine for a beginner in a lot of ways. They don't need a CAD/CAM system to be easily used because they have a good conversational system saving on initial setup.
    A couple quick pieces of advice buying used CNC machines don't buy without seeing under power if you can't fix it (and even then it's a bad idea trust me I know). If there are problems be afraid, fixing problems can be very difficult and expensive. If it uses tapes I wouldn't buy it.The first thing you would need to do on a tape machine is a controller upgrade. Look at the taper size and type CAT 30 is very difficult to find tooling for. I recommend a 40 taper. Buying an working in production machine is best.
    I was able to get a Bridgeport Interact 316 for works out to be ~$8500 in Canadian dollars. With spare and some tooling The machine is in excellent condition for its age (1990) very little backlash (I need better tools to measure it) so the deals on old machines are out there if you watch, and the old CNC machine last. So what you want to do is very possible if you're careful.
    The spindle noise can vary largely depending on speed and microphone quality so a recording is a bad way to tell bearing condition. The only way to know is to hear it in person.
    I am told they are from the late 80's and have been well maintained.

    Only CNC experience I have is with a 3-axis router that I built myself that uses Mach3 software to control. I have used Mastercam a little.

    We mainly work with aluminum and stainless steel, but also do a fair bit of work with Delrin along with other plastics. We make fixtures and parts for automated inspection systems. I would like to be able to do rigged tapping and thread milling.

    These are the machine specs that I have been told:

    Control ...............Ultimax With Conversational Programming
    Work Table .......................................... 49" x 14"
    X-Axis Travel .............................................. 24"
    Y-Axis Travel ............................................. 14"
    Z-Axis Travel .............................................. 5"
    Spindle Speed ............................... 0-4,000 RPM
    Spindle Taper ............ Universal Kwik Switch Collet
    Spindle Motor ......................................... 3 H.P.
    Electrical ...........................480V, 60Hz, 3-Phase


    The seller has the machines hooked up and running, so I am able to inspect them anytime.

    They are looking to get between $4,000 - $5,000 for each machine.

  4. #4
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    For rigid tapping and thread milling this really isn't the machine I would recommend. It probably can tap, but it would be best to use a tension compression holder to do the tapping (you would need to make sure it has the tapping option enabled). It won't be able to thread mill with the conversational programming system most likely. Thread mills are fairly new from what I understand. I would check and see if it's NC programming capable and has an RS232 port. If it does then you could use gcode to program it and use thread mills that way.
    With machining plastics you can get by without a coolant system by just using air to blow the chips away, but with aluminum you would want at least a mist coolant system. I haven't done any stainless machining yet, but doing a little research showed that you would probably get best results with a full flood system.
    The main problem I see there is that it uses a kwick change system. There's nothing wrong with the system itself the problem is availability is lacking for those systems. Most tooling suppliers don't carry those. You can get them used and your selection will be limited.
    Overall the machines sound fine for a hobbyist or if it's what you can afford. A faster spindle would be nice in aluminum, and a taller Z axis would also help. The only problem is that you are trying to talk your boss into moving into CNC manufacturing, and one of these might be disappointing though it would work.
    The HAAS you would like is a whole different class of machine.

  5. #5
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    Thanks for your input. Looks like I will need to do some more thinking on this mill. If I could get it for $4,000 it might be a half decent starter machine if I am able to import gcode into it. Otherwise I will need to keep looking.

  6. #6
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    That wouldn't be a bad price especially if you can get a little tooling with it.

  7. #7
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    One thing I forgot to mention is you want the manuals with the machine (they tell how to program, operate, and maintain the machine). They are very hard to find online and are worth their weight in gold.

  8. #8
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    You didn't mention maintenance that has been done.?
    I ask, because the Hurco has a time clock on the back that records hours of operation.
    Be aware however that this is the time that the servos are activated !
    The machine can be on and programming done without adding hours, but some shops turn everything on
    and then the clock starts. If the spindle has more than 13,000 hours, it may need new spindle bearings and leadscrew bearings ?
    At 20,000, the servos may need work?
    I ave a Hurco KM3 with Ultimax II and it is a superb machine . I can do thread milling with the helix action in "milling" so
    i don't understand why the other poster said no? I have done both internal and external threads.
    I have done g code since 1984 and I don't think it holds a candle to Conversational Programming when it comes to beginners learning CNC
    Yes, Tooling goes for about 50 dollars (US) for holders on eBay , and if you can get it tossed in, its a deal.
    Rich

  9. #9
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    My work has decided to pass on the Hurco. We are looking into getting a VMC instead.

  10. #10
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    My Hurco (It's a 1983) can do very little in the z axis and it could not do a helix action in milling. I didn't know if that was an option on the later machines and if so when they implemented it.

  11. #11
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Carlstedt View Post
    You didn't mention maintenance that has been done.?
    I ask, because the Hurco has a time clock on the back that records hours of operation.
    Be aware however that this is the time that the servos are activated !
    The machine can be on and programming done without adding hours, but some shops turn everything on
    and then the clock starts. If the spindle has more than 13,000 hours, it may need new spindle bearings and leadscrew bearings ?
    At 20,000, the servos may need work?
    I ave a Hurco KM3 with Ultimax II and it is a superb machine . I can do thread milling with the helix action in "milling" so
    i don't understand why the other poster said no? I have done both internal and external threads.
    I have done g code since 1984 and I don't think it holds a candle to Conversational Programming when it comes to beginners learning CNC
    Yes, Tooling goes for about 50 dollars (US) for holders on eBay , and if you can get it tossed in, its a deal.
    Rich
    Rich, (or anyone)

    My apologies for digging up an old thread...

    I have a Hurco KM-3P. I would like to store programs on a laptop. I have Port 1 and Port 2, RS232 connectors, that I can hook up to my laptop, but according to the manual, I also need the "UltimaxII/PC software package"

    Anyone know where to find it?

    (I have not called Hurco yet, but the last time I talked to them, they found it difficult to stop talking about this being a 40 year old machine)

    Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    Charlie
    Still have my Hurco, but it has been 20 years since I played with transferring programs
    I am sure Bloke or others can answer the question more accurately
    Hurco had a Software PC program that was like a Post processor , where you were connected to a PC all the time
    and you could write, store, modify , download, upload any program in Ultimax II . I think it may have been called " PC Max" ??
    The software was sold by Hurco and required a "donagal (sp?) " to operate. and was on 3 - 1/2" Floppies
    It ran on Win95 or the earlier Windows System (Win 3?) .--------- I never had or used this this software, only recall from a tool show.
    However (now this is from memory )
    I was able to directly download and print programs from the Hurco after messing with the handshakes , baud (9600) and wiring in the Military port (?)
    I think port 1 is for download only, and port 2 does download and upload.
    I stored a Hurco program on my PC - and it required a special prefix on the file names as I recall
    I was never able to upload a program as I got a fault in the handshake ????
    I am electronically challenged and but after scrapping the Win 95 computer in the shop , I gave up.
    So you should be able to download and reload a Hurco" program to a PC , but you cannot open , look at, or modify the file in any way
    One more thing- I think that only 3 or 4 wires need to be used on the cable .
    If you want to pursue this, I can probably look up my sketches
    Rich

  13. #13

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    Re: HURCO KM3P Mill - Opinions ??? What To Look For In A Used Machine ???

    cNcCharlie, If you still have problems maybe I can help you, send me a private message.

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