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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Benchtop Machines > Recommendations - Micro Mill to CNC Conversion - What mill should I start with.
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  1. #1
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    Recommendations - Micro Mill to CNC Conversion - What mill should I start with.

    For starters this is what I'm trying to do. I want to be able to prototype a small part about 3x3x2 from plastic and aluminum. It would be a 3D part so I'm assuming i would just flip the part over in order to mill the opposite side half way through. I want to convert a micro or mini mill to a CNC mill because this is my first venture into CNC world and I believe this would be a little easier then building a homemade machine. For a budget im trying to stay around $600 for the mill and then another $600 for the conversion for a grand total of about $1200.

    Here are the mills im looking at......

    MicroLux Micor Milling Machine - 84659

    Proxxon MF70

    Harbor Freight/Grizzley/Siag X2

    My major issue with the X2 is the weight. I don't have a shop and i live in an upstairs condo so the smaller the better. Anyone have recommendations on what i should do? Links for turnkey kits in my budget for these machines?

    Eventually I want to build a machine but the driving factor right now is prototyping this part so im trying to shorten the time to production. I'm also open to any high quality micro/mini CNC kits that could accomplish what im trying to do.

  2. #2
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    Have you looked at a CNC ready Taig? It might suit your needs a bit better. Keep in mind you'll need a controller on top of the mill and the conversion, so it won't all happen for 1200.00

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnfield View Post
    Have you looked at a CNC ready Taig? It might suit your needs a bit better. Keep in mind you'll need a controller on top of the mill and the conversion, so it won't all happen for 1200.00
    I did but at 2k+ it was a little outside of my range.

  4. #4
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    There are other machines I would look at like, XJ95
    Mini Milling and Drilling Machine << Metal Working Machinery << Online Catalog << Penn Tool Co.
    O wait for grizzlys tent sale and grab a g0704.
    LittleMachineShop will have Sieg SX1s in stock soon.
    They also have the Sieg SX2 solid column. Thats the bigest set back on a x2.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arich0908 View Post
    There are other machines I would look at like, XJ95
    Mini Milling and Drilling Machine << Metal Working Machinery << Online Catalog << Penn Tool Co.
    O wait for grizzlys tent sale and grab a g0704.
    LittleMachineShop will have Sieg SX1s in stock soon.
    They also have the Sieg SX2 solid column. Thats the bigest set back on a x2.
    Im assuming you mean the biggest setback to the X2 is the weight?

  6. #6
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    I really think that this decision should depend on what you are going to cut and how often.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob La Londe View Post
    I really think that this decision should depend on what you are going to cut and how often.
    Mostly 3D plastic shapes once or twice a week. I just want something that will cut Plastic and Aluminum accurately, Im not concerned if it needs to go slow in order to do it

  8. #8
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    The Taig is 2K with a controller, though. By the time you put one on an X2 with a kit, you will be close to that. You can get a Taig complete with a Gecko G540 setup for under 1800.00, which is just about the same as the X2 will cost when complete. I would definitely find an alternative to the X2, as it is a turd. Avoid it if you can. People have made nice parts on them because of their skill, not the machine. it used to be a good machine to start out with, but with alternatives like the BF 16 type machines, it would make little sense, unless you just have to have a bolt-on kit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnfield View Post
    The Taig is 2K with a controller, though. By the time you put one on an X2 with a kit, you will be close to that. You can get a Taig complete with a Gecko G540 setup for under 1800.00, which is just about the same as the X2 will cost when complete. I would definitely find an alternative to the X2, as it is a turd. Avoid it if you can. People have made nice parts on them because of their skill, not the machine. it used to be a good machine to start out with, but with alternatives like the BF 16 type machines, it would make little sense, unless you just have to have a bolt-on kit.
    Do you have any links for where I can find it for 1800?

  10. #10
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    This will be tough.

    My general answer is to buy a bigger machine than you think you need! Fortunately your parts are small so that isn't a huge issue. Unfortunately your budget is extremely tight.

    So my first suggestion is the hardest one, address your budget to reflect reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by enforcer View Post
    For starters this is what I'm trying to do. I want to be able to prototype a small part about 3x3x2 from plastic and aluminum. It would be a 3D part so I'm assuming i would just flip the part over in order to mill the opposite side half way through.
    You really can't make assumptions like that. You really need to be able to visualize the parts machining 100% of the way through and understand how the part would be held each step of the way through. Some parts might require four axis for example. Others may require multiple fixtures.

    The need for multiple fixtures may force you into buying a larger machine than you expect. Parts that look simple in your mind may require extensive thought to realize on a CNC machine.
    I want to convert a micro or mini mill to a CNC mill because this is my first venture into CNC world and I believe this would be a little easier then building a homemade machine.
    Very true but complete CNC machines are not cheap.
    For a budget im trying to stay around $600 for the mill and then another $600 for the conversion for a grand total of about $1200.
    Not knowing more about what you are doing I'd have to say you are out of luck. I don't even think you can get into something like a Tiag for that price and their is no assurance that a Tiag is a suitable machine. Beyond that we haven't even determined if a fourth axis is needed.
    Here are the mills im looking at......

    MicroLux Micor Milling Machine - 84659

    Proxxon MF70

    Harbor Freight/Grizzley/Siag X2

    My major issue with the X2 is the weight. I don't have a shop and i live in an upstairs condo so the smaller the better.
    Assuming the condo isn't in the process of falling down weight is not an issue, you could go to an X3 or G0704 size machine without issue. Interestingly the floor space doesn't change drastically with these machines.
    Anyone have recommendations on what i should do? Links for turnkey kits in my budget for these machines?
    I think you are out of luck honestly. Your budget is extremely tight and we have yet to determine exactly what you need.
    Eventually I want to build a machine but the driving factor right now is prototyping this part so im trying to shorten the time to production. I'm also open to any high quality micro/mini CNC kits that could accomplish what im trying to do.
    Seriously consider hiring someone. Honestly if you want to shorten time to production with this prototyping don't let messing around with one of these so called CNC mills distract you. Leverage the experience of an experience CNC machinist!!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    Assuming the condo isn't in the process of falling down weight is not an issue, you could go to an X3 or G0704 size machine without issue. Interestingly the floor space doesn't change drastically with these machines.
    LOL. This actually did make me laugh out loud. No the condo isn't falling down and I guess I should have been a little more clear with what I ment..... square footage is at a premium in my place because its so small. Just trying not to get something thats too large because there will be times i probably need to move it out of the way

    I agree with everything else your saying. I may be being totally unrealistic, but that's why im asking the questions

  12. #12
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    The Proxxon I think will be the only one you can do in that budget IF you're thrifty. I'm in the process myself, and just waiting on a couple of parts to complete.

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