CNC mill advice

I’d like to get my first cnc machine and a bit kick myself to progress in this area. Honestly - have no idea how to start. I can model some things in fusion, made a few milling simulations, but without an actual mill - it does make any sense to me.

I’d like to get something small and on a budget to learn but I also would like it to allow me to actually cut some steel. In the us you have plenty of opportunities, but here not so many.

I have my space limitations - I can’t get a regular big cnc mill like a haas or anything like that because it will not fit in the workshop and I will not have enough power for it.

I’d like to get something second hand of course. I have found one mill that is pretty cheap, small and runs on 230v (not 360 that I dont have).

It has a basic siemens sinumerik 802c computer and also will be compatible with my manual mill so I can use my existing tools. The thing is - I’ll probably event would not know how to turn it on to test it :slight_smile: not to mention connecting it to fusion (I have only an idea that I need a postprocessor for that and probablly a windows based computer with some software from siemes to send files to the machine).

Other options are old machines retrofitted with either linuxcnc or mach3, but they seem a bit too large (although it’s obviously good if the machine is big and heavy).

Do you guys have any suggestions on the above? Thx.

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Hm my first mill was actually a CNC mill, retrofitted with steppers and using an intel nuc with mach on it. It works quite well and you can export from fusion directly (you set your tool(s) and generate toolpaths) to gcode which you then load into mach and hit go.
I don’t know what you want to machine, but for personal use i would (and will) get a lathe and mill and just work around the limitations of certain geometries than bothering with all the extra fuss cnc creates.
But probably depends on the amount of identical parts you need.
(The cnc I use cost about 6k€ without tools and software pc etc.)

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I have seen a few desktop CNC machines - have you seen any? My company (engineering company) did some work for Bantam Tools, I know they make a compact CNC machine for hobbyst but I cannot say anything else about it as I wasn’t involved.

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Well, you can get a some of this kind of desktop stuff (mostly DIY kind) here but I don’t think anything with a 0,2 kW spindle and weight of 20kg will be of any use in steel.

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Maybe a small and “cheap” machine for learning isn’t the worst idea? Principles should be the same and a small machine might struggle with aluminum the same as a hobby-sized one will with steel?
Which machine do you have in mind as you mentioned a sinumeric?

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Well, exactly - but in terms of space - it does not change much: I can have additional about 20 sq m for that (and a lathe) so a “real” big machine will not fit (and I cant afford it either) so no point in buying a thing that will only be a toy to learn and than sell, I’d like to do some real stuff.

A guy is selling an optimum bf30 with enclosure for about 3000E.

Good thing is that it’s very similar to manual mill that I have so tool holders will match and I more less know the cutting capabilities.

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Ah yes I understand, I use an MH25 I think it has the same spindlemotor (if they didn’t exchange it for a high speed one), maybe I can do a test cut in steel if you are interested in something specific.

What are the travels and what is the spindle speed? Do you want to do mostly steel or aluminum?

I have a similar manual machine (zx7032) and it does manage in mild steel (Ofc not on an industrial but garage+ level).

@Alex I’d probably like to cut things like dropouts, some break adapters/mounts. Mainly in inox/cromo. And some jig related parts of aluminum that you always need (but they dont require great finishing).

Spindle max speed is 3100.
Table is 750 mm x 210 mm
spindle to table is 470 mm

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