We are thinking of buying CNC machine for jewelry making (silver - rings, pendants, watches etc.). No need for big one (rings are not big ), but must be able to connect to PC. Price is the matter. Can you advice ? Buy used or new one ? What parameters ? Brand name ? Thank you.
I once sold an EDM machine to a jewelry maker in NYC, which I assume he used to make steel casting molds. But it was not cnc, just a manual sinker type. Perhaps he had a small cnc mill to create the electrodes for the EDM.
Actually, machine have to be for making the products directly, not the molds. I.e. must be able to make ring with prongs for stone setting etc... Anyway, thank you.
Not sure he was making rings per se, but making molds and then using these to cast custom jewelry in some quanities is making the product "direct" in my mind. If you're thinking in terms of rings only I can't imagine what sort of cnc machine you're thinking of. Did you want to mill rings directly from the solid ? If so you could maybe use the same BS sales pitch the hot rod guys use for "billet" made parts
DMG makes a 3D laser that is used in many of these type applications. However, the cost is between $180-200k. Also, I'm confused on what you are trying to do.......could you give more details.
The laser should be very good, however, price is out of our range.
The production, we are thinking of is very simple :
You put a thick tube (made of silver) inside the machine and from PC connected, you start a program and machine is cutting and drilling until the ring is made. Then the machine cut it off from tube and making another ring. The resulted ring is very nice (smooth) and difference from casted ring can be easily seen. Of course, we will use the machine for masterpieces and probably molds too, but above is our main idea.
Once, on Italy show I saw a machine (Italian), it was probably 5 axis (???), which was able to make things like cardan joint (small-model) and the results (rings) from these machine was perfect. The costs was about USD 100-110k. I am wondering, if there is something cheaper. Sorry for possible confusing, I am not familiar with CNC machines yet. Thank you for help.
Your best bet would be to purchase 2 small, bench-top size CNC machines.
A lathe to turn the rings to size, and cut them off. And a mill to form the intricate doo-dads on the top of the ring to hold jewels.
I ran a small, bench top CNC mill called a 'Graf-fighter', to make small electrodes out of graphite.
I think it was made by Mazak. (Don't recall exactly).
The largest tool the spindle could handle was 1/2" Dia.
The table was about 12" by 24".
Worked great for small parts.
We will strongly preffer to have one machine only because of simplicity and no need for manual work (worker salary...). I know there are machines like turning lathe (?) with some heads able to drill. I wonder if there is something in price range up to maybe 50k? Also can you explain dia of the tool ? What does it mean ? Thank you
In the Uk there is a compmay called Quantum CNC who sell the Taig CNC mill. In the States it's called Microproto.
Most of their sales go to the jewellery industry. May be worth looking at this.
http://www.microproto.com/ gets you their web page.
thank you for your idea. However I think, the CNC of turning lathe with drilling heads will be more suitable as it is able to make more fully finished rings from single tube. The type of mill you recommend seems to be more for things, which are connected with base (car models, casting molds...). Some more ideas ? Thank you.