Haas TRT 100 how good is it really?
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  1. #1
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    Default Haas TRT 100 how good is it really?

    Hi All:
    I posted this question in the Haas subforum yesterday and so far no responses there so I thought I'd re-post here:

    I wrote:
    Hi All:
    I can see some benefit to adding either one or two rotary axes to my vintage Minimill.
    Question is, is the new TRT 100 stiff enough to do any real milling in titanium?
    I've looked at the videos on Youtube but I'd really like feedback from those who've actually USED one.
    Support for the platter only on one side worries me a bit and the Mini is a pretty wimpy machine to start with, so I'm less than 100% confident it's a good idea.

    I can do almost all of what I plan with a fourth and a tailstock and I have a feeling the presence of the tailstock will be mechanically more robust; eliminating the big cantilever and the consequent flex with the TRT 100 option.
    It's also going to be roughly half the price.

    I confess to having a boner for the fifth axis even though I haven't been hampered much by its absence in the 16 years I've owned the Mini; in fact I haven't even been hampered all that much by not having the fourth.

    All my work can fit in a jacket pocket, so we're not talking about big lumps of material.
    A typical roughing operation in Ti6Al4V will involve a 3/8 endmill with a 1/2" axial DOC and a 0.0075" radial stepover, so my loadmeter is never pegged; often it barely flickers.

    So will it be worth it to go 5 axis or should I drop the idea and go with a fourth and a tailstock for the Minimill.
    Could I even make a modern TRT 100 work on such an old machine (vintage 2001)?
    I assume I'd have to do some gymnastics to get the two to talk to each other and I have neither the time nor the inclination to make a project out of this, so unless it's a dirt simple and reliable install I won't do it.
    I understand the 4th axis card that's in the machine won't talk to a modern rotary, so I'd be replacing at least two drives if I went with the TRT.
    I can still buy a fourth from Haas to run on the old card, but it's a special build with an inflated price, unless I can score a used one.

    So tell me your thoughts please!

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    www.vancouverwireedm.com

  2. #2
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    I've been down this same road with a similar vintage Mini. The first issue is the fact that it has brushed drives rather than the new brushless drives. For a while there were some brushed to brushless convertors available for this, but I think there were some issues and they are no longer available.

    So that pushes you to an older brushed trunnion off of eBay. The downside with this is that the old models were much taller than the new TRT100 or TRT70. I have run one of these on a SuperMini. Even with the factory Z riser block, the work envelope is ridiculously small. Like not much more that a 1.5" tall part. Besides, you still need to find a brushed 4th ($2500) and 5th ($10k) card. I also seem to recall that there is a fairly substantial change to the internal software. By the time I got done adding it up I was looking at ~$40k investment to get it installed on my Mini (and I already have the 4th axis card). And even then, it was going to take a pretty smart Haas tech to make it go.

    I decided to go with 5C rotaries instead. I make miniature tombstones either free hanging or supported with a tailstock. The 5C Rotaries are all over eBay, and there are some fairly reputable repair shops that can almost guarantee that it will work with your machine

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    some shops send sample part to cnc mill manufacturer and have the sample part machined and inspected with their programmer and inspector there watching.
    .
    if you buy machine thats $2,400,000. and machine foundation installation costs alone are over $200,000. you tend to want to be sure about it ahead of time

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    Can't speak for the TRT-100, but I'm making Ti bone plats on a TR-160Y Same approach, 3/8 EM .625 deep dynamic paths. Good results in 3+2, but it doesn't track well enough for full five.

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    Are you thinking about the tailstock because you want to run a trunnion?

    Your parts are small enough that you could probably get away with a short (~6") tombstone mounted to the face of the 4th, as long as that 4th has beefy enough bearings. Unfortunately, that isn't going to be a Haas rotary table (my diving into this says the Sankyo is the one to go with for this kind of application, and definitely not a DDR table). My plan is to get that table with a Lang receiver face...

    The advantage here is that you can get some really fantastic flexibility... you can have the small tombstone for production, swap that out with a Lang vise to do rapid prototype work, or a dovetail vise for beefier parts, or even a chuck for round work. Without the tailstock, you can still have a vise on the other end of the table, and you get full workpiece access.

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    I bought that converter with my 2012 VM2 as I was going to use a older 4th with it. But the installer just looked at it and said " we wont need that" and it worked / still works fine??

    It was not cheap..I still have that, and xmas is coming up.. Lord only knows what else is in that room
    Gary

    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    I've been down this same road with a similar vintage Mini. The first issue is the fact that it has brushed drives rather than the new brushless drives. For a while there were some brushed to brushless convertors available for this, but I think there were some issues and they are no longer available.

    So that pushes you to an older brushed trunnion off of eBay. The downside with this is that the old models were much taller than the new TRT100 or TRT70. I have run one of these on a SuperMini. Even with the factory Z riser block, the work envelope is ridiculously small. Like not much more that a 1.5" tall part. Besides, you still need to find a brushed 4th ($2500) and 5th ($10k) card. I also seem to recall that there is a fairly substantial change to the internal software. By the time I got done adding it up I was looking at ~$40k investment to get it installed on my Mini (and I already have the 4th axis card). And even then, it was going to take a pretty smart Haas tech to make it go.

    I decided to go with 5C rotaries instead. I make miniature tombstones either free hanging or supported with a tailstock. The 5C Rotaries are all over eBay, and there are some fairly reputable repair shops that can almost guarantee that it will work with your machine

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    We have one set up on a new super mini mill. Its ok for positioning but not true 5 axis work.

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    Hi All:
    This has been super informative and I want to thank all of you who posted.

    Here's what I'm thinking now:
    Investing in one of these is not going to get me as much as I was hoping for; the consensus seems to be that cobbling one of these beasts onto a Minmill is going to cost a lot and not get me all that much, assuming it can even be done.
    It's also going to be a "project" and I hate "projects" by now because they're always way more work than they seem, and they never work out quite as good as we pretend unless every single detail is attended to meticulously.

    So it appears that if I truly want seamless fifth axis capability, I'd have to invest considerably, and to me that means a new machine that has been properly integrated together so I can run it instead of screwing around with it.
    So for this occasional need I'm potentially facing a 200 grand tab...I guess perhaps NOT!
    Not for the volume of work I envision running through per month.

    Good thing I asked you guys BEFORE I dropped cash on a TRT 100.

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    www.vancouverwireedm.com

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    Marcus! Get a Hermele C12 and let us know how awesome it is so we can all dream....

    We are gently doing institutional fundraising to upgrade our mill and were looking at the TRT-100 as well, but mostly to make better eye plaques. These are eyeball sized pieces of acrylic (radiation, surgery, ocular nerve cancer, don't ask) so we thought it might be quite good. Interesting to hear it's not great for true 5 axis though. We're not there yet in the $$ so it's moot for now.

  11. #10
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    STOOOPPPP Robin!!
    You're going to give me a Hermle boner!
    I already have machine tool lust...don't encourage it!!

    Seriously; if I could justify the cash I'd be all over it; I do have some small buyer's remorse for the times when I underbought and had to live with the shortcomings of budget purchases.
    However practical realities are calling to me too, and as an Official Gomer (I'm over sixty) with sadly declining capabilities, I'm coming to the realization I don't have forever anymore to recover from dumb business decisions.

    So I'm going to slink back into my foreskin and put the Hermle catalogue away again.

    Now...about that DM 1 with the TRT 100 for a measly hundred grand.....

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    www.vancouverwireedm.com

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