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Experience with Makino Slim3N vs Hurco VMX30i vs Haas Vf2i vs Haas DT1


Oct 24, 2019
Hello all,

We have been trying to decide on our purchase on a CNC mill and based on the machine lead time, sales and service support, and other factors:
Initial choices:
1) Haas VF2i with TRT210 table (Simultaneous 5 axis)
2) Speedio S700Xd1 with Yukiwa TNT170L table (Simultaneous 5 axis)
3) Mazak Variaxis J500 (4+1 axis)
4) Haas DT1 with TRT100 table (Simultaneous 5 axis)
5) Hurco VMX24i / VMX30i with Detron GFA210S table (Simultaneous 5 axis)
6) Makino Slim3N with Autocam AT250A2C table (4+1 axis)
7) Haas UMC350HD with TRT210 table (Simultaneous 5 axis)

We did not choose Speedio and Mazak machines because of their significantly long lead times of more than 4 months plus, and we need an urgent machine in less than 5 weeks.

Final choices in the order of top choices:
1) Makino Slim3N with Autocam AT250A2C table
2) Hurco VMX30i with Detron GFA210S table
3) Haas VF2i with TRT210 table
4) Haas DT1 with TRT100 table

Has anyone worked with above final choice machines and can comment on the pros and cons for the same? Any feedback about the quality of machines and general opinion after using the machines?

I will share my following study regarding each machines interacting with customers here in India and sales folks

1) Makino Slim3N I personally visited the factory where the machine is being built and assembled, and the quality standards they are following are very high. Some of the key things I can share is that all their mother machinery is from Makino, the machining and assembly rooms are all temperature controlled entirely, multiple CMMs on the machining and assembly floors to keep the quality in check, dust free room for spindle assembly which is separate from the main assembly room, wide range of gauges and tools to check parameters of machine during assembly, etc to name a few.

Also, the customers I spoke with swore about the quality, some of them stating that they have been using the machine since 5+ years and the machine has been hogging on stainless steel, hastelloy, and other super alloys like crazy without any issues.

2) Hurco VMX30i I went to the tech center and was blown away by how ridiculously intuitive the Winmax controller is, and it completely blows any other controls I have seen out of water. Can surely give Mazatrol, Celos and Haas controllers a run for their money. However, Hurco machines have been sold sparsely in my area due to the lack of service support. Also, cannot say anything about the build quality of Hurco machines since I have not met anyone near my area using them.

3) Haas Vf2i and DT1 We heard both good and bad about Haas machines from numerous end users. Most of the common feedback being they're fine with non-ferrous machining but will definitely start to show troubles withing 2-3 years of operations for stainless or super alloy machining. Also, the machine brochures does not talk about machine accuracy or repeatability specs, and I asked the sales guy. He said they are promising positioning accuracy and repeatability within 6 microns, which I am taking with a pinch of salt. When I asked him for any test report for proof, he has been evading the topic and said when you plan to purchase a machine, they will give a written guarantee about the said machine performance. Bottom of the story is, Haas reviews has both been good and bad from the market. Not convince about the quality output from Haas can match the other two options from Makino and Hurco.

Any thoughts?
Also to add to above

1) Makino Slim3N comes with HSK A50 spindle, 8000 rpm high torque option

2) Hurco VMX30i comes with 12000 rpm BBT40 Belt Driven spindle, to which I have reservations about the quality and potential vibrations and issues that comes with belt driven spindles. The Hurco sales guy says that Belt driven works just fine for RPMs up to 12000, if we don't intend to work in die-mould application where finishing is extremely important. I don't have any comeback to that, but I am still not convinced about belt driven spindles for such brand machines

3) Haas comes with BT40 spindles, and the Haas guy says his BT40 spindle is better than others. When I pointed out that BBT and HSK spindles are relatively more accurate compared to BT spindles because they have larger surface area of contact, he simply was in denial, saying you only need BBT or HSK spindle when you want to work with RPMs above 15000, below which BT spindle is absolutely fine.

Any comment on the differences between the 3 machine spindles? For clarification, I studied the torque curve of HSK A-50 spindle, and we are fine with the power delivered by their 8000 RPM high torque spindle. It will work for all the parts that we have in our portfolio.
That's a pretty diverse group of machines, you sure you've properly identified your requirements?

But if that's what you're set on, here are my thoughts.

I'd rule out Haas immediately because they are junk, which leaves the Hurco and Makino.

The Makino is always going to be a better quality machine than the Hurco, but it is only 4+1 and has a Fanuc control. It would be faster than the Hurco, but with only 8K, that surely isn't your primary concern.

I had two X series Hurcos at my old job (VMX64 and DCX32, both bigger 50 taper machines), they were solid machines and the control is fantastic. I'd take a VMX over any Haas any day of the week for power, weight and rigidity. Belt driven spindles are perfectly fine at those kind of speeds, the real drawback to them is that they are loud compared to direct or integrated spindles when running fast.

The Hurcos didn't break down or require parts any more frequently than any of our Fanuc machines, in spite of what everyone claims about Fanuc. In the ~12 years I had those two machines (both bought new in 2010 and 2011) I replaced one set of thrust bearings, one spindle amplifier, had one spindle rebuilt, and replaced some odds and ends like coolant pump contactors, lube lines, and keysheets on the jog pendant.

The only real problems with the Hurcos were nuisance things - the coolant tank design wasn't great at keeping fines out, chip evacuation had dead spots where the flush couldn't get the chips out, stuff like that.

Big Plus is a huge advantage on a 40 taper, which is reason enough alone to choose the Hurco over the Haas, but note that the toolholders themselves are significantly more expensive than basic BT40 ones.
Hurco offers the VMX30Di which has a 15k direct drive bbt40 spindle in it.

We have a Hurco VMX30i and its a decent machine, definitely a step up from a Haas. Control is very user friendly, and the machines been very reliable, no real problems with it over the last 10 years.

For mold and die you need more than 8k rpm. Preferably you'd have 20k+ rpm available. Otherwise you're just wasting cycle time.
I currently have a Hurco VM10i with a Kitagawa 5 axis table, great little setup but ultimately let down by the head growth as the machine warms up, which messes with rotational centres, takes several hours of flat out running to settle. I believe being belt drive compared to direct drive is the main cause of this very long warm up time, although not sure to be honest.

Love the machine but just couldn't recommended it (or anything similar) for 5 axis work due to the thermal growth issues, plenty of talk about this issue on the forums before (thank you guys! Amazing amount of info on here)

Funnily enough, after many hours of research it was stuff like the Slim3n that seemed to be the answer for a small vmc with 5 axis potential, non c-frame machine construction to help negate thermal issues, and also seemingly built to another level of accuracy compared to the cheaper machines. Ended up being out of my budget but seem to remember it started at £110k before options, for reference. Makino have awesome videos on their site and there's at least one that show the details of the Slim3n inside and out
Your profile doesn't say where you are located but if you are between the Missouri river and Las Vegas, service and support for the Hurcos is very poor and that is all I will say about that dealer. Makino on the other hand, serviced by Productivity, has excellent support and service. A lot of times there is a tech here next day.

Edit: Went through your old posts and turns out you are in India? I would choose whoever has the better service Hurco vs Makino, but would probably go with the Makino.
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We have decided to go with Makino Slim3N. We are based out of India and we got good reviews about Makino support. Hopefully the machine should run squeaky clean as promised. We have chosen 4+1 axis capabilities on the machine.