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    Default MDA Precision

    The company that I work for is looking to buy a Bench-Top Mill (aka Office Mill, aka Compact Mill) for microfluidics sized applications. Mostly acrylic, but occasional aluminum.

    The front-runner is a MDA Precision V8-TC8 benchtop mill.
    V8-TC8 Benchtop CNC Mill 2,000-60,000RPM 1.1Kw Spindle - MDA Precision

    Does anyone have any experience with this company's
    -customer service responsiveness,
    -equipment (quality, reasonable maintenance, etc), and
    -software (ease of use, capabilities, compatibility)

    Thank you in advance

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    You payed $32K for that??????

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    The selection process already started in an adjacent department, and I just got called in see what I think. To put it diplomatically; I have my concerns, but I want to know if there is something amazing about them that I haven't heard about them.

    I was hoping for some unbiased comments from anyone who has worked with them and/or their equipment and software.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimCummings View Post
    The selection process already started in an adjacent department, and I just got called in see what I think. To put it diplomatically; I have my concerns, but I want to know if there is something amazing about them that I haven't heard about them.

    I was hoping for some unbiased comments from anyone who has worked with them and/or their equipment and software.

    I doubt you will find anyone here that would admit to having used one of those as it would be classed as "Hobby machine" (Read forum guidelines). Man, that thing is painfully expensive and especially when you start adding on options. And going back to 1970's 120 IPM rapids would devastate me.

    The thing is just painfully slow,,,

    YouTube

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    I mentor the robotics program at the local high school, and they have an MDA Precision CNC lathe. It has a Mach3 control on it, which I find is awful compared to an industrial grade control, like Haas or Fanuc. The iron is based on a German Wabeco lathe, which is adequate for a light bench lathe demonstrating the basics of turning. The iron is kind of what you'd get if you had Germans build a Grizzly design. The lathe would be OK as a training tool if it had a real control. I suppose if I spent hours and hours on it scrapping parts, I might eventually get the control to sing. I have no idea whether the MotusCNC control that MDA now supplies is any good.

    One thing that is exceedingly annoying about the lathe is that if you lift the chuck guard before the spindle comes to a complete stop, the machine totally freezes for 10 minutes, and nothing you can do will wake it up. If any student wants to get out of the lathe lesson, they can bump the guard, and class is kaput for 10 minutes, end of story. Of course MDA will not tell you how to recover sooner than 10 minutes.

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    @g-coder05; Yea, I'm trying not to be too critical in this thread until I get some user opinions, but I'm getting the impression that they're "high-end hobbiest". In my previous job, I helped select a HAAS OM-1 (looks like CM-1 is the current equiv.) for the small prototype parts that we were making. My immediate thought was to look into that as a baseline, and then go from there.

    But yes, that's all I want to say about that to see if there are any other comments from people who have used MDA Precision equipment.


    @rklopp; Thank you for the info. And, Ha, thanks for the story. I did a temp gig as a college student shop supervisor a while back, and picked up some good ones.

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    Datron are the first that come to mind for that kind of work.

    DATRON High Speed CNC Milling Machines, Engraving Machines

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    I would go for the HAAS CM-1 with 50 000 rpm spindle. It is made for what you describe.
    I have an OM-2 (same machine) since 10 years and have just ordered a new CM-1.
    I can tell you everything you whant to know about its strengths and limitations.

    Regards Staffan

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    I doubt you will find anyone here that would admit to having used one of those as it would be classed as "Hobby machine" (Read forum guidelines). Man, that thing is painfully expensive and especially when you start adding on options. And going back to 1970's 120 IPM rapids would devastate me.

    The thing is just painfully slow,,,

    YouTube
    I like how the air nozzles are the straws off a WD40 can...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimCummings View Post
    The company that I work for is looking to buy a Bench-Top Mill (aka Office Mill, aka Compact Mill) for microfluidics sized applications. Mostly acrylic, but occasional aluminum.

    The front-runner is a MDA Precision V8-TC8 benchtop mill.
    V8-TC8 Benchtop CNC Mill 2,000-60,000RPM 1.1Kw Spindle - MDA Precision

    Does anyone have any experience with this company's
    -customer service responsiveness,
    -equipment (quality, reasonable maintenance, etc), and
    -software (ease of use, capabilities, compatibility)

    Thank you in advance
    My first impression is a " Sherline on steroids". Orders of magnitude difference between that and a Haas but then orders of magnitude only count in paychecks. ;-) How much of the claimed spindle speed do you really need?
    I don't envy your position; glad I'm not in the middle of that cat fight.
    I hope that in the end you manage to get what will really do your job long term with a bit of headroom for trying the things that were not envisioned when the machine was purchased.

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    Thank you all for the feedback and options.

    @Tjugo7 (Staffan) I had the same thought.

    Strange, it didn't post my last reply. I helped but pick out a mill about 8 years ago at my last company, and we went with a stock OM-1 (lower requirements than this), so my immediate thought was to set the CM-1 as the baseline and compare from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ss_user View Post
    My first impression is a " Sherline on steroids".
    Only sherlines are beautiful little machines ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    I doubt you will find anyone here that would admit to having used one of those as it would be classed as "Hobby machine" (Read forum guidelines). Man, that thing is painfully expensive and especially when you start adding on options. And going back to 1970's 120 IPM rapids would devastate me.

    The thing is just painfully slow,,,

    YouTube
    How is a $40,000 machine a hobby machine? (By the time you add the enclosure and some typical options)
    Just because it has small travels doesn’t mean it’s a toy.
    This particular machine may be junk, that’s why the guy is here asking for input, his business needs a small travel machine with high rpm spindle for tiny parts and he is asking if this will do it, and apparently they have decent budget to work with.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    How is a $40,000 machine a hobby machine? (By the time you add the enclosure and some typical options)
    Just because it has small travels doesn’t mean it’s a toy.
    This particular machine may be junk, that’s why the guy is here asking for input, his business needs a small travel machine with high rpm spindle for tiny parts and he is asking if this will do it, and apparently they have decent budget to work with.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

    Just because they slapped a 40K price tag on it doesn't bring it into an industrial grade machine. I can put a dremel tool on 80/20 rails with a linear motion system and say $40K, does that mean I'm competing with Okuma now?

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    As other people have mentioned, you can get much more machine for that kind of money.
    The small Haas office mills would work well, or there are other lesser known options.
    Here's a link to one the Remedy Machine Sales offers. I have no affiliation with this company. I beleive they are a dealer for Atrump, but put their own name on most machines they sell.

    EC EDM & Remedy Machine Sales, LLC

    If you do some searching, you'll find other options as well.

    btm

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    A company large enough to have different departments should be able to afford a real machine. Unless the engineers are being paid minimum wage, ya'll are just wasting your time. Pony up for a Haas at the minimum. I would also look at a Brother Speedio with 27K spindle, or equivalent Fanuc Robodrill.

    When I see the MDA, I see a retrofit machine. That's what we mean by hobby grade.

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    I don’t see a single mention of accuracies on their specs. How precise do you need? As a business owner and as someone who previously ran a ProtoTrak machine for another, I cannot justify anything less than a serious true CNC machine. It is such an absolute waste of time to get ‘something that works’ instead of a true industrial solution. Look at real machines.

    I have a Brother Speedio that I paid a lot more for than the machine you’re asking about and it easily pays for itself every month with just the cost savings of one of the in house products I make.

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    Hey, all my replies posted. I guess they needed to be approved, and everyone is off duty on the weekend (I know I would be).

    Thank you all again for the feedback, and I have a lot of the same thoughts. I've seen more than enough examples of people trying to save money with the initial purchase only to have those savings burned through in the first month or two due to difficulties with use and maintenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimCummings View Post
    The company that I work for is looking to buy a Bench-Top Mill (aka Office Mill, aka Compact Mill) for microfluidics sized applications. Mostly acrylic, but occasional aluminum.

    The front-runner is a MDA Precision V8-TC8 benchtop mill.
    V8-TC8 Benchtop CNC Mill 2,000-60,000RPM 1.1Kw Spindle - MDA Precision
    I've run the slightly older version of that thing from back before the switched to the much more suitable Jaeger spindle. It is in every way a noodly hobby mill. With its lightweight castings and unsupported single nut rolled ballscrews it has can't even use an 1/8" endmill to capacity in aluminum with the old 7500RPM spindle. The motion control simply isn't there to actually use a 60K spindle for anything but straight slotting.

    Does anyone have any experience with this company's
    -customer service responsiveness,
    I had a bad spindle on the new mill as delivered. They came out and replaced it eventually. They're not a big company...so there isn't a large stock of spares and you may be waiting a while if anything unique breaks.

    -equipment (quality, reasonable maintenance, etc), and
    There's no thermal comp on the machine anywhere so if you want to get accurate parts you need to use their tool presetter religiously to at least hole the z-axis close. Only problem there is it will randomly glitch every few months and shatter an endmill on you. The y-axis will also shift about 0.002" as the c-frame heats up over a few hours of hard running.

    -software (ease of use, capabilities, compatibility)
    I haven't used the new motus software but anything would be an improvement over the buggy and random Mach3 implementation that they used to use.

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