A new cast iron 3 axis challenger weighing in at over 600lbs! - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    This thing is a little better then the standard hobby grade. And I dont see anyone else building machines.........

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    Having built machinery in that price range as well as ones at $100,000 a piece, as well as my own homebuilt CNC for about $10,000 I think this is going to be tough.

    People wonder why Tormach’s price is approaching Haas’s price and answer is simple. Haas builds a whole lot of their machines and they build thousands, meaning they actually get the volume discounts on every component you will never see. Tormach is still in business and apparently still growing their product line. This means their price is not too high or too low.
    I think they tried to do exactly what you want to do for the same market and found it impossible.

    The company that could make a really great hobby mill at a great price is Haas. They have everything to do it already and if you take away dealers and great service and only offer internet sales and service they could likely make money at it. Why wouldn’t they do it? Too little money to be made it’s that simple.

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  4. #43
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    Just wait for the next" We are after your Guns" Law then you will have a production "Ghost Gun Machine"

    I don't know I just cant get over the fact that your using crowd funding to build a machine, Basically you have no skin, sweat and tears in the game if it doesn't work you don't have to try harder you just take the money and disappear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Delw View Post
    Just wait for the next" We are after your Guns" Law then you will have a production "Ghost Gun Machine"

    I don't know I just cant get over the fact that your using crowd funding to build a machine, Basically you have no skin, sweat and tears in the game if it doesn't work you don't have to try harder you just take the money and disappear.
    Ha, that is how "business" works today. You don't actually invest a dime or have any risk, you just focus on an appealing video and people flip a few bucks they will never miss and you are instantly funded. No wonder most of them fail!!!! Any here I am with a complete master plan and millions on contracts I can get but I don't know how to appeal to the "crowd funders"!!!!

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  7. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comatose View Post
    Please. Glowforge isn't nearly a 4k machine. Sure, they sell them for 4k and they advertise the heck out of them, but it's still a $1500 chinese laser in a swoopier box.
    I've been skeptical of the Glow Forge since day one. But, where can you get a Chinese laser with the features of GF that appeal to non-tech types for $1500 or for any price for that matter?

    Based on reviews of Chinese lasers if I was in the market for a GF type laser I might rather pay the $4K for GF with local support than an unknown from China even if $2500 less.

    GF sold almost 10,000 machines in their initial offering, I'm surprised a bunch haven't shown up on Seattle CL.

  8. #46
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    Ok, I want to start with saying I’ve read all your comments and would like to thank many of you for your feedback. We were very excited to receive this constructive criticism and please know we value it greatly. We’re a startup company doing this for the first time with a lot of blind spots. We’re still building a team up and realizing areas we neglected (including media/presentation) and by no means is this a simple project where we’re just going to take our prototype, make a few changes to and then try to produce and sell it. What we have now is an engineering prototype, something to just show the feasibility of the combination of components we’ve put together. We wanted to know if we put a system together that meets or exceeds our stated parameters for making this.

    While some of the comments seemed angry and some of your criticism was harsh, we still gained from it. We’ve spent most of today discussing many of the points you’ve made and felt like it would be a good idea to include more backstory and put forth an effort to answer many of your comments.

    We are interested in introducing a solution that is beneficial to both us and our customers. The idea of selling something so cheap, that it is impossible to do what is advertised, that we can’t even afford customer support and other operations is most definitely not the goal of this business. I believe now from what you’ve stated that pricing is most definitely undervalued and that we were from the moment we thought to fundraise on kickstarter, going to take a loss. We actually planned to cap kickstarter at 10-20 units as we don’t need to raise any money, we are in a strange situation where we can’t access that investment money though unless we can prove it will sell, aka take pre-orders for it. We discussed ways to somehow hold all kickstarter funds in an escrow until we could deliver said units but didn’t want to publicise that as it seemed like something we should first contact a lawyer over. I’d like to follow up on some of these points I’ve said through answering of your comments.



    Radar987: #11

    You’re absolutely right but what defines accuracy and what defines speed? If you’re talking about holding it to a tenth and 600ipm, this machine will severely disappoint you. Our parameter as far as accuracy goes is to be able to hit tolerances in the +/- 0.005” range, with of course tighter tolerances being ideal if we can. The majority of work that we envision our customers requiring would fall within that range. Better quality ball screws, linear guides, servos, and CAM programming among others can all improve that number as well. Our thought is that we can swap from c7 to c5 ball screws for instance with little extra work on our part if the customer desires it. Obviously there are more factors in play when it comes to increasing accuracy but we can address some of the low hanging fruit like the ball screws in our design at the customer's discretion. I feel like cringing when I say 5 thousandths with tolerance but I believe in being realistic and not unreasonably optimistic like others often advertise.




    Naysayers? No you are the best people to listen to! You point out the flaws that we miss, look to form a second (negative) opinion on everything we do. Listening to only happy customers or happy prospective customers in our case doesn’t give us a chance to evolve and become better.

    Yes we are very concerned with the kickstarter campaign, we are seeking ways to avoid using kickstarter actually but we need to prove to our investor which also holds the reins to our business overall that it will sell. He wants to see pre-orders before we take up more time and money. We believe that taking some pre-orders through kickstarter is the only way we can do it though we are trying to think up and brainstorm other methods. There is no kickstarter ever as far as I know as expensive as what this mill would cost, so we asked ourselves how cheap we could sell it to make it kickstarter feasible. We only need to prove sales, not sell large volumes so we planned to cap the maximum orders. It feels wrong on so many levels for so many reasons so we’ve been trying to come up with a better solution.

    Thanks Radar987.



    Dupa3872: #12

    Thanks for the encouragement. I have been overwhelmed with the amount of feedback we’ve gotten in such a short period of time. Having so many experts in the industry chiming in and giving their opinions has truly made it feel like all these months of work have some weight to them. Not that we made the perfect machine or have the perfect plan yet but that it is enough to make a ripple in this community. I feel even more confident now in the possibility of success than I was before we posted this thread and made it public. I think the worst response we could of gotten was apathy towards out project which didn't happen. We want to keep pushing forward until we have something that we would be proud to sell and have customers who are proud to own.

    Ripperj: #13

    Yes. -.- It seems like all the names are taken. We don’t believe we’ll run into issues using these names but the company is still young enough that we could probably change names w/out too big of an issue. Trouble is I really like the name Vulcan .


    Mtndew: #14

    Noted, I think in the future we’ll to include periods of only machine noise in the clips.


    Ripperj: #15

    Generate excitement is great, feedback is more important in the long run for us.

    I agree though, I would of liked to do at least one more iteration of it before we posted pictures of it and started publicising it. Our investor who holds control of the company wanted us to prove that it is sellable now by getting pre-orders instead of after going through another round of iterations. The worst part is, we don’t need money for infrastructure, 100% of the pre-order money would go to order fulfillment, it could sit in escrow for all we cared. We’re kinda stuck in this and it hurts to have to go public with it when its only somewhere between an engineering model and a prototype.


    Adama: #16

    Nope, no completed castings were purchased from anywhere. We designed all of them ourselves over a few months before sending it out to have a sample casted.

    Yup chinese BT30, its not the best of the best but it is actually better than we were expecting. I’ll grab a video of the runout on it tomorrow, I’m curious myself how it’s changed from day 1 to today. When we first got it we were seeing runout of about 0.0002” to 0.0003”, but it was only semi-repeatable. I feel like the tool/er nut we used were probably not the best. We were getting 0.0008” at worst when we inserted tooling sometimes. The spindle is the heart of the machine and we feel like everything branches out from that. A little more runout on a spindle translates to a LOT more vibration and forces entering the frame. Ideally we’re shooting for less than 0.0005” runout on the spindle, and might choose a different setup if we can’t achieve it with the one we have now. BTW, the spindle/motor setup we have is good to 8k rpm.

    We are happy with our control software thus far and will likely continue with it to production. The guy who built the hardware also built the software for it and they go hand in hand. It runs a custom FPGA board and a robust software package. One of the win/lose situations though is that it’s an open ended software, the business or individual using it is supposed to build their own front facing system for it to best suit their needs. There are templates you can use but it’s not really customer friendly until we finish the GUI. For us it’s not plug and play, we have continue programming it. If we make it to the next iteration we’re going to hire a programmer to assist us as it’s very time consuming.



    hsracer201: #20

    Actually no, at least not anything more than cellphone pics. We are terrible at marketing and our marketing guy bailed on us last minute to build his tee shirt printing business so we were left trying to figure out how to do his job w/out any experience in this. I’ll get some pictures for you tomorrow that are actually not a last minute cellphone pic.



    To anyone wondering why our z column looks like a cast I-beam, it’s because it is. We had several half-solution ideas for what we wanted the motor/head to be and wanted to put the order in for castings. We decided to make a simple I-beam style z column for the prototype in the end so we could fabricate our own heads and bolt them to the I-beam while we test different ideas. It turned out to be a good idea since this is now our third head/spindle setup we’ve tested, and we didn’t have to recast to do it.

    We got the drop cloth and lighting on order! Thanks for the help. I knew that it wasn’t going to be pretty going in but I didn’t realize how bad it came out until after. The burrs in the steel in the video are so cringe worthy I feel like maybe we should take it down asap and run w/out a video until we can fix it. I really didn’t even see them until the video. We were so focused on trying to film, tripping over all the tripods and fabbed up lights all the while trying to stop the camera from constantly losing focus due to chips flying everywhere that I don’t think we ever actually ended up inspecting the parts it cut. Thanks for the advice hsracer!



    Alright, several hours into this reply and I just now made it to page 2. I’m sorry I can’t continue but it’s already 1:30AM. I’ll start replies to page 2 comments tomorrow.

  9. #47
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    I do wish you the best of luck,
    But
    In my opinion (and probably most people here) anything with stepper motors is a hobby grade machine and this isn't a hobby forum as you're aware. But that decision ultimately lies with Milacron. And seeing as he hasn't closed this thread yet might mean something.

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  11. #48
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    Glad that you're taking the comments, even the heavy criticism the right way. It's all useful, even if sometimes harsh.

    One quick thought on your last picture in #46 - the motor hanging out so far away from the center of mass and Z drive may induce a torsion about the moment arm during acceleration, displacing the spindle if doing something like drilling.

    While not always easy, doing everything you can to keep moving masses symmetric about the drive and motion control elements is intrinsically better than having "diving boards" with heavy masses dynamically affecting the system.

    Keeping the system compact as possible, except for spreading the linear bearing packs (with appropriate bracing) will help with dynamic response. With best design practices you should have something light but stiff, ideally saving money in the castings as a side benefit.

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  13. #49
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    You need to get that motor on the other side of the beam. If nothing else your going to wear your linear bearings excessively with the cantilevered weight

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    .....But that decision ultimately lies with Milacron. And seeing as he hasn't closed this thread yet might mean something.
    The only thing it means is that Milacron has not actively moderated this forum for at least a couple years now. Back when he was actively moderating, a thread about this machine would have been locked. Probably with less than 10 replies.

  16. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by yugami View Post
    You need to get that motor on the other side of the beam. If nothing else your going to wear your linear bearings excessively with the cantilevered weight
    Indeed,

    That's why I was thinking that a RAM Style layout like the DMG MORI CMX 1100 V is more efficient / rigid for not very much iron over the layout favored by OP.

    I.e. Head moves in Y and Z but the table moves in X.


    When you don't have enough "iron" to make a true bridge style machine I think the CMX type layout is the most efficient/ most rigid per not very much amount of iron.



    *

    __________________________________________________ ______________________________


    * No affiliation but DO like the design engineering of the distribution of "Iron" very efficient.

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  18. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    The only thing it means is that Milacron has not actively moderated this forum for at least a couple years now. Back when he was actively moderating, a thread about this machine would have been locked. Probably with less than 10 replies.
    He edited/updated a post a few posts back I believe, so he knows it exists. Either way, I couldn't care less if he locks or doesn't lol.

  19. #53
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    This thread is interesting in the fact that it shows insight into how some things are done today...no capital for R&D, no real experience in the field being pursued or the product being developed and a total lack of advertising or marketing skills...just a hope and prayer that the product will fly and you'll become the next Jeff Bezos.

    Stuart

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomarc View Post
    This thread is interesting in the fact that it shows insight into how some things are done today...no capital for R&D, no real experience in the field being pursued or the product being developed and a total lack of advertising or marketing skills...just a hope and prayer that the product will fly and you'll become the next Jeff Bezos.

    Stuart
    More time & effort spent on the website & crappy video than actual design & testing.

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    So, anyone without an in-house foundry and 50 years of experience should just pack up and go home?

    Sure, tormach machines are crap, but so were the original Haas indexers. So were the original Honda motorcycles. So were the original... everything. If he survives this project maybe he learns a few tricks and makes the next one a little bit better.

    To the OP, I agree that the overhanging mass is a recipe for disaster. If your software can do vibration analysis from an external input (In solidworks this would be simulation premium), set up a torque input varying in a square wave from 0 to 100% of your max output torque, then sweep that from zero to four times your max spindle speed (for a four flute endmill, so 666 Hz if your spindle tops out at 10,000 rpm) and you'll see what we mean.

    Then do the same with force dominant periodic loads, then combined force and torque. Then shake your motion components to simulate acceleration, though with small steppers acceleration isn't likely to be a real problem.

    You absolutely can make a mass optimized small-ish CNC. There's probably a market. It isn't what you have now, but sometimes the prototyping and designing stage takes years.

    Keep at it!

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  23. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    ......When you don't have enough "iron" to make a true bridge style machine I think the CMX type layout is the most efficient/ most rigid per not very much amount of iron.
    The CMX is just a modern spin on Mori's M300L of the early 90s. Not a bad machine but the design was very prone to geometry roll/droop in the Y axis travel after moderate usage. Better/different linear guides on the X axis would have gone a long way in remedying that issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    The CMX is just a modern spin on Mori's M300L of the early 90s. Not a bad machine but the design was very prone to geometry roll/droop in the Y axis travel after moderate usage. Better/different linear guides on the X axis would have gone a long way in remedying that issue.
    Well as you can see the CMX addresses that with the diagonal supports (inverted buttresses) underneath... They jut out quite far to support that Y travel assembly... Actually a little overbuilt but the MORI chief designer didn't want to take any chances compared to some of the earlier Eco-mill debacles. It's also quite broad and stout (that y axis Ram ) as well as having most of it's travel supported underneath.

    The Stepped design / structure on the X travel on the table is a good design improvement too I think. (Like Op's
    over-head arrangement for X travel.)

    Okuma had a similar layout too , but as I say per iron the DMG MORI chief designer tried to make that as rigid as he can for the amount of iron. Making a ultra thin walled bridge style or conventional C-frame is not as rigid (with the proportionally less amount of iron).


    OP's FEA does not take into account adverse harmonics ----> Surface finish.

    Also would have thought that the geometry with less iron needs to be more curvy / compound curves if you have really thin walled structures, fewer stress build up points and problems with harmonics.


    I was kinda hoping with OP's original title he / she had built a mill that was almost egg shaped out of steel wrapped in carbon fiber to deliver freakishly good performance for "Thing" the weighs 600 lbs. There are some really interesting formula 1 race car transmission boxes that use carbon fiber to wrap around various complex shaped castings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    I had a look at your link, pretty much depressed the hell out of me (lol).

    I think you are probably right that is the "Frame".

    Apart from HAAS is it really true that the art of making technical cast iron has been lost in the USA , even for single castings that weigh 2500 lbs or there abouts ?
    That which Adam linked to would make a nice little garage machine to faff about with.
    Compared to the router junk available

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    Quote Originally Posted by VulcanMachineCo View Post

    We are interested in introducing a solution that is beneficial to both us and our customers. The idea of selling something so cheap, that it is impossible to do what is advertised, that we can’t even afford customer support and other operations is most definitely not the goal of this business. I believe now from what you’ve stated that pricing is most definitely undervalued and that we were from the moment we thought to fundraise on kickstarter, going to take a loss. We actually planned to cap kickstarter at 10-20 units as we don’t need to raise any money, we are in a strange situation where we can’t access that investment money though unless we can prove it will sell, aka take pre-orders for it. We discussed ways to somehow hold all kickstarter funds in an escrow until we could deliver said units but didn’t want to publicise that as it seemed like something we should first contact a lawyer over. I’d like to follow up on some of these points I’ve said through answering of your comments.
    I stumbled on this book called "The Lean Start-Up" that I think you could get a lot of good pointers from. It's not a perfect model for every business as it claims to be, but it's a completely different approach to what you are doing with Kickstarter.

    As a summary: by doing a lean start-up, you'd put out a minimum viable product as fast as possible. Say you made a 3-axis mill with a BT30 spindle that runs on Mach3, and nothing else. Throw out every other demand you have in your big list of requirements. Sell this to one customer, then get feed-back. Have a big list of assumptions, lets say in your case you'd assume that after dealing with such a basic machine that the customer will want the features on your list.

    The feedback you get from your customer can steer you in the direction you need to go. For instance, maybe people aren't looking for a turn-key mill, but rather one they can modify themselves with "crowd-sourced" IT support.

    Take Atormarc's comment: "no capital for R&D, no real experience in the field being pursued or the product being developed and a total lack of advertising or marketing skills..." He's totally right. You aren't as experienced as a name-brand machine tool manufacturer, and from your posts it sounds like you aren't a master machinist either. Obviously you don't have money otherwise you wouldn't need kickstarter, and as you mentioned your marketing guy "fell through" or something. I'm not saying that to insult you, that's just what it looks like.

    I'm also not saying to take every suggestion we throw out and jam it into a machine; really the opposite. Make assumptions, prove them right or wrong, and develop a product that solves problems people didn't even know they had. If you stick to your general goals, you'll go in the direction of having a cheaper benchtop mill instead of Tormach's steady climb into the VMC realm. You'll own a market, make lots of money, happily ever after. Or flop. Who knows.

    Ditch kickstarter; They're not doing you any favors. If you read that book, you'll see that kickstarter sets you up for failure, maybe with money left over and a few cool tools you made, but with lots of angry investors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comatose View Post
    So, anyone without an in-house foundry and 50 years of experience should just pack up and go home?
    Of course not.

    I can fab that in steel, with a buzzbox, and it will be the same or better.

    Or you can farm out the fabrication to any number of competent shops.


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