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    Default Small Bed Mill Options

    I'm sure this has been discussed before, but my search results have not been that relevant to what I am looking for.

    I have very limited space where this will fit so I am looking for around a 10" x 50" table, 3 - 5 hp, 3 axis bed mill with around a 31" X travel. Thus far evaluating a Prototrak (first choice right now) and a Clausing. Internet search has shown others but not sure if they are worth looking into. Whatever I buy I want to touch first. Going to a Prototrak showroom on Friday.

    My limited knowledge on current programming makes it tough to properly evaluate the programming features, but I seem to like the Protorak and Acurite controllers. Am I on the right track?

    Any other suggestions for a decent small bed mill?

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    Quote Originally Posted by markz528 View Post
    I'm sure this has been discussed before, but my search results have not been that relevant to what I am looking for.

    I have very limited space where this will fit so I am looking for around a 10" x 50" table, 3 - 5 hp, 3 axis bed mill with around a 31" X travel. Thus far evaluating a Prototrak (first choice right now) and a Clausing. Internet search has shown others but not sure if they are worth looking into. Whatever I buy I want to touch first. Going to a Prototrak showroom on Friday.

    My limited knowledge on current programming makes it tough to properly evaluate the programming features, but I seem to like the Protorak and Acurite controllers. Am I on the right track?

    Any other suggestions for a decent small bed mill?
    Dear Sir

    Hi I am from India my name is Aniruddha khade also I have a small shop.

    I am running my sens 2001 So I know the all requirements of shop.

    Now I'm a small machine manufacturer my machine run on mach3 so if you need any tech support so don't hazetate please send me a mail or reply me or if you need any machine so please mail me or reply me
    My mail id [email protected]
    Or
    [email protected][IMG]https:/...db13a45b6c.jpg[/IMG]

    Sent from my Redmi 3S using Tapatalk

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    First post and it's sales pitch? I'm going to go get a bag of pop corn and watch the show.
    Dan

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    Oh and he used machine, manufacuring and mach3 in the same sentence.

    Marko

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    I started my current shop with a Proto Track DPM 3 It has Around 32 inches of X travel and 18 in the Y I got as many options as I could afford including the ability to run other code generated off line in Master Cam. When I think of the work I turned out on that machine making thousands of manual tool changes in the first two years it blows my mind. Ten years later it is still in use and has never had a service call.

    You can't go wrong with a Proto track, not the machine and not the company. They are first class.

    Make Chips Boys !

    Ron

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    I have a ProtoTrak and a Fryer with a Milltronics control. I like them both. I program them offline so their conversational aspects are not that important to me. If I have to program at the machine I prefer the Milltronics controller because it gives me more programing options but for manual stuff I like the ProtoTrak better. Both are really good and solid machines that hold pretty tight tolerances (I wouldn't hesitate to mill critical holes to +/-.0006 ... tighter than that and I would probably bore or ream).

    We have been doing more and more 3D work and they perform really good. I like the accessability of the machines since they do not have a bunch of sheetmetal around them. That way I can get in there and see what's happening without having to contort like a circus performer. The downside of course is that they can be a real mess when you have a job that requires a lot of material removal.

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    There used to be, likely still is, an Atrump model CNC bed mill without about 31" of X travel - usually Centroid control (mine is)
    Might be worth looking into.

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    Thank you very much for all the replies!

    After looking at all my options, looks like I will go with the Prototrak DPM SX2P with the NT30 spindle option. Not familiar with the NT30 spindle so trying to figure it out. I see BT30, NT 30 and NMTB30 and trying to figure out if they are compatible with each other or if they are all different. Trying to determine what tooling is available for the NT30.

    I considered the next size up but I only have 1 inch of height clearance with this machine to get it through the overhead door in my shop where this mill will go so this one will have to do. I think it will be fine for my needs.

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    Tapers 101 in a few sentences and one link.

    Unless it's HSK, the 30 or 40 or 50 refer to the size of the actual bearing taper. BT vs CAT are different flanges for tool changers NMTB means there's a kind of spud at the top. On machines WITHOUT A TOOL CHANGER but with either a manual or many power drawbars, CAT-30 BT-30 etc can be used, assuming the right threads on the drawbar.
    NMTB may or may not fit.
    Machine Tool Shanks (Tapers)

    NOTE WELL: Prototrak's WEB SITE lists that machine as R8, but lists a drawbar for CAT or NMTB - do make sure the spindle taper and the drawbar go together. Of course if they are quoting you something more complete that's great.

    That said a quick search on the web shows BT30 as vastly more common that CAT-30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    Tapers 101 in a few sentences and one link.

    Unless it's HSK, the 30 or 40 or 50 refer to the size of the actual bearing taper. BT vs CAT are different flanges for tool changers NMTB means there's a kind of spud at the top. On machines WITHOUT A TOOL CHANGER but with either a manual or many power drawbars, CAT-30 BT-30 etc can be used, assuming the right threads on the drawbar.
    NMTB may or may not fit.
    Machine Tool Shanks (Tapers)

    NOTE WELL: Prototrak's WEB SITE lists that machine as R8, but lists a drawbar for CAT or NMTB - do make sure the spindle taper and the drawbar go together. Of course if they are quoting you something more complete that's great.

    That said a quick search on the web shows BT30 as vastly more common that CAT-30.
    Thank you. I will be calling them tomorrow to get clarifications.

    They don't show on their website (best that I can tell) but the standard is R8 and upgrade is for NT30. It also has a power draw bar for R8 and the optional NT30. I do believe I recall seeing a ball stud on top of the NT30 holder when I looked at the machine last week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markz528 View Post
    Thank you very much for all the replies!

    After looking at all my options, looks like I will go with the Prototrak DPM SX2P with the NT30 spindle option. Not familiar with the NT30 spindle so trying to figure it out. I see BT30, NT 30 and NMTB30 and trying to figure out if they are compatible with each other or if they are all different. Trying to determine what tooling is available for the NT30.

    I considered the next size up but I only have 1 inch of height clearance with this machine to get it through the overhead door in my shop where this mill will go so this one will have to do. I think it will be fine for my needs.
    Looking at the specs on their site, the SX3P is listed as shorter than the SX2P, is that really correct?
    All else being the same, not counting more robust quill bearings and etc I'd rather have a 40 taper, tools are much more available.

    1 more vote for Prototrak. We have an older AGE3 and love it for things we used to do on manual mills. I just started a VoTech Co-Op student last week. He's had 5 months at school. He came in Friday and knew how to program basic ops on the Prototrak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    Looking at the specs on their site, the SX3P is listed as shorter than the SX2P, is that really correct?
    All else being the same, not counting more robust quill bearings and etc I'd rather have a 40 taper, tools are much more available.
    That does not tell the whole story. That is with the ram all the way up. The actual limit is the height of the frame. Unfortunately they did not have the DPM SX3P so I had to compare the DPM SX2P to the DPM SX5P. The listed max height for the 5 is the same as for the 2 but the frame is several inches taller so I would not fit in my shop. From looking at the 5 I need to assume the 3 might not fit. I will try to get them to give me those actual numbers. I agree that the 40 is more attractive.

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    FWIW they list the min height for the 2 at 90" and for the 3 at 85".

    Southwestern Industries, Inc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    FWIW they list the min height for the 2 at 90" and for the 3 at 85".

    Southwestern Industries, Inc.
    The difference is that the DPM SX2P has the Z axis motor mounted on top - this is where the 90 inches comes from. If you take the motor off (no problem to do) it drops to around 82 inches.

    My absolute maximum height of the overhead door is around 83 1/2 inches which is why I believe the DPM SX3P won't fit but the DPM SX2P will.

    I don't want to get into trying to tilt the mill with the fork lift to get more clearance.

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    Have have made my decision. Will sign the contract next week.

    Prototrak DPM SX2P
    - BT30 Spindle
    - Advanced features with verify
    - Coolant Pump option
    - DXF Converter
    - Chip tray/splash shield
    - Glass Scales (although I hate glass - why aren't they using magnetoresistive????? AARRGGHH!)
    - Limit switch option
    - Power draw bar
    - Remote switch

    Did I miss anything? I elected not to go with the electronic handwheels - in case my electronics die I don't want to lose the ability to manually use the machine.

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    Is there a Z axis handwheel? If not no-cnc would mean no Z control.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    Is there a Z axis handwheel? If not no-cnc would mean no Z control.....
    Great question! Will have to check! It does have a 5" quill that that is not much good if I cant move the ram.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    Is there a Z axis handwheel? If not no-cnc would mean no Z control.....
    So you are correct........ Thank you very much for catching that. I would have been quite irked if I didn't know about that before I got it.

    Now I am re-evaluating if I should get the electronic handwheels or not.

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    my personal experience is that manual handwheels don't get used, but I was an operating system programmer long before I was machinist, I don't have any natural urges to spin a physical handwheel - I do rather like mpg wheels on pendants.

    the prototrak feature where the handwheel can step forward (and backward?) through a program seems quite nice for program proving to me..... but i've never used it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by markz528 View Post
    Great question! Will have to check! It does have a 5" quill that that is not much good if I cant move the ram.
    There is no hand wheel for the Z, not even with electronic hand wheels option. In 2 axis mode you jog the head up and down, think you can go from .1 to 150ipm in jog mod to get close then use the quill to set depth. The Z motor and quill scale work together and display as one Z position. In 3 axis mode you can jog the head around and use the quill to set your tool heights. Then retract/lock the quill and go. If you had a demo this should have been demonstrated. Talk with your sales rep about this, TRAK might even have some videos on youtube that will explain it.

    Forget the glass scales and call up Newall. Give them your X and Y travel numbers and get their linear encoder kits with ProtoTrak connections. Light years better than a plain glass scale and cost was only $200 more that what I was quoted for glass scales on my machine. Came with the right connectors and was a simple plug and play deal.


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