FP2/FP3 differences
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  1. #1
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    Default FP2/FP3 differences

    Hi guys,

    not that I have the budget or a candidate for a direct upgrade from my FP2, but I certainly consider (or dream of) an FP3. (I have a 500mm twin dial FP2)

    I like it for the extra Y travel and the more powerful motor.

    However, I lack serious pieces of information about more fundamental differences between the two. Judging only from online pics since I have never seen an FP3 in real life, it seems that FP2 and 3 have basic parts that are similar, if not identical to both.

    Let's assume round head machines, a round dial FP2 and an FP3. Columns seem identical from the pics. To my mind, this means that, due to the increased Y travel, the ram/column assembly will face increased overhang and, respectively, leverage that will wear out the front of the Y ways much faster than on an FP2 (especially if the FP2 is with the lighter standard vertical head). Do I have any point or is there something I am missing?

    Then it's the Z and X carriage. Is this assembly beefed up on the FP3 w.r.t. the FP2? I would hope so, since there is the extra 100 mm X travel and the extra weight allowance for tables etc.

    If my feeling that these machines share basic structural parts is correct, then I would assume that, for the same use, an FP3 would show more wear than an FP2, which I am not thrilled about...

    Looking forward to the insight by the guys that have been involved with both! (not only, of course )a
    BR,
    Thanos

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    Hi Thanos,

    Ross will probably give a detailed answer to your question. My understanding is that the slides of the FP3 have more area and better lubrication than on our generation of FP2. They can take more weight on the table for that reason. But the other big advantage in my mind is that you can push back the vertical head to the rear of the headstock, and put the accessories on in front. That saves a lot of time and hassle when changing heads. Also I think they have a considerably longer Y reach without having the unlock and shift the vertical head as we have to do.

    Cheers,
    Bruce

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    colomn of a fp2 is identical of that of a fp3 So the Z ways are identical The rest is more beefy
    i did not notice more wear on FP3 in general But in general I see little wear on milling machines Nothing compared to lathes for example
    I did have had several lathes of known brands with totaly worn bedways
    Never had that on a milling machine Particily the Deckel style machines
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Hi Thanos,

    Ross will probably give a detailed answer to your question. My understanding is that the slides of the FP3 have more area and better lubrication than on our generation of FP2. They can take more weight on the table for that reason. But the other big advantage in my mind is that you can push back the vertical head to the rear of the headstock, and put the accessories on in front. That saves a lot of time and hassle when changing heads. Also I think they have a considerably longer Y reach without having the unlock and shift the vertical head as we have to do.

    Cheers,
    Bruce
    Hey Bruce,
    Yes, the head that slides back is, indeed, a nice feature, but not critical.
    Yeap, FP3 has 300 mm Y travel plus 200 mm in the 'long reach' feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter from Holland View Post
    colomn of a fp2 is identical of that of a fp3 So the Z ways are identical The rest is more beefy
    i did not notice more wear on FP3 in general But in general I see little wear on milling machines Nothing compared to lathes for example
    I did have had several lathes of known brands with totaly worn bedways
    Never had that on a milling machine Particily the Deckel style machines
    Peter
    Thanks Peter for confirming that column is identical. If I am not talking nonsense, I estimate, as I said earlier, that having clocked same hours, an FP3 will have more worn out Y ways than an FP2. (auto lubed machines are a different thing I guess, but the head weight thing and overhang comment stands for them as well).

    Regarding X and Z, slides are longer there for the FP3? So smaller weight transfers and the like?

    BR,
    Thanos

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    Bruce hit the high spots.
    Comparing the FP3 to the first gen (round head ) FP2 :
    Width of the vertical slide is wider where it supports the ways of the "X" axis ,giving better support on the long axis.

    Much improved way wipers especially on the Y axis, which i would contend makes the FP3 better against wear over the FP2 regardless of extended length of the "Y" slide...
    Dirt ingress is a bigger wear factor than the weight....Not only that but the longer slide often will have more hanging out the rear that counterbalances the forward weight of the slide for
    most work (close to the Column.) .

    All FP3's have "one shot" style oilers connected to real feed checks are all the lube points giving better and more even oil delivery and distribution. (also eliminates the chance of getting a machine
    that has been pumped full of grease)
    Late versions had automatic one shot setups.

    Horizontal draw bar on the FP3 extends out the rear of the "Y" ram, giving more convent access.

    Vertical head is more substantial, and is made as Bruce points out to not have to be removed to fit accessories...Just slide to the rear to expose the mounting area for the accessory.
    Top slide on the "Y" slide that carries the vertical head can be moved or positioned for longer or shorter reach (sort of like the long reach head, but its integrated fit a full length dovetail and
    real clamps, not the "add on" effect you get with the long reach setup.

    If factory fitted, "X" axis DRO scale is enclosed within the "X" slide, not exposed, and does not interfere with the hand wheels or trip stops....
    Table feed (X) is powered by a feed rod with a slot that drives the screw via gears (screw has no slot to drive it making the threads on the screw uninterrupted.(less wear)

    Table power feed levers (X&Z) are interlocked to prevent powering while clamped....
    FP3 uses a single tapered gib acting on the slide lower dovetail (X) which i believe gives better control of the slide (don't have two gib sets in conflict)

    FP3 has external mounted motor. (not inside the base casting) think this is a design improvement as the vertical column will be less effected by the temp rise of having the motor enclosed within.
    Better to hold accuracy,

    Coolant sump is in the forward portion of the base casting, covered by a easily removable cover plate ...makes cleaning the sump easy.....cover removed the sump is fully exposed.

    Cover bellows setup for the vertical ways (if you choose to use it) is better than the FP2.....Upper frame is made to slide up or down depending on the working specific working position so the change over
    is quick and easy (bit hard to explain...almost have to see the difference)


    Believe there are also some interior differences,,,,Ball bearings replacing bushings ,etc. Later versions have higher spindle speeds @ 2500 RPM (two speed motor)

    I am sure i have missed some details, this is from memory...
    Cheers Ross

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    Thanks Ross,

    many interesting points.

    - right on that, most of the times you're not working far from the column so, actually, as you said, FP3 is more balanced most of the times with it comes to Y ram.

    - Nice on the extended X support for the FP3. Would love to hear that his was the case for the Z as well, but this would limit the Z travel so I guess it's as on the FP2.

    - One-shot oiler (plus no grease possibility) is a big thing.

    Thanks for all the other points as well, I have a more rounded opinion on the matter now.

    Many thanks.

    BR,
    Thanos


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