Retrofit old Or buy New?

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15 Aug 2019 03:51 #142189 by thefabricator03
Hi Guys,

I am trying to decide if I should buy a new chinese CNC mill or retrofit a old well known brand.

I have never done any CNC milling and this is completely new territory for me.

I parts I will be mostly machining will be aluminum and steel.

I am familiar with Linuxcnc though use in my plasma cutting tables so I am sure I could pull off a successful retrofit. I have used older CNC machines from Amada in the past but they were made in the 90's and I am well aware of the limited memory problems.

So what would be the general consensus? Buy cheap new machine or retrofit older well made machine?

One last thing, What would be the difference in use between a industrial mill controller vs a PC with linuxcnc running? I understand that the industrial controller is much more expensive but is the price vs function gap in favor to the industrial controller or Linuxcnc?

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15 Aug 2019 07:21 #142197 by tommylight
Replied by tommylight on topic Retrofit old Or buy New?
Retrofit.
For me the deference is :
Industrial - i have to bend to it's needs
Linuxcnc - i can bend it to my needs.
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15 Aug 2019 08:23 #142207 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic Retrofit old Or buy New?
I think with what you've learnt, you could do a retrofit but get some photos of the servos and drives and post here before buying to set a strategy to get the old girl going. I'd like to give it ago too but don't really have the room, the need or the time! There is a busted machine at Ipswich nearby but he wants $10k for it. He must be dreaming when all hes got is a heap of scrap metal if its not a goer!. The hard bit will be the tool changer.

I made an offer on a little EMCO lathe last night but have not heard back.
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15 Aug 2019 08:49 #142208 by thefabricator03
I have been thinking of going with one of these for a while,

au.syil.com/small-cnc-mill

It has the option of coming from the factory (China) with a dell computer with either Mach3/4 or Linuxcnc.

The other option is to look out for a decent old girl but here in Australia that is not a easy task.

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15 Aug 2019 08:58 #142210 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic Retrofit old Or buy New?
Here you go
www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/nedlands/other-t...g-machine/1224366347

But a slightly smaller one would let you machine the rails on your tables after they were built!
www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/henderson/miscel...-cnc-mill/1221157213

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15 Aug 2019 09:19 #142212 by thefabricator03

rodw wrote: Here you go
www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/nedlands/other-t...g-machine/1224366347

But a slightly smaller one would let you machine the rails on your tables after they were built!
www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/henderson/miscel...-cnc-mill/1221157213


Second one is a great find! I was hoping for something more modern. I did find this one I have been eyeing off,

www.machines4u.com.au/view/advert/cnc-milling-machine/475785/

Problem with big machines is the rigging needed, But I guess that comes with the territory when your looking at a real machine.

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15 Aug 2019 09:36 #142214 by tommylight
Replied by tommylight on topic Retrofit old Or buy New?
My way of looking at it:
10000$ for a crappy china that barely does metal.
10000$ for a 3 to 5 ton machine that does metal 24h a day with ease. 5k metal + 5k retrofit.
Usually i end up much cheaper than the above.
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15 Aug 2019 10:18 - 15 Aug 2019 10:18 #142216 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic Retrofit old Or buy New?
I found a couple of quotes for this Chinese machine I've emailed Stefan.
detail.en.china.cn/provide/p101785749.html
This isn't a crappy build. I did get as far as quoting the freight which was nothing.

The problem in this country is that we are so young and quite small so there is not much old iron around but shipping ex China is so cheap! This and a lathe with an 82 mm spindle would fit in one container...
Last edit: 15 Aug 2019 10:18 by rodw.

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15 Aug 2019 10:24 #142217 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic Retrofit old Or buy New?
Ahh, here was the lathe $12k plus $1625 for a hydraulic chuck.
detail.en.china.cn/provide/p101783043.html

The mill was $34k plus options for rotary table $5k, chip conveyer $900 and reinshaw probe $7k

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15 Aug 2019 16:21 #142248 by andypugh
Replied by andypugh on topic Retrofit old Or buy New?

thefabricator03 wrote: So what would be the general consensus? Buy cheap new machine or retrofit older well made machine?


I have always gone for the latter option. A well-designed machine containing a lot of iron ought to always have better potential performance than something built soley to be very cheap.

One last thing, What would be the difference in use between a industrial mill controller vs a PC with linuxcnc running? I understand that the industrial controller is much more expensive but is the price vs function gap in favor to the industrial controller or Linuxcnc?



I you want an unbiased opinion then I think you are asking in the wrong place. One thing that LinuxCNC can't do well but that some other controls can do is cut simultaneous toolpaths with two spindles. This is more often a requirement on lathes,
I have heard it said that LinuxCNC is now ahead of all the commercial controls in some areas with Plasma.
One advantage of LinuxCNC is that you will always have the source code, it can always be maintained by _any_ programmer. If a commercial company goes out of business then you are truly stuck. (Why LinuxCNC ends up retrofitting so many Anilam machines)
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