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Posted: 10/2/2014 5:38:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 5:54:31 PM EST by spartandieseltech]
Both of my businesses are moving to a larger facility in November, and I finally have the space for some CNC equipment. I'm a computer programmer and diesel mechanic by trade; very little machining experience and none on CNC, but have about 3 years of training on AutoCAD and SolidWorks. Need some advice on machine selection. Currently looking at a Haas UMC-750 or Mazak Variaxis of undetermined model. I realize these aren't totally comparable machines, but will get to that in a moment.

This machine will be doing prototyping and R&D. I won't be producing runs of thousands of parts with it- don't need to hog 6" holes in 4140, and not looking for +.0001/-.0000 insane kinds of tolerances. Most everything I do with it will be one-off parts to check for fitment (mainly automotive parts, with some weapons related items on the side). Most materials will be aluminum or mild steel, with occasional smaller stainless, alloy, or inconel parts mixed in.

The Haas machine can be had for about 60% of the cost of a Mazak with similar table sizes (the table size of the UMC 750 is about as large as I would need). The Haas unit, equipped as I would need, will run about 160 to 170k. A Variaxis in the 600 Series seems to be a little shy of 300k, and about 420k if I step up to one equipped as a turning center such as the 630 5X T (turning center I probably won't use much, but at that kind of money, "What difference does it make?").

It is my understanding that the Mazak unit is built heavier, will hold tighter tolerances due to temperature changes, and is overall a better machine. Just not sure I can justify almost double the cost on a machine that isn't cranking out hundreds or thousands of parts in batches. Needing to make a small finishing pass on parts to hold tolerances when needed with the "lighter" machine isn't going to really affect my productivity with this. However, I've also heard that the Haas units have been ridden with software problems when using it as simultaneous 5 axis instead of 3+2 axis; whereas the Mazak has a good reputation with axis control even on complex parts.

I'm open to other brands here- have looked at these two because they are what I'm familiar with. Primary requirements are-

Minimum of a 20x20x20 table axis size. Would prefer something between 20 and 30 inches for X axis.
5 Axis (simultaneous). No 3+2 or less. Some parts will be too complex for those.
20 or more tool automatic tool changer
Cooling system (preferably through-tool/spindle with higher pressures)
New machine. Not interested in used equipment at this point, as it a long term investment for the company.

Open minded besides those restrictions. Any advice appreciated.

ETA- I'm also a little more hesitant to crash a 300k+ dollar machine over a 160k one. Which, as a noob, I probably will.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 6:03:15 PM EST
Sounds like a lot of coin to drop for an experiment

We started out similar , never ran a mill of any kind , bought a cheap CNC, figured out how to run it.

Started making parts, couldn't keep up

Bought another faster machine, sold more stuff

Bought a 2nd machine.

we don't need that kind of travel, we don't have $50K in everything
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 6:08:24 PM EST
I run a Mazak 750 5x with a 80 tool magazine. It's a great machine over all. Spindle turning 10000rpm is very nice to make parts in very short time.

I love the auto tool setting arm just make sure the ooh length is correct and zero gauge out each tool as you set it.


The bad, if you don't spray off the fixture table of chips you will have a fixture on the floor lol.

I'm not sure what your going to make but makino and Kia have some good machines also
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 6:12:51 PM EST
So, you don't have any experience with CNC machining, you want to prototype your stuff, and you're just going to go balls deep with a 5 axis machine?

Yeah, you don't need advice, because you're probably going to ignore it.

Definitely go with the HAAS. Since you're going to be crashing the everliving fuck out of the machine, you want good service. HAAS is far more responsive than Mazak.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 6:15:33 PM EST
I'm a Mazak fan, we recently bought a V100 and E1850.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 6:16:23 PM EST
If you are looking to prototype and R&d work, why are you jumping into a five axis machine?

Without knowing more I think you should be starting out with a 3 or 4 axis machine. If I had to buy one right now it would be a Hurco VMX30.
I could have you making parts with one over the phone in a half an hour or less, at the control without buying additional software, that you'll most likely have to take classes to learn.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 6:18:19 PM EST
I run a Mazak Vtc 30, great machine.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 6:20:28 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Kuraki:
So, you don't have any experience with CNC machining, you want to prototype your stuff, and you're just going to go balls deep with a 5 axis machine?

Yeah, you don't need advice, because you're probably going to ignore it.

Definitely go with the HAAS. Since you're going to be crashing the everliving fuck out of the machine, you want good service. HAAS is far more responsive than Mazak.
View Quote

Hostile much?

Think I made it clear in my first post I'm not well versed, and don't claim to be. Will need training for both MasterCAM and the machine, which I already have a good, fairly local source for (at least the MasterCAM side of things)

I do know enough to know that many of the parts I'll be making aren't feasible or possible without all 5 axes. A lesser machine will not perform the functions I need it to; I would be better off not buying a machine at all and simply farming out the work as I have been doing- which is what I'm trying to avoid.

The comment about Haas' customer service vs Mazak is something that resonates pretty consistently; your statement confirms that. Have you dealt with both yourself?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 6:22:04 PM EST
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Originally Posted By qfast817:
I run a Mazak 750 5x with a 80 tool magazine. It's a great machine over all. Spindle turning 10000rpm is very nice to make parts in very short time.

I love the auto tool setting arm just make sure the ooh length is correct and zero gauge out each tool as you set it.


The bad, if you don't spray off the fixture table of chips you will have a fixture on the floor lol.

I'm not sure what your going to make but makino and Kia have some good machines also
View Quote

Have never encountered a Makino customer in person but have read some good things about them. Will do some further research on that one.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 6:22:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 6:45:06 PM EST by spartandieseltech]
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Originally Posted By Gun_Crank:
If you are looking to prototype and R&d work, why are you jumping into a five axis machine?

Without knowing more I think you should be starting out with a 3 or 4 axis machine. If I had to buy one right now it would be a Hurco VMX30.
I could have you making parts with one over the phone in a half an hour or less, at the control without buying additional software, that you'll most likely have to take classes to learn.
View Quote

Have intentions of seeking training anyways, but please elaborate.

Edit to add- I need the machine to be capable of CNC porting cylinder heads. To my best knowledge this isn't going to happen without a 4th and 5th axis; especially on intake and exhaust tracts such as the new Powerstrokes (which is one of the more important tasks this machine will be doing). I'll also mention in clarification to my original post, to have any margins to work with, I'll need about 24 inches of X axis. Could probably get away with 16" of Y Axis if needed.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 7:09:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 7:16:00 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sagmill:


HAAS is only 3+2 I think. Not full fifth. No go on porting. Mastercam with all the modules including 5 axis is big bucks.
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Originally Posted By sagmill:
Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Gun_Crank:
If you are looking to prototype and R&d work, why are you jumping into a five axis machine?

Without knowing more I think you should be starting out with a 3 or 4 axis machine. If I had to buy one right now it would be a Hurco VMX30.
I could have you making parts with one over the phone in a half an hour or less, at the control without buying additional software, that you'll most likely have to take classes to learn.

Have intentions of seeking training anyways, but please elaborate.

Edit to add- I need the machine to be capable of CNC porting cylinder heads. To my best knowledge this isn't going to happen without a 4th and 5th axis; especially on intake and exhaust tracts such as the new Powerstrokes (which is one of the more important tasks this machine will be doing). I'll also mention in clarification to my original post, to have any margins to work with, I'll need about 24 inches of X axis. Could probably get away with 16" of Y Axis if needed.


HAAS is only 3+2 I think. Not full fifth. No go on porting. Mastercam with all the modules including 5 axis is big bucks.
Carefully noted. The Haas site listed both options on a couple of pages, but it doesn't appear on any of the selections when using their quote tool.

Do you guys have a preferred brand for your work? Can't imagine many people here have more experience.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:04:22 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:10:01 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sagmill:


We use Okuma. Genos series. Worth EVERY penny. But their 5 axis machine are crazy money.
It's important to show the salesman and his boss the parts you are doing. Also important to get a test cut done. They should be able to take your cad model of a port and program it in a CAM system, then cut at least a couple of ports for you.

Porting means small tools and AL I would think. That means you need RPM. 15k min. You will need a full 5 axis with all the software options, hi speed look ahead, Advanced Surfacing, Super Nurbs ( just some of the terms used by different mfgs). Important to make sure the machine is full 5 axis. When I talked to a Hass salesman a couple of years ago he told me the UMC750 was 3+2, not full 5. also if you look behind the sheet metal the trunnion drive is nothing more than one of their rotary tables
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Originally Posted By sagmill:
Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By sagmill:
Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Gun_Crank:
If you are looking to prototype and R&d work, why are you jumping into a five axis machine?

Without knowing more I think you should be starting out with a 3 or 4 axis machine. If I had to buy one right now it would be a Hurco VMX30.
I could have you making parts with one over the phone in a half an hour or less, at the control without buying additional software, that you'll most likely have to take classes to learn.

Have intentions of seeking training anyways, but please elaborate.

Edit to add- I need the machine to be capable of CNC porting cylinder heads. To my best knowledge this isn't going to happen without a 4th and 5th axis; especially on intake and exhaust tracts such as the new Powerstrokes (which is one of the more important tasks this machine will be doing). I'll also mention in clarification to my original post, to have any margins to work with, I'll need about 24 inches of X axis. Could probably get away with 16" of Y Axis if needed.



HAAS is only 3+2 I think. Not full fifth. No go on porting. Mastercam with all the modules including 5 axis is big bucks.
Carefully noted. The Haas site listed both options on a couple of pages, but it doesn't appear on any of the selections when using their quote tool.

Do you guys have a preferred brand for your work? Can't imagine many people here have more experience.


We use Okuma. Genos series. Worth EVERY penny. But their 5 axis machine are crazy money.
It's important to show the salesman and his boss the parts you are doing. Also important to get a test cut done. They should be able to take your cad model of a port and program it in a CAM system, then cut at least a couple of ports for you.

Porting means small tools and AL I would think. That means you need RPM. 15k min. You will need a full 5 axis with all the software options, hi speed look ahead, Advanced Surfacing, Super Nurbs ( just some of the terms used by different mfgs). Important to make sure the machine is full 5 axis. When I talked to a Hass salesman a couple of years ago he told me the UMC750 was 3+2, not full 5. also if you look behind the sheet metal the trunnion drive is nothing more than one of their rotary tables

I'll speak with a Haas rep to confirm before I bother pursuing even considering anything from them at this point. If that's the case (and probably is) I'll start taking a closer look at Mazak and Okuma instead and just prepare the wallet

Thanks for the response. Your post is exactly the kind of info I was looking for.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:24:48 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sagmill:


HAAS is only 3+2 I think. Not full fifth. No go on porting. Mastercam with all the modules including 5 axis is big bucks.
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Originally Posted By sagmill:
Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Gun_Crank:
If you are looking to prototype and R&d work, why are you jumping into a five axis machine?

Without knowing more I think you should be starting out with a 3 or 4 axis machine. If I had to buy one right now it would be a Hurco VMX30.
I could have you making parts with one over the phone in a half an hour or less, at the control without buying additional software, that you'll most likely have to take classes to learn.

Have intentions of seeking training anyways, but please elaborate.

Edit to add- I need the machine to be capable of CNC porting cylinder heads. To my best knowledge this isn't going to happen without a 4th and 5th axis; especially on intake and exhaust tracts such as the new Powerstrokes (which is one of the more important tasks this machine will be doing). I'll also mention in clarification to my original post, to have any margins to work with, I'll need about 24 inches of X axis. Could probably get away with 16" of Y Axis if needed.


HAAS is only 3+2 I think. Not full fifth. No go on porting. Mastercam with all the modules including 5 axis is big bucks.


Not true, Haas has a 5-axis machine series - I would avoid MasterCam if you plan on doing a lot of 5-axis work. Look at PowerMill or Unigraphics NX for robust solutions in the same price range.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:27:20 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:31:49 PM EST
Take a look at a Brother TC32. You can start with 3 axis and upgrade to a 5 axis trunnion later after you learn how to run. Economical and reliable.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:37:18 PM EST
Get the Haas and don't look back brother. The price is right and they are real good machines. If you were going to be in big production I'd say go for the Mazak. But for a light duty R&D mill you just can't go wrong with the Haas.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:37:48 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sagmill:

They do have full 5 axis. But I was only commenting on the UMP750
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Originally Posted By sagmill:
Originally Posted By Ranxerox911:
Originally Posted By sagmill:

HAAS is only 3+2 I think. Not full fifth. No go on porting. Mastercam with all the modules including 5 axis is big bucks.


Not true, Haas has a 5-axis machine series - I would avoid MasterCam if you plan on doing a lot of 5-axis work. Look at PowerMill or Unigraphics NX for robust solutions in the same price range.

They do have full 5 axis. But I was only commenting on the UMP750


Gotcha. I will add that I think the OP is in for a steep learning curve - with no machining experience, there is a lot to know.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:39:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:45:44 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sagmill:

They do have full 5 axis. But I was only commenting on the UMP750
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Originally Posted By sagmill:
Originally Posted By Ranxerox911:
Originally Posted By sagmill:
Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Gun_Crank:
If you are looking to prototype and R&d work, why are you jumping into a five axis machine?

Without knowing more I think you should be starting out with a 3 or 4 axis machine. If I had to buy one right now it would be a Hurco VMX30.
I could have you making parts with one over the phone in a half an hour or less, at the control without buying additional software, that you'll most likely have to take classes to learn.

Have intentions of seeking training anyways, but please elaborate.

Edit to add- I need the machine to be capable of CNC porting cylinder heads. To my best knowledge this isn't going to happen without a 4th and 5th axis; especially on intake and exhaust tracts such as the new Powerstrokes (which is one of the more important tasks this machine will be doing). I'll also mention in clarification to my original post, to have any margins to work with, I'll need about 24 inches of X axis. Could probably get away with 16" of Y Axis if needed.


HAAS is only 3+2 I think. Not full fifth. No go on porting. Mastercam with all the modules including 5 axis is big bucks.


Not true, Haas has a 5-axis machine series - I would avoid MasterCam if you plan on doing a lot of 5-axis work. Look at PowerMill or Unigraphics NX for robust solutions in the same price range.

They do have full 5 axis. But I was only commenting on the UMP750

This is where my confusion was- makes more sense now. Perhaps I was looking at the wrong machine from Haas in the first place. How do you feel about the Haas equipment in general/as a whole?

Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:46:54 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Ranxerox911:


Gotcha. I will add that I think the OP is in for a steep learning curve - with no machining experience, there is a lot to know.
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Originally Posted By Ranxerox911:
Originally Posted By sagmill:
Originally Posted By Ranxerox911:
Originally Posted By sagmill:

HAAS is only 3+2 I think. Not full fifth. No go on porting. Mastercam with all the modules including 5 axis is big bucks.


Not true, Haas has a 5-axis machine series - I would avoid MasterCam if you plan on doing a lot of 5-axis work. Look at PowerMill or Unigraphics NX for robust solutions in the same price range.

They do have full 5 axis. But I was only commenting on the UMP750


Gotcha. I will add that I think the OP is in for a steep learning curve - with no machining experience, there is a lot to know.

No doubt. I will require plenty of training. Will probably pick up on the CAM software at a fair rate, but have almost no knowledge of tooling in general. Learning that will take me most effort for me.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:04:32 PM EST
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This is where my confusion was- makes more sense now. Perhaps I was looking at the wrong machine from Haas in the first place. How do you feel about the Haas equipment in general/as a whole?

View Quote


Haas is good equipment for what it is capable of - great for aluminum and prototyping. They aren't large production steel cutting machines, and the price reflects it. For what you have described, they should work well for many years.

Just out of curiosity, what machine does your subcontractor use?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:09:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 10:28:18 PM EST by Soylent]
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Originally Posted By Kuraki:
So, you don't have any experience with CNC machining, you want to prototype your stuff, and you're just going to go balls deep with a 5 axis machine?

Yeah, you don't need advice, because you're probably going to ignore it.

Definitely go with the HAAS. Since you're going to be crashing the everliving fuck out of the machine, you want good service. HAAS is far more responsive than Mazak.
View Quote



Pretty much.


*ETA*
But I will give some anyway.

Haas is alright. I think of them as about a 90% machine. By that I mean that they made it about 90% of the way to a really good machne but stopped short of that crucial 10% to make it a real contender with something like, say, a Mori-Seiki. That last 10% is where the extra cost for the better equipment comes from.

Haas has very good options for conversational programming, has a great consecutive engraving capability built right in, is fairly forgiving with the control interactions and does a good job of making chips and even parts.

They don't have long term viability. The sales reps will admit that they are a "7 year machine" (I've heard them do so and I think they're fudging it long by a year or two) but they won't tell you that you'll have all kinds of little problems right from the start. We just bought a brand new VF6 with a 5th axis trunion (also Haas) that by all literature, specs, sales meetings, etc. should just plug and play like all the other Haas made add ons. It didn't and that brand new machine sat there being worked on for three weeks before it did. My buddy has a VF3 he bought brand new 2 years ago. He got warranty repair on the tool changer, the x-axis and the control within the first year. He's now past warranty and he has problems with chatter doing circ interp in the first and third quadrants (about 11 and 4 o'clock) and he now has to try and make enough money to pay for a repair by using that machine. Pretty responsive service though but your techs may or may not know their ass from a hole in the ground. I've dealt with them enough to be able to say that out of personal experience.

My experience with Mazaks is limited but similar. I'd give them about a 95% overall. A guy I've known for over 15 years just headed up a major effort for a place he worked last year involving a brand new Mazak. He had horror stories about all the things they ordered, were assured came as either built in or were plug and play and turned out to often be neither. Tool hives, high speed spindles, the better control, the thing had to be basically taken all the way apart and rebuilt everytime it turned out that they didn't get shipped what they paid for.

You really should consider starting out far less ambitiously. Even though it is CNC, that doesn't make it a xerox machine.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:14:23 PM EST
In the price range you're looking at, another option would be a DMG Mori Seiki DMU50. http://us.dmgmori.com/products/milling-machines/universal-milling-machines/dmu/dmu-50 Unless you think you're going to be really be doing large turning parts I'd save my money and not get a turning option on whatever you buy. And if you do get the turning option, I'd stick with an HSK, Capto, or similar spindle for sure.

As far as CAM packages, I won't pretend to recommend one for what you are doing because I don't know that much about 5 axis machining. The only simultaneous 5 axis work I've done is on a Mill-Turn with Esprit. But you might consider looking at what automated types of cycles whatever you look at has for things like porting or impeller machining if you're going to do turbo stuff.

You have big balls to jump in that deep for your first machine, but if you get some training and use your brain you'll be fine. I wouldn't throw a head up there on the first day and go at it if I were you
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:15:56 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Ranxerox911:

Haas is good equipment for what it is capable of - great for aluminum and prototyping. They aren't large production steel cutting machines, and the price reflects it. For what you have described, they should work well for many years.

Just out of curiosity, what machine does your subcontractor use?
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Mostly Mazak. Mix of a few Variaxis, Integrex, and others.

I'm just tired of the huge lead times and waiting weeks between each variation of a prototype. The money lost could easily cover machine expenses as long as I don't get totally stupid with the machine. Plus, it has always been of interest to me and I would love to learn it.

There are other shops in our area, but none I've been impressed with. Just ready to bring it in-house at this point where we have better control of what goes on, especially in the long term.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:22:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 10:25:35 PM EST by Kuraki]
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Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:

Hostile much?

Think I made it clear in my first post I'm not well versed, and don't claim to be. Will need training for both MasterCAM and the machine, which I already have a good, fairly local source for (at least the MasterCAM side of things)

I do know enough to know that many of the parts I'll be making aren't feasible or possible without all 5 axes. A lesser machine will not perform the functions I need it to; I would be better off not buying a machine at all and simply farming out the work as I have been doing- which is what I'm trying to avoid.

The comment about Haas' customer service vs Mazak is something that resonates pretty consistently; your statement confirms that. Have you dealt with both yourself?
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Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
So, you don't have any experience with CNC machining, you want to prototype your stuff, and you're just going to go balls deep with a 5 axis machine?

Yeah, you don't need advice, because you're probably going to ignore it.

Definitely go with the HAAS. Since you're going to be crashing the everliving fuck out of the machine, you want good service. HAAS is far more responsive than Mazak.

Hostile much?

Think I made it clear in my first post I'm not well versed, and don't claim to be. Will need training for both MasterCAM and the machine, which I already have a good, fairly local source for (at least the MasterCAM side of things)

I do know enough to know that many of the parts I'll be making aren't feasible or possible without all 5 axes. A lesser machine will not perform the functions I need it to; I would be better off not buying a machine at all and simply farming out the work as I have been doing- which is what I'm trying to avoid.

The comment about Haas' customer service vs Mazak is something that resonates pretty consistently; your statement confirms that. Have you dealt with both yourself?


I'm not hostile. I'm just being honest. Jumping into 5 axis is ridiculous. Show me what you want to make and I'll bet you Pmags I can show you how to make it in multiple setups in a 3 axis or 4 axis machine. The level of complexity a 5 axis adds over a 3 with a rotary is exponential.

Yes, I've dealt with both. I've dealt with many. HAAS machines are cheaper for a lot of reasons. They're made cheaper. They're under-engineered. They're under powered. They're modular and use common parts between multiple models of machine (this is probably not true for the 5 axis). Because of all that, the "HAAS Factory Outlet" dealer system has a spectacular service record. I have 7 HAAS machines on my floor right now. We beat the fuck out of them, and we like them. We use them hard for 5 years and then buy new ones. When they go down, they come back up quickly. My guys like the controllers and some of the user features. We also have Toyodas, DMG/Mori, Toshiba, Okuma and have had Mazaks, Kurakis (hence the name), Hyundais, and various other -Siekis. Toyoda has been the only one I've worked with who can match HAAS in service responsiveness, and even then they're only almost as good.

ETA: Ok. If you want to do porting, yeah, you probably need 5 axis. I think you're severely underestimating the complexity of what you want to do (Even if you could do the work by hand with a die grinder to a beautiful degree, telling the machine how is a lot tougher)

And as I have zero experience with true 5 axis, I'll bow out.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:23:56 PM EST
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Originally Posted By OSUBeaver:
In the price range you're looking at, another option would be a DMG Mori Seiki DMU50. http://us.dmgmori.com/products/milling-machines/universal-milling-machines/dmu/dmu-50 Unless you think you're going to be really be doing large turning parts I'd save my money and not get a turning option on whatever you buy. And if you do get the turning option, I'd stick with an HSK, Capto, or similar spindle for sure. <<<I really don't have much of a practical use for large turning except wasting 100k to have something cool. Would just as soon not have the further complication of it.

As far as CAM packages, I won't pretend to recommend one for what you are doing because I don't know that much about 5 axis machining. The only simultaneous 5 axis work I've done is on a Mill-Turn with Esprit. But you might consider looking at what automated types of cycles whatever you look at has for things like porting or impeller machining if you're going to do turbo stuff. <<<Porting, impeller and turbine work is all fairly high on my priority list, so I'll be sure to keep that in mind.

You have big balls to jump in that deep for your first machine, but if you get some training and use your brain you'll be fine. I wouldn't throw a head up there on the first day and go at it if I were you <<<despite some of the Captains of Pessimism here, I have every intention of spending some time on training. Luckily I have access to a couple of fairly experienced machinists part time if I need assistance; just wanted to see how their experience and advice stacked against the minds here. So no worries about me aimlessly cramming the spindle through the table on day one
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Responses above.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:30:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 10:35:43 PM EST by spartandieseltech]
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Originally Posted By Kuraki:


I'm not hostile. I'm just being honest. Jumping into 5 axis is ridiculous. Show me what you want to make and I'll bet you Pmags I can show you how to make it in multiple setups in a 3 axis or 4 axis machine. The level of complexity a 5 axis adds over a 3 with a rotary is exponential.

Yes, I've dealt with both. I've dealt with many. HAAS machines are cheaper for a lot of reasons. They're made cheaper. They're under-engineered. They're under powered. They're modular and use common parts between multiple models of machine (this is probably not true for the 5 axis). Because of all that, the "HAAS Factory Outlet" dealer system has a spectacular service record. I have 7 HAAS machines on my floor right now. We beat the fuck out of them, and we like them. We use them hard for 5 years and then buy new ones. When they go down, they come back up quickly. My guys like the controllers and some of the user features. We also have Toyodas, DMG/Mori, Toshiba, Okuma and have had Mazaks, Kurakis (hence the name), Hyundais, and various other -Siekis. Toyoda has been the only one I've worked with who can match HAAS in service responsiveness, and even then they're only almost as good.

ETA: Ok. If you want to do porting, yeah, you probably need 5 axis. I think you're severely underestimating the complexity of what you want to do (Even if you could do the work by hand with a die grinder to a beautiful degree, telling the machine how is a lot tougher)

And as I have zero experience with true 5 axis, I'll bow out.
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Originally Posted By Kuraki:
Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
So, you don't have any experience with CNC machining, you want to prototype your stuff, and you're just going to go balls deep with a 5 axis machine?

Yeah, you don't need advice, because you're probably going to ignore it.

Definitely go with the HAAS. Since you're going to be crashing the everliving fuck out of the machine, you want good service. HAAS is far more responsive than Mazak.

Hostile much?

Think I made it clear in my first post I'm not well versed, and don't claim to be. Will need training for both MasterCAM and the machine, which I already have a good, fairly local source for (at least the MasterCAM side of things)

I do know enough to know that many of the parts I'll be making aren't feasible or possible without all 5 axes. A lesser machine will not perform the functions I need it to; I would be better off not buying a machine at all and simply farming out the work as I have been doing- which is what I'm trying to avoid.

The comment about Haas' customer service vs Mazak is something that resonates pretty consistently; your statement confirms that. Have you dealt with both yourself?


I'm not hostile. I'm just being honest. Jumping into 5 axis is ridiculous. Show me what you want to make and I'll bet you Pmags I can show you how to make it in multiple setups in a 3 axis or 4 axis machine. The level of complexity a 5 axis adds over a 3 with a rotary is exponential.

Yes, I've dealt with both. I've dealt with many. HAAS machines are cheaper for a lot of reasons. They're made cheaper. They're under-engineered. They're under powered. They're modular and use common parts between multiple models of machine (this is probably not true for the 5 axis). Because of all that, the "HAAS Factory Outlet" dealer system has a spectacular service record. I have 7 HAAS machines on my floor right now. We beat the fuck out of them, and we like them. We use them hard for 5 years and then buy new ones. When they go down, they come back up quickly. My guys like the controllers and some of the user features. We also have Toyodas, DMG/Mori, Toshiba, Okuma and have had Mazaks, Kurakis (hence the name), Hyundais, and various other -Siekis. Toyoda has been the only one I've worked with who can match HAAS in service responsiveness, and even then they're only almost as good.

ETA: Ok. If you want to do porting, yeah, you probably need 5 axis. I think you're severely underestimating the complexity of what you want to do (Even if you could do the work by hand with a die grinder to a beautiful degree, telling the machine how is a lot tougher)

And as I have zero experience with true 5 axis, I'll bow out.

I'm (relatively) aware of the complexity and I'm OK with that. I have the time at work to dedicate to the training and I don't mind doing it.

ETA- any input on how the HAAS units hold up working with steel anything high nickel, in low quantity? Inconel, etc? It won't be frequently that I would work with such material, but on occasion. Since it will be low production numbers, it won't be a burden to me to keep feed rates and cutting depths down to minimize spindle loading.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:32:21 PM EST
Research dedicated port milling machines. Head port work is specialized and requires more than just a 5ax machine. A faro arm would be handy, as well as a flow bench, air speed probe, and all the tools to port it by hand. Most every cnc port was done by hand the first time.

As far as machines go...buy cheap with good service. You're going to auger that fucker early and often. It's not anywhere near as easy as it looks. The rigidity, repeatability, and surface finish required for a port is a joke...any machine can hit it. This isn't injection mold or tool die work in 62Rc D2.

Save money on the machine, you'll need it for the tooling and heads you're going to junk.

Not trying to be a prick (it just comes natural) but as a certified SW pro, a tool/die designer, programmer (automated and fingercam) and CNC machinist I can promise you there is a universe of learning beyond the mouse and keyboard that you need to do before you can safely and productively operate a 5ax machine.

Cnc's will suicide themselves at 1500 ipm if you tell them to. I had to have a turret and spindle realigned this week when my most experienced operator had a "oh shit" moment and fat fingered a tool number on a lathe.

Once you hit the green button there is no catching it. One digit, decimal or cursor in the wrong spot can instantly cost you 10k or more.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:35:42 PM EST
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Originally Posted By xd341:
Research dedicated port milling machines. Head port work is specialized and requires more than just a 5ax machine. A faro arm would be handy, as well as a flow bench, air speed probe, and all the tools to port it by hand. Most every cnc port was done by hand the first time.

As far as machines go...buy cheap with good service. You're going to auger that fucker early and often. It's not anywhere near as easy as it looks. The rigidity, repeatability, and surface finish required for a port is a joke...any machine can hit it. This isn't injection mold or tool die work in 62Rc D2.

Save money on the machine, you'll need it for the tooling and heads you're going to junk.

Not trying to be a prick (it just comes natural) but as a certified SW pro, a tool/die designer, programmer (automated and fingercam) and CNC machinist I can promise you there is a universe of learning beyond the mouse and keyboard that you need to do before you can safely and productively operate a 5ax machine.

Cnc's will suicide themselves at 1500 ipm if you tell them to. I had to have a turret and spindle realigned this week when my most experienced operator had a "oh shit" moment and fat fingered a tool number on a lathe.

Once you hit the green button there is no catching it. One digit, decimal or cursor in the wrong spot can instantly cost you 10k or more.
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We did the math once on the average human reaction time vs. a full on rapid. That fucker is dead and buried by the time your hand gets hold or e-stop even half way to activation. With your fingers on the buttons.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:37:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 10:39:19 PM EST by Kuraki]
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Originally Posted By xd341:
Research dedicated port milling machines. Head port work is specialized and requires more than just a 5ax machine. A faro arm would be handy, as well as a flow bench, air speed probe, and all the tools to port it by hand. Most every cnc port was done by hand the first time.

As far as machines go...buy cheap with good service. You're going to auger that fucker early and often. It's not anywhere near as easy as it looks. The rigidity, repeatability, and surface finish required for a port is a joke...any machine can hit it. This isn't injection mold or tool die work in 62Rc D2.

Save money on the machine, you'll need it for the tooling and heads you're going to junk.

Not trying to be a prick (it just comes natural) but as a certified SW pro, a tool/die designer, programmer (automated and fingercam) and CNC machinist I can promise you there is a universe of learning beyond the mouse and keyboard that you need to do before you can safely and productively operate a 5ax machine.

Cnc's will suicide themselves at 1500 ipm if you tell them to. I had to have a turret and spindle realigned this week when my most experienced operator had a "oh shit" moment and fat fingered a tool number on a lathe.

Once you hit the green button there is no catching it. One digit, decimal or cursor in the wrong spot can instantly cost you 10k or more.
View Quote


$78,000. (July through June)

That's what I spent last year realigning, replacing, fixing machines that got bumped.

We're already over $35,000 this year.

We don't do anything complicated, and those totals do not include roached tools, lost parts, or the hole in my stomach lining.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:40:58 PM EST
Mazak is awesome.

If you want rapid prototyping look into the FIDIA 6axis mills

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ you can spend it or you can make it.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:48:22 PM EST
This is a great wealth of information . Thanks for this thread guys
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:50:40 PM EST
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Originally Posted By xd341:
Research dedicated port milling machines. Head port work is specialized and requires more than just a 5ax machine. A faro arm would be handy, as well as a flow bench, air speed probe, and all the tools to port it by hand. Most every cnc port was done by hand the first time.

View Quote
As far as machines go...buy cheap with good service. You're going to auger that fucker early and often. It's not anywhere near as easy as it looks. The rigidity, repeatability, and surface finish required for a port is a joke...any machine can hit it. This isn't injection mold or tool die work in 62Rc D2.

Save money on the machine, you'll need it for the tooling and heads you're going to junk.

Not trying to be a prick (it just comes natural) but as a certified SW pro, a tool/die designer, programmer (automated and fingercam) and CNC machinist I can promise you there is a universe of learning beyond the mouse and keyboard that you need to do before you can safely and productively operate a 5ax machine.

Cnc's will suicide themselves at 1500 ipm if you tell them to. I had to have a turret and spindle realigned this week when my most experienced operator had a "oh shit" moment and fat fingered a tool number on a lathe.

Once you hit the green button there is no catching it. One digit, decimal or cursor in the wrong spot can instantly cost you 10k or more.
Luckily I have pretty available access to flow and speed measuring equipment with another shop who has always done well for us. As for porting by hand, that's how we are doing it now. Every time we blow an engine on our test vehicles, it is back to square one. Being able to digitize and reproduce in small quantities in-house would be a huge asset for us; and that's only for cylinder heads. As for development and testing, it gets old to wait weeks to test every iteration of a change just getting parts back- as if pulling the cab off of a Superduty twice in a day, three days a week isn't bad enough (once parts are in hand)

Concerning tolerance and surface finish- as mentioned in the OP, I don't have a huge practical need for fast and accurate. Pulling speeds down to maintain a good finish and precision won't be a burden for what I'm doing here. Given that fact, and the fact I'm most likely going to crash the machine (possibly repeatedly) learning, I'm just having a hard time justifying something of the caliber of a Mazak or similar. Even though I really want one...just because
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:50:58 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Kuraki:


$78,000. (July through June)

That's what I spent last year realigning, replacing, fixing machines that got bumped.

We're already over $35,000 this year.

We don't do anything complicated, and those totals do not include roached tools, lost parts, or the hole in my stomach lining.
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Originally Posted By Kuraki:
Originally Posted By xd341:
Research dedicated port milling machines. Head port work is specialized and requires more than just a 5ax machine. A faro arm would be handy, as well as a flow bench, air speed probe, and all the tools to port it by hand. Most every cnc port was done by hand the first time.

As far as machines go...buy cheap with good service. You're going to auger that fucker early and often. It's not anywhere near as easy as it looks. The rigidity, repeatability, and surface finish required for a port is a joke...any machine can hit it. This isn't injection mold or tool die work in 62Rc D2.

Save money on the machine, you'll need it for the tooling and heads you're going to junk.

Not trying to be a prick (it just comes natural) but as a certified SW pro, a tool/die designer, programmer (automated and fingercam) and CNC machinist I can promise you there is a universe of learning beyond the mouse and keyboard that you need to do before you can safely and productively operate a 5ax machine.

Cnc's will suicide themselves at 1500 ipm if you tell them to. I had to have a turret and spindle realigned this week when my most experienced operator had a "oh shit" moment and fat fingered a tool number on a lathe.

Once you hit the green button there is no catching it. One digit, decimal or cursor in the wrong spot can instantly cost you 10k or more.


$78,000. (July through June)

That's what I spent last year realigning, replacing, fixing machines that got bumped.

We're already over $35,000 this year.

We don't do anything complicated, and those totals do not include roached tools, lost parts, or the hole in my stomach lining.
Yeesh. Reading that made my stomach hurt.

Yeah I would normally use the industry standard euphemism "bumped" for mine but I was 10 feet from it when it happened and yeah...it got smoked! Damn those keyocera grooving tools...tuff bastards...made a mess of that spindle face.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:54:17 PM EST
The best one in my recollection is the guy who (card carrying journeyman btw) stopped a TC to check a thread with a go/nogo gage in the face of the part (good boy!). Unfortunately he left the gage in the part, shut the door and hit the green button, and sent the turret into the go/nogo gage while it was spinning 1500 RPM and on a 10" BC.

Jesus fucking christ
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:00:11 PM EST
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Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:

I'm (relatively) aware of the complexity and I'm OK with that. I have the time at work to dedicate to the training and I don't mind doing it.

ETA- any input on how the HAAS units hold up working with steel anything high nickel, in low quantity? Inconel, etc? It won't be frequently that I would work with such material, but on occasion. Since it will be low production numbers, it won't be a burden to me to keep feed rates and cutting depths down to minimize spindle loading.
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Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
So, you don't have any experience with CNC machining, you want to prototype your stuff, and you're just going to go balls deep with a 5 axis machine?

Yeah, you don't need advice, because you're probably going to ignore it.

Definitely go with the HAAS. Since you're going to be crashing the everliving fuck out of the machine, you want good service. HAAS is far more responsive than Mazak.

Hostile much?

Think I made it clear in my first post I'm not well versed, and don't claim to be. Will need training for both MasterCAM and the machine, which I already have a good, fairly local source for (at least the MasterCAM side of things)

I do know enough to know that many of the parts I'll be making aren't feasible or possible without all 5 axes. A lesser machine will not perform the functions I need it to; I would be better off not buying a machine at all and simply farming out the work as I have been doing- which is what I'm trying to avoid.

The comment about Haas' customer service vs Mazak is something that resonates pretty consistently; your statement confirms that. Have you dealt with both yourself?


I'm not hostile. I'm just being honest. Jumping into 5 axis is ridiculous. Show me what you want to make and I'll bet you Pmags I can show you how to make it in multiple setups in a 3 axis or 4 axis machine. The level of complexity a 5 axis adds over a 3 with a rotary is exponential.

Yes, I've dealt with both. I've dealt with many. HAAS machines are cheaper for a lot of reasons. They're made cheaper. They're under-engineered. They're under powered. They're modular and use common parts between multiple models of machine (this is probably not true for the 5 axis). Because of all that, the "HAAS Factory Outlet" dealer system has a spectacular service record. I have 7 HAAS machines on my floor right now. We beat the fuck out of them, and we like them. We use them hard for 5 years and then buy new ones. When they go down, they come back up quickly. My guys like the controllers and some of the user features. We also have Toyodas, DMG/Mori, Toshiba, Okuma and have had Mazaks, Kurakis (hence the name), Hyundais, and various other -Siekis. Toyoda has been the only one I've worked with who can match HAAS in service responsiveness, and even then they're only almost as good.

ETA: Ok. If you want to do porting, yeah, you probably need 5 axis. I think you're severely underestimating the complexity of what you want to do (Even if you could do the work by hand with a die grinder to a beautiful degree, telling the machine how is a lot tougher)

And as I have zero experience with true 5 axis, I'll bow out.

I'm (relatively) aware of the complexity and I'm OK with that. I have the time at work to dedicate to the training and I don't mind doing it.

ETA- any input on how the HAAS units hold up working with steel anything high nickel, in low quantity? Inconel, etc? It won't be frequently that I would work with such material, but on occasion. Since it will be low production numbers, it won't be a burden to me to keep feed rates and cutting depths down to minimize spindle loading.



Have fun with the inconel!

You got one chance at inconel and if you take it too easy on it you blow that chance due to work hardening. Which is to say, it turns into a fucking rock and you can't do anything with it anymore. Not just Haas though, nothing and nobody likes inconel. Sure, you can make neat shit out of it, but that stuff sucks. It's sticky, it's gummy, it's abrasive, it's work hardening like a motherfucker and I hates it. Yes, yes I does. That being said, cutter selection is your real priority with it.

Haas will do alright with harder materials, you just have to take it relatively conservative as far as your machining parameters go. You won't be able to really go on it for as long as a better built machine, but if those are the exception to the rule you should be good to go.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:05:16 PM EST
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Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Luckily I have pretty available access to flow and speed measuring equipment with another shop who has always done well for us. As for porting by hand, that's how we are doing it now. Every time we blow an engine on our test vehicles, it is back to square one. Being able to digitize and reproduce in small quantities in-house would be a huge asset for us; and that's only for cylinder heads. As for development and testing, it gets old to wait weeks to test every iteration of a change just getting parts back- as if pulling the cab off of a Superduty twice in a day, three days a week isn't bad enough (once parts are in hand)

View Quote
Concerning tolerance and surface finish- as mentioned in the OP, I don't have a huge practical need for fast and accurate. Pulling speeds down to maintain a good finish and precision won't be a burden for what I'm doing here. Given that fact, and the fact I'm most likely going to crash the machine (possibly repeatedly) learning, I'm just having a hard time justifying something of the caliber of a Mazak or similar. Even though I really want one...just because
So you're THAT spartan? Ferd programmers?

I'm a duramax guy. We've hand ported dmax heads, it sucks. Built them from empty block on up, delipped pistons, welded oil pumps, keyed cam&cranks...all the little stuff. Built some allisons.
The 6.7 has those backassward heads that exhaust into the center right? Actually makes a lot of sense.

What is letting go? Just too much heat?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:06:24 PM EST
Our HAAS machines are all 50 taper, so not comparable at all. One of our 50 taper VF5s would run circles around a UMC-750 in material removal rates, even though they have the same spindle drive. But, you can machine anything that can be machined in them. Feed and speed dictated by preventing work hardening, and adjust the DOC to what the machine can handle given it's rigidity and HP.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:08:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 11:10:30 PM EST by mbx5]
Would love to have a 5 axis machine! If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking at the Haas due to the low volume. However, I am not familiar with their controls or software issues.
Have you considered a used machine?

I have and learned on a Fadal 4020HT machine, and added a 4th axis. I have crashed the fuck out of it, and have a 20lb bin of shame of broken carbide. But this thing is a tank, and I've never damaged the spindle...

I bought a Super Kia Turn LMS turning center with live tooling and sub spindle....Fanuc control. 8 months ago. I haven't touched it yet because I am afraid I will crash it....good investment? No. Someday I will be making some suppressors (07/02 FFL). For now, I use my stuff to make very low volume specialized end of arm tooling, weld fixtures, and other items for robotic automation projects.

Software - if you are using Solidworks, I would recommend you check out HSMWorks. They are owned by Autodesk now, but who isnt? Anyway - they have a VERY nice CAM package that is integrated into Solidworks. The 3D toolpath version (3-4 axis) will run you about $10g's, this is what I have. Their 5-axis stuff is a bit more. Still, check it out. I've used both it and MasterCAM and the workflow in HSMWorks is so much better IMO, especially being integrated into Solidworks. My .02.

Side note - I've tried a few billet AR lowers on my Fadal before adding the 4th axis. Difficult to do that shit w/o the 4th axis for sure. When I have more time to put into it, I expect to put a few out.



ETA - if you get into using a Faro, look at Hires from reverseengineering.com - I use this with my older RS232 Faro Silver arm....It is also integrated into Solidworks, so you are digitizing into a Solidworks model...
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:09:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 11:16:45 PM EST by spartandieseltech]
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Originally Posted By Soylent:



Have fun with the inconel!

You got one chance at inconel and if you take it too easy on it you blow that chance due to work hardening. Which is to say, it turns into a fucking rock and you can't do anything with it anymore. Not just Haas though, nothing and nobody likes inconel. Sure, you can make neat shit out of it, but that stuff sucks. It's sticky, it's gummy, it's abrasive, it's work hardening like a motherfucker and I hates it. Yes, yes I does. That being said, cutter selection is your real priority with it.

Haas will do alright with harder materials, you just have to take it relatively conservative as far as your machining parameters go. You won't be able to really go on it for as long as a better built machine, but if those are the exception to the rule you should be good to go.
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Originally Posted By Soylent:
Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
So, you don't have any experience with CNC machining, you want to prototype your stuff, and you're just going to go balls deep with a 5 axis machine?

Yeah, you don't need advice, because you're probably going to ignore it.

Definitely go with the HAAS. Since you're going to be crashing the everliving fuck out of the machine, you want good service. HAAS is far more responsive than Mazak.

Hostile much?

Think I made it clear in my first post I'm not well versed, and don't claim to be. Will need training for both MasterCAM and the machine, which I already have a good, fairly local source for (at least the MasterCAM side of things)

I do know enough to know that many of the parts I'll be making aren't feasible or possible without all 5 axes. A lesser machine will not perform the functions I need it to; I would be better off not buying a machine at all and simply farming out the work as I have been doing- which is what I'm trying to avoid.

The comment about Haas' customer service vs Mazak is something that resonates pretty consistently; your statement confirms that. Have you dealt with both yourself?


I'm not hostile. I'm just being honest. Jumping into 5 axis is ridiculous. Show me what you want to make and I'll bet you Pmags I can show you how to make it in multiple setups in a 3 axis or 4 axis machine. The level of complexity a 5 axis adds over a 3 with a rotary is exponential.

Yes, I've dealt with both. I've dealt with many. HAAS machines are cheaper for a lot of reasons. They're made cheaper. They're under-engineered. They're under powered. They're modular and use common parts between multiple models of machine (this is probably not true for the 5 axis). Because of all that, the "HAAS Factory Outlet" dealer system has a spectacular service record. I have 7 HAAS machines on my floor right now. We beat the fuck out of them, and we like them. We use them hard for 5 years and then buy new ones. When they go down, they come back up quickly. My guys like the controllers and some of the user features. We also have Toyodas, DMG/Mori, Toshiba, Okuma and have had Mazaks, Kurakis (hence the name), Hyundais, and various other -Siekis. Toyoda has been the only one I've worked with who can match HAAS in service responsiveness, and even then they're only almost as good.

ETA: Ok. If you want to do porting, yeah, you probably need 5 axis. I think you're severely underestimating the complexity of what you want to do (Even if you could do the work by hand with a die grinder to a beautiful degree, telling the machine how is a lot tougher)

And as I have zero experience with true 5 axis, I'll bow out.

I'm (relatively) aware of the complexity and I'm OK with that. I have the time at work to dedicate to the training and I don't mind doing it.

ETA- any input on how the HAAS units hold up working with steel anything high nickel, in low quantity? Inconel, etc? It won't be frequently that I would work with such material, but on occasion. Since it will be low production numbers, it won't be a burden to me to keep feed rates and cutting depths down to minimize spindle loading.



Have fun with the inconel!

You got one chance at inconel and if you take it too easy on it you blow that chance due to work hardening. Which is to say, it turns into a fucking rock and you can't do anything with it anymore. Not just Haas though, nothing and nobody likes inconel. Sure, you can make neat shit out of it, but that stuff sucks. It's sticky, it's gummy, it's abrasive, it's work hardening like a motherfucker and I hates it. Yes, yes I does. That being said, cutter selection is your real priority with it.

Haas will do alright with harder materials, you just have to take it relatively conservative as far as your machining parameters go. You won't be able to really go on it for as long as a better built machine, but if those are the exception to the rule you should be good to go.

If I had to break down the likely work into percentages, it would be roughly as follows:

60% Aluminum (some heads, turbocharger parts, turbo and automotive plumbing adapters of ungodly shapes, brackets, etc)
20% Cast Iron (other heads, some exhaust housings and manifolds, pedestals and mounts, etc)
15% Steel of mild or moderate hardness
5% 4140, Titanium, Inconel, or other aggravating materials

Off the top of my head, many of the smaller parts of such materials as Inconel, would need to be done on a lathe anyway due to shape. A decent CNC Toolroom lathe is on my list at some point.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:10:15 PM EST
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Originally Posted By mbx5:
Would love to have a 5 axis machine! If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking at the Haas due to the low volume. However, I am not familiar with their controls or software issues.
Have you considered a used machine?

I have and learned on a Fadal 4020HT machine, and added a 4th axis. I have crashed the fuck out of it, and have a 20lb bin of shame of broken carbide. But this thing is a tank, and I've never damaged the spindle...

I bought a Super Kia Turn LMS turning center with live tooling and sub spindle....Fanuc control. 8 months ago. I haven't touched it yet because I am afraid I will crash it....good investment? No. Someday I will be making some suppressors (07/02 FFL). For now, I use my stuff to make very low volume specialized end of arm tooling, weld fixtures, and other items for robotic automation projects.

Software - if you are using Solidworks, I would recommend you check out HSMWorks. They are owned by Autodesk now, but who isnt? Anyway - they have a VERY nice CAM package that is integrated into Solidworks. The 3D toolpath version (3-4 axis) will run you about $10g's, this is what I have. Their 5-axis stuff is a bit more. Still, check it out. I've used both it and MasterCAM and the workflow in HSMWorks is so much better IMO, especially being integrated into Solidworks. My .02.

Side note - I've tried a few billet AR lowers on my Fadal before adding the 4th axis. Difficult to do that shit w/o the 4th axis for sure. When I have more time to put into it, I expect to put a few out.
View Quote




Stay away from Fadal. I am not kidding. They're an orphan now and Gene Haas used to work for them but they wouldn't build a good enough machine for him so he started Haas Automation and built a way better machine.

DO. NOT. BUY. A. FADAL.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:11:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 11:13:07 PM EST by mbx5]
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Originally Posted By Soylent:




Stay away from Fadal. I am not kidding. They're an orphan now and Gene Haas used to work for them but they wouldn't build a good enough machine for him so he started Haas Automation and built a way better machine.

DO. NOT. BUY. A. FADAL.
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Originally Posted By Soylent:
Originally Posted By mbx5:
Would love to have a 5 axis machine! If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking at the Haas due to the low volume. However, I am not familiar with their controls or software issues.
Have you considered a used machine?

I have and learned on a Fadal 4020HT machine, and added a 4th axis. I have crashed the fuck out of it, and have a 20lb bin of shame of broken carbide. But this thing is a tank, and I've never damaged the spindle...

I bought a Super Kia Turn LMS turning center with live tooling and sub spindle....Fanuc control. 8 months ago. I haven't touched it yet because I am afraid I will crash it....good investment? No. Someday I will be making some suppressors (07/02 FFL). For now, I use my stuff to make very low volume specialized end of arm tooling, weld fixtures, and other items for robotic automation projects.

Software - if you are using Solidworks, I would recommend you check out HSMWorks. They are owned by Autodesk now, but who isnt? Anyway - they have a VERY nice CAM package that is integrated into Solidworks. The 3D toolpath version (3-4 axis) will run you about $10g's, this is what I have. Their 5-axis stuff is a bit more. Still, check it out. I've used both it and MasterCAM and the workflow in HSMWorks is so much better IMO, especially being integrated into Solidworks. My .02.

Side note - I've tried a few billet AR lowers on my Fadal before adding the 4th axis. Difficult to do that shit w/o the 4th axis for sure. When I have more time to put into it, I expect to put a few out.




Stay away from Fadal. I am not kidding. They're an orphan now and Gene Haas used to work for them but they wouldn't build a good enough machine for him so he started Haas Automation and built a way better machine.

DO. NOT. BUY. A. FADAL.


My Fadal paid for itself on the first job I ran with it. Now it makes me money every time I use it. This is bad how?

Also ETA - I did not recommend he buy a Fadal. $160 to $300k is a far bigger budget than the $12k I have in mine. But the return on investment was quick for my applications. I am not making injection molds dude.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:13:48 PM EST
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Originally Posted By mbx5:
Would love to have a 5 axis machine! If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking at the Haas due to the low volume. However, I am not familiar with their controls or software issues.
Have you considered a used machine?

I have and learned on a Fadal 4020HT machine, and added a 4th axis. I have crashed the fuck out of it, and have a 20lb bin of shame of broken carbide. But this thing is a tank, and I've never damaged the spindle...

I bought a Super Kia Turn LMS turning center with live tooling and sub spindle....Fanuc control. 8 months ago. I haven't touched it yet because I am afraid I will crash it....good investment? No. Someday I will be making some suppressors (07/02 FFL). For now, I use my stuff to make very low volume specialized end of arm tooling, weld fixtures, and other items for robotic automation projects.

Software - if you are using Solidworks, I would recommend you check out HSMWorks. They are owned by Autodesk now, but who isnt? Anyway - they have a VERY nice CAM package that is integrated into Solidworks. The 3D toolpath version (3-4 axis) will run you about $10g's, this is what I have. Their 5-axis stuff is a bit more. Still, check it out. I've used both it and MasterCAM and the workflow in HSMWorks is so much better IMO, especially being integrated into Solidworks. My .02.

Side note - I've tried a few billet AR lowers on my Fadal before adding the 4th axis. Difficult to do that shit w/o the 4th axis for sure. When I have more time to put into it, I expect to put a few out.



ETA - if you get into using a Faro, look at Hires from reverseengineering.com - I use this with my older RS232 Faro Silver arm....It is also integrated into Solidworks, so you are digitizing into a Solidworks model...
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Looking to stay with new over used for two reasons. 1) Desperate for a tax write off this year, and 2) don't want to be messing with unknowns or mistreatment from the past.

I'm an 07/02 also. Finishing some 80% M240 sideplates will be great fun

As for the software, I'll check it out. For the prices you've mentioned there, I'm very interested, as it seems a 5 axis version of MasterCAM will run around 35-40K.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:17:50 PM EST
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Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:

If I had to break down the likely work into percentages, it would be roughly as follows:

60% Aluminum (some heads, turbocharger parts, turbo and automotive plumbing adapters of ungodly shapes, brackets, etc) No Problem. It's what Haas lives on.
20% Cast Iron (other heads, some exhaust housings and manifolds, pedestals and mounts, etc) No Problem. It's soft, makes a nice chip, and except for sand pockets and shit machines well at aggresive speeds, feeds and DOC. It's pretty dirty though, and will lead to a higher coolant usage.
15% Steel of mild or moderate harness Again, should not be a problem depending on what you're trying to do. 1018? No real issues there. A2? Yeah, you may have some headaches.
5% 4140, Titanium, Inconel, or other aggravating materials Titanium is....touchy but not too bad. Stainless can be a real bitch and you want to think lower speed, heaver feed. Inconel, farm it out. Not to me either.

Off the top of my head, many of the smaller parts of such materials as Inconel, would need to be done on a lathe anyway due to shape. A decent CNC Toolroom lathe is on my list at some point.
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Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:19:11 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Kuraki:
The best one in my recollection is the guy who (card carrying journeyman btw) stopped a TC to check a thread with a go/nogo gage in the face of the part (good boy!). Unfortunately he left the gage in the part, shut the door and hit the green button, and sent the turret into the go/nogo gage while it was spinning 1500 RPM and on a 10" BC.

Jesus fucking christ
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Yeah..I bet he needed new underoos after that one.

What's a hardened thread gauge sound like when it hits a turret at 3900 sfm?

My worst was on a sub spindle lathe, running an internal expanding collet job. Making some tight tolerance chromoly parts. OP forgot to remove the finished part on the sub, loaded the next part and somehow managed to clear the part present error. Fed new part into old part at the aforementioned 1500ipm. Killed both expanding collets and knocked both main and sub out of alignment....didn't do those really expensive ssd pintle bearings any good either.

Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:24:43 PM EST
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Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:

Looking to stay with new over used for two reasons. 1) Desperate for a tax write off this year, and 2) don't want to be messing with unknowns or mistreatment from the past.

I'm an 07/02 also. Finishing some 80% M240 sideplates will be great fun

As for the software, I'll check it out. For the prices you've mentioned there, I'm very interested, as it seems a 5 axis version of MasterCAM will run around 35-40K.
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Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:
Originally Posted By mbx5:
Would love to have a 5 axis machine! If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking at the Haas due to the low volume. However, I am not familiar with their controls or software issues.
Have you considered a used machine?

I have and learned on a Fadal 4020HT machine, and added a 4th axis. I have crashed the fuck out of it, and have a 20lb bin of shame of broken carbide. But this thing is a tank, and I've never damaged the spindle...

I bought a Super Kia Turn LMS turning center with live tooling and sub spindle....Fanuc control. 8 months ago. I haven't touched it yet because I am afraid I will crash it....good investment? No. Someday I will be making some suppressors (07/02 FFL). For now, I use my stuff to make very low volume specialized end of arm tooling, weld fixtures, and other items for robotic automation projects.

Software - if you are using Solidworks, I would recommend you check out HSMWorks. They are owned by Autodesk now, but who isnt? Anyway - they have a VERY nice CAM package that is integrated into Solidworks. The 3D toolpath version (3-4 axis) will run you about $10g's, this is what I have. Their 5-axis stuff is a bit more. Still, check it out. I've used both it and MasterCAM and the workflow in HSMWorks is so much better IMO, especially being integrated into Solidworks. My .02.

Side note - I've tried a few billet AR lowers on my Fadal before adding the 4th axis. Difficult to do that shit w/o the 4th axis for sure. When I have more time to put into it, I expect to put a few out.



ETA - if you get into using a Faro, look at Hires from reverseengineering.com - I use this with my older RS232 Faro Silver arm....It is also integrated into Solidworks, so you are digitizing into a Solidworks model...

Looking to stay with new over used for two reasons. 1) Desperate for a tax write off this year, and 2) don't want to be messing with unknowns or mistreatment from the past.

I'm an 07/02 also. Finishing some 80% M240 sideplates will be great fun

As for the software, I'll check it out. For the prices you've mentioned there, I'm very interested, as it seems a 5 axis version of MasterCAM will run around 35-40K.


I've been running HSMWorks for about 3 years now and really like it. I don't have any info to add on their 5 axis, but they have a user forum with some nice folks who seem to answer pretty quick.

It's worth an ask of other 5-axis users, and it's worth contacting Nexgen CAM to see if you can get a free 30 day demo, which I am almost positive they will offer you.
They are also excellent in any issues with posts for your machine, and will work with you to customize it if needed....

http://camforum.autodesk.com/

http://nexgencam.com/

I am not a machinist by trade. I am an ME and own a robotics company. Decided one day I wanted to mount a rifle to a robot. Ended up with an 07/02 and a few funny facial expressions from the ATF agent who interviewed me. LOL. When I have time, I'll finish one and post a video.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:27:07 PM EST
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Originally Posted By mbx5:


My Fadal paid for itself on the first job I ran with it. Now it makes me money every time I use it. This is bad how?

Also ETA - I did not recommend he buy a Fadal. $160 to $300k is a far bigger budget than the $12k I have in mine. But the return on investment was quick for my applications. I am not making injection molds dude.
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Originally Posted By mbx5:
Originally Posted By Soylent:
Originally Posted By mbx5:
Would love to have a 5 axis machine! If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking at the Haas due to the low volume. However, I am not familiar with their controls or software issues.
Have you considered a used machine?

I have and learned on a Fadal 4020HT machine, and added a 4th axis. I have crashed the fuck out of it, and have a 20lb bin of shame of broken carbide. But this thing is a tank, and I've never damaged the spindle...

I bought a Super Kia Turn LMS turning center with live tooling and sub spindle....Fanuc control. 8 months ago. I haven't touched it yet because I am afraid I will crash it....good investment? No. Someday I will be making some suppressors (07/02 FFL). For now, I use my stuff to make very low volume specialized end of arm tooling, weld fixtures, and other items for robotic automation projects.

Software - if you are using Solidworks, I would recommend you check out HSMWorks. They are owned by Autodesk now, but who isnt? Anyway - they have a VERY nice CAM package that is integrated into Solidworks. The 3D toolpath version (3-4 axis) will run you about $10g's, this is what I have. Their 5-axis stuff is a bit more. Still, check it out. I've used both it and MasterCAM and the workflow in HSMWorks is so much better IMO, especially being integrated into Solidworks. My .02.

Side note - I've tried a few billet AR lowers on my Fadal before adding the 4th axis. Difficult to do that shit w/o the 4th axis for sure. When I have more time to put into it, I expect to put a few out.




Stay away from Fadal. I am not kidding. They're an orphan now and Gene Haas used to work for them but they wouldn't build a good enough machine for him so he started Haas Automation and built a way better machine.

DO. NOT. BUY. A. FADAL.


My Fadal paid for itself on the first job I ran with it. Now it makes me money every time I use it. This is bad how?

Also ETA - I did not recommend he buy a Fadal. $160 to $300k is a far bigger budget than the $12k I have in mine. But the return on investment was quick for my applications. I am not making injection molds dude.


Four brand new spindl;es in a single year old Fadal 4020 in '06 or '07 and we weren't making molds either. All plastic and aluminum that ran on that machine. In my experience Fadal has a serious problem making corners unless you slow it wayyyyy down for it. We kept getting these weird faceted shapes with a 3/8 Destiny 3 flute at 10,000 RPM doing 40 IPM in Mic-6 Aluminum cast plate. Had to slow it down to 15 IPM before we could get it to keep up at the corners.

Software glitches. Too much cutter comp in practically any machine ever made and it just alrams and says it can't get there. On our 6030 it figured it meant go to the other side of the cutter so instead of getting a CW arc with a dovetail cutter it went CCW to try to catch the comp. Left the end of that cutter buried in the aluminum and headed for mexico.

Random decisions on the part of the machine to just put that hole somewhere else. Just, you know, because.

They were a tap breaking, spindle eating mess with personality issues.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:28:05 PM EST
Haas is the Poulan chainsaw of the CNC world, but for 1 off R&D work done by a guy learning the ropes, I think it will suit you fine, if you are going to do production work, and want stuff done as fast as possible, you'll want something better, I'm becoming very fond of the Okuma stuff, YMMV.
Josh
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:28:22 PM EST
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Originally Posted By spartandieseltech:

As for the software, I'll check it out. For the prices you've mentioned there, I'm very interested, as it seems a 5 axis version of MasterCAM will run around 35-40K.
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I doubt that. A few years ago is was less than half that. Most of the high end stuff I've seen runs around 25k or so, and unless they've changed markets, Mastercam is not high end. That being said we use mostly Mastercam. Just haven't bought a multi axis seat in several years.
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