Tormach 1100MX opinion

Help Support HMEM:

burkLane

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
23
Reaction score
16
Couple bullet points from a Tormach user
I enjoy drawing models, designs and building them.
I wanted a system that looked like its being supported and developed not just a tool "mill"
I have a 6 year old series 3 with power draw bar, stand, very well tooled and 4th axis.
I also have a New Tormach 24r router that is also well tooled.
I take good care of them both with regular cleaning, maintenance and wear part replacement.
They are in a heated and cooled shop with good clean dedicated power.
The mill looks brand new after 6 years of regular use "no production"
They both work reliably with no issues or drama.
Imho all cnc tools including Tormach machines are large boat anchors without good cad and cam software and cad/cam skills.
No way your going to hand program anything I draw!
No way to setup a cam program without the detailed 3d model drawn in a cad program.
I rely on modern dedicated material specific tooling and good cam tool paths to get results.

I tried to buy a brand new Mini mill and they told me no! Buy one used, we are not interested in selling to a home shop. "7 years ago, I guess they changed their toon now "

I would agree a large vmc would out perform a tormach in every way.
Haas and other VMC's also have a high entry cost and tooling.
Imho It takes high dollar cad -cam and cad -cam skills to get full use of a vmc.
"Use free software to drive a $50k tool is ok I guess! but I wonder what your missing."

10 hp vmc with 3ph converter will cost me no less then 1$ an hour in power just to have it turned on and more running full tilt where I live.

In short buy the best you can afford and try to avoid the boat anchors :)

Few things to consider anyway.
 

Shopgeezer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
194
Reaction score
22
Location
Canada
Hmmmm, I might lean towards the airplane myself. I was terrified of CNC until I bought a 3D printer. That has been a lot of fun and is kind of like a CNC machine. A motor moves each of the 3 axes. It is a good workout in CAD but the slicer software does all the CAM work. Just push “start”. I hoped that CNC CAM would do the same but it sounds like there is more to it for metal work.
 

kvom

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
3,191
Reaction score
596
5-10 ipm in steel isn't unusual for me, although in aluminum that would be overly cautious. I tend to be overly cautious with depth of cut in steel, when F&S calculator tells me the same speed is appropriate at a greater depth. But I never have 5 hour run times.
 

Busted Bricks

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Location
Denmark
I can't afford Haas or Tormach so I'm considering importing a VMC from China. Both my CO2 and fiber laser cutters are from China and I've never had any problems with them. $15000 will buy me a machine with ATC and a Siemens control.
 

GaryLa

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Florida
I have a friend who bought one of those mills. Not impressive.

For 15K there are a lot choices in older iron. I've seen FADALs and similar for less than 10K. Have a trained tech go over it when you get it, tune it up, etc. I know someone who did that and paid the tech 3K.

He paid 7.5K for the machine (VMC40) and got some tooling with it, too. He told me had about 12K in it all tolled, including the tune-up and some more tooling he bought. That machine will last him for a lifetime.
 

Busted Bricks

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Location
Denmark
I have a friend who bought one of those mills. Not impressive.
Could you qualify that? Was were the issues with it? Most feedback I see on Chinese machines is anecdotal - very rare to get a first hand opinion. There is a big difference in quality from mfg. to mfg. Some people seem to just pick the cheapest they can find off Alibaba without doing any research and are then surprised when what they have bought has issues. I've been involved with laser cutting for 10+ years and know that a bit of time spent asking pertinent questions and getting references can make a world of difference. My 1kW fiber laser has run without any issues for 18 months now.

A second hand Haas Mini Mill would be a great machine for my use, but there are very few around in my part of the world. The ones I know of are installed in metal colleges and have to be scrapped rather than resold. Most used milling machines that come up for sale are huge, old, lumbering monsters. Too big for my workshop.

AutomateCNC in USA import machines from Z-mat in China and the users seem to be happy with the machines.
 

GaryLa

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Florida
It was called a "Sky Fire" or something similar. Very much like the Tormach -- Specs, shapes, and colors that made it look impressive and professional.

When it got down to cutting, not so good. Also, remember that when you buy any machine, you'll also spend a small fortune in tooling for it. The unit was BT30 and the hold-down set was an unusual T-slot size.

I would hope that if someone is importing new equipment, someone else is importing used equipment.

All I can really say about the Chinese mills is they usually look great and sound great on paper. But from the paint coming off early, to motors that don't actually have the specs they said, to castings that flex like butter, to a limited or nonexistent parts supply -- they always disappoint.

Show me someone who loves their Chinese mill, and I'll show you someone who doesn't use it very much.

Is it out of the question to buy a used machine in Germany and drive it back?
 

Busted Bricks

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Location
Denmark
The Skyfire is very much hobby grade and from what I gather not good value for money. I very quickly passed on that as an option.

Most second hand imports are people buying directly from abroad. It's an option but I've not come across anything that suits budget and size. There are a few Mini Mills available from UK, but transport costs are very high. If I go that route I will need have the money in cash as my bank will not do a leasing deal on machine tools that are over 7 years old.

This is the type of mill I've been looking at: BL-Y400 CNC Machining Center

PS: "..doesn't use it very much" probably describes me. I will be doing low volume jobs on an infrequent basis. I struggle to buy in parts as no one is hungry for work and therefore not interested in low volume orders.
 
Last edited:

kvom

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
3,191
Reaction score
596
What's the delivered cost of that mill?
 

Busted Bricks

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Location
Denmark
Depends a bit on config but standard with 12-tool ATC, Siemens 808D control and 3.7kW spindle it's $18000 FOB Shanghai. Upgrade to 5.5kW spindle is $290.
 

Latest posts

Top