First trial cut on Tormach 440 using Fusion 360 CAM

After a lot of research and testing I managed to run a small test piece in MDF using Fusion 360 CAM imported into the Tormach 440.   Hand hovered over the emergency stop button but all went well.  Getting there slowly.

There are so many boxes in the CAM settings for each function that is a worry what needs ticking where.   Lars Christensen‘s Part 4 video on CAM helped no end.  The other one to watch that was useful was the Library tutorial.

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Battery replacement module for Chinese vernier scales

When I created the external 1.5V PSU modules for use with my DRO350 it struck me at the time it might be possible to create the same PSU in a dummy battery to fit directly into the scale battery socket.

I used the same AMS1117 regulator chip and decoupling capacitors mounted on a small pcb inside a short piece of K&S thin wall brass tubing.  The pcb was milled on the Tormach 440 with hand written G Code and using a dental burr as the engraver.  Once the pcb was soldered into the end of the tube I turned back the tube to leave the pcb proud of the tube to match the normal battery profile and spring contact in the scale battery socket.

It was a bit tight to put together but it works !   I am debating a full write up so look back in the future.

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Tormach PCNC440 has arrived

Last Monday the delivery lorry arrived and the driver skillfully backed his 7.5T truck onto the drive and dropped off a number of boxes.   Much excitement ensued not only from me but my three helpers – Andy, Dave and Ian.

Dave and Andy set on immediately to assembly the stand and Ian and myself continued with planning how and where the machine would fit into the workshop.

Ian doing a delivery check
The crate


Tormach PCNC440
Dave and Andy doing the biz
Progress so far

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Tormach PCNC440 Milling Machine Arrives in UK

Great news that my new milling machine has arrived in the UK and is awaiting clearance at Southampton docks.  (Not so good news but as budgeted was the 20% VAT on the shipped total and import duty of 2.5%).

Some significant moving round is going to be needed in the workshop to get it installed and I expect a number of days downtime while I get to grips with it. On the bright side I have some close friends keen to lend a hand.

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Tormach PCNC440 milling machine on it’s way

Tormach 440 small workshop milling machine
Tormach PCNC440 CNC Milling Machine

After attending the NYC CNC Fusion 360 and CAM training course at Saunders Machine Works in Zannesville earlier this year I decided to upgrade my shop to CNC operation.   During the course we had used Tormach machines and I had a good chance to asses them and the PathPilot CAM control program.

After a great deal of deliberation I opted for the PCNC440 from Tormach.   There were various reasons for this but the main one related to available space.   If I had sold off my Myford VMB milling machine and the BCA Mk3 Jig Borer I could have fitted in a Tormach PCNC770 but it would have dominated the shop.   The PCNC440 allows me to keep the VMB and just sell off the BCA. Anything that I could do on the BCA I will be able to do on the PCNC440.

I have got very sentimental about the VMB and have done various mods to it including digital readout (DRO) and acquired quite a lot of tooling for it.   I can do things quickly on it and as yet I don’t know how easy this will be on the PCNC440.

Going for the PCNC440 also brings some restrictions.   The fact that the spindle cannot be reversed is probably the main thing.   This means threading must either be done with machine taps (which I have never done) or it must be done offline with conventional taps.   In preparation for this I have ordered a Mosquito tapping arm and more details of this will follow once installed.

I have ordered the power drawbar with the PCNC440 and the Fog Buster coolant system together with the Tormach tooling chucks.  It was a lot of dollars and the F/X was miserable when I placed my order.   Tormach shipped within 10 days which was impressive.   After some investigation I chose ACC as the UK freight forwarder/importer and they have been excellent in helping me understand the process and arranging the shipment from the US via Montreal to Southampton.

It is going to be a big crate and our drive is not going to be easy to access for the delivery truck.   More to follow once I have a delivery date.

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