CNC CAD CAM Fusion Tormach

Tormach PCNC milling machines seem to be the only semi-professional option for the serious hobbyist machine shop.  But it took me a long time to get to this decision and the investment it involved.

The path followed the route of finding Fusion 360 as a software package, finding NYC CNC on Patreon, attending the NYC CNC training course on Fusion 360 and using the PCNC440 as part of the course.  After that I was sold – well almost.   The debate raged in my head whether it was to be a 440 or the larger 770.

My workshop is not large and I had a compact line up of the Myford Super 7 lathe, BCA Jig Borer and the Myford VMB mill.  If I took the 770 the VMB and BCA would both have to go and the 770 would totally overpower the shop.  If I took the 440 instead then I could just remove the BCA and keep the VMB.

The BCA was a little used facility.  For those not familiar with it there is a good write up on   It has a rotary table on an X and Y bed with a belt driven Z head.  I decided anything I had ever done on the BCA could have been done on a 440.  The BCA had to go.

The VMB was different and I admit I had come to love it.  I was very reluctant to commit totally to just a CNC machine when I did so many ad hoc jobs quickly and easily on the VMB.   I had added DRO and had invested in extensive tooling to match its R8 taper.   I had made a laser centring tool (see write up) and Angel Light illumination collar.   The VMB would be staying.

So what is different between the 440 and 770.   Larger X,Y,Z movement, the 440 spindle does not reverse and the motor is lower rated.  A reversing motor is needed if you are doing conventional tapping of threads on the mill.  As a way round this you can mill tap larger threads or tap off line.  I decided this combination of mill tapping and off line would work for me.  Following my trip to NYC CNC and seeing their tapping arm, I have added a Roscamat Mosquito Tapping Arm to the workshop assets with a range of collets to cover M2 through to M8.  I am surprised how well this performs.  It will drive a M8 spriral tap into 25mm aluminium without the clutch breaking.

Both the 440 and 770 have power tool bars.   The budget would allow the full enclosure to be bought on the 440 but the 770 was huge in comparison.

440 it was to be.

I watched the Dollar/Pound X/F and it crept up to 1.3 for a few days and I bought the dollars and transferred them to Tormach.   I arranged a UK freight forwarding company called ACC to do the paperwork and importation for me and sat and waited for delivery.  Follow the story ….

Tormach on its way

Tormach arrives in UK

Tormach first ding

Tormach Spindle Light

Tormach and Delphe wheel design

2 Replies to “CNC CAD CAM Fusion Tormach”

  1. Hi
    I am also very tempted with the tormach. I was wondering what the shipping costs and import taxes are like into U.K.. were there any problems? This you may not have the info for, but, Is path pilot essential for using it, or will it work with Mach3?

    1. Good morning Graham, nice to talk to you.
      I have done a spreadsheet to calculate the costs of the Tormach machine and options (only 440 and 770 so far) and this is in my blog section. If you can’t find it let me know and I will email a copy direct. This lets you calculate the total buy cost of the materials and then adds on the carriage, duty and VAT. The VAT is the killer at 20%. The importer in Essex is very good and keeps you informed all the way through the process up to the point where it lands at your door. I had no problems whatsoever and would recommend them, the whole process went fantastically well.
      Regarding Mach3 and PathPilot, I have no experience with Mach3 and the impression I get is that PathPilot is Tormach’s bespoke package after years of using SprutCam and perhaps Mach3. I think you might forfeit the superb after sales support offered by Tormach if you did not go with PathPilot. I find it excellent to use and the conversational macros are very good. The updates all work seamlessly in the background providing the controller is Net connected. It also offers DropBox connectivity now so you can keep your data in the Cloud. I think you would soon convert over to it if that is your worry.
      CNC is a new experience for me despite my business days having a CNC machine shop. I have learned a great deal from the various forums, books etc and now feel much more comfortable with the whole process and understanding GCode etc. I had seen and used the Tormach machines on a training course at NYC CNC so my decision to go this route was made for me. The machines while more expensive then UK Chinese imports were dramatically better in quality and concept.
      I hope that helps clear some of the mists and I hope the spreadsheet helps.

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