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CAD/CAM Crazy


#1

Andrew,

Intelligent engineering is all about choosing materials and
processes that give the best result for the least resources, while
making sure that performance is optimized for the money spent.
There's nothing wrong with plastic, properly used, while thin
sheet can work just as well as thicker material in applications
where thicker material isn't really necessary. And one hardly needs
to take off points for an attractive appearance. 

I thought that you might bring your experience to the table on this
subject. I appreciate your professional presentation and I’d like to
address a few points you’ve made. . I began by saying that Roland was
built smartly, so I agree with you; it’s intelligently engineered. A
multi-national company like as Roland can invest $100K or so in R &D
so that the end result is nicely designed machine made with
relatively inexpensive components costing a few thousand dollars to
manufacture overseas. It’s optimized for cutting wax, which is
perfectly OK for most people.

As for an out-of-the-box success story, they seem to have made some
advances, since I first operated the machine. When I set up the
JWX-10 for my friend, I thought some parts were missing when I saw
the
small cutting table. I thought to myself, Man, for 10 thousand
dollars… they could have at least included some double-sided
sticky tape, because there weren’t any clamps to hold down a tablet
of wax.

Now, it seems from looking at your website, they’ve put a clamp on
the rotary table, and they’ve also decided to bundle an optional
$2,250 third party jewelry milling fixtures and software with it.

I wonder if the majority of people who purchase the JWX-10 find the
stock wax holding devices and software to be optimized? Perhaps it’s
a
good idea to get the optional 3rd party add-ons.

(I just got one and made my first part - it came out great.) 

Andrew, Andrew, let’s be real! :wink: I might buy one too, if I could
get it for the same price as you’d have to pay for it, considering
that you are a web-based re-seller of Roland products, but as a sales
rep for Model Master, I’d rather opt for the Micron, Model Master’s
new compact desktop CNC mill.

can be judged by its materials, and a used one will probably work
just as well as an equivalent-looking used one. But when you buy a
complicated machine you're buying more than pieces of metal (and
plastic); it's a promise that it will perform a certain function.
That's a promise you have a hard time enforcing when you buy a
second-hand machine - you're doing well to recover money for a
machine that's dead on arrival, much less one that quits a year
later. You evidently were fortunate, but it's not certain that
everyone else who buys used machinery will share your good luck. 
(One could buy many years of extended warranties before equalizing
the price differential between the Modelmaster and the JWX-10.) 

I was not suggesting that anyone go out and buy a used machine. I
simply meant that the Model Master CNC 1000 is a reliable well-built
machine with proven longevity in the jewelry industry. There are
100’s of other owners of the machine who can confirm my experience
with a vintage CNC 1000, so it’s not even that I’m especially
fortunate, in that regard.

the Modelmaster is a fine machine, but it's not necessary to
disparage other alternatives in order to praise the one you've
chosen. As you say, a lot of people have been happy with it -
what's wrong with that? 

I’m sorry you took my comment about consumer preferences for design
aesthetics as disparaging, I meant it more in reference to human
nature, more than anything else. Maybe my comparison between the
mills didn’t come across as “diplomatically correct” as you are wont
to presenting, but since when is it a bad thing to point out
differences?

It’s great that people are happy with it. Much respect to Roland’s
approach to marketing and engineering. I wasn’t being disingenuous, I
really do think it’s clever of them to use low cost ink-jet printer
technology. Maybe it’s the right machine for some people, who really,
am I to say? I’m just saying it’s a good thing to use some
discernment and make an informed decision, that’s all. Caveat lector.

I suppose the argument can be made that isn’t fair to compare the
JWX-10 with a Model Master CNC 1000, because they are in different
classes of CNC machinery. However, a new mill by Model Master called
the Micron, can legitimately be compared with the JWX-10 because,
although it’s in higher class of machinery in that it’s not ONLY
optimized for cutting wax, and it’s made of heavy duty materials with
industry standard gears, motors, components and electronics; it is
about the same size as the JWX-10 and it’s in about the same price
point, after considering the additional fixtures, software and
training you might want to get for an optimal experience with the
Roland.

Since these machines are relatively new on the market, nobody
really knows how long they'll last 

The Micron is very innovative in that it has all the accuracy,
precision and durability of a high end milling machine, but at an
entry level price… It comes with **one year parts & labor warranty.
Most people haven’t been very concerned about extended warranties for
Model Master products.

Recognizing a need in the marketplace for a more compact,
well-built, long lasting milling machine at an affordable price,
Model Master has developed the Micron which is manufactured to the
same specifications as the larger MM mills. It can be used to cut
molds and dies, as well as regular jewelers wax and harder machinable
resins. ModelMaster mill frames are CNC milled out of thick
aircraft-grade aluminum stock on an industrial size milling machine
at the Model Master machine shop in Canton, GA.

The Micron comes with everything you need, including a new Dell
computer, ModelMaster CAM software, a rack mounted touch-screen
monitor and an integrated enclosure with push-button controls on the
front. It’s compatible with all CAD file formats and an optional
touch-probe scanner for the Micron, will be available later this
year.

Regards,

Jesse Kaufman
www.jdkjewelry.com


#2

Price VS Value

I think that this is the topic. For those of you who have all the
skills and the time and the need to emphasize the journey rather than
the destination: making your own makes sense. For the destination
crowd who need to sell product, you want a turnkey machine and
training.

I am one of the journey people. I fought long and hard against
buying the BD press. I bought a 40 ton automotive press and finally
created the dies for deep drawing. But not before my wife came home
with the motor driven BD press. I have to confess that it does work
faster and easier for her. I can use either press without a problem.
My wife is the destination person: she needed argentium raised
vessels to chase. Now she does not need me for this.

I have learned to use a Haas Vertical CNC machining center which is
available in the local community college: make friends and take
courses. There is a steep learning curve with the software for
design as well as running the machine. I have a New Hermes IS 400
computerized engraving machine with a 4 th axis and the software
that runs it sucks (Gravostyle 98). I do 2 D stuff with no problem,
but full 3 D is not yet there. I am trying to see if Art Cam can
reliably post to the proprietary binary hardware of my machine (a
mouth full, I do not fully understand it). The price for this desktop
cnc milling machine with all the software is about 22 to 25K! I was
lucky for 2 reasons: I found the machine on ebay and I already knew
the software and hardware (I also lived in Atlanta where New Hermes
was located and we became buddies. This was essential to becoming
fluent in the software and the thinking process.


#3

I bought my CAD/CAM system 9 years ago, after considering building
one from a milling machine. I am happy with the purchase. The
following is not a spiel for the brand of machine I chose.

After 2 days of training on the software, I was immediately able to
cut pieces that were put into production. The cost of the machine and
software package was only part of the overall cost- I financed the
unit over 5 years with my commercial bank. I paid for software
updates. I upgraded the machine 3 years ago. I financed the upgrade.
There are bits and wax and resin board to buy. Periodic lubrication.
Upgrades on the computer. The cost of the machine itself is only a
fraction of the overall cost of ownership. I started out as a
designer and model maker, and I probably use the machine differently
than some other people because of my previous training and
background. It has however, expanded my horizons. A tool to do the
jobs it does well. Not an inexpensive tool to own.

I still carve waxes by hand at times, still constantly use my
fabrication skills. I occasionally use a raising stake and hammer
form metal pieces.

All of the techniques that were developed over the past 10,000 ?
years for forming and processing metal are probably alive and well in
somebody’s shop, somewhere on this planet. The saw replaced the
chisel to cut sheet metal, but the chisel edge is alive and well in
cutting pliers. Soldering over charcoal with a mouth pipe, or with a
gasoline torch, somewhere, someone is doing it as you read this
thread.

What I am saying, is, I guess, is that I am not CAD/CAM Crazy. It is
just another color crayon.

Rick Hamilton


#4
 As for an out-of-the-box success story, they seem to have made
some advances, since I first operated the machine. When I set up
the JWX-10 for my friend, I thought some parts were missing when I
saw the  small cutting table. I thought to myself, Man, for 10
thousand dollars.... they could have at least included some
double-sided sticky tape, because there weren't any clamps to hold
down a tablet of wax. Now, it seems from looking at your website,
they've put a clamp on the rotary table, and they've also decided
to bundle an optional $2,250 third party jewelry milling fixtures
and software with it. 

Actually, they do supply some double-sided tape with it, but not the
clamp - that’s on the similar but larger MDX-40. (The tape actually
works on wax, believe it or not.) The rotary table of the JWX-10
comes standard with an attachment with two opposing cones and a
threaded rod in between that permits you to hold a ring tube or
anything else with a 12mm+ hole through the middle. The optional
ProtoWizard hardware/software system provides a clever way to cut
both lateral sides of a ring (or similar part) and then the outside
surface, with a clamp fixture and a mandrel that holds it registered
by a triangular hole cut in the center.

Andrew, Andrew, let’s be real! :wink: I might buy one too, if I could
get it for the same price as you’d have to pay for it, considering
that you are a web-based re-seller of Roland products, but as a sales
rep for Model Master, I’d rather opt for the Micron, Model Master’s
new compact desktop CNC mill.

No doubt you’d get a good discount on it, then - but you seem to
have opted for a used machine instead. Or are you selling that to
get a new Micron? That might be a good idea, Jesse - I find it helps
to have some hands-on familiarity with the things one is advising
others to buy.

The Micron comes with everything you need, including a new Dell
computer, ModelMaster CAM software, a rack mounted touch-screen
monitor and an integrated enclosure with push-button controls on the
front.

Well now you’ve aroused my curiosity. How much do these new machines
actually cost? Do they come with a software and fixture kit
comparable to Protowizard’s, or would that be extra? Is training
included in the price?

What about the fourth axis and automatic toolsetter included with the
JWX-10? (That last really helps save those tiny but expensive little
bits from breakage.) The JWX-10 lists at $9,995; the Protowizard kit
is an additional $2,250; and training at Roland’s LA headquarters is
$300 for a one-day intensive class. A computer to run it would be
about $450 from Dell. So for all that, we’re up to $12,995 at list
(not counting the significant discounts I offer) - is that how much
you’re selling the new Micron for, with computer, software, fixtures
and training? If not, then we’re not comparing “apples to apples”.
If so, it would reflect a somewhat different pricing policy on the
part of ModelMaster - isn’t competition wonderful?

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com


#5

Hi John,

That's me. My understanding is that the closed loop feedback
inherent in servos is superior, and that they are also longer
lived, have more torque, and more reliable over time. But it is
completely true that I don't know that much about them, and my
understanding could be wrong. This comes under the heading of
"conventional wisdom", and I don't pretend to be an expert about
it. 

I too am no expert but from my research when I was making my own
machine I can suggest the following. Servos are quicker than steppers
but do have some potential weaknesses. Whereas a stepper motor system
is relatively simple and just has to churn out bangs of power of
sufficient size to overcome all the friction and cutting forces
involved in the machine, the servo needs a much more complic ated
drive. The stepper simply requires the correct number of bursts of
power to count the number of steps required to get from A to B and,
provided these bursts of power are clean and sufficiently large to
overcome the resistance in the machine, the final position will
always be predictably the same. A servo, on the other hand, is a
normal electric motor which relies on feedback to find its position.
So, in this case, the computer spits out a digital signal which must
then be processed and fed to the analogue motor whilst separately, a,
usually optical, sensor counts the number of black or white lines
passing it and reports this back to the control electronics. These
electronics then have to stop the motor revolving exactly when the
relevant bar is going to pass the sensor. Because you are trying to
control an analogue motor with digital electronics and a digital
sensor, there are many sources for potential error and, in a poorly
designed or maintained system, it is very easy for the motor to under
or overshoot. So, at the start of a move, the software must ramp up
the motor’s speed to get the machine moving and then, as the end of
the move approaches, the speed must be reduced again so that it can
stop precisely on the right bar as it passes the sensor. As we know,
slowing a motor tends to also reduce its torque and so, as the speed
ramps down, the power to the motor must be correspondingly ramped up
to maintain its torque and keep the machine in motion right to the
last thou. One of the advantages in servo motors, and probably the
one which causes them to be chosen for most industrial machines, is
that they can produce smoother motion than a stepper. By its very
nature, a stepper motor moves the machine in steps. The step size can
be reduced by suitable gearing and can be smoothed to some extent by
inertia in the machine but gearing down reduces the machine’s speed
which is already limited as stepper motors cannot turn as quickly as
a servo motor. This latter, of course, being an analogue device, can
produce completely smooth cut lines. In practice, for the kind of
work we would be interested in a machine doing, it is not worth the
extra expense and trouble to even consider servo motors and this is
reflected in the way almost all of the relevant software is written.

Best wishes,

Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#6

Hi Andrew,

No doubt you'd get a good discount on it, then - but you seem to
have opted for a used machine instead. Or are you selling that to
get a new Micron? That might be a good idea, Jesse - I find it
helps to have some hands-on familiarity with the things one is
advising others to buy.

Do you have some hands on familiarity with the several different
mills that you sell? I think it would be a good idea if you did so
I’m
suggesting on a public forum that you buy one of each… ( I’m only
kidding…:wink: I would actually be more puzzled than I am with your
suggestion that I sell my CNC 1000 and purchase a new Micron so I can
get some “hands on familiarly” had I not communicated with you
privately just a few months ago that I wanted to sell my CNC 1000 so
that I could purchase a new Micron…well, maybe it was just a
coincidence.

I’ve operated enough different models of Model Master mills to be
familiar with their operation, and I was at the MM shop while the
Micron was first being developed, so my personal interest in the
Micron is actually because its a really great machine. The thing is,
it’s analogous to wanting the latest model Mercedes Benz, when you
know your old E320 still has plenty of style and class and runs just
fine and will for year to come, if you take good care of it.

There’s nothing wrong with my 10 yr.old CNC 1000…it was
manufactured before limit switches were standard on the MM mills and
it has one of the old style spindles, so it would make more sense to
upgrade the spindle, have limit switches and a Z-height sensor
installed and just get a general tune-up, as long as it going to be
disassembled.

What about the fourth axis and automatic toolsetter included with
the JWX-10? 

You are right, comparing the Roland JWX-10 to a Micron is not
exactly “apples to apples” although the price is about the same.

The Model Master is proven in the marketplace. You, yourself said two
days ago on Orchid that no one knows how long the Roland will last
with it’s plastic gears, plastic drive belts and light structural
integrity.

The Micron has a strong solid frame. An adult can stand on top of it
and jump up and down and it will keep on cutting and won’t buckle-up
like a tin can. That rigidity allows it to cut metal, while the
Roland
isn’t optimized for such a thing…

Again, lest I be accused of disparagement, I’m not saying the JWX-10
is a bad machine, because it’s not. But would I trade in an old Benz
that worked fine, on a new Hyundai? Probably not.

The Micron has all the the accessories that you asked about, it comes
standard with a 4th axis, automatic tool sensors, proprietary
fixtures for milling rotary rings as well as three sided rings,
ModelCAM software developed by MM…a lot went into it. This machine
is the culmination of 12 years of R&D, building and developing CNC
milling machines for the jewelry industry, not musical instruments or
engraving machines…speaking of which, a friend of mine was a
dealer for Roland some years ago and a customer came back to him for
a replacement depth regulator nose system for an EGX-30 engraver.
It’s a little part that goes on the bottom part of the spindle.

The cost was from Roland was around $ 300.00 He looked on the
Internet for parts for Roland machines and couldn’t find a third
party supplier. That’s the law of supply and demand, if there is only
one supplier, they charge whatever darn price they want. If you had
to
replace a part on a Model Master mill,you could find it pretty easily
from a variety of sources because they use conventional components.

I agree with you that competition is a good thing, it’s what drives
forward innovation and refinement of the product, which should
ultimately serve the best interest of the consumer.

It’s great that you can offer a discount. Since you don’t personally
offer training or manufacture the product, the “value added” quotient
you deal in allows you to cut the price without suffering any loss of
work or time.

I don’t feel that Orchid is the place to engage in a price war, so
I’m not going to respond to your question about the cost of a Micron
but I will say you get a whole lot more for your money.

Jesse


#7

In regards to rapid prototyping directly in metal, Cyba
Manufacturing Technology Ltd. is doing laser deposition of titanium
and steel with fairly impressive results with their 6-axis machine
and it also cuts directly in gold as well as does laser-scanning.

http://tinyurl.com/3dt5ag

For those who wince upon hearing the cost of a Model Master CNC
Art2Part milling system, I’d suggest you sit down before you read
about the price of a Cybaman Replicator :wink:

According to the online currency converter, 63,000 British Sterling
comes out to $125,118.21 USD. But for that amount, it doesn’t come
with the attachments needed to cut gold. That will set you back an
additional 14,000 pounds for a total of 77,00 pounds or $152,922.26
Just the software alone, is more than an entire Art2part system.

Of course it’s over-priced when compared to regular 4-axis CNC mills,
but compared to other rapid prototyping systems, it’s probably a
better value considering that with it’s many features it can produce
better surfaces than conventional RP machines, it can mill in any
common prototyping material and can also laser scan an existing model
and replicate it exactly. Pretty cool when you think about it…it’s
like the ultimate high-tech swiss-army knife of CAD/CAM. (Disclaimer,
I have no affiliation with the company)

-Jesse


#8
I would look long and hard at products from HAAS. They have been
in the mill business for a long, long time and have their bases
well covered 

Yes, all well said, Wayne. And by the way someone who knows clued me
in that there is a company (I won’t name names, and I don’t know the
maker’s name) that makes high speed spindles, which is the only
problem with the “real” mills, that fit into an R-8 or Cat spindle.
Again, I don’t know where or who they are, but just that there is
such a product out there. And I’m glad you took my words well,
because I don’t mean to knock the Revo. I just look at it, look at a
Haas or even Bridgeport, for maybe the same price range, and scratch
my head and say, “Huh?”

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#9
the power to the motor must be correspondingly ramped up to
maintain its torque and keep the machine in motion right to the
last thou. One of the advantages in servo motors, and probably the
one which causes them to be chosen for most industrial machines,
is that they can produce smoother motion than a stepper 

That was a nice little lesson, Ian. As I understand it, one of the
huge advantages of servos is that they have constant torque over the
entire rpm range, while steppers lose torque as the rps rise - as
you touch on, the power curve is much smoother,

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#10

This from a forum at cnczone.com - which is a very cool site for all
things cnc. This is a movie showing a very serious machine at work,
for those who enjoy such things, like me… The rotary table the part
is sitting on is likely in the six figures, each toolholder’s
probably the cost of a cnc Taig. It’s called a “Turnmill” because the
table can spin, permitting lathe operations to be done. Check it out:

http://www.monarchmt.com/Turnmill_HB_384k.wmv


#11

I’ve known about Haas for years, but I always thought of them as
6-figure and HIGH 6-figure machines. This is a nice looking one,
though, about $35,000, optional, reasonable 4th axis, and also
availabe 5th axis -

http://tinyurl.com/2lvazq


#12

Haas make a small footprint mill called the office mill 2. This has
a very nice auto tool changer. Think large size sub zero fridge. It
is probably in the 40K region with tooling but without the cad/cam
software support. Very expensive, but very nice at their pricepoint
and not limited to wax.

Charles Friedman DDS
Ventura by the Sea


#13
It's great that you can offer a discount. Since you don't
personally offer training or manufacture the product, the "value
added" quotient you deal in allows you to cut the price without
suffering any loss of work or time. 

I didn’t think this was about me, but actually, I do offer training
to people who can come by my place in Oakland. However, my customers
are fairly far-flung, so that’s not possible for all of them. Most of
the value I add in that case is in the form of advice and support
before and after the sale, as well as putting together a collection
of software and hardware products that will work well together to do
what a customer needs. This takes some time and work (believe it or
not) but I think it’s worth doing.

I don't feel that Orchid is the place to engage in a price war, so
I'm not going to respond to your question about the cost of a
Micron but I will say you get a whole lot more for your money. 

That’s disappointing, after you made the claim that the Micron was
"in about the same price point" as the JWX-10. All I was trying to
do was clarify what you meant by “about”, and what exactly was
included with it. You wanted to compare some things about these two
machines, but now you won’t compare their pricing, which is an
important, if not deciding factor to most of us. This might be seen
as a price war if we were dueling with discounts, but I was just
talking about list prices, which seem unnecessarily mysterious for
the Modelmaster, while Roland lists theirs on their website:

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com


#14

Hi John,

As I understand it, one of the huge advantages of servos is that
they have constant torque over the entire rpm range, while
steppers lose torque as the rps rise 

I think the answer to this is that it all depends on the driver
electronics. I am not totally familiar with the way that torque is
maintained in servo motors although I would guess that it is done in
a similar fashion to the way it is done with stepper motors. In the
case of stepper motors, the most efficient driver is what is known as
a ‘chopper drive’. As you say, if a stepper motor is driven faster
and faster with a simple drive which just provides it with its rated
voltage and current, the torque will fall off as it approaches its
maximum speed. However, if it is driven with a much higher voltage -
maybe 10 times its rated voltage, the torque will be maintained. The
downside of this is that without some other control, the curent
through the motor will increase until it lets the smoke out - and we
all know that, as electrical devices run on smoke, when it escapes,
the device dies… So, a chopper controller uses a simple feedback
mechanism ( a resistor ) which monitors the current through the motor
and feeds back a voltage to a comparator. This then compares the
monitored voltage with a pre-set reference voltage and switches the
supply off to the motor coils until the current falls again. So, the
motor coils get a big bang of voltage - the current rises rapidly to
the maximum the motor can tolerate - the feedback circuit turns off
the voltage - the curent falls - the feedback circuit turns on the
big supply voltage again and the cycle repeats. This repetition is at
a high frequency which depends on the resonance in the
inductive/resitive circuit and may be 20 - 40 KHz and the effect is
that the motor is always running on its high ‘starting torque’. Not
only does this method maintain the motor’s torque at all loads but it
also increases the maximum speed at which the motor can run. HTH

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#15
I have seen many mills (most) that require the normal and standard
set-up and fixturing procedures which does take some time, often
as long as half an hour or more. How do you compare that to a
two-minute setup, a few mouse clicks and you can cut three
different models, in succession, from the same tube of wax, while
you go eat lunch?? Sorry, no comparison. The time savings alone,
over time, is worth a lot. A lot. 

VERY well stated!!! This is probably the most important aspect of
CNC for the jewelry trade. You dont need to know squat about cutters,
speeds, feeds, g-codes, offset, tool paths, or the like. Basically
what jewelry specific CNC systems is take all the guess work out for
you, click print and your cutting wax, simple, effective and pretty
much fool proof.

Yes, you can buy a full blown indurstrial 3-4 axis CNC machine for a
bit more money, but lets look at it from a different point of view.
Jewelry setups are pretty much complete (Revo coupled with Matrix as
an example, im using this cause a buddy of mine has this setup and Im
impressed) Your designing and cutting with very little setup
involved, work holders are there and you only have to worry about ONE
tool, ONE material. For the price, its an awesome package.

Now lets take a look at industrial equipment. I personally have a
Haas 3 axis CNC with a 4th axis controller. Thats just the start, you
need design software, THEN you need CAM software, tack on several
grand for the good stuff.

Now the fun begins, industrial machines dont come with cutting
tools, tool holders, retention knobs, vises, edge finders, dial
indicators, precision levels, compressed air, coolant, spanner
wrenches, collets, etc…etc…this alone WILL run a couple
thousand…oh did I forget to mention some sort of
network/floppy/usb drive adapter to get your programs onto the
machine? Well kick in another $500-$1500 for that…yes the old
school floppy is a $500 OPTION from Haas.

If you have 4 axis capacity dont forget the 4th axis holder and
controller, also, dont forget the freight and setup price, industrial
machines are not light by any means.

Putting this into perspective, I purchased my machine back in 97,
BASIC tooling ran $6K, this was not to cut wax, this was for metal
cutting. In addition, setup, including leveling the machine takes a
full day or two.

If you want a wax cutter get a dedicated jewerly specific setup, it
will save you tons of money and hassle down the road. If you want
something a bit more robust go industrial, but dont be fooled by the
sticker price, youll have to spend a lot more to get what you want
out of it, but I will say this, youll have one well rounded machine
that will handle anything you can throw at it…wax included :wink:

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#16

In response to a recent post inquiring about rapid prototyping
directly in metal, Cyba Manufacturing Technology Ltd. is doing laser
deposition of titanium and steel with fairly impressive results.The
Cybaman Replicator can also mill directly in gold. It produces better
surfaces than conventional RP machines, it CNC mills in any common
prototyping material and can laser scan an existing model and
replicate it exactly.

http://tinyurl.com/3dt5ag

*Pretty cool when you think about it…it’s like the ultimate
high-tech swiss-army knife of CAD/CAM. (Disclaimer, I have no
affiliation with the company)

The Cybaman Replicator’s development is evidence that CNC milling
machines will probably not become obsolete, but instead evolve to
include other RP technologies, so we might be seeing more of these
hybrid prototyping machines that include 6-axis milling,
laser-scanning and material deposition. It seems like The Cybaman
Replicator can do just about anything, but let’s hope it will be a
while before they teach it to polish metal and set stones…:slight_smile:

-Jesse


#17

Hello, Im new to this forum, but I am a private jeweler, and was
recently at the Atlanta Jewelry Show and saw a company called
Minitech there. They seem to have an all in one machine called CNC
Mini Mill 3 PRO, with a NSK spindle with a 4th axis Rotary table
Rhino CAD software and visual mill, computer system for operating the
machine (software included). Also bundled are the Jigs and Fixtures,
and 3 days of training at for under $30,000. It was designed to cut
metal as well as wax. This new Jewelry package isn’t on the website
yet but I still have the info from that I got from Doug their Jewelry
CAD/CAM guy at the show. What do you think?


#18

This from a forum at cnczone.com - which is a very cool site for all
things cnc. This is a movie showing a very serious machine at work,
for those who enjoy such things, like me… The rotary table the
part is sitting on is likely in the six figures, each toolholder’s
probably the cost of a cnc Taig. It’s called a “Turnmill” because
the table can spin, permitting lathe operations to be done. Check it
out:

http://www.monarchmt.com/Turnmill_HB_384k.wmv


#19

I’ve known about Haas for years, but I always thought of them as
6-figure and HIGH 6-figure machines. This is a nice looking one,
though, about $35,000, optional, reasonable 4th axis, and also
available 5th axis -

http://www.haascnc.com/details_VMC_NEW.asp?ID=346#VMCTreeModel


#20

Hi Andrew.

What about the fourth axis and automatic toolsetter included with
the JWX-10? (That last really helps save those tiny but expensive
little bits from breakage.) The JWX-10 lists at $9,995; the
Protowizard kit is an additional $2,250; and training at Roland's
LA headquarters is $300 for a one-day intensive class. A computer
to run it would be about $450 from Dell. So for all that, we're up
to $12,995 at list (not counting the significant discounts I offer)
- is that how much you're selling the new Micron for, with
computer, software, fixtures and training? If not, then we're not
comparing "apples to apples". If so, it would reflect a somewhat
different pricing policy on the part of ModelMaster - isn't
competition wonderful? 

This is Ernie Espinel. In partnership with Jesse Kauffman, I provide
CAD/CAM systems, training and tech support to jewelers in the USA and
Latin America.

The Micron machine is the newest machine produced by Model Master
for the jewelry industry and Jesse has asked me to respond your
questions about the price and specs of the Micron.

Yes, you are right competition is wonderful, great for customers.

We can provide a Micron for $ 12,995.00. This price include:

  • 1 day private training in Atlanta and 1 year tech support. We can
    also go to the customer’s site to install the machine and provide the
    1 day training if the customer pays for traveling expenses.
  • ProtoWizard Kit (CAM software and jigs)
  • Tool kit (10 cutters, pressure washer, wax sample kit)

The Micron is a great machine designed not just to cut wax but to
work with metals, graphite, alloys. With the Micron you can mill wax
but also metals like aluminum, brass, pewter, aluminum alloys,
silver, gold and similar. It can work on metals because, the Micron
is machine built for heavy duty work. it’s built with first class
standard components:

  • 35,000 RPM NSK direct power spindle.
  • THK linear guides
  • THK precision grade2 ball screws
  • 220 OZ motors
  • High precision micro-stepping
  • Inductive proximity switches
  • Z probe for easy tool changing (automatic tool setter)
  • Heavy duty 4th axis
  • Frame is made of aircraft grade billet aluminum
  • Working dimensions: 4.5"x4.5" (XY)

This machine is made here in Georgia. Warranty is 1 year. Model
Master has been making heavy duty machines for over 10 years. They
built machines to work 7 days a week, 24 hours/day. There are over
1000 Model Master CNC installed for making jewelry models all over
the world.

That's disappointing, after you made the claim that the Micron was
"in about the same price point" as the JWX-10. All I was trying to
do was clarify what you meant by "about", and what exactly was
included with it. You wanted to compare some things about these two
machines, but now you won't compare their pricing, which is an
important, if not deciding factor to most of us.

Andrew, price is an important factor, but I believe for a smart
buyer Price is not THE deciding factor. I believe features,
reliability and easy and affordable maintenance are also factors very
important when a prospect is deciding a purchase. Model Master CNC
are heavy duty machines and very reliable. We’ll be happy to provide
referrals of jewelers who have been using a MM CNC, 7 days a week, 8
or more hours a day for more than 8 years. These machines are also
very easy to maintain. They are made with standard components, easily
available, not just from Model Master but from many other suppliers.
In the specific case of the components used in the Micro, go to
Google and type THK linear guides or THK ball screws and you will see
there are a lot of suppliers for these parts.

If you need to repair the spindle or need additional collets you may
go to the internet and type NSK spindles.

If you need to replace a motor, just get the reference or p/n from
the motor and go to the internet. I guarantee you will find more than
one supplier. In previous posts related to this topic you may find
suppliers for standard parts for CNC.

I’m sure you will get a better price, availability and service when
there are a lot of companies supplying the same parts. As you say
competition is wonderful, but not just competition for machines, but
also for parts and maintenance.

The price mentioned above doesn’t include the enclosure and the PC.
I personally believe the enclosure is not necessary. The machine is
quiet. Any basic Pentium IV with Windows XP can be used to control
the CNC. I have found that most of our customers already have a PC
with the basic specifications to control the CNC. They don’t have to
buy a new PC.

During the training, we cover not just how to move the machine
around and work with the jigs. The Micron is machine easy to use. In
around an hour we teach a new user how to jog around the machine. The
rest of the day is spent showing the customer how to export STL files
from their CAD software and import into ProtoWizard, then how to
create the toolpath, also the use of the various milling strategies
available in ProtoWizard. We have over 25 years of combined
experience making jewelry wax models and we provide specialized first
class training for jewelry.

…This might be seen as a price war if we were dueling with
discounts, but I was just talking about list prices, which seem
unnecessarily mysterious for the Modelmaster, while Roland lists
theirs on their website: http://www.rolanddga.com

Andrew, Model Master doesn’t list their prices on their website
because MM produce and sell high end, industrial, heavy duty desktop
CNC. Likewise, you won’t see prices listed on the websites of well
know manufacturers of high end industrial CNC like Hass, Fanuc,
Bridgeport, etc.

We hope a prospect investigating this new technology will call us
and will give us the opportunity to educate him/her on the value of
our machines and our service.

We don’t offer discounts. We believe we don’t have to, to sell the
Micron. It is a high quality product at a very competitive price and
we provide one of the best customer services available in the
industry. We will be happy to provide references from satisfied
customers.

For additional give me a call at 770-262-4462 or send me
an e-mail at ernie@cadforjewelry.com or call Jesse at 860-232-9369
e-mail jdkdesigns@gmail.com

Best regards,
Ernie