Rick, Very well put response and very accurate for the most part.
Here is my view on your response and I will break it down section
Both resolution and backlash contribute to the accuracy with which parts can be cut.
100% correct. The best desk top out there for resolution and
zero backlash is the Roland 3000 or 3001 which starts at $18,000
and is what I use for my metal molds, For 95% of the jewelers,
this is overkill to spend this kind of money on a machine. The
other 5% would be people like ourselves that produce very
specific and calibrated items and therefore the money is well
spent. For most people who are going to lap and polish their
jewelry after casting, do you think they are really going to
maintain the kind of resolution that the machine produced.
The third major factor is the rigidity of the milling machine.
Yes indeed a concern for those individuals who are machine shops
and are doing most of their cutting directly into metal, such as
tool and die makers. However we are talking jewelry components
here mostly to be cut into wax not large metal molds, I don’t see
where you can make the comparison when we are talking about a
little desk top machine for $1,295 not your industrial bench top
models that start at $18,000, or floor standing models that start
Small CNC milling machines, such as those based on the Taig or Sherline mills are simply not as accurate as their larger commercial counterparts.
Again you are correct, but the little machine I am talking about
is neither Taig or Sherline but does have a higher level of
accuracy than either one of them. This machine has not been
mentioned or promoted as an industrial/commercial machine
therefore how can we seriously compare the two entities, it’s
like mixing apples and oranges.
I think Christian is right in asking about the specifications of the $2600 milling system-
Absolutely, however the people that seem to be more concerned
about the capabilities of this little machine are other
re-sellers of software and machines. No disrespect intended to
any dealer, so kindly do not take this as a personal attack. This
piece of hardware is what I consider to be an excellent
introductory machine with a lot of power for very little money
and nothing else. If your needs are more precision orientated,
then this of course is not for you.
though people are cutting very useful parts on low cost CAD/CAM systems.
Thanks, no need to add to that.
Generally, the parts that I cut have small lettering and other detail that is dependent on resolution for its accuracy.
Here is an issue that really has more to do with how you cut the
piece and more importantly the precise measurement of the end
mill used to machine the item. If the end mill is supposedly 1mm
and the actual gauge measurement is 1.05mm, then you are looking
at a tenth of a mm in deviancy if you machine around the letter.
To accurately measure those little letters and be able to
register credible defects in the job would be very difficult
indeed. I am not for one minute doubting that there is some
inaccuracy in the piece, I am just saying it would be very hard
to detect at that level. The differences are so microscopic, that
this is not an issue that is visible to the naked eye. (unless of
course you are the six million dollar man)
Granted I can't produce the same parts by hand, Thanks again, just saved me some work there too lol. but the machine has very real limitations as well.
This is determined by the user. Everything has its pros and
cons, therefore the individual has to evaluate if the positive
aspects of utilizing a machine for their business eliminates the
negative aspects of not having one.
CAD/CAM systems are a useful addition to the model making tool collection, but enhance rather than replace existing proceedures.
Could not have said it better myself.
There is a machine for every situation, this happens to be a
nice price point to get started and limit your exposure. Cad cam
is a multi level topic. 99% of jewelers assume that the milling
machines are what cad cam is all about. Cam is computer aided
manufacturing, so the mill is a strong part of this side of
things. Cad means computer aided drafting which has much broader
connotations. With Cad your are not limited to the mills and
lathes etc., you have other methods and avenues to go from your
design to physical parts by utilizing the Sanders Prototyping
machine that will build your model layer by layer until finished.
This will outperform any milling machine on the model making side
Thank you again for your educated response Rick, I hope that all
communication is taken in the best light. If anyone wants to
learn I will gladly take the time to reply to any requests for