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CNC Wax Master


#1

Hi Guys

I have been quietly following the threads back and forth and I too
am about to take the plunge!

From what homework I have done I can see only two options -
Artcam/Modelmaster or Jewel Cad and a wax printer. I have to say
after you take into consideration the fact that the Modelmaster
milling machine now has the forth axis, the difference in price and
the quality of final waxes compared to the “stepped effect” of the
wax printer, and don’t forget the cost of maintenance on the wax
printer, there is only one choice, Artcam!! I have only recently
started looking into this subject but am I missing something here?

Any comments will be appreciated,.

Thanking you in advance.

David

PS After writing this email I have just seen Gemvisions advert in
the AGM???


#2

Just my opinion, If I could have afforded the Model Master set up I
would have gone that way, But for a lot less money you can get a
Taig Milling machine, (a very well built piece of equipment) equipped
with Servos instead of Stepper motors. Really not a lot of difference
in finished model quality.

I just had some done on a Sherline 5400 with steppers and the
quality was very good, Both Sherline and Taig are available with a
4th axis by the way, the difference in cost between a Servo driven
system and a Stepper driven system is considerable. That being said,
the main difference between any mill and the finished product is the
software, the hardware plays the least important part in my opinion,
and that’s where Model Master has a pretty solid advantage from what
I’ve heard. The pieces that I had done on a Sherline were written
with Jewelcad and then the Cad was done in Mach-2.

I pretty much started this thread because a company I do casting for
was getting some very poorly done wax masters, these were being done
on a Roland MX-15 marketed under the 3D wax mill label, I was curious
as whether it was the machine or just plain operator inefficiency, I
have since seen wax models done on that machine and it was just plain
case of the operator not caring.

I’m getting a Taig CNC ready and will supply my own controller and
200 OZ. steppers, for now I’m only going 3 axis as that’s all I need
at present so I’ll only be spending about $1700.00 U.S. when I’m
ready for the 4th axis I’ll fork over another 600.00 so that’s a
total of about $2300.00 add a 150.00 for end and ball mills and a few
angle mills and a fly cutter and some collets so that leaves me with
about a $22,000.00 difference, do you know how much software you can
buy with that?? Granted you will probably have a month or two
learning curve but Jewelcad is a pretty intuitive program, I’ll say
that it isn’t as easy to learn or as intuitive as ArtCam Jewelsmith
is supposed to be, I’ve seen it demonstrated, BY HIGHLY TRAINED SALES
FORCE, but it’s not like trying to learn some of the Cad Cam programs
I’ve been trying to learn, Oh and by the way I’ve heard that
Jewelsmith also has limitations, as of this day there is no PERFECT
program, they all have strengths and weaknesses. But then again so do
the operators and designers. There are a lot of CAD programs that are
not quite as expensive as the ArtCam products and actually their CAM
program can PowerMill can be bought for under 1000.00, My thinking
whether incorrect or not is that since we really don’t have to hold
tolerances at .0001 or in fact most of our work can come in at .001
and no one will really notice. And the Taig 2000 will do that very
easily and so will the still cheaper Sherline, but here again you
have to set up your own controller system which isn’t exactly Rocket
Science! or learn to like Linux which isn’t that bad either, I can
buy a lot of metal and some nice easy software for 20,000.00 but this
is just my opinion, And by the way there is one gentleman that was
making Titanium rings some inlayed with very intricate designs, he
was doing this with a lowly Sherline mill with 4th axis and does some
fantastic work,

I guess what I’m trying to say is it ain’t the tool it’s the way you
use it

Kenneth Ferrell


#3

I’m a cheap guy so I thought I’d mention this: For the 4th axis the
Sherline CNC ready rotary table is only about $300+ and Taig for
their full CNC 4th axis just uses the Sherline manual table and adds
their own adapter, so if you handy you can save even more money. I’m
using a Sherline table as a 4th axis by unbolting the y-axis motor
and attaching it to the rotary table - then you just need to stretch
the y-axis code. I wrote a short article up about it on my webpage
(which is about engraving machine dials, but the principle is the
same as for jewelry):

http://www.cartertools.com/fake4th.html

A good way to avoid the extra cost of an extra motor and
stepper/servo driver if you are rolling your own system. Generally
you don’t need the y travel when using the 4th axis unless you are
doing more complex milling - for engraving rings, etc. you should
only need 3 axis total of motion.

If you haven’t already subscribed to the taigtools yahoogroup I
highly recommend it.

Nick
@Felice_Luftschein_an is Felice Luftschein and Nicholas Carter.
http://www.cartertools.com/nfhome.html