Production

Milling Machines & Equipment

Production — Introduction

Mills, Lathes, and 3D Printers

Once you’ve scanned in or modeled a 3D form, these are the machines that turn it into a real physical object. Milling machines and routers do this subtractively; a block of material is held tightly to the bed of the machine or in a fixture, then rotary cutting tools systematically remove everything that isn’t your part. These tools come in various sizes and types: the most important distinction is between “ball end” tools that are rounded at the tip and “flat end” tools that are not. The former…

Taig Tools Micro Mill

“Overbuilt” Manual and CNC Milling Machines

The Taig Micro Mill is an “overbuilt” miniature milling machine. The liberal use of steel in its construction affords superior rigidity and the ability to work on hard metals. It is equipped with a 6-speed pulley system, which yields spindle speeds from 525–5,200 rpm on the manual machine, or 1,000–10,000 RPM on the CNC or CNC -ready models. There is also a new option for a more powerful 3 ⁄ 4 hp motor that accepts spindle-speed commands for variable speeds. The working axis travel is…

Sherline Products

High Quality Miniature Tools and Accessories

Sherline miniature machine tools have long been prized by modelmakers, hobbyists, and jewelers for their precision, performance, and low prices which they have maintained although continuing to manufacture in the USA. Boasting a large range of accessories in hard-to-find small sizes, they have brought accurate machining within the range of thousands with neither the space nor funds to contemplate this before. The Sherline catalog features an enormous range of products, some hard to find…

Sherline 5400 CNC Mill

An excellent choice for jewelers and miniature model makers, the Sherline 5400 CNC Mill is equipped with a powerful ¼ HP variable-speed DC spindle motor for smooth speed changes on the fly. The control box comes ready to hook up four stepper motors, if you decide to upgrade with the 4th axis rotary table. Sherline supplies their own version of the open-source Linux CNC (EMC) software, which works on Linux operating systems. This allows you to run the mill and avoid the necessity of having…

Sherline’s CNC Lathes

Three Packages and CNC Upgrade Kit

Sherline is best-known for their lathes which, though small, are well engineered and supported with a full range of accessories. The 3.5″ × 8″ 4000 is the smallest of them, suitable for jewelry, watchmaking and miniature modelmaking. The longer 4400 lathe has a 3.5″ swing and 17″ between centers, making it useful for small to medium-sized projects. Like all Sherline’s machines, these lathes are available in metric or Imperial versions. The metric version of the 4000 is called the 410…

Roland’s MDX-20

Combination Touch-Probe Scanner and Milling Machine

Roland Digital Group made a series of machines for capturing surface data from objects and then carving them from solid material. This is the largest of these units which combine a touch-probe scanner and light-duty milling machine in one integrated package with a working envelope of 8″ × 6″ × 2⅜″ (for the MDX-20). On this machine, a fine and sensitive piezo-electric scanning needle records even delicate objects without damage or distortion and stores them as polygon mesh surface data which can…