I have been contemplating getting a home size CNC mill for years, and have finally saved up enough money that it can be a reality. I am a mechanical engineer and am pretty well versed in programming our Fadal VMC-15 at work (3axis only). Modeling and CAM are not a big deal to me, and I'm well versed in electronics as well so I think I'm ready to take "the plunge" into a home CNC.
Reasons I want a mill (so you get the idea of what I'm looking for):
-I am a rock crawler, I have a '92 Toyota with more time and money into it than I care to admit, but I'd like to be able to make/modify my own parts for it. It's currently in the middle of en engine swap.
-I have a 1959 International T-340 that is configured as a track loader. Parts are not easy to come buy, and the parts I find are from China and usually pretty low quality.
-I'm a general tinker'er. I tend to make all sorts of gizmos and wiz-bangs.
I have looked at Tormach, its nice but IMO it's to much $$$. It would probably eat up all my budget and I would have nothing left for tooling.
Currently I am looking at a Matthews Precision PM-45M CNC. However the 8" Y has me really holding back. There is a lot of support for this mill on this forum, and everyone seems to be pretty happy with it. I can probably swing the 4th axis budget wise, which can make up some of the Y travel. Again I might be short $$$ for tooling if I get the 4th axis.
Also considering a PM-940. (26" X, 12" Y). This would allow for larger parts for the truck and crawler, but doesn't come in CNC... I can convert it to CNC for sure, I know I'm capable of it. BUT it seems like it would take quite a bit of time, and I'm not sure I would get it done before I just ended up wishing I had a factory CNC machine.
Thoughts and comments? Anyone seen a good review on the PM-45M CNC?
Thanks for the help,