How are the Mazak Variaxis machines?

I’d like to move towards a five axis machine for the shop in the future. Saw the Mazak Variaxis J500 and it looks like a nice machine. It’s 4 + 1 but I don’t have any jobs now that would require more than just positioning anyway. I didn’t even realize that they made Variaxis machines in 4 + 1. The price is actually not too bad on this machine either.

I love my Okuma’s but can’t justify the coin for one of the MU’s right now.

Anyone have one of these machines? How is the construction compared to an Okuma. Mazak seems like the only MTB using roller gears for the rotary axis, how do they hold up. No rotary encoders on the rotary axis on this machine either. Most seem to use rotary encoders but they are not using roller gears.

Thanks in advance

Avoid Loading New Billet On Optional Stop

I keep having this problem where the guys will go on lunch and come back after lunch, take a half machined job out the chuck, not checking to see if its completed or not and loading a new piece of material and hitting cycle start and *CRASH* Is there anyway to stop the operator from loading a new billet of material into the machine when the machine stops on an optional stop?

stalled hydrailc pump

I was asked to look at a friends machine that is stalling the pump under high load, not exceeding the machine capacity though. His shop has 230 corner grounded 3 phase (ground on leg A) feeding a Delta to Wye step up xfmr. The 460 out is balanced well phase to phase and phase to gnd.
He has replaced the pump and motor in his machine but still has the same issue. We found that 2 legs are pulling high current just before the machine stalls but one leg is pulling considerably less. The leg that is lower than the rest is legA which coincides with the gnd on the line side of the xfmr. Is there a correlation here or just coincidence?
under load
legA – 4 amps
legB – 20 amps
legC – 22 amps

Need some ideas on changes to a fixture for thin walled part.

I’ve made this part for a few months now. First run was prototypes (50 pcs) and the fixture wasn’t the greatest but it worked to get the job out the door. I milled the face, longer side and profile, inside pocket, and cutout in the side in one step. Then I flipped the part and inserted a plug to remove the remaining stock on the back and pocket out the underside of the flanges. The plug worked but I had to clamp the vise very lightly to not flex the part that much. Feeds and step overs were small to prevent the part from pulling out of the vise. I was still getting blend marks that were pretty deep and some of the parts bent where the cutout in the side was.


To my surprise another batch (this time 300) was ordered shortly after the prototypes. I thought if I didn’t mill the cutout in the side in the first step that the part would be more solid and my plug would work better. It did but wasn’t much better than the first time around, and I had to build another fixture to hold the part to mill the cutout. The fixture concept for milling the cutout worked perfectly. I left about .003 clearance and the part was flexible enough to pop right in.


I finished that order and got another shortly after. I wanted to eliminate the extra step of milling the cutout so I designed another fixture. The method I used for the last fixture worked so I based it off that fixture. This time the fixture worked great and I’m back to two steps and I can really get after it on the second step. The only problem is the part is not flexing with the raw stock still attached to it so it’s very hard to load the part in the fixture.

capture.jpg capture2.jpg

I left about .003 clearance on the plug in the center and had to hammer the part in just to see if the fixture worked. After the second side was machined the part was able to flex and it came right out of the fixture. Blend marks under the flanges were almost completely gone. If I can find a way to easily load the fixture I would be in good shape. One option is to increase the clearance on the plug, but that would end up flexing the part more and the blend marks would get worse. It would be great if I could have the clearance side of the plugs move inward a little for loading then move out before clamping but I’m not sure how to go about that yet.

Screenshot of cam simulation from first step.


Anyone ever machined a part like this, or have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Wierd problem with Drip Feeding Brother TC-S2B

Hi All,

Firstly, thanks to all who post on here – it’s amazingly informative and I’ve learnt so much from this forum.

Yesterday, I thought I’d try drip-feeding (via RS232) on my Brother TC-S2B (as adaptive clearing tool paths created from Inventor HSM were getting too big for the internal memory and also I fancy trying some 3D machining at some point)…..well after about half a day of getting the hand-shaking working (didn’t need that before to just load programs) it started to kind of work. I did a couple of runs without the tools in and a minute or so into it things looked a little jerky……so I upped the baud rate to 19200 and reduced the tolerance in the HSM toolpaths and it was now running really smoothly…….

However, after about a minute (and always in the same place of code) it would come up with the error as shown in the pic attached……I can see why it’s flagged an error as a few of the last characters in the line before are repeated by themselves on the next line – almost like the DNC Software (‘ONECNC’ BTW) was doing this after a handshake/pause in loading to the control buffer. So, I thought I’d try ‘HSM Advisor’ instead of ‘ONECNC’ to do the drip-feeding, so as to eliminate the DNC software or not…..trouble is, I couldn’t get that hand-shaking properly doh!

So, does anyone have any ideas?…..has anyone seen this before? Perhaps it’s something stupid I’ve done in the settings or something?!

Any help really appreciated ……..and I’m loving the Brother, it’s an amazing machine for what I want to do.

Many thanks,

Fadal vmc 4020

Looking at buying a fadal vmc 4020. Is this a good 4 or 5 axis cnc machine? Looking at buying at auction are there any pit falls as far as failures that could cost a fortune?

Also what are the floor requirements can I set this up in a residential garage or will it crack the concrete?

Need advice to evolve

Hey pm’ers, im stuck and have exhausted all resources i can find, im a ten year( late to the game) cnc machinist, ive set up, manually programmed, and troubleshoot/ran everything except edms and hmc’s. My dilemma is hands on cad/cam, i dont have the time or money to go to school, i work o/t as much as possible to pay for two kids and a house. Ive been through the false promises of employers saying during hiring “we will send you or teach you”. The software i see is so expensive, at least the ones that shops actually use. I understand how everything works, i just need hands on, whats the full deal on software, ive met guys who say “ive got a copy of this or that” did they steal it? Whats my best course of action? I love machining, but im very bored doing stuff thats for “operators” i need to go beyond where i am. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you

Electrode making cnc

One of our bottlenecks is our ability to make electrodes fast enough. We have 1 solid machine dedicated to electrode making with a 40000 rpm spindle. We do a lot of small electrodes with cutter sizes down to half mm or smaller. I think a 1/6 diam ball end mill is what we use the most. The high spindle speed isnt a necessity but im thinking at least 20000 rpms would be sufficient for a support machine. I am in the market to get another machine that can mace electrodes accurately, preferably a used machine but the search isnt going well. I noticed that the fanuc trodemaster looks like it would fit the bill nicely. Does anyone have experience with one of these? Does it contour good, how stable is it thermally? Is there any other machine worth looking into?

Pprrogramming vintage cnc with Sinumeric 810M control

Totally new to this forum, and in effect also to programming this Danish built Pedersen 1989 machine.
Got it released from the battery tray, so all memory initially was lost.
This is solved by hired technician, all data should be restored. I also have managed to make a little program in g-code,
moving the machine in position above a piston, where I need two pockets milled.

Here trouble really began, as I simply cannot figure out, what bothers the control. I have spent 3 hours working on main programming errors, and also subroutine errors. The book that followed the cnc states that a subroutine called L96 should make a pocket, if you fill out several R values. In the end I got rid of all error messages, but the cnc just starts up, goes to 0,0,2 waits a bit and shuts down, totally ignoring the subroutine.

I kind of hope there are someone inhere that has worked on the old 810M controls, and also remember a few hints to help me out.
The complete program is written here as seen on its screen:
N05 G17 G71 G90 G42 G54 G01 lf
N10 T1 D1 M03 S1000 F100 X0 Y0 Z2 lf
N15 G01 Z0 F50 lf
N25 G00 Z2 lf
N26 R01=2.5 R02=0.0 R03=-5 R04=50 R06=02
R15=40 R22=0.0 R23=0.0 R24=20 lf
N30 L96 P1 M30 lf

I realise N25 is to no use, (early deleted part of making a move) but when I finally got rid of all faults, I let it be for now…….
I tried to use G96….error
I tried to delete P1, no influence..
I took M30 to N35…..error in block N30…..
Also tried in first place to let L96 be the first code in N26……error in subroutine….