Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Machine Tool Lust

This Bridgeport CNC vertical mill is currently at $1025 on eBay -- and it appears to be in astonishingly good shape.  Unfortunately, I don't have the space in the garage for it; it would take three phrase power to run it; I shudder to think what shipping something this heavy would cost.  But what a bargain!  I suspect that this cost $15,000 new.

UPDATE: Shipping charges would be $1575.  That turns it from a steal deal into a bit too expensive to justify.


  1. a). What are the chances that it is only the spindle motor which really requires 3-phase?
    b). And isn't it the fashion to run the spindle motor with a variable-frequency drive (VFD)? Input for the VFD would be single-phase anyway.

  2. how about renting a truck and doing a fun road trip to CA? get a couple of guys to help with driving and loading, write it up as a movie script...instant Oscar!!

  3. Instant Oscar only if one of the guys comes out of the closet on the trip; another commits suicide; and the third finally admits that being a Republican causes impotence.

  4. If you want some serious CNC lust, check out the FirstCut video at http://www.protolabs.com/tour

    Also, depending on your volume, it might make sense to order a mold. Protomold's molds are much cheaper than industry average, but parts are more expensive. Their sweet spot for molded parts is 25 to a few thousand, depending on your needs.

    I retired from Proto Labs last year after 10 years as an engineer in various roles. I spend 17 years doing a fair amount of modeling in SolidWorks and can vouch that it is one of the easier packages to learn, and has all the features you need for most applications. I don't know if any of the less expensive packages are adequate, although it sounds like Alibre might be worth trying considering the price difference.