ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Discussion on all milling machines vertical & horizontal, including but not limited to Bridgeports, Hardinge, South Bend, Clausing, Van Norman, including imports.

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rabbit_nick
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ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by rabbit_nick » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:45 pm

Hello everyone,

I am planing to buy a cheap milling/drilling machine, the ZX7016, and turn it into a CNC.
The question I have, and that's where I need your help, is "Is it worth buying a ZX7016" ?

Do you have any recomendations for this milling machine ?

Thank you
Nikos
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John Evans
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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by John Evans » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Good luck turning a cheap mill/drill into to anything let alone CNC and expect any sort of precision .
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rabbit_nick
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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by rabbit_nick » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:09 am

I see... I ve never seen or worked with a ZX7016.
Is it so bad ?
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Harold_V
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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by Harold_V » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:02 am

Pretty much any machine with a round column would be questionable for use as a mill. That's not to say that they don't work, for they do, but it's reasonably easy to cause the head to move under a heavy cut, plus orientation of the head is lost if it has to be moved. All in all, a rather poor design for a mill, although such a machine makes a decent drill press.

If you hope to use a machine as a CNC, it's important that you are able to move the head without losing orientation. Mill drills are not known for their great quill travel, but if you feel that restriction isn't beyond your needs, you might consider exploring mill drills with a dovetail column, so when you move the head you don't lose register with the part(s) you will machine. Do remember, you'll still be limited in regards to the Z axis, however.

H
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rabbit_nick
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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by rabbit_nick » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:47 am

I see... So even if I use it as a regular mill it will be a "light cut" machine as the column will not be very good in handling the forces.

As for the Z axis, the manufacturer mentions that the Spindle stroke is 80mm. I know it is not much...
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WesHowe
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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by WesHowe » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:32 pm

Square column (dovetail) mills can suffer from side-to-side tramming issues if the gibs are not very tight or the table is not locked. This is most noticeable on facing operations when traversing in alternate X axis movements using any large diameter facing tool. A large plate will have curved milling marks that curve in opposite directions on adjacent passes.

I do not own one, but the Grizzly G0704 has a dovetail column and is popular for homebrew CNC conversions. It also seems to be about the same table size and price as your ZX7016, although I didn't try to do an exhaustive price comparison. However, if you are doing a full CNC conversion, including ballscrews, you are replacing the most frequently worn-out parts seen on used knee mills (spindle and motor bearings aside).

- Wes

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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by rabbit_nick » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:25 pm

Thank you Wes,

ZX7016 price is €400.00 ($493.52). It is very inexpensive compared to the Grizzly you have.
I am planning to put Antibacklash - Acetal nuts, Tr10x2 leadscrews and big Nema 23 motors but so far everything it is just a plan....
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WesHowe
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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by WesHowe » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:53 pm

Oh. The price I saw was $1,500. Good luck on your project.

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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by rabbit_nick » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:56 pm

Thank you :)
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pete
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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by pete » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:25 am

I've been slowly moving up in equipment size for a lot of years and that costs a lot of money. It does give you an education though. The realitys are that a milling machines initial cost is almost incidental. Yes we all have limited funds for our hobbies, but a mill eats money just in tooling. Easily as much as the cost of the mill or more. In hindsight I should have bought in the beginning what I now have. I'm in 100% agreement that round column mills make fairly poor manual mills never mind a CNC conversion. With that said there's a guy over on the Home Model Engine Machinist forum who used his manual non cnc round column mill for a lot of years to do some amazing high precision coordinate milling of some really complex part shapes. An exact scale model and fully operational Ford V8 for one example.He's also a very experienced real machinist and knew exactly how to work around the machines design flaws. A beginner would find the machine frustrating and tiresome to work with I think. I know I would.

For any bench top mill tooling costs are going to end up about the same no matter what size it is. Even the CNC conversion won't be that much more for a bit larger machine. Industry has moved well past the R8 taper but for a home shop it's still about the best and most cost efficient you'll find until you get to using a proper CNC tool changer. Knowing what I know now if I had to save a lot longer I'd still buy the largest and most rigid mill I could. Your project will have a much better chance of sucess and following the numerous CNC conversions of dovetail column mills on Youtube would be a lot of help. I've also found that buying anything related to machining simply because it was the cheapest I could find always turned out to be an expensive and frustrating mistake every single time.

WJH
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ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by WJH » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:23 pm

If money is tight, this probably isn’t the hobby for you. A 3D printer will give you much more satisfaction on a budget, as long as you know how to use Fusion360.
The 1500$ Grizzly square column mill, is it the Sieg X3 mill? I would stay away from Sieg products. I had that mill, it’s a wet noodle in rigidity. Traded it to a friend for a ww2 Walther P38. Great for his needs, not mine, went with a Bridgeport which I wouldn’t want to convert to CNC because it needs X and Y redone to be satisfactory.
I would however buy a Tormach 1100.


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pete
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Re: ZX7016 Milling Machine to CNC

Post by pete » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:01 pm

How well Sieg has improved there quality control I haven't a clue. However my experience with there machine tools has been somewhat like yours WJH. The C6 lathe I bought was the worst case of an incorrectly machined lathe I've seen. It was enough to turn me off there products for life. I certainly don't expect perfection for the price, but I do expect the basic alignments to be correct.

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