Our new toy, and a PCNC Lathe update

Apologies for the fat-finger submission last week. The “publish” and “preview” buttons are really close together in our WordPress blog software:) Anyways, here’s a few things that we’ve been up to in the lately.

PGC (Personal Gantry Crane)
First, our newest toy in the Tormach Shop – a portable 2000 lbs. gantry crane. Perfect for lifting the machine onto the stand, or a rotating 4th axis on to the PCNC table. I think it will fit in most garages as well. We’ve talked about getting one for a while, and it didn’t disappoint. This one is an aluminum frame with large locking casters and a really nice made trolley.

Progress on the Tormach Lathe
Here are the lathe castings for the first prototypes of our slant bed CNC lathe project (you can see some earlier discussion of this project here). These are now being built up at the factory and we expect to see the first prototypes in the fall. Steady progress, albeit somewhat slower than we had initially hoped for.

Farewell to the Stirlings
Finally, we’ve had a lot of fun making these Stirling Engines in our CNC Fundamentals Workshop over that last two years. The class last week had some of the best ones yet, like this one built by Kenny from TN. We Tach’d it at around 200RPM.

As anybody who’s played around with one of these coffee cup engines knows, they can be real finicky to get running, but Kenny had his cranking away the on the very first spin – call us impressed! Alas, this is a swan song for the Stirling project – after having almost 200 students build these during the class, we’ve decided to retire the Stirling project for the moment and will be building a very cool dial indicator holder in the future. This new project has some challenging parts and I think it will be a great teaching tool.

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Andrew Grevstad

With over ten years of professional experience in advanced manufacturing systems, digital design tools, and applied software, Andy Grevstad has worked in product development and technical support for Tormach since 2008. Grevstad has received engineering degrees from Michigan Technological University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a regular contributor to Digital Machinist magazine and also blogs weekly about CNC milling and related topics on the Tormach blog, Milling Around.

Andrew Grevstad

14 thoughts on “Our new toy, and a PCNC Lathe update

  • Pingback:Tormach Personal CNC Lathe Castings « CNCCookbook

  • Avatar
    July 19, 2011 at 9:10 am
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    Hey guys – OT – but I received an email this morning that Alibre has been acquired by 3DSystems. Any foreseeable impact on the Tormach community?

  • Avatar
    July 20, 2011 at 8:17 am
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    All great news, the PGC is a neat idea. The PCNC Lathe, well this is going to be awesome, anyone need a good used screw machine? Thanks guys keep up the good work.

  • Avatar
    July 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm
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    I need a new lathe…already wrote off my machine and I hate to give Uncle Sam any money…

  • Avatar
    July 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm
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    Great news on the lathe! Please keep us informed on progress. Let us know if you want beta testers, too.

    Mike

  • Avatar
    July 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm
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    Hello Andy:

    Have you got any idea of the price range that you are trying to achieve on the Tormach lathe? The castings look very strong and extremely rigid. I know the product that you make will be the best. I am still saving for your mill and look forward to owning one.

    Thanks
    David

  • Avatar
    August 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm
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    Definatley, if there is a pre-order list, or a beta program for the lathe… I want in! I am avoiding purchasing another brand of lathe because I know you guys are coming out with one…. and if I get something else, ill kick myself once yours comes out. please keep the updates coming!

    Im also still looking forward to your plastic molder… and accessory control so that we can turn our mills into 3d printers!

  • Avatar
    January 12, 2012 at 11:25 am
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    Lathe,lathe, where is the lathe? Just any old tidbit to let people know that forward progress is being made.

    Ernie

  • Avatar
    January 17, 2012 at 11:19 am
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    Lathe,lathe where is the lathe? There are many of us who would to hear, at least, some tidbit about the new athe.
    I understand the time and energy it takes to test and retest, revise and test some more. A tidbit would still be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Ernie

  • Andy G.
    January 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm
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    Hi Ernie:

    Full steam ahead, although I admit I haven’t said much about it in the last 6 mos. or so. Our prototype is scheduled for delivery to Wisconsin next month.. I’ll have lots to update towards the end of Feb on the lathe project.

  • Avatar
    January 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm
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    Thanks for the info Andy. Based on the castings in the above picture; I would guess that this will be a real lathe that will be made to Tormach’s high standards. I hope the machine is everything you guys think it is and more.

    David

  • Andy G.
    January 31, 2012 at 8:44 am
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    Dave

    Thanks for the kind words. Our lathe prototype is scheduled to be here any day now. We’ll have a better idea about timeline then.

  • Avatar
    May 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm
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    i was wondering if their is any news on the Lathe

    Robin

  • Andy G.
    May 3, 2012 at 8:17 am
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    lots, actually. I’m actually planning on posting a little movie in the next week or so of some actual cutting. Stay tuned!

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