AXYZ Millenium CNC

Please excuse my general ignorance here. I’m about to purchase the above and before I part with my coin I thought I’d ask a community of CNC people what they would do. Here is my dilemma, I understand CNC having worked for comptervision for years but I’m new to making myself if that makes sense. My budget is limited so I should be looking at something around £2K but the above is currently sitting in a local workshop and I can buy it for similar money and its much bigger than the other machines I’m talking about. I have spoken to AXYZ corp who made it an its not supported anymore and parts are limited.

Here is my question. given the potential upside to having a mid level CNC machine and the capabilities this would give me not least of which is size. would you buy it. I is working, is in use right now. Has all the manuals.

Basically, Despite the fact that AXYZ are telling me the the controller is an old controller and is not supported, I’m pretty sure I could (admittedly wth some work and coin) replace the controller and anything else. At the end of the day its just hardware and software and motors gears, switches etc.

I guess I’m just looking for someone who knows what they are talking about to tell me I’m right and I should buy this thing rather then play safe with a smaller cheaper cnc.

Thanks in advance

I would say the answer is “it depends” on:
What you want to do with it?
What space you have?
What skills you have access to.

In general I would get the biggest machine I could afford for avail space.

Keep in mind an older machine may:
Take time to research and learn to run

Controller may need replacement to make it compatible with avail software.

If it breaks I you may have to replace systems vs repair the current ones.

I would start by understanding what software it uses and what state of operational readiness it is in.

Hi Don, thanks for your reply and basically that is exactly what I’m thinking. The machine has a 1 meter x 1 meter (39" x 39") deck.

Point taken on the older machine and taking time to learn. Apparently all the user manuals and disks for software are present. I may be asking for punishment but I am willing to give that bit a go and the rest of the points your making are essentially what I’m trying to figure out. How much of a pain is replacing controllers and other parts if needed.

As to starting with understanding software it uses and state of operational readiness.

It is in use at the moment so I know it works and it is using AXYZ toolpatch software on believe it or not a windows 95 pc. Lol. I don’t know the revision number of the software or if the latest version is compatible with the machine. Have asked AXYZ tech support all these questions.

I guess it boils down to this with me. I’m guessing the demands I will put on the machine to start with will not exactly be to taxing for it. and I’m thinking, will having this big beast of a machine vs the alternatives give me way more options in the future (with some controller upgrades etc) I kind of think it would.

what do you think? are new contollers A) massivley expensive and B) difficult to install and configure and involve lots of other changes as well.

I know nothing about AXYZ. Things to think about in the context of replacing some of the electronics and using the motion platform

  • Axis motion: steppers or servos?
    • If servos, what kinds and controllers?
    • If steppers, bipolar or unipolar? Current rating?
  • Power supply voltage and current capacity
  • Sensors: dry contact or optical/logic level?
  • Spindle looks like it’s three-phase from a quick web search, so you could replace the spindle controller if you had to. Also, looks like it wouldn’t be hard to entirely replace the spindle if you wanted, including if you wanted to switch to a water-cooled spindle.
  • Belt specification for Y transmission belts.

Overall, what wear components would you not be able to replace with in-production components, and what else would you have to replace to get a working machine if they failed?

Overall, looks nice with linear rail, and if I had the opportunity I’d probably think about the price as for the motion platform and maybe spindle, and assume I was going to replace the electronics with something modern.

For new controllers, it depends on the ratings. Find out the stepper ratings and whether they are bipolar or unipolar; that could make a meaningful difference in cost.

I would do it. never know, it may run a long time. If not there is lots of help for doing conversions. Relatively speaking controllers and electronics are not that expensive.
Its motors, drivers, controller and switches.

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