i did a little bit of research on a few machines before blundering down this rabbit hole.
my first task was to identify the electrical and physical limits for the piece of machinery.
my shop has a 60 amp 240 vac single phase service with a
buried entrance cable so that is my power limit. there is no 3 phase for miles so a
phase adder is needed. 14.4kW max available power.
my shop is tiny, a 12' x 16' slab on grade stick built with a metal roof, insulated and
heated with wall mounted electric radiant heaters. there is a 30" man door and a 10'
wide 8' high overhead door. i plan on moving grinding and welding to an addition
planned for the spring, moving the surface grinder, pedestal grinder, mig, tig, and
gas welding to the addition will free up about 50 square feet, so a 7' x7' area is the
largest machine foot print.
so power and floor space placed the major constraints on what i could buy. i had
some requirements too, in no particular order:
three phase spindle
tool changer would be nice, not a requirement
reputable email tech support
10K rpm spindle
controller that supports 5 axis (note: need to steal mariahs' dividing head drive hardware)
not a "pc hanging on the machine" controller
new or used
max air consumption 5 SFM @ 150psi
i looked at two used machines, a haas vf1, and a fadal vmc. the haas had a 15HP spindle
motor, out of my power budget. the fadal was also used and had a 10HP spindle. both
machines were in excellent shape.
sadly both of these machines were over or flirting with my power budget.
i did not get to see either of the next two machines, the tormach 1100mx or the syil X7.
unfortunately for tormach it was an early casualty. several people posted horror stories
of quality issues upon receiving their machines from wiring problems, door fitment issues,
bizarre factory explanations of excessive runout or poor accuracy/repeatability. in tormachs
defense many of the problems reported seemed like noob errors and not real problems. my
major issue with the tormach is that it looks like a bench top mill that someone built a box
around. keep in mind i am a cnc noob and will probably make all the typical noob mistakes.
finally the syil X7-20 standard package, this piece of machinery fits within all the limitations
of my shop and available power. so sight unseen i placed the order. 7-1/2HP spindle, Syil's
MA22 controller with "big" display, all servo's, 30 gallon coolant tank, all at a reasonable
price. my next problem is to find a forklift with 6' forks that can handle 4,400 pounds.