Spindle with Automatic Tool Changer

This thread is a replication of posts that were in a Masso Beta v 5.100b thread.

I will do my best to copy everything over. My intent is to try to present technical data, not endorse one vendor over another.

My hope is that everybody has a machine that just works, does everything they want it to do, and still has a few pennies left to take the kids out for ice cream.

What started the deviation:

From Gary_K:
Carl / Lynn

What made you decide to go with the Sola Fide Designs ATC over the PwnCNC ATC.

The Sola Fide looks like the one from CNC Depot - even the price is similar

-------- Carl’s note ------
He includes some pictures which I am not for brevity.

From: Aiph5uAiph5u (not affiliated with Onefinity)

Hey Garry,

on reason could be that it is made in the USA and not in China.

From me:
CandLCarl and Lynn


It is in fact the CNCDepot spindle.

Before I get started, any of these discussions can be like talking about trucks, let’s say you want to by Ford… you can get the 150, the 250 the 350 or even a F750. Buy the machine that is a reasonable cost and does what you need it to do.

For me the deciding factors were:

  • The CNCDepot spindle is an ISO-30 vs an ISO-20. For all practical purposes a BT-30 and ISO-30 are the same. Vendors who use ISO-30 include: ShopSabre, Syil (X5 primarily metal machining) and Stepcraft (actually use the CNCDepot spindle). Basically ISO-30/BT-30 are the low end of “industrial” use and precision.
  • ISO-30 can use an ER32 collet vs a ER20 for the ISO-20. Though I am using ISO-30 “shorty” tool holders because the 1F Z travel is limiting
  • Tool holders and tools are expensive… the idea of migrating from an ISO-20 to an ISO-30 meant selling a lot of used gear at a huge discount/
  • The spindle is passively cooled. no need to fuss with liquids
  • The spindle is American made and can be rebuilt if need be. My wife is an electrical engineer, this was a BIG issue for her.
  • the spindle has a good reputation, especially running at lower RPMs for drilling operations. HP tapers off as RPM drops for spindles in this category.

I am trying to start a Youtube channel that will go into this in much greater detail… But this is a good start

From me: CandLCarl and Lynn

So my last comment was hastily put together, and focused ONLY on the spindle. Sola Fide actually adds a lot to the package.

  • My package has a steel enclosure for the VFD and air controls. I believe Nick dropped this option because he felt people would not be interested in the higher cost. My wife the EE used to do control panels for industrial machines… and I mean the real stuff. She reviewed what Nick had done and approved it. Sure, she had a few comments, but would have installed it in one of her projects. By the way I have never had problems with “EMF” issues with this setup … imagine that?
  • Nick worked with Alex (CNC depot) to find what I am calling the “shorty” toolholder. It is an ISO-30 holder with an ER20 collet … but it is about 1 1/8" shorter than a standard ISO-30 tool holder. Length is an issue because the 1F a a relatively small Z travel. What I did not want to give up was the rigidity of the ISO-30 vs ISO-20
  • Again, with Z travel being an issue standard tool forks just won’t work. Nick has a very nicely design “tool cup” that allows me … and I am recalling this number so I could be wrong …a 2" bit projection in the ATC tool holder.
  • A nicely designed set of 4" dust boots. One for the “shorty” tool holders and one for the standard tool holders.

Has this process been without it’s problems, of course not. Am I please with the machine I have very much so. This is a value machine configuration; it is NOT a cheap setup.

If you want inexpensive, stick with a Makita router and learn. This machine is in my opinion competitive with the entry level industrial machine. I ran a Haas machine in some recent college classes … I have many of the same bells and whistles.

From: Garry_KGarry

  • PwnCNC spindles or American spindles can be rebuilt locally. You don’t send Japanese cars back to Japan to change oil.
  • ER20 and ISO-20 is sufficient for what I do - mainly wood.
  • Air cooled systems want you to provide clean air - otherwise there will be a build up of dust on the inside of the spindle which will reduce the cooling effectiveness. Liquid cooled spindles with a chiller can use RV Antifreeze and are a closed system. You only have to change the fluids once a year or so. A chiller has an alarm port and a cable can turn off the spindle if there is a problem. Liquid cooled spindles can continue to cool off when the spindle goes to 0 rpm. Air cooled spindles require the motor to turn for cooling.
  • One big concern is Sola Fide Designs require 30 amp circuit (stated in their youtube video and their documentation. A 2.2 kw spindles at 220 should draw 10 amps so a 15 amp circuit should be sufficient.
    I have a 30 amp dedicated space heater and run 4 - 15 amp dedicated circuits. So power can be marginal in a garage.
  • Onefinity wants us to fill the oil reservoirs and the Z axis requires removing the Z.20 (elite foreman) which should be easier with the round spindle. Also the spindle comes in around 3 lbs lighter than the CNC Depot spindle.
  • I went with 400 hz 2.2 kw 220 volt water cooled spindle. Once PwnCNC has more ATC experience under their belt I will go with their ATC system and keep the other spindle as a backup.
  • These are the reasons I went with PwnCNC

Aiph5uAiph5u (not affiliated with Onefinity)

Hey Garry,

your post is off-topic in this thread.

There are cheap no-name chinese spindles, and there are also high quality chinese spindles, e.g. like Jian-Ken spindles. There is more than one user in this forum that runs one. The PwnCNC spindles and VFDs (DELIXI Hangzhou Inverter Co., Ltd., model CDI-EM61) are made in China. There are cheap chinese VFDs and there are high-quality chinese VFDs. There are a lot of highest-quality spindles available from Germany. Usually their manufacturers offer not only the necessary accessories like pre-programmed VFDs, spindle cables, and ready-to-use VFD cabinets, but also servicing the spindles, e.g. exchanging bearings or retrofitting air sealing.

For the price of a Mechatron without ATC you can get a medium-expensive Chinese Jianken with ATC , which can be seen at work here and which was presented in these posts, and for a medium price you can get a Jianken without ATC with 80 mm diameter and ER20 collet. It is worthwhile to look at this direct comparison video in terms of vibrations, between a cheap ebay spindle vs. a Jianken spindle (video) (shown is the JGL-100 2.5kw 24000rpm ATC with ISO 25 taper).

A 2.2 kW 220 V spindle, on a VFD for 2.2 kW 220 V spindles, requires a VFD whose max. input current is at least 24 A, a fuse of 30 A is recommended. See here for explanation and links to VFD requirements. Please don’t forget that a VFD is a AC-to-DC-to-three-phase-AC inverter. Not only every inverter has loss, but first of all a VFD is a device that delivers three 220 V currents on three wires simultaneously, each shifted by 120°. So if your spindle is rated with 10 A, this means 10 A per phase.

I have shown this with veryfiable data often enough in this forum, please see the link above. A three-phase power is not computed like AC current UI, but Usqrt(3)*I, and a VFD input current rating is not to be confused with the VFD output current. See here for more details how spindle current and power are computed.

See also Incorrect or missing data on cheap chinese VFDs and spindles

You forgot the third way to cool a spindle: With an electronically, heat-sensor controlled fan, like on many spindles, e.g. like the Teknomotor 2.2 kW 6,000–24,000 rpm spindle with HSK32 tool changer, ceramic bearings and air-cooled with E-fan shown here in operation. This is an example of air-cooled spindle whose fan can very well continue to run after the spindle was stopped.

Ok that should do the migration of posts, I believe I have been faithful to context … though I did get better at cut and past

Hey Carl and Lynn,

this is not the way you migrate a post, and neither is it how you correctly quote it. First to move it to another thread, you need to be an administrator. If you want to insert a copy of a post, with correct attribution, you can do this this way: When you mark some text in a posting, do you see the little “Quote” box appearing? If you click on it, you get a correct quoting and attribution automatically, with the result like this:

Fair enough next time I will contact an administrator. Hopefully you believe it needed to move.

Hey Carl and Lynn,

I could have replied in a new topic. That would have been the best solution.

EDIT: I have done it now here: