With the upcoming changes in the metal and machine shops, I wanted to gauge interest in the Tormach RapidTurn accessory. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can check it out here 32901 - Tormach RapidTurn 5C Chucker Lathe Accessory
Essentially it adds basic CNC turning capabilities to our Tormach for a very reasonable price. There would be a couple additional upgrades that need to be made in conjunction for around $350. It’s not a true 4th axis for milling, but it does have manual indexing capabilities as well so it has some extra versatility while also being cheaper than the 4th axis.
With the lacking capabilities of our manual lathe, it would be pretty nice to have the option of CNC turning, especially at this price point.
If there’s enough interest, I’m happy to write up an official proposal.
I’d +1 that, though my understanding is it’s a bit of a pain to install and uninstall that accessory. If we’re talking Tormach upgrades, I’d go for a power drawbar and or a tool setter.
Definitely agree that both of those would be nice, but neither really adds any capabilities we don’t already have. They certainly would make things quicker/more convenient, but that’s a harder sell.
Why get that instead of an actual 4th Axis for about $800 more?
Different use cases. The 4th axis is for vertically milling 4th axis features with CNC. The rapid turn is for actual CNC turning, allowing you to use the vertical mill as a small CNC lathe. You can manually lock the rotation and index with the rapid turn, so 4th axis features are still possible with it when used as a vertical mill. The 4th axis uses a stepper motor with a max RPM of like 13, so you can’t use it to turn.