Tormach Inc., a leading supplier of affordable and compact CNC machines, has announced it is now offering the microARC 4, a device that allows high-precision fourth axis machining in a compact footprint. The microARC 4 works with all Tormach machines, from the PCNC 440 Mill to the 1100 M/MX Mill.
The microARC 4 reduces both operator workload and cycle times with a high-quality, low-maintenance harmonic drive.
The drive provides extremely precise motion control, coupled with much higher rapid speeds than a worm-drive unit.
Key features of the microARC 4 include:
- Near-zero backlash levels because of the harmonic drive system; compared to a similar size worm-drive fourth axis unit, the microARC 4 achieves anywhere from a 400 to 600 percent reduction in backlash;
- No maintenance required, providing a much lower cost of ownership than an oil-filled worm drive unit, which requires periodic oil changes and top-ups;
- Smoother start and stop motion due to a crossed-roller bearing instead of a large oil-film hydrodynamic bearing that is common on most other fourth axis units, which require a transition from static to dynamic friction;
- 19mm center bore pass-through for long bar stock; stock can be passed all the way through the chuck and out the back of the fourth axis—no need to cut stock into small pieces when doing a production run of many parts;
- The microARC 4’s motor is mounted directly in-line with the axis of rotation instead of off to the side, providing an extremely compact footprint; and
- Lightweight and strong aluminum body allows for installation into the machine without a hoist or team lift.
“The microARC 4 is a very versatile, useful addition for machinists looking to add a fourth axis to their Tormach CNC Mills,” said Peter Den Hartog, machine design engineer at Tormach. “It not only enhances machining capabilities, but it provides much better performance than traditional fourth axis devices.”