7 days by cncdivi

Tormach has just released a new machine, and it is a potent new offering in their lineup.  The new Tormach 1500MX has almost everything anyone could wish for in terms of upgrades to the company’s 1100MX machines.

For starters, the machine is largely made in North America (the frame is made in the US), a radical departure from their other machines which are made in China.  The company’s CEO, Daniel Rogge, told me that while it increases costs slightly (about 5%), the benefits are darned well worth it:

  • Much higher quality
  • Much faster turnaround when introducing new features

So let’s go through the long list of changes and improvements this machine brings.

Epoxy Granite Frame with Larger Travels

A new Tormach 1500MX machine base on the factory floor with boxes in the background, slightly blurred.

The 1500MX comes with a Made in the USA Epoxy Granite frame.  This is a major departure from the earlier machines which were all cast iron, but its a departure for the better.  Epoxy Granite has 10X the damping of cast iron.  It’s a quality that makes it the ideal choice on many high-end machines such as Datron’s machines. 

In the case of the 1500MX, it means better surface finishes and 30% longer tool life because there is so much less vibration.  The machine is radically less prone to chatter as well, making it an ideal platform for High Speed Machining.

This machine also offers the largest travels of any Tormach machine to date:

  • X-Axis: 19.7 in. (500 mm)
  • Y-Axis: 13.8 in. (350 mm)
  • Z-Axis: 14 in. (356 mm)

That’s a pretty decent work envelope.

10K RPM 4 Horsepower (6 HP Peak) Spindle

The heart of any CNC Machine is its spindle, and this one is a doozy!

10,000 rpm peak speed with 4 Horsepower (6 HP Peak) and in a package that can still run on single-phase power.

Fast Travels with Linear Rails and Servos

The use of Linear Rails is another major departure for Tormach.  Add to that their full servos (these are not step and direction servos but true encoder-driven devices) and you get 1200 IPM in X and Y with 600 IPM in Z.

Plus, these machines need no homing cycle.  Their encoders keep perfect track of the machine’s position at all times.

To ensure performance and accuracy, every machine gets a ballbar test before it leaves the factory.

16 Tool ATC

We are still looking at upgraded functionality.  The 1100MX’s 12 slot tool changer is replaced by a 16 slot changer in the 1500MX.  No word on whether the chip to chip toolchange time is faster, but I’m hoping so.

Major Productivity Upgrade: Through Spindle Coolant

The 1500MX comes with a Through Spindle Coolant-ready spindle, and that is huge productivity news.  G-Wizard Calculator is one of the few (if not the only) Feeds and Speeds Calculators that handles Through Spindle Coolant (TSC), and we can see what a difference it makes.

programmable nozzles through spindle coolant high pressure coolant

The red circle shows G-Wizard’s Through Spindle Coolant (TSC) option…

Switching on the TSC option for a basic cut in a workpiece material of 6061 aluminum took spindle speed from 9980 rpm to 11277 rpm and feed rates from 71.854 to 93.375.  That combination took the Material Removal Rate from about 18 cu in/min to 23.3 cu in/min.  That’s almost a 30% increase without changing the cutting tool–nothing to be sneezed at for productivity!

Powerful Accessories on the Way

There are a number of powerful accessories in the works for the 1500MX.  For starters, the Through Spindle Coolant is a near-term future upgrade.

You can get an automatic chip tray with washdown bars to make machine cleanup almost automatic.  Eventually there will be a chip conveyor too.  

There’s a new 6″ rotary table and eventually a mist remover for the enclosure.  

I’m sure there will be many more options on the way as well.

What Does It Cost?

The 1500MX is surprisingly affordable.  The base machine with no Tool Changer will cost you $31,995.  That’s about $6,000 more than the base 1100MX, and the 1500MX adds tremendous capability for that uptick.

If you want to add the tool changer and flood coolant, the cost rises to $39,995.  And you can get the machine factory assembled for $42,995.  Just unload it with a forklift, connect power and compressed air, and you’re up and running.

Future Proofing the Line

We can expect a lot of this technology to make its way back into the line over time.  Near term will be various PathPilot upgrades.  Longer term we should see the servos.  Even longer term, who knows?


This machine represents a major step up in power for the Tormach line.  


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Recently updated on May 16th, 2024 at 11:40 am