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[CNC] Fadal - 1995+ 4020 class -VS- Haas 96+ VF-3.

Discussion in 'CNC IN THE HOME SHOP' started by countryguy, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. countryguy

    countryguy United States Active User Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Everyone! Beautiful day here in Mid Michigan.
    Lots to act and will try to be brief. My son and I are looking on an evolution of his shop space & College work. We are looking based on what we can afford. Mid to later 90's Haas or Fadal. Haas publishes a lot of information on their website new and old. On the Fadal site (http://www.fadalcnc.com/tech-docs/) I cannot really find engineering tech stuff. like how they position? What is the resolution? Do they use rotary encoders, or scales on the tables? What are the counts per revolution, resolution of scales. Glass/Magnetic 5ums, etc. Maybe some folks here know where to get those types of Q's answered?

    1) Positional accuracy and how position data is sent to the controller:
    a) On the Haas, I have been told they use their positional encoders on the motor spindles. No Magnetic or glass scales? Do some install them?
    b) For the Fadal, I cannot find info either way. Someone said external scales, another said that is an option? Did not know if glass or Magnetic. anyone know? An example, I can step 1-ten (.0001) on my controller w/ a Mitityou gauge and see the tens movement w/ my high res encoders and modern controller (which I did)

    2) Machines from the mid to late 90's... typical accuracy?
    a) We have a few 95 or greater Fadal's we are looking over. One in particular is through spindle coolant, Pre-wire 4th and 5th. It is all DC motors and is all discrete TTL based electronics. 9 or 10 large PC boards, Lots O' chips! Pots all over. etc. We can play with it under power. The vendor is 30-mins away and willing to help my Son get the best machine of their lot. Are these types of machines good to a 1/2 -1 thou or better? Can you step along down to the tens level? I simply do not know the larger machine tech.

    b) The VF-3s seems to sell pretty quick. A 96-98 Haas VF-3. Same Q's as above. Are these good to 1/2 -1 thou? Are the controllers about the same tech as the Fadal with large PC's boards and card slots & cages?

    3) Anyone out there that can compare these two types or 90's machines?

    a)If ya have opinions or know of the machines in general and just want to comment on your experiences for Fadal or Haas.... please feel free.


    THANKS everyone.
     
  2. countryguy

    countryguy United States Active User Active Member

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    Some interesting feedback from a fellow Fadal 4020 owner.

    I have a 94 Fadal 4020 and im fairly happy with it. I would stick to mid 90's or newer, dont go any older if possible. Even my 94 compared to a 95 there are a few nice changes in 95. Fadal DC machines use resolvers and the AC machines use encoders, not sure of resoloution. Linear scales (glass i think) are an option.

    Either machine should have 0.0001 increments or better and should be able to hold better then 0.001" tolerances if in good shape. If your super concerned about accuracy, i would think the condition of the specific machine will be much more of a factor then which brand you choose. Either would make very good parts when new, and obviously there are alot of things that could make accuracy go downhill on each machine too. Either machine in good condition will probably be a big improvement in accuracy over most cnc knee mills.

    A big thing to think about is do you want linear guides or box ways. Box ways are thought to be more rigid and less troublesome, but if they are damaged the machine could be scrap. Some say linear guides are more flimsy, not uncommon to rust or wear but on the bright side they can be replaced, and friction is lower so you loose the stick/slip problem and can improve accuracy. Fadals are available box way or linear, i believe the haas machines are all linear. good luck with it.
     
  3. countryguy

    countryguy United States Active User Active Member

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    OK.. some stuff for the archive and what's what and who's who. I Guess the Fadal 4020 is simply not in our radar as much but if Fadal were still around, I certainly would be on that like a dog on chow. We've seen the VF4's are abundant and cheaper overall for more table space, newer year, and better hardware (by that I mean AC brushless, solid state, encoders over resolvers, faster rapids and IPM etc). And all the parts are local via 2 different Haas service centers nearby. We elected to think about Service and parts heavily w/ a 20 year old machine. I do worry as I hear the Haas is less forgiving on crashes and such... but I guess we need to learn either way and no guarantee's with either platform. We'll be looking to now figure out how riggers work and what those costs are all about.... OMG... the fever of CNC. Hey.. I have a great excuse though.... The Son at 20 is doing more , faster, and with such big ambitions - How can ya say no to his future and my retirement as employee #1 or maybe #2 after Mom for the books. :)
     
  4. Charcole

    Charcole United States Iron Registered Member

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    I ran a 96' VF3 and 4, don't know year of the VF4, many moons ago. There is a brass shim for the y axis way cover below the z axis way cover and I'd try to keep that area clear of debris. I'm mean don't let chips build up and damage the wiper. Coolant will start leaking out, chips being where they don't need to be.
    Sometimes the fine chips will build up in the tracks for the z axis way cover and cause problems. Taking that way cover off and putting it back on is a fun project:(

    I wouldn't worry to much one model having more rapid traverse over another. Unless you plan on making 1000's of parts per run the run time difference between 50% and 100% will not be that much.

    I've never ran a cnc machine that was forgiving on crashes but I know what you are saying.

    I had no idea Fadal wasn't around anymore. I ran one around the turn of the century. That was a nice mill. I found something to go read about.
     

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