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Tormach Upgrades - Part 1

Over the last year, I have been banging parts on the Tormach 440. I have proven I can get great parts off the machine and have paid the machine off with spec work. It is time to do some upgrades.


Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov / Unsplash

One of the first upgrades was to reduce the time and effort to change tools. One set of parts had three setups, each setup with 4 to 7 tool changes. After running 10 parts. thats 180+ Tool changes. For those not using a 440, you may remember tool changes on a knee mill like a Bridgeport. They go something like this:

  1. G30 the Z axis
  2. Open doors and blow off the tool
  3. Open the spindle door, flip the mechanical spindle lock on
  4. Grab the wrench and loosen the drawbar
  5. Wrench down, mallet up and tap drawbar to release tool
  6. Pull tool out and place on tray
  7. Feel inside collet to ensure no chips
    Grab next tool
  8. Insert into collet and hold against spindle face
  9. Grab wrench and tighten drawbar
  10. Close spindle door, spindle lock is release automatically. IMPORTANT, failing to close the door can tweak the door or lift it off its hinges when you rapid Z down for the next operation.

Over, and over and over....

Fortunately, I was invited to get into the power drawbar beta from Tormach. The power draw bar makes tool changes much easier. They are a lot faster to change tools and zero chance of tweaking the door after changes.

Things go a lot faster now:

  1. Now a tool change is G30 the Z axis, open the door
  2. grab the tool and press the tool release
  3. Remove the tool
  4. Insert the new tool and release the toll release button
  5. Close the door and cycle start

If youa re looking at upgrades for yout Tormach, the power draw bar should be one of the first you consider.

Kevin Schneider

Kevin Schneider

Founding member of the Autodesk Fusion 360 team. Passion for travel, making, engineering and all things design. 10 years working as a design engineer & 18 at Autodesk working on design software.

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