Milling Machine Combines Interior Camera with Touchscreen Controller


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The Datron Neo CNC milling machine from Datron Dynamics is designed to provide an easy and affordable entry to high-speed milling. According to the company, the machine’s comprehensive range of milling strategies eliminates the need for postprocessing, with applications from pocketing and chamfering to drilling and thread milling.

The milling machine features a 40,000-rpm spindle and a 24-station automatic toolchanger. Brushless digital servodrives and direct-drive ballscrews for each axis enable feed rates up to 1,102 ipm. With a work envelope measuring 20" × 16.5" × 9", the Datron Neo can accommodate larger parts, multiple setups or batch machining of small production runs, the company says. The compact machine fits through a standard-sized door for easy installation even in a lab environment, and is suitable for rapid prototyping in any material with high-quality surface finish.

The machine is equipped with Datron’s Next software for three-axis milling, a touchscreen controller and an interior camera. The camera eliminates the time-consuming task of entering data to locate and measure the workpiece. Instead, finger gestures made directly on the touchscreen initiate smart-sketch recognition, which then maps the geometries. An app-style software interface, similar to the ones on smartphones, guides the machine operator through the steps required to start milling.

The milling machine’s gantry-style design features a cast polymer concrete frame, which provides rigidity for precision milling. The enclosure eases access to the machining area, enabling workpieces to be loaded from a position above the table. Conical cavities on the surface of the worktable create a “boss-in-cavity” system that enables centering inserts on the bottom of workholding units for location repeatability. Datron also offers pneumatic clamping and vacuum tables as integrated workholding options.