When you're ready to turn your hobby into a business, you need the right equipment. That's what happened to Thomas Kittredge of Maevyn Prototyping. He started looking for the best small CNC machine for his startup product design shop.
He found the SYIL X7.
Learn more about what the X7 has done for Maevyn Prototyping and what it could do for your business.
Meet Maevyn Prototyping
Maevyn Prototyping is a startup machine and tool shop. It's located in Naperville (Illinois).
Maevyn Prototyping focuses on rapid prototyping in aluminum and injection molded polymers. They also offer short-run 3D printing.
Owner Thomas Kittredge describes the shop's focus as bringing 3D printed products to the next level. Their injection molding processes are very competitively priced.
Benefits of a CNC Machine for Rapid Prototyping
Maevyn Prototyping's CNC machine has been critical for the shop's success. A CNC milling machine has several advantages for rapid prototyping.
SYIL CNC machines can convert 3D CAD files and raw materials into finished parts very quickly. Customers can have their components within hours. A CNC milling machine is ideal for orders with a short lead time.
Flexibility with Tooling
CNC machining doesn't need separate tools and dies like pressure die casting or plastic injection molding. CNC machine tools shorten the production preparation cycle. They're ideal for prototyping, which requires changing parts frequently.
The SYIL X7 comes equipped with a fast tool changer. The optional tool setter accelerates the tool setting process as well.
Some types of prototype models show only the design or layout of the final product. The SYIL X7 creates a functional prototype. The model will look and perform like the final product.
More Materials Available
Most 3D printing uses plastic polymers. CNC machining offers a wider variety of possible materials for prototyping.
Maevyn Prototyping focuses on aluminum with their X7. This lets them offer their clients the options of 3D printing, injection molded polymers, and aluminum prototyping.
Why Choose SYIL?
When Kittredge was deciding which CNC machine to invest in, the SYIL X7 was a natural choice. "SYIL naturally came up in conversation with just about everyone I spoke with regarding a machine that fell between the price of a Tormach and the performance of a Haas," he said.
When asked what convinced him to buy a SYIL X7, he immediately replied, "The outstanding performance per dollar."
Key Features of the X7
SYIL focuses on the affordable end of the CNC machine spectrum. The X7 is a realistic choice for a home shop machinist. As Kittredge found, though, the machine's specifications are more impressive than its price may suggest.
Epoxy Granite Machine Base
The X7 has a Schneeberger mineral casting machine bed. Epoxy granite has less vibration than a cast iron frame. It's less sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
A mineral casting base helps the X7 create more accurate parts with quieter operation.
The SYIL X7 has a spindle speed of up to 30,000 rpm. It rapids at 30 meters per minute. These two features combine for high processing quality at unprecedented speed.
Large Cooling System
The standard cooling system on the X7 has a higher capacity than its competitors. Through-spindle cooling is an option with the high-speed spindle.
Standard Rigid Tapping
Rigid tapping comes standard on the X7. The X7 has a controller sophisticated enough to handle the synchronization that's required.
Rigid tapping eliminates the need for expensive tension and compression tapping heads. The setup is faster.
Rigid tapping offers more control over the depth of the thread. It allows for re-tapping the hole.
Using the X7 CNC Machine for Injection Mold Tooling
Kittredge primarily uses the SYIL X7 for making tooling, vacuum forms, and similar products. Aluminum molds from Maevyn Prototyping are an economical but quality choice thanks to the X7.
The mold design and manufacturing process is highly automated with a CNC milling machine.
Plastic Injection Mold Design
CAD software defines the mechanical dimensions of the mold. CAM software then translates the model into manufacturing instructions. Post processor software turns these instructions into commands for the X7.
Plastic Injection Mold Production
Precision and accuracy are extremely important when creating plastic injection molds. Each mold has two main parts.
The A half has the cavity. The B half is the ejector half.
Plastic resin from the molding machine goes into the mold through a gate on the A half. The resin flows through channels machined into the faces of the A and B halves. It goes into one or more gates into the cavity to form the desired component.
In a typical mold design, the component stays in the B half of the mold when it opens. The part then ejects from the B half.
Benefits of the X7 for Injection Molds
Having a SYIL X7 has improved the production process for Maevyn Prototyping. Kittredge said, "I really love owning the entire IM design-tool-inject process under one roof and inside of one mind. [It] saves a lot on communication overhead and removes a lot of inefficiency in the process."
The production process is more streamlined. Customers enjoy faster turnaround times. They also benefit from working with a single supplier instead of needing a different shop for each phase of the process.
Tips for Other Machinists Considering an X7
The SYIL X7 has been a great fit for Maevyn Prototyping. The machine provides high-quality and largely trouble-free performance. When asked if he has had any problems with the X7, Kittredge replied, "Small things like air fittings and coolant leaks keep me on my feet, but neither are exclusive to SYIL machines."
For anyone considering a SYIL, Kittredge said, "The wireless probe is worth the insane learning curve. 100%. I think I hold the record for most broken probe tips in a one-week period."
The wireless optical probing system is an option for SYIL machines. The optical probe improves the manufacturing process through:
- Faster and more accurate workpiece alignment
- Program-controlled measurement for the workpiece
- Tool measurement
An optical probing system improves quality and productivity. It reduces costs, rework, and scrap. Learning to use it optimally has been well worth the time.
The wireless probe and the X7 overall have definitely paid off.
Take the Next Step with SYIL
The SYIL X7 CNC machine has helped Thomas Kittredge get his startup rolling. Maevyn Prototyping is gaining more and more satisfied customers. This success is due in part to the high-quality, competitively-priced components Kittredge produces with the X7.
Whether you're a home shop machinist or factory owner, the best small CNC machine for your operations may be a SYIL. Learn more about the X7 and request a free, no-obligation quote today.