View Full Version : Mechanical engraving question

James McMulllian
05-26-2011, 12:31 PM
I have a Epilog Zing but now find my self needing to do some mechanical engraving. Looking at the lower priced machines out there it seems like I can get a Taig mini CNC mill for less than most of the engravers. Since I have other uses for this machine it seems like a win-win to me. Am I missing something? What do the more expensive and smaller work area engravers do better than the Taig?

paul mott
05-26-2011, 12:44 PM
The main thing may be backlash.
The small engravers have little backlash but are intended for shallow cuts and low torque axis movements.
The mini mills have more backlash but are constructed for higher torque axis movements but when driven with, for example, Mach3 software backlash compensation can be used.
I have not compared the two side by side but I suspect you would get a better quality engraving from an engraver and a better quality machining from a mini mill.


Rodne Gold
05-26-2011, 12:54 PM
You will have issues with fine engraving and high speeds with a mill vs an dedicated engraver , the spindle of a mill is a lot heavier than an engraving machine and has a lot more inertia so high speed engraving is poor as the head "overshoots" a lot due to this inertia , often the inertia/overshooting also contributes to stress on very fine bits and they break. On some materials going too slowly in respect of feed rates leads to issues

Doug Griffith
05-26-2011, 1:54 PM
Aside to the above responses, the Taig does not have a high speed spindle but more of a sewing machine motor with a belt driven collet. I've got one of these machines and they are fun to play around with but you'll never get real production speeds out of it. Mine has a 3 phase 480v spindle powered by a phase converter and step up transformer in my garage. It's about as good as it gets for a mini mill. I wouldn't even think of using it for mechanical engraving more than just a prototype.

James McMulllian
05-26-2011, 2:16 PM
It's not sounding good for my 2-for-1 plan here. Engraving is more important right now. Can anybody suggest a decent mechanical engraver in that price range ($2k-$3k)?

Mike Null
05-26-2011, 2:41 PM

I doubt that there are any really good engravers in that price range. I'd look on ebay as there are always some listed there. I'd be looking at Newing Hall, New Hermes, Visions and Quality One. Be sure to check the computer interface as some of the older machines may not work on newer operating systems.

Expect to pay for tech support on at least two of these brands if not all.

Dan Hintz
05-26-2011, 3:45 PM
Wasn't someone on here selling an engraving package for <$3k that included a rotary, a laser, a filtration system, along with a bunch of stock? Last I saw (few weeks ago?) it was still available...