Tormach 1100M CNC Mill Review [2022]-For Prototyping

Tormach 1100M CNC Mill Review [2022]-For Prototyping

Tormach 1100M CNC Mill Review [2022]-For Prototyping

1100M is a compact, versatile, and well-engineered CNC mill developed for prototyping and light production.

Tormach launched the 1100M CNC mill in August 2020.

With sturdy construction and a heavy-duty spindle, 1100M is a feature-rich CNC mill that can handle any material thrown at it including titanium.

Tormach offers the 1100M CNC mill in four packages, entry, starter, standard, and premium packages.

The following feature table can give you a summary of the Tormach 1100M mill packages:


FeatureEntryStarterStandardPremium
Stand and controller arm
Enclosure
Backsplash
Touch screen monitor
ATC
FogBuster coolant system
DuraKut 9000B Mist Coolant
Tormach passive probe
CNC vise
Endmill kit for steel

Quick overview of Tormach 1100M CNC mill packages

Tormach 1100M CNC mill review

For this review, I choose various parameters to evaluate Tormach 1100M CNC mill like size, build quality, material capability, spindle, controller and electronics, upgrades, accessories, community, and support.

1. Size

The Tormach 1100M has a 69" × 56.5" footprint (including the chip tray). You have to keep around 20" wide passage on all sides to effectively get to the electronics panel, side switches, and coolant tank (on the stand).

If you buy the entry package, you need to provide a solid table that can handle around 500 lbs of the weight and is sturdy enough to dampen the vibrations in metal machining.

Tormach 1100M CNC mill stand
Tormach 1100M CNC mill stand

Alternatively, you can consider the welded steel stand that Tormach offers. It is made of cast iron and has rigid build quality for heavy-duty CNC machining.

The stand has leveling feet to level it on uneven surfaces. It also has a 12-gallon moveable coolant tank to be used with a flood coolant system.

Tormach 1100M provides you a cutting area of 18" × 11" with a maximum Z-axis travel of 16.25" that is helpful when using long tools to make deep pockets or drill holes.

2. Chassis

Chassis of Tormach 1100M
Chassis of Tormach 1100M

The base frame and C-column of Tormach 1100M are made of cast iron that provides increased stiffness to achieve precision machining at optimum speeds.

Its cast-iron frame makes Tormach 1100M heavy to provide strength and reduce vibrations in heavy-duty CNC machining.

All packages of Tormach 1100M have a manual oiler with metal braided oil hoses attached to them. The oil hoses are connected to the nut of the ball screw drive to ensure proper lubrication.

The workbed of Tormach 1100M has a metal guard plate at the front to protect the oil hose and limit switch. It also has an X-axis motor mount to protect the stepper motor from swarfs during metal machining.

Workbed in Tormach 1100M
Workbed in Tormach 1100M

Additionally, the workbed has T-slot channels to let you attach additional hardware like CNC vise, 4th axis kit, and rotary tables.

If you buy the standard or premium package, you get an enclosure for additional safety and cleanliness in your workspace. For the entry and starter package, you need to purchase this separately.

3. Linear Motion

Ball screw and dovetail guide in Tormach 1100M
Ball screw and dovetail guide in Tormach 1100M

Tormach 1100M is a vertical CNC mill; its workbed moves in X and Y axes and the spindle travels in Z-axis. All axes of 1100M use a ball screw drive to achieve linear motion without backlash.

It also provides better positional accuracy and load-carrying capacity than another drive mechanism.

To guide linear motion, it has sliding dovetail grooves that are hand-scraped and designed to resist high loads and reduce vibrations during metal machining.

The grooves have acetylene sliding surfaces filled with PTFE, which has low friction and long service life. Additionally, the sideways have tapered gibs to produce precise movement for making cuts with reliable accuracy.

Accordion way covers in 1100M
Accordion way covers in 1100M

In Tormach 1100M, accordion way covers are used to seal the ball screw drive of Y and Z axes to protect them from dust.

4. Material capability

The Tormach 1100M is built with professional-grade components and can cut materials like aluminum, plastics, and wood.

Titanium milling in 1100M
Titanium milling in 1100M

With rigid construction and a powerful spindle, it can cut non-ferrous metals like steel and titanium.

Tormach provides PathPilot control software, a tailored software with a built-in calculator to recommend speeds and feeds required for different metal machining.

5. Spindle

Induction motor in Tormach 1100M
Induction motor in Tormach 1100M

The spindle of Tormach 1100M is powered by a 2 hp induction motor that can achieve a maximum speed of 7,500 RPM. The induction motor uses a Poly-V belt for power transmission to the spindle.

NIDEC unidrive M200 AC drive in Tormach 1100M
NIDEC unidrive M200 AC drive in Tormach 1100M

Tormach uses the NIDEC Unidrive M200 AC drive for induction motor control. It enhances up-time and delivers high performance in heavy-duty CNC milling.

The spindle collet comes with an R8 taper to hold the cutting tool and thread, tension, and auto-reversing mill for tapping.

Its induction motor shaft has two pulleys to offer two speed range. You can set low RPM to get high torque for cutting metal with high tensile strength, like steel and titanium.

With this powerful spindle, you can get a maximum feed rate of 110 IPM in X and Y axes and up to 90 IPM on the Z-axis.

12 tool pocket ATC Spindle
12 tool pocket ATC Spindle

The premium package of Tormach 1100M has a 12-tool pocket automatic tool changer spindle. It consists of two pneumatic cylinders, which use compressed air to provide linear motion to the 12-station tool tray.

Air compressor for ATC
Air compressor for ATC

You can consider the California Air Tools 4610AC air compressor offered by Tormach to deliver high-pressure compressed air to pneumatic cylinders of ATC. The compressor has a 1 hp motor and a 4.6-gallon twin steel air tank.

The compressor operates quietly with a lifespan of more than 3,000 hours.

You need to provide air pressure between 90 and 120 psi to ATC for its optimum performance. The 4610AC seems suitable here because it can deliver maximum air pressure up to 120 psi.

Spindle speeder
Spindle speeder

You can use a spindle speeder if you want to do post-processing, like engraving and light finishing on workpieces.

The speeder mounts directly to the R8 spindle. It has a mechanical speed multiplier that provides 20,000 RPM for continuous operation, and for short duty cycles, it can provide speed up to 30,000 RPM.

Although you can use the speeder with an ATC spindle, you can not use an auto tool changer due to the aluminum housing of the speeder.

Kress high speed spindle
Kress high speed spindle

Alternatively, you can use a companion spindle for finishing and engraving operations.

Tormach offers Kress, a high-speed spindle. It is a german-made air-cooled spindle with a rated power of around 1 hp and can run on variable speeds from 10,000 to 29,000 RPM.

The high-speed spindle kit ships with a universal spindle arm and plate for verticle mounting.

If you want to work on the end of a long workpiece, you will need to mount the companion spindle horizontally. Tormach also offers a horizontal mount that needs to be attached to the universal spindle arm.

Tormach high-speed spindle
Tormach high-speed spindle

Tormach also offers a 1.5 hp high-speed VFD spindle to cut soft materials, like plastic and aluminum. This spindle has a speed range of 10,000-24,000 RPM.

You need to remove the R8 spindle from the bore to install a high-speed spindle.

Industrial chiller
Industrial chiller

The high-speed spindle is water-cooled, so you need to purchase a water chiller kit separately.

You can consider the industrial chiller offered by Tormach for this purpose. It has a reservoir of 2.4 gallons with a digital display for temperature reading.

You should use water chiller treatment with the chiller unit to protect the chiller system from corrosion. It also has an additive to ensure maximum lubrication in a closed-loop water chiller system.

6. Controller and electronics

Stepper motor

Stepper mototrs in Tormach 1100M
Stepper mototrs in Tormach 1100M

All axes of Tormach 1100M use NEMA 34 stepper motors to drive linear motion components.

The motors have a holding torque of 270 oz-in, enough to move the workbed and heavy-duty spindle or a combination of heavy-duty and companion spindle.

Leadshine stepper driver in Tormach 1100M
Leadshine stepper driver in Tormach 1100M

Tormach uses the Leadshine MA860H stepper drivers for stepper motors in the 1100M CNC mill.

It can provide a maximum output current of 7.2A and has some useful features, like auto idle-current reduction, over-voltage, and over-current protection for enhanced safety.

Limit switch

Limit switch in 1100M
Limit switch in 1100M

All axes of Tormach 1100M are fitted with limit switches to detect extremities and it sets the travel bounds of the workbed and spindle.

Controller

PathPilot controller inside machine stand of Tormach 1100M
PathPilot controller inside machine stand of Tormach 1100M

Tormach provides Gigabyte Brix mini-PC with pre-installed PathPilot controller software for CNC motion control. It is an Intel processor-based control computer with 80 GB of storage to store program files.

You can install this mini-PC inside the machine stand of the 1100M CNC mill.

It has WiFi, USB, and VGA port(to connect the monitor), and ports for keyboard, mouse, and jog shuttle for designing and CNC motion control.

Tormach offers an RJ 45 ethernet cable to connect the control PC to the 1100M CNC mill.

You need to plug the Brix mini-PC into the 115 Vac socket that is available at the side of the electronic panel of the 1100M CNC mill.

Electrical cabinet in Tormach 1100M
Electrical cabinet in Tormach 1100M

The electrical cabinet is installed at the back of the Tormach 1100M CNC mill.

It houses an ECM1v1.4 control board with protection cover, stepper drivers, inverter drive for induction motor control, wire connectors, and main power supply switch.

ECMv1.4 control board in Tormach 1100M
ECMv1.4 control board in Tormach 1100M

You get a wired emergency stop switch connected to the electrical panel. This switch lets you stop the CNC mill in case of an emergency.

If you are facing any trouble with your CNC mill, you can press the reset switch adjacent to the emergency stop button to initialize the machine to its default state.

Emergency stop button
Emergency stop button

The emergency stop switch comes in a metal casing, and you can place it either on the table or mount it to the enclosure to reach effortlessly.

Tormach 1100M requires a 230V single-phase AC supply to operate. All Tormach CNC machines are powered by regular household electricity so that their machines can be used everywhere.

Buck boost transformer
Buck boost transformer

If your locality has a power supply of less than 230V, I recommend you to use the buck-boost transformer offered by Tormach.

The buck-boost transformer comes in a NEMA 3R type enclosure with conduit knockouts for easy installation of electrical wires. It is small and you can mount the entire unit on a wall.

Note that it acts as a booster only, not as a power line conditioner that removes spikes and smoothens electric signals.

7. Software

PathPilot Software
PathPilot Software

Tormach provides PathPilot software for CNC motion control. It is a conversational milling software, which lets you create project designs without CAD/CAM software.

Conversational programming is suitable for on-site project designing.

You need to answer prompts for information that is required for designing. While programming, if any parameter is entered incorrectly, PathPilot will spot and display the error in the wink of an eye.

You can also interface PathPilot with CAD/CAM software, like Autodesk and Inkscape. This software also has built-in Dropbox support to transfer design files of any size.

SprutCAM software
SprutCAM software

Additionally, Tormach offers SprutCAM software to use with Tormach 1100M. Its standard license includes a 3-axis toolpath for 3D machining, and an advanced license enables a 4-axis toolpath for rotary milling.

The 3-axis toolpath suite of SprutCAM has various toolpaths, such as face milling, hole machining, corners cleanup, 2D and 3D contour, and waterline.

In addition to the 3-axis toolpath, its advanced version has a toolpath suite for rotary roughing, rotary finishing, and profile machining.

It is a powerful CAD/CAM software and lets you design models of fixtures and parts for machining. You can also import 3D designs from 3rd party resources and change their dimension according to your project requirement.

Considering material stock location and cutting tool movement, SprutCAM provides real-world toolpaths, showing the simulation and final virtual design at the end.

Intermediate milling results are also available to a user on every step to let you correct parameters if required. It is also helpful to estimate the accessibility of the surfaces after milling.

Additionally, SprutCAM considers cutting tool kinematics and stock geometry to generate the toolpath without any parameter setting.

If you want to change this toolpath, you can easily adjust the parameters to get a new toolpath according to your requirement.

Note that SprutCAM software is compatible with Windows-based PCs only.

Tormach also offers PathPilot HUB, which is a cloud-based software and very useful for teachers and remote educators for teaching CNC programming.

Once you are satisfied with design programming and simulation, you need to sync the design files down to run them in Tormach 1100M CNC mill.

PathPilotHUB web interface
PathPilotHUB web interface

Additionally, if you have an offsite shop, PathPilot HUB lets you work on project designs before actually visiting the CNC mill.

Whether you are a hobbyist, an educator, or an entrepreneur, PathPilot HUB is free for all to use.

8. Upgrade

M+ upgrade

Tecnic ClearPath servo motors for M+ upgrade in Tormach 1100M
Tecnic ClearPath servo motors for M+ upgrade in Tormach 1100M

Tormach offers an M+ upgrade to let you take advantage of servo motors' rapid speeds and quick acceleration.

You can upgrade your 1100M with servo motors to get the high-speed movement of the workbed and spindle to increase production throughput.

To upgrade your 1100M to 1100M+, make sure your PathPilot software is updated to its most recent version so that you can get the M+ configurations for servo motors.

If your control board has ECM1v1.4 or an earlier version, you need to upgrade it with ECM1v1.5 or a later version to get connection ports and the firmware to control servo motors.

Tormach provides Teknic ClearPath servo motors with a Z-axis brake module for the M+ upgrade. The ClearPath motors have an advanced servo system to provide fast rapids to complete operations in a short time.

Teknic servo motors use a proprietary algorithm to limit jerks while motors are in motion. This ensures smooth motion of motors with lesser motor noise than stepper motors.

With this upgrade, you get a maximum feed rate of 300 IPM on X and Y axes and up to 230 IPM on the Z-axis.

Tormach provides good resources that have step-by-step instructions to let you upgrade your Tormach 1100M CNC mill with servo motors.

Additionally, Tormach provides M+ decals for the electrical cabinet and enclosure of 1100M CNC mill.

Power drawbar

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Power-drawbar-1.jpg
Power drawbar

If your project requires various cutting tools and you're tired of manually changing them, Tormach's power drawbar upgrade is a viable option. It helps you save time and effort while also increasing your productivity.

A pneumatic cylinder in the power drawbar unit tightens the drawbar with compressed air to hold the cutting tool in the TTS collet. The operation of the power drawbar is controlled using a push-button system.

Alternatively, you can control the power drawbar using a foot pedal kit that provides hands-free operation for drawbar activation.

This assembly is somewhat floating rather than being entirely fastened. This provision put all the tool holding force on the drawbar rather than on the spindle bearings.

To use the power drawbar, you will need about 90 psi of air pressure.

9. Accessories

Tormach offers various custom-engineered accessories to achieve higher productivity and enhance the capability of your CNC machining.

4th axis and rotary tables

microARC 4th axis kit
microARC 4th axis kit

Tormach offers microARC 4th axis kit that holds the workpiece and provides A-axis rotation to it.

The 4th axis kit lets the cutting tool move along the rotating workpieces to mill designs or slots on the front, back, and sides of the workpiece.

It's aluminum construction makes it strong and lightweight. Hence, you can install this kit on your own.

The 4th axis kit comes in a compact size and has a 3-jaw chuck to hold workpieces. The chuck has a center bore of around 3/4 inches diameter to pass the long bar stock.

The 4th axis kit is driven by NEMA 34 stepper motor with a harmonic drive that offers nearly backlash-free gear reduction and provides rotational speed up to 13 RPM.

To install the 4th-axis kit, you need to purchase a mounting subplate at an extra cost. The subplate is made of aluminum with dowel pins that make alignment easy for the kit.

In addition to indexing, Tormach 1100M supports continuous 4th-axis CNC milling to let you mill angled features and complex arcs on workpieces.

Rotary table
Rotary table

If your production demands holding stocks for multi-side machining or complex contouring in a single setup, you can do it using the rotary table offered by Tormach.

Tilting rotary table
Tilting rotary table

Tormach offers standard and manual tilting notarized rotary tables with T-slots at the tabletop for workpiece clamping centered on the rotary table's axis.

The standard and tilting motorized rotary table has a tabletop of 6" with MT-2 and 8" with MT-3 through bore diameter. On both rotary tables, you can mount 3-jaw and 4-jaw chuck for workpiece holding.

With the standard motorized rotary table, you can drill concentric and equidistant holes and face or do end milling on circular or semicircular shapes and contours.

The tilting motorized rotary table has a handle that drives the worm and worm wheel to control the tilting movement of the table.

It also has a vernier scale to align tilt manually. Using this mechanism, you can tilt the table from being horizontal through to being vertical.

It is helpful to make shallow, external cones or sections of cones on metal stocks.

Super spacer rotary table
Super spacer rotary table

For stocks with a slightly large diameter (up to 2.4"), you can consider super spacer rotary tables offered by Tormach. It is because their center hole has a larger through bore diameter than in the standard rotary table.

If you have an ATC spindle in Tormach 1100M CNC mill, I suggest motorized super spacer rotary tables because they can mount vertically on the right-hand side of the table.

All rotary tables are slightly heavy and may need a team lift for their installation.

You can mount standard and super spacer rotary tables horizontally (C-axis) and vertically (A-axis) using mounting flanges that ships with the table kit.

Tormach uses the Leadshine MA860H micro-step stepper driver to control the stepper motors of the 4th-axis and rotary tables.

Note that none of the 4th axis kit, rotary table, super spacer, and tilting rotary table ships with a stepper driver, so you need to purchase it separately.

Are you using the 4th-axis kit or motorized rotary tables without the enclosure? Don't worry. Tormach also offers solutions for such use cases.

Backsplash kit
Backsplash kit

Tormach offers a backsplash kit that keeps chips off your floor. In this way, it prevents chips fly out, which accumulate in your shop.

The backsplash kit has a metal construction with powder-coating to provide an attractive finish and protect it from chips and coolants.

Make sure that you have pre-installed the chip tray because the backsplash directly mounts on it.

Automatic Oiler Kit

Manual oiler kit
Manual oiler kit

All Tormach 1100M CNC mill packages are equipped with a manual oil pump to circulate the oil to the ball screw drive of all axes to lubricate them for their optimum performance.

Automatic oiler kit
Automatic oiler kit

You can automate the oiling process using an automatic oiler kit offered by Tormach. You will also need an automatic oiler kit when you upgrade your 1100M CNC mill with servo motors.

The automatic oiler kit needs to be mounted on the 1100M CNC mill stand for easy access. It is programmable so that it can lubricate the ball screw drive at regular intervals.

Computer stand

Computer stand
Computer stand

Tormach offers a well-designed computer stand with two mounts on a metal arm post. The small mount supports the monitor and the other mount supports the keyboard, mouse, and jog wheel.

The metal arm post is supported vertically by a fully adjustable steel arm. Note that you will need the machine stand to mount the arm post.

The arm post is also helpful to secure the loose wires using wire ties.

Coolant system

CNC mills should be equipped with a coolant system that ensures proper cooling of the workpiece and cutting tool to maintain good cut quality.

Tormach offers two coolant systems that have different working mechanisms. You can choose among them according to cooling requirements.

FogBuster coolant system
FogBuster coolant system

The FogBuster coolant system is suitable for hobbyists and for those who run small-shop. It consists of a 0.5 gal transparent reservoir, which you can mount on a wall or enclosure of Tormach 1100M CNC mil.

This coolant system produces coolant mist using high-pressure air and coolant and throws through a narrow brass tube directly to the cutting zone.

Flood coolant kit
Flood coolant kit

If you do heavy-duty CNC milling, I suggest the flood coolant system for your Tormach 1100M CNC mill. The flood coolant kit ships with a coolant reservoir, coolant pump, and connection pipes.

The flood coolant system pours a considerable amount of coolant at the cutting zone using a Loc-line nozzle. The coolant ensures good performance and long life of the cutting tool.

It also flushes chips and swarf away to keep the workpiece surface clean.

Oil skimmer kit
Oil skimmer kit

Tormach offers an oil skimmer to collect the tramp oil formed in the oil reservoir. If you run an oil skimmer for around one hour, it will keep your coolant immaculate.

For the FogBuster coolant system, I suggest DuraKut 9000B mist coolant, which is a nonhazardous cutting fluid. It is suitable for all types of operations, like milling, turning, and tapping. You can also use it with a flood coolant system.

If your production demands lots of aluminum and steel machining, I recommend QualiChem XTREME CUT 251C coolant. It is a semi-synthetic coolant and protects the stocks against rust.

With its good heat-transfer properties, it provides excellent cooling for cutting tools and stocks.

Enclosure

Enclosure kit for 1100M
Enclosure kit for 1100M

An enclosure is an excellent addition to your CNC mill because it protects the workspace from debris, swarf, and coolant droplets. During CNC machining it also prevents access to the cutting zone and ensures safety.

Tormach offers a full CNC mill enclosure for the 1100M. It has a metal construction with powder-coating that provides durability. The enclosure has sliding doors and four large windows to view the milling process.

The enclosure is equipped with two 50 W floodlights that illuminate the workbed of the 1100M CNC mill.

Additionally, the enclosure door is equipped with a door switch kit to keep the door lock until machining is complete.

You need to update PathPilot software before using the door switch. This update lets the software pause the running G-Code and reduces the spindle speed to 1,000 RPM while doors are open.

Once you close its doors, the spindle returns to its programmed speed.

RapidTurn mini-lathe attachment

Rapid turn kit
Rapid turn kit

The RapidTurn kit provides CNC turning capabilities for shops with space constraints. With this kit, you can convert your CNC mill to a mini-lathe machine.

The RapidTurn has a 1 hp spindle motor that provides a variable speed range between 100 and 3,500 RPM over two belt ranges. It uses a quick change tool post that mounts to the mill’s spindle nose.

Tormach offers a variety of work holding options, like 5C collets and 5C three-jaw chuck. You can control the RapidTurn kit using PathPilot software.

The RapidTurn kit is available in the starter and deluxe packages. The main difference between them is the 0XA tool holder kit and lathe tool kit offered by Tormach.

Measurement and offset tool

The length of the cutting tool and stock position on the workbed are essential parameters for any CNC mill to make parts with good accuracy.

Tormach offers a variety of measurement and offset tools to help you produce parts with accurate cuts.

Edge finder
Edge finder

An edge finder is a cost-effective tool for accurately locating workpieces on the workbed. Its shank needs to be held in the spindle collet that spins at low RPM, usually under 1,000 RPM.

While spinning, the tip of the edge finder wobbles until it is at a distance from the workpiece edge. Once it touches the edge, it stops wobbling and spins in the axis of the shank.

In this manner, it locates the edges of the workpieces. However, you can only detect edges in the X and Y directions using this tool. You will need a separate tool for the Z-axis edges.

If you are a hobbyist or run a small business, an edge finder with 0.1mm precision is a good tool in my opinion. If you are doing a lot of production, the Haimer 3D sensor will get the job done fastly and more accurately for you.

Haimer 3D sensor
Haimer 3D sensor

In addition to the three-axis edge finding, it can also evaluate the flatness and straightness of the stock surface, measure angle features, and locate the bore center.

Haimer 3D sensor has a pre-calibrated probe that needs to be placed directly into the tool holder of the spindle.

Using an indicator tool, you have to adjust concentricity relative to the spindle axis. To fix the runout, you must first identify it and correct it using adjusting the set screws.

The dial display on the Haimer 3D sensor comprises two-needle hands that represent the spindle's zero position.

Although it somewhat automates the process of locating zero, you still need to jog the spindle for measurement manually.

Tormach passive probe
Tormach passive probe

I recommend the Tormach probe for measurement if you are concerned about the time spent to find zero.

Since the probe communicates directly with PathPilot software, it can locate edges and corners with good accuracy.

The PathPilot software includes fast probing routines and provides accurate values every time you do workpiece measurement for CNC machining.

USB M-Code I/O Interface Kit

USB M-Code interface kit
USB M-Code interface kit

If you want to integrate and control the external device, like the coolant system or automatic oil system, you will need to write M-code in your program.

Tormach offers a USB M-Code I/O interface kit to let you control up to four external devices through M-code in your program. You need to connect it to the PathPilot controller using the USB cable provided with the kit.

Vise

CNC vise
CNC vise

Tormach offers a compact 4" CNC vise with the clamping capability of a machinist vise. It is made of cast iron, which gives it a lot of rigidity.

It comes with a bridge clamp set that allows you to place another CNC vise on its side with the jaws facing sideways.

Visw jaws with Mitte Bite clamps
Vise jaws with Mitte Bite clamps

Jaw plates on the Tormach vise can be replaced. If you need to hold flame-cut components, castings, or parts with a negative airflow for finishing, VersaGrip vise jaws with Mitee-Bite clamps can help.

10. Assembly

Tormach 1100M ships almost fully assembled on a pallet. If you buy any package except entry, you get the fully assembled machine stand.

Once you open the machine crate, you need to install the Y-axis stepper motor and tool tray in your 1100M CNC mill.

You will require an engine hoist to raise the 1100M off the pallet. For balanced lifting, you can consider the lifting bar kit offered by Tormach. It is made of thick steel and includes a high-strength chain for safe lifting.

Lifting bar kit
Lifting bar kit

You can use the large lifting clevis that ships with the lifting bar kit to connect the engine hoist.

Tormach provides enclosure panels with the standard and premium package of 1100M CNC mill. You need to assemble the enclosure.

To remove packing grease and protect the chassis, you need to spray rust preventive oil to the workbed and metal components after unpacking.

Tormach provides an excellent user guide and videos that explain all the steps required for assembly. Using them, you can assemble 1100M with enclosure within 3-4 hours.

11. Community

Tormach is a well-known brand with a huge user base. However, they lack an active online forum, which is disappointing.

They have active Facebook groups where users exchange project ideas. Tormach also has its own YouTube channel, which is a good platform to keep up with expert machining advice.

You can find various posts about CNC machining, woodworking, and other useful topics on the Tormach blog.

12. Customer support

Tormach is a CNC machine manufacturer situated in Waunakee, Wisconsin, and offers free shipping inside the US.

1100M CNC mill comes with a one-year warranty against manufacture faults and workmanship. Tormach offers an extended warranty plan that gives you an extra 12 months of coverage.

Tormach also provides excellent customer service, which you can reach by phone or email.

13. Final thoughts

Tormach 1100M is a powerful CNC mill that lets you mill all types of materials, even hard metals like titanium, at an affordable price.

It's compact and runs on single-phase power, making it suitable for almost any shop.

Tormach offers custom-engineered, plug-and-play accessories like Tormach Tooling System, RapidTurn CNC chucker lathe, and Tormach passive probe to enhance your CNC milling experience and let you gain more productivity.

Additionally, you have an option to upgrade your 1100M with a servo to achieve increased rapids and high accelerations.

Overall, the Tormach 1100M CNC mill is a workhorse that's ideal for businesses that need to do light production, and for hobbyists making prototypes.Check Price on Tormach Website

Tormach 1100M vs. Tormach 1100MX: What's the difference

The Tormach 1100M and 1100MX are powerful CNC mills, which are easy to program, fit into tidy workspaces, and cut almost anything.

1100MX CNC mill is built over the 1100M CNC mill with a few essential upgrades.

Although both CNC mills have almost the same features, they have a few differences that I have tabulated for your reference.

FeatureTormach 1100MTormach 1100MX
EnclosureOptionalStandard
Control boardECM1v1.4ECM1v1.5
MotorStepper motorServo motor
Spindle taperR8BT30 with magnetic encoder
Spindle speed7,500 RPM10,000 RPM
Automatic oiler kitOptionalStandard
Power drawbarOptionalStandard
Feedrate (X, Y and Z)110 IPM and 90 IPM300 IPM and 230 IPM

Tormach 1100M vs. Tormach 1100MX

The availability of servo drive and high spindle speed let you achieve high feed rates on all axes of the 1100MX CNC mill. Its high speed helps you get the job done in less time.

In my opinion, 1100M has all the required features for prototyping and light businesses.

But, if your production requirements are higher, I suggest the 1100MX instead.

Alternatives to Tormach 1100M CNC Mill

Tormach also has other mill choices for you to consider.

The PCNC 440 is one such mill. It cost considerably less than the 1100M and is ideal for hobbyists.

There are benchtop CNC mill choices from other brands as well, such as Sherline, Taig, Proxxon, and retrofitted CNC mills.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can the spindle motor in RapidTurn handle flood coolant?

Yes. The RapidTurn has IP54 rated spindle motor. Hence, it is protected against coolant splashes. A face seal on the 5C spindle keeps coolant out of the machine's internal workings.

Could I use the RapidTurn kit as 4th axis or rotatory table?

The RapidTurn does not work as a 4th axis or rotary table. Its function is more akin to that of a mini-lathe. The capacity to index in 15-degree increments is the only feature that resembles the 4th axis.

About John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

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John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

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