Mazak Quick Turn 10 CNC Lathe. What’s not to Like?
Mazak Quick Turn 10
It’s been a while since I trained anyone on a Mazak Quick Turn Machine. Another training job completely out of the blue.
Custom Rifles, didn’t know what to expect really. Anyway a drive to Tunbridge Wells, where for the price of a garden shed you could probably buy my village in the Midlands.
I ended up in glorious countryside on a farm in what felt like the middle of nowhere. The guy who runs this company (Paddy) has his workshop in the outbuildings of the farm.
It is like walking into Dr Who’s Tardis. This workshop wants for nothing, surface grinding, shot blasting. This guys even got a Faro Arm!
Two Haas machines and the Mazak Quick Turn 10. Not the tidiest of workshop but I am told it’s a work in progress.
It is really heartwarming to see such investment in tooling and modern equipment in what effectively is a one man band.
Paddy is a brilliant engineer and mostly self taught. Loads of the CNC stuff learnt from my website (happy days) . This guy googles everything but not in a “What I had for breakfast, oh fuck the cat just threw up” type of way.
This is very constructive use of google definitely the way forward.
He already had a pretty good understanding of what the machine could do. Being self taught, several gaps in his knowledge, so, in steps me, to fill em all up.
Paddy rebuilds, repairs and creates custom rifles.
I had forgotten just how brilliant these machine are. I don’t believe there is a quicker way to get a part from drawing to bubble wrap than the Mazak Quick Turn.
Check out this video on Tool Path Store another brilliant feature on the Mazak Quick Turn.
I’m not flogging these things by the way but if your reading this article I’m always open to offers. That is providing I keep my clothes on, well maybe not, how much we talking?
From its original concept Mazatrol has never really got much better and that’s not a criticism. For turning it’s just bloody good, very bloody good.
G Code Programming
When I train people on G code type controls who have worked on Mazatrol and machines like the Quick Turn 10 they are stunned at how complex the programs are.
Like for example on a Mazak you index the turret and you wanna use a tool. Now that’s not a big ask is it?
Well on most other controls you can’t because the bloody offset is not active. You can call it in MDI if you want. That is if you know how. Trouble is, the minute you press RESET it’s gone .
On a Mazak once you index the turret that tool is active along with all its associated geometry.
That means you can start manual turning with hand wheel or jog and the diameter is what it says on the screen.
So simple, so obvious but what a difference it makes. The list goes on and on as to how well thought out these Mazak Quick Turn machines are.
All the information is saved with the program. So that means your work offset, jaw details and chuck details are all there when you call the program again.
Now the graphics are not like“Assassin’s Creed Origins” but they are adequate and definitely help a lot. If you can be arsed to set the graphics up with chuck jaws n stuff then you can be certain all will be okay when you run it for real.
You can even jump from the program directory straight to a graphic simulation of the part so there is no “oh shit I wish I’d made a note of what this does” moment. You quickly get to see what the program does.
Footnote: You should still add a program description (and there’s a facility for this too.)
Liar Liar Your Bums On Fire
One of the main criticisms I hear of Mazatrol is that you have to “Lie to it”. I think when you want to do something a bit unusual it’s sometimes hard to get Mazatrol to do it.
This Mazak Quick Turn 10 is a two axis CNC Lathe. Let’s be honest most of the bits you make are gonna be quite simple. If not then this is where the Manual Programming Unit steps in.
Manual programming units are the Mazak “Get Out Of Jail Free” card
You can go back to some very crude G code programming within Mazatrol. These Manual Programming Units can sometimes get you out of a jam. It is quite limited, in what G codes you can use, but it will help a lot.
Incremental is a bit strange because it does not use U and W like you would normally on a Fanuc type system. It puts like a sign after your X or Z to tell you it’s incremental.
Need To Know
It’s well documented how easy it is to program in Mazatrol so I won’t dwell on it.
If you have never used Mazatrol you need to check it out. I think it is the epitome of “need to know”. What I mean by that is that it’s the minimum amount of information to get it to make some bits.
You know stuff like do you want tool nose radius compensation? Of course you bloody do. So it doesn’t ask you, you just get it.
Anyone who has only used Mazatrol probably wouldn’t know what you were on about. And why should they care?
It’s like knowing all the bits inside your telly who gives a shit when you just want to watch “Emmerdale Farm”. I don’t watch that crap by the way, honest.
Read On It’s Not All This Boring
This control can smoothly go into ISO programming. Not sure if this is an option but they all seem to have it.
So………. from a Mazatrol program you just jump into an ISO G code type program and everything works the same.
So what’s all the fuss about. If there’s something you can’t do in Mazatrol just write a bit of straight ISO G code type program and call it from your Mazatrol main program. So there you go job done stop whining.
Even the graphics work in ISO so there is no excuse.
When you finish your program you get this list of processes and you can really easily swap things around. You know like if you wanted to thread before you did the grooving, you can easily just swap the order.
Then you have this button that says Rough Priority. When you press it all the roughing is done first. How cool is that??
It always amazes me that CNC Machines are never that good on this. Well Mazaks are not bad actually.
You can really easily start from any program unit in Mazatrol. It’s also got this Single Process thingy that’s been around for years. Dead useful though. It means you can just run one unit, so you don’t have to worry about it carrying on to the next unit it just does that unit and ends.
Useful for stuff like just going over a thread again.
You can’t actually break into a unit to restart but on CNC Lathes you nearly always just want to start at the beginning of a tool.
If you have an ISO program it’s still better than a lot I could name. A bit convoluted in a way only the Japanese seem to be able to do. Nevertheless seven out of ten.
I was accused of this years ago and once I’d looked it up I thought yea that’s me. “What’s the point of this you ask? He’s off again”
When you are running an ISO program and you are milling say a shape or something. You look at the program and you see something coming up that you never got round to changing. It could be a feedrate or something.
It’s something that can keep pissing you off cos you forget to do it.
Help is At Hand. On a Mazak you can actually go into edit and alter it then come back n continue your program.
I just love showing people that one, makes me feel like I earned my money.
Oh yea by the way this is only when you are in an ISO program not Mazatrol
Things I Don’t Like
- Take That Records
- Beef Burgers
- Brass Bands
No I meant about this machine Mazak Quick Turn.
Not much actually, oh the editing is a bit slow.
Editing in ISO is a doddle.
Editing in Mazatrol is very cumbersome and when it comes to stuff like copying a unit you have to say what program it’s from and all sorts of bollocks. It wants your bank account number and sort code.
There are more questions than a fuckin mortgage application.
Moving units is the same not a pleasant customer experience. Once you get used to it and how the Mazak brain is wired it’s ok though.
Let’s Be Honest
There ain’t much to not like about the Mazak Quick Turn.
Even if I were only going to use the machine is ISO (Fanuc type programming) and not use Mazatrol I would still seriously consider buying one of these machines.
- In ISO it’s easier to restart a program than most G code controls.
- The editing is easy.
- Better graphics than most. (It’s still like early space invaders)