Tormach CNC Milling Machine User Guide

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Shop Area: Metal Shop

Tool: CNC Milling Machine

Requires in-person training: Yes 

Procedure Number

UG 130-07, Rev. 2




Tormach PCNC 440 Machining Center

Tormach PCNC 440.png

Performance and Cutting Ability

The following table summarizes the cutting performance envelope of the PCNC 440 mill:

Spindle Speed Range 300-10,000 RPM
Spindle Power Rating 3/4 hp (600 W)
Feed Rate Range

0-135 IPM (X, Y)

0-110 IPM (Z)

The PCNC 440 is capable of cutting any material that can be cut with a rotating cutter at or near its recommended feeds and speeds. As with any machine tool, care should be exercised so that programmed cuts do not exceed the maximum available spindle horsepower. Small diameter cutters may perform better with use of a companion spindle or RPM multiplier.

Resolution, Accuracy, and Repeatability

The following table summarizes resolution, accuracy, and repeatability of the PCNC 440 as delivered.

Resolution of Motion (minimum discrete positional move) 0.0001”
Positional Accuracy ≤ 0.0016” per 10”


  • Always wear approved safety glasses or face shield while operating the equipment.
  • Before operating equipment, remove tie, rings, watches and other jewelry, and roll sleeves up past the elbows. Remove all loose clothing and confine long hair.
  • Non-slip footwear or anti-skid floor strips are recommended.
  • Closed toe shoes are required when working in a shop area.
  • Do not wear gloves while operating the equipment.
  • Make all machine adjustments or maintenance with the machine unplugged from the power source.
  • The automation inherent in a CNC machine presents added risk not present in a manual machine.
  • Understand CNC machines are automatically controlled and may start at any time.
  • Do not leave machine unattended during operation.
  • Always power off machine when not in use.
  • Never operate with unbalanced tooling or spindle fixtures.
  • Remove all tools (wrenches, chuck keys, etc.) from spindle and machine surface before starting operations; loose items can become dangerous projectiles.
  • Use adequate work clamping; loose workpieces can become dangerous projectiles.
  • Protect your hands. Stop machine spindle and ensure machine motion has stopped before:

- Reaching into any part of the machine motion envelope

- Changing tools, parts or adjusting the workpiece

- Changing belt/pulley position

- Clearing away chips, oil or coolant; always use a chip scraper or brush

- Making an adjustment to part, fixture, coolant nozzle or when taking measurements

- Removing protective shields or safeguards; never reach around a guard

  • Keep work area clear of clutter as machine motion can occur when keys are accidently pressed or objects fall on keyboard, resulting in unexpected motion.
  • Position clamping attachments clear of tool path. Be aware of workpiece cutoffs that could be cut free during operations and become dangerous projectiles.
  • Always use proper feeds/speeds, as well as depth/width of cut to prevent tool breakage.
  • Check for damaged tools/workpieces and cease operations if detected; replace before re-starting operations as these can become dangerous projectiles. Never use longer or larger tools than necessary.
  • Chips and dust from certain materials (e.g., magnesium) can be flammable. Fine dust from normally non-flammable materials may be flammable or even explosive.
  • Chips, dust, and vapors from certain materials can be toxic. Always check the Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each material.



All users should begin with Chapter 5 of the [file:///E:/sites/default/files/um10372_pcnc440_manual_0819a_web.pdf Tormach PCNC 440 Operator Manual].

4.1 Control Locations There are two primary controls: the Operator Box and the (on-screen) PathPilot® interface. All control functions can be found in one or the other location.

4.1.1 Operator Box The operator box contains physical buttons that control the following functions:

  • Start
  • E-stop

4.1.2 PathPilot Interface All aspects of the PCNC 440 are controlled via the on-screen PathPilot interface. There are four primary ways for the operator to interact with PathPilot:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Jog shuttle (optional)
  • Touch screen (optional)

4.1.3 Accessory Port The Accessory Port is located on the side of the electrical panel.

4.2 Initializing the Mill To prepare the mill for motion, the mill must be initialized.

4.2.1 Vital Reference After powering on, the mill must be referenced in the X-, Y-, and Z-axes. Execute the referencing procedure as follows: 1. Power on the mill. 2. Click the flashing Reset button on the PathPilot interface. 3. Click REF Z, REF X, and REF Y.

4.3 Jogging The mill can be jogged either by using the keyboard or using the optional jog shuttle.

4.3.1 Keyboard

  • The right arrow jogs X-axis in the positive X direction (table moves left of operator).
  • The left arrow jogs X-axis in the negative X direction (table moves right of operator).

  • The up arrow jogs Y-axis in the positive Y direction (moves table towards operator).
  • The down arrow jogs Y-axis in the negative Y direction (moves table away from operator).
  • The Page Up key jogs the Z-axis in the positive Z direction (moves spindle up).
  • The Page Down key moves the Z-axis in the negative Z direction (moves spindle down).

NOTE: Jogging is not permitted during G-code program execution or MDI moves.

4.4 Spindle Controls

4.4.1 Spindle Control Via PathPilot Interface: Ensure the Spindle Range button’s LED light correctly corresponds to the spindle belt position, either Hi or Lo; click to toggle between the two positions.

NOTE: A mismatch between the Spindle Range button and actual spindle belt position will result in the commanded speed being different from the indicated RPMs.

To specify spindle RPMs, click the DRO. Using the keyboard, type the desired RPM and press Enter.

  • Click FWD to run the spindle clockwise
  • Click Stop to stop the spindle

4.4.2 Changing Spindle Speed Range The PCNC 440 mill has two speed ranges: Low High 300-4500 650-10,000 The range change is performed by moving the spindle belt from the top pair of pulleys (high speed range) to the lower pair of pulleys (low speed range).

To change belt position: WARNING! Electrical Shock Hazard - Be sure to power off machine before making any electrical modifications. Failure to do so could result in death and/or serious injury. 1. Power off mill according to Power Off/On. 2. Open spindle door; unlock motor mounting plate using a hex key and pull motor forward. The belt will slacken and can be moved from one pulley to another. 3. Re-tighten the belt so that there is approximately 1/8”-1/4” of belt deflection midway between the pulleys with a firm finger press.




                                                 END OF THE PROCEDURE