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Tormach Mill (Incomplete)

The Tormach can cut a diverse range of materials from aluminum to plastics such as ABS, PVC and Delrin.

A mill is used to machine surfaces, cut slots and pockets, and drill holes to precise dimensions. In the case of the Tormach mill, the spindle holds the tool and moves in the Z axis, while a clamp on the table holds your work and moves the X and Y axes.

A CNC mill is controlled by a program created by CAM software such as VCarve Pro, Cut3D or InventorCAM.

The Tool Safety, Tool Care, Operation, section of this guide are what instructors use to ensure that you can use the equipment according to community expectations.


Tormach 770 Aluminium Mill Clearance clearance or class equivalent is required before use.


🚫 Do not do this

⚠️ Warning about this

See the Safety Section for more information.

Tool Anatomy

Power Switch - Key switch turns the machine on and off Emergency Stop - Reserved for emergencies. To deactivate and reset, you must twist the spring-loaded knob. Maintenance Tag - Manually tracks the usability status with Green/Yellow/Red cards

For more visit the manufacturers website and user manual both linked at the top of this document.

Tool Safety

Safety Checklist

1. Never leave the machine unattended while it is running 2. Power off the spindle before changing tooling 3. Ensure that your clothing and PPE is safe for operation

Personal Protective Equipment

At the Tormach, Hearing Protection, Well-fitted Clothes, Closed-toed Shoes, and Safety Goggles are also required.

Loose sleeves must be rolled up and long hair and scarves must be tied back. Avoid any dangling drawstrings or other articles of clothing that may come in contact with the mill.

Tool Care


1. Take small cuts at slow speeds 2. Be prepared to stop the machine at any time using the e-stop 3. Submit a maintenance request when needed.

Tool Operation

Operation Checklist

  1. Locate the edge of your piece and Zero the x/y origin
  2. Insert the cutting tool
  3. Locate the top of your work piece and zero the Z-axis
  4. Set the spindle speed
  5. Place the shield on the front of the machine
  6. Start the spindle
  7. Start the coolant
  8. Begin your cut by double-clicking Cycle Start
  9. Monitor your piece until the program is complete
  10. Cleanup


Before you start using the mill you are expected to do an initial inspection of the mill and access its readiness for use. Consult the checklist at the end of this document as well as the detailed processes here.

Maintenance Requests

If you encounter any of the issues listed in the Inspection area or have any other issues with the printer not working properly

  • Update the physical Maintenance Tag at the machine
    • 🟢Green can be used without issue
    • 🟡Yellow can be used withcaution
    • ⛔Red cannot be used without hazard to either the user or the equipment
  • Record issues at https:%// This notifies our staff and volunteer maintenance crew of any issues.


Problem 1

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  1. Deactivate the drive motors by pushing the e-stop
  2. Exit Mach3
  3. Delete any files copied to the computer
  4. Remove your usb/flash drives, and shut down the computer
  5. Power off the full unit
  6. Vacuum and sweep any chips and debris
  7. Wipe any excess coolant with a rag
  8. Return any vice, hold-downs, or cutting tools to their home
  9. Note any maintenance needs or concerns on the tag and at
  10. Recycle waste in the scrap bins

Scrap Breakdown

Maintaining these is a shared, communal responsibility. This is where we can acknowledge exactly where the tool-related scrap bins may be located in the shop. The following is our general approach to scrap hygiene:

When you notice the scrap bins are full, it’s time to take it to the dumpster out back. Feel free to enlist a helping hand.

If you notice valuable material while emptying the bins, use your judgement to selectively save a few pieces or take it home for your personal use.

Special Setups

Rotary Tool


This is where you machine an entire face as if it was a single part, then manually use g-code to rotate the stock and start a second cut file that cuts the second face. Cut 3D and VCarve Pro are sufficient to achieve this type of machining.


This is complex machining where the 4th axis is rotating while a cutting tool is removing material. To generate g-code for this type of machining you will need a more advanced CAD program like InventorCAM, SprutCAM or RhinoCAM.

Advanced Workholding

Additional Resources

Staff Use


If you are part of the maintenance group please log on to the #maintenance channel of our Discord server to:

  • Perform a Maintenance Action
  • Request a Maintenance Purchase
  • Review complete Maintenance Logs for each machine
  • Generally chit-chat about maintenance


The following should be in a Maintenance tool kit for the….

  • item1
  • item2

Regular Maintenance

tools/tormach_mill.txt · Last modified: 2023/02/08 16:38 by jeffbearer