I was recently over at a friend’s shop and saw he was making these really cool trivets to give as holiday gifts:
The trivets are made using a 1/8″ endmill and aluminum plate that is a bit thicker than the overall trivet will be. Once the maze-like interior has been milled via a full depth roughing pass followed by a finishing pass (the channel is a little bigger than the endmill diameter), it’s time to face mill away the back of the plate to leave the trivet. Doing so is an interesting fixturing problem. You can’t just crank down a vise on the trivet as there’s a bit too much play.… Read the rest
A conversation with Dan is what inspired me to write the 10 Tips for Minimizing Breakage of Micro-Mills article yesterday. Today I notice he has published a nice mention of G-Wizard on his blog. Dan has several machining-related sites including “The Hobbyist’s Machine Shop Blog” and “The Hobbyist’s Machine Shop” where I first came across his writings.
Check them out, good stuff for hobby machinists!… Read the rest
Speaking of Dan and the tips for minimizing micro-mill breakage, I decided to flesh out an entire chapter on micromachining for our feeds and speeds cookbook. In addition to a slight facelift on the aforementioned micro-cutter breakage information, I went back through my archives and fished out a bunch of additional material. Micro-Turner’s Cubes, anyone?… Read the rest
While on the subject of micromachining, I came across this interesting academic paper about how some students and faculty at Northern Illinois University built a pretty cool micro-mill that performs on par with commerical machines costing up to $100,000:
The micro-milling machine…
A part made by NIU’s machine…
The machine is assembled from largely off the shelf parts such as the linear slides, stepper motors (no servos here to save on cost), and spindle. As you can see, its construction is pretty simple. Some surprises for me from this article:
– They used ACME leadscrews instead of ballscrews, relying on anti-backlash nuts to keep backlash under control.… Read the rest
Over time certain questions and queries start to stand out, and one I hear a lot about is that machinists are breaking their delicate micro-mills and other tiny cutters too often, and they’d like some pointers on how to avoid it. First thing is first, you need to have proper feeds and speeds for these cutters. Cutters smaller than 1/8″ or about 3mm live in a different world than most of our cutters are used to. The feeds and speeds formulas and calculations that work reasonably well for larger cutters need quite a bit of adjustment for smaller cutters to account for these changing conditions.… Read the rest
Friends, we’re pleased to announce our 2011 Holiday Sale. We’ve put every version of G-Wizard on sale and you can see the pricing on our regular pricing page.
If you’ve been thinking about subscribing, now is the time while prices are low. If you are already a subscriber, we really appreciate your business, and hope you will take advantage of the sale to add a year or more to your subscription term. Just sign up for the purchase and I’ll add the additional purchased subscription term to your existing subscription.
The sale started today and runs through Christmas Day. If you purchased within the last 30 days, we’ll be issuing a refund to reflect the Holiday Sale pricing so you won’t miss out.… Read the rest
I want to wish all of our readers and customers a hearty, “Happy Holidays!” We’re glad to have you as part of the CNCCookbook family which I am happy and thankful to say has grown considerably over the last year. To date over 7000 machinists have tried our products and a number have bought.
Sometime late tomorrow or Friday I will be announcing what our Holiday Promotion will be this year. We usually do several things including a sale and something a little bit zany for existing customers to show our gratitude. Last year we gave every existing customer a free 1 year subscription to G-Wizard they could give away to a friend.… Read the rest
It’s been a little while since I used the Bat Signal (last month) with our G-Wizard Machinist’s Calculator, so I decided to turn it on for this afternoon’s release 1.603 and get everyone updated who hasn’t been before I move on to more radical updating.
Turning on the “Bat Signal” just means activating the “new release” messaging in G-Wizard. There are a couple of levels of this, and you have control over how often you’d like to be notified:
– Mandatory Updates are very rare. I did not make this one a mandatory update, but I did set the prior release as the mandatory update.… Read the rest
It turns out to be a function of the capabilities of the machine and the machinist. Simply put, the CNC can do all sorts of things a manual Bridgeport never was in the running for. Learn more in my latest article about CNC Cutting Speeds.… Read the rest
We love showing what our G-Wizard customers are doing, and we have a very interesting one from MM Pictures and G-Wizard Customer Precision Machinery and Tooling. Modogrip is a very cool product for Indie Film Makers. One of the many really difficult things to when making a film is to get those shots that make you feel like you’re actually living the scene. Commercial film makers use all sorts of fancy and expensive mechanisms to help the process. What Modogrip has done is to invent an accessory kit for a monopod that enables some pretty cool capabilities. In their words:
Modogrip are handles and wheel mounts that transform a monopod into a do-it-all filmmaking tool. … Read the rest
I got to searching and found another door with similar aesthetic over on Makezine:
Brass Iris Porthole and Locking Mechanism…
These doors are made by Chris Schaie who sells the mechanisms.… Read the rest
I have a soft spot for machine projects that involve art, if you hand’t noticed. Check out this amazing Irising door for the Nautilus art car:
The Nautilus Aperture Door from Almost Scientific on Vimeo.… Read the rest
There’s a new version of our G-Wizard Editor and CNC Simulator uploaded today. If you’re a registered user, the install page is here. If not, click that first link and register. It’s free since we’re still in Beta test and you’ll find a lot of great features there.
This is our first release to require Flash Player 11, the latest release. While we’re not yet taking much advantage of FP 11’s performance enhancements (native access to your graphics card), we want to start requiring it to get everyone on the same page.
In terms of features, there are a couple of them in this latest release.… Read the rest
It’s really handy to be able to do some simple sheet metal work around the shop to make brackets, covers, and similar sorts of things. I have wanted to build a finger brake for quite a while, perhaps something like this one:
A “finger” or box and pan brake…
Plans for it are available from the Village Press book, “Metalworking, Book Two, The Best of Projects in Metal.”
I’ve also considered making a press brake attachment for my 45 ton hydraulic press. They’re easier to make than the finger brake and can be set up to take commercial press brake tooling which is pretty common on eBay.… Read the rest
Many machinists exclusively use one strategy–they always climb mill (CNC’ers) or the always conventional mill (Manual machinists). Putting aside the important issue of backlash (Climb milling is dangerous on machines with a lot of backlash), there are some real strategic considerations in choosing a milling strategy. You won’t always want to use just one. Most of the time, Climb Milling produces the best surface finish. But sometimes, Conventional Milling beats it. Check out our new chapter to learn more about it.… Read the rest