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After a long weekend and Monday burning the midnight oil, I had to post this first shot of code generated by the new Hole Wizard in G-Wizard Editor:
That silly hole is 20 diameters deep!
What is this?
First thing, it’s a test of a feature of a new product we’ll be announcing soon. The product will be called G-Wizard Conversational CNC, and it is designed to generate g-code from conversational wizards. I’ll have more to say about the product when we introduce it to alpha testing later this month, but it will be a lot of very cool functionality for CNC machinists and g-code programmers to have on hand, and it works as a snap-in module with the G-Wizard G-code Editor.
Second, I don’t mean to imply that you could use this exact code to drill holes 20 diameters deep. However, being able to create custom canned cycles is the key to more reliable deep hole drilling, and this new Custom Cycle Wizard makes creating that kind of code easy. It’s capabilities are based on a load of research I’ve been doing on deep hole drilling. More about all that when I more formally release the new product and this Hole Wizard.
Okay, last thing is a sneak peak at the Hole Wizard UI:
Custom Deep Hole Drilling Cycles at Your Fingertips…
This screen shows the Hole Wizard for our new Conversational G-Code Product. Here’s what we’ve got:
- Across the top line are the basics. What’s the diameter of the hole, Safe Z where we can move at rapids speed with impunity, Rapid to Z is the lowest we can go vertically before we switch over to feedrate motion from rapids, Material Top Z is where drilling begins and Hole Bottom Z should be more properly called hole depth.
- Position lets us create 1 or more holes with these options:
o Current position: pop a hole right where we are now.
o List: Enter a list of XY coordinate pairs. Handy for lots of purposes.
o Circle: Do a hole circle ala the same sort of UI found in G-Wizard Calculator.
o Grid: Create a rectangular grid of holes.
o Line: Create a line of holes at any arbitrary angle and starting point.
- Type lets us choose from three types of holes:
o Use the controller’s canned cycles
o Use the Custom Cycles for deep hole drilling
o Interpolate the hole with an endmill
Let’s take a look at the parameters for a custom cycle. On the left is a summary of what’s going to happen at various depths. Most all the parameters are dimensionless. In other words, we use tool diameters and percentages. This makes it easier to think about and it means that a recipe for a deep hole cycle can be used with many different hole sizes. We are basically going to do a peck cycle, and a peck can be one of two kinds. A chip breaking peck retracts only a tiny amount — 0.01″ by default (a figure recommended by Sandvik, for what it’s worth, but you can change it). A full retract can be useful to help drag chips out of the hole once you get really deep.
Some very clever things are here based on best practices I uncovered from a variety of sources. I won’t explain it all until I release the feature (won’t be long, but I still have a lot of testing to do), but suffice to say there’s a lot of good ideas from some very bright machinists and market leading tooling manufacturers here.
In any event, I made good progress tonight, so I had to share. More to come soon and sorry to be a tease!
The alpha version of G-Wizard Conversational CNC is now included in current releases of G-Wizard Editor.