I love it when you give me fabulous feedback that I can use to improve our software. The new Vacuum Fixture Mini-Calc was entirely inspired by just one conversation with someone who wasn’t even a customer–it was inspired by a problem that was preventing them from becoming a customer. This week I’ve just uploaded G-Wizard Calculator version 3.33, and it has 9 new features totally inspired by conversations with you. Some are big, some are small, but all are coming directly from the kinds of things you wanted to see improved in G-Wizard.
#1 Giant New Wood Database
Woodies on the Wharf, a local favorite event…
This weekend I was inspired by the annual “Woodies on the Wharf” car show on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. It’s such fun to see these old beauties in all their glory, and it surely does bring to mind fine woodworking and fine woods.
For a long time G-Wizard had just 4 wood-related entries for Hardwood, Softwood, Plywood, and MDF. That actually works pretty well, but a lot of you wanted to optimize your feeds and speeds even further. You wanted to get down to the level of individual wood species. Your wish is my command!
I started by adding bunches of new wood species to the Hardwood and Softwood choices. You can see them by clicking the “More” button after selecting one or the other. Here’s a sample:
The new Softwoods are accessed by clicking the “More” button next to the Material selector…
As you can see, I have also listed the Janka Hardness for each wood species. This is how we can compare the relative hardness of the woods.
#2 Feeds and Speeds Adjustments by Wood Species
A list wouldn’t be all that helpful if it didn’t do anything, right? So I use the Janka Hardness and other data I’ve been collecting for some time to fine tune the feeds and speeds based on the exact wood species you’ve selected. Now you can get even more finely honed feeds and speeds when working with wood.
#3 and #4 User Requested Materials Added
Did you know you can request a new material be added to the Materials DB? That’s how most of them got there. In addition to all the new woods, I had new materials requested by 2 different users since the last release. Those materials are Maraging Steel 250 and 300, and Duplex 2205 Stainless.
Send me an email if you need a material that’s not on the list. I can’t guarantee I will add it, but if I can find enough information on the Internet, I will do so. For most metals that fit one of our existing families, I am happy to report the research isn’t too hard and I usually succeed in adding more materials.
#5 New Beginner’s Glossary
I have had a lot of CNC Beginners request a Glossary to help them get their Machine Profile Setup and to help them with terms they don’t understand but encounter right away in Feeds and Speeds. I’m happy to report that the Beginner’s Glossary is now ready. For each term, the glossary tells you the definition, where you find it in G-Wizard, and why you should care. Beginner’s will note that for a lot of terms I tell them straight up not to worry about them–they’re not important. You really don’t need to care what your “Axial Engagement” is, for example. It’s just an informative term that many pros are used to seeing, so I provide it as a point of reference. If you’re not used to it, you won’t miss it, so just ignore it.
Sometimes knowing what NOT to care about can be even more helpful than knowing what to care about. You get presented with the Glossary during the Machine Setup tour. I encourage you to just leave it open in a browser tab until you’ve got your Machine Profile all set up and you’ve run a few Feeds and Speeds calculations. Once you’ve been around the block a few times, you’ll have picked up what you need and you can bookmark the Glossary for access should you need to go back to it.
#6 Revamped Machine Profile Setup Tour
When you login for the first time to G-Wizard, there’s a popup browser that congratulates you and then takes you on a guided tour of how to customize G-Wizard for the capabilities of your specific CNC Machine. It’s easy to do, but the tour makes it even easier. I revamped the tour completely to make it even easier after analyzing how people were accessing it in Google Analytics. After a couple go-rounds of fine tuning, the metrics there are fantastically better in terms of how many people get all the way through without abandoning the tour. Hopefully that means many more of you are successfully setting up your Machine Profiles.
I’m really working hard to make it easy for everyone who tries G-Wizard to get off on the right foot.
#7 New Material DB Guided Tour
After you get done setting up a Machine Profile and doing your first Feeds and Speeds Calculation, G-Wizard presents you with a series of “Fine Tuning Guided Tours.” These tours walk you through the plethora of features that let you customize G-Wizard to give you the best possible feeds and speeds for your situation. These tours unlock the powerful features available in G-Wizard in bite-sized pieces. You can start without them and pick more up over time as you need them.
I just added a new tour that describes in detail how to use our Materials Database. We’ve been talking about all the new additions to it up above, so this Guided Tour will help you get the most out of the Materials DB.
#8 Coolant Options Guided Tour
Another installment in the Fine Tuning Guided Tour is the Coolant Options Guide Tour. Here you’ll learn not only how to set up the Coolant Options for your machine, but also a quick mini-tutorial on the role of coolant and what G-Wizard expects from your coolant. You’ll learn, for example, whether it prefers Flood or Mist Coolant (hint: it doesn’t care and you’ll learn why). You’ll also learn how to set up for premium coolant options like Through Spindle Coolant, High Pressure Coolant, and Programmable Coolant Nozzles.
#9 Updated Layout for Plunge Feedrate
After getting some reports where people found the layout of the Plunge Feedrate confusing, I’ve changed the layout to positioning the label closer to the numbers. G-Wizard gives two different feedrates for endmills. One is the normal side-cutting feedrate and the other is to be used for straight plunges.
Plunges are not the ideal way to enter a cut, but if you must plunge at least make sure you have the proper feedrate to maximize your tool life.
We’re constantly improving all our products, and we listen to you, Dear Readers and Customers, to help us choose and prioritize the new ideas for what to do next. This is no passive relationship–we couldn’t do it without you by any stretch of the imagination. Keep those cards and letters coming!
Keep those cards and letters coming!
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