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Browsing articles in "Beginner"

Take Our G-Code Skills Survey

Jun 17, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  4 Comments

Please take a minute to try our G-Code Skillz Survey. We’ll report on the results in a week or two so you can see how you score relative to other machinists.

Take our G-Code Skills survey!
We’re planning to add some g-code tutorials to CNCCookbook over the summer and want to get an idea of…

How To Choose a Stepover

Jun 3, 2011   //   by   //   Beginner, Blog, Guest-Post, Software, Techniques  //  3 Comments

This is a guest post by Robert Grzesek, founder of Grzsoftware and creator of the excellent MeshCAM 3D CAM software. This post originally appeared on the Grzsoftware Blog, and I will be incorporating Robert’s excellent article on stepover for 3D profiling into the Milling Feeds and Speeds Cookbook, but I wanted to post it to…

CNC Software: Digital Tooling for CNC

May 31, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Our recent article on Digital Tooling has been very popular so we recently started working on a new Cookbook series around software. The first installment is an overview of all the different kinds of software available for CNC Manufacturing called “CNC Software: Digital Tooling for CNC“. We’ll be following up with a series of sub-articles…

Breaking Cutters With Tool Deflection: An Anecdote

May 17, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Software, Techniques  //  1 Comment

This is article is part of the new Tool Deflection page in the Milling Feeds and Speeds Cookbook.
Not long ago I got a call to go visit a shop and check out their new Volumill HSM module for GibbsCAM. Being a fan of HSM techniques, I couldn’t resist. Volumill is indeed very slick, though…

Introducing the Milling Feeds and Speeds Cookbook

May 12, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

We’ve had the idea of a “Cookbook” with “Recipes” here for a long time. You can click the Cookbook tab over on the left and see our various recipe articles. Simple put, they’re reference information that’s been gathered up about some particular subject. One of our most popular recipe articles (over 3000 visitors last month)…

Feeds and Speeds “Sweet Spots”

May 12, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

This article is an excerpt from our Milling Feeds and Speeds Cookbook, Basic Concepts for Beginners. Be sure to check it out!
There is a Sweet Spot for every cutting operation. It’s not a point that has to be hit exactly, but at the same time, it is not very large either, and there are…

Updated the Breakout Board Page

May 8, 2011   //   by   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

I noticed a lot of traffic recently to my page on Breakout Boards. Apparently there are a lot of new CNC projects in the wings–cool beans!
For those who are wondering, the breakout board is used to interface between your PC or other controller computer and the various motor controls, relays, and other devices you…

Tragic Lathe Accident Kills Yale Student

Apr 14, 2011   //   by   //   Beginner, Blog  //  No Comments

Yale student Michele Dufault died Tuesday night after her hair was pulled into a lathe in the Chemistry department’s machine shop. Apparently she was working on a class project after hours alone in the lab on a project. Students who found her body called for help at 2:26am but it was too late. A spokeswoman…

Making G-Wizard Better for Beginners and Small Machines

Apr 1, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Being a beginning machinist with a small machine is a tough job. Your machine is capable of some awesome things, even though it isn’t very large. If you have any doubt, just read through Hoss’s projects on his site Hossmachine where he converts a little Sieg X2 to a machine center complete with flood coolant,…

Carbide vs HSS and Chatter for Small Mills

Mar 18, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

I came across a great thread this morning on the 1911Forum, a gathering place for Colt 1911 handgun enthusiasts with a good sub-forum on gunsmithing. The question was being asked of whether Carbide or HSS tooling would be better for reducing chatter on small mills. I responded as follows:
Carbide vs HSS for small mills…

Great Video Series from Hoss on Tramming a Small Mill

Mar 4, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  3 Comments

Squaring up and tramming their mill is often a puzzle for new home machinists. Hoss makes it look easy in his great video series. Here is the first one:

Hoss Trams a Mill–Pt 1
The other parts are here:
– Part 2
– Part 2B
– Part 3
Those videos are taken from his CNCZone…

MeshCAM: Great Ease of Use in a 3D CAM Package

Mar 1, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Software  //  9 Comments

Most machinist I talk to go through the same experience the first time they try CAM–total bewilderment and frustration. Everyone has this idea that you create a 3D solid model, load it into CAM, push a button, and out pops a finished g-code program. If only it were true!
Instead, you generally have to wrestle…

Toolholding in Collets: How to Avoid Tool Pullout

Feb 5, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

Tormach has published a great report on variables that influence the holding power of R8 collets. You can view the pdf file here.
They basically did a series of tests while changing various things to see how that affected the amount of force needed to pull a tool out of an R8 collet. One of…

Amazing Projects with CamBam

Jan 4, 2011   //   by   //   Beginner, Blog, Cool, Software  //  No Comments

Some of the lower end CAM programs are capable of some amazing work. Here are some samples done with CamBam: A 747 made from aluminum. Very cool 3D work! Watch chassis with “tabs” for fixturing… Watch part… There is the part installed… CamBam scored pretty well on the CAM Survey (below). I’m starting to see…

The Results are in on the CAM Package Survey

Dec 17, 2010   //   by   //   Beginner, Blog, Software  //  15 Comments

Wow! We had a lot of folks participate in the CAM package survey. Thanks very much for your time!
And now it’s time for the results.
We’re dealing with two radically different groups here. It’s not really fair to compare an under $1000 CAM package against a full-featured package costing many thousands of dollars and…


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