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Machinist’s Hammer Part 2: G-Coding Worksheet + Drawing

Dec 8, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, GCode  //  No Comments
Machinist's Hammer Dimensions

Time to get on with the Machinist’s Hammer project.  I am writing the g-code for this project by hand, without use of CAM software.  It’s a simple enough project that it’s pretty easy to do.  Plus, there are a variety of labor saving helps available so that it is much faster and easier putting pencil to yellow pad.
Whenever I’m getting ready to start a new project, I like to have a dimensioned drawing on hand.  Technically dimensions are not needed with CAM software as it measures them directly.   However, I find it is tremendously helpful to have the dimensions anyway just to make it easier for me to see what’s going on and to identify any mistakes faster.  … Read the rest

Introducing G-Wizard Help Desk

Dec 5, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Software  //  No Comments
GWizardHelpDesk

CNCCookbook is just surpassing the 25,000 user mark–25,000 machinists, engineers, product designers, and hobbyists have used our software.  That’s a big milestone for us, and we appreciate all of your support.
Our #1 goal with our software is to help machinists, designers, and engineers make better decisions every day.  We want to make that process as frustration-free as possible.  Recently, I was ranting a little bit about some software I use to manage our e-mailing lists and it got me thinking about all the things we do to try to reduce that frustration.  The rant had been motivated by some difficulties I had with their software and with getting some support for it.  … Read the rest

G-Wizard Editor New UI Beta Release

Dec 4, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, GCode, Software  //  No Comments
GWENewUI

Progress on G-Wizard Editor has been slow for a little while now.  It’s all been about getting the new UI in place for both GW Calculator and now GW Editor.  I’ve just uploaded the first version of GW Editor with the new UI.  I’m calling it Beta Test for now until we have a little cockpit time with it to make sure all is well.  If you’d like to play with it, you can download it from the normal GW Editor Download Page.  Just like we did with GW Calculator, the prior version with the old UI will remain available for a time.  … Read the rest

Runout Versus Tool Life

Dec 2, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Techniques  //  2 Comments
Runout vs Tool Life

We’ve all heard that runout is very bad for tool life, but here’s a quick and easy to understand chart that explains how runout affects your tool life:

Runout (TIR) as a percentage of chipload versus Tool Life…
In this chart, runout is given as a percentage of chipload, which is the thickness of a single chip being sliced off by your cutter.  This is how I like to think of runout–it increases chipload beyond what you intended.  As you can see, tool life goes down dramatically when we get to TIR’s (Total Indicated Runout) beyond about 20% of your cutter’s targeted chipload.  … Read the rest

Ultimate Guide to Selecting Toolholders for Milling

Dec 2, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing, Products, Techniques  //  10 Comments
Best Milling Toolholders

Over the years, we’ve written a lot of articles about toolholders for milling machines.  They’re an important topic and I frequently get questions about them.  Recently, I found myself having to visit multiple CNCCookbook articles to answer a question and decided it was time to get all the information into one article along with refreshing the research and seeing what new information I could add.  In addition, I wanted to make as much of the information tabular as possible to make it easy to refer to.  Here’s what I came up with:

For each toolholder type, there are multiple rows with scores from 1 to 4, where a higher score is better.  … Read the rest

New G-Wizard Calculator Getting Started Guide

Dec 1, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  No Comments

I’ve just uploaded a new Getting Started Guide for G-Wizard Calculator users.  This begins the process of updating and expanding all the documentation for GW Calculator to cover the 2.0 UI overhaul.  There’s a lot more work to do, but I am focusing on the most important parts first.  Fortunately, not much functionality changed so it is mostly cosmetic.  There are quite a few new features that will be added to the documentation over time.  In addition, the “Getting Started” button in GW Calculator will be switched so it points to this new page rather than the Feeds and Speeds documentation (this hasn’t been done yet, but will happen with the next GW Calculator release).… Read the rest

Edge Finding for Lathes and Turning Work

Nov 30, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Products, Techniques  //  2 Comments
Edge1

Edge Finding is a common operation for mill users.  It’s typically something you do to locate some feature on a part you just put onto the mill.  It’s also common and easy to do on a lathe:

Edge Finding the Z-Axis offset of this lathe tool with an electronic edge finder…
I’m using an electronic edgefinder in a Tormach TTS tool holder I had handy to find the Z-offset of this tool tip.  The TTS holder seats against the jaws of the 3 jaw chuck to ensure repeatability.  My Tormach CNC Lathe doesn’t have its limit switches yet (it’s a beta test and they’re coming soon), so I manually set this up when I start using the lathe each time.  … Read the rest

Neat Desktop CNC Wire Bender

Nov 22, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  6 Comments
DiWire

Long time readers will know I have something of a fetish for odd CNC machines.  I spied this cool little CNC Wire Bender on the Tormach Blog and couldn’t resist passing it along:

Here’s the full on demo…
The guts of the machine look something like this:

Gears, steppers, and timing belts, oh my!
Pensa is a design consultancy, so the machine, web site, and software are very stylish:

Looks more like a high dollar Hi Fi Tube Amp or something Apple would make than a CNC machine: cool!
The machine is very cool, and at $3000 on Kickstarter relatively affordable if you have a use for one.  … Read the rest

G-Code Robotics and Face Milling a Titanium Caribiner

Nov 22, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, Manufacturing, Products, Techniques  //  10 Comments
TitaniumCaribiner

These two para-biners have a finish called “Gonzodizing”…
Once upon a time, Caribiners were exotic mountain climbing equipment.  Eventually, someone started using them to clip keychains to their belts and the like, and they became a fashion statement.  Once things are fashion statements and cool, there’s no telling where they go from there.  In this case, we may have the ultimate evolution.  The Ti2 Para-Biner is a Kickstarter caribiner that is CNC machined from Titanium, finished to the degree it looks like exotic alien astronaut gear, and given a variety of additional functions for the everyday carry crowd.  This thing is a caribiner par excellence, but the set of three can also be used together to do the following:
-  Instant block and tackle with paracord to deliver 200-400% mechanical advantage.  … Read the rest

G-Wizard Calculator 2.0 Goes Mainstream

Nov 18, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  1 Comment
GWC2Download

I’ve taken G-Wizard Calculator 2.0 out of Beta test and put it into the mainstream.  Problem-related feedback has slowed to nothing and it’s time to open it up to the broader audience.  If you go to the normal GW Calculator Install page, you’ll see it there along with a link to the last pre-2.0 release:

This makes it easy to drop back if you have a problem with v2.0 of any kind.  I still don’t have GWC 2.0 for Mac yet, but it’s nearly there.  I’ll let this go out for a few days before I turn on the release notice in the app just to make sure there’s no lingering issues for the broader audience.  … Read the rest

Software to Start a New Business

Nov 18, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

I wanted to pass along a link to an article I just posted on my Business Strategy Blog:  Smoothspan.  It’s all about the kinds of Cloud Services that can really help small businesses get going, and it goes through a lot of the services that CNCCookbook uses.
Smoothspan chronicles what I’ve learned about starting companies and business strategy.  It’s been around a long time and has a pretty large following (not as large as CNCCookbook though!).  Lots of articles there for entrepreneurs and business owners.
For those of you interested in starting your own manufacturing businesses, or even those that already have businesses, it may be of help.… Read the rest

Start a CNC Business Around What You Love

Nov 17, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Cool  //  13 Comments
WhiteheadSkillet1

One of things I try to do on this blog is pass along some entrepreneurial insights.  CNCCookbook is the fourth company I’ve started from scratch and the 7th startup I’ve been a part of.  I love being a small business owner and I want everyone who wants to do the same to get as much help as possible.
The Internet and cheap CNC have opened up opportunities to start niche manufacturing businesses that would’ve been a lot harder 10-15 years ago.  It’s easier to market than every before, whether directly on the Internet as CNCCookbook does or using a 3rd party vehicle like Kickstarter to help get the word out.  … Read the rest

A Tale of Two Neat Little CNC Mills

Nov 16, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Products  //  3 Comments

Came across two neat little mills in the last week that I wanted to share.  It’s intriguing that they’re so similar in size.  I’ll also put my likes and dislikes down.
This Mill is Nomadic and Likes to Be Moved
Prototrak has this neat little 2nd op mill that is so easy to move it actually comes with a pallet jack to encourage dragging it around the shop:

I’m really curious what this little guy costs.
Likes:
-  Easy to move with included Pallet Jack
-  Table comes with pre-installed Jergens ball locks so you can move fixture plates on and off quickly and easily.… Read the rest

CNCCookbook Product Roadmap Through Q1 2014 + Year in Review

Nov 14, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Software  //  2 Comments
FirstHints

I like to keep customers apprised on where we’re going if for no other reason than so that they can tell me when I’ve taken a wrong turn and need to backtrack.  We’ve only got a month and a half left this year and then we’ll be on to 2014.  Seems like the year went by fast, didn’t it?
2013 has been an unbelievable year of innovation for us and we’ve accomplished a lot.  Here are some of the biggest highlights:
-  Launched G-Wizard Editor which has done extremely well.  GWE together with our free g-code tutorial has become a major go-to resource for people wishing to learn the g-code as individuals or with formal programs at schools.  … Read the rest

CNCCookbook Sale Ends Tomorrow

Nov 14, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Software  //  No Comments

Our CNCCookbook sale ends tomorrow.  Everything we sell can be had for 15% off by entering the “15OFF” coupon code when you get to the shopping cart.  In addition, we’ll be raising the price of the 1 year subscription to G-Wizard Calculator from $69 to $79 at the end of the sale.  So, with the coupon, you can buy it today or tomorrow for $58.65, but after tomorrow, it’ll be $79.  That saves you over 25%.
Some of the other great deals on offer include:
-  Lifetime GWC + GWE would be $648 priced separately.  Buy them together and use 15OFF and you get them for $373.15, a savings of $274.85.… Read the rest

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