Start with Autodesk’s 123D Catch software that converts photos to 3D models. Add a CNC Router with high speed spindle that’s in a chamber chilled to -7 degrees C. Take a block of ice made from the finest pure spring water and slice a smaller blank from it. Place the ice onto the the CNC Router, cue the jazz music and make your ice cube:
When the cube is ready, put it in your finest crystal tumbler and add a splash of Suntory whiskey. Relax in your favorite chair and enjoy. They may not make the whiskey taste better, but they sure do look cool.… Read the rest
Every now and then I make a major change to one of our core products. That necessitates some Beta testing rather than just dumping all that new stuff into the production code line. When that happens I need your help to give the new goodness a good wringing out. In this case, I have a new Beta version of G-Wizard Editor available. What’s been done to it is to replace the 3D graphics library with a much newer one. Switching to the new 3D graphics library (my equivalent of OpenGL) accomplishes several things:
1. It fixes bugs in the older library. … Read the rest
I’m announcing our April 2014 CNCCookbook Sale because, um, because…
Well, the truth is, I tried to find a nearby holiday or special occasion to hang this sale on, but the pickings are a bit slim in April. Every other month has plenty to go on. There is a National Jelly Bean day in April, but that didn’t seem important enough to associate with a sale. It is National Welding Month, and that’s very much related to manufacturing, so we will definitely tip our hats to any welders. It’s also International Guitar Month, and I happen to know a surprising number of people involved with using CNC machinery to make guitars, so there’s another hat tip to those Luthier fellows out there. … Read the rest
This is the sixth installment of our Ultimate Benchtop CNC Mini Mill series. The series is dedicated to helping DIY CNC’ers work through the design considerations and tradeoffs for their CNC Mill projects. Here are the installments so far:
Part 1: Donor Mill
Part 2: CNC Mechanicals (Ballscrews and Such)
Part 3: Close Loop vs Open Loops (Servos vs Steppers)
Part 4: Motion Performance
Part 5: Acceleration and Cutting Forces
In this installment, we’ll wrap up the process for selecting your axis drive motors, leadscrews, and timing belt drives.
Time to wrap up the last 3 articles on factors that influence motor selection. … Read the rest
Last week we did a survey on how everyone is doing their Tool Data Management. Lots of response to the survey, so it’s time to summarize the results. The idea here was to understand specifically how people deal with tool length (and to a lesser extent tool width) data as well as syncing up data from their CAM program to their Machine Controllers and Shop Floor.
Why is Tool Data Important?
Tool Data is important because it is a problem everyone must solve. We start from CAM, which has to know what tool is to be used for each operation. The g-code generated when the CAM posts has to know which “T#” to put into the g-code program for each tool. … Read the rest
I’m pleased to announce that FASTech, one of the Top 10 Mastercam dealers, is now offering G-Wizard Calculator to customers to help them with their Feeds and Speeds. These folks are a wonderful resource to the Mastercam community and are responsible for the eMastercam online community for Mastercam users. Their territory is Ohio and Eastern Kentucky. Check them out if you’re in that area, and even if you’re not check out the various resources they offer and especially eMastercam. There’s a ton of expertise and good information available from that online board.… Read the rest
Long time CNCCookbook readers will have come across my project-in-planning Astronomical Clock. It’s one of those projects I promise myself I will be devoted to when my life is a little less busy (does that time ever come?). Meanwhile, with a new 3D Printer on its way to CNCCookbook (just got the tracking notice yesterday, very excited!), I started wondering about making a clock with the 3D Printer. Who knows, maybe this would be a good way to prototype some of the gear trains for my Astro Clock? This also goes under the category of wanting to do something with CNC that my (nearly all) non-CNC friends would find interesting. … Read the rest
I’ve uploaded a couple of minor feature releases of GW Calculator lately and wanted to bring you up to speed on what new goodies are there. First thing is the latest release is GWC version 2.38 and it is available for download by clicking this link.
Now let’s go over what all is there:
New Grooving/Parting CADCAM Wizard
There’s a new CADCAM Wizard aimed at Grooving and Parting operations for lathes. Here’s what it looks like:
Like all our CADCAM Wizards, the Grooving/Parting Wizard is designed to get you a complete plan of action for machining the feature with as little effort as possible. … Read the rest
Time for another survey. I’ve had folks asking various questions for some time about how others are collecting, managing, and using Tool Table Data. You know, like how long is that tool and how do I get that length into my tool table?
This survey is designed to collect all that information so we can see how the rest of the world does it. Please give us your 2 cents and then you’ll be able to view the results:
Take the CNCCookbook Tool Data Survey
Thanks in advance, I’ll report back on the overall results soon!… Read the rest
We’ll have a new 3D Printer project underway here at CNCCookbook soon. I just ordered the SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v2 3D Printer Kit. The Rostock is a “Delta” style printer, which has always intrigued me. The kit purports to include everything you need except for a few tools and supposedly can be assembled in about 20 hours time. The finished machine is quite good looking:
Rostock MAX V2 3D Printer…
The specs are impressive:
Over 1300 cubic inches of build volume (11″ Diameter by over 14 1/2″ height)
• US Made – high quality, laser cut, injection molded, and CNC machined parts.… Read the rest
I got a note from a customer who wanted to understand better why GW Calculator works the way it does with Cut Depth on Ballnosed endmills. Specifically, he had a cut where he wanted to enter the full diameter of the tool, but he was being limited to effective diameter, which was smaller. When depth of cut is less than the radius of a ballnose, a little thought and perhaps a visual shows that the full diameter is not engaged, but just the diameter out near the end of the ball. Yet, he had a situation where the ball was down in a slot, and this is what was worrying. … Read the rest
3D printing is great stuff, but the reaction of many is that it is either a toy or at best only suited to prototype work. Most 3D printing processes are too slow and too inaccurate to be used for full-scale manufacturing. Until now.
I recently found out about an entirely new 3D Printing process invented by a Silicon Valley company called Atomic CNC. Atomic are being very secretive about what they’re doing until they have all their patent ducks in a row, but I was able to get a preview of the technology and a few details. Essentially, they have created a process that can 3D Print almost anything atom by atom (that pretty much guarantees any level of accuracy you might want) and at extremely high speeds. … Read the rest
Are you ready for this?
Foodini has launched a Kickstarter program to sell their 3D Printer for Food. The machine hails from Barcelona, Spain from a company called Natural Machines. The earliest “investors” on Kickstarter will be able to get a Foodini 3D Food Printer for $999. The Foodini retail price will be $1300.
The machine works by extruding food stuffs that are inserted in “food capsules” which are then placed in the machine. Here is a shot of the machine and an extruder capsule:
The Foodini 3D Food Printer: Very sleek design for your high tech kitchen…
Here’s the extruder capsule that it uses. … Read the rest
Many, if not most job shops experience the “feast or famine” nature of the business. They’ll be so busy for some weeks they can barely stand it. Then suddenly they’ll be idle for a few weeks and wondering how to pay the staff. It’s tough to run a business like that, and to a certain extent, it is the nature of the beast. But there are some things that can be done, and this article presents some strategies to help deal with a Feast or Famine Job Shop.
1. Use the Down Time for Training and Maintenance
Just because the shop isn’t crushed under the workload of a bunch of urgent jobs is no reason not to keep busy. … Read the rest
I have just uploaded G-Wizard Calculator v2.36 to the install page. It adds two more CADCAM Wizards for lathes: ID Turning (boring) and Facing. CADCAM Wizards have three advantages over just using the basic Feeds and Speeds applet in GW Calculator:
1. They’re faster and simpler. You have to tell the CADCAM Wizards a lot less information to get back an answer. The information they use and provide is much closer to what your CAM software needs than just raw rpm and feedrate.
2. They more optimal. CADCAM Wizards uses some of the most sophisticated algorithms in the business together with the G-Wizard Feeds and Speeds engine to calculate a bunch of scenarios and pick the one best suited to your application. … Read the rest