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New Machine Day: Tormach CNC Lathe

Sep 15, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Products  //  13 Comments

It’s new machine day here at CNCCookbook, and that’s always fun for any shop.  We’ve just gotten our pre-release version of the upcoming Tormach CNC Lathe uncrated.  Here’s a few pix:

This right here is BOB’s lathe!

Hang on, this is not how I remember it from Wisconsin.  Oops, it’s backwards–turn it around…

That’s how I remember it!   That fella helping me out is John Bower, the owner of Santa Cruz Electronics, our Northern California Tormach Dealer…

My lathe has a roomie.  This is Santa Cruz Electronics Tormach 1100 demo unit.  … Read the rest

G-Wizard Calculator v1.97: In-App Registration and Longer Internet Disconnects

Sep 10, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  No Comments

I just added G-Wizard Calculator version 1.96 which is a minor release adding a few things:
-  Increased Internet disconnect time from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.  Raised G-Wizard Editor’s allowance to this a few days ago too.
- Added In-App Registration so you don’t have to go to the web page to register, you can just directly download.  If you’re reading this and have never tried GW Calculator, check it out.  Click the link above to go to the download page.  Download the EXE (or DMG for Mac users), run it to install.  … Read the rest

Added a Few More Days to the Labor Day Sale Still Time For Savings

Sep 9, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  No Comments

I’ve added a few more days to our Labor Day sale after receiving a number of requests from customers who hadn’t had a chance to place their orders.  Sale prices will hold until this Friday.
Thank you for all the tremendous support you’ve given us on this sale.  As you may know, we rely extensively on the Buddy System with our customers being our best buddies.… Read the rest

GW G-Code Editor Version 1.261 Uploaded

Sep 9, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, GCode, Software  //  No Comments

I just uploaded GWE release 1.26, which is a minor release that adds:
- Increased the time limit to be disconnected from the Internet to 28 days.
- Broke out the IJK words under I in the Post Numbers setup so they can be set independently of XYZ.  I had a customer that wanted to do this so he could catch post problems associated with arcs that had large radii that were alarming out on his machine.
- Redid the Machine Profile so it uses screen real estate more efficiently. This should reduce the likelihood you get scroll bars when on that page.… Read the rest

Elon Musk Demonstrates Tony Stark “Ironman” Style CAD UI

Sep 6, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Software  //  2 Comments

I saw this extremely cool video on Mashable and was quite taken with it.  Manipulating objects in 3D in your CAD program definitely takes a little getting used to.  I would love to try this and see whether it just feels a lot more intuitive.  In this video SpaceX and Tesla Founder Elon Musk is using a Leap Motion controller to manipulate the CAD image.
The Leap Motion Controller is not very expensive at $79. I’m half tempted to try one with the CAD programs I use, Rhino3D and SolidWorks, not to mention using it to manipulate our G-Wizard Editor’s g-code backplots.… Read the rest

CNC Lathe Owner or Operator?

Sep 6, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Are you a CNC Lathe Owner or Operator?
If so, please help us out by filling out our CNC Lathe Survey:
CNC Lathe Survey
There’s just a few questions about tooling and workholding and you’ll get to see how everyone voted when you’re done.
Thanks!… Read the rest

Parabolic vs Standard Flute Twist Drills

Sep 6, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Techniques  //  1 Comment

If you’ve ever used G-Wizard Calculator to try to figure feeds and speeds for deeper holes, you may have noticed it recommending something called a “Parabolic Flute Drill”:

G-Wizard thinks you’ll have problems with this hole if you don’t use a Parabolic Flute drill…
As a matter of fact, GW Calculator will tell you quite a few interesting things to improve your twist drilling including when you need to use a Peck cycle (where the twist drill is retracted periodically as it moves down the hole to break chips) and what point angle will work best with your chosen material.… Read the rest

Turret or Gang Tooling on a CNC Lathe?

Sep 5, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Products, Techniques  //  9 Comments

This is one of the many topics that seems to engender religious fervor from one side versus the other.  I personally went through several hundred online articles and correspondences I’ve had with our G-Wizard customers about this choice.  For my upcoming Tormach CNC Lathe, I initially had ordered it set up for gang tooling based on my needs, but then hastily added a turret after several conversations with the turret afficionados just so I could write about and compare the two more fully, and I’m glad I did.
Let’s start with some definitions and the basic conclusion I reached after all these conversations and research, and then dive into the myriad details.… Read the rest

A Machinist’s Hammer: Part 1 – Sketch

Sep 4, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, Techniques  //  4 Comments
ultimate machinist hammer

A common project for new machinists learning to use a lathe is to make a machinist’s hammer.  The results are often quite beautiful and the hammer becomes a favorite tool for life.  There are even folks who sell machinist’s hammers for those who can’t make their own:

The Paulding Hammer…
I thought a similar hammer would be a fitting project to start my experience with the Tormach CNC Lathe, so I thought I would get started doing a little design work while I wait for the lathe to arrive.  I think that the Conversational Wizards Tormach provides with the LinuxCNC control for the lathe should make a hammer like this very easy to do.  … Read the rest

Last Few Days Left For Our 2013 Labor Day Sale

Sep 4, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Software  //  No Comments
Mad scientist at work...

Labor Day has passed and there’s only a few days left for our 2013 Labor Day Sale–it ends Sunday, September 8.  Just 2 business days after today plus the weekend.
There are lots of great deals available as most products are at least 15% off.  Here are some of our most popular deals:
-  Lifetime subscription to both G-Wizard Editor and G-Wizard Calculator for $439–Save $110
-  Lifetime subscription to G-Wizard Editor for $299–Save $100
-  Lifetime subscription to G-Wizard Calculator for $199–Save $50
There are deals on almost everything, check the Deals and Steals page for more details.  … Read the rest

CADCAM Wizard Update Adds Features + Broader Access for Trial and GW Lite Users

Sep 2, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  No Comments

I just uploaded G-Wizard Calculator version 1.961, which is largely an update to CADCAM Wizard.  You can download it from the G-Wizard Calculator Install Page.  All reported problems from the Alpha Test were fixed and I have added several new features.  In addition, the Alpha version only allowed current paying customers to access it whereas this latest upload allows trials and G-Wizard Lite users to access it as well.  The feedback overall was quite good and few problems were reported.
Let’s run through the new features.
2D Profile Wizard
The first release had only the Pocket Wizard, but this release adds a 2D Profile Wizard:

The 2D Profiling Wizard…
This wizard is designed for 2D profiling, where the tool is going to clear stock from an outside perimeter.  … Read the rest

New 3D Printer Test Kit: Find Your 3D Printer’s Limits

Sep 2, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, DIY CNC  //  No Comments

Objective performance evaluations: they’re hard to come by.  Back in the day, marketers encouraged us to buy Stereo Hi Fi gear based on measured quantities like “Total Harmonic Distortion.”  The car crowd was supposed to look at 0 to 60 times or “lateral skidpad acceleration.”  The thing is, you’d go listen to stereos based on those numbers and pretty quickly discover the numbers weren’t telling the whole story.  Nevertheless, it is useful to have some kind of framework for evaluating which products do a better job.  The secret is to measure what the product delivers, not with abstract statistics, but as people will perceive the product.  … Read the rest

Will the Jobs Ever Come Back?

Sep 2, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

It’s Labor Day, and I find myself reading various blog posts on jobs and musing about the future of jobs in America.  Many of the articles I read are quite grim.  This is the day we’re supposed to celebrate labor and their accomplishments, but so many are out of work I think it’s important to consider their plight.  We’re still a long way from recovering from this Great Recession we’re in.  I know a lot of folks who’ve been out of work for a long time, and despite interviewing as frequently as they can, don’t seem to be able to land a job.  … Read the rest

The Art and Craftsmanship of Zeamon

Sep 1, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  9 Comments

People ask me all the time what I do for a living.  My stock answer is that I build software for the Manufacturing sector.  Boring.  What I should do is tell them I make software to help people create things like the fantastic Orrery below.  Isn’t it amazing?  That description would touch a lot more people, I suspect.
Recently, I got a nice note from Ken Condal with a link to his site, “The Art and Craftsmanship of Zeamon.”  Ken uses our G-Wizard Calculator to set feeds and speeds for projects he builds with his Sherline CNC Mill.  … Read the rest

CADCAM Wizard Uploaded for Alpha Test

Aug 29, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  No Comments

As promised, the new CADCAM Wizard is now uploaded in version 1.95 of G-Wizard Calculator and is available for Early Test.  Click the link for the article that introduces the feature for more information on what it is and how to use it.  I will be publishing a tutorial video and documentation page before too long, but I intentionally want people to try to figure it out with a minimum of guidance initially so I can see where you’re getting stuck and proactively address those areas.
What should you expect from an Early Test?  … Read the rest




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