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Can 3D Printed Ice Cubes Make Your Whiskey Taste Better?

Apr 21, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  4 Comments

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.
These ice cubes were made in many inspiring shapes.  Here are just a few:

Maybe this is how the very wealthy enjoy their whiskey.  It makes me think I’m going to need to add a special “Ice Cube Art” module to the Barbot when I finally get around to building it.…

New Beta Version of GW Editor With Improved Performance Available to Test

Apr 16, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, GCode, Software  //  No Comments

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.  It is simply a later version of that library and not an entirely new piece of code.
2.  It is faster and uses less memory.  In the case of running in simulator mode, it uses a lot less memory.  If you’re using GW Editor with larger g-code programs and especially if you spend a lot of time running the simulator rather than just quickly backplotting, you will appreciate this.
3.  It paves the way for more new stuff.
The latter is probably the biggest deal.  I want to get onto this new library to facilitate further improvements in the…

Announcing Our April CNCCookbook Sale Because of Welding, Jelly Beans, Guitars and More

Apr 16, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  3 Comments

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.  Most of all, I just want to tip my hat to all our loyal readers here at CNCCookbook by offering you some great deals on our software.
15% Off Coupons:  “GUITAR WELDING”
Yeah, okay, it’s not really creative, just a little weird, but at least it is easy for anyone to do.  If you place your order and enter the coupon code “GUITAR WELDING” in the shopping cart, and your order is over $100, you will receive an…

Ultimate Benchtop CNC Mini Mill Part 6: Motor Selection Wrap-Up

Apr 16, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, DIY CNC  //  No Comments

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.  Let’s start with a flow chart of the motor selection process and go through it, step-by-step:

Step-by-step CNC Motor Selection based on our Ultimate Mini Mill Series…
Step 1: Determine Design Goals
Before we can get very far choosing motors, we need to pick some design goals for our project:
–  How fast do the axes have to move?
–  How accurately must we position the axes?
We could probably also select an acceleration, but let’s save that for a later step.  These design goals should reflect Real World considerations and not just be pulled out of…

Results of the CNCCookbook Tool Data Management Survey

Apr 14, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Products, Software, Techniques  //  1 Comment

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.  Then we take that g-code over to the CNC Machine where two things have to happen.   First, we need to make sure the right tool is in the machine’s tool changer (if it has one) and will be selected when that tool is needed by the g-code program.  Even when toolchanges are manual and there is no tool changer, the operator will still have to make sure the right tool gets put into the spindle.  The second thing is…

Announcing Our New Partner: FASTech

Apr 12, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing  //  No Comments

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.…

5 3D Printing Clock Projects

Apr 10, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  1 Comment

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.  I make a lot of tooling and parts for other projects (spares for some of my cars, for example), but it isn’t very often that I get to make something they really think is cool.  The biggest hit to date had been a Turner’s Cube, but I digress.
This post is a survey of some 3D Printed Clockwork projects I found interesting.
Plotclock:  An Open Source 3D Printed Clock that Writes the Time
This first one has little to do with clockwork and everything to do with clocks and just…

Another GWC Release In the Can: Grooving/Parting, Peck Depth and MillTurn

Apr 7, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  No Comments

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.  Tell it the part OD, the ID where the Groove or Parting should stop, and optionally the width of your tool and whether it is carbide, and it’ll give you back a Feeds and Speeds formula that covers the RPM, Surface Speed, Feedrate, IPR, material removal rates, and estimated time for the operation.  Nice N’ Easy.
Drilling Peck Depths in Tips and Enhanced
We first brought Peck Depths to the CADCAM Hole Wizard.  Now you’ll get Peck Depths in the Tips on Feeds/Speeds as well:

In addition, the Peck Depth calculations have been enhanced to include…

Survey Time: How Do You Collect, Manage, and Use Tool Table Data?

Apr 7, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  2 Comments

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!…

New 3D Printer Kit Coming to CNCCookbook Soon

Apr 2, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, DIY CNC  //  4 Comments

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. All done by us, in house!
• Our EZStruder and Hot-End set up for 1.75mm filament
• High torque NEMA 17 stepper motors
• Stock .5mm nozzle for easy printing. Easy to change to other available sizes
• 450w ATX style power supply for safety and easy upgrades/replacements
• RAMBo by UltiMachine electronics, the best available 3D printer controller
• Positioning accuracy of .05mm
• Speed up to 300mm/s in all motion, not just X/Y moves
• Tinker-friendly electronics and hardware.  Many extra places to add your own mods to both
• Filament spool holder incorporated into the…

Ballnose Cut Depth Musings for Feeds and Speeds in G-Wizard Calculator

Apr 1, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  No Comments

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.  He sent this diagram to illustrate:

Is Cut Depth always the depth of the successive path is increased?
He wanted to enter “1.0” as the Cut Depth and still be able to get the full diameter as the Cut Width.  Instead, G-Wizard treats this as though the top of the material was the top dimension line for the “1.0” dimension–less than full width.
Why is that?
The way to approach the geometry problem posed is to understand that Cut Depth is defined as the total depth of the tool that…

AtomicCNC: Revolutionary New 3D Printing Process

Apr 1, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  10 Comments

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.  If their claims are true, and they seem almost too good to be true, their new process will revolutionize manufacturing.  The founder, Gilbert Hughes, is a young Stanford physics student who dropped out to build his dream machine, the Atomic CNC 3D Printer.  The company has a great deal of funding from some of Sand Hill Road’s (that’s where the VC’s hang out in Silicon Valley) most prestigious firms.
I met Gilbert…

Foodini: 3D Printing Food in Your Kitchen for $1000

Mar 26, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  No Comments

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.  Kind of like a really big syringe…
Why would you want extruded food?  Well first of all, it’s just the coolest thing to show friends that you have a 3D Food Printer, but when that wears off you’ll still have the advantage of being able to make intricately designed food that would be too difficult or time consuming to do by hand.  For example, these Christmas themed chocolate confections:

Foodini uses the example of handmade ravioli:
Take an example of ravioli. How often have you made homemade ravioli? Rolling out the dough to a thin…

10 Strategies for Managing the Feast or Famine Job Shop

Mar 24, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, CNC Projects, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  3 Comments

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.  Now is the time for training and maintenance which are sorely neglected during the busy times.  Put together some checklists on the maintenance and get them done.  Lube, adjust, and test the machinery.  Improve the organization of the shop.  Get it to be squeaky clean and ready for the next rush job.  And get some training going.  You can come up with something to train for an hour of every day and if it is slack time, you weren’t going to…

More CADCAM Wizards for GW Calculator: ID Turn and Facing

Mar 21, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  No Comments

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.  It would take you almost forever to try as many different combinations of variables in as clever a way as the CADCAM Wizards do.
3.  CADCAM Wizards can be easily converted into an estimate for quotation via CADCAM Estimator.
Let’s go through these new turning wizards and see how they work.
ID Turning Wizard
How do I figure out the depth of cut for a boring operation?  What should the feeds and speeds be for my boring bar?  …




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