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Browsing articles in "Blog"

2 Tools for Optimizing CNC Milling Cut Depth and Cut Width/Stepover

Nov 8, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Cool, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing, Products, Software, Techniques  //  3 Comments

The depth of cut and width of cut (also called stepover) are crucial variables when milling pockets, profiling, facing, and any other machining operation where you’ll be cutting with the flutes on the side of an endmill.  Aside from the machine’s capabilities, the material, and a description of the tool to be used, they’re the…

[Breaking News]: Onshape Raises Prices, Reduces Power of Free Version

Nov 2, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Products  //  13 Comments

Back in January, Onshape had 3.9% overall CAD market share…
Onshape, the Cloud CAD vendor founded my many of the original team behind Solidworks, announced a number of changes to their plans today.  The short summary is they’ve raised prices on the Professional version for those paying monthly, added some power there, and cut the…

Amazingly Simple Automatic Part Engraver from a Tormach 440

Nov 2, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  2 Comments
VMC Auto Part Loader

I love automation–there’s just something about watching a robot making parts you’re going to sell.  A machinist friend of mine (Hi Peter T.!) refers to his bank of older Hardinge CNC Lathes as his money printing presses.  They sit there with their bar pullers grinding out parts for him to sell all day long and…

The Ultimate Guide to Hot Rodding Tormach CNC Machines: Get Stoked

Nov 1, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  1 Comment

Tormach has built a wonderful business in the hobby and low-end CNC machine world.  Their machines are not the highest performance, but they’re bulletproof, economical, and easy to work on.  Tormach even says that while they don’t recommend it, their machines survive crashes handily, making them ideal for education, makerspaces, and beginners.  I’ve seen many…

Manual vs CNC Machining [Warning: Graphical Demonstration!]

Nov 1, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  No Comments

Manual Machining Approach

CNC Machining Approach

Both Can Achieve Good Results!…

G-Wizard Calculator v3.65 Adds Cool Goodies for GD&T and Machine Profiles

Oct 27, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, NewFeatures, Products, Software  //  No Comments

I just uploaded G-Wizard Calculator version 3.65 (click the link to download it manually).
New G-Wizard Release Basics
Before I get into what’s new in this release, I want to revisit some new release basics to try to help everyone with some common questions.
How do I get new releases?
Normally, G-Wizard will download new…

18 CNC Jewelry Gift Ideas to Delight the Non-CNCer In Your Life

Oct 25, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  5 Comments
CNC Lost Wax Casting

Look, it’s time.  Your friends all want to know what you’re going to make with that fancy CNC gear you’ve been tinkering with for months.  They’re not going to be satisfied if you simply tell them (as I often have), “I’m making more tools.”  It’s getting harder and harder to get new CNC-related purchases past…

Learn What the Parallelism Symbol Means in GD&T

Oct 24, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  No Comments
GD&T Parallelism Symbol and Callout

I just uploaded another installment to our Free GD&T Tutorial.

Parallelism callout on a drawing…
Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerances is a methodical and scientific way to specify tolerances on your drawings.  It tells in a concise symbolic way how much your parts can deviate from the geometric ideal.  If you do much CNC work, you’re…

26 Killer Ideas to [Organize] Your Workshop Now

Oct 20, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Techniques  //  6 Comments
Shelving with steps

If your shop is like mine, you’ve managed to fill it with so much stuff (your treasures) that it’s a mess. You’d like to up your organization, but this isn’t just a matter of adding a couple of shelves here and there.  You need more powerful organization ideas if there’s to be any hope.

Get Goldilocks Feeds and Speeds for Best Speed and Longest Tool Life

Oct 18, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments
Feeds Speeds Porridge

Many machinists, especially brand new and hobby machinists, probably think performance and tool life don’t go hand in hand.  You choose one or the other and let the chips fall where they may (sorry!).  But it turns out that there is actually a middle ground that’s good for both performance and tool life, and it’s…

Check Out the New Perpendicularity Chapter in our Free GD&T Course

Oct 17, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  No Comments
Axis Perpendicularity

I just uploaded the chapter covering the Perpendicularity Symbol in our Free GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing) Course.
There are two varieties of Perpendicularity.  Axis Perpendicularity (the callout is pictured above) controls whether the axis of the features stays within an ideal cylinder of a specified diameter aligned on the same axis.  Surface Perpendicularity tells…

[Bulletin] Autumn CNC Sale Ends in a Few Days!

Oct 12, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  No Comments

I hate to splash cold water on you, but our CNC Sale ends soon!
Just a few days left to save before the sale ends this Friday, October 14.  Here’s the deal:

You get 15% off on all our CNC Software.  Just visit our Products page to see what all we have to offer.  You’ll…

Review: Topre Type Heaven – The Ultimate PC Keyboard?

Oct 11, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  11 Comments

Every 2-3 years, I manage to wear out a keyboard.  With nearly 3000 articles written for CNCCookbook and countless emails responded to, I guess that goes with the territory.
Normally, I don’t think too much about what keyboard to buy, I just head over to Staples and get whatever they have.  This time I decided…

Getting the Best Performance from ER Collet Chucks

Oct 11, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  22 Comments
Tool tightening fixture

Short of much fancier and more expensive solutions, ER Collets are one of the best toolholding systems available. Consider this comparison from our Ultimate Guide to Selecting Toolholders for Milling:

ER Collet Chucks are inexpensive and can really do the job as long as we’re not talking super heavy duty or very high rpm applications.  …

Toolpath Secret Weapon: Complete Guide to Plunge Roughing / Milling

Oct 5, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software, Techniques  //  9 Comments
Plunge Roughing Milling a Pocket

Have you got a tough job ahead, either because your machine is too lightweight or because of challenging geometry on the part (deep pockets, for example)?
If so, maybe Plunge Roughing (also called Plunge Milling ) is the answer.
What is Plunge Roughing?
Let’s start by taking a look at what Plunge Roughing is.  The…


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