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Happy Holidays

Dec 24, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  1 Comment

Happy Holidays from your friends at CNCCookbook.  2013 has been a wonderful year for us and we thank you all for that.  2014 promises to be even more exciting with many new products and features on the way.  
We wish you and yours a Joyful Holiday Season and a New Year filled with Happiness and Peace.
See you next year!… Read the rest

Latest Neat 3D Printing Products

Dec 22, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  2 Comments

We’ve only got one weekly CNCCookbook Blog email newsletter left for 2013, and I’ve decided two things about it.  First, it’ll be short–people are busy with their holidays.  And second, it’ll be about fun cool stuff, again, because people are busy with their holidays.
This installment is a compendium of cool 3D printing products that I’ve come across.  I did a comprehensive sweep of my information sources, and while I can’t claim to have found everything, I’ve found a bunch of very cool 3D printing products I wanted to pass along.
The Solidator is a novel DLP-based high resolution 3D printer that’s being launched as a Kickstarter project.  … Read the rest

Announcing Our Biggest Sale of the Year!

Dec 17, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  6 Comments

2013 is almost done, so we wanted to hold one last sale for the year, and it’s a doozy.  We’re offering our biggest savings of the year: take 20% off featured products using the “20OFF” coupon code in the shopping cart.
- Featuring all our top products.
- Sale runs through end of 2013.
- To see the discount, click the Buy Now button, go to the shopping cart, and enter your 20OFF coupon code.
Here are some of the deals we’re offering:
-  G-Wizard Calculator 3 Year Subscription:  Regularly $129, on sale for $103.20.  Plus, if you have at least 3 years of subscription history, we’ll upgrade you to lifetime with purchase of 3 years.… Read the rest

Using G-Wizard Editor’s New Soft Limit Alarms to Help Spot Crashes Before They Happen

Dec 16, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, GCode, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Nobody likes it when their CNC machine crashes, and there’s no way to absolutely 100% guarantee that you will never have a crash.  Crashes are hard on tooling, parts being machined, fixtures (seen a vise that’s been milled on top recently?) and machines.  They can really get in the way of your productivity.  Most of all, they’re hard on machinists.  Nobody really wants to crash a machine, although we deal with it when it happens.  And just because you can’t prevent them with 100% certainty, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring every tool at your disposal into play to help prevent crashes.… Read the rest

Mail Bag Monday: Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming

Dec 9, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  1 Comment

We get a lot of correspondence here at CNCCookbook.  I try to respond to all of it, and I usually succeed, but not always.  If I miss one of yours, or seem slow, feel free to ping me with another email.
Most of the mail is questions about our products, how to use them, whether they have certain features, are they suitable for certain circumstances, and so on.  Some is feedback about the products.  The latter doesn’t get a lot of attention, mostly because it doesn’t need a response other than, “Thank You!”  I really appreciate receiving feedback of all kinds, but the folks who take time out of their busy schedule just to tell me how much they like the software have no idea what a shot in the arm that can be for us here at CNCCookbook.  … Read the rest

Game of Drones: A CNC Project Waiting to Happen

Dec 9, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments

Hobby drones have come a long ways.  The ubiquitious quad copters are available in all price ranges and it’s becoming almost routine to see video shot from them.  What’s not so routine are combat drones.  We do see robot wars of various kinds, but these are aerial robots, and they’re not autonomous.  Rather, they have human pilots.  Now there’s a video show that’s all about them called Game of Drones.  Check out a couple of their cool videos:

A tiny rocket launching combat drone…

Paintball shooting drone…
These crazy things look dangerous as heck, but I can’t help but think there’s a CNC Project waiting to happen here for someone.… Read the rest

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

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

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

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

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

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




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