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Lights Out Machining: Huge Advantages But Hard to Achieve…
What is Lights Out Machining and Why Care?
Lights Out Machining: Holy Grail of productivity for some, scary unexplored territory for others. Lights Out means manufacturing processes that are fully automated and require no human presence. That’s the 100,000 foot view, but of course every process…
I read with interest Willy Shih’s (Professor of Management Practice at Harvard) and Helmuth Ludwig’s (EVP at Siemens PLM Software) article in the Harvard Business Review on the Biggest Challenges of Data-Driven Manufacturing. In it, they discuss the idea that Data-Driven Manufacturing and the widespread deployment of low-cost sensors connected to the Internet (the so-called…
What is a Post Processor?
Post Processors are an essential part of any CAM Software, but they’re one of those things most CNC’ers know just a little about but not a lot. I’ve just added a new chapter to our Free G-Code Tutorial Course that’s totally focused on Post Processors.
It covers the following:
G-Wizard Estimator is CNCCookbook’s estimating software for machine shops. At the moment, it’s in Beta Test, so it’s free for anyone who can use G-Wizard Calculator.
I recently got a call from a customer who wanted to see a demo of how to estimate lathe parts. I suggested he send me a print for one…
PCD Tooling such as these Guhdo endmills can really increase tool life when machining composites.
In part 2 of our series on machining composites we saw that composites can be incredibly abrasive and therefore quite tough on tool life. The most common way to get better tool life is to switch to PCD (poly-crystalline diamond)…
Sometimes we just need the job to go faster. When that’s the case, look into increasing your Material Removal Rates–MRR is your primary metric for reducing cycle time. I get calls all the time from shops that want me to help them reduce their cycle times, and these are the most useful features in G-Wizard…
I am a total Metrology and Measurement Freak. I’m from the school the says, “If you can measure it, you can make it to that tolerance.” I want to know what’s going on in hard numbers. Consequently, I have collected a fair number of Measuring Tools over the years–probably more than I really need given…
Our latest Customer Spotlight story is about War Machine LLC. I am excited to be talking to James Dressman about War Machine and their very special product. War Machine has created the ultimate Gas Block for AR-15’s. If you’ve ever dreamed of manufacturing firearm parts, War Machine LLC is proof that it can be done…
This is Part 2 of our Composite Milling series. In Part 1, we talked about some of the general properties of composites.
Tooling for Composite Machining
PCD tooling is preferred over carbide to resist the abrasion of composite machining. Image courtesy of Fullerton Tool.
One of the first factors that comes up in…
Speaking of all things Tactical (Brad and I tease each other a little bit about that whole “Tactical” thing), I am so excited to be doing this story about Brad Martin and his Tactical Keychains business. It’s one of those storybook successes that so many entrepreneurs dream about. He is his own man with his…
Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a huge amount of Composite Construction to save weight…
What are Composites?
Composites, simply put, are multiple materials with different physical and chemical traits that work together to create a stronger, lighter, or sometimes more flexible product. Composite materials are combined, but never fully fused into one material; so while they…
This is Part 11 of our series on Lean Manufacturing Principles.
Poka-Yoke is a Japanese term meaning “mistake proofing.” A poka-yoke is any mechanism or technique in a lean manufacturing process that helps the operator avoid (yokeru) mistakes (poka). In so doing, poka-yoke seeks to eliminate or at least minimize defects that are due to…
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated — Mark Twain
Myth: G-Code Programming is a Thing of the Past
Reality: G-Code Programming Compliments CAM Extremely Well
Like Mark Twain sort of said, “The reports of GCode’s death are greatly exaggerated.” Even MMSOnline agrees that the idea G-Code programming by people instead of CAM software…
What kinds of New Year’s Resolutions do CNC’ers make?
Well of course anything is possible, but here are some ideas that will maximize your productivity. I always try to make resolutions that save me time so I can do more. Seems like the most valuable kind of resolution, doesn’t it?
Let’s take three big categories…
The tide is starting to turn and we’re actually beginning to see some manufacturing being “reshored”–it’s coming back from having been “offshored.” There are a number of disadvantages to offshoring that it has taken hard-won experience for many customers to realize. Shouldn’t you be aware of where the sweet spot for offshoring is and make…