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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…
If you’ve never seen it done before, it probably doesn’t occur to try machining wood in a VMC. After all–they’re really designed for metal and plastics, right? Well, they’re most commonly used in those applications, but they can be very successfully used to machine wood as well. If your business involves wood, you just might…
I love learning about the Best Practices of most any industry because I want to know what put the Top Dogs at the Top?
There’s an audience that wants to believe they just got lucky and that they’re no better than anyone else, and there are elements of truth to that–to be really successful does…
The secret sauce for a lot of very clever machine work is in the fixturing and workholding, so I always pay attention when people are posting pictures of their fixtures (he’s a poet and just don’t know it, yeah right!). Here is a nice simple little fixture from Travis on CNCZone:
It’s kind of like…
Here’s a cool idea. Suppose you had to make one of these:
Lots of little cooling holes in the electrical chassis panel…
Sticking in the CNC mill and doing lots of drilling and milling is the first thought that comes to most of our minds. And that’s not a bad idea at all. But a …
A combination or multi-function tool is just what it sounds like–a single tool that can perform the functions of more than one tool. They can save you time and money by eliminating the need for a tool change or saving you a position in your tool carousel or lathe turret. They can take a little…
It’s been said more than once that great fixtures are the secret to profitability for machine shops. But that’s not always true. There’s the shops that leave a couple of vises permanently mounted to the table, set their work offsets to the corner of a fixed jaw, and swear by that. Not much of a…
G-Wizard Estimator v0.1 has been released into the wild!
We’ve finally done what we’ve talked about for a long time–we have taken the cost estimation functionality that had been in our G-Wizard Calculator and created a stand alone product we call G-Wizard Estimator. GW Estimator will be focused entirely on Cost Estimation and Quoting for…
Thank you to all who participated in our Shop Productivity Survey!
Now it’s time to share the results. We surveyed CNCCookbook readers on what they felt were the most important areas to improve in their Shop’s operations. Here are the results:
It was a wide-ranging survey that touched on a number of topics. Predictably, the…
What are the right areas for improvement in your Shop?
Basic Blocking and Tackling–it’s the stuff we do every day, day in and day out, to get the job done. It’s not as sexy as the silver bullet instant fixes, but it pays the bills. There are a bunch of basics every Shop has to…
ProtoLabs bills itself as the “Fastest Provider of CNC Machined and Injection Molded Parts.” They were founded in 1999 by Larry Lukis, a successful computer entrepreneur who was dissatisfied with how hard it was to get injection molded parts made quickly for his computer company. Lukis decided there had to be a better way and…
When we recently did our What’s Hard About Learning CNC survey, the area that came out ahead of all the others was Feeds and Speeds:
What’s Hard About Learning CNC?
It was rated the hardest category by beginners, intermediate, and advanced CNC’ers–everyone has trouble with Feeds and Speeds, at least some of the time. In…
Industrial CNC Machines are complex beasts. Part of that complexity is inherent, and part of it comes from the myriad of features available for the machine. This article is all about a dollars and cents approach to figuring out what those extra options are worth to you. The idea is to come up with a…