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Browsing articles in "Manufacturing"

Here’s a Quick Way to Figure Out Whether to Build a Fixture

Jul 17, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  5 Comments

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…

Say Hello to G-Wizard Estimator: Feature Based Cost Estimation

Jul 15, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Products, Software  //  No Comments

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…

Shop Productivity Survey Results

Jul 7, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Manufacturing, Products, Software, Techniques  //  2 Comments

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 Blocking and Tackling Improvements Should Your Shop Focus On?

Jul 1, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing  //  No Comments

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…

Rapid Prototyping With ProtoLabs

Jun 29, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Business, Manufacturing  //  5 Comments

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…

The 5 Hardest Things About CNC Feeds and Speeds

Jun 17, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  9 Comments

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…

What’s the Value of All Those Options Your Machine Dealer Wants to Sell You?

May 30, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

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…

Great Grinding Videos from Suburban Tool

May 20, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Manual, Manufacturing, Products, Techniques  //  1 Comment

Have you spent much time on a surface grinder?  Do you ever need to hold a couple of tenths or less on a part?  Would you like to make super-precision tooling?
This kind of work is a little off the beaten path for many machinists.  It’s the realm of Tool Making and Toolmakers, and it’s…

4 Premium Coolant Systems and How to Calculate Their Feeds and Speeds in G-Wizard

May 13, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing, Products, Software, Techniques  //  2 Comments

Coolant, in many ways, is the lifeblood of CNC, although paradoxically, it’s “Coolant” properties are it’s least valuable component for many of the Coolant options that are available.  This article surveys the different Coolant options, talks a bit about their pros and cons, and shows how to set them up in G-Wizard Calculator so your…

Auto Loading a Milling Vise

Apr 24, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  4 Comments

Saw this one on the latest installment of the Tormach blog.  It’s an auto-loading setup for a milling vise built by machinist Joe Gerad:

Auto-Loading a Milling Vise…
We’ve featured vise auto-loaders before, but this one is so cheap and cheerful, I just had to run it here.  There’s a pneumatic gripper mounted on the…

Do You Know All the Different Kinds of Digital Tooling?

Digital Tooling–that’s my catchphrase for CAD, CAM, CNC Control Software, Feeds and Speeds Calculators, G-Code Editor/Simulators, and all the rest of the CNC Software that’s out there.  We’ve had a page up for a long time that is intended to walk folks through all the different kinds of CNC Software so they know what’s available…

Use a Robot to Change Milling Vise Jaws? Yes, Please!

Apr 13, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Manufacturing, Products, Techniques  //  1 Comment

I’m always fascinated by the degree of automation that’s possible in CNC manufacturing.  There’s certainly no end of pallet changers and similar methods for loading workpieces, but how about a robot that swaps out your vise jaws?  Almost anything is possible if you’ve got the cash to automate.  Check out this neat video of one…

Cobalt Chrome Feeds and Speeds + Material Selection in G-Wizard

Mar 2, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

The latest version of G-Wizard Calculator, v2.75, adds Cobalt Chrome to our list of Materials.
“What is Cobalt Chrome?” you might ask.  Why it’s just what the Dr ordered, almost literally.  CoCr is the common abbreviation.  There are several alloys available such as ASTM F75 or F799.  CoCr is extremely resistant to temperature, corrosion, and…

Cellular Manufacturing: Lean Manufacturing Principles, Part 10

Feb 23, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  No Comments

This is Part 10 of our series on Lean Manufacturing Principles.
Cellular Manufacturing is a particular model for workplace design that is an important part of Lean Manufacturing.
Many times, shops are organized around particular tasks–all the milling machines are in a department or area, all the lathes are in a department or area, all…

Your Secret Productivity Booster: Conversational CNC

Feb 20, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, GCode, Manual, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  2 Comments

NYCCNC has a great video out showing off the Conversational CNC capabilities of the Tormach Lathe and it’s Path Pilot controller:

Take a few minutes and let John from NYCCNC show you how easy it is to make a part with Conversational CNC.  He’s able to go through a series of steps including Turning, Facing,…

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