I use several CAD programs including SolidWorks and Autodesk, but Rhino3D is by far my favorite. I just got my new Rhino3D 5.0 upgrade and Flamingo 3.0 Rendering software, so I thought I’d do a little mini review. I will still do that mini review at some point, but right now I have to finish a rant, because…
The Install and Upgrade Experience is Atrocious
Let’s start with the Bad News first–the install experience is terrible. Generally, I have found the Rhino upgrade experience to be pretty painless, so I was surprised at how bad this was. What I’m used to is just responding to the prompts when I bring up the product. … Read the rest
We spend a lot of time trying to understand the folks using our software. We know we don’t always get it right and we know there is no one-size-fits-all solution to making the software easier to learn, easier to use, and more powerful. So we rely on you to keep us in the loop in a whole variety of different ways. I call this “Gaining the Wisdom of Our Crowd”, and I believe the ability to listen to one of the largest online audiences of machinists in the world (CNCCookbook now has nearly 17,000 folks who have our software and nearly 1.5 million visits a year to the site) gives us a real edge because we learn things from our crowd that are hard to find out anywhere else.… Read the rest
G-Wizard Editor, Version 1.0. Available for Sale Friday, February 1
I’m extremely excited to announce that we’ll be launching our G-Wizard Editor this Friday, February 1.
Since starting to build our first product, G-Wizard Calculator, I’ve had Big Plans for CNCCookbook’s software line. I’m trying to do something fundamentally different than anything that’s ever been done with CNC Software before. It’ll be quite a while before the whole Vision is in place and obvious, but GW Editor represents the next Big Step. As of Friday, we’ll have two great products from CNCCookbook, alongside Art Fenerty’s Gearotic Gear Design software that we also offer. … Read the rest
It seems like it has been a while since I’ve added a new chapter to our G-Code Tutorial so I decided to get busy and write one. In addition to updating the chapter on Canned Drilling Cycles a bit, I have added a chapter on Custom Deep Hole Drilling Cycles.
Custom Deep Hole Cycles are a common thing to hand code. It turns out there are a lot of techniques (described in the chapter!) that are not part of the canned drilling cycles of most controls. Things like exactly how the pecking strategy changes with hole depth or whether to vary feeds and speeds with depth. … Read the rest
I just uploaded a new video showing how to get the best CNC Feeds and Speeds with 4 easy steps using our G-Wizard Calculator:
It also goes through the reasons why a calculator can give better feeds and speeds than your tooling manufacturer’s feeds and speeds charts.… Read the rest
I just uploaded G-Wizard Editor version 0.731 and it addresses the most common Beta tester feedback:
– Did a serious overhaul on Zoom Extents and it works much better now.
– Lots of people were reporting that GWE was hanging when they saved Setup. It was very slow, but it wasn’t hanging. Unfortunately, it was hiding the message that would’ve made what was happening a lot clearer. That message now shows up properly.
– Did a bunch of tuning on the simulator playback speed because it was still going way too fast at the slowest settings. It now runs pretty slowly at the lowest settings and will smoothly accelerate to the fastest settings.… Read the rest
G-Wizard Editor release 0.730 is a minor feature and usability release that can save you keystrokes or mouse clicks with its new Revision History feature. It works by listing your most recently used Revisions at the bottom of the Tools Menu:
It also remembers what settings you used the last time with each Revision and keeps them around. What this means is that your favorite options for Renumbering can be had just by picking the entry from the history list and it’ll do the same thing.
Other changes and enhancements include:
– The “Jmp” buttons now automatically switch the Simulator to Single Block mode if you use one.… Read the rest
Release 0.729 is a bug fix and usability release:
– Fixed a bug where M99 without an M98 or G65 would hang the program. Face Palm for me when I saw what caused it!
– Added rounding to a whole bunch of the Hints so they will be cleaner to read with no more than 4 decimal places.
– Added more tune up to what happens when you change the setup to try to make it more clear it hasn’t frozen.
You can download 0.729 here. If you’re not a registered Beta tester, please join us. It’s free and very easy to register.… Read the rest
Well that didn’t take long–thanks all who participated. We got to not quite 300 responses, which should be a statistically interesting number of participants. The 2010 results were drawn against about 200 responses. In just a few days we accumulated what took quite a long while back in 2010 in terms of the number of responses–apparently our audience has grown.
It’s always difficult to know how to group these packages. You can’t exactly put a higher-end package like Mastercam up against a hobby-class package and get a meaningful comparison. OTOH, I have made the mistake of suspecting someone was a professional machinist only to discover they were a hobbyist with a big budget (expensive CAM, Mori Seiki CNC Mill and Lathe) when I got to know them a bit better. … Read the rest
It seems like just yesterday that we did one of these CAM package surveys, but it has been 2 years. A lot has changed in that time, so let’s do another:
Click Here to participate in the CNCCookbook 2012 CAM Package Survey
Tell us which packages you use and see what the overall popularity of each one is. Last time we had over 300 respondents, so this is statistically significant data.
We’ll publish the results next week. Keeping them secret for now so as not to skew the responses.… Read the rest
One thing that’s very important to most CNC Software is it’s model for Tool Geometry. Without knowing what kind of tool is being used, it’s pretty hard to help improve the results.
Our G-Wizard CNC Calculator software has a richer tool model than any other Feeds and Speeds Calculator there is, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. The next step up are the tool models used by CAM and CNC Verication programs. While G-Wizard had bases pretty well covered in terms of tool types, the exact details of tool geometry are more elaborate for these more expensive programs.… Read the rest
The summary is we are very very close to releasing Version 1.0 of G-Wizard Editor!
I’ve been running the in-app Beta surveys for about 6 weeks now to gather information from all of our Beta Testers on how well the product is working. You can see the survey form on the right. Thanks to everyone that filled in a form, and especially those who have filled in several so I can document the progress the product has made during this time. If you have been ignoring them, please take the time to give your feedback or drop me an email if you want to provide a lengthier response.… Read the rest
I’ve always liked the look of Aluminum Composite Materials.
Here is a shot of Mxtras beautiful production shop from our Home Shop Hall of Fame. It isn’t really a home shop, but it was so cool I couldn’t resist. One of the neat things about the shop is his extensive use of aluminum composite materials together with welded square tubing to create really neat custom rolling work stations:
Aluminum Composite Panels: Alpolic
The fancy brushed aluminum skins are actually an aluminum composite material made by Mitsubishi and called “Alpolic”. These composite materials consist of thin sheets of aluminum bonded to a plastic core.… Read the rest
I was recently asked by a potential customer how G-Wizard Calculator could make his small CNC business more efficient. In the last few weeks, I have received correspondence from G-Wizard users that tell the story of how the product has helped them. One wrote and flatly said that G-Wizard had saved his firm nearly $25,000 by reducing the time needed to run a particular job. Another was using G-Wizard to good effect to evaluate trade offs of several different kinds of tooling. In particular, this is a manufacturer of custom indexable tooling that wanted to understand the potential value of corncob roughers on jobs that had very large amounts of chip thinning due to running small stepovers. … Read the rest
Just uploaded a new video that shows how the G-Wizard Editor Setup tool can be used to change units between Metric and Imperial, setup Machine Profiles, and configure for your CNC controller’s g-code dialect:
GWE has extensive support for different g-code dialects, and lets you create a full “Post” that defines how your controller behaves. In addition, we have a number of predefined machine profiles and posts that you can use as your starting point. The video shows how to easily take advantage of all that.… Read the rest