I just uploaded G-Wizard Calculator version 3.72 and it includes some very cool new capabilities.

Let’s start with something that every CNC’er deals with on virtually every new feature while using their CAM System:

What Feedrate Should I Use to Enter a Cut Using a Helix, Ramp, or Plunge?

Yup, CNC’ers deal with this quite a lot.  For starters, which method of entry is better?

I’ve written a whole chapter in our Free Feeds and Speeds Course on Toolpath Considerations.  That chapter deals with these kinds of considerations.  When entering from the top, typically to cut a pocket, the order of preference is Helix, Ramp, and then Plunge.

Those preferences are based on what is gentlest on Tool Life.  Where possible, you should just avoid plunge.  You can’t do it unless your endmill or indexable tool is center-cutting anyway.  Helix is the most gentle, and ramping is nearly as good.


Now, what Feeds and Speeds do I need for these various entries?

First thing is your rpms can stay the same–just vary the feedrate.  Next thing is this latest version of G-Wizard makes it super easy to figure all this out.

Prior versions used to show a “Plunge” feedrate just to the right of the recommended Feedrate:

feeds and speeds for plunging

Prior versions show Plunge feedrate…

That’s handy, and G-Wizard has the Mini-Calcs for figuring Interpolate and Ramp style entries, but I wanted to offer something simpler and more obvious.

Check out the new slickness:

Plunge Helix Ramp Feeds Speeds

New dropdown lets you choose your cut entry style and see the feedrate…

There’s a new drop down that lets you choose whether you want to Plunge, Helix, or Ramp into the cut, and it gives feeds and speeds for the entry based on your choice.

Some things to note:

  • The Helix mode assumes you’ll get to full depth in 1 turn of the helix in a diameter of 1.5x tool diameter.  This is an aggressive helix which means the feedrate is pretty conservative.  If you want faster, use the Helix mini-calculator (renamed from “Interpolate” to match this dropdown choice).
  • The Ramp mode assumes you’ll get to full depth in the same distance as the Helix mode, so it figures the ramp length as the same length as one Helix circle.  Just as for the Helix, this is an aggressive ramp and it means you could probably go a bit faster.  Use the “Ramp” mini-calc to see how much if you’re in a hurry.

For the most part, it’s good for tool life to be conservative on entry, especially with tough materials like stainless steel.  I recommend you just use these feedrates regardless.

When Helixing and Ramping, something G-Wizard doesn’t consider that you should is the maximum angle your tooling can handle.  For center-cutting endmills, this isn’t an issue.  But, for most indexable tooling there will be a maximum angle quoted and you should make sure you stay within those limits when you tell your CAM software what angle to use.

Tool Crib Enhancements

There’s a lot going on beneath the covers in the Tool Crib as I get set up for some future functionality.  This release has a fair amount of that, most of which is invisible.  What you will see is G-Wizard now saves the Tool’s Coating and Material (HSS, Carbide, etc.) to the toolcrib.csv file.  I also went through and fixed all the currently outstanding bug reports on the Tool Crib–there were probably 5 or 6 things, mostly involving odd cases.

There will be ongoing Tool Crib work moving forward, as I am getting set up for some major new functionality in this area.  If you have some ideas about changes or improvements you’d like to see, by all means send me an email (bob@cnccookbook.com) and let me know about it.

Given all that work, I am not making this an automated upgrade, nor am I going to build the Mac version.  This will be PC-only until the next release and requires you to manually download.  Once it’s been out for a week or two, I’ll know if there are any problems being reported and I’ll make the next release an auto-upgrade.

I hope you like the new features, I plan to keep them coming.

If you’ve never tried G-Wizard Calculator, you need to check out our Free 30-day Trial.

You won’t be sorry, and whether or not you wind up buying, most of the features other than Feeds and Speeds will continue to function even after the trial runs out.



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Feedrates for Entering Cuts and Other New G-Wizard Features
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