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Piranha FX, too little machine for GCalc?


Yep, another newbie, about as green as they come.  I don’t have a machining or math background. I don’t even have a ton of shop experience.  But I saw some of what I could do and decided to invest the money in the Piranha FX machine since I was more interested in using it to do small piece work.

First thing I did after buying the machine was do a bunch of research on types of software I would need to be successful right out the gate.  I ran across the GWizardCalculator and decided that that sounds like a good investment.  I don’t really want to spend a ton of time figuring out that kind of stuff, I want to spend more time making, so I bought it.  But after tinkering with the product, I am wondering if maybe I bought too much software and don’t have enough machine for it.  For instance, the spindle is a Dewalt DWP611 1.25 hp with a speed range of 16,000 – 27,000rpm.  It seems there are certain applications that really need a slower speed than I am capable of.  I did see there are some posts out there that address speed deficiencies and will explore.


That being said, I am curious, is the Machine profile tab strictly used for reference information or is there data in there that is being used to help calc the feeds and speeds?  That alone will help me understand what further questions I may have.

Any and all advice is most appreciated and the more the better.

thanks for your time but above all, your patience.

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No, it’s not too little machine at all–I have tons of folks with Nomads, Shapeokos, and similar small machines.  In fact, I would venture to say that there is no other Feeds and Speeds Calculator that is set up to deal with small machines.

First, if your issue is that you’re getting feeds and speeds that fall outside what your machine is literally capable of–i.e. too high or too low spindle rpm or the same for feedrate, you’re asking G-Wizard for an impossible combination for your machine.  This article talks at length about how to work around those issues:

What Now: My CNC Won’t Go Slow Enough or Fast Enough?

G-Wizard itself will also frequently give some of that advice in the Hints area–so be sure to check there.

Second, if your issue is simply you don’t believe the recommended feeds and speeds will work, well, I have to ask–did you actually try them?  And if you did and there was a problem, did you customize a machine profile specifically for your machine?  Are you using the rigidity adjustment to your power curve that’s available for small machines?

If you haven’t set up a machine profile to match your machine, or if you need to set up the rigidity adjustment for small machines, we have a step-by-step guide for how to do that:

It’s way worth your trouble to go through it.

If you’re still having problems, consider the possibility they are not due to Feed and Speeds.  There are material specific issues–aluminum, for example, has many including the need for lubrication:

10 Tips for CNC Router Aluminum Cutting Success

Make sure you don’t have tool deflection issues–is the tool deflection number on G-Wizard red?  Did you enter the correct stickout for your tool?

On inexpensive machines, runout is often a tool killer.  We have a lot of articles about that, just search for “runout” with our search function.

Keep asking questions–we’ll get you past the startup problems and on to making parts.

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Perfect!  that one link gave me a great start.  thanks for the quick response!

  • Rylsngrd answered 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago
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