CNC Machining Blog

Mike Cope

Recent Posts

Using Subprograms: a powerfully simple tool

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, May 24, 2013

I was recently asked by a reader to post an article about using subprograms. Although this is a pretty simple subject, it made me realize that not everyone is familiar with the use of subprograms and subroutines, so why not offer my input. I will also touch on the use of Hurco’s conversational NC Merge capability…which is powerfully simple and very useful!

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Tags: WinMax Conversational Programming, NC / G-Code Programming, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, CAD/CAM / Post Processor

Mill Turn Technology: understanding live-tool orientations

Posted by Mike Cope on Tue, May 21, 2013

In the last blog article we touched on the basics of mill-turning technology. Today I would like to build on that basic foundation. One area of confusion to many operators is tooling – especially the tool holder orientation descriptions (radial tools vs. axial tools). Hopefully we can clear that up a little bit for some of you who struggle with it. I would also like to discuss the use of different tooling options to conserve turret stations when running parts that have lots of features and cutting operations. Machining intricate parts without running out of tooling stations is a common struggle when creating parts on a mill-turn machine.

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Tags: WinMax Conversational Programming, NC / G-Code Programming, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Turning, Lathe Tooling

An Introduction to Mill-Turn Technology

Posted by Mike Cope on Mon, May 13, 2013

On a pretty regular basis I am asked to explain something pertaining to live tool machining on a lathe - or Mill-Turn as it is commonly referred to in the industry. Even people with a CNC turning background are sometimes a little confused and can find their understanding a bit cloudy…especially in the areas of tooling, and when the use of an additional Y-axis is necessary. In this article I will try to shine some light on the basics of live tool machining, and the application of the optional Y-axis. In a future article, I will discuss tooling, toolholders, tool orientations, and the differences between VDI and BMT turrets. 

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Tags: Manufacturing Industry Insights, Turning, Lathe Tooling

Put Your Shop on the Fast Track with UltiMotion

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, May 03, 2013

A few months ago I posted an article explaining the CNC motion control system, and how it works. In that article I tried to keep it very simple and breakdown a quite complex piece of technology into an easy to understand analogy…today I want to discuss it in a little more detail, and point out some exciting advances in motion control technology.

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Tags: WinMax Conversational Programming, NC / G-Code Programming, Milling, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, CAD/CAM / Post Processor, High Speed Machining

Hurco Machines – what’s beneath the kilt?

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Apr 26, 2013

I recently received a request from a reader to talk about what is under the sheet metal on the Hurco machines, and to discuss the components that make them so rock solid. Having been a fan of Hurco machines for quite some time now, I am happy to oblige this request.

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Tags: Manufacturing Industry Insights, High Speed Machining

Deep Holes in Half the Time: with Modulation Assisted Machining (MAM)

Posted by Mike Cope on Thu, Apr 18, 2013

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Tags: CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Turning, Lathe Tooling

5-Axis Buzz Words: learn the lingo

Posted by Mike Cope on Mon, Apr 15, 2013

Just like any other form of technology within our industry, 5-axis manufacturing has its very own vocabulary and list of technical buzz words. Although many of the features described below can be viewed as common, some are only found on the more advanced machine controls. For anyone looking into 5-axis machining, understanding these buzz words can be a huge benefit - and just might keep them from making an uneducated decision that they might live to regret later on.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, Milling, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, CAD/CAM / Post Processor

Hurco...Easy To Use in Any Language

Posted by Mike Cope on Tue, Apr 02, 2013

A common misconception about the Hurco control is that it is a conversational control. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Although Hurco invented conversational programming - and arguably has the most powerful conversationally capable platform on the market - I certainly would not refer to the WinMax control as a “conversational” one…I would, instead, call it “multi-lingual”.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, WinMax Conversational Programming, NC / G-Code Programming, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, CAD/CAM / Post Processor, Tool & Die, Mold Making, High Speed Machining

Choose Your Weapon Wisely: which 5-axis strategy is best for you?

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Mar 22, 2013

Just like the plethora of tool axis and collision control parameters that we discussed in last week’s blog article, CAM systems also have a diverse selection of toolpath strategies to choose from - and each of them have their appropriate place in 5-axis. But just like everything else in multi-axis programming, the programmers experience, and the actual machine configuration will play a big part in the selection of the suitable toolpath for a particular application. As I mentioned before, if you asked ten different programmers to program the same part, the outcome is likely to be ten completely different machining strategies. Other factors, like the number of pieces to be machined, the allotted time for completing the project, the specified material, and available tooling can also play a significant role in the toolpath selection process; but the skill level and experience of the programmer will always have the greatest impact.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, WinMax Conversational Programming, NC / G-Code Programming, Milling, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, CAD/CAM / Post Processor

5-Axis Programming: understanding tool axis and collision controls

Posted by Mike Cope on Mon, Mar 18, 2013

If you asked ten different 5-axis programmers to program the same single part, you would most likely get ten different machining strategies. Depending on experience, machine configuration, CAM software, tooling, workholding, and a myriad of other criteria everyone sees the path they need to travel just a little bit differently. But they all lead to the same place…a successfully completed part. This article will be part one in a multi-part series about 5-axis programming. 

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, NC / G-Code Programming, Milling, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, CAD/CAM / Post Processor

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