CNC Machining Blog

Top Shops 2013: What's Their Secret?

Posted by Maggie Smith on Wed, Oct 02, 2013

Earlier this year, I reviewed the results from the Benchmarking Report by Modern Machine Shop called TOP SHOPS and promised to give you an update when the 2013 results were published. This blog post only touches on a fraction of the information contained in this incredibly extensive report—the Executive Summary alone is 22 pages—so I encourage you to explore Modern Machine Shop’s TOP SHOPS ZONE

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, Manufacturing Industry Insights, High Speed Machining

3D Printing: will it replace traditional manufacturing?

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Sep 20, 2013

For the past ten years or so, we have seen 3D printing technology – also called Additive Manufacturing – really gain momentum in the industry. In fact, it has become so common-place that there has been speculation by some that it might actually replace traditional manufacturing in the not so distant future. Although I can see many benefits of this amazing new technology, and although I do agree that it will someday impact our lives – such as how we, as consumers, acquire many common household items - I have my reservations about how much it will ultimately change the need for traditional manufacturing processes as we know them. Because of the limitations on mixing printing materials, and the fact that the materials available for use in printing are not always the best for a particular application - not everything that can be printed, should be printed.

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Tags: Manufacturing Industry Insights, Prototype Machining, Automation

Mill-Turn Turret Shootout: VDI vs. BMT

Posted by Mike Cope on Tue, Sep 03, 2013

A few months ago I published a two-part series on the basics of mill-turn technology, where I covered topics such as: axis configurations, the orientation of live tooling holders, mill-turn terminology, instances when a Y-axis might be necessary, etc… In today’s article I want to discuss the differences between the driven tool mounting configurations, and offer my opinions on the benefits and challenges associated with each one.

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Tags: WinMax Conversational Programming, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Mill Tooling, Workholding, Turning, Lathe Tooling

5-Axis Machine Configurations: the pros and cons of design

Posted by Mike Cope on Mon, Aug 19, 2013

Regardless of a particular OEM machine builder, there are several common machine configurations for 5-axis that are available - and each one has its own set of strengths that make it stand out among the choices. The most common types are: Table-Table, Head-Table, and Head-Head configurations.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, WinMax Conversational Programming, Milling, Manufacturing Industry Insights

Top Shops: What’s Their Secret Sauce?

Posted by Maggie Smith on Tue, Jul 16, 2013

Hi Hurco Blog Readers. Mike Cope has been on the road quite a bit so I'm filling in as a guest writer for his blog.

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Tags: Milling, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Turning

5-Axis Programming: programming with tool vectors?

Posted by Mike Cope on Mon, Jun 24, 2013

When programming in 5-axis, we have two distinct options that we can use to command rotary moves and positions. We can output the data using either rotary angles, or tool vectors. Although each one has its pros and cons, I would prefer to configure a postprocessor to output these rotary commands as IJK tool vectors, instead of the more common ABC axis rotary angles, if given a choice.

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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

Auto Recovery Restart: the easiest way to recover a stopped program

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Jun 14, 2013

Have you ever had to abruptly stop your machine, in the middle of running a program, and wished there was a way to recover exactly where you left off - even if you were in the middle of all that code? For years Hurco’s Recovery Restart feature offered operators a way to just that…but you had to know exactly what block you ended on to recover. Well not anymore! The WinMax version 9 software – which was released at IMTS last year – offers a new feature that will automatically insert a restart marker at the exact location of the last block executed before the interruption - which relives the pressure on the operator to remember (or guess) what block to restart program.

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

Resources You Can Use: a list of helpful shop products

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Jun 07, 2013

As machinists we are all aware of the standard tools of our trade; however, there are other non-standard tools available - that not everyone is aware of - that could be very helpful in our day-to-day life in the shop. Just like any other industry, if there is a time consuming and mundane procedure that must be completed, you can bet that somewhere there is someone who has already invented a tool or device that would make that task easier…if we only knew where to go to find those tools.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, Milling, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Mill Tooling, Workholding, Turning, Lathe Tooling, Prototype Machining, Automation

Absolute Tool Length: the industry standard

Posted by Mike Cope on Thu, May 30, 2013

As many of you are already aware, the Absolute Tool Length method of tool calibration has become the industry standard for measuring and recording the length of individual cutting tools on milling machines. This method of tool measurement not only produces numerical values that make sense to the operator, and can easily be verified with a pocket scale, but will also allow for tool lengths to be set offline using a presetter - and then the data can simply be entered into the tool setup for that particular tool…helping to reduce setup time at the machine.

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Tags: WinMax Conversational Programming, Milling, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Mill Tooling

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

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