CNC Machining Blog

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

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

5-Axis…it just ain’t that scary

Posted by Mike Cope on Thu, Feb 21, 2013

For some reason 5-axis machining just scares people. While talking with people at trade shows, or when discussing the potential of a customer’s parts being a good fit for 5-sided machining, you can just see an uneasy feeling begin to overwhelm them, and you can see the fear begin to well up in their eyes. The mere thought of all of those axes moving at one time, sends them wanting to run for the hills. But if we take the time to look at it logically, and break it down to what is really happening, it isn’t scary at all!

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

5-Axis Return on Investment Worksheet

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Jan 25, 2013

If the past few years have taught us anything, it's that the addition of 5-axis technology - even in shops that only run "3-axis" work - can positively impact a company’s bottom line. On average, shops who take advantage of this technology have seen improvements of 20% to 30% in efficiency. Imagine…what would a twenty to thirty percent reduction in cycle time and setup time - on a part that you are already running in your shop - mean to you?

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

5-Axis Accuracy: understanding and overcoming the challenges

Posted by Mike Cope on Mon, Jan 21, 2013

Even though 5-axis machining has become much more prevalent in today’s manufacturing market place, and although the overall knowledge base of machinists and operators has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years, there is still a great deal of misunderstanding and mystery surrounding accuracy – both as it applies to the workpiece itself, and also how the overall positioning of the rotary axes of the machine might be effected.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, Milling, Manufacturing Industry Insights

5-Axis Workholding

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Jan 04, 2013

For anyone new to 5-axis machining, it should quickly become apparent that fixturing can be one of the single most challenging tasks that you will face during the setup process. Although there are many different styles of professionally manufactured workholding devices available, from a variety of different manufacturers - like Kurt, Raptor Workholding, Lang, Jergens, Bock, Hirschmann, and System 3R just to name a few - creativity is the name of the game.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Mill Tooling, Workholding

Hurco's NC Merge: the best of both worlds

Posted by Mike Cope on Thu, Dec 20, 2012

Hurco is well known for our powerful and easy to use conversational software; and for 2D and simple 3D geometries, the WinMax conversational control simply can’t be beat. But what about those jobs that share both simple 2D features and complicated 3D shapes - that can only be programmed using CAD/CAM software? Well, Hurco has an answer for that as well.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, WinMax Conversational Programming, NC / G-Code Programming, Milling, CNC Control & Software