CNC Machining Blog

Programming 5-Axis Transform Planes Using IJK UVW Vectors

Posted by Mike Cope on Mon, May 09, 2016

I recently received a comment on one of my previous blog posts – “5-Axis Programming: programming with tool vectors”-  asking about how to designate a 5-axis Transform Planes using IJK UVW vector tokens, instead of the traditional ABC rotary axis designations. Instead of just replying to that comment, I thought I would write this post as a response. Since this will be a continuation of the previous article on tool vectors, I suggest that you read and understand using IJK tool vectors as a pre-cursor to this article.

The idea behind creating a transform plane using vectors is exactly the same as programming tool movement with IJK tool vectors; however, the difference lies in the fact that you will have two separate vectors…using IJK for one and UVW for the second one. The reason you need for two separate “legs” for this function, is because you cannot designate a plane with only one axis. I will use the floor inside a room as my analogy…you could not create a floor in a room without having at least two walls. With only one, the floor would simply spin around the single axis, and could actually point in any direction. To accommodate the two legs of the transform plane, and because we want to determine the direction of the Z-axis ultimately, we will use the X-axis and Y-axis as our legs, or walls of the desired transform plane.

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

Explaining Hurco’s Select Surface Finish Quality (SFQ)

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Jan 29, 2016

Today’s Hurco users are well aware of the term SFQ, or Select Surface Finish Quality, on the Hurco control, and probably have a pretty good idea about which settings work best for them – however, many of them probably don’t realize what is actually going on behind the scenes, and what those settings actually mean or how they affect the machine’s behavior.

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

5-Axis…it just ain’t that scary (continued)

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Jun 12, 2015

In February of 2013 I posted an article titled: “5-Axis…it just ain’t that scary”, and to date it has been one of the most popularly read articles in my blog series. So, I thought I would expand on that article a little bit, and dive a little deeper into what can be done with 5-axis technology…and show how even the advanced features of 5-axis really aren't anything more than multi-axis common sense, when you break it down.

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, WinMax Conversational Programming, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights

We Took Five for 5-axis…will you?

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, May 29, 2015

Take_5_For_5_Axis

Hurco recently partnered with Modern Machine Shop magazine for an educational online 5-axis webinar, called: “Take Five for 5-Axis. It was very well received by everyone who attended, and the feedback afterward was outstanding. In this webinar, I try to present this information in a very simple way, and attempt to explain things in a manner that even those who have no history of 5-axis machining can understand it. After all, that was the intention…to educate and teach!

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights

Automation: it's not just for high production

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Nov 07, 2014

When people hear the term “automation”, it usually conjures visions of high production processes, where shops are running hundreds of thousands of the same part. But in today’s ever-changing and increasingly competitive industry that is not always the case. Just like many small job shops have begun to migrate toward 5-axis machines to increase multi-sided part efficiency, those same shops are also beginning to move toward automation to help them increase profits and impact their bottom line.

To understand and begin this migration toward automation, you first must understand and “buy-in” to the ideas of standardization and palletization. Winning in the game of “high-mix, low-volume” part manufacturing means reducing spindle downtime, and the first step towards winning that battle is standardizing your setup process. …after all, at the end of the day you can only invoice for the parts that you have completed. So reducing the idle time between jobs is a crucial step to getting more done in a typical eight hour shift.

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Tags: Milling, Manufacturing Industry Insights, control technology, Automation

Improving Workpiece Surface Finish

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Jun 27, 2014

As machinists we apply our skill, knowledge and experience to produce the best looking and most accurate parts that we can. We take a great deal of pride in the products that we produce, and we want others to see that pride in the finished product. But what do we do when we aren’t getting the results that we want? When dimensionally the parts meet blueprint specifications, but the surface finish and overall appearance is less than desirable? When this happens we need to go back the basics and ensure that we are using the best machining practices that we know to be correct.

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Tags: Aerospace & Defense, history of machining, 5-Axis Machining, Milling, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Mill Tooling, Turning, Lathe Tooling, Tool & Die, Mold Making, Prototype Machining, High Speed Machining

Sandvik Suggests Five things to consider when tooling up for 5-axis

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, May 09, 2014

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Tags: 5-Axis Machining, Milling, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Mill Tooling, Turning, Lathe Tooling

CNC Lathe Considerations: bed design

Posted by Mike Cope on Thu, Feb 13, 2014

In the last article we discussed the questions that you should be asking yourself when buying a CNC lathe, and we discussed some of the common terminology associated with turning. In this article I would like to build on the topic of purchasing considerations, and want to discuss the ins and outs of the two main bed designs – the true slant bed and the flatbed “flying wedge” configurations.

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

CNC Lathe Considerations & Terminology

Posted by Mike Cope on Wed, Jan 22, 2014

When purchasing a CNC lathe, there are several questions that you need to ask yourself before you begin the process. Some of these questions will be quite obvious: How much axis travel do I need? What size chuck should I look for? How many tool stations are on the turret? What is the spindle bore size? Etc... However, there are other specifications that are just as important, but not always so obvious: What is the maximum swing distance that my work will require? What is the maximum turning diameter necessary for my family of parts? What kind of spindle horsepower and torque will my type of work consume? The first set of questions above is relatively easy to answer, but the second group requires a better understanding of lathes in general.

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Tags: NC / G-Code Programming, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Workholding, Turning, Lathe Tooling

5-Axis Purchasing Considerations: size does matter

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

There are several things to keep in mind when you are in the market for a new 5-axis machining center. To be successful, you must make sure that the machine will fit all of your needs, not just your current one. Often times the purchase of a 5-axis machine is driven by a particular job or part, and sometimes shops fail to consider the other work they could run on the machine. Remember, size does matter.

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