CNC Machining Blog

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...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

The CNC Motion Control System Simplified

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Mar 01, 2013

I was recently asked to explain the motion control system, used in CNC machine tools, to someone in my family. Realizing that this individual didn’t have a background in manufacturing at all – and certainly had no experience with anything this complicated and technical  – I had to relate my explanation to something common and simple, allowing them to easily visualize the analogy….like driving a car.

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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

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

Programming 3D Geometry without CAD/CAM Software

Posted by Mike Cope on Tue, Feb 12, 2013

For many years Hurco has offered an easy conversational solution for programming simple 3D geometries, at the control, without the need for expensive CAD/CAM software…but with today’s WinMax control it’s even easier and more powerful than ever before!

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Tags: WinMax Conversational Programming, NC / G-Code Programming, Milling, CNC Control & Software, CAD/CAM / Post Processor, Tool & Die, Mold Making, Prototype Machining

High Speed Machining: it’s more than just a faster spindle

Posted by Mike Cope on Thu, Jan 31, 2013

 High speed machining is usually associated with any spindle speed above 15k rpm, but it is much more than just a faster spindle. The whole machine must be considered when selecting a good candidate machine for HSM. Thermal compensation, overall machine rigidity and construction, positional feedback, the motion control system, tool retention, and many other characteristics must be looked at, in detail, before determining that a particular machine is suitable for the task.

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Tags: Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, NC / G-Code Programming, CNC Control & Software, Manufacturing Industry Insights, CAD/CAM / Post Processor, Tool & Die, Mold Making, High Speed Machining

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

Easier 5-Axis Programming with ASR

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Oct 19, 2012


Hurco’s patented ASR feature (Automatic Safe Repositioning) is a very powerful tool for 5-axis NC or CAM programmers. One of the biggest problems when posting 5-axis NC code is configuring the post to always output safe, reliable data to reposition the tool-tip without causing the machine to travel out of limits on rapid moves, and to display those annoying error codes that we all love to hate.

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