CNC Machining Blog

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

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

Rotary Broaching: the fast and easy way to drill a square hole

Posted by Mike Cope on Fri, Mar 08, 2013


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

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

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