The most frequent request we have received from customers over the past decade or so, has been for the ability to import a solid model directly into the CNC control and conversationally program features from that solid. Well...the wait is over. Hurco released the 3D Import feature at IMTS 2018 and it was a huge success.
Posts about 5-Axis Machining:
Well I’m just too excited about this not to share this news with my readers. With the help of Hurco Companies, I just recently published my very first actual book! It is a comprehensive guide to 5-axis CNC machining, and I wrote it to help the machinist as a shop floor guide of sorts.
Anyone who runs a 5-axis machine knows how important accurate centerline measurements can be for accurate machining. Often times, however, when troubleshooting process issues, or after a slight “bump” of the machine, there might be a need to verify or re-measure these centerline values. This usually requires a costly service call, and, even more painful, costly downtime of the machine while waiting. Although there is no substitute for the accuracy of the certified kit used by Hurco and distributor service personnel, this procedure will hopefully allow customers to keep their machines up and running (even if it is only while waiting for the service technician to arrive).
A while back I 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 on their 5-axis CNC machine. 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 5-axis CNC basics series, I suggest that you read and understand using IJK tool vectors as a pre-cursor to this article.
The idea behind creating a 5-axis transform plane using vectors is exactly the same as programming tool movement with IJK tool vectors on any machine with a 5th axis; 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 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 that single axis, and could actually point in literally 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.
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.
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!
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.