CNC Machining Blog - Tips and Tricks for Machinists

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Posts about CNC Control & Software:

5-Axis Buzz Words: learn the lingo

Mike Cope Mon, Apr 15, 2013
5-Axis Buzz Words: learn the lingo

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.

Hurco...Easy To Use in Any Language

Mike Cope Tue, Apr 02, 2013
Hurco...Easy To Use in Any Language

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”.

Choose Your Weapon Wisely: which 5-axis strategy is best for you?

Mike Cope Fri, Mar 22, 2013
Choose Your Weapon Wisely: which 5-axis strategy is best for you?

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.

5-Axis Programming: understanding tool axis and collision controls

Mike Cope Mon, Mar 18, 2013
5-Axis Programming: understanding tool axis and collision controls

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. 

The CNC Motion Control System Simplified

Mike Cope Fri, Mar 01, 2013
The CNC Motion Control System Simplified

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.

5-Axis…it just ain’t that scary

Mike Cope Thu, Feb 21, 2013
5-Axis…it just ain’t that scary

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!

Programming 3D Geometry without CAD/CAM Software

Mike Cope Tue, Feb 12, 2013
Programming 3D Geometry without CAD/CAM Software

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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