CNC Machining Blog - Tips and Tricks for Machinists

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Posts about Manufacturing Industry Insights:

Part & Tool Probing in a High-mix Low Volume Environment

Mike Cope Fri, Oct 25, 2013
Part & Tool Probing in a High-mix Low Volume Environment

In today’s industry it’s all about quick setup and changeover between parts...especially in an environment where you run a high-mix of low volumes. In this article I want to discuss how part and tool probing can offer a real advantage for the shops that find themselves in this type of environment.

Top Shops 2013: What's Their Secret?

Maggie Smith Wed, Oct 02, 2013
Top Shops 2013: What's Their Secret?

Earlier this year, I reviewed the results from the Benchmarking Report by Modern Machine Shop called TOP SHOPS and promised to give you an update when the 2013 results were published. This blog post only touches on a fraction of the information contained in this incredibly extensive report—the Executive Summary alone is 22 pages—so I encourage you to explore Modern Machine Shop’s TOP SHOPS ZONE

3D Printing: will it replace traditional manufacturing?

Mike Cope Fri, Sep 20, 2013
3D Printing: will it replace traditional manufacturing?

For the past ten years or so, we have seen 3D printing technology – also called Additive Manufacturing – really gain momentum in the industry. In fact, it has become so common-place that there has been speculation by some that it might actually replace traditional manufacturing in the not so distant future. Although I can see many benefits of this amazing new technology, and although I do agree that it will someday impact our lives – such as how we, as consumers, acquire many common household items - I have my reservations about how much it will ultimately change the need for traditional manufacturing processes as we know them. Because of the limitations on mixing printing materials, and the fact that the materials available for use in printing are not always the best for a particular application - not everything that can be printed, should be printed.

Mill-Turn Turret Shootout: VDI vs. BMT

Mike Cope Tue, Sep 03, 2013
Mill-Turn Turret Shootout: VDI vs. BMT

A few months ago I published a two-part series on the basics of mill-turn technology, where I covered topics such as: axis configurations, the orientation of live tooling holders, mill-turn terminology, instances when a Y-axis might be necessary, etc… In today’s article I want to discuss the differences between the driven tool mounting configurations, and offer my opinions on the benefits and challenges associated with each one.

5-Axis CNC Machine Configurations: the pros and cons of machine design

Mike Cope Mon, Aug 19, 2013
5-Axis CNC Machine Configurations: the pros and cons of machine design

Regardless of a particular OEM machine tool builder, there are several common machine configurations for 5-axis CNC machines that are available - and each one has its own set of strengths that make it stand out among the choices. The most common types are: Table-Table, Head-Table, and Head-Head configurations.

5-Axis Programming: programming with tool vectors?

Mike Cope Mon, Jun 24, 2013
5-Axis Programming: programming with tool vectors?

When programming in 5-axis, we have two distinct options that we can use to command rotary moves and positions. We can output the data using either rotary angles, or tool vectors. Although each one has its pros and cons, I would prefer to configure a postprocessor to output these rotary commands as IJK tool vectors, instead of the more common ABC axis rotary angles, if given a choice.

Auto Recovery Restart: the easiest way to recover a stopped program

Mike Cope Fri, Jun 14, 2013
Auto Recovery Restart: the easiest way to recover a stopped program

Have you ever had to abruptly stop your machine, in the middle of running a program, and wished there was a way to recover exactly where you left off - even if you were in the middle of all that code? For years Hurco’s Recovery Restart feature offered operators a way to just that…but you had to know exactly what block you ended on to recover. Well not anymore! The WinMax version 9 software – which was released at IMTS last year – offers a new feature that will automatically insert a restart marker at the exact location of the last block executed before the interruption - which relives the pressure on the operator to remember (or guess) what block to restart program.

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