CNC Machining Blog - Tips and Tricks for Machinists

Welcome to the Hurco CNC machine tool blog. Subscribe for weekly posts on high-speed and 5-axis machining, workholding, the latest control technologies, plus Hurco tips-and-tricks…just to name a few.

Posts about NC / G-Code Programming:

Is High Speed Machining The Right Choice For My Shop?

Mike Cope Fri, Nov 01, 2013
Is High Speed Machining The Right Choice For My Shop?

When we hear the term "High Speed Machining" (HSM), most people associate it with mold making, but what people fail to realize is that this technology is being used effectively by shops of every kind to positively impact the bottom line...and isn't that what everyone wants???

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.

Using Subprograms: a powerfully simple tool

Mike Cope Fri, May 24, 2013
Using Subprograms: a powerfully simple tool

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!

Mill Turn Technology: understanding live-tool orientations

Mike Cope Tue, May 21, 2013
Mill Turn Technology: understanding live-tool orientations

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.

Put Your Shop on the Fast Track with UltiMotion

Mike Cope Fri, May 03, 2013
Put Your Shop on the Fast Track with UltiMotion

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.

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.

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