CNC Machining Blog - Tips and Tricks for Machinists

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Posts about WinMax Conversational Programming:

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.

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.

Absolute Tool Length: the industry standard

Mike Cope Thu, May 30, 2013
Absolute Tool Length: the industry standard

As many of you are already aware, the Absolute Tool Length method of tool calibration has become the industry standard for measuring and recording the length of individual cutting tools on milling machines. This method of tool measurement not only produces numerical values that make sense to the operator, and can easily be verified with a pocket scale, but will also allow for tool lengths to be set offline using a presetter - and then the data can simply be entered into the tool setup for that particular tool…helping to reduce setup time at the machine.

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.

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