Why CAD/CAM Post Processors Are Old School And Obsolete

There is no denying that going from a CAD drawing through CAM and then to the output of the final G code program … a post processor is an essential tool. And if you wish to output that G code to multiple machines and controls … then you must need multiple post processors. Right ???? And if your shop has multiple machines/controls … I’ll need multiple posts for all the machines. Right ????

Well … if you still want to think and believe old school … then yes, that’s right. If you looking for a better way … a less expensive way … a  more flexible way … a way that also has other UP sides … then the answer is NO. And we are here to tell you why and show how.

Here’s a hint … G code conversion using KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange.

Conversion

Post Processors are OLD SCHOOL …
Re-Posting

Post processors … taking for granted that you are even using a CAD/CAM system … are really only good once … at program creation. After that … they really are useless. Running back to re-post for other machines/controls is time consuming and inefficient … and that is taking for granted that you even have the CAD file. If the program has been on the shop floor for a while … chances are good edits have been made … speeds, feeds, toolpaths, etc.. Re-posting eliminates all that and basically makes you start at program-prove out stage again … not efficient. What if you could simply take that proven G code and have a G code conversion app auto-convert that G code to any other format you would require? That’s NEW SCHOOL … that’s KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange.

Post Processors are OLD SCHOOL …
Multiple Posts for Multiple Machines

Of course you must buy multiple posts for the multiple types of machine / controls on your floor … RIGHT??? Or have you ever thought about not buying other machines/ controls because it would mean all the “getting a new post” headaches and costs. OLD SCHOOL THINKING !!! What if you could simply output your code using the same proven post you are already using … and have a G code conversion app auto-convert that G code to any other format you would require? That’s NEW SCHOOL … that’s KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange.

Beyond Post Processors …
Only Program Machine/Control’s You Know

Let’s take a look at programming beyond the CAD/CAM system … like manual programming. The OLD SCHOOL thinking says that the programmer must be familiar with the machine and control he is programming. New school thinking says … not any more. What if I am familiar with Fanuc programming and have to program a Fagor control. What if I could write my program in Fanuc format … and run it through a converter that would auto convert it to Fagor format. That’s NEW SCHOOL … that’s KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange.

Need a better look? … how about a video. The video below illustrates how KipwareXC® can be used instead of a post processor to auto-convert a modern day Fanuc program into a yesterday’s format required for a GE1050 control.

The video and points outlined in this article are simply a starting point. I am sure you and your shop have similar scenarios in which the above points might apply in some way. If so … we invite you to contact us at any of the options below … and let us show you how NEW SCHOOL thinking with KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange can eliminate the multiple forms of “control incompatibility” from your shop floor.

Our Website :
http://www.kentechinc.com/KipwareConversionSoftware.html

Request a Live, OnLine Demonstration :
http://www.kentechinc.com/Webex_Request.html

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Manually Editing G Code Created by Your CAM is SOOOO Yesterday

When we talk to programmers who are using a CAD/CAM system … and we love to do that BTW … the major complaint we hear is regarding their post processor. There are basically TWO TOP compaints …

  1. The G code generated always needs to be “tweaked”
  2. They have to purchase posts for various machines / controls

The next question is inevitably … Does Kipware® have a solution?

The Answer is DEFINITELY!! … and for both scenarios !!

KipwareXC® for G Code Tweaking

With tools like KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange … manually tweaking G code is SOOO yesterday. Like any good process … the more you can automate it and remove the “human factor” from the process … the more rock solid that process can become. Whether you are perfoming simple edits on the shop floor or complex changes including variables and line coordinate changes … KipwareXC® can automate the process … and once set-up, will allow anyone to perform the changes … even non-programmers.

KipwareXC® is a completely user defined application where the user can use a mixture of pre-defined conversion options and our cutting edge macro variable language to basically tell the software what-to-convert-into-what. This combination allows the user to automate virtually any G code conversion required. From simple stuff … like M51 to M75 … to complex line conversions involving multiple addresses on the line such as converting G71P—-Q—-U—-W—-D—–F—- to G85N—U—W—D—F—.

Pre-defined conversions are conversions that are defined inside the source code of the software … just pick it and it all gets done automatically. Some pre-defined conversions are :

  • ADD or REMOVE or REFORMAT decimal points
  • Convert from INCH to METRIC or METRIC TO INCH with a single mouse click
  • Tons of circular options like convert INCREMENTAL I/J/K to ABSOLUTE I/J/K … and reverse … or convert R to I/J/K.
  • Convert X from DIAMETER to RADIUS … and reverse … for turning G code.
  • Invert X coordinates … reverse G2/G3 and all related I/J/K information.
  • Convert Fanuc SINGLE line canned cycles to DOUBLE LINE commands … and reverse.
  • … and SOOO much more.

KipwareXC® allows the user to create an UNLIMITED number of Profiles ( the what-to-convert-into-what statements ) … that means you only need to purchase the software once … and ALL the machines in your shop are covered.

In addition … the cutting edge, real world design of KipwareXC® allows users to piggy-back Profiles … which adds a whole ‘nother layer of flexibility.

For more info on KipwareXC® …. CLICK HERE.

Conversion

Kipware® CNC XChange for MASSIVE G Code Conversion Between Different Machines

Whereas KipwareXC® is completely user-defined … CNC XChange is almost completely defined inside the source code. This means basically that we have done all the work … the user does have options for non-standard code conversion like M functions … but for the most part all the code conversions have been defined inside the source code.

We build CNC XChange for specific G code conversions … our most popular is our Fanuc <–> Okuma version will auto-convert G code created for Fanuc controls into G code formatted for Okuma controls … and reverse. We do also have other versions available … for a complete list please CLICK HERE.

So if you have multiple machines on your shop floor … and suffer from the “control incompatibility” issue … re-programming for every machine / control … Kipware® CNC XChange has you covered. Just ask PETE …

So where a software sales guy might praise the features of their G code editor … we say, “editing G Code manually is sooo yesterday.” If you are making the same edits over-and-over again … or you have multiple machines and controls on your floor and suffer from “control incompatibility” … we invite you to explore KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange … and kick your shop floor efficiency into the next level.

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

KipwareCYC® – New Release – Multiple Part Machining Time Estimating

The design of KipwareCYC® from the start has been to assist users accurately create machining time estimates for their workpieces … and has been based on creating that time to machine one part from start to finish. Estimates are created while users walk the part through each machining operation for each machine required … creating a time to complete each operation on each machine.

This release of version 7.0.0 of KipwareCYC® now includes the ability to take that single part estimate and research and calculate how that single part time will be effected by using :

  • Multiple pieces in a fixture
  • Multiple fixtures
  • 4th axis or tombstone fixturing using multiple pieces per side of the tombstone while machining multiple sides of the tombstone
  • Multi-axis spindle and multi-turret turning centers
  • Swiss style turning centers

Making use of many of our proprietary formulas already employed inside KipwareCYC® … rapid time, cutting times and handling times ( indexing times ) can now be easily incorporated through the use of these new features and the Multi-Milling and Multi-Turning option screens.

Details are outlined in detail below … or you can watch the video :

MILLING OPTIONS

mill_screenUsing the MILLING option … users have the option of choosing either a MULI-FIXTURE or INDEXER type set-up. Using the FIXTURE TYPE option … users can define

  • # of pieces per fixture
  • # of fixtures
  • distance between the fixtures

Using the INDEXER type option ( designed for HMC’s utilizing a tombstone or 4th axis indexer ) … users can define

  • # of pieces per side of the tombstone
  • # of sides that will be used for machining
  • Indexing time of the table or 4th axis indexer.

KipwareCYC® will then auto-calculate the additional RAPID TIME, CUTTING TIME, and HANDLING TIME ( indexing time ) required and present the user with all the new calculations for comparison. This new feature will not only produce a  more accurate cycletime for multiple parts … but will allow the user to research and compare what might be the better fixturing options to employ.

TURNING OPTIONS

lathe_screen

The TURNING option was designed with multi-spindle and multi-turret type as well as swiss-style turning centers in mind. The cycletime on a multi-spindle machine is in essence the time for that turret with the longest machining time. In KipwareCYC® the user now has the ability to move operations between the turrets to define that turret’s cycletime … and in essence the cycletime to machine the part that was originally estimated using a single spindle machine.

The user is presented with a drop-down list of all the operations from the estimate created for the single spindle machine … and can then move the operations between turrets to find the optimum time and sequence of operations.

Estimating

What does it all mean?

In addition to quickly and easily turning a single part machining time estimate into an estimate for multiple parts on multiple fixtures or time using a more powerful and capable machine … users have new power to research and explore the best machining option to obtain the optimum machining time available on their equipment.

These new features are … once again from Kentech Inc. … cutting edge and innovative. These options coupled with the proprietary formulas employed inside KipwareCYC® give users added power and flexibility to not only win more work … but win more profitable work.

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

 

 

 

Web Search Popularity VS. Reality

When you do a Google SEARCH … what is the “thing” that makes you visit a site in the list?

  • TOP result? … First name on the list.
  • Description provided under the site name? … “We have exactly what you searched for!”
  • “Big name” recognition … “Wow Home Depot has it!”
  • Paid Ads … those ads on the top or side of the list.

Whatever your preference … in today’s day and age … it really is BUYER BEWARE.

Definitely the SEARCH results should and will pull you into the site … but once there … you need to really be your own person. Why do we say that? Basically people and companies PLAY the system … they PLAY the search engines and play the search results. Google and Bing and all the rest try their best to make the playing field fair … but, of course,  the digerati know the rules and play the system. Do you hate how “the big banks” play the system … how government and lobbyists play the system … this really is no different.

And what does it mean for internet content … popularity doesn’t translate into quality.  Companies or websites touting the fact that they are first on Google … get a million hits … billions of visitors … whatever … are sometimes strictly touting their success at playing the system. Popularity doesn’t necessarily translate into Quality.

I would like to highlight (2) main issues to make my point :

TOP SEARCH RESULTS

TOP Results can be influenced by flooding your site with information and using key words on the site or in blog posts on the site so that no matter what a user searches for … as long as it’s “in the ballpark” … your site will fair favorably. Let’s take our genre of CNC for instance. If I load my site with articles about CNC machines … programming … software … cutting tools … things I don’t even know anything about … blah … blah … blah … there’s a pretty good chance my website and name are gonna be bouncing off the searches left and right. I have all the bases covered by using all the key words that I can find in the genre of CNC. But just because that site is top of the list … doesn’t mean that it’s the best or has quality products … or has even the right products for you. It just means some digerati may have flooded his website with crap that has some vague relationship to the topic you are interested in. Don’t be fooled by these people and companies that play the system … sure visit the site if you want but just don’t think that it is at the top of the list because it’s the best.

SEARCH & SITE DESCRIPTIONS

Once the site is found and listed … under the URL is a brief description of the content of the site … or what’s suppose to be the content of the site. This description is provided by the site in the HTML code … so again … site owners play the system. Since the description is one of the things “bots” ( the robots that crawl the sites for Google, Bing,  Yahoo or whomever ) look for .,.. site owners load the description with not what is necessarily the theme of the webpage … but rather what will get the most favorable listing from the bot.  Again … digerati paying the system.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR EVERYONE ELSE

As a business owner and website developer … getting listed in the search engines near the top so we can get visibility and hopefully attract some business is a major task we struggle with every day. It is the essence of success for an online business. Businesses and people that play the system make our life … our job harder … and our survival harder every day.  BUT ONE THING WE WON’T DO IS PLAY THE SYSTEM. We are committed to keeping our search results as accurate and on the up and up as possible. Maybe we won’t be the first on the list … but you can rest assured that we will conduct our internet content just like we conduct the rest of our business … ethically and honestly.

OK … rant over. Thank you … I feel better.

Finally … Thank you for coming to our website or our Blog. Thank you for investing your valuable time in exploring our products. I believe that you found our website or Blog because we actually have products or services or information that you were honestly searching for … I hope we do … and I hope you agree.

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

Kipware® Compatibility with Inventables ShapeOko and X-Carve

As word gets out about the ease-of-use and power of KipwareM® conversational CNC programming software … we are starting to get more and more inquiries from the MAKER community concerning one of the more popular MAKER machines out there … the ShapeOko and now the X-Carve from Inventables. Clients want to know if the code generated by KipwareM® is compatible with the G code requirements for the X-Carve.

Looking and researching the extensive information available from Inventables … we can find the information below :

“The X-Carve is using GRBL81 An open source, embedded, high performance g-code-parser and CNC milling controller written in optimized C that will run on a straight Arduino. Standard g-code is supported.”

While GRBL81 is still basically operational and functional … it also appears to be in a state of constant development and enhancements. Great job guys !! It is still a very basic system … but it does support basic standard programming … G01/G02/G03 … and is completely compatible with the KipwareM® standard output.

Conversational

Here is a list of G codes for GRBL81 … and all supported out-of-the-box by KipwareM® :

“The G-code interpreter implements a subset of the NIST rs274/ngc standard and … linear, circular and helical motion are all fully supported.”

  • Supported G-Codes in v0.9i
    • G38.3, G38.4, G38.5: Probing
    • G40: Cutter Radius Compensation Modes
    • G61: Path Control Modes
    • G91.1: Arc IJK Distance Modes
  • Supported G-Codes in v0.9h
    • G38.2: Probing
    • G43.1, G49: Dynamic Tool Length Offsets
  • Supported G-Codes in v0.8 (and v0.9)
    • G0, G1: Linear Motions
    • G2, G3: Arc and Helical Motions
    • G4: Dwell
    • G10 L2, G10 L20: Set Work Coordinate Offsets
    • G17, G18, G19: Plane Selection
    • G20, G21: Units
    • G28, G30: Go to Pre-Defined Position
    • G28.1, G30.1: Set Pre-Defined Position
    • G53: Move in Absolute Coordinates
    • G54, G55, G56, G57, G58, G59: Work Coordinate Systems
    • G80: Motion Mode Cancel
    • G90, G91: Distance Modes
    • G92: Coordinate Offset
    • G92.1: Clear Coordinate System Offsets
    • G93, G94: Feedrate Modes
    • M0, M2, M30: Program Pause and End
    • M3, M4, M5: Spindle Control
    • M8, M9: Coolant Control

While there is still a lot of functions … like spindle control … that is dependent on the controller and it’s set-up … KipwareM® can support most modes and set-up … out-of-the-box.

Using the unique “Post Editor” in Kipware® conversational … users can easily create the auto-output of the HEADER lines required for the GRBL language. The G code output needs to place an initialization block at the beginning of your program to set all of the G-code modes explicitly for your program. These are things such as mm/inch modes ( G20/G21) , incremental/absolute modes (G90/G91), feedrate modes(G94/G95), plane selection (G17-G18-G19), or work coordinate system (G54-G59). These can easily be set-up in the Kipware® conversational Post Editor.

It also appears that DRILLING cycles are not yet included … but KipwareM® gives you a standard, long hand G code output capability for drilling that will enable you to go beyond the Inventable’s EASEL programming software and create drilling operations for your machine. All from a fill-in-the-blank format.

Users are referred to use the UNIVERSAL G-CODE SENDER application that is written in JAVA that will send the G code and communicate with the machine to run the G code created outside of Inventables EASEL application. You can get additional information on the Universal G Code Sender HERE.

As of this post writing … Kentech Inc. is looking into the possibilities of purchasing an X-Carve from Inventables and testing and developing our KipwareM® software to be more and fully compatible with the X-Carve.

So stay tuned … we are looking forward to an opportunity to work with Inventables and their equipment … and the MAKER community. It should be a fun ride

You can check out KipwareM® by CLICKING HERE.

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

Machine Shop Quotation Tracking … The Difference Between Trudging Along and GROWING.

Let’s face the facts … shall we. If you are like most shop owners :

  1. You do your best to make sure that you get your quotes and estimates out the door on time and as accurate as possible.
  2. Once the quote is sent … you might even follow-up with a phone call or email … sometimes.
  3. You might even check to see what quotes are outstanding … occasionally.

But the dirty truth is … You don’t REALLY track and analyze your quoting and estimating process … DO YOU ??

If the above show fits … we invite you to click the link below and watch our fun and informative animation on our KipwareTRK – Quotation Tracking and Analyzing Software.

As the animation points out :

  1. KipwareTRK® is a completely user-configurable software application that allows users to quickly and easily analyze their quoting and estimating process.
  2. KipwareTRK® will present you with views and information on your quoting and estimating process that you never dreamed of. Information that will help you to find the weaknesses … the problems … so you can formulate a process to address them and keep your business and your profits strong.
  3. Users can create an UNLIMITED number and type of sort and search criteria … so you’ll see what you want to see … when you want to see it. Having access to the data that will be presented to you through KipwareTRK® can be the difference between growing your business … winning profitable work … or just trudging along.
  4. When used in seamless conjunction with our KipwareQTE® – Quoting and Estimating Software … you don’t even have to do anything to build the database of quotes and estimates that will be tracked and analyzed. When you create a quote in KipwareQTE® it can be automatically added to the KipwareTRK® database.

We invite you to look at your quoting and estimating process in a new light … and in new ways … with KipwareTRK®. Please visit our website or YouTube channel through the links below for additional information and video presentations on all our Kipware® Business Software titles.

Estimating

Website : www.KentechInc.com/KipwareBusinessSoftware.html

YouTube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/user/KTSoftware

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

Kipware and the MAKER Culture

Since the early 1990’s, Kipware® software has been assisting varieties of professional machinists and professional machine shops work around the bloated, overpriced, “big name ” software guys by creating and providing a line of what we refer to as “REAL WORLD” machine shop software. Called REAL WORLD software because they were born from what we saw was missing and needed as we worked and gathered our experiences over last roughly 30 years. We are proud of both our contributions and the reputation we have acquired in the thousands of professional machine shops around the world.

But times are changing. CNC is now more available “to the masses” than ever before. And the new MAKER culture is spreading like wildfire. It gives us great pleasure to see people using their “tinkering skills” in various engineering and metalworking endeavors … and qwe salute all the MAKERS and in all forms.

maker logo
Go Get ‘Em MAKERS … Make It Happen !!

BUT A QUICK NOTE : Please note that while we encourage and support the MAKER community … we have loathe and disgust for the term “hobby machinist”. Having apprenticed and worked many long and hard hours / years to obtain the title MACHINIST … I do not give the title away frivolously. Simply because someone “tinkers” with metal in some hobby or “for fun” project … IMHO … does not thus make them a MACHINIST. Just like the simple fact of brushing your teeth does not make you a “hobby dentist” … or the fact that you replaced a plug-end does not make you a “hobby electrician.” You wouldn’t think of using those terms … being a machinist is no different. OK … Nuf Said … just one of my pet peeves.

Does Kipware® Have a Place in the MAKER World?

We think it certainly does. Are we saying that just ’cause we’re trying to sell you? I don’t think so … and here are a few reasons why but judge for yourself.

  • Kipware® conversational is a great CAM alternative for bench-top milling machines, all type and sizes of routers and homemade or professional lathes … allowing you to quickly and easily get the simpler, everyday brackets, mounts, couplings and the like programmed and machined in short order … without the need for CAD or even a drawing.
  • Although CAD may be in the cards for most design work … and there are tons of FREE drawing apps out there … the heavy priced and complex CAM end is a turn-off for some MAKERS. Kipware® conversational … which can be had on a Subscription basis for a little over $200 … will give you all the power without the financial down-side.
  • We designed Kipware® conversational to output generic and basic G code … so no need to fuss with CAD/CAM type post-processors. The majority of the code output out-of-the-box by Kipware® conversational is compatible with about 98% of the machines out there … home made or professional. Mach3/ Mach4, LittleMachineShop, Tormach, PathPilot, Carbide3D, Intructables, Probotix … and most anything similar.
  • Many “hobby machines” tout their canned “wizards” and even some external software “wizards” are available for purchase. While the price may make then tempting … don’t be fooled. They are so overly simplistic that given your aptitude for going the MAKER route in the first place … you will outgrow these simplistic tools in not time … or they WILL hold back your potential.
  • Kipware® is a profesional CNC program creation package that is designed and priced to be easy-to-use … powerful … and will give you plenty of room to grow. We not only handle the “standard” type parts … the included conversational CAD/CAM Kipware® SketchPad can handle almost any type of non-standard shape.
  • Search the web and you may even find some “we give it away FREE during BETA testing” software … which I find incredible.  So … let me get this right … you want me to make junk and get frustrated, delay or ruin my projects because your software is not fully done and …. while I’m making junk you want me to test and report bugs and fix your software also ?? RIGHT !!! In what world is this OK ?? And another reason it’s FREE … it’s a hobby for them too and they don’t want to, can’t afford to or don’t want to be bothered to support the product. Kipware® is our LIFE and we Support all our software 24 / 7 / 365 … Nuf Said.
  • Decide to try and make some money off your labor? Our cycletime and cost estimating Kipware® titles will fit both your budget and your requirements very nicely. And as above … will give you features to grow into with the bloat.

Conversational

For these reasons and many more … if you are a member of the MAKER community … we would highly recommend a look at Kipware®. We have made plenty of resources available to help get you the info you need … here are a few :

Our website : www.KentechInc.com

Our YouTube Channel : KTSoftware

If you need anything further … the website has more resources … or you can always call and have a chat … 508.754.1198 Extension #1.

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

Conversational 3D CNC Machining with KipwareM®

Kentech Inc. continues to turn the conversational CNC programming software world on it’s head releasing unprecedented and powerful fill-in-the-blank programming options for it’s Kipware® conversational CNC programming software for milling and turning.

In late April, the most powerful and easy-to-use conversational TURNING and BORING menus hit the market for KipwareT® – Conversational CNC Software for Turning … bringing unprecedented ease of programming for complex shapes that can include unlimited and unbounded radii and tapers. The success has been unbelievable … thank you to all the professional machinists that have added true, powerful conversational CNC programming to their arsenals for their turning programming.

In 2014 Kentech Inc. released it’s ground-breaking conversational 3D options for KipwareM® – Conversational CNC Programming Software for Milling … the ONLY conversational 3D programming ON THE MARKET …. whether PC based or CNC control based !! In June … responding to a request from one of our clients … we created and added an option to create a bending die 3D menu. Using a simple fill-in-the-blank form,  users can create the G code to ROUGH and / or FINISH the MALE BENDING DIE using a 3D machining toolpath.

We are pleased to announce today the release of the FEMALE BENDING DIE option as the companion to the MALE DIE. Using the same powerful options and features as the MALE menu … users can create the G code program for the FEMALE side using only the simple, efficient fill-in-the-blank form as illustrated below.

conversational 3D CNC machining

As You can see from the screenshot … we have also included powerful programming options in this menu as well … just as in the MALE side menu. Options such as :

  • The ability to use EITHER a square OR ball end mill with the software automatically calculating all tangency points as well as the allowable depth to machine to insure the square end mill will not over-machine along the bottom radius.
  • The ability to ROUGH and / or FINISH in one or separate operations.
  • The ability to CONVENTIONAL and / or CLIMB mill for EITHER roughing or finishing operations.

female_bending_die_simulationWe are proud that Kipware® continues to set the bar for conversational CNC programming software … a bar that no other software company can even come close to touching.

Our commitment to our clients and our resolve to be the best … drives our developers to continue this trend with many new releases in the pipeline for 2015.

For an additional video look at all the groundbreaking and EXCLUSIVE 3D machining options available in KipwareM® … please take a few moments and explore our video link below.

Thank you in advance for considering KipwareM® for your programming requirements.

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

Dump the "wizards" and GO PRO with Kipware>

The FARCE that is Feature Based Cost Estimating

Taking a trip around the net you might find a few of the machine shop job costing and estimating software applications out there touting their application as “FEATURE BASED” estimating. My first reaction is always … REALLY ??? Does anyone really fall for that sales gobbly-gook speak ???

What else would you want to estimate … 
THE NON FEATURES ?????

With further thought it becomes abundantly apparent that it simply sounds good … makes for a good sales pitch … catches the eye … but the reality is … don’t be fooled. As a professional think about it. If you have a part with a variety of “features” that need to be machined … the simple act of estimating the time to machine those features … WHICH IS REALLY ALL THE ESTIMATE IS BEING CREATED FOR … is the act of feature based estimating. THERE ISN’T ANY OTHER TYPE !!!

And What About Those Features ??

AND … if you are touting feature based estimating you better be able to handle ALL kinds of features … not only simplistic milling and turning of simplistic parts. Real world workpieces have odd shaped pockets and contours … odd shaped turned parts with various types of grooves and undercuts. Simplistic “feature based” estimating app’s simply don’t handle the “real world” well.

AND … this is not a “fluff it off” input either. Watch some web demos and you’ll see the demonstrator utter the famous words … “OK let’s say that’s 10 inches.” Great for a demo but how did you get that figure? If they don’t show you … they must be hiding something … like it’s really hard to obtain.  This input is just as much at the heart of an accurate estimate as insuring that the speeds and feeds used accurately reflect your shop floor cutting parameters … not just some “book knowledge”. Our KipwareCYC® has been tested and developed on real shop floors and we have hundreds of clients who purchased our KipwareCYC® after having compared their actual machining times against times created with KipwareCYC®. You don’t get any better than that. And the system we have created using the tool’s length of cut … is by far the most accurate way to estimate cycletime … and our Cut Length Calculator app is the easiest and most accurate way to calculate that length of cut.

Accurate speeds and feeds without accurate tool engagement time produces inaccurate estimates as well.

There is really only two ways to calculate the amount of time a tool is engaged in the cutting process … and therefore determine the cutting time for the tool. Those inputs are (1) measuring volume of material being removed and (2) tracing the tools length of cut while doing the cutting.

Using Volume of Material Removal as an input Is NOT REALISTIC !!

If the machining time estimating software is using an input related to volume of material being removed … that should be a RED FLAG. Why?

  • FIRST – Volume of material is NOT an indicator of the time a tool is engaged in the cut. And calculating the time the tool is actually engaged in the cut is the BEST way to determine cutting time. This type of input does not accurately reflect the tools time of engagement … because the tool may follow an unorthodox path while cutting … and that takes time.
  • SECOND – it already assumes that you have or are going to create a CAD drawing of the workpiece … and an accurate, to scale drawing at that. What if that’s not the case … as in about 85% of work that gets quoted in the real world. From sketches, from drawings that are not to scale, from prints … the volume input is next to impossible to obtain without an ACCURATE – TO SCALE CAD drawing … so you’ll need to create a CAD drawing.

Using Extends or Outline as an Input

The most accurate input for determining a tool’s length of time or engagement in the cut is the length of cut input. Why? Because this input actually traces the tools path while in the cut … which may not consist of “standard” type movements as reflected in the simple volume of material being removed.  This input is a little tougher to achieve … a little bit more of too much and it will be overkill … but you can get much closer to the actual time of engagement with this method. BUT … the toolpath must be accurately reflected for the calculation. Having a part that has a non-standard outline and saying that the extends are 6 x 3 is NOT accurate enough. You need to trace or follow the tool will take around the contour to insure you are as close as you can get. As mentioned above … our Cut Length Calculator app which comes standard with KipwareCYC® is by far the most accurate way to obtain a length of cut … using either a conversational, fill-in-the-blank format … or a DXF input.

Take a look at “feature based” estimating on STEROIDS in our KipwareCYC® – CUT LENGTH CALCULATOR video … the link is below :

Soooo … let’s Review

  • “Feature based estimating” is really just the act of creating a machining cycletime estimate … since you are really only creating the estimate so you can tell your customer how long it’s going to take to machine the part, and the associated costs. DON’T BE FOOLED.
  • The most accurate way to estimate cycletime for machining is yto utilize the time of engagement for the cutting tool. Volume of material being removed is a very subjective and inaccurate input and a tools length of cut is the most accurate.
  • KipwareCYC® is coupled with the Cut Length Calculator application and can provide users with a quick and accurate length of cut for traditional, standard operations for BOTH milling and turning … or utilize a DXF file so users can accurately trace the path the cutting tool will take around a non-traditional shape … giving closest length of cut calculation without the overkill.

If you agree with the points we have outlined here … we welcome your thorough review of KipwareCYC®, the companion Cut Length Calculator application and for costing … our KipwareQTE® software.

For additional information on the complete KipwareCYC® – Machining CycleTime Estimating Software application … CLICK HERE.

AND … for complete information on turning that cycletime estimate into a complete COST ESTIMATE and QUOTATION … check out KipwareQTE® … CLICK HERE.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Kipware® Conversational vs CAD/CAM — G code “wizards” — Conversational Controls

Some of the most frequently asked questions we hear in regards to conversational CNC programming are :

  1. “Why should I consider Kipware® conversational over CAD/CAM ?”
  2. “Why should I consider Kipware® over a conversational CNC control ?”
  3. “What’s the difference between Kipware® and those G code “wizards”?

And we actually love these questions … because the answer becomes really clear with some simple explanations and some outlining of the facts. If you’re wondering the same … here’s a brief outline.

Kipware® VS. CAD/CAM

STOP the CAD/CAM Frustration !!

  • 95% of everyday CNC programming does not require a CAD/CAM system … despite what the CAD/CAM companies tell you. If you are a job shop performing every day type programming … excluding complex aircraft components like airfoils or mold machining … your CAD/CAM system is most likely overkill for 95% of your CNC programming … and is excluding good chip makers from the programming process … and that’s hurting your efficiency.
  • To create even the simplest programs … a drawing is required … and that requires you to have CAD and drawing experience … and time.
  • Kipware® has a simple, easy-to-use user interface … no complicated icon systems to remember like CAD/CAM systems … and is much less expensive … in the short term and long term. The ROI (Return On Investment) with Kipware® is faster because you will be manufacturing more parts at a faster pace because of the simple design and ease-of-use and you can get more people involved in program creation.
  • Even if you are creating programs for complex parts … Kipware® is a great compliment to a CAD/CAM system. Simpler programs can be created by anyone with Kipware® leaving the complex “stuff” for the CAD/CAM. Kipware® allows you get more out of your CAD/CAM system.

Kipware® VS. “wizards” 

STOP being an amateur !!

Stop being treated like an amateur !!
Do you want to be a “cnc’er” or a machinist ??

  • These designs include simplistic interfaces … limiting the programmers capabilities and the type of workpieces and operations that can be programmed.
  • Their cheap price may be inviting … but any MAKER will quickly grow beyond their capabilities … don’t be held back.
  • Or maybe you have seen them touting “it’s FREE while in BETA testing.” OK … so I get to make junk, get frustrated, ruin my projects, waste my time AND TEST YOUR SOFTWARE FOR YOU ?? REALLY ??
  • Most of these so-called “conversational wizards” have been create by “hobby machinists” ( one of my biggest pet peeves … see here : http://kentechinc.blogspot.com/2014/05/pet-peeve-term-hobby-machinist.html ) who have VERY LIMITED experience or vision of a professional machine shop or professional machining. Let’s back this up with actual facts :

The whole machining concept outlined below of cutting a part with square corners and then just coming back to machine the chamfer or radius … which is the premise behind the “wizards” individual menu for chamfer or radius … is completely foreign in itself to a professional machinist. It further illustrates the hobby design concept present throughout the “wizards”.  These would be rough cut if large enough during rough machining and finish cut during finish machining as part of the complete part machining.

Below is a sample screenshot of one of the “wizards” … to machine an OD radius. Limited to 90 degrees only … what if you have two 45 degree lines with a radius in between. Out of luck. 

 And then there is the toolpath … screenshot on the right.. Wasted motion … and who machines a radius like this ?? Certainly not a professional machinist. Further … OD chamfer “wizard” screen and toolpath. Really? Only 45 degrees … and more wasted motion

In comparison … the professional design of KipwareT® incorporates the machining of these features into the professional machining concept of roughing and finishing. The video through the link below illustrates one of our cutting edge conversational options that … well, you gotta see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed … it truly is groundbreaking.

If you have the desire or need to go the  non-standard concept of machining the chamfer or radius individually … our KipwareT® does contain these individual chamfer or radius menu options. They are primarily there as options for non-standard instances only. Below are screenshot s of the KipwareT® conversational OD radius screen … and generated toolpath. Professional … and end of story.

  • Kipware® conversational offers UNMATCHED options not even available anywhere else in the industry. Options  like conversational 3D MILLING … LIVE TOOL and Y AXIS PROGRAMMING for turning centers. Kipware® is a leader and sets the bar in conversational programming software … and has turned the conversational CNC world on it’s head more than once … while still costing less than most lesser-capable programming options.
  • Unlike simplistic “wizards” … Kipware® conversational is a complete programming system … including conversational programming, conversational CAD/CAM, DXF importing, speed and feed wizard, toolpath plotting, full G code editing, toolbox software, programming assistant, and DNC communication software.

Kipware® VS. conversational CNC controls

  • Two words … OVERLY SIMPLISTIC. Everyday programming is NOT Rocket Science … BUT it’s NOT Kindergarten either.
  • All the so called “hobby” conversational CNC controls give the user only simplistic menus that do not have any real power. Case in point … some screenshots below :
These types of on-the-machine programming system are just too OVERLY SIMPLISTIC …and do not give the user room to grow into more complex programming when required.
  • These designs include simplistic interfaces … limiting the programmers capabilities and the type of workpieces and operations that can be programmed.
  • Not EVERY job in the shop is quick and easy and these overly simplistic “conversational controls” do not have the ability to handle more complex machining when required … or how about drawing or DXF import capabilities?
  • Unlike simplistic controls … Kipware® conversational is a complete programming system … including conversational programming, conversational CAD/CAM, DXF importing, speed and feed wizard, toolpath plotting, full G code editing, toolbox software, programming assistant, and DNC communication software.
  • Kipware® conversational was designed from the production shop floor up … by professional machinists … and includes powerful, real world shop programming features like cutter compensation … rotation … DXF importation capabilities … canned cycles … and more.
  • If you are looking for a conversational CNC … the better option is a Surface tablet or laptop loaded with Kipware® conversational. This allows for programming multiple CNC machines with a single device and single interface. Just pick it up and move it around easily which allows for programming on the shop floor or in the office or even at home … by multiple individuals. Now your conversational CNC includes powerful options and features including DXF import … and the cost is less than $1200 (US).

If you or your shop are exploring conversational CNC programming systems and software … we would love for an opportunity to show you the major differences between the proven-in-the-trenches Kipware® software and complex and expensive CAD/CAM … limited and under-developed G code “wizards” … and limiting, simplistic conversational CNC controls.

Please visit our website :

www.KentechInc.com

And arrange for a live, online demonstration of ANY Kipware® title :

http://www.kentechinc.com/Webex_Request.html

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

Dump the "wizards" and GO PRO with Kipware>

The place for all things Kipware® from www.KentechInc.com