Category Archives: General

General musings and information.

Kipware Conversational #CAM … It’s Like Driving a Sports Car !!

Kipware® Conversational CNC programming is like driving a sports car, while CAD/CAM is akin to driving an older car. Let’s break it down:

  1. Conversational CNC Programming (Sports Car):
    • Speed: Like a sports car, Kipware® conversational is agile and quick. It allows programmers to create CNC toolpaths directly at the machine interface without relying on complex software.
    • Flexibility: Just as a sports car can swiftly adapt to different road conditions, Kipware® conversational enables quick adjustments and modifications to machining operations on the fly.
    • Intuitiveness: Similar to how a sports car’s controls are designed for a seamless driving experience, Kipware conversational’s interface is user-friendly, allowing operators to input machining parameters without extensive training.
    • Efficiency: Sports cars are engineered for high performance; likewise, Kipware conversational optimizes machining processes for efficiency and productivity.
  2. CAD/CAM (Old Car):
    • Complexity: CAD/CAM systems, like older cars, can be more intricate and require a learning curve to master. They involve designing parts in CAD software and then generating toolpaths using CAM software.
    • Reliability: Just as an older car may require more maintenance and upkeep, CAD/CAM systems require regular updates and troubleshooting to ensure smooth operation.
    • Precision: CAD/CAM systems excel in producing intricate and precise machining instructions for complex parts and require extensive training to operate. When simpler parts are involved, that precision and training often removes good chipmakers from the programming process.

In essence, Kipware® conversational CNC programming software offers speed, agility, and simplicity akin to driving a sports car, while CAD/CAM provides the precision and automation capabilities reminiscent of an older car’s reliability and complexity.

We invite you to explore Kipware® conversational in more detail HERE.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

KipwareXC® – The Intelligent Post Processor Alternative … Maybe Genius Level !!

One of the biggets, constant and universal struggles in machine shops around the world is the “control incompatibility” issue. G code formats between CNC controls are different … Fanuc different than Okuma … different than Fagor … different than Mazak … different than Haas … and on and on. The result is that G code created for one machine won’t run in a different machine … leading to re-posting … or re-programming … or worse.

But the GENIUS developers at Kentech Inc. have created the ultimate solution.

Kentech Inc. has been developing pioneering and ground-breaking G code conversion since 1986 when first commissioned by Raytheon Corp. to help with their shop’s control incompatibility issues. Those years of experience went into the development of both our KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange applications … resulting in easy-to-use and powerful conversion applications. thousands of shops around the world use KipwareXC® and CNC XChange to allow all their shop floor machinery to operate seamlessly … putting an end to the time consuming and error prone re-posting or re-programming of proven G code programs.

But what are the advantages of G code conversion software?

Kipware® conversion software is a bit mind blowing because not many similar type of applications exist. But once you see the advantages … it all becomes clear and makes enormous sense. Here goes :

  1. Proven G code running on the shop floor more often than not contains tweaks and edits that were needed due to cutting conditions, re-design or to just plainly increase efficiency. Converting that proven G code from one format to another using Kipware® means none of those nuance’s are lost … whereas re-posting or re-programming means basically going back to square one … resulting in hours of lost time and re-prove-out meaning non-productive machining.
  2. With the cost of post processors ever on the rise … Kipware® conversion allows users to generate G code using one post processor … and then convert that standard G code output into output compatible with other machines and controls with just a single purchase of an application like KipwareXC®.
  3. KipwareXC® allows users to create an unlimited number of PROFILES … the what-to-convert-into-what … and select the desired PROFILE at the time of conversion to auto-convert the original file to the new format.One purchase can handle an unlimited number of conversion scenarios.
  4. Since KipwareXC® is completely user-configurable … you have control of the output rather than being at the mercy of some CAD/CAM post processor developer.
  5. KipwareXC® and CNC XChange uses plain English and simple forms to tell the software what-to-convert-into-what. Editing a post processor usually requires some coding experience and the cryptic post-processor language is difficult to understand and edit. And making mistakes can have devestating consequences.
  6. Having the ability to easily and confidently convert proven G code into another format gives shop’s the choice to purchase the new machine that best fits their needs … not one that matches the G code format already in play. The ramp up time is much quicker because programmers don’t need to learn the new programming format as quickly … since they will be auto-converting proven G code to the new format and will be up and running while they ramp up.
  7. In order to re-post files from one format to another … the original CAD file must be accessable. Often times those files are not available or are outdated … with edits / changes made to the G code directly on the shop floor. Sinec Kipware® only requires the G code program … that problem is eliminated.
  8. Are you a machine tool sales professional? KipwareXC® and CNC XChange can eliminate the control incompatibility from your sales resulting in increased sales and happier clients.

The Genius of KipwareXC® as a Post Processor with Kipware® Conversational CAM

Kipware® conversational CAM has changed the landscape for thousands of shops around the world by freeing them from the “CAD/CAM only” model … by allowing more chipmakers to get involved with the evryday G code creation … and by speeding up the G code creation by eliminating the need for a CAD model or drawing as the starting point for G code creation. But here is the GENIUS of the combination of Kipware® conversational and KipwareXC® :

  1. Programmers use the same Kipware® conversational CAM interface to create G code. Kipware® creates Fanuc, “fanuc compatible”, Haas and Okuma G code out-of-the-box … no post or anything additional is required. For machines that are not “fanuc compatible” we offer KipwareXC® as an option at a reduced price.
  2. Users can continue to create G code using the same Kipware® conversational interface … regardless of what machine / control they are creating G code for … spend more time creating G code and less time learning software. Once the program is completed … they run that G code through KipwareXC® using the PROFILE desired … and the standard Kipware® output is auto-converted to the format desired.
  3. And KipwareXC® can be employed for ANY G code file … whether created in Kipware® conversational CAM or not … GENIUS !! That opens even more options to eliminate control incompatibility.

Using our years of G code conversion development means that many features have been employed in KipwareXC® and CNC XChange so the applications can handle any conversion scenario. Options have been developed to handle G code rigidly formatted created with a CAD/CAM system to unformatted G code created by hand programming.

It’s time to re-think the shop floor. Think about what it would mean for your productivity and profitability if all your shop floor machine’s ran seamlessly.

Interested? Check out all the Kipware® conversion titles through the links below … or give Kentech Inc. a call today and let’s re-imagine your shop floor.

More Info on KipwareXC® … Click Here

More Info on CNC XChange … Click Here

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Benefits of KIPWARE® Conversational CNC CAM vs. CAD/CAM

As we update steadly in this BLOG, there has been constantly growing interest in KIPWARE conversational CNC programming software as an alternative to traditional CAD/CAM systems. So much so that KIPWARE® is now the fastest growing brand of PC based conversational CAM in machine shops around the world. Clients are discovering that KIPWARE Conversational CNC programming offers several advantages over CAD/CAM, particularly for certain applications and user scenarios. Here are some benefits of KIPWARE® conversational CNC programming software:

1. User-Friendly Interface: KIPWARE® Conversational CNC programming software employs a user-friendly, intuitive interface that allows users without extensive CNC programming knowledge to create CNC programs easily. The software presents questions and prompts in a conversational format, guiding users through the programming process step by step.

2. Reduced Learning Curve: CAD/CAM systems can be complex and require significant training to use effectively. KIPWARE® Conversational programming is simpler to learn and use, making it more accessible to operators and less experienced CNC programmers.

3. Faster Programming: For simple and standard machining operations, KIPWARE® conversational CNC programming can be much faster than traditional CAD/CAM systems. Users can quickly input the required parameters without the need to create detailed 3D models or use extensive toolpath strategies.

4. Ideal for Prototyping and One-Off Jobs: When working on prototypes or one-off parts, KIPWARE® conversational programming can be more efficient. It allows programmers to quickly create simple toolpaths without investing significant time in CAD model creation and complex CAM strategies.

6. Accessibility for Small Shops: Smaller machining shops or hobbyists find KIPWARE® conversational CNC programming software more affordable and suitable for their needs compared to full-fledged CAD/CAM solutions, which can be expensive.

7. Simplified Updates and Maintenance: KIPWARE® Conversational CNC programming software is less complex than CAD/CAM systems, making updates and maintenance potentially more straightforward and less time-consuming.

As technology evolves, and the skills shortage has become more pronounced, KIPWARE® conversational has become one of the fastest growing brands in machine shops around the world.

Check out the full KIPWARE® line of conversational CAM here :

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Why KIPWARE® Conversational CNC Programming Software is BETTER than CAD/CAM

Conversational CNC programming software is better than CAD/CAM for several reasons.

First, it is much easier to learn and use. Conversational CNC programming software uses a point-and-click interface, which makes it easy for even beginners to create CNC programs. CAD/CAM software, on the other hand, requires a much higher level of technical knowledge.

Second, conversational CNC programming software is much faster. With conversational CNC programming software, you can create CNC programs in minutes, while CAD/CAM software can take hours or even days. This is a major advantage for small businesses and shops that need to be able to quickly turn around orders.

Third, conversational CNC programming software is much more affordable. CAD/CAM software can be very expensive, while conversational CNC programming software is much more affordable. This makes it a great option for small businesses and shops that are on a budget.

Here are some of the benefits of using conversational CNC programming software:

  • Easy to learn and use
  • Fast and efficient
  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Powerful
  • Accurate
  • Reliable

If you are looking for a CNC programming software that is easy to learn, fast, and affordable, then KIPWARE®conversational CNC programming software, the gold standard in PC based conversational, is the best option for you.

Check it all out here :

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

The Effects of Inaccurate Cycletime Estimating in Your Machine Shop

Machining time estimation is the process of predicting how long a machining operation will take to complete. It is important for profitability but also for the  planning, scheduling, costing and optimizing machining processes.

The most common focus on innaccurate cyceltime estimating is in the profit and loss of higher or lower times when machining the workpiece. But other factors also come into play and are just as important and can have very detrimental effects on your shop.

Inaccurate machining time estimation can have negative effects on the efficiency and profitability of machining operations. Some of those effects are :

  • Overestimating machining time can lead to underutilization of machine capacity, wasted resources, higher production costs and lower competitiveness.
  • Underestimating machining time can lead to overloading of machine capacity, delays in delivery, poor quality and customer dissatisfaction.
  • Inaccurate quoting: This can lead to lost sales or unhappy customers.
  • Inaccurate scheduling: This can lead to production bottlenecks and missed deadlines.
  • Inaccurate capacity planning: This can lead to over or under-investment in equipment and resources.

Therefore, it is important to use reliable methods and data to estimate machining time as accurately as possible.

KipwareCYC® … machining cyctime estimating software from Kentech Inc. is a proven in-the-trenches solution for accurate machining time estimation and is trusted by thousands of machine shop of all sizes around the world.

You can get more information on KipwareCYC® through this link :

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

@Kipware Twitter Account Deactivated

With the purchase of Twitter by #ElonMusk … Kentech Inc. has chosen to deactivate and remove our @KIPWARE Twitter account.

Eloan Musk was once, in our eyes, a visionary and a positive force for change in our world. Over the years … he has lost step and fallen to the low levels of other wealthy individuals who are corrupted by power and wealth and use them to force their views about EVERYTHING onto the world. The purchase of Twitter will only assist him in taking steps and exerting influence that will push the world closer to chaos.

We encourage all Twitter users to think long and hard about whether or not Elon Musk is an “influencer” and if Twitter is a platform they wish to encourage and assist.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Cutter Compensation – a CNC Programmers Best Friend – Best CNC Programming Practices

Many programmers shy away from cutter compensation … primarily because they have never taken the time to fully understand both it’s power nor how to use it properly. But the reality is that cutter comp is one of a programmers best friends. The most common reason goes something like this “It’s just as easy to have the CAD/CAM system compensate for the TNR ( tool nose radius ) and out put the hard numbers.” That is true … but life on the shop floor makes this a bad practice. A couple of reasons why :

  1. The “numbers” in the G code don’t match the “numbers” on the part … because they are taking into account the TNR. If manual edits need to be made … even simple edits … this makes it much harder because the part dimensions don’t match the G code numbers.
  2. Say after cutting … the conditions warrant either a bigger or smaller TNR for better cutting conditions. If cutter comp is used … it’s a simple offset change. If not … it’s a trudge back to the CAD/CAM guy or system to re-post and make a new G code program for the revised tool and it’s TNR.
  3. In milling … let’s say I broke my last perfect .250R end mill … but I have a re-ground one that is .245R.. Again, if cutter comp is used … it’s a simple offset change. If not … it’s another trudge back to the CAD/CAM guy or system to re-post and make a new G code program for the revised tool radius.

But here we are going to stick with turning here … and here are a couple of simple rules for when to use and when not to use cutter compensation.

  • Whenever angles or radii are involved … you must use TNR compensation or the angles and radii will be off. Because the programmed point of the cutting tool, an imaginary sharp point, does not coincide with the actual point of the cutting tool which always has some corner radius. For this reason, when machining close tolerance angle or radius cuts, inaccurate workpieces will be produced. The amount of error is proportional to the amount of the tool nose radius.
  • Only worry about using it for finishing … It’s really not worth the effort to use it roughing … the amount you leave for finish allowance will probably “hide” the mismatch due to the TNR.
  • You must start cutter comp with a “start up block”. This block is usually the move as you approach the part … the move distance must be greater than the radius in the TNR offset. So if your tool has a radius of .032 … make a move at least .035 … preferably more.
  • Make sure that your TNR is less than any radius on the part … don’t try to jam an .032 tool into a .020 radius … alarms will greet you somewhere along the way.
  • We’ll cover some additional thoughts at the end of the post.

The Details :
The CNC control has the capability to automatically compensate for the tool nose radius thru the CUTTER COMPENSATION codes of G41 and G42. G41 is called cutter compensation left. The left side is explained as the side of the workpiece the cutting tool is on when viewed in the direction of cutter movement or the cutter is moving on the left side of the programmed path. Once commanded, G41 or G42 are modal commands and remain active until the G40 or cancel condition is obtained.

In Fanuc controls, in addition to commanding G41 or G42 direction, the programmer must also tell the control two other aspects of the cutting tool which are : (a) the amount of the tool nose radius and (b) the imaginary tool tip location. Both these values are entered in the tools geometry or wear offset table. In the offset table, the R value is the amount of the tools nose radius. If the program called T0101 in the tool command, in offset table #1, under the R column, the nose radius of the tool would be entered. The T column in the offset tables holds the imaginary tool tip location.

Cutter compensation must be programmed using what is commonly referred to as a start up block. This block, which must be a G01 type block, is used to activate the cutter compensation before the cutting tool actual contacts the workpiece. The movement amount in the start up block must always be greater than the nose radius of the tool stored in the R column of the offset table. Circular commands using G02 or G03 are not allowed on start up blocks.

G40 is used to cancel the automatic compensation of the tool nose radius. G40 should always be commanded on a G00 block as the tool moves away from the workpiece with the tool in a clearance position.

More Rules and Thoughts :
Many rules apply in the use of cutter compensation as the control is always checking the tool position so it can calculate for the tool nose radius. Three rules of thumb apply and should keep you free of the controls cutter compensation alarms :

(1) Always command a start up block before contacting the workpiece and move in the G01 mode with a move greater than the nose radius of the tool.

(2) Use cutter compensation primarily in the finishing cut and try to eliminate it in the roughing passes. The more moves made with G41 or G42 modal, the more likely for a problem. To finish the part, use the start up block, finish cut the part and command G40 when done. If additional cuts are required, use another start up block and cancel the cutter comp each time as soon as the profile cut is finished.

(3) Always cancel G41 or G42 using the G40 command. The best place to command G40 is on a G00 block, at a clearance point or moving to a clearance point.

Because cutter compensation causes the control to perform some powerful calculations and is a complex command, you should also consult your controls instruction manual for further info on G41 or G42.

Kenny Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Most Important Post : Is Conversational DEAD in Today’s Machine Shop?

I have been in manufacturing for close to 40 years now. I have worked for multiple machine tool builders including DMG Mori and at multiple machine shops and types of machine shops. From one or two piece job shops to large volume production shops. So I have been around the block … more than once.

After starting Kentech Inc. in 1986, one of the first software products I developed was our Kipware® conversational. Why … because being on the shop floor taught me the power and need for a fast, easy-to-use CNC programming tool that could eliminate the need for running to the “CAD/CAM guy” every time a CNC program or program tweak was required. Tasks like qualifying stock, boring jaws, adding operations to existing G code, complete programming of simpler “everyday” parts … and similar … are perfect for conversational software and for getting good chipmakers involved in the CNC programming process without the need for CAD drawing or CAD/CAM experience. There have always been rumblings that conversational programming is no match for CAD/CAM and with the upswing of “cheap” ( but believe me they are not cheap $$ ) like Fusion 360 … those rumblings have gotten louder and louder. BUT … I’m here to tell you that if you let those rumblings effect your shop … you will be sadly mistaken and you will miss an important key to greater productivity.

In surveys conducted of shops with some form of conversational running, 88% of those users still find conversational programming helpful and useful, and find it a relevant way to produce parts – even in today’s supposed “CAD/CAM only” manufacturing environment.

The “OLD” Machine Shop vs the “NEW” Machine Shop

In the past, shops received electronic drawing files along with a paper blueprint from their customers. Since the majority of job-shop work consisted of machined features and drilled holes, , it was easy to see how conversational can help with faster programming.

However, as CAD/CAM software has become more prevalent, and manufacturers use CAD/CAM for design, shops began receiving more solid models from their customers instead of blueprints and/or DXF or DWG files. Creating paper copies from these files or extracting the data from the solid model files to use for conversational programming seems too time consuming and maybe not worth the effort. These additional steps in the programming process simply appear to defeat the overall benefit of speed and ease that conversational programming offered shops in the past.

So, this must mean that conversational programming is dead?

Absolutely not!

Why Conversational Then?

Time and again, shops that say they won’t ever use conversational, change their minds once they see just how powerful Kipware® conversational is and how fast and easy conversational programming is … especially for the programming of simpler parts, operations like stock preparation and boring of jaws or programming operations for fixture machining . Kipware® conversational opens up all kinds of efficiency avenues and allows for good chipmakers to get involved in G code creation without having to have CAD drawing or CAD/CAM experience.

With today’s “experience-less” shops … Kipware® conversational gets more good chipmakers involved in G code creation with minimal training and takes them to new levels adding productivity and efficiency to the shop floor. The day of the exclusive “CAD/CAM programming department” are quickly disappearing … and shop floor programming has come alive.

Kipware® conversational has become the GOLD STANDARD in PC based conversational because it includes so many unique and powerful features combined with an easy-to-use powerful interface and the ability to import DXF files for programming of complex workpieces. Kipware®’s design and capabilities have taken conversational programming to new heights while maintaining an easy-to-use approach that requires minimal training to ramp up to full speed.

All the benefits of Kipware® conversational are too numerous to mention in this one post … but you can explore many of the benefits of Kipware® conversational through the THIS LINK … CLICK HERE.

Below are a couple of other links that can help you realize the benefits of conversational programming vs. the CAD/CAM only model :

Why a CAD/CAM only model puts your CNC programming at risk.

The DUMBING down of the CNC machine shop.

Think that the CAD/CAM model is the only model for G code creation? Dismiss the benefits of conversational programming and Kipware® conversational at your peril.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

The DUMBING DOWN of the CNC Machine Shop

Many people believe that the rise of CAD/CAM has also meant the dumbing down of the machine shop. CAD/CAM operators do not have to be chip making machinists … the only requirement is to know how to operate the CAD/CAM system. As result whatever method the CAD/CAM system comes up with is the method of production. Speeds, feeds, process … it’ all set by the CAD/CAM system and your production and machining are at it’s mercy … whether right or wrong.

Analogy : Sure the pilot uses auto-pilot to fly … but the pilot also knows how to fly the plane manually if needed. Does your CAD/CAM programmer know G code? Can he intervene if necessary?


It’s time to RISE UP … time to make your shop smarter and more efficient. Time to enhance the HUMAN FACTOR … and KIPWARE® can help.

CLICK HERE to explore Kipware® in detail.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Why Using a CAD/CAM ONLY Model Puts Your CNC Programming at Risk

It may seem that your current CNC programming is comfortable with your CAD/CAM system and can “whip up” new G code in no time. But think about the long term … think about these points :

  1. Your CNC programming is at the mercy of your CAD/CAM system. You need to pay any monthly / yearly fees to stay current and stay supported. You are locked in.
  2. You need to find personnel to hire who are familiar with, at least, CAD and CAM and at best YOUR CAD/CAM system. This limits your candidate selection and ability to get the best person for the job.
  3. You have good chipmakers on the shop floor who could lend valuable assistance to the creation of the simpler, everyday G code creation … but they don’t know CAD, CAM and struggle to create G code from scratch. Kipware® is a tool where G code experience is not even required … good chipmakers make GREAT Kipware® programmers.
  4. The ability to hand off the everyday programming to a Kipware® programmer and keep the “CAD/CAM guy” focused on the more complex programming opens up a whole new world of efficiency for your shop.
  5. A lifetime license for Kipware® conversational ( 2 seats ) is equal to (1) year of Fusion 360 !!

CAD/CAM was never intended to be a primary G code creation tool … it is a design tool first and foremost. Everything starts with a drawing. If you’re not designing … DUMP the CAD … KEEP the CAM and increase output with Kipware® conversational.

Create G code FASTER and EASIER with Kipware® Conversational … CLICK HERE TO LEAR MORE

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.