Category Archives: Kipware® Programming Software

Posts pertaining to Kipware® Conversational and CNC Programming Software.

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.

The State of Manufacturing in 2022 – And Why Manufacturing Should Never Be The Same

This article is SHORT and SWEET … TOTALLY TRUE … and illustrates a point that if heeded … and you should … can help all size manufacturers and machine shops move forward with speed and confidence.

Let’s start with two main points :

  1. Today’s manufacturing is grappling with a multitude of issues … as listed below.
  2. Kipware® software can alleviate EVERYTHING listed below.

Let’s List the Problems :

  1. Constantly thinning margins caused by supply chain issues including sourcing raw materials. Even if they can find what they want … prices have increased to levels that are threatening margins. Profit Margins grow are thinner and thinner by the day … winning unprofitable work WILL ruin your business.
  2. A significant increase in demand … all those delayed products, plans, and purchases from last year are now happening all at once. Clients want their orders fulfilled NOW … or they’ll walk.
  3. The challenges of implementing new technologies into the production process are creating bottlenecks as manufacturers try to bring emplyees up to speed on new, complex technology. Software companies have shops bamboozled into thinking that only their products … overly complex, overly expensive, constant maintenance fees … can solve their problems. And they all come with huge learning curves … or lock you into finding employees who are familiar with them.
  4. Finding and retaining enough employees with the skills manufacturers need continues to be a top challenge. Instead of software helping inexperienced users grow and meet new challenges and become more helpful … today’s software requires more and more training and lock out good employees from stepping in.

Let’s See the Solutions … and Why Kipware :

  1. MARGINS are getting thinner by the day with the cost of raw materials rising and the ability to obtain raw materials getting more and more difficult. Manufacturers need to absolutely insure that jobs they are winning are profitable and KipwareQTE® cost estimating software and KipwareCYC® cycletime estimating software are essential tools for anyone quoting and estimating potentail work. Proven in the trenches since 1986 with constant innovation and improvements … Kipware® estimating software insures quality, profitable work … and stops the downward spiral of winning work that just loses money.
  2. DEMAND : Timeline for deliveries of manufactured goods are tight and manufactureres need to absolutely insure that any bottlenecks in the production process are removed. CNC programming models that rely solely on the “cad/cam guy” or the “programming department” should be a thing of the past. Relying on them for tasks like creating fixtures and jigs, boring jaws, simple part programming or in the case of Kipware® conversational, anykind of part programming … creates bottlenecks including editing or updating part programs as dictated by cutting conditions. KipwareM® and KipwareT® are real world tools that allow good chipmakers, novice CNC programmers and even advanced CNC programmers to create G code faster and easier than any CAD/CAM system … no CAD or CAD drawing experience required. With Kipware® conversational … you make chips … not drawings.
  3. IMPLEMENTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES : When deciding to add new technologies to your shop … one key fact to consider is the learning curve. How fast can I get the technology up and running … positively effecting my business … and what is my return on investment. Kipware® software … whether quoting and estimating or conversational CAM … are designed around intelligent interfaces so users spend more time doing and less time learning. Easy and intelligent user interfaces mean getting results faster and making a faster positive difference in your bottom line. Don’t be fooled … more expensive, more complex … does not mean quality or performance. ALSO … our innovative and pionerring G code conversion software can make acquiring new equipment and/or transferring G code seamlessly between different machines and controls … effortless. Got Fanuc controls/ Got Okuma controls? Got Haas controls? Our CNC XChange software will easily convert G code between these formats allowing for the quick and easy transfer of G code programs between different machines / controls. Eliminate the CNC control incompatibility issue and make your whole shop operate seamlessly.
  4. SKILLED PERSONNEL : Skilled personnel are getting harder and harder to find. Again, the easy and intelligent Kipware® software interfaces allow anyone … even with minimal skills … to create accurate cycletimes, accurate quotes and estimates and quality, efficient  CNC cutting programs. Kipware® conversational can turn anyone into a master CNC programmer … because the software does all the work automatically.  Kipware® quoting and estimating allows anyone to create accurate cycletime and cost estimates to insure the work you win is actually profitable work. And the routing sheets and road maps created from your quotes and estimates by Kipware® mean that the shop floor and estimators are in sync … a key factor for profitable quotes and estimates. Whatever you quote or cost out … must be able to be achieved by YOUR SHOP FLOOR. Book knowledge or pie-in-the-sky parameters only means more lost profits.

OK … that’s it. As stated in the beginning … short, sweet and all true. Kipware® is one of the fastest growing brands in machine shops around the world … fact … and it is because it is REAL WORLD software solving REAL WORLD issues and was designed and created by REAL WORLD developers.

And I can say I am proud to be :
Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Kentech Offers Pay Over Time Option for Kipware® Software

Kentech Inc. is pleased to partner with SEZZLE and PAYPAL to offer our U.S. and Canadian clients pay-over-time options for software purchases through BuyKipware.com. Here are the details :

SEZZLE is a BUY NOW – PAY LATER – INTEREST FREE platform that allows users to spread their software purchase over 4, interest free payments, over 6 weeks. Making a purchase with payment through SEZZLE allows users to get their software now and mitigate the financial impact in these difficult times. Some additional details :

  • Get what you need now … pay in 4 over 6 weeks.
  • Instant approval decision
  • SEZZLE is offered in over 47,000 online stores
  • No Credit Impact … shopping with Sezzle won’t have any effect on your credit score.
  • SEZZLE is the highest shopper rated pay-over-time solution.
  • Get individual Kipware CONVERSATIONAL CAM or QUOTING & ESTIMATING titles with payments as little as $123.75.

Kipware - Pay Over Time Option

Like SEZZLE, PayPal’s Pay in 4 is a feature that lets you split your purchase into 4 payments, with the down payment due at the time of transaction and 3 subsequent payments made every 2 weeks thereafter.  If you choose Pay in 4 as your payment method when you check out with PayPal, you will be taken through the application process. You will get a decision instantly but not everyone will be approved based on our internal checks. Some additional details :

  • Get what you need now … pay in 4 over 6 weeks.
  • Instant approval decision
  • No Credit Impact … shopping with Sezzle won’t have any effect on your credit score.
  • Get individual Kipware CONVERSATIONAL CAM or QUOTING & ESTIMATING titles with payments as little as $123.75.

We realize that times are challenging. Kipware® software offers game-changing solutions that mean fast ROI and will make immediate positive impacts in your manufacturing environment. We are pleased to offer our clients the ability to mitigate financial impacts yet get the solutions they need through SEZZLE and PayPal Pay-In-4 options.

To take advantage of these options … just select SEZZLE or PayaPal as your payment method at checkout through BuyKipware.com

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?

READ the FULL ARTICLE HERE

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.

New KipwareT® Release – Simple Turn & Simple Bore Menus

We have received requests from our KipwareT® users for a quick, down-and-dirty menu to help create G code to machine very simple one diameter OD or ID bore with chamfers or radii on the corners. Although our current SIMPLE TURNING and SIMPLE BORING menus can easily handle from one to an unlimited number of diameters … with any angles or radii … the idea presented was for a very simple one diameter part with corner chamfers or radii to enable anyone to quickly and easily create that roughing and / or finishing toolpath.

We have now released Version 23.4.0 of KipwareT® … that now contains both a turning and boring menu for workpieces containing only one diameter which has corner chamfers and / or radii on the ends. The new menus are illustrated below :

Simple Bore Menu

Simple Turn Menu

For more information on KipwareT® … CLICK HERE

To watch our YouTube Playlist for KipwareT® … CLICK HERE

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New KipwareT® Release – Pulley Groove / Undercut Turning Option

Kentech Inc. announces the release of Version 23.3.0 of KipwareT® – Conversational CNC Programming Software for Turning.

Included in this release is a new and powerful turning option for our OD PULLEY GROOVE Menu making it easier to create more efficient G code for shapes like the image below :

We have always had the ability to create a grooving type toolpath for this menu … and this new release gives users the option to create a turning type toolpath as well. For more information … please review the video below :

For users still within their 6 month free upgrade window … please email Sales@KentechInc.com to request an updated build with this new feature.

For users outside the window … please review all Kipware® UPGRADE options here : https://www.buykipware.com/product-category/kipware-upgrades/kipware-programming-upgrades/

For more information on Kipware® conversational software … please visit www.KentechInc.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New KipwareM® Release – Helical Mill and Thread Mill EASILY in Multiple Locations

We have received numerous requests from our clients to enhance some of our milling menus to EASILY accommodate for operations like OD and ID THREAD MILLING and OD and ID HELICAL MILLING to be performed in multiple locations. Currently the user can create one cycle … then copy that cycle and change the X/Y locations to create a cycle for the same operation in a different location. Not to hard … but cumbersome when you have 30 or 100 locations to accommodate.

So we got to work … and have released version 21.1.0 of KipwareM® with the following upgrade feature.

(1) OD and ID THREAD MILLING and OD and ID HELICAL MILLING now have the following option button …

Instead of just simple X and Y location fields … the user will then be presented with the following menu …

Users can then generate an UNLIMITED of X/Y locations where the cycle will be performed using :

(1) A BOLT CIRCLE conversational menu that allows the software to auto-calculate the locations for holes along the user defined bolt circle.

(2) A GRID PATTERN conversational menu that allows the software to auto-calculate the locations for holes along the user defined grid pattern.

(3) A HOLES-ON-A-LINE conversational menu that allows the software to auto-calculate the locations for holes along a user defined line at any angle.

(4) Read locations directly from a DXF file … every location of a POINT in the DXF will be recorded as a hole location in the form.

(5) MANUALLY enter an unlimited number of X/Y locations.

Our users have told us that this type of simple, conversational option is not available in any package they have been exploring … and we’re happy to provide this powerful option to our KipwareM® family of users.

This new feature is shipping standard with all KipwareM® orders as of 2/11/2021. Existing users can explore UPGRADE options by CLICKING HERE.

This newest feature is proving once again that Kentech Inc. developers are INNOVATORS and PIONEERS and illustrating why Kipware® conversational is the gold standard in PC based conversational CNC programming software.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New KipwareM® Release – Tapered Trough 3D Menu

KipwareM® is the only conversational CNC programming software on the market that gives users the ability to create standard 3D shapes through the use of conversational, fill-in-the-blanks menus.

As illustrated below, the KipwareM® 3D options include :

  • Tapered Cone
  • Tapered Hole
  • Tapered Square / Rectangular Boss
  • Tapered Square / Rectangular Pocket
  • Horizontal & Vertical Troughs
  • Male & Female Bending Dies
  • Curved Surface
  • Bowls
  • Radius Edge
  • Tapered Radius Edge
  • Straight Radius Edge

…. and we are pleased to announce the addition of the newest conversational menu … Tapered Horizontal Trough.

This menu allows for the creation of G code to machine a trough along the horizontal axis where the radius at the two ends is different. Our HORIZONTAL and VERTICAL trough menus handle troughs where the radii on both ends are the same … this menu accounts for instances where the radii on both ends are different.

This groundbreaking and innovative TAPERED HORIZONTAL TROUGH menu is now shipping standard with the 3D OPTION for KipwareM®.

KipwareM®’s groundbreaking and innovative 3D menus allow for the quick and simple creation of G code programs to machine standard 3D shapes without the need for CAD models nor CAD experience. Just answer the questions … and KipwareM® creates the G code in seconds.

For more information and video presentations of all our REAL WORLD machine shop software … please visit our website at www.KentechInc.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New Kipware® SketchPad Release – Enhanced Cutter Comp Controls for Turning

Version 12.1.0 of the Kipware® SketchPad has been released and includes enhanced cutter compensation controls for turning.

In some model Fanuc controls, errors can be generated when G41 / G42 commands are included inside a canned cycle contour profile. To assist user that need to employ cutter comp commands outside the canned cycle contour … or who wish to eliminate cutter comp altogether when roughing but still employ it in finishing … this new release will address these issues.

The SETTING above allows the user to select from -3- options to set the cutter comp command when ROUGHING :

(1) Turn cutter comp off … no G41 or G42 command will be issued during roughing … it will still be commanded during finishing.

(2) OUTSIDE the Cycle … will cause the G41 / G42 command to be executed prior to the roughing canned cycle command lines.

(3) INSIDE the Cycle … will cause the G41 / G42 command to be executed after the roughing canned cycle command lines for controls that can accept that format.

Regardless of the above roughing setting … G41 / G42 commands will be executed during finishing in the normal format if cutter comp on is selected in the turning operation. Since finishing is performed under long hand G code format and not canned cycle format it will be employed as normal during the start-up block prior to the finishing contour.

Version 12.1.0 is currently shipping standard as of 12/15/2020.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.