Category Archives: Kipware® Programming Software

Posts pertaining to Kipware® Conversational and CNC Programming Software.

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.

KipwareT® – Conversational CAM for TURNING – New Release

Kentech Inc. is pleased to announce new menu additions for our LIVE TOOL option for KipwareT® – Conversational CNC Programming Software for TURNING … details are below.

Live Tool Conversational CNC Programming with KipwareT®STRAIGHT SLOTTING

This new menu allows for the creation of G code to mill a slot or series of slots along the Z axis. The slots can be straight or fluted, determined by the user. The user can also use just this one menu to create code to mill an unlimited number of slots at incremental angles from each other.

Live Tool Conversational CNC Programming with KipwareT®

ANGLED SLOTTING

This new menu allows for the creation of G code to mill a slot or series of slots along the Z axis where the angle at the midpoint is different than the start / end. The user can also use just this one menu to create code to mill an unlimited number of slots at incremental angles from each other.

Version 24.3.0 is shipping standard as of 04/12/2024.

You can get full details on KipwareT® through the link below :

KipwareT – Conversational CNC Programming CAM for Turning

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

KipwareM® – Conversational CAM for MILLING – New Release

Version 23.0.0 of our KipwareM® – Conversational CNC Programming Software for MILLING has been released. This release includes a multi-location feature for easy repeating SQUARE / RECTANGULAR BOSS … O RING GROOVES … ROUND BOSS machining in mutliple locations using a single menu form.

How does the multi locations meaning work?

(1) Select the conversational menu desired … square / rectangular boss, O ring groove or round boss … input the specifics as they relate to the shape and machining … size, depth of cut, cutter diameter, etc..

(2) Select LOCATIONS button and the above form will be displayed. User can enter an UNLIMITED number of locations either manually, through the reading of a DXF file where every POINT in the DXF is brough in as a location … or to have the locations automatically calculated using a BOLT CIRCLE, GRID or LINE-AT-AN-ANGLE conversational menu.

(3) Returning to the original menu … select CREATE PROGRAM … and the defined shape and G code program will be auto created with the machining taking place at each location previously defined.

A sample RECTANGULAR BOSS plot is illustrated below.

This is a terrific time saver when identical shapes are required in multiple locations. This location option wax previously available in other menus … but now has been extended to almost all conversational menus.

Version 23.0.0 is shipping standard as 02/20/2024.

UPGRADE pricing and purchase options are available in the Kipware® OnLine Store … https://www.BuyKipware.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

KipwareM® Conversational CAM for Milling – New Feature Release – Next Tool Look Ahead & T Call

Kentech Inc. has released Version 22.1.0 of our KipwareM® – Conversational CNC Programming Software for Milling. This release contains a new feature to enable the output of the next T command … referred to some time as pre-loading the next tool … when outputting G code. Pre-loading allows the next tool to index and be ready for a tool change as the current tool is machining.

This feature is user configuravble through the SETTINGS as outlined in the screenshot below.

Pre-Loading T Command for CNC Milling Machine

KipwareM® has multiple user selectable options when it comes to tool change output … here is a brief explanation of each :

  • SINGLE LINE or DOUBLE LINE tool change commands can be configured.
  • NEXT TOOL LOOK AHEAD can be set to ON or OFF through the check box. If OFF … none of the options outlined below will be output.

NEXT TOOL LOOK AHEAD will cause the next T command to be auto-inserted into the program using Format A or Format B.

FORMAT A will cause the next tool T command to be inserted on the line following the current tool change command … an example :

T01M06 ( current tool change command )
T02 ( next T command )

FORMAT B will cause the next T command to be inserted after the first Z move line … an example :

T01M06 ( current tool change command )
G90S3000M03
G43Z1.00H01M08
T02 ( next T command )

These settings now allow the user to configure the next T command call to be most compatible with their CNC control & machine.

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 : https://kentechinc.com/kipware-programming-software/

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

There’s a NEW MEANING for the Acronym CAD/CAM …

The success of Kipware® conversational CNC programming software … conversational CAM … has meant a new meaning has been given to the acronym CAD/CAM.

  • NO LONGER is creating a DRAWING the start point for CNC programming .
  • In fact, NO LONGER is the entire CNC programming process driven by a drawing.

Kipware® conversational has taken the concept of creating G code to another level. A level that includes ease-of-use … a level that invites everyone ( not just CAD/CAM users ) to creater and explore G code creation … a level where speed and increased efficiency is a standard when creating G code programs. And as a result … the new meaning for the acronym CAD/CAM has been crowned :

  • C = CANCEL
  • A = ALL
  • D = DRAWING
  • /
  • C = CONCENTRATE
  • A = ABSOLUTELY on
  • M = MACHINING

Join us in the fight to END CAD/CAM OVERKILL … and spend more time MAKING CHIPS … NOT DRAWINGS … with Kipware® conversational CNC programming software.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

NEW RELEASE : Conversational 3D Programming for KipwareM® – 3D Conversational Hole Fillet Menu

Kentech Inc. and Kipware® conversational continue to show their innovative and pioneering  spirit with the latest release for our conversational 3D option for KipwareM® – Conversational CAM / CNC Programming Software for MILLING.

KipwareM® is the only application on the market that gives users the ability to create 3D G code for standard 3D shapes like CONES … TAPERED HOLES … TAPERED Square &  Rectangular BOSS … TAPERED Square & Rectangular POCKET … Horizontal & Vertical TROUGHS … Female BENDING DIES … CURVED SURFACES … BOWLS … RADIUS EDGES … TAPERED RADIUS EDGES … HOLE FILLETS … and we’re constantly adding new options based on user requests !!

Our latest version … 22.0.0 … now includes standard our conversational 3D HOLE FILLET menu in the 3D conversational option. Using a simple fill-in-the-blank form … using no drawing, no CAD  and no drawing experience required …. users can quickly and easily create G code to machine fillet radii on holes. Any size fillet … using any size tool … using a square end mill or ball end mill … can be programmed in seconds with this powerful and groundbreaking option. Below are some images and details.

Above is an example of what we refer to as a HOLE FILLET.

Conversational CNC programming for a 3D Hole Fillet is now available in KipwareM®The above image is a screenshot of the conversational 3D HOLE FILLET screen in KipwareM®. Simple plain english inputs … along with the ability to select a square or ball end mill … combined with the users ability to select climb or conventional milling make this menu so very powerful.

Conversational CNC programming for a 3D Hole Fillet is now available in KipwareM®Above is an image of a 3D plot of the resulting toolpath … all created using a fill-in-the-blank form … no CAD nor CAD / drawing experience required.

This new menu was created through a request from a client and we continue to pursue new conversational menu options based on user request and our own real world experiences. This new 3D HOLE FILLET menu is now included STANDARD with all KipwareM® w 3D option purchases.

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.

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.

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.