Tag Archives: cad/cam

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 KipwareM® Release : O.D. Boss Contouring Menu

Kentech Inc. recently released version 20.0.0 of our KipwareM® – Conversational CNC Programming CAM for Milling.

This new release includes a new contouring menu for O.D. square / rectangular bosses. The new menu allows the user to describe any chamfer, at any angle, or any radius on any corner of the boss. The chamfers / radii can all be different … or all be the same … some / all corners can also be left square … and the description is quick and easy to configure as the screenshot below illustrates.

Climb and conventional milling is configurable with the click of a button and the boss can be rotated at any angle with a single input.

Below is a video presentation with additional details :

Kentech Inc. continues to add innovative and ground breaking options to KipwareT® and KipwareM® … maintaining Kipware® conversational as the GOLD STANDARD in PC based CNC conversational CAM.

Please visit www.KentechInc.com for more information, pricing and purchase options for the complete line-up of Kipware® – Real World Machine Shop Software.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

KipwareXC® VS Re-Post VS Reposting

If you are in a real machine shop … with multiple CNC’s with multiple controls … you’ve run up against it. Control Incompatibility. The fact that G code formatted for one machine and control will not function on another machine with another control … and it causes havoc.

G code has to either be re-posted … re-programmed … or manually edited.

Most shops invest heavily in multiple CAD/CAM post processors to insure they can get G code created from their CAD/CAM system that will work in all the machines in the shop. Some try to even write their own CAD/CAM post. But CAD/CAM companies make the post processor language so cryptic and hard to figure out that eventually you buckle in and pay the price for a custom created post.

THE FACT IS … AND YOU KNOW IT … CAD/CAM COMPANIES ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN MAKING CUSTOMERS KEEP PAYING. Whether it’s yearly maintenance fees … post processor and post creation charges … THEY HAVE YOU HOSTAGE.

IT’S CALLED CORPORATE GREED !!

At Kentech Inc. we believe that EDUCATED CONSUMERS ARE OUR BEST CUSTOMERS. So we devised better ways to beat the control incompatibility issues through INNOVATIVE and PIONEERING G code conversion software like our KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange. Designed with clean user interfaces … with plain English menus … Kipware® conversion software is designed to have that educated consumer become their own boss … to take control on their own … and to succeed.

We have worked with customers all over the world including Okuma and many of their world wide distributors to add innovative and real world features to Kipware® to insure that we cover every kind of G code from CAD/CAM generated code to all-over-the-place manually created G code. And when a client needs “special” treatment for something specific they are doing … we got their back with custom development. And … if we feel it’s something that many people might need … we even code it for free … cause we know it just makes our software better.

Fed up with post processors and their cryptic languages that make it impossible for the average person to configure? Watch the video below … DUMP old school and GO new school with KipwareXC®. 

Now some people post in the forums on the net … “Why would you convert G code … just run it through your CAD/CAM system with another post.” The anonymity of online forums never ceases  to bring out the ignorance in people … so let’s set some facts straight.

Reason #1 for G Code Conversion – Converting Legacy Programs

Programs that were created years ago might not even have a CAD drawing to go back to … but most importantly ( they would know this if these people were real machinists ) … speed and feeds and even toolpaths were probably altered due to real world cutting conditions  or workholding issues or whatever. These are called “proven programs” … and are gold in a real world shop. Reverting back to the CAD/CAM system puts you back to starting-all-over-again. You lose any of the real world changes made … and more importantly time … and profits.

G code conversion makes so much more sense because nothing in the original program is changed … just the program format.

Reason #2 for G Code Conversion –
Eliminating Costly Posts

Kipware® allows users to create an UNLIMITED number of “profiles” … the definition of what-to-convert-into-what. This means that one purchase of Kipware® conversion software gives users the power to convert any G code format between multiple machines and multiple controls. You do not have to make a separate purchase for every machine in the shop. AND … because of our real world design you are in control. Make any changes or tweak the output to your liking at any time … FOR FREE !!

Reason #3 for G Code Conversion –
Unclog the Shop Floor Bottlenecks

If you live in the real world … you’ve been here. A program was created for one machine and control but because your client pushed up the delivery date or one of a hundred other reasons … you need to run that program in another machine with another control. In the CAD/CAM world you need to go back to the “CAD/CAM guy” and have him re-post it or edit it. In the Kipware® world … you simply run the program through the conversion software and BANG … ready to go.

… and we could go on and on.

But if you live in the real world and are a real world machinist … you can see and know the benefits from your own experiences.

So … is it time ???

Is it time to break the chains of the CAD/CAM company? Is it time to free your shop floor and let your productivity flow?

If so … we invite you to visit www.KentechInc.com and check out KipwareXC® and Kipware® CNC XChange. Arrange for a live, free online demonstration with one of our engineers and let us show you the real world design … and results … that you can achieve as you blow out control incompatibility in your shop.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Product Review / Comparison : CAD/CAM vs. Kipware® Conversational [ Fusion 360 vs Kipware® Conversational ]

FACT : Using a CAD/CAM system to program the simpler, everyday workpieces is costing you money.

FACT : CAD/CAM OVERKILL is real … and is costing shops in labor hours and dollars.

FACT : CAD/CAM was NEVER designed to be a G code generating tool first and foremost … it is a design tool first and foremost. If you’re not designing … DUMP the CAD and KEEP the CAM with Kipware® conversational.

FACT : Fusion 360 may be cheap … but even FREE software can disrupt efficiency and productivity if you can’t produce G code … and chips … in a timely manner.

Here’s the proof :

Get the low down on real world software that can save you time and money … Kipware® conversational … at our website : www.KentechInc.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Fusion 360 [ and Why CAD/CAM Companies JUST DON’T GET IT !! ]

CAD/CAM companies and developers JUST DON’T GET IT !!

If you are a machinist and / or job shop CNC programmer … this article is for YOU !!

Let’s start at the beginning …

CAD/CAM was originally designed “back in the day” for the design and manufacture of COMPLEX aircraft components. And for that complex programming … yes it is indispensable. But once all those aircraft manufacturers had their CAD/CAM … the market started drying up and the CAD/CAM companies looked to diversify … to look to push their products into other areas … like everyday manufacturing. Gotta keep developing markets to keep those BIG profits coming in.

BUT the reality is …

CAD/CAM was never designed to be a PRIMARY G code generating tool … it’s a design tool first and foremost … thus the need for a drawing to program even the simplest part. This fact can lead to a number of job shop / everyday manufacturing / G code generating issues … such as :

  1. Removing good chipmakers from the manufacturing process. If you can’t draw … you can’t program.
  2. Slowing down the programming process … have to always create a drawing first.
  3. Adds unnecessary complexity to the programming process … CAD/CAM packages are so complicated with cryptic icon driven menu systems making it necessary to weed through tons of unnecessary menus to accomplish even the simplest tasks.

What’s CONVERSATIONAL about this ???

This is a screenshot for creating a RADIAL SLOT in the “latest and greatest” conversational app out there … REALLY ??? Complex … icon driven … too many options that complicate things … overkill !!!  Yes pretty pictures maybe … but come on … pretty pictures doesn’t mean easy or efficient … be real.

Compare it with the KipwareM® RADIAL SLOT menu below … simple … easy to use … yet still contains tons of powerful machining options.

Developers who are NOT MACHINISTS … who DON’T LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD … design software that is OVERKILL !!

The alternative ????

Shop Floor Programming … plain and simple.

Shop Floor Programming pretty much describes the programming that is done on 95% of job shops around the world every day. Simpler … everyday parts. A shaft with 3 diameters … a groove … and a thread. A round milled pocket with a bolt circle at the bottom. A simple 2D contour for a metal bracket.  You get the picture … you know the workpieces I speak of.

For the above … why on earth would I need to waste my time to create a drawing to create some G code ???

Shop floor programming is the answer. A simple tool that was designed specifically for G code generation … not design primarily … G code generating primarily.

Some machine tool builders will tell you that their cryptic, archaic “conversational” control is “shop floor programming”. But the fact is that their CNC control is NOT a PC … and doesn’t have a PC’s capabilities or user-friendly-ness. AND … it’s specific for their machine … and is locked to the machine. You gotta program in the shop … at the machine … and what about all your other machines?? There’s a BETTER alternative …

Kipware® CONVERSATIONAL CNC Programming Software

Load Kipware® conversational CNC programming software on a laptop … BOOM … conversational, fill-in-the-blank programming for EVERY machine in your shop. Program at the machine … in the office … at home on the couch with a beer … wherever !!

Kipware® CONVERSATIONAL CNC PROGRAMMING SOFTWARE is the ESSENCE of Shop Floor Programming.

Pull up a round pocket fill-in-the-blank screen … answer some questions … BOOM … G code.

Pull up a bolt circle menu … answer some questions … BOOM … G code.

Pull up a shaft menu … enter some diameters and lengths … BOOM … G code.

You get the picture.

If you agree with the facts outlined here …. if you’re fed up with having to go down the CAD/CAM road where CAD/CAM companies FORCE you to go … 

DUMP the CAD … KEEP the CAM … click HERE to DO IT !!

Kenney Skonieczny
President — Kentech Inc.

X-Carve Programming and KipwareM®

As we continue to ramp up our sister woodworking company … KÄRV … we continue to demonstrate  and prove our mantras for our Kipware® machine shop software. Metalworking operations … woodworking operations … both have a lot of similarities and requirements and we continue to prove our Kipware® real world machine shop design and features in our now real world woodworking environment.

We recently blogged regarding how we utilize our KipwareCYC® and KipwareQTE® machine shop cycletime and cost estimating software to estimate retail costs for some of our wood products. If you missed it … see the full article HERE.

We are also proving our “not every job requires a CAD/CAM system” programming mantra at KÄRV as well. We recently put our KipwareM® – conversational CNC programming software for milling … to work on a shop floor programming project we were working on in the KÄRV workshop. If you haven’t read our article on shop floor programming vs. CAD/CAM programming … it’s quite the eye-opener … you can read the full article HERE.

The Rest of the Story …

We came up with an idea for a unique clock design that featured a quartz clock movement inside a slice of an oak log. To house the clock body … we needed to mill a 3″ diameter hole in the slice … and we wanted to use our X-Carve CNC router to mill the hole. Simple enough … and it really illustrates how a simple programming project could turn into an overblown programming project if we were to use a CAD/CAM program to create that G code program.

In a CAD/CAM system we would have had to first create a drawing … why? … and then use that drawing to create the toolpath. Some extra steps that would not only cost us time but that time expense has to go somewhere and that would mean additional labor costs associated with the cost of the clock … which would eventually be for sale on our website. Want one … get it HERE !!

So we started KipwareM® … no drawing required … and with a couple of fill-in-the-blank forms completed … we had our G code program to rough pocket and finish mill … using a helical milling routine … the 3″ hole needed to mount the clock movement. Here are some screenshots of the forms … simple, plain english, fill-in-the-blank forms with tons of machining options that created a quick and efficient toolpath … no drawing nor drawing time required Bang bang done !!

 

 

As I mentioned we roughed the pocket using a pocketing routine … but we finished the side walls using a helical type cutting routine. Very easy to create in KipwareM® and posted out using KipwareXC® with our X-Carve Profile. We sent the G code and drove the X-Carve using the Universal G Code Sender application. The results were outstanding and the fit for the clock movement was perfect … first shot.

 

Needless to say we saved ourselves a ton of time by not having to create a drawing and by using our shop floor programming ( not CAD/CAM programming ) model and KipwareM®. We did the programming right at the machine … no expensive CAD/CAM system required and no drawing or CAD/CAM experience required.

If you would like to learn more about KÄRV woodworking and see our other products and designs … please visit our website … www.KarvWoodworking.com

If you would like to explore our conversational, shop floor programming applications or any of our other REAL WORLD machine shop software … please visit our website … www.KentechInc.com

Kenney Skonieczny
President – Kentech Inc.
Woodworker – KÄRV Woodworking

New 3D Feature for KipwareM®

Today we are proud to be introducing a new conversational feature for our KipwareM® – Conversational CNC programming software for milling for our groundbreaking 3D conversational option. This option allows for the creation of G code programs to machine a radius along the edge of workpiece using only a conversational or fill-in-the-blank form. As we often do … this conversational menu was created because of a request from one of our clients …. and we are happy to help make their shop more efficient through our development.

edge_radius_screenshot

As the menu screenshot above illustrates … we have included many powerful options such as :

  1. The ability to select any of the (4) locations to correspond with the workpiece set-up and radius edge location. In addition … the user can use multiple operations which each different quadrant to machine a complete “box” configuration.
  2. Any angle of the sidewall which means the radius does not have to be inside a 90 degree edge but virtually any edge and sidewall combination.
  3. The ability to select ZIG-ZAG or ONE WAY machining where zig-zag cutting will take depths of cut via a user defined stepover in both directions for a faster operation or with one direction cutting only.

edge_radius_screenshot2

KipwareM® and our 3D conversational operations has become the PREMIER PC based conversational programming software on the market. The complete array of available conversational 3D options is illustrated in the menu screenshot below and includes Tapered Cone … Tapered Hole … Tapered Boss … Tapered Pocket … Horizontal and Vertical Troughs … Male and Female Bending Dies … Curved Surface … Bowl shape and now the Edge Radius option.

edge_radius_screenshot3

For additional information on KipwareM® and our family of Kipware® CNC and machine shop software family of products … please visit our website at www.KentechInc.com.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Conversational

Ground-Breaking Conversational 3D Programming In Action

In 2013 … Kentech Inc. released it’s ground-breaking and innovative 3D conversational programming for milling in KipwareM®. This release established Kipware® conversational as THE premier conversational CNC programming software … whether PC based on machine control based. This conversational 3D option IS THE ONLY CONVERSATIONAL 3D PROGRAMMING IN THE MARKET … IN THE WORLD !!

In the video below … we illustrate the program of an 18″ radius curved surface  on a workpiece that is 8″ wide and 25″ long.

curved_surface

This complex machining G code is created in the video IN LESS THAN 3 MINUTES !!

Conversational

We invite you to get a taste for the best and watch our ground breaking, innovative 3D conversational in the video linked below.

For more information and videos illustrating Kipware® conversational … milling and turning … please visit our website : www.KentechInc.com.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

To connect with us on Google+ … click the image below

google+_icon

The Kipware® Conversational Shop Floor Programming System

We get asked a LOT about the differences between CAD/CAM systems … such as Fusion360, Bobcad, Mastercam etc. … and Kipware® conversational software and our approach to “shop floor CNC programming”. We always love to take the opportunity to offer the explanation about our design and concept that differentiates Kipware® from CAD/CAM programming. We feel it is a major difference … and one that when understood can bring increased efficiency and flow to any shop floor from the production shop to even a home shop.

Let’s first start by stating that when we refer to “shop floor programming” we are not only talking about creating G code programs at the machine … on the shop floor … but are talking more about creating G code programs outside the realm of a “programmer” inside a “programming department”. Having qualified chipmakers have access to a tool to assist them in creating G code programs that do not require the training and knowledge required to create CAD drawings or function inside a complex CAD/CAM environment. Basically … G code creation for the masses !! This type of G code creation can include not only production type machine shops but prototype shops as well as even home shops … anywhere you feel the phrase “this job DOES NOT require a CAD/CAM system” rings true.

The ORIGINS of CAD/CAM

It is essential in ANY discussion about CAD/CAM to fully understand the history of where it came from. Way back around the late 50’s or so … the first CAD system was created and served as mere replacements for drawing boards. It is definitely an undisputed fact that the origins of CAD/ CAM lie in it’s drawing and design features. From these simple origins of computer aided drafting to the modern 3D engineering, simulation and inter-connectivity features … CAD is probably one of the most important tools in the areas of design and  engineering. This is where it was born and is still where it’s main features lie. Look at any of the major CAD/CAM websites and you’ll see it’s all about design and the design features.

The CAM part of it came along later tagging on the design apron strings as a follow-up to CAD … but has always been an after-feature … never the main player. The simple fact that you CANNOT create any cutting toolpaths in ANY CAD/CAM application …. even to simply drill a hole … without a CAD model illustrates this fully. No Drawing … No Toolpath … PERIOD.

CAD and CAD/CAM were primarily developed as design tools … use as a CNC programming tool has always been secondary. If you look deep at an application like Fusion360 … it is primarily about design and collaboration regarding design work … which is great for someone designing and building a product. For shop floors and job shops that have the task of delivering machined components … it really makes less sense.

And herein lies the main difference between CAD/CAM and the Kipware® “shop floor programming” system.

Kipware® Shop Floor Programming
VS.
CAD/CAM

cadcam

The truth of the matter is … despite what CAD/CAM companies might have you believe … is that turning the above “pretty picture” 3D model … which CAD is essential in developing … into actual physical components is not as simple as clicking the mouse and watching the parts roll out of your CNC machine. It comes down to the more intense basics of fixturing and workholding, cutting tools, toolpath / G code generation, and actual CNC machining … for EACH of the components that comprise the model. There is no CAD/CAM MAGIC involved … it’s simple down and dirty, programming, chipmaking and machining. The picture may look fabulous … but making the actual physical components still requires a skilled CNC programmer / machinist.

AND this is the essence of why what we refer to as “shop floor programming” makes soooo much sense.

Let’s face the facts that not every skilled machinist is a skilled draftsman or CAD operator … but are still one of the most valuable assets on the shop floor. Should their lack of drafting or CAD skills eliminate them from the CNC programming process? Should their lack of drafting or CAD skills eliminate them from applying their skills to program / G code generation. We think that following that path is leading your shop floor down the road of extreme inefficiency.

Kipware® conversational allows skilled chipmakers but unskilled CNC programmers or CAD/CAM personnel to get involved in the programming process. Bringing additional layers of options and efficiency to the shop floor. Kipware® conversational gives them a simple tool to assist them in creating G code programs for the day-to-day type workpieces … leaving the more complex “stuff” to the “CAD/CAM guy”. Have a quick peek at our animated video below that illustrates a scenario we see time and again on shop floors around the world.

Chipmakers better understand the shop floor, their machine and fixturing and tooling. It is natural progression to allow them to process the part based on fixture / tooling availability as well as fixturing / tooling understanding. They know how to hold the part … the tools to use to cut metal … and so who better to create the toolpaths? Kipware® allows for employing multiple chipmakers to creating multiple programs … financially because a purchase includes (2) full seats out of the gate … but also because learning the software is quick and easy due to it’s intuitive design … unlike the complexity entailed with a CAD/CAM system. Any good chipmaker already has the basis for a good CNC programmer. While anyone can be taught to make the tool move around on a CNC machine … chipmakers and machinists understand the most important facets of actual metal removal. It’s not the other way around … someone with no chipmaking experience usually makes a lousy CNC programmer.

The REALITY of Part Programming

Taking a deeper look at the “pretty picture” from our 3D model reveals that it contains a ton of the simpler, every-day type workpieces that can easily be programmed with Kipware® conversational by tons of good chipmakers currently not involved in the programming process because of their “CAD/CAM ignorance” … usually their inability to create a drawing. 

cadcam

The reality of shop programming is that for 95% to 98% of workpieces produced every day in shops around the world … CAD/CAM is overkill … removes good chipmakers from the programming process … and can actually slow down production and contribute to inefficiency.  True efficiency on virtually every shop floor dictates that NOT EVERY JOB should be put through the CAD/CAM system … through the “CAD/CAM guy” … nor requires a drawing to create G code.  Efficient programming requires that you have an arsenal of tools available so that your CNC programming is not akin to forcing square pegs into round holes. CAD/CAM is one bullet … Kipware® conversational should be another.

The REVOLUTION is ON !!

master_Kipware_matrix_shop_floor_revolution

If the points we have outlined here make sense to you … why not join the revolution? … the Kipware® conversational CNC shop floor programming revolution. Give us a call today or click HERE and arrange for a live, online demonstration of Kipware® conversational. Let us show you Kipware® in action and show you how shop floor programming can FREE you from the CAD/CAM shackles and bring new, improved productivity to your shop for the New Year !! JOIN THE REVOLUTION … say NO to CAD/CAM OVERKILL !!

Kentech Inc.
Toll Free ( within the US ) : 1.888.754.1198
Voice : 1.508.754.1198
Email : Sales@KentechInc.com
URL : www.KentechInc.com

Conversational

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.