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So far Susan Gaffney has created 125 blog entries.
17 07, 2017

Mastercam Connected to MachiningCloud

By | 2017-12-22T08:30:37+00:00 July 17th, 2017|Mastercam, News / Promos|0 Comments

With the release of Mastercam 2018, Mastercam is now connected to MachiningCloud. The Mastercam MachiningCloud connection provides users access to MachiningCloud's cutting tool product data from within Mastercam. Mastercam customers now have direct access to complete and up-to-date cutting tool product data from leading cutting tool manufacturers available on MachiningCloud. With this new Mastercam MachiningCloud connection, Mastercam users will experience the following key benefits: Search for tools from multiple manufacturers quickly in one place. Access to manufacturer's expert cutting tool recommendations. Quickly filter a universe of possibilities down to an optimum solution for a given workpiece. Import the selected product data into Mastercam for programming. Utilize the 3D models for simulation and 2D drawings for documentation. For more information please view the short video below.

14 07, 2017

What is Chip Load?

By | 2017-12-22T08:32:16+00:00 July 14th, 2017|Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

As part of our Foundations of Cutting Metal series, we are going to discuss Chip Load and Feed Per Tooth or Inch Per Tooth in relation to milling. Chip Load or Feed Per Tooth is the theoretical length of material that is fed into each cutting edge as it moves through the work material.Chip Load given by tool manufacturers is the distance the material is moved into the cutter at the centerline of the tool as each cutting edge rotates through to cut. It is a theoretical distance because other cutting factors like width of cut and cutting edge geometry affect the physical thickness of the chip so measuring the thickness of a chip with a caliper or micrometer will not give you the calculated chip load. It must be calculated from the actual cutting parameters. Why Should You Care About Chip Load? Chip Load affects 5 major areas of the machining process: As Chip Load increases or decreases it requires more or less force to shear the material being cut so it controls the amount of HP and torque that is being used. Too much Chip Load increases wear, leads to premature tool failure, rough finishes and draws more HP, torque and amperage thru the machine and increased stress on the axis drives. Too little Chip Load causes vibration and chattering that will chip the tools cutting edges and it can cause the tool to rub and wear rather than cut. This can clearly be heard and seen by looking at the chips and the cutting edges. The right amount of Chip Load gives the chip enough mass to absorb heat and pull it away from the tool and the part. Last, it directly affects the productivity because the higher a Chip Load, the more the higher Metal Removal Rate or MRR. Where do you find a starting Chip Load? Every tool manufacturer has done many hours of testing in relation to the material that is being cut so get their data as a starting point and make small changes as needed. Remember, Chip Load has the second greatest effect on tool life. As an end mill increases in diameter so does its ability to handle more chip load and vice versa. This is because as the tool diameter becomes larger, so does the strength of the tool and its ability handle a greater chip load. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign Up

12 07, 2017

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Advanced Holes

By | 2017-12-22T08:33:00+00:00 July 12th, 2017|SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Since as early as SolidWorks 2000, SolidWorks has had the Hole Wizard tool to quickly help you create a hole on your part with a predefined cross-section, based on the standard and sizes that you chose, but now there is a new tool in SolidWorks 2017 called Advanced Holes. This is useful when the hole gets a little more involved, containing multi-sized cross-sections, like trying to create the holes for the shoulder bolts in the motor mount assembly shown above. This tool allows you to define the near side and far side faces of the hole, with differing specifications. To use this tool, go to Insert > Feature > Advanced Hole. The property manager opens with the Near Side flyout displayed. Select a face to start creating the advanced hole and you will notice that a temporary preview of the hole appears, based on your initial selections. To add the next portion of the whole, click Insert Element Below Active Element. Here, you can use the pull-down arrow to define this element as a hole, then set your specifications for that as well. The last element will be a clearance hole for the threaded portion of the shoulder bolt. Just check the box Far Side and select the bottom of the block. Next, set your specs for this and notice that Up to next element is automatically selected, which gives you a clean interface between all three sections. Before clicking OK, go to the Position Tab, and define the hole location. Click the green check mark and it’s done. As you can see with the new Advanced Holes tool, SolidWorks 2017 is helping you create custom holes with varying cross-sections, all with a simple menu and few simple clicks. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign up  

5 07, 2017

Why Product Manufacturing Information is Important

By | 2017-12-22T08:34:41+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Technology|0 Comments

By Joel Pollet, Senior Services Specialist Historically, machine shops relied on two items from their customer to fulfill a machining order; a CAD model and an inspection drawing. During my 3 ½ decades in our industry, the high-end, integrated CAD/CAM systems have always been able to convey manufacturing information from CAD to CAM or CAD to CAE. But what about CAD/CAM interfacing, such as Solidworks into Mastercam? These are two completely independent products from independent companies with independent development paths and unrelated requirements. Sharing model geometry is about as far as they go, but times are changing rapidly. Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) offers a way to convey dimensional information, tolerance information, datum information (where applicable), as well as GD&T information between dissimilar systems. There are higher levels of PMI that also support the transfer of other types of attributes or non-geometric information (part number, manufacturer, etc.). If the designer of a part can convey all of this information to their machine shop partners as embedded PMI within the CAD model, wouldn’t that make the shop much more efficient by having one less document to manage and also offer a far less ambiguous way to present dimensional information? Most modern day CAD systems support the creation of PMI in one form or another. It’s only a matter of time until CAM systems and other similar disciplines find a way to utilize the PMI data. While most call their PMI interface, ‘PMI’, some products provide a special name. For instance, Solidworks refers to its implementation of PMI as ‘Dimension Expert’. Perhaps products you currently use in your shop already support PMI? The ideal scenario involves CAD to CAM integration for design to machining, or CAD to CAE integration for design into analysis. For example, Cimquest represents inspection software that supports PMI transfer from many supported CAD systems. There is even a new format for the Step neutral file translator called Step 242 that supports embedded PMI information and is included in the exported file. PMI offers a way for completely dissimilar systems to ‘integrate’ and share critical manufacturing information and, as mentioned, it’s only a matter of time before it is a widely accepted (and expected) technology in our industry.

5 07, 2017

3D Printed Aircraft Interior Innovations

By | 2017-12-22T08:35:12+00:00 July 5th, 2017|3D Printing / Additive Mfg, Stratasys|0 Comments

Think about the last time you took a commercial flight. What are some of the distinct things you remember about the aircraft cabin? If you could, how would you change some of the design elements using 3D printing technologies? The Paris Airshow recently took place and Stratasys was there to exhibit some of the new and innovative ways they think about aircraft interiors. From individual part weight reduction to a more comfortable layout and design, the future of aircraft interiors is set to take off in innovative ways. To celebrate the huge aviation industry event they have created an augmented reality experience that takes you inside of an airline cabin to ponder all of the ways that 3D printing can impact passenger aircraft interior design and creation. Just click on the video below to experience it. For more information on our complete line of Stratasys 3D printers, please click the button below.  

28 06, 2017

Simultaneous Synchronized Scanning

By | 2017-12-22T08:35:53+00:00 June 28th, 2017|3D Scanning, Tech Tips|0 Comments

This blog post is going to show you how to scan a mid-size part with tiny features. When scanning a model, you're usually faced with the decision of using a scanner that either has a large scan envelope and good resolution, or a scanner that has a small scan envelope with high resolution. But what if you needed the best of both worlds, that is, to capture both a larger part with small fine details? One way to achieve this is to run two scanners simultaneously, and synchronize them to the same turntable. The Geomagic's Capture scanner has an accuracy of about .0035" and is good for scanning mid-size objects. When scanning a model, it's able to pick up the majority of the geometry, but the small fine features get washed out. This is where simultaneous synchronized scanning comes in. You can synchronize Geomagic's Mini-Capture scanner to the same turntable that is aligned to the Capture scanner. The Mini-Capture has a smaller scan envelope, but an impressive accuracy of about .0015." This is what is needed for capturing the fine details on a small part. To run the scans simultaneously, press the Scan button and the turntable moves. Each scanner takes turns scanning and then those same two scans are automatically aligned to each other. This process continues until the table turns a full 360. In the example below this we ended up with 32 aligned scans coming from to separate scanners with different accuracies. At this point, you just need to delete the geometry that you don't need from each scanner so that the number of points is reduced and you will end up with one complete high-quality scan! As you can see, Simultaneous Synchronized Scanning is a great way to capture parts where you need to leverage size, but at the same time capture very small fine details. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign Up

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