Manufacturing at 3DEXPERIENCE World with SOLIDWORKS and Tormach

The world of CNC starts with software. Specifically, CNC starts with CAD software to design and develop your part before you ever create toolpaths and make chips. SOLIDWORKS is one of the largest CAD companies out there, and every year they host SOLIDWORKS World, until now. 

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The High Cost of Tight Tolerances

We’ve all heard the stories about part drawings coming through that specify ridiculously tight tolerances. We know that holding tight tolerances is harder, and we know it is more expensive to make a part the tighter the tolerances are. But, how much does it really cost to have tighter tolerances?

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When to Use a Spot Drill

Machinists are familiar with spot drills–they’re stub length and have few or no flutes.  These little drills are designed to be extremely rigid so that they can precisely spot a hole for a twist drill.  Maximum meat in the shank keeps them on target.  The goal is use the spot drill to make a little dimple in the work-piece that keeps the twist drill from walking so the hole winds up in the right place.

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Workholding of the Month: Chucks

While there are a number of ways to hold work, when there aren’t many (or any) flat surfaces, a standard vise can complicate things. When using a lathe or holding something that just doesn’t have flat sides, a chuck is a great solution. A chuck is essentially a round vise, with jaws that hold your workpiece. These handy tools come in a variety of flavors, but most often are found with either three jaws or four jaws. Chucks can also have various methods of closure. Some are manual, which requires the turning of a wrench or key to tighten things down, while some have more advanced options, like pneumatic or even hydraulic closure systems.

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CNC Machined Rotisserie Attachment Improves the BBQ Grilling Experience

Before joining Tormach as a Machinist and CNC Workshop Instructor, Eric Andersen was injured on the job as a structural Iron Worker. While recovering and attending Madison Area Technical College to receive his machining certification, Andersen spent a lot of time grilling out in his backyard. “One of my favorite meals is a shish kabob,” said Andersen. “One thing I noticed was the meat always sticks to the grill, the veggies always finish cooking before the meat, and when you try to flip or turn the skewer, pieces always fall off.” Describing the moment as a “mind blowing” idea, Andersen decided to build an attachment for the rotisserie on his grill that constantly kept the shish kabobs rotating off the surface of the grill and in the process cooking the contents of the skewer intact.

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Machined Stainless Steel Steering Wheel Hub for Packard Hot Rod Made on Tormach PCNC 1100

Here's a really nice build sequence from PCNC 1100 owner Jeff Rasnake, detailing how he made a custom stainless steel steering wheel for a Packard Hot Rod. First, he modified the original wheel by opening up the center bore to fit on to a new steering column:

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