There are plenty of ways to crash your machine, but you have to remember: CNC machines don't crash, operators crash them!
Machining parts is easy... work-holding is the hard part! Fixturing, part setups, and work holding is a never ending skill. Any time I have the chance to tour a factory, walk a trade show, or talk shop with another machinist, I try to learn as much as possible about workholding. There are countless creative uses for vises, soft jaws, 1-2-3 blocks, toe jacks, and other tools. A good workholding setup can mean improved surface finishes, more accurate parts, and better tool life. Furthermore, setups can simplify short production runs, ensuring that all parts in the batch meet tolerances. Process reliability is a key part of machining and making. The easier it is to implement good fixturing, the more likely you are to embrace it! One of the best ways to increase the functionality and work area of the machine table is with a fixture or tooling plate. Check Out the SMW Tool Plate There are three key benefits to a fixture plate:
After two days of classes, seminars, CNC convos, and making some serious chips, Tormach Tech Days has wrapped up! There was a lot that happened on Saturday, August 5th, including presentations from our Tormach Brand Ambassadors and friends of Tormach, as well as a new product announcement. If you missed it, here’s what happened. [youtube]_ewObm06LDM[/youtube] Ray Billings let a few Tormach employees drive his 30 lb combat robot, Soylent Green, after we drooled over his 250 lb robot, Tombstone. [youtube]hO_FYptAR1g[/youtube] We hosted a number of in-depth classes with the Tormach Experts, alongside John Saunders and Autodesk. John Saunders also talked about marketing in the manufacturing industry, giving some insight into his own business and how he operates his YouTube channel. The Hacksmith inspired the crowd with engineering as he spoke about how he came to be The Hacksmith. Robert Cowan talked about what it means the be a hobby machinist and how he’s been using his PCNC 440. We ran a work cell demo to showcase several Tormach machines, especially our new automated bandsaw, the Tormach AF50. The bandsaw features portability, hydraulic feed control, and programmable automatic workpiece positioning. The pre-production model was on display during the event, and we are getting ready to ramp up a beta program. Think you could use an automated bandsaw in your shop?
[youtube]aJvMfDIQVKk[/youtube] Year over year, Tormach has hosted an annual open house event where we've invited you (all our customers and potential customers) to come see our facilities and our machines in person. But, we've grown over the years here at Tormach, and now, the Tormach Open House has evolved into a two-day event called Tormach Tech Days. This two-day event gives us more freedom to not only teach our customers, but connect with them as well. For those who want some hands-on learning, Friday August 4th has mill, lathe, and CAM workshops, but, space is limited so sign up now! Saturday, August 5th, is for those who want to talk shop and meet other CNC enthusiasts. Saturday is free to all, and will feature some live demos, conversations with Tormach experts, and talks by some of our Tormach Brand Ambassadors.
We had the pleasure of having Keith Rucker attend one of our NYC CNC training classes. Keith is a great guy who does some impressive manual machining. We asked if there was ever a collaboration project we could do - especially where we could use our Tormach PCNC 1100! He said that it was perfect timing, as he volunteers at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture where he's helping restore a locomotive!
I love automation – there’s just something about watching a robot making parts you’re going to sell. A machinist friend of mine (Hi Peter T.!) refers to his bank of older CNC lathes as his money printing presses. They sit there with their bar pullers grinding out parts for him to sell all day long and about all he has to do is change bars and inserts from time to time.