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HSMAdvisor v0.300 has been released

June 23, 2013, 10:47 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

This release features some pretty major updates and features.

First of all, Tool deflection model has been radically improved over previous versions.
Now model fully considers not only the flute length, but also depth of cut and how it affects deflection!

No other speed and feed calculator alows you to do that.

Calculator now helps getting full advantage of those Hight Axial engagement toolpaths.

New things

  • HSMAdvisor can now print!
    For now you can print a screenshot of application window. Make sure to select "Album" layout in your printer settings, otherwise portion of the window may get cut off.
    Tool library printing is next in line to be done.
  • User Library Export and Import in XML format is now available.
    You can use it to back up your tool library and share library files with others.
  • Library Tabs are now right-clickable by mouse- this allows to right click on the library tab and select desired action like "Delete" "Merge" and "Rename".
  • Speeds for some tool and stainless steels have been revised.
    Couple of materials were added.

Things updated and improved

  • Improved tool deflection model.
  • Improved and fixed machine and tool limits trigering.
  • Creation of new Tool or Cut now forces newly-created tool/cut to get loaded, so you dont have to search it from the drop-down list- it becomes active right away.
  • Viewing and editing of tool/cut info in myCutDB page now does not close opened tool tree.
  • Tool material and Work Material are now a single column. Its called Tool&Work Material and it shows tool material for Tool rows and work material for Cut rows

Numbers Behind High Speed Machining (HSM)

May 28, 2013, 7:01 am by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

HSM or High Speed Machining is becoming more and more popular each day.
Many of us have seen those youtube videos where endmlls remove large amounts of material at high speeds/feeds.

While definitions of HSM may vary between tool manufacturers and even individual shops, the physics behind it remain the same.

In this article i would like to explore flat endmills.

HSM is not about ramping up your speed/feed overrides to 200% and puling out your smartphone to record another youtube-worth video.

What is HSM?

HSM is a complex of programming, machining and tooling techniques aimed at radical increase of productivity.


The cornerstone of HSM is low radial and high axial engagement of an endmill with the workpiece.

There are many CAD/CAM systems that allow you to create HSM tool-paths. Mastercam's Dynamic milling and SurfCAM's Truemill are some of them.

When radial cutter engagement with the material is smaller than the radius of the tool an interesting thing happens.
Chip load- the distance the tool advances per cutter revolution per tooth- does not equal the actual chip thickness anymore.
Chip thinning mainly happens at radial engagements below 30% of the diameter.

Radial Engagement vs chip thinning factor


50% 1.0
30% 1.091
25% 1.212


20% 1.641
15% 2.1
10% 4.375
5% 6.882

In order to get compensated chipload you need to multiply recommended by manufacturer chipload by the chip thinning factor.

Usual Radial Engagement for HSM toolpaths however is between 5 and 15%.

Axial depth of cut varies depending on geometry, but generally you can utilize the whole length of the flute.


Chip Thinning allows to increase not only feed rate, but also cutting speed.

As cutting edge is shearing a layer of metal friction causes generation of heat.

Some of the heat gets absorbed into the workpiece, but most of it is getting transferred into the swarf.

As radial engagement angle is reducing so is the time each tooth spends in contact with hot swarf- most of the heat gets carried away with it
And less heat means longer tool life - you can actually increase cutting speed by several times without sacrificing tool life.

Increased cutting speed makes use of coolant not advisable.

As hot swarf contacts coolant it may harden (in case of tool steels) and when re-cut will damage the cutting edges.
Also contact of the coolant with overheated cutting edge will cause thermal cracking and premature wear of the endmill.

Popular AlTiN and TiAlN coatings for example actually require heat to "activate" coating and make it work.

Air blast is required not to cool the tool, but actually to clear the chips from the cutting zone.


Chip thinning will happen with any endmill, so HSM is possible even with general purpose endmills.

However. There are several points to consider.

Endmills designed for HSM usually bear "High Performance" or "HP" name.

They often have multiple flutes (5 to 7 for a 1/2" endmill) and a thicker core that allows endmill to withstand high cutting forces.

Increased number of flutes and thicker core leaves little room for swarf, so very often those kind of end mills are not suited for conventional milling or slotting.

Also one of the most noticable features of HSM tooling is a higher helix angle.
Higher helix allows more than one flute to be in contact with the work piece at any moment in time. This makes entry of the cutting edge into the work piece smooth and gradualal.

Increased helix also directs more of the cutting force in the downward direction thus decreasing deflection.

At the same time increase in torque on the cutter and higher down force may cause an end mill to slip inside a regular ER-style collet tool holder.

Thus HSM tool paths require rigid tool holding. Making side-lock screw holders or milling chucks a more preferred option over collet holders.

Increased axial force can also cause your work piece to pull out from vise, so a rigid clamping is required.

Coating is very often used tooling.
It allows to increase cutting speed and tool longevity even more.
While some coatings provide extra heat resistance, others may offer better lubricity and wear resistance.
Always make sure you are using a proper kind of coating for each application.
As certain types of coatings are not compatible with various types of materials. (read more on this here: Coating Application Guide )

Let's summarize the combined effects of using HSM and Chip Thinning

  • Improved chip evacuation: chips are less likely to clog the flutes.
  • Chip Thinning allows to increase cutting feed several times over.
  • Less contact time: Allows for higher Cutting Speed
  • Better distribution of load over the length of the flute: higher feeds and more MRR possible.
  • Longer life of the cutting edge: lower engagement improves conditions for each cutting edge
  • Longer tool life: wear spreads over longer portion of the flute.

All this translates to: better productivity through higher material removal rates and longer tool life.

Increase in feed rate, cutting speed and tool life saves time and money.

Now you ask "how do Iknow what kind of parameters to use in each individual case?"

Try HSMAdvisor.

HSMAdvisor combines solid practical knowledge of manufacturing techniques with latest advancements in tooling and coatings.
Its unique tool model prevents tool breakage and allows to maximize productivity while not compromising on tool life and safety.

Radial Chip Thinning Engagement_Angle-Chip Thinning.PNG HSMAdvisor Screenshot 0.750in 4FL Carbide TiAlN coated Solid HP End Mill.JPG

HSMAdvisor 0.201 Update has been released.

May 26, 2013, 8:50 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

This is a bug fix release.

Because of amount of new features that was added to the front and back end in the previous version some bugs have crawled in.

Bugs fixed in this update

  • Fixed the behaviour of Manufacturer Settings- Speed and Chipload

  • Fixed Slotting Checkbox getting stuck when it was supposed to be unchecked

  • Fixed Edit Tool and Edit Cut dialogs that did not update changed data properly

  • Click on DOC label in turning mode now resets DOC to default

  • Removed the nag screen that appears after 15 days of usage - was never inteded to be there

Again thanks to everybody sending their bug reports and suggestions to me.

Without you my job would have been much harder.

    Pre-Hard Stainless & HSM Advisor Test

    May 19, 2013, 11:37 am by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

    Sevaral weeks ago i saw a post on CNCZone.

    A HSMadvisor user Peter Neil used it to calculate cutting conditions for cutting a block of pre-hardened stainless steel.
    His machine was Tormach.

    Here is an exact copy-paste from that forum post:

    Did a test cut on the Tormach today using feeds & speeds from the latest version of the excellent HSM advisor.
    To make it interesting, I did the cut using some 1.2085 pre-hard Stainless Steel as I have plenty of stock of it and have a job in mind for this, and wanted to see how it cut on the Tormach.
    The material is like a stainless P20, at 16% Chrome/1% Nickel & 0.5% Sulphur (which makes it slightly free-er machining) and is hardened to around 33-35 Rockwell C, so I used the HSM advisor guidelines for machining P20 rather than Stainless. Cutter was a 10mm 4-flute Carbide TiAlN coated EM.

    So...... ticking the HSM/Chip thinning option I got a speed of 5120 and feed of 2214mm/minute( 87 IPM). I used a DOC of 10mm and WOC of 0.5mm/0.020" - and turned off the flood cooling to machine it completely dry. The finish pass on the 1st level was 15mm DOC and 0.5mm WOC and slightly lower speeds/feeds.

    Loaded up a 40mm x 63mm block , pressed the start button, and it went from this.... this!

    Very impressed. Total cut time around 12 minutes. The spindle load meter went into the Yellow zone on some of the 10MM DOC corners, but for the rest it was firmly in the green. And when it was finished I could easily hold both the part and the cutter, which were both 'warm' rather than 'hot'. Lots of lovely golden coloured thin chips though.
    Could do with an air blast to clear the chips when cutting the pockets as the finish suffered slightly because of this, but will sort that out, and had a slight programming anomaly which produced a weird cut on the very top surface.

    But overall I'm quite pleased with that. I wish I had a video camera so I could show it in action.

    Thank you Peter,

    The complete forum thread is located here

    HSMAdvisor 0.200 Is available for download

    May 12, 2013, 11:10 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

    This HSMAdvisor v0.200 release is a major step forward.

    Aside from major rewrites that i did to improve stability of the code there are also new features that will improve user experience 
    and move us one step ahead towards making it the best tool for machinists. 

    New Features

    • Circular Interpolation feedrate compensation
      Now you can get compensated feedrates for milling inside and outside round features.
    • HSM and Chip Thinning 
      are now two separate check boxes.
      Chip thinning allows to compensate for thinning chip thickness at low radial and axial engagements.
      HSM allows to increase cutting speed when chip thinning occurs. 
    • Manufacturer's Speed and Chipload input
      For when you need to enter manufacturer recommended S&F values.
    • .NET 2.0 Framework 
      Starting from this release i have downgraded required framework version from 4.0 to 2.0
      This will allow us to target wider audience as it immediately drops requirements for Windows computers.
    • UNEF and UNS threads
      New thread sizes were added into the Threading section. 
    • Drill Chart 
      was expanded to drills up to 1.5" in diameter

    Bugs Fixed

    All the existing bugs were tackled when code re-write happened.
    I took a long time testing and fixing all of the problem and suspect areas, so at this poing it should be bug-free.

    HSMAdvisor_v0.200 program picture.JPG HSMAdvisor_v0.200 program picture.JPG

    FSWizard:Mobile update

    April 24, 2013, 7:27 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)


    I have finally updated the looks of our mobile version.

    It now should be easier to read and use.

    Take it for a spin on your iPhone or android device!

    new mobile version fswizmobile.JPG

    HSMAdvisor v0.101 (FIXED)

    April 14, 2013, 10:34 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

    HSMAdvisor v0.1 is now available.

    (newest version is 0.101)

    A decision has been made that updates containing new features will increment by 0.1 each time

    Bug fix updates and improvement updates will increment by 0.01

    This should be a hint that first fully commercial release is in sight. (you still have another 6 months or so of free updates).

    There is only one major feature

    • Machinery with gear boxes is now supported- users can enter a list of RPM machine can have set and FSWizard will force all calculations to stick to those pre-defined numbers.
      There is a sample machine called "Manual Lathe" that demonstrates this feature. You can use "Import" function in Machine Definitions dialog to load that machine and see how it works

    Several bugs have been fixed

    • Manually entered RPM for lathe tools have been fixed
    • Minimum RPM entered in Machine Definitions dialog now actually forces FSWizard to not go below that value and generate a warning.


    How Sticky RPM works:

    • Create new machine in Machine Definitions by clicking Add button and giving it a name you would recoginze.
    • Fill up all of the input boxes including Min and Max RPM, Horse Power and Torque.
    • Enter list of RPM values your machine supports into the Power Curve table.
      (Note RPM values HAVE to be in incremental order)
    • Against each RPM row enter the max Horesepower your machine has (because its a gear-box, machine HP value is constant at any spindle speed)
      Tip: if Max torque was unknown, now you can enter the highest value you see in Torque row.
    • Check Calculations Stick to pre-defined RPM only check box (Yes i know the picture shows that box unchecked, but you have to CHECK it)
    • Check Use Horse Power Curve Compensation check box

    Thats it!

    Now FSWizard will force calculated RPM to match the closest RPM value from the table.

    Sticky RPM sticky_RPM.JPG

    HSMAdvisor 0.023 Has been released

    April 7, 2013, 10:26 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

    This release is a major step forward.
    We are starting to wander away from just Speeds and Feeds calculator part of the project.

    Version 0.022 was a little buggy.

    All reported and known bugs have been fixed.

    New update version is 0.023

    New features:

    • Threads page: You can now get thread cutting and tapping data for most popular threads in north America (UNC/UNF/ISO).
      The list of supported threads and features will grow according to necessity and user feedback.
    • Machine Profiles now have 2 new buttons: Clone and Import.
      Clone button simply copies selected machine definition with a different name.
      Import button is needed to be able to update/add machine definitions from default machine list. As users modify and customize their Machine List, thay are now able to add machine definitions hassle-free from default_machines.xml file that is supplied with every update.

    Bugs Fixed:

    • Sticky Ball nose check box

    • Max HP improperly rounded


    • Thanks to Greg Jackson and Matt Doeppers from Tormach i was able to create Horse Power/RPM curves for Tormach PCNC770 and PCNC1100 models (if you install over previous version, you can use import function to add those machines to the list)

    Threading threading.JPG Machine Definition Import mach_def_import.JPG

    Digging for Gold

    March 28, 2013, 8:42 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

    I recently had to machine an aluminum mold cavity.

    7 inches deep. With 5 degree wall draft and a 60 thou radius going all the way down. Roughing was not an issue, but for semi-finishing and finishing i had to manufacture these two extension holders.

    Both tools have runout of less than 0.001

    The one for bigger 3/8 tapered ballnose cutter is shrink fit- i mounted it using torch.

    The smaller tool is a 3/32 tapered ballnose cutter from Harvey Tool.
    I could not bore to correct size, and had to ream right on.
    The tool is mounted with a set-screw from both sides to prevent deflection caused by unequal clamping pressure.

    13640634846051.jpg 13640634846051.jpg

    HSMAdvisor 0.021 Has just been released

    March 17, 2013, 10:25 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

    New things: None.

    Well not really.

    First of all alot of small bugs has been fixed.

    Second of all i added a neat picture to Drilling operation.

    It now shows what each drill specific field means

    Also. Unfortunately all current license key holder will have to get new license keys.

    If you currently have a license key, please e-mail me your new Computer-ID
    And i will send you a new license key.


    If you are installing over previous version of HSMAdvisor, you are encouraged to perform complete uninstall of the old version.

    Othervise what happens is old settings file is not compatible with the new one.

    This will cause Default Tool Type, Tool material and Coating presets to get lost and you end up with a funny looking FSWizard page.

    Correcting this is extremely easy:

    You need to select some tool type (IE: End Mill), select some Tool Material (IE. HSS) and finally select some Coating (IE. NONE)

    This will fix the problem.

    Attached below is a screenshot of what it looks like when settings mismatch happens, not a pretty sight i agree, but there is no need to panic.

    (Note to self: add version check for every file)


    Drilling Drill ED.JPG Settings version mismatch HSMAdvisor_v0.021 program picture.JPG
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