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Machinists Spoke and We Listened

January 17, 2016, 10:49 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

Every month we are getting a good amount of feedback and suggestions.

Everything is getting prioritized and eventually implemented. Urgent stuff is getting done fast. And other "nice to haves" are getting pushed down according to their usefulness / difficulty (yes, everyone secretly wishes my program could also edit and create HSM g-code :)).

It is amazing, but almost half of HSMAdvisor's features were originally suggested by our loyal users!

The latest update HSMAdvisor 1.213 addresses some of the feedback I have received last couple of months.

So the New features are:

  1. Smart Depth and Width of Cut (DOC/WOC) suggestion (user suggested)
  2. Compressing of Shared Tool DataBases
  3. Display of Stock status on Tool DataBase tables (user suggested)
  4. Various little improvements like new Heli-Coil reference, better DOC/WOC calculation better multitasking, etc. (mostly based on user feedback)

Let's go over the most important ones here:

1. Smart(er) Depth and Width of Cut (DOC/WOC) suggestion

Default Depth and Width of Cut (DOC/WOC) are now suggested according to the available machine Horse Power.
The way it works is: If Cut exceeds the available HP, the calculator recalculates the recommended DOC/WOC until the estimated HP falls below the Machine HP.

You can see how default DOC was recalculated to account for little 1.5 HP Tormach spindle.

Now this feature at times produces somewhat unintentional consequence: if you drag the performance slider to the left, it decreases the Chipload, but that causes HP limit to change and it may actually suggest larger DOC - contrary to the function of the Performance Slider, which is supposed to decrease DOC in this situation....

I will wait for some feedback on this feature and see which way i should refine this behaviour.

2. Compressing of Shared Tool Data Bases

When working on MasterCAM hook i noticed that when i save MC operations within HSMA database its size grows exponentionally.

It testing I quickly went over "comfortable" 10MB size. Thus i decided that Shared Tool Data Bases will be compressed as they are written to the disk. This will make sure files are written promptly and network resources are used better.

The same 10 MB file was compressed to just over 100 kB!

Don't know why i have not thought of it sooner!

Now there is a catch: You will not be able to open a shared database in HSMAdvisor version prior to 1.213
If for whatever reason you need to do so, save your databases with "Shared" flag off in settings

3. Display of Stock status on Tool Data Base tables

This one is simple.

There is now a new column to the Tool Database table that shows the current stock status of each displayed tool.

Good stock is green, Red means Low, and Yellow means "on Request":

There were also other improvements not worthy of mentioning right now.....

Keep in touch for further updates!



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

December 23, 2015, 12:01 am by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

I would like to thank each and every person who has helped us out on our many projects this year.

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thus I am kicking off the last sale of this year. It will run until January the 4th.

You can save 15% on all purchases over $90!


See you next year!

PS. I have just uploaded an update to address the latest feedback. Thank You and Enjoy.

Changes to HSMAdvisor Packages

December 19, 2015, 9:23 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

There has been changes to HSMAdvisor CNC Machinist Speed and Feed Calculator Licensing Options!

From now on All new HSMAdvisor license purchases include access to FSWizard PRO for your mobile devices.

When a 1 or 3 year HSMA Subscription License is purchased, the FSWizard License will be issued for the same 1 or 3 year length of time.

When a Permanent HSMA license is purchased, your FSWizard PRO will be a permanent type as well and will never expire.

Happy Upcoming Holidays!!!!

Cheers from the whole Zero-Divide Family!

MasterCAM x9 Lesson: Simple Contouring. Speeds and Feeds, Depth of Cut

December 18, 2015, 12:11 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

I personally use HSMAdvisor at work every day and trust its results 100%

I have to say my program now knows about machining more than i do. I certainly can not remember cutting speeds and feeds, reduction factors, depth of cut and a ton of other information for every material I have ever cut.

Now add to that the various possible combinations of tool/material/coating and it becomes a no brainier, that a good speed and feed calculator like HSMAdvisor saves a ton of time and money by improving your tool life and productivity.

It is not only good for HSM (High Speed Machining) but also for general machining, drilling tapping, you name it.

The algorithms it employs are far superior to what other calculators are using. Take for example the real-time depth of cut/deflection optimization, that other calculators do in a separate window and take a few seconds to complete.

Here is a quick video lesson where i show the steps involved in creating a simple contouring toolpath in MasterCam x9:

And here is the video of machining the actual part:

Machining 4140 PH Speeds and Feeds

December 10, 2015, 3:10 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

Sometimes I get asked whether hsmadvisor CNC Machinist Calculator is reliable enough out of the box.

I and many others test it at work every day. This 2"x1.5"x1.25" 4140 PH piece was programmed on masterscam with hsmadvisor speeds and feeds with all overrides set to default.

Worked out fast and awesome. As usual!

14497779489640.jpg 14497779489640.jpg

Perfect Ballnose Engraving Speeds and Feeds in Production Environment

December 6, 2015, 12:38 am by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

I regularly follow forums.
Especially the cnc machining section of it.

I notice when CNC Speeds and Feeds questions come up people often suggest my HSMAdvisor Machinist calculator.
A referral by a satisfied customer is the best referral in my opinion. Thank you to everyone doing this great favor to me and my prospective users!

Other times users of HSMAdvisor question speeds and feeds it generates and instead of going to me, they ask on forums.
Which is always fine, because extremely often "wrong" results mean something wrong in users expectations or the data he feeds the calculator

In the process of discussion it usually turns out that the calculation results were correct, but because user decided to use a depth of cut or tool length, larger than he should have, HSMAdvisor compensates and gives a very conservative feed rate.

Just like in this forum post over here: Engraving with a 1/32 ball mill machinist wanted to use a 1/32" ballnose endmill to engrave 304 Stainless Steel at 0.010" depth of cut.

Material is 304 laser cut, machine is a Haas VF-6SS with a 12k spindle. Obviously spinning at 12k, but what would everyone's feed be at .01" deep? HSMAdvisor always seems to me to be very low on these numbers (1.41 IPM? Yes this is with chip thinning turned on). Tool has a 1/4" shank and a real short flute length, solid carbide AlTiN coated.

Naturally HSMAdvisor was not too happy and suggested a very low feedate for such an operation.
Proper depth of cut would be about 0.002" for such a small tool and it would yield a much faster cutting rate.

Eventually, though, machinists who have run similar jobs pointed out that the Depth of Cut was excessive for such a tool/material combination and suggested both larger tool and shallower depth of cut.

Why .010 deep with a 1/32? Why not .005 with a 1/16 and triple your feedrate?

That sounds deep to me as well. I end up going only a few thou deep to get a pretty decent width line. Sneak up on it, and either ramp in or slow down the plunge like Haazart said.

Eventually the original poster changed to a 1/16" ballnose and 0.005" depth of cut.

I'm going to change it to .005" with a 1/16" cutter. This is going straight on the subplate, so if it varies I'm going to blame Chick Workholding. Which I wouldn't mind doing anyway

Edit: got the part indicated with a tenths test indicator (I have a VERY short flat to work with) within two tenths end to end, and checked the flatness of the part. Around the area to be engraved it's all within five tenths. Should work okay.

Wish I could take a photo to show, but it came out awesome. 12k, 10.7 IPM, .005" deep.

What do you know!
That's exactly what HSMAdvisor suggests for a 1/16 ballnose and it apparently worked out awesome!

Thank you, Atomkinder for the follow up on the results of your machining!

A Quick Video walk through HSMAdvisor Tool Inventory Control Feature

November 27, 2015, 8:44 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

Tool Inventory Control has been added to HSMAdvisor as a free feature for our customers.

Here is a quick video explaining how to use this new feature.

Should you have any questions or recommendations please let me know via email or support forums.

HSMAdvisor v1.206

November 19, 2015, 11:09 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

Tool Inventory Advisor is now included into all HSMAdvisor License types!

This feature is absolutely free for HSMAdvisor customers. No special login is required. It is already built in!

Please download the latest update to enjoy the latest update!
Some video tutorials will be published this weekend.

Also in the this update:

  • Changed the look of Material and Tool drop-downs
  • Added search to Tool list drop-down
  • Uploaded new machines to the HSMAdvisor Cloud
  • Improved function of Tool Library
    Fixed small bugs
    "Shared Database" flag is now set in the database file itself

Tool Inventory Advisor: Workflow Overview

November 9, 2015, 10:04 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

TiAdvisor (Tool Inventory Advisor) is a new feature under development within HSMAdvisor.

Unlike most cases when developers design a standalone product and then go through a laborious work of integrating it into existing software products, i decided to go the other way.

TiAdvisor will be developed as an integral part of HSMAdvisor and then, once complete, will be moved into a separate standalone product. This will make for seamless integration between our software products.

What TiAdvisor does

  • Keeps track of inventory levels.
  • Automatically add tools that are low in stock to Purchase Request List
  • Generate and print Purchase Request form
  • Add tools to stock when they are received

More functions are being worked on.

Download TiAdvisor bundled with HSMAdvisor over here:

TiAdvisor Workflow

Specify Stock quantity and "Min Stock Qty" to to allow TiAdvisor warn you when number of tools in stock gets below the Min value:

Or click on "Add Tool To Request" to directly add the tool to a future Purchase Request:

When there are any tools on the current unfinished Request Order a red flag will show up on the status area prompting you to create a Purchase Request:

Click on the Red flag and in the new window enter the number of tools you want to order into the "Request" column:

 After you enter the number of tools, please click "Create Purchase Request Form" button.

It will take you to a form that will let you specify details about the request you are making.
You can specify handling information, company logo, etc:

Click on "Export Purchase Request" button to preview and print out your request when you are satisfied with how it looks:

To Finalize your Request and set those tool items into "Waiting for Delivery" mode click "Save Request" button.
You can Now close the window by pressing Cancel button.

You can see the tools, that are waiting for delivery by clicking on the Yellow flag in the status area:

When Any or All of the tools are received you should enter the received amount into "Received" column and then to finalize the operation click "Apply Received to stock".
This will add the Received amount to the stock and subrtract from the "On Request" amount.



Did you know there are three ways you can touch off your tools?

Because of how Machine Offsets add up, there are several ways CNC machinists can set their Tool and Work Offsets.

This is especially true for Tool Length Offsets.

Tool Offsets can be either Positive or Negative.
Depending on your Machine Shop equipment you should use one or the other.

Regardless of how you set your tool length offset, you apply it the same way.
Right after the tool change and after turning on your spindle and moving to your X Y position above the part.
The very first absolute Z movement should be the line where you apply the tool length offset.


Positive Tool Offsets (gage line tool length offsets)

In the case of Positive Tool Offsets, the offset represents the Length of the tool measured as a distance from the Gauge Line of the spindle (typically spindle nose) to the tip of the tool. The longer the tool, the larger your Tool Length offset will be.

In such a case, Part Z Work Offset will represent the distance between the same Gage Line to the top of the part.

Pro's of Gage Line (Positive) offsets:

  1. Tool Length Offset remains the same between many machines.
    You can just pull the tool out of one machine, Put it into the other one, Type in its Tool Offset and off you go. There is no need to touch off the tool again.
  2. Positive offsets are the easiest to wrap your head around.
    Each definition represents exactly what it does.
  3. Positive Tool Offsets can be measured offline on a pre-setter and then tools can be quickly loaded into the machine without the need to tough off each tool on the machine individually.
  4. In addition to offline pre-setters, most tool tough-off probes also operate in the Gage Line system

Cons of Gage Line offsets:

  1. Can be less practical on machines without tool pre-setters
  2. You are forced to operate with large negative Z Work Offset values
  3. If your tool pre-setter goes down (who never had a dead battery?) you will have a hard time trying to touch off your tools the alternative way.

In summary. Positive or Gage Line Tool Offsets are practical on modestly to highly standardized/automated machining environment.

Negative Tool Offsets

Negative Tool Offsets are dead-simple.
In its easiest form, it represents the (negative) distance between the tip of the tool to the top of the part.
In such case Z Work Offset will equal zero:

This Tool Offset setting style is often used on older machinery in non-automated or non-standardized machining environments.

The initial Top Of Part flat surface is often faced and filler gage is used to set the tool of the top of it.

Pros of Top of Part Negative Tool Offsets:

  1. Dead-simple. Tool Offset represents the distance between the top of the part and the tip of the tool.
  2. This Tool Offset setting style is supported by default on most machines. Just jog the tool to the Top of Part and press "Write Offset"

Con's of this Offset Type:

  1. Tools need to be re-touched for each and every job whenever the height of the part changes
  2. Tool offsets are not interchangeable between several machines
  3. The part needs to be faced in order to set the tool offsets
  4. Can not set tool offsets off a curved or irregular surface: Imagine you need to rework an already machined part. How will you set the tool heights?

Top of Gage Block Negative Tool Offsets:

You can, however, have a little bit of both worlds.

If your machine is not equipped with an automatic tool pre-setter you have to use your machine's manual tool offsetting routine.
You can Touch Off all your tools of a pre-defined gage block off the top of your table or ground vice surface.

In this case, Z Work Offset will equal the distance between the top of the touch-off gauge and the top of your part.

It is extremely handy to touch off your tools of the solid vice jaw using a 1x2x3 block or a special analog Tool Probe with a dial scale.
Just make sure to use the same height (for example the 2-inch side) all the time.

Because when machining in a vise the part stick-out is the most important value, it is easy to calculate the proper Z Work Offset height.
All you have to do is set your Z Work Offset to -2.0 (in the case when you tough your tools 2" above the top of the jaw) and then add the height of your part above the vice.

Pros of Top of Gage Block Negative Tool Offsets:

  1. The same tools can be used without the need to re-set their Tool Offsets between jobs. Only your Z Work Offset changes.
  2. This Tool Offsetting Routine is supported by most CNC machines.
  3. No need to face the top of your part to set your tools or work offset. Just calculate the distance between the top of the gauge and the top of your part.
    A dial indicator can be used to set the Z Work Offset
  4. A tool pre-setter can be used to set the tool offsets. You would need to supply the Machine Gage Height value to the pre-setter software to calculate the proper Tool Offset value.

 Con's of Top of Gage Block Negative Tool Offsets:

  1. The math involved can be a bit challenging at first. Thus not many beginning machinists use it.
    Eventually, however, most figure out and "invent" this method for themselves
  2. Tool Offsets will be different between different machines. So they need to be touched off again when used on a different machine.

Which Tool Offset Setting Type to Use in Your Shop?

It depends on your equipment and shop practices.
You should, however, stick to one particular Tool Setting style and use it across the shop to avoid machine crashes and mishaps.

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