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New stuff in HSMAdvisor 1.191

September 13, 2015, 9:01 am by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)


We have some (I am sure welcome) addition to our family of tool types supported by HSMAdvisor.

The new tool type is "Boring Head".

This tool is used for finishing holes on milling centres. Also in this release I have made a lot of improvements to operation of myCut Database and revised ssuggested depth of cut for milling tools when used at low radial engagement.

More details on the HSMAdvisor Download page.



Key factors Determining Success of High Speed Machining (HSM)

September 12, 2015, 7:29 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

As a developer of a very successful line of speed and feed calculators I sometimes get questions like : "I calculated speeds and feeds for a conventional toolpath. Got 5.5 cubic inches MRR(Material Removal Rate). And then I calculated S&F for the same endmill with HSM parameters turned on and got almost the same amount of  MRR! What is even the point in using HSM parameters?" -they ask.

I would like to clear some things up for my friends.
In this article I will explain exactly WHY HSM machining is better and HOW to achieve better productivity and tool life.

For starters here are the main features of a HSM-capable cutter:

As usual there are several components of HSM that need to be present in order for it to work to its fullest. These are:

a) Machine
b) Tool
c) Workpiece geometry
d) Workpiece material

I intentionally did not number these as each one of those is equally important.

a) Machine. You need to use a very rigid machine that is designed by the manufacturer to operate at high feed rates and cutting forces. If your machine is not up to the task, however, it does not mean that HSM machining will fail, but simply that you may not be able to utilize the spindle time to its fullest. There still are ways to successfully use HSM on older machines. And we will talk about it later.

b) Tool. Your tool should be designed for HSM. Tools, that are capable of performing conventional operations sure CAN, but are not the best at it by a wide margin.
Tools designed for HSM have thicker core to sustain high cutting forces. They have a lot more flutes stuffed into the same tip diameter than their conventional brothers. IE. a 1/2" HSM Endmill can have 7-10 flutes versus 4-5 for a standard endmill.
A cutter with so many flutes on such a small diameter simply can not effectively do any conventional milling at all.

Thus any attempt to compare "apples to apples" fails miserably. You just have to start comparing apples to oranges.

HSM cutters often have corner radius to prevent chipping. And some models even have a geometry of a feed mill on the end to allow for high speed ramping (where with of cut will be equal to the diameter of the cutter) into the material.

c) Workpiece geometry.
HSM machining with an end mills requires large depths of cut. Simple as that.
You part needs to have deep cavities and tall walls. At low radial engagement HSM cutters can take full flute depths of cut with almost no additional tool deflection. Your depths of cut should be more than x2 of the tip diameter. And they can be as large as x4 of the tip dia. without the need to compensate for that.

d) Workpiece Material.
Should be hard or tough material. Such as Stainless steel, titanium, tool steel, hardened steels. Maybe Mild steel. But not aluminum. aluminum is easy enough to machine the conventional way. With fluffy soft materials it may simply be impossible to compensate the lost air time with higher feed rate.

Lets compare performance of two 1/2" endmills in machining a 1.5" deep pocket in D2 Tool steel.

One is 1/2" 4 Flute TiAlN coated High Performance Endmill.
Because we will machine a 1.5" deep pocket the conventional way.
Our DOC (Depth of Cut) will be just 0.226"
MRR for this operation will be: 2.49 in^3:

Another tool is 1/2" 6 Flute TiAlN coated High Performance Endmill designed for HSM machining
Our DOC (Depth of Cut) will be 1.5" with 0.05" radial stepover
MRR for this operation will be: 5.96 in^3

Almost 6 cubic inches of metal removal versus 2.49 is more than twice the productivity!
And that was calculated with very conservative settings.

In addition to that You can also see that estimated Tool Life has increased to 149%.

This is basically it.

Let me know if something else needs more clarification and i will explain this article.

You may also like to learn about:

HSMAdvisor v1.181

September 7, 2015, 4:09 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

Major Machine Profiles Updates in This release:

  • Added HSMAdvisor Cloud Services that allow users to Download and Upload their Machine Profiles.
    You can now access your Machine Profiles from everywhere!
    Users can also download each-other's Machine Profiles, uploaded as public.
  • Machine Power Curve Estimation wizard to help users map their Spindle Power Curve
  • Right-Click mouse click on selected rows launches a pop-up menu, that allows to insert and delete rows from the Power Curve table

A new Help article on HSM

September 2, 2015, 10:23 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

I often get email questions asking for clarification on merits of use of HSM And Chip Thinning check boxes when calculating speeds and feeds with HSMAdvisor and FSWizard calculators.

In this new help article will try to explain just what HSM means and in which situation you should use it:

Hopefully this will fill in the gaps and help our users to get more comfortable with our software.


Workholding: Soft jaws in Vise

August 24, 2015, 6:01 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

One of the most versatile ways of clamping irregular -shaped parts is with use of soft jaws.

In this one I had to machine a triangular-shaped part from two sides.

It is going to be some sort of a part holding jaw for a robot.

So step one: Machine one side of the part in vise. hold on to 1/8" of stock. So make sure to cut your part on a bandsaw oversize.

Step Two: Bolt soft jaws to your vise and machine a pocket using outside contour of your part.

Be sure to relieve corners.

Step three: Clamp your part in the soft jaws and machine the second side of your part.

One important thing to consider is: this method is not very accurate. depending on the size and a shape of your part you may be able to hold it within 0.001" though.

See attached photos of the steps below.

1. Machine one side 14402581166020.jpg 2. Machine pocket in soft jaws 14402581369241.jpg 3. Clamp the part 14402581523902.jpg 4. Machine the second side 14402581647543.jpg

MasterCAM hook teething problems

August 20, 2015, 10:20 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

I had some unfortunate troubles initially releasing the mastercam hook this month.

But thanks to the feedback from my users and the fine folk from community they are now over!

Updated installer is available here->


Expandable mandrel fixturing

August 18, 2015, 11:55 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

Recently I had to machine a few pieces after turning.

Because the very top of the part was supposed to be machined off, I could not clamp through the central hole like I often do.

Decided to quickly turn an expandable washer out of aluminum and a plastic spacer that would collapse a little bit under clamping pressure and allow the part to sit firmly against the base of the fixture.

I liked this method so much I am going to do the same next time I have similar part to make.

See pics below.

Later on i will try to post some more pictures of other setups I did.

All the pieces apart 14399592931550.jpg Fixture, spacer, expandable washer, FH screw 14399593065781.jpg Workpiece mounted on 14399593164262.jpg

The. First. Ever. HSMAdvisor hook for MasterCAM X9

August 2, 2015, 7:06 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

The First Ever HSMAdvisor Speed and Feed Wizard hook for MasterCAM has been released today for everybody to download for free.

Getting it to this stage has been a titanic effort for me and I am going to put a lot more of it in the coming months: i need to get it to pretty much perfect state before i start forgetting how i did all those things.

Because of this each update i release will extend trial period by 30 days.

This will last for as long as needed to finish the bulk of developing it.

At this moment the following toolpaths are fully recognized:

  • Face Mill
  • Contour
  • Pocket
  • Drilling
  • Circle Mill
  • All 2D HST Toolpaths:
    Dynamic Milling
    Dynamic Area
    Blend Mill
    Peel Mill

The only exception is: Coolant parameters are getting lost somewhere in the process. So please double check it before posting!

Things to be added in the coming days/weeks/months:

  1. Fix Coolant
  2. Engraving
  3. Other Circular Toolpaths such as ThreadMilling etc.
  4. Conventional and HST 3D Toolpahs
  5. Turning

If you have any suggestions or find any bugs please let me know.

I would like to reassure my current customers that HSMAdvisor Hook is/will be included with your license once this all is set and done.

Please help me with your suggestions/bug reports make this thing even better for all of you!

Here are the latest 2 videos i uploaded to my Youtube chanel

Setting up HSMAdvisor hook:

Calculating cutting parameters for Face Milling, Saving Tool and Cut data and recalling it when needed:

Cheers. And a huge "thank you" to everyone who has been supporting me!

Once in a Blue Moon Sale!

July 30, 2015, 9:10 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

This Friday, July 31 will be the second full moon in the same calendar month.

This does not happen very often, so i decided to call this sale "Once in a Blue Moon" to tie it to this occurrence.

Until Monday, August 3 save 30% on all purchases over $100!

The rebate will apply even to packages below $100 when combined value of number of seats, being purchased, is over 100.

Oh. And Happy Canada Civic Day!

A customer shares his video of HSM machining

July 15, 2015, 8:45 pm by Eldar Gerfanov (Admin)

It is no secret that i am trying to make my software fit the broadest possible group of people.
And while my much-respected hobby customers is a big deal for me, industrial machining is where HSMAdvisor really shines.

Recently a PracticalMachinist forum member Atomkinder posted a video of him machining something on his 1997 Fadal VMC.
Here is what he had to say:


Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
One thing that I just thought of, you may want to look at buying the HSM advisor ($50) for your high speed toolpaths. Doesn't even have to be high speed, but toolpaths with long engagement and small stepover are proven to run a LOT faster than hogging out the conventional way that's been done forever.
Advanced CNC Speed And Feed Calculator - HSMAdvisorQuote

I use it daily, and I can't think of a time it's let me down.
I second HSMAdvisor. I own my own seat (work doesn't have one) because I like it that much.

This isn't particularly special, but it is a 1997 Fadal VMC2216 box way machine. Removed a whole tool and something like 40% of the cycle time from the second operation of this part.


And here is the link to the video:

40% of the cycle time. Aint bad, is it?

In industrial settings, with such great savings HSMAdvisor may very well pay for itself within a day or less!

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