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Hello everybody!!

Hope each one of you had a lot of fun during the holidays!
I have just uploaded HSMAdvisor version 1.521 but because of huge amount of changes, i will not release it to the wild right away.

There is a week or so of testing in it as I see it.
Any one of you could help me out a bunch by downloading and  trying the updates.

Plugins: HSMAdvisor for MasterCAM

Standalone: HSMAdvisor

Let me know if you find anything wrong with it!

Cheers!

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Attached file: HSMA_MC2018_SS.jpg

Cautionary tale about Retention Knobs

December 19, 2017, 9:05 am

I came across a very educational post on Practical Machinist.

The topic-starter used over-aggressive speeds and feeds for his tiny BT30-taper machine and the retention knob (a.k.a Pull Stud) snapped causing the holder to drop lower, disengage from drive lugs and mess up the spindle bore in the process.

Just in case you don't know. Retention Knob looks like this and is used to pull the tool holder in to the spindle bore, thus holding it in place:

(Retention knob is the detail on the right)

This whole article is to remind everyone the importance of proper tool holder and retention knob maintenance.

Retention Knob Tips

  • Retention knobs (according to HAAS) have service life of about 6000-8000 hours.
    That means that if a tool holder is used 3 hours a day, you should replace the knob after 8 years in service.
    For smaller BT30 knobs, you should probably replace them every 4 years.
  • Retention knobs should be lightly oiled or greased (if TSC is used) once a month to lubricate the draw bar.
  • There should be no visible damage or rust on the knobs.
  • Do not exceed the maximum cutting force recommended by your machine manufacturer.
    Some of those high-helix end mills create large down-force that could in certain cases cause the knob to snap!
  • Also retention knobs should be torqued to manufacturer specs and the tightness should be regularly checked. Overtightened knobs may lead to taper of the tool deforming and causing uneven contact with the spindle bore.

Tool Holder Maintenance Tips

  • Keep Tool Holders clean. Especially the taper part that is matching to the spindle bore.
    Wipe them with a clean cloth. 
  • Do not use sand paper to clean tool holders! Soft Scotch-brite is acceptable to clean very dirty ones.
  • Repair dings and notches on the taper.
    Even an aluminum chip will cause a ding, that will create a high spot around it.
  • Replace worn-out tool holders with new ones.
    Signs of ageing is uneven contact with the spindle bore and fretting (blackening of taper in certain spots)
  • It is also a good idea to re-grind the spindle as well when replacing the tool holders - there are lot's of services that do that for very reasonable price.
  • Like wise when a new machine is purchased, only new holders and retention knobs should be used. Using old worn out holders on a new spindle bore will lead to its premature wear and even damage.

Those are all the things I could think of at the moment.
Let me know if there is anything missing.

Have a safe and productive week!

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Attached file: IMG-0878.jpg

HSMAdvisor hook for MasterCAM 2018

October 30, 2017, 7:55 pm

I have just uploaded the HSMAdvisor hook for MasterCAM 2018.

That calls for a drink!

The C++/CRL interop that runs on the back end has been developed over 2 years ago and i have not opened it much since.
Because there were some breaking changes in 2018, i had to reopen the can of worms and ... whew! That was not eazy to remember all the horrible things i have done so long ago ago!

Any way. Now we have a nice lineup of HSMAdvisor plugins for 3 latest MasterCam versions (X9, 2017 and 2018). 

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Attached file: HSMA_MC2018_SS.jpg

HSMAdvisor v1.515

October 1, 2017, 5:57 pm

I have done quite some work on HSMAdvisor in the last couple of weeks.

Let's just cover real quick the new things in this update.

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Better Material Cross Reference

Yes you can now use HSMAdvisor with non-US/UNS material standards!

Our users have asked for better integration between HSMAdvisor's built-in Materials library and the thing called Cross Reference table and finally here it is!

Now when you click on the "More" button next to the "Material" drop-down list...

... the updated Material Cross Reference dialog appears.

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Running HSMAdvisor on Linux

April 17, 2017, 8:56 pm

Previously when someone asked me whether HSMAdvisor works on linux or Mac I would steer them towards using VirtualBox or Parallels or some other virtual machine to run HSMAdvisor in the virtual Windows box.

As it turns out it is not always necessary.

Our customer has just managed to successfully run HSMA on Linux using package called Wine.

All he had to do was to use wine in 32 bit mode.

I, personally, did not think it was possible to run an app as complex as HSMAdvisor on linux without any modifications on my side. But i was wrong!

Here is a helpful link if you are running 64 bit version of linux and your Wine refuses to launch HSMAdvisor in 32 bit mode:

https://askubuntu.com/questions/136714/how-to-force-wine-into-acting-like-32-bit-windows-on-64-bit-ubuntu

Reportedly Reference and Geometry tabs do not work. But this is not surprising, since they use Internet Explorer to show the information.

Also pressing ENTER key causes the app to crash.

I am going to install a test Linux system on my workstation in the near future and figure out how to fix those issues and make Non-Windows support more readily available.

On another news.

Having made a new FSWizard App design and right before publishing. I decided to rewrite the whole core almost from scratch.

This was needed to make room for new modules like User Tool Libraries and Machine Profiles.

The work is going ahead at full speed and in due time i will roll our the brand new spanking FSWizard!

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Attached file: winehq_logo_glass.png

Before we start milling away our stock we first need to get down to the required depth.

This is not a problem with external features when we can plunge outside.

When machining closed pockets, however, we need to find a way to get down to the machining depth first.

As usual there are several ways to get the job done. The plunging methods listed here are not ordered by their preference.

For various machining operations on different materials some may be more preferable than others.

Straight Plunging into a larger Pre-Drilled hole

This is one the best ones in my opinion.
Very few machining modes can compete in effectiveness with drilling and this method will get you the best combined tool life on most materials and (in case of many deep pockets) the least machining time, even when tool change time is factored in.

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Fight SPAM!

March 21, 2017, 8:15 am

This website has recently become a target of relentless spam attacks.
Some dumbasses (probably bots or worse Russian hackers) post unrelated messages and such. Possibly looking for exploits in the security system.

I pride my self in openness to any meaningful content and do not want to pre-moderate comments or make registration (with email verification) mandatory.
So I subscribed to https://www.abuseipdb.com free API service that checks user's IP address before allowing to post any comments.

If you by any chance are wrongfully denied access, just let me know and i will clear the block.

On my part i will ban and report spammers with extreme prejudice. Let's make internet spam free one IP at a time!

For webmasters here is plain PHP code i used to enable IP checking and reporting:

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HSMAdvisor v1.506 For MasterCAM

March 5, 2017, 9:38 pm

I have just uploaded the latest update to HSMAdvisor hook for MasterCam x9 and 2017.
This is a catch-up update to the latest HSMAdvisor improvements.

Additionally i promised few guys a tutorial on how to easily install the hook into MasterCam 2017

So here it is:

Please excuse my lack of artistic prowess.
Hey, You can be ANYTHING but you can not be EVERYTHING

And i am more of a technical guy who, perhaps, lacks the hypnotizing narrating skills of a salesman :)

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HSMAdvisor v1.506

February 27, 2017, 12:27 am

What is new in this update:

  • Improved Engraving and Chamfering speeds and feeds
  • Improved Deflection calculation for High Feed Endmills
  • Removed annoying "Ding" sound on ENTER key press
  • Some minor bug fixes and cleanup.

There have been lots of new functionality in the program and i am going to release a video showcasing that soon.
Keep an eye out for it!

Best Regards.

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