Related Glossary Terms
- computer numerical control ( CNC)
computer numerical control ( CNC)
Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.
- computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)
computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)
Use of computers to control machining and manufacturing processes.
- conversational programming
Method for using plain English to produce G-code file without knowing G-code in order to program CNC machines.
- gang cutting ( milling)
gang cutting ( milling)
Machining with several cutters mounted on a single arbor, generally for simultaneous cutting.
Turning machine capable of sawing, milling, grinding, gear-cutting, drilling, reaming, boring, threading, facing, chamfering, grooving, knurling, spinning, parting, necking, taper-cutting, and cam- and eccentric-cutting, as well as step- and straight-turning. Comes in a variety of forms, ranging from manual to semiautomatic to fully automatic, with major types being engine lathes, turning and contouring lathes, turret lathes and numerical-control lathes. The engine lathe consists of a headstock and spindle, tailstock, bed, carriage (complete with apron) and cross slides. Features include gear- (speed) and feed-selector levers, toolpost, compound rest, lead screw and reversing lead screw, threading dial and rapid-traverse lever. Special lathe types include through-the-spindle, camshaft and crankshaft, brake drum and rotor, spinning and gun-barrel machines. Toolroom and bench lathes are used for precision work; the former for tool-and-die work and similar tasks, the latter for small workpieces (instruments, watches), normally without a power feed. Models are typically designated according to their “swing,” or the largest-diameter workpiece that can be rotated; bed length, or the distance between centers; and horsepower generated. See turning machine.
Machining operation in which metal or other material is removed by applying power to a rotating cutter. In vertical milling, the cutting tool is mounted vertically on the spindle. In horizontal milling, the cutting tool is mounted horizontally, either directly on the spindle or on an arbor. Horizontal milling is further broken down into conventional milling, where the cutter rotates opposite the direction of feed, or “up” into the workpiece; and climb milling, where the cutter rotates in the direction of feed, or “down” into the workpiece. Milling operations include plane or surface milling, endmilling, facemilling, angle milling, form milling and profiling.
Tormach Inc. has introduced a software upgrade to its PathPilot CNC software package that offers premium functionality standard, at no cost. In addition, Tormach is introducing its new ‘TRY PathPilot’ program that allows new users to program, learn and train on the program for free.
“Cost and capability are two of the biggest barriers in a CNC investment,” said Lori Morrison Bufalo, marketing director at Tormach. “Tormach was built on the idea of minimizing those barriers. Our CNC machines provide premium performance at a significant price difference from our competition. We believe our latest PathPilot CNC control software, which comes standard with all our machine packages, is the easiest to master, yet feature-packed CNC control system available today.”
New updates to Tormach’s PathPilot CNC software include an enhanced trajectory planner for faster cycle times, and a new visual conversational programming feature for intuitive, step-by-step template to quickly write G code for milling and lathe sequences. In addition, memory has been expanded to 85GB of available program storage memory, complete WiFi connectivity is built-in, and users now have the ability to eliminate use of USB drives for programming with a new auto-sync function. This function allows users to post out of their CAM software to a Dropbox G-code folder, even when their CNC machine isn’t on. The next time the machine is turned on, the sync happens immediately.
In addition to the software updates mentioned above, Tormach is introducing its new ‘TRY PathPilot’ virtual CNC simulator. This cloud-based program, available for free to anyone with an Internet connection, allows new CNC users to learn programming in PathPilot’s environment and try it, before you buy it.
In addition, Tormach CNC machine owners can use this new software to program remotely from anywhere and upload their virtual PathPilot code to their local controller, and start making chips once they return to their Tormach CNC machine. Educators utilizing Tormach CNC machines in STEM programs will now have the ability for students to complete curriculum programming outside of the makerspace lab.