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    How's your Solidworks maintenance costs these days?

    Getting quotes for maintenance renewals now. Bare bones standard version, network licensing, is nearly $1,700/yr per seat... that's after "discount" for a 3-year renewal. About 2.5x the cost of last time, 3 years ago. What the hell? This is just for maintenance... The increased cost is making...
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    Macro vars for "active" WSEC? Fanuc 30i

    Anyone know if this is possible? To read the active correction? Not the common or P1-P7 values, but the active calculated values (in red below)
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    Busted Talon Grip inserts?

    We've used Talon Grip jaws in our vises for a while now. Don't think I've ever seen this. Got a 20k piece job to do so I setup a couple of fixtures with pitbull clamps & talon grips. Bought all new clamps for this job. Done less than 1k parts so far, so less than 25 clampings on these...
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    Spindle Utilization Time

    I have a couple jobs running where I want to see the actual spindle time, not just a guess of how long it takes my guys to unload & load. I can time myself running the parts, but the actual time it takes the operator to do it can vary when they are running more than one machine, deburring parts...
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    New Machine Day.

    New machine day... well actually last week. Been too busy to post pictures. Went with a VF11 for the 120" X travel. Yeah it's another Haas... but it will work fine for the parts we want to make on it - several long parts to do. This will help do it in one setup, instead of hanging things out...
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    Beware - Canned Cycles buggy (and dangerous) in DWO

    Just want to warn others about this, since it appears Haas doesn't have any intention of fixing it. Original problem happened July last year. Reported it then, supposedly they were able to reproduce the problem, and it was logged as a bug. This is on our UMC750SS with the NGC. The original...
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    Copper slats for CNC laser table?

    Mitsubishi recommended we buy their copper table slats when we purchased our new fiber lasers 2 years ago. We've always just used CRS on these and our old CO2 laser. It's time to cut some new slats for one of the machines, so I'm wondering now if it's actually worth it to try copper? I figure...
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    DWO Macro for 4th axis

    Thought I'd share a new macro I wrote to use DWO on the old control similar to the new one, where you rotate to a new angle, call G254, then move to next XY, Z position. Code is below. On my VF2 I saved it as program 9013, then aliased G254 to it. (parameter 94) I've only done some testing with...
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    Slitting saw runout - What's too much?

    I made my own slitting saw holder to get by on a job in the past. It wasn't great, but it worked enough. It's an ER32 shank on one side and Ø1" on the other with a keyway. 2" length (from ER nut) puts the saw blade at about a 5" gage length. Well today I have a job to use it on. Part needs a...
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    Axial live-tool holders - which ones do you like? Recommendations? (Haas ST-10Y)

    Planning to purchase some more live-tool holders for the lathe. Got any recommendations besides the ones Haas sells? Which ones do you guys like using? I don't really like using those goofy collet wrenches and spanners to change tools in them. Is there a better system than this I should look into?
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    Lathe- Live tool engraving on OD - Feed rate type? Haas ST-10Y

    So I'm still very new to lathe stuff. I've got a round part here to engrave some stuff on the O.D. Not a problem to engrave on the rotary in the mill, after I turn everything. I figure why not do it all on the lathe? I've got live tooling and a holder to do it. I'm programming in CAM, but...
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    How to level and tram a VMC?

    So we've just moved to a new building. Our VF-7 was leveled by our local HFO last friday. Today, we re-installed our aluminum subplate for it, then faced it. Finish looked funny.. like the tram is off (I'm guessing). So I threw an indicator in there and swept the table in about a Ø12" circle...
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    Running lights-out - Tool checking / Spare tools?

    Just started doing some longer-running parts over night recently. So far it has been positive. It's nice coming in the morning and having finished parts waiting on the table, or the machine still running. I'm running sub-programs, so each tool runs through all parts before the next. I'm also...
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    What options to get on a new Haas ST-10Y?

    It's not my first choice for another machine, but it sounds like we'll be getting one here in short order. The owner emails me and the salesman out of the blue and says "We need another small lathe like we have, come over". We currently have one Doosan Lynx 220, for about a year and a half now...
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    TABLE FULL message?

    Can't find anything about this... what's it mean?
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    Broaching macro for VF

    So here's my macro for broaching... It's a work in-progress, but I think it should be good to go for now. I've only cut air with it, and some of the code is copy 'n pasted from the peck-tapping one, so I'm not sure it's 100% yet. Posting it here since this is probably a bit long of a post for...
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    Largest tap size for 40-taper Haas-VF? (Rigid Tapping)

    I've got a bunch of blind M20x2.5 holes to tap. About 2,200 to be exact. Thread depth is 35mm and material is A588 (normalized I think). Right now I'm threadmilling them, but it's going reallllll slow. Threadmilling alone, I'm at about a minute per hole if I don't want it chattering and...
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    Finally found a solution to an annoying (3ax Multi-cut) post bug. (Surfcam/MPost)

    And it feeeeeeels so good. I'm using Surfcam, currently on 2015R1, and use the built in MPost to generate code. In my main MPost template I use, I have sections for coolant/speed changes. Well, it was just coolant for a while, not speed until recently. Example: Upon [Speed] S[Speed] M[direct]...
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    G107 Cylindrical Mapping - my first try.

    What a let-down. Kind of. So I have this tube I need to trim. I saw a youtube video of a HSM path on a 4th axis rotary doing some pocketing in an X,A toolpath (maybe Y, too?). Can't recall the software used. Maybe Solidcam iMachining? Anyway, I'm using SurfCAM... :ack2: I thought that would...
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    Haas Peck-Tapping Macro

    I don't know if anyone else has done this, so I'm posting to share what I've done, and also maybe you guys have some input if I can improve this. First time I tried this, I turned repeat-rigid tap, setting 133, on and programmed the same hole deeper and deeper like others have done. It works...