7 Software Reasons for Bad Surface Finishes

Most of the time, machinist’s focus on the hardware aspects when they think about surface finish: –  Do I have the right feeds and speeds? –  Is my setup and machine rigid enough? –  Is there too much runout on the spindle? This is definitely the right place to start, but it’s not the end of the story. A great many factors affecting surface finish are tied up in the CAD/CAM software used to create the part program. For example, the part in the photo on the right exhibits a faceted surface finish. This is definitely a software issue (although there are certain servo mis-tuning situations that can lead to that sort of thing). Let’s take a look at some of these critical software issues that affect surface finish:


Measure and Fix Spindle Runout - The Tool Life Killer

What Is Spindle Runout?

Spindle runout, or tool runout, as it can also be called, is the inaccuracies that cause a tool (in a mill) or workpiece (in a lathe) to spin off the ideal axis. It’s very bad for tool life, so it’s good to know more about it.


CAM Toolpath Tips to Improve Tool Life and Surface Finish

Just released another edition of my monthly video column over on Cutting Tool Engineering magazine. This episode is all about some of the ways you can optimize your CAM Toolpaths for better tool life and surface finish.


Chip Thinning and Why You Should Cut More Aggressively

Just launched my this month’s video with Cutting Tool Engineering for my “CNC Chef” column (a playful reference to the CNCCookbook). In the first video, I covered the subject of tool rubbing.


3 Things You Should Do with a Brand New End Mill

Let’s be honest with each other, we all love getting new tools. Getting your hands on a new saw or cutting tool or even an altimeter drives excitement and you instantly find yourself looking for anything that needs to be trimmed, cut, or measured. When you get an end mill that you’ve never used, before you lose yourself in tooling euphoria, do these three things to make your machining experience all that is can be.


7 of the Biggest Feeds and Speeds Mistakes CNCers Make

These are things I hear over and over again talking to CNC’ers. There are some better ways and some better answers that can really improve your feeds and speeds practices, if you’re open to them. Fixing your feeds and speeds is one of the easiest productivity hacks you’ll ever make.

1 of 2