Lightly Touched: Choosing the best marking method for delicate workpieces

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling, Machining

Back in my shop days, most workpieces were marked by using hardened steel stamps and a 2-lb. hammer. WHAM! That heavy-handed approach didn’t cut it when the shop began supplying thin-walled aluminum brake sleeves to Boeing. We ordered a bunch of rubber stamps and gently rolled the part number in permanent ink around the sleeve’s […]

Workholder modeling

Posted Leave a commentPosted in CAD/CAM/FMEA, Machining

The goal of any machine shop should be reducing setup times close to zero—load the fixture, switch programs and push cycle start. Granted, this requires lots of organization and investment, but with quick-change fixtures and toolholders, tool management systems, and off-line presetters and simulations, huge decreases in setup time are achievable. This last part—offline simulation—is […]

Head in the cloud

Posted Leave a commentPosted in CAD/CAM/FMEA

I love the cloud. My Word files and Excel spreadsheets are stored there, and my wife uploads cute pictures of the grandkids to the cloud. No more worries about backing up the computer or about what will happen to our life’s data should it burst into flames. Best of all, I can access all my […]

Machine-integrated inspection systems can improve quality, profitability

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling, Quality and Metrology

Stopping a machine to measure a workpiece is a waste of time. Not only is a high-priced piece of CNC equipment being taken out of production, but the measurements obtained when a machinist leans into a machine with a micrometer or bore gage can’t compare in accuracy to those generated by a coordinate measuring machine […]

Rapid shift – 3D printing poised to turn prototyping on its head.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Medical and Dental, Rapid Prototyping

Engineers and product designers have more rapid prototyping choices than an aficionado at an art fair. Stereolithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS), fused deposition modeling (FDM) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) are but some of the available additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, which cover a range of materials from nylon, polycarbonate, PEEK (polyether ether ketone) […]