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Peter Zelinski

Peter Zelinski has been a writer and editor for Modern Machine Shop for more than a decade. One of the aspects of this work that he enjoys the most is visiting machining facilities to learn about the manufacturing technology, systems and strategies they have adopted, and the successes they’ve realized as a result. Pete earned his degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and he first learned about machining by running and programming machine tools in a metalworking laboratory within GE Aircraft Engines. Follow Pete on Twitter at Z_Axis_MMS.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 22. July 2014

Video: Additive Manufacturing at Linear Mold

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Linear Mold & Engineering is a company realizing a range of possibilities for additive manufacturing. The company uses production 3D printing not only to “grow” metal parts that couldn’t be made any other way, but also to create mold inserts that have cooling lines conforming to the curves of the mold for superior heat transfer.

Christina Fuges and I (co-editors of Additive Manufacturing) visited Linear to film this video.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 17. July 2014

Webinar: Increase Milling Output on Your Existing Machine

An Airbus research and technology leader was quoted in this article describing what he sees as low-hanging fruit in the supply chain—that is, opportunities to get greater output from existing CNC machines. One opportunity he sees is increasing metal removal rate in milling by selecting spindle speeds with an understanding of the machine’s and the overall system’s tendencies to chatter. The practice has been known for decades, and Dr. Scott Smith of BlueSwarf explained in a recent Webinar just how to obtain this productivity gain.

The webinar is worth your time, because the steps for increasing productivity by mastering a machine tool’s dynamic characteristics can be counterintuitive. For example, while a shorter milling tool is likely to produce a more rigid system, that shorter tool is not necessarily better when it comes to chatter’s effect on how deep the cut can go. Dr. Smith explains why a longer tool more prone to deflection might actually be the tool able to take the deepest cut. Animations in the webinar illustrate the various frequencies your milling process is subject to, and why your cut is behaving the way it is.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 14. July 2014

Hurco to Award Free Machine Tool to Winning Entrepreneur

The VMX24i CNC machining center is one of the machines the winner might choose in the entrepreneurial contest to be decided at IMTS.

Hurco’s “Chipmaker Challenge” contest will allow a manufacturing entrepreneur to win a free CNC machining center or CNC lathe (winner’s choice). The contest is currently underway, accepting applications until August 8.

The contest is modeled after the TV show Shark Tank, says Hurco North America General Manager Joe Braun. Entrepreneurs in manufacturing who have been in business five years or less can pitch their business plans, including what they expect to achieve with the free machine. The top five finalists will appear in front of a panel of judges at the Hurco booth (S-8319) at IMTS  September 9.

One of the aims of the contest is to “get publicity for the entrepreneurs in our industry who do remarkable things each and every day,” Mr. Braun says. “We decided to create an exciting, competitive, entertaining event that showcases these entrepreneurs and highlights high-tech manufacturing.”

To learn more about the Chipmaker Challenge, and to enter, go here.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 9. July 2014

Clamping Options for Five-Axis Machining

In five-axis machining, the workholding has to get out of the way. This is one of the challenges. Particularly on trunnion-style machines that pivot the part instead of the tool, the wrong choice of clamping or fixturing risks collisions as the part rotates through compound angles. Meanwhile, one of the promises of five-axis machining is the ability to cut various faces of the part in a single setup. That benefit is compromised if the workholding device—say, a standard vise—covers up the surfaces of the part.

For shops rethinking their workholding for five-axis machining, Haas Automation posted this useful article detailing various fixturing options engineered specifically for five-axis machining.

One other approach, seen in the accompanying photo, is to make the workpiece itself the fixture by clamping the billet and machining the part out of it. This photo was taken at Padgett Machine. Read about Padgett’s experience with five-axis machining here.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 3. July 2014

Video: 3D Printing of Injection Molds at Whale

How do you 3D print an injection mold in plastic, put it into an injection molding machine, and then use that plastic mold to produce plastic parts?

That was the question pump manufacturer Whale faced when it first considering making injection mold tooling in this way. Watch the company print and use these plastic molds, and talk about its experience with them, in this video from Stratasys.

Learn more about using plastic molds to make plastic parts in this article.

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