MMS Blog

CNC Programming: Dealing with Spindle Probe Results in Real Time

There are two general types of machining center spindle probe applications: those that can be handled separately from the machining G code program and those that cannot.

Consider, for example, the need to measure a program origin in each axis and enter the results into fixture offset registers. This is done one time per setup, and the G-code program that machines the workpiece need not be involved.

Any serious commitment to reshoring manufacturing has to begin with die and mold tooling. For much of production-scale manufacturing of metal and plastic parts, the die or mold is the essential starting point, and the die or mold contains much of the innovation related to both product design and the manufacturing process.

Modern Machine Shop filmed the panel discussion above to bring attention to this important issue. I was the moderator. My panelists included Bill Berry, president of Michigan die and moldmaker Die-Tech and Engineering; Don Dumoulin, CEO of Indiana moldmaker Precise Tooling Solutions; Steve Kline, chief data officer with Gardner Intelligence; and Harry Moser, founder of The Reshoring Initiative.

Smarter Sourcing – Insights and Strategies for Reshoring, Sourcing and Made In America

This four-part webinar series, presented Gardner Business Media and the Reshoring Initiative, delivers real data, proven strategies and successful use cases for shortening and strengthening the supply chain by sourcing parts and services locally.

The progressive series moves from a detailed overview of reshoring to more focused views on cases for and case studies on reshoring and local sourcing planning / preparedness for OEMs, contract manufacturers and how the government can and should play a role in the Made In America manufacturing imperative.

Online Store for EDM Wire Gives Small Shops A Boost

Although any company using wire EDM may benefit, Global Innovative Products (GIP) of Mason, Ohio, has a new online method for ordering spools of EDM wire, an option that looks especially promising for smaller shops. These shops are likely to rely on one or several of their wire machines for their flexibility and capability, yet they might not need a large quantity of wire types on hand or maybe they cannot afford to do so. According to Barry Ramsay, GIP’s general manager, these users may not command the best attention from supply houses or EDM consumables dealers that focus on volume sales. As a result, purchasing options for their wire needs can be limited or uncertain, he says, noting that an online store provides an alternative that gives these shops several benefits.

In particular, the benefits he sees for GIP’s approach to online ordering include improved cash flow and liquidity (no need to tie up capital in wire inventory by buying large quantities), access to a variety of wire types (GIP’s offerings range from high-quality, plain brass wire to a number of coated, double-coated and stratified products) and transparent pricing (the dollar amount for each unit is clearly stated, and quantity discounts are applied to all buyers).

Additive Manufacturing vs. COVID-19: Protecting Your Ideas for Protecting Others

We’ve seen it happen before. Someone shares a 3D solid model of a cool design only to find that someone else has downloaded it, 3D printed it and is selling it on an e-commerce site. How would you respond if this happened to you? When it happened to Thingiverse designer Louise Driggers, she responded by posting a 3D model of a sad face, resulting in over 900 comments and dozens of others realizing similar things had happened to them. Meanwhile, Thingiverse changed their file downloading process to ensure that relevant licensing information from Creative Commons or any other open source license is prominently displayed during the download.

It should come as no surprise, then, that this persists in the age of COVID-19.  Prusa was among the first to share its 3D printed face shield design for free on its website, and it did so under a non-commercial license. It asked that the shields be donated (for free) to those who needed them but also allowed for the producer to cover manufacturing costs; however, Prusa did “not want to see these shields on eBay for $50.” Well, guess where they are now? Selling on eBay and other e-commerce sites for as little as $3 and as high as $17. Granted, it isn’t $50, but still, it is definitely more than the cost of materials required to make one.