The last time I talked much about a G-Wizard release was a month ago when I put out version 5.031.  Since then I have been working away on a series of releases that add up to quite a lot of progress.  We’re now up to version 5.043, which I just uploaded to the site.

By the way, if you ever need to find the download links, or want to look at the Change Log (every intermediate release is listed there, even silent ones I didn’t deem newsworthy), click the Help menu at the top right of most of our web pages.  You’ll find the download and change log links right at the top of the Help page.

In choosing what features to add, I’ve been pursuing a couple of overall themes.  First and foremost, is I am always looking for ways to improve overall usability and particularly to simplify G-Wizard’s user interface.

Second, I am really focusing on making it easier for Beginners and CNC Router users.  G-Wizard has lots of Power User and Pro Features.  It also has tons of Beginner and CNC Router features.  But I wanted to make it even easier for the Beginner and Router crowd if only because hard core pros come to the party with a lot of knowledge and experience.

Let’s did in an see what’s new!

New Features

Machine Profiles: The More the Merrier!

The only thing better than making it easy to create new machine profiles is?  Well two things actually.  Already finding your machine there is the absolute best.  But a close second is having us set up a machine profile for you.  That’s now part of the service if you don’t want to deal with creating a profile.  Just email your request for profile to sales@cnccookbook.com.

– Introduced Concierge Machine Profiles: We’ll build you a machine profile for free upon request.

– Added incremental search to Machine Selector to help navigating the long lists of machines.  Just start typing and the cursor will jump ahead to what matches.  I started feeling the need for this as I have added literally dozens of new machine profiles in the last month.

Added most of the machine profiles for machines covered in our CNC Router Buyer’s Guide

– Speaking of new profiles, here they are.  Added many new machine profiles including OpenBuilds, Axiom, Sain Smart, Avid CNC, and some missing Shapeoko profiles.  Added latest Tormach machines to default machines list. You will need this release plus click the download at bottom of machine profiles to get the new machines.  To get these, click the “Download” button at the bottom of the Setup Basics tab where you define machine profiles.  It will download the new ones, but won’t touch anything you already have.

Downloadable Example Tool Cribs and Better Tool Families

Another thing besides machine profiles that can slow down setup is defining the tools you use.  You’ve been able to download machine profiles for some time, but I have now added Download buttons to the Tool Crib and the Tool Family Popup.

amana tool rc-2255 spoilboard cutter

All the most popular Spoilbaord Cutters from our survey are available for download…

Even better, I took our CNC Router Spoilboard Cutter Survey results and put all the most popular spoilboard cutters into a pre-defined crib that you can download.  There’s also a sample 8 station lathe turret.  More to follow.

– Added the ability to Download Tool Families and pre-defined Tool Cribs from CNCCookbook. Just click the Download button on either the Tool Crib page or the Tool Family popup.

– Created pre-defined crib and Family info so you can get Feeds and Speeds on the 8 most popular Spoilboard Bits from our survey.

Simpler Cut Optimizer

This is a great simplification, and I don’t know why I didn’t build it this way to start with.  There is no more popup.  Instead, just click the speedo button next to the parameter you want to change and G-Wizard will find the largest value of that parameter that doesn’t trigger a deflection warning.

Cool, and easy, but it gets better.  I added speedos in two new places.  You can now optimize the tool stickout and the Tortoise-Hare slider setting to get rid of deflection warnings.

– Got rid of the old Cut Optimizer popup in favor of the speedo buttons next to the parameters we can optimize (Cut Width, Cut Depth, Stickout, and Tortoise Hare Slider).

– Added the ability to optimize Stickout and Tortoise Hare Slider.

Better CADCAM Wizards

– Made Tool Crib cutter selection for CADCAM Wizards smarter. They will prefer carbide over HSS, coated over non-coated, and more flutes over fewer so long as it isn’t too many flutes.

– Updated help and user docs for CADCAM Wizards considerably.

Better Feeds & Speeds Calculations

– Ballnose MRR and Deflection calculations are now more accurate. They were too conservative in prior versions.

– Turned off lead angle and corner radius compensation when using Mfg numbers.

Bug Fixes

Always looking to improve the fit and finish…

These are fit and finish issues that were nearly all reported by various customers.  I always try to fix any bugs reported as quickly as possible.  Getting the fixes out is the main reason I did so many small releases rather than one big release.  The sooner I get fixes out, the less likely you are to encounter the bug.  Ideally, I get them fixed before you even know they are there.

– Fixed a bug that caused the spindle power curve settings to not always track properly in the UI.

– Fixed a number of edge case bugs to get spoilboard cutters working more smoothly with CNC Routers.

– Improved behavior of Tool Families by fixing various bugs and refining the algorithms a bit. It can do more with fewer examples now.

– Fixed a bug that made some duplicates in the machine list from time to time.

– Fixed a bug when you copy tools in the Tool Crib that made all the copies behave just like first one even if you changed some of their parameters.

– Fixed a bug that prevented CADCAM Thread Wizard from giving results.

– Fixed a bug that could cause stickout to be set to flute length.

– Fixed a bug that could cause non-ballnose tools to be selected from crib on CADCAM 3D Surface Wizard.

– Fixed a bug that could sometimes cause coated carbide V-Bits to be treated as HSS Endmills.

– Fixed a bug that could cause crib tools to underperform generic tools.

What’s Next?

Phew!

I think I may have mentioned early on during the Covid-19 crisis that my plan is to focus primarily on the product.  I’m going to let the marketing take care of itself, though I will run a sale from time to time (just finished one in fact).

I intend to continue this product push.  There will be more good things coming to all our products.  I need to get another release of G-Wizard Estimator out soon, as well as one for Thread Calculator.  After that, I need to hit G-Wizard Editor for another release.  Then we’ll go around that circle again.

One change: G-Wizard Estimator and Thread Calculator are in Beta Test right now.  As such, they are free if you’re using G-Wizard Calculator.  The change is that I am going to eliminate access to them for Trial Users some time in the near future.  You’ll need to be a paying Calculator user to be able to access those modules, but they will remain free while in Beta Test.

 

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