I just uploaded G-Wizard Calculator version 3.65 (click the link to download it manually).
New G-Wizard Release Basics
Before I get into what’s new in this release, I want to revisit some new release basics to try to help everyone with some common questions.
How do I get new releases?
Normally, G-Wizard will download new releases for you and offer to install them when you exit the software. It offers when you exit because that’s a time when you’re done working with G-Wizard and we thought it would be the least intrusive. I always hate when programs force me to deal with it up front–right when I’m trying to get something done. With G-Wizard you can tell it to go ahead and install and then walk away to go do your next task.
It will also display an “Install” button in the top right in case you want to jump ahead and install right away.
G-Wizard doesn’t download or present the button as soon as the release is available. Rather, it uses what I call a “feathered release process.” What happens, is new releases are rolled out over the course of a week. Each day, another 1/7 of users get the release.
We do this so that if a problem is discovered, it can usually be fixed and the process restarted before very many folks run across the problem.
You can always manually download the latest release. Just click the Help button at the top right of most of our web pages. Near the top of the Help page are the download links for all our software. There’s also a link to the change log, in case you’re wondering what’s changed in the latest releases.
Incidentally, there are a tremendous number of other resources on that Help Page too!
Are new releases optional or mandatory?
What, you’re making me upgrade AGAIN?!??
Most releases are optional, and you can choose to ignore them. About 3 or 4 times a year, we declare a mandatory release because we don’t want folks to fall too far behind the pack. We never declare the current release mandatory–we always choose a release several steps back that was proven to be trouble-free. If you nearly always grab the latest releases, you might never see a mandatory release.
How do I reinstall if I get a new computer?
Don’t you hate when you have a hard disk crash or otherwise have to upgrade a machine?
We try to make things easy though. To get up and running again, just download the latest release, install it, and login with your email just like always. G-Wizard allows a grace period while it becomes accustomed to your new machine and it will forget the old installation if you quit using it.
What about that pesky Certificate Warning?
Lately, there’s been a bumper crop of these Certificate Warnings when folks try to install G-Wizard. We’re sorry about that and we wish the makers of the operating systems and tools we use had gotten their act together about this, because the message sure is unfriendly and there’s absolutely nothing we can do to change it. DOH!
Fortunately, the fix is simple–uninstall G-Wizard using the Windows Control Panel or on Macs just move it to the trash. Basically, the operating systems won’t allow us to automatically do that for you to clear the way for a new version with a fresh digital signing certificate.
What is a digital signing certificate and why did you need a new one?
I digress delving into this, but many have asked. Basically, the signing certificate allows the OS on your machine to tell beyond a shadow of a doubt where the software came from. They expire every 2-3 years and must be replaces. We just hit our expiration milestone last month, hence the new certificates. A bit of good news–we sprang for the most secure certificates available. In fact, we have to use a special piece of hardware that uniquely identifies us as CNCCookbook, even though we were already pretty sure we ARE CNCCookbook, now you can be sure too. Phew, glad that worry is solved!
What’s New in this Release?
Sorry for all that, just trying to short-circuit a raft of email I’ve been responding to lately. Now for the good stuff!
New GD&T Applet for Quick Reference
Many of you have been following our free GD&T Course. Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing is handy stuff for CNC’ers.
G-Wizard Calculator already had some pretty useful aids to GD&T built in. The Fits and Tolerances app for one and the True Position Calculator for another. Now we’ve added a GD&T Quick Reference to help you keep up with what all the symbols mean:
New GD&T Quick Reference is under the Quick Refs as the GD&T tab…
The new GD&T Quick Reference is under the Quick Refs as the GD&T tab. What you get is an expanded quick reference table and clicking through the links will bring up the articles from the GD&T course that explain each symbol more fully.
New Machine Selector Popup
In preparation for our adding a LOT more built-in machine profiles, I wanted to make it easier to manage the long list of default machine profiles that is going to start growing steadily. So, I changed the Machine Selector Popup so it is in a bigger window and so you can filter by machine make using a dropdown. For example, if you only want to see Haas machines, use the dropdown to shorten the list:
Filter the machine list by make, such as Haas…
BTW, it is super easy to create a machine profile for your machine if it isn’t on the list. We even provide a guided tour in the Getting Started tours. Just click the Getting Started button at the top of the software window and access the tour:
It’s easy to create a machine profile. We even provide an easy Getting Started Tour to show you how…
More Machine Profiles
As I mentioned, we’re going to start adding more built-in machine profiles with each new release of G-Wizard. In this release, we’ve added new profiles for Fadal VM 15, VMC 15XT, VMC 4020, and VMC 4525 machines. We also added Hurco VM20i and VMX24i machine profiles.
I will try to add 4 or 5 new profiles in each release, based on the popularity of the machines we see people creating profiles for in the installed base.
If your machine hasn’t been handled yet, we can also create a profile for you. Just request one by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’ll take a while to get a profile created and a new release out with it built-in though, so you may still want to try your hand at creating a profile!
Our Usual Fit and Finish Work
In addition, we try to address any outstanding issues reported by users and to improve the overall usability of the software constantly. For example, we fixed a unit conversion bug in the ramping mini calc and I did a round of usability improvements to the limits in Feeds and Speeds. Basically, I tried to make it more clear what’s happening when you hit some limit and values start turning red. There should now be a helpful message about each red thing under the Tips.
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