Useful Apps for Machinists and Machine Shops
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The goal of CNC machining is to automate as much as possible, making everything as remote, hands-free, and interchangeable as can be, which helps your shop run at maximum efficacy.

It goes without saying that we are seeing more technological advancements than ever before in history. The influx of CNC Lathing tools for the iPhone, Droid, and iPad, is a point of fact.

These apps are often very inexpensive or free and don't require software upgrades throughout your factory, giving you free rein to experiment and optimize. Another advantage is that these apps are often designed by machinists and shop owners just like you, who understand your needs, are just trying to be helpful or are doing their part to further the industry.

Here are some of the most useful and innovative apps we’ve found:

Feeds and Speeds for Milling
What It Does: Saves your machine’s max RPM, max IPM and max HP.  With this information stored, simply plug in some details about your cutter and the type of material you want to cut and the app figures out your starting figures for RPM, feed rate, radial and axial DoC and required HP.  
But watch out: It’s up to you to verify and tweak the numbers for your application. Overall, very nice app.  Here’s a link to the free version, but the pro version is definitely worth the $1.99.

Speeds and Feeds Calculator
Developer: Workman Apps
What It Does: It’s basic but contains all the necessary calculations for machining. Nothing fancy, but the rough interface still gets the job done, and it's nice to have something for your pocket.  Download it here.      

Machinist’s Calculator
Developer: Trades Math Calculator
What It Does: Solves common trigonometry in an easy to use format. It even provides X-Y coordinates for bolt hole circles. It'll set you back a mighty $3.99, we feel it’s definitely worth every penny.  Quality stuff, and very useful!  Buy this app here.

CNC Code Maker
Developer: CNC Code Maker
What It Does: A very simple 2D CAD/CAM software with tool path generation and user-editable post processors. Suitable for most CNC machines on the market.
 A simple, cut-throat CAD program, for those who don't need anything too complicated. For free. Download it here

And here's a list of a few others that we've heard about but have not had a chance to investigate. If you find anything useful, let us know in the comments!

Eng'r Toolbox
Journeyman machinist
Drill Chart Magnifier

Apps are an exciting field of ongoing research, with tons of free and cheap tools for every size of machinist, from the hobbyist to working for NASA.

If you are working with CNC machines, we care a full line of Lathe Accessories, spindle stops, draw tubes, and spindle liners, to further optimize and streamline your operation.

Contact us today, and let us know how we can help you. Or like us on Facebook, for more time and money saving tips, as well as tech and industry news.


Blog Categories

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    • 08/15/2017 - Fully Automatic Chamfering Mac
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    • 01/20/2015 - Ornamental Turning
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