Mill Wizard (Beta)
Unlike our popular Mach3 Addons, the Mill Wizard is a stand-alone program (available from our Downloads page) used to create G-code for milling parts. Simple parts are easy to create by doing basic operations, and chaining multiple operations together can be used to create more complex parts. The Mill Wizard is designed to fill the gap between writing G-code manually and using more traditional CAM software. Let's take a look at how it works:
Upon opening the program, the first thing to do is open a Job file. If this is a new project, select New Job from the File menu. If you are opening an existing project, select Open Job from the menu or drag the existing .job file onto the toolpath window. In this instance we are starting a New Job, which brings us to...
...the job settings. From here, you select the stock material from the list (which can be modified under Config > Materials), add any custom gcode (ie. a custom startup block), and set a few other parameters (distance units, rapid height, clearance height, etc). Clicking OK brings us to...
...the tool settings. The drop-down list is automatically populated with entries from the currently loaded tool table (Config > Tool Table). Selecting a tool will display it's information and automatically calculate the tool properties and proper feeds and speeds. The tool data can also be manually input if the desired tool has not been added to the table. If data is manually entered, clicking on Calc Tool Properties and Calc Feed and Speed will perform the calculations using the current information. Calculated values can be overwritten if necessary, but are limited by the machine maximum settings (Config > Machine Max Settings). Coolant options are also available. Clicking OK returns us to...
...the main screen. We see that the operations list now shows our Job Settings and a Tool Change for the tool we just selected. At this point we can start doing operations! Available actions include: Milling operations (Surface Stock, Cut Rectangle, Cut Circle, Cut Keyway, Cut Arc, Cut Link, Thread Milling, Engrave Text), Pocketing operations (Rectangular Pocket, Circular Pocket), Drilling operations (Circular Hole Pattern, Line of Holes, Rectangular Hole Pattern, Random List of Holes), and 4th Axis operations (Cut Gear, Cut Spline).
Clicking the button for an operation then takes you to the data input screen for that operation. The diagram will dynamically change as data is entered, to show an accurate visual representation of what it is being told to do. After entering the appropriate information, clicking the OK button will return you to the main screen and show your new operation, both in the list and as a toolpath in the window.
Once an operation is in the list, right-clicking brings up various options. Using the arrows on the side of the list, the order of operations can easily be changed. Any tool changes necessary between operations can be added via the Tool Change button.
Show here is a graphical representation of the part that would be created by the toolpaths shown above.
If this looks like a solution for you, limited time Beta licenses for the Mill Wizard are available for $50 (USD) (normal retail price: $75 after Release).