GWizard – First Looks
A visitor to this blog named Bob Warfield left a comment about a post he made in his blog HERE. Bob is also the creator or progenitor of machine shop “Speeds and Feeds” software called GWizard. It probably isn’t fair to call it just a Feeds & Speeds as it does so much more.
Bob told me he was known for The CNC Cookbook Blog as well as anything. So naturally I had to dive in and take a look. Sure enough there was Bob standing there grinning and holding plate with pumpkin pie. You’ll probably have to scroll way down to find him now (and the pie). This CNC Cookbook is a great place to read and study about the “science” of rotary machining.
I like a guy that doesn’t hide his face from his peers and customers.
I perused carefully everything I could find on that web site. Where was this when I needed it!? Of course always the skeptic, I had to figure out what was the “deal” going on here. The biggest question for any CNC machinist (well at least for me) is how hard can I push feeds and speeds and what are the reasons. It would seem obvious that this sort of program would have been offered long ago. But… it is a very complex subject. Tool manufactures are of course going to shade any such tool program toward their own products.
Bob admits it could be done with a spread sheet and in fact that is how he started. When I first started CNC machining I eventually found the safe speeds for the kind of work I usually do, but it had taken a lot of effort. I could have built a spread sheet myself but the effort would have kept me out of the shop doing too much research.
Next I looked at the cost. Ah! Now I get it. Pay me now and pay me forever. It’s an annuity for Bob! No wait! What is this? GWizard Lite?
Suddenly I do get it. What a great idea. The big commercial shops with the high power VMS systems love this program. It saves them time and tool cost to calculate how they can push production to the limit. They have a fixed budget amount they pay for the program the same as me. I’m the little guy at the bottom of the spectrum lost among the dross from the big boys, but the GWizard is built to scale down to my micro realm just as well. So I pay the same? No, not exactly.
Here is the plan. Everyone starts with a subscription. Everyone gets the “Full Monty” (everything) for a year. Then renew or extend any number of years. When you stop the subscription, YOU DON’T LOOSE THE PROGRAM. It becomes the lite version and is fully supported in all functions except the amount of horsepower it will compute. Think about this. Each year of subscription updates the HP limit of the lite version by one (1). During the subscription you have unlimited HP. You choose when to stop paying at your horsepower requirements. Three years equals 3 horsepower limit in the lite version.
If I only had my ¼ hp Taig mill, I would not renew after the first year and have a GWizard Lite that was good up to one horsepower. No problem, no more payments (subscription) but I still get all the other benefits including the support.
If I also had a 5 hp spindle on my OH Router I’d enlist for five years. By then I’d probably just keep going as it would be a regular business expense and I would want the program to be as good as it could be. Who knows what the future 5 years from now will be like? I’d only of paid $350 (at today’s rate) for something that has saved me many thousands of dollars in time and tool costs. Pay five years right now with the sale it’s only $275. This is a pittance for anyone doing serious CNC machine work.
I have run my standard tooling through the calculator and the results prove out with my experience learned the hard way with smaller bits. A whole new set of factors like tool flex, “stick out”, ramps, etc. are built in that take on major importance in the micro bit world. We all know what good bits cost these days. I spent a couple of year’s subscription in tool bits trying to get best performance in my HB2 heat sink project.
After a first Look I am enthused, and I highly recommend all CNCers take a look. There is a 30 day free trial so you can’t lose. You can go a lot farther than I have in a few days and prove to yourself this is something you really need as a CNC machinist. I think you will agree.
I will surely be posting more about this shop tool as I gain more experience in using it.
Thanks Bob, for the enlightenment and your fair pricing system.