2017-11-05

HSMAdvisor

Project history

  1. old posting: Why I'm NOT using GWizard by CNCCookbook anymore
  2. current posting
  3. next step

I just purchased a license for HSMAdvisor.
It is a feeds and speeds - calculator for operators of CNC milling, drilling and turning -machines.

I plan to use it to minimise my machining time on the 6040 CNC and to find starting-points for my new and unfamiliar spindle, for new materials, cutter-shapes and operations (e.g. CNC driling and thread-cutting).

Because it includes a license for the Android app that is limited to 1 year,
I postponed this step to the very last moment.
So my 1 year would not start running too early.

FSWizard:Mobile

This is the Android app for HSMAdvisor.
However I should says, this is the iOS app for HSMAdvisor that also happens to run on Android, completely disregarding the Android Design Guidelines and the Android Navigation semantics.

It is in no way integrated with the Desktop app except for the mentioned 1-year license.
So you have no access to your defined cutters, machine limits or preferred materials.
Also the math is more limited then the desktop software. (e.g. no spindle-power limit.)

(According to a comment to my Google Play Store -review, some of this is supposed to change in future versions.)

HSMAdvisor

Feeds and Speeds calculator

I really like the fact that you can save and load cutting data and that they are organised by tool.
You can even rate them with 1-5 stars afterwards.
You can't find them by material (to select a cutter that worked well in the past) but that's okay.
However what's not okay is that you can't even see the machine in the overview of these saved cutting parameters. So if you have multiple machines or spindles, you may load cutting data for e.g. a slower spindle.

I do not know why it would always display the "shoulder diameter" in inch while everything else is in proper millimeter. Imperial sizes and speeds mean absolutely nothing to me. Lacking any reference, I can't interpret them as being "fast"/"slow" or "large"/"small". Especially fractions like "0.1181 in" (=3mm)

It can not calculate cutting data for drilling operations. That's something  I could have really made use of with my current project. (Never having drilled in a CNC before.)
If you define a "Jobber Twist Drill" = regular drill. It will suddenly turn into a drilling calculator.
Just what I need right now.

Updates

It seems that the software does not auto-update nor does it inform the user about newer versions existing.

Material selection

The metals seem to be only in the US numeric representation.
So I was not able to find e.g.  AlCuMgPb.
There seems to be no differentiation between POM-C (copolymer) and Delrin (DuPont brand named mono-polymer.) even as both are mechanically different. However at least POM and machinable wax are present at all.

I was not able to find any common, soft woods like fir or spruce however there is a setting "soft wood".

It does list "machinable wax" however it just ignores the low melting point in it's cutting recommendations.

I am not able to hide all that different kinds of steel (as I will never, ever machine steel on my hobby machines) but with the search-function it's fine.

Support forum

Support is handled through a self-written forum software.
Sadly zero.divide doesn't use a standard software.
Thus the forum is lacking all kinds of email-notifications and has no "my discussions", "my postings" or "answers to my postings" feature at all.
Also no support for Tapatalk.
You are required to come back regularly and manually search all topics that are still relevant to you for possible. answers.

Reference charts

The desktop app includes a large number of reference charts.
However they are not explained and are extremely imperial-centric.
So as a non-machinist, especially from a metric country (all countries except Myanmar, Liberia, the UK and the USA. However the later not for any NATO or NASA business),
you have absolutely no idea what e.g. the drill-chart could possibly mean.
As a non-machinist and not a native English speaker, I may be lacking a lot of specialised vocabulary to understand these.

"Metric Taps" 
  • There is no indication that the metric clearance listed is for the "coarse" and not the "fine" variant. 
  • The metric height of the corresponding bolts (e.g. an M5 nut is 4.0mm in height) is missing.
  • Metric size of the wrench needed (e.g. for an M5 you use an 8mm wrench) is missing. I often need this to design hexagonal holes for the nuts 

Taps

  • There is no line below the tap header, telling the user what the chart is about 
(e.g. for the "drill chart" "Size table for imperial drills referenced to in numbers or letters") 
  • In Europe, I have never seen imperial drills. Nor do I know how the are named. But I do know that you'll have a hard time finding something exotic like a 6.25mm drill listed. 
  • There is no help text (offline. on the local computer.) explaining what the tables is and how to use them.
(According to a forum answer, some of this is supposed to be improved in a future version.)

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