Customer Video: Micro 100 Angled Profiling Tool

Watch this great video from @arcturusmakes shared to @micro_100’s Instagram, which features Micro 100’s Angled Profiling Tool used to face profile in 360C brass.

“Trial run @micro100 QPA tool to do a little face profiling on the spin top coins I am developing. Probably not really what it’s intended for but it got the job done. Material 360C brass.”

Ground from solid carbide, the unique design of Micro 100’s Angled Profiling Tool maximizes tool versatility and part feature creation. Designed for both radial and axial profiling, this tool is an excellent choice for fine finishing applications. It’s offered with a Standard Shank, or available for use with our proprietary Quick Change Tooling System, Micro-Quik™, which is designed to make tool changes 86% faster than conventional methods.

Click Here to explore the full Micro 100 Profiling offering

Do you love machining? Us, too! Share your machining pictures and videos with us on Instagram at any Harvey Performance Company page: @harveytool@helicaltools@micro100, or @titan.usa. We’d love to share your work and give your shop a shout-out on In the Loupe!

Teaming up With Autodesk to Test Helical Solutions’ High Feed End Mills

Watch this video taken at Autodesk’s Boston Technology Center. We teamed up with Autodesk to test out our High Feed End Mills in 4140 Steel on their Haas VF5SS. We were able to achieve 550 SFM, 4,202 RPM and 428 IPM!

Designed for high feed applications, Helical’s fully stocked offering of High Feed End Mills take advantage of chip thinning with a specifically engineered end profile for optimal tool engagement and reduced cutting forces. The milling technique for these tools allows for drastically increased feed rates to maximize chip thickness and keep radial forces low.

Click Here to explore the full Helical Solutions High Efficiency Feed Mill offering.

Customer Video: Micro 100 Boring Bars

Watch this video from @arcturusmakes shared to @micro_100’s Instagram, which features a Micro 100 Boring Head Tool perform in C360 Brass.

Gettin’ it done with @micro100 tooling.
Material is 360 brass
Video is at 1.5x speed to fit full cycle in short IG video time limit.”

An industry staple for more than 50 years, Micro 100 Boring Bars are regularly praised for their strength, durability, and precision. These tools are offered with a Standard Shank, or are available for use with our proprietary Quick Change Tooling System, Micro-Quik™, which is designed to make tool changes 86% faster than conventional methods.

Click Here to explore the full Micro 100 Boring Bar offering.

Do you love machining? Us, too! Share your machining pictures and videos with us on Instagram at any Harvey Performance Company page: @harveytool@helicaltools@micro100, or @titan.usa. We’d love to share your work and give your shop a shout-out on In the Loupe!

Customer Video: Micro 100 Grooving Tool

We love this great video from @arcturusmakes shared to @micro_100’s Instagram, which features a Micro 100 Grooving Tool working effortlessly in C360 brass.

“This was an exercise in curiosity because squirrel. I was wondering if my lathe controller could cut a scroll thread. This was done using a G92 cycle with 2 starts. Each pass is a slightly different cut depth just to see how the cutter and lathe responded which you can hear. Material is scrap piece of C360 brass. cutter is from @micro_100 face grooving tool. Seeing this has triggered a whole series of new bad ideas.”

Micro 100 fully stocks a wide variety of ID Standard and Micro-Quik™ quick change grooving tools to best suit your shops unique needs. You’ll find an assortment of tools from face grooving to retaining ring and o-ring. These tools are engineered with a plished split face that aids in improved chip evacuation as well as reduced galling and increased edge retention. Click here to explore the full Micro 100 turning offering.

Do you love machining? Us, too! Share your machining pictures and videos with us on Instagram at any Harvey Performance Company page: @harveytool@helicaltools@micro100, or @titan.usa. We’d love to share your work and give your shop a shout-out on In the Loupe!

We Partnered with Makino & Mastercam to Set MRR Standards with Helical Solutions’ HEV-C-6

Material removal rate (MRR) is the term for the measurement of material removed from a part during machining, over a set period of time, and is the key identifier in machine, tooling, and software efficiency. Radial depth of cut (RDOC) and axial depth of cut (ADOC) are critical elements to MRR, as they determine how and where your tooling is engaging with the workpiece. Applying High Efficiency Milling (HEM) strategies to your milling practice is the best place to start to increase MRR while also keeping tool wear and overall tool life in check.

Utilizing HEM with Helical Solutions’ HEV-C-6 chipbreaker with Mastercam software, Makino machinists were able to use a Makino PS105 VMC to achieve a new industry standard in MRR for 4140 steel alloy.

Setting a New Material Removal Rate Benchmark with Helical

Engineered for HEM, Helical’s HEV-C-6 was designed for optimal chip evacuation and reduced tool harmonics at high RPMs. Makino machinists utilized these features wit Mastercam’s highly effective tool paths, resulting in a very impressive MRR.

Watch the video below from Makino to see these impressive feats.

Inside the machine, the HEV-C-6 was spun at 10,695 RPM with Mastercam’s impressively efficient toolpaths to achieve an incredible 40in3 MRR. 

Harvey Performance Company National Application Engineer Don Grandt, who worked with Makino and Mastercam on this project, spoke of what went into this effort.

How did this project initially gain traction?

Makino saw a Helical Solutions email highlighting the HEV-C-6 end mill, and wanted to work with us and Mastercam to do a demo to show off the power of their PS105 Vertical Machining Center with a 1/2″ end mill. Using our tool, they were able to max out the horsepower on the machine to get unbelievable MRR.

What considerations were met as you attempted to set this new industry standard?

All tools can only be pushed to the limits of the machine and material. So the goal was to watch the machine’s spindle load to give 100% or greater efficiency of the machine. We also wanted to use a combination of radial step over, axial stepdown, and Feed per Minute to maximize the MRR, as well.

Why was Helical’s HEV-C-6 chosen for this project?

The HEV-C-6 was chosen for a couple of reasons. First, the email that Helical sent was boasting some impressive things about this tool, which intrigued Makino. The other reason was Mastercam was working with us in the past and had an idea that with their tool path (Dynamic), and Makino’s machine power and performance, that this could be an incredible collaboration.

What is next for the performance between these three brands?

We have pushed the limits of the Makino PS105 Machine with a half inch end mill so the sky is the limit with other machines in Makino’s arsenal with greater horsepower and performance. And as far as Mastercam is concerned, they evolve their software yearly with new tool paths and strategies that make it easier and easier on the tool.

For more information on this impressive feat, a webinar hosted by Makino, and featuring Don Grandt, can be found here. Cutting Tool Engineering (CTE) also featured this collaboration in their August 2021 issue as well, as in an accompanying blog post written by Jesse Trinque of Mastercam.

Customer Video: Micro 100 Quick Change Internal Diameter Profiling Tool

The above video, courtesy of @arcturusmakes and shared with us on Instagram @micro100, showcases a Micro 100 Quick Change Internal Diameter Profiling Tool in action. More specifically, the tool is cutting a ball socket profile in some brass.

Did you know that Micro 100 fully stocks three unique types of Micro-Quik™ quick change turning tools for profiling? The first option, Quick Change – Profiling Tools – Axial Profiling, is designed for both axial and radial profiling applications and features a polished split face for improved edge retention and chip evacuation, and reduced galling. Another option, specifically engineered for radial profiling, is an excellent choice for fine finishing. This tool, the Quick Change – Profiling Tools – Radial Profiling, is designed with a coolant-enabled shank, and can be used in thread relief applications. Lastly, Micro 100’s Quick Change – Profiling Tools – Angled Profiling is engineered for both radial and axial profiling and its unique design maximizes tool versatility and part feature creation.

Do you love machining? Us, too! Share your machining pictures and videos with us on Instagram at any Harvey Performance Company page: @harveytool, @helicaltools, @micro100, or @titan.usa. We’d love to share your work and give your shop a shout-out on In the Loupe!

High Efficiency Milling for Titanium Made Easy With Helical’s New HVTI Cutter

Titanium is a notoriously difficult material to machine, especially in aggressive toolpaths, such as those associated with High Efficiency Milling (HEM). Helical Solutions’ new line of tooling, the HVTI-6 series of end mills for titanium, is optimized specifically for this purpose, and proven to provide 20% more tool life than a competitor’s similar tool.

At face level, these new Helical end mills for titanium feature corner radius geometry, 6 flutes, and are Aplus coated for optimal tool life and increased cutting performance. But there is much more to these end mills than the typical geometry of standard 6 flute tools. The HVTI-6 was designed with a combination of a unique rake, core, and edge design that give it a leg up over standard 6 flute tools for milling titanium while cutting HEM toolpaths. Click here to watch the HVTI-6 in action!

End Mills for Titanium

The design of the HVTI-6 was the result of significant testing by the Harvey Performance Company Innovation and New Product Development teams. These teams spent many months testing tools, doing in-depth analysis on materials and tool geometry, and pushing these tools through dozens of hours in the cut at testing sites across the country.

The new HVTI-6 cutter experienced higher metal removal rates (MRR) and 20% longer tool life while performing HEM in Titanium when compared to a standard 6 flute tool offered by a Helical Solutions competitor. This type of tool life improvement will produce huge cost savings on tooling, as well as shortened cycle times and lower cost per part.

Helical HVTI Titanium

The Harvey Performance Innovation team targeted Titanium grade Ti6Al4V for their testing, which accounts for the vast majority of the Titanium being machined in North America. The test part was designed and programmed to allow for a more defined agility test of the tool, taking the tool into key geometry cutting exercises like tight corners, long straight line cuts, and rapid movement.

Many hours were spent with Lyndex-Nikken, manufacturers of high-quality rotary tables, tool holders, and machining accessories, at their Chicago headquarters. By working with the team at Lyndex-Nikken, the Harvey Performance Company team was able to test under optimal conditions with top-of-the-line tool holders, work holding, and machining centers. Lyndex was also available to provide their expert support on tool holding techniques and were an integral part of the testing process for these tools. Video of the impressive test cuts taken at the Lyndex facility can be seen below.

WATCH THE HVTI IN ACTION

In these tests, the HVTI end mills for titanium was able to run HEM toolpaths at 400 SFM and 120 IPM in Ti6Al4V, which served as the baseline for most of the testing.

While the standard 6 flute tools offered by Helical will still perform to high standards in Titanium and other hard materials (steels, exotic metals, cast iron), the HVTI-6 is a specialized, material-specific tool designed specifically for HEM toolpaths in Titanium. Advanced speeds and feeds for these new tools are already available in Machining Advisor Pro, and the complete offering is now available in the Helical CAM tool libraries for easy programming.

To learn more about the HVTI 6 Flute End Mills for Titanium, please visit the Helical Solutions website. To learn more about HEM techniques, download the HEM Guidebook for a complete guide on this advanced toolpath.

Harvey Tool: Behind the Scenes

Many of our end users have had great questions about our manufacturing process, how we keep all of our tools in stock, and more. Now for the first time, we decided to open our doors and show you how we manufacture and fulfill the Harvey Tool product. We partnered with John Saunders from NYC CNC to create a “Factory Tour” video, covering topics like our CNC grinding machines and setups, tool manufacturing, and our warehouse organization and fulfillment procedures.

In the video below, we first toured our Rowley, MA warehouse and fulfillment center with Fulfillment Manager Megan Townsley. After that, we head up to Maine to check out how the Harvey Tool product is manufactured and inspected with VP of Operations Brian McKahan.

7 Facts Revealed in Our Factory Tour (Plus 3 More That Didn’t Make the Cut)

We know you’re busy making amazing parts, and might not have time for the entire video. To save you time, here are some of the highlights and facts you should know about Harvey Tool.

When We Say Miniature, We Mean Miniature

Our miniature end mills are in stock in diameters down to .001″. In fact, our Stub and Standard end mills cover every diameter from .001″ to .120″, meaning we will always have you covered when it comes to micro-machining. Although it is hard to see with the naked eye, you can get an up-close look at the famed .001″ end mill by jumping to the 35 minute mark in the tour video.

Micro-Tools Require Precision Grinding

We utilize advanced CNC grinding technology to manufacture our miniature tools at our plant in Maine. Brian MacKahan, VP of Operations, does an excellent job of breaking down our manufacturing process beginning at the 21 minute mark of the tour video. If you just want to see some miniature CNC grinding in action, jump ahead to the 26 minute mark.

Our Inspection Process is Rigourous

All of our tools are sent through an extensive inspection process, both at our plant in Maine and at our headquarters in Massachusetts. To check out the Massachusetts inspection room, head to the 19 minute mark of the video. If you want to see some more in-depth inspection at our facility in Maine, you can jump to the 35 minute mark.

Yes, We Have It In Stock

If you need it, we have it. All 20,000+ tools from our catalog are kept stocked and ready to ship to you the same day. If you need more proof, jump to 15:30 in the tour video, where you will see John Saunders choose a randomly selected Undercutting End Mill from our catalog and find it in our warehouse, in stock and ready to head out to a shop.

We Maintain a 99.8% Order Accuracy Rate

Our fulfillment team handles all of your orders with precision and accuracy. We maintain a 99.8% order accuracy rate, with fulfillment team members checking every order multiple times to ensure you receive exactly what you need. You can learn more about our order fulfillment process and accuracy rates by moving to the 5 minute mark in the video.

We Sell More Than Miniature

Miniature end mills have always been our bread and butter, but did you know that we have many larger diameter tools in stock as well? At the 9 minute mark in the video, you can see John pull out a 3/4″ Long Reach Ball Nose End Mill from our shelves. If you are interested in larger diameter specialty tooling, jump to 12:15 in the video to check out one of our large diameter Corner Rounding End Mills.

When You Call, You’ll Always Talk to An Experienced Tech Expert

Though we didn’t catch it on tape, John Saunders was blown away by our tech team during his visit. He got a chance to pick their brains about a problem he was having and a few minutes later, he received a recommendation for the right compression cutter to tackle his unique operation. This tool was later showcased in one of his “Widget Wednesday” videos.

When you choose Harvey Tool, you will never get an automated system or countless steps before you are able to talk to a real person about your applications. Our industry-leading technical support team is available over the phones or via email every Monday-Friday from 8 AM EST to 7 PM EST. You can reach them by calling 800-645-5609, or by sending an email to [email protected].

We Value Our Distributor Network

We value our large distributor network, and we ask that all orders are placed with your local dealer. To find the closest distributor to you, use the “Find a Distributor” tool on our website.

We’re Hiring!

We are currently hiring for many different positions, including open CNC Machinists positions for all shifts at our manufacturing plant. If you want to be a part of the Harvey Performance Company team, check out our Opportunities page for more information.

Helical Solutions: Behind the Scenes

We have shown our end users bits and pieces of our manufacturing process on our website and via social media, but for the first time we decided to open our own doors to the public and show you every step behind how we manufacture and fulfill the Helical Solutions product. We partnered with John Saunders from NYC CNC to create a “Factory Tour” video, covering topics like our CNC grinding machines and setups, tool manufacturing, and our warehouse organization and fulfillment procedures.

In the video below, we first toured our Gorham, Maine manufacturing plan with Plant Manager Adam Martin. Then, we ran a few tests with the Helical tools on our Haas machine, before heading back to our warehouse in Massachusetts to talk about fulfillment and new products with Fulfillment Manager Megan Townsley.

7 Facts Revealed in Our Factory Tour (Plus 3 More That Didn’t Make the Cut)

We know you’re busy making amazing parts, and might not have time for the entire video. To save you time, here are some of the most important facts you should know about Helical.

We Take Quality Control Seriously

Our high performance end mills go through an extensive inspection and quality assurance process before they end up in your machine, with multiple inspection points along the manufacturing journey. At the 17 minute mark of the video, you can learn more about how we monitor the quality of the tools in batches as they are manufactured. If you skip ahead to the 29 minute mark, you can see some of our more advanced inspection machines in action.

We Stand Behind Our Tools with Our Renewal Services

Our Tool Renewal service is a great way to maximize your cost-savings and avoid having to re-purchase new tools without sacrificing any aspects of the original design. At Helical, we do not re-sharpen tools. Rather, we restore your tools to their original geometry. We will review the condition of your used tools and return the cutting edge to its original sharpness and strength, allowing the tool to retain its outstanding performance. The renewed tools go through the same rigorous inspection, edge prep, and coating process that we follow for all our of our new tools. To learn more about our Tool Renewal services, head to the 23:30 mark in the video.

Our Tool Coating Is Done In-House

We have multiple tool coating machines in-house which allow us to take the ground tools right off the line and transfer them to our coating room to have Aplus, Zplus, or Tplus coatings added. These machines also have the capability to create roughly 20 different coatings, which are reserved for specials and custom orders. If you want a close-up look at the coating room and learn how the PVD coating process actually works, head to the 35 minute mark.

Our Standard Catalog Items Are Stocked and Ready for Your Machine

We don’t make our standard catalog tools to order. All of our standard tools are stocked and ready to make some chips in your machine. We also introduce hundreds of new tools to our annual catalog to keep providing our customers with the latest in high performance tooling technology. You can check out our new tools for 2018, including our new High Balance Tools and Metric Tooling, by heading to 52:20, or take quick look at our rows of stocked tools in our warehouse by jumping to 56:55.

Diamond Wheels Grind Carbide Tools

Diamond grinding wheels are the essential tool (outside of the machine) when it comes to grinding carbide. We have a unique management system for our diamond wheels, and a redressing process which can see these wheels last up to a year or more before they need replacement. Adam goes through our “frozen wheel” room with John at the 32:45 mark in the video above.

We Track Every Batch of Tools With Laser Etching

Our tools are all laser etched on-site with our logo, phone number, and tool description, but also with a specific batch number. These batch numbers allow us full track-ability of every tool so we can quickly asses any questions or concerns a customer may have about a tool. With these numbers, we are able to track the tool’s journey all the way back to which machine it was made on, which grinding wheel was used, and who ran the program. We have a couple of these laser etching machines in Maine, which you can see in action at the 42 minute mark.

If You Can Dream It, We Have Probably Made It

We have had some crazy tool drawings come in to our custom tool program over the years, including oddly shaped form tools, tools with a crazy long length of cut, “paper cutters”, and more. You can see some cool examples of custom tools we have manufactured by jumping to the 20 minute mark. If you are more interested in how we actually make them, head to the 27 minute mark to see one of our large custom tools being ground on our Walter machines.

Our Technical Resources Are Second To None

We don’t leave you hanging after your purchase of Helical tools. We have a multitude of technical resources and How-Tos available here on our blog, and we also offer the HEM Guidebook, a complete guide to High Efficiency Milling techniques.

If you are looking for information on speeds and feeds, we suggest you try our Machining Advisor Pro application. This application is designed to increase metal removal rates and shop productivity by generating customizable running parameters optimized for your Helical Solutions end mills. You can click here to get started with Machining Advisor Pro today.

You Will Always Get a Real Person When You Call Helical

If you have technical questions about an upcoming job, a special application, or tooling selection, you can contact Helical by phone at 866-543-5422. Our technical experts are available over the phone Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM EST, and you will always get a real person to talk to with no automated systems to navigate through. You can also reach our team by email at [email protected].

Questions about where to buy Helical tools? You can give our team a call, or you can find your local distributor by using the “Find a Distributor” tool on our website. Simply choose your state to see a complete list of authorized distributors in your area.

We’re Hiring!

We have a current list of our open opportunities on our website! Open jobs include CNC Machinist, Quality Control Inspector, and Customer Service Representative.

Contouring Considerations

What is Contouring?

Contouring a part means creating a fine finish on an irregular or uneven surface. Dissimilar to finishing a flat or even part, cnc contouring involves the finishing of a rounded, curved, or otherwise uniquely shaped part.

CNC Contouring & 5-Axis Machining

5-axis machines are particularly suitable for contouring applications. Because contouring involves the finishing of an intricate or unique part, the multiple axes of movement in play with 5-axis Machining allow for the tool to access tough-to-reach areas, as well as follow intricate tool paths.

Recent  Advances

Advanced CAM software can now write the G-Code (the step-by-step program needed to create a finished part) for a machinists application, which has drastically simplified contouring applications. Simply, rather than spend several hours writing the code for an application, the software now handles this step. Despite these advances, most young machinists are still required to write their own G-Codes early on in their careers to gain valuable familiarity with the machines and their abilities. CAM software, for many, is a luxury earned with time.

Benefits of Advanced CAM Software

Increased Time Savings
Because contouring requires very specific tooling movements and rapidly changing cutting parameters, ridding machinists of the burden of writing their own complex code can save valuable prep time and reduce machining downtime.

Reduced Cycle Times
Generated G-Codes can cut several minutes off of a cycle time by removing redundancies within the application. Rather than contouring an area of the part that does not require it, or has been machined already, the CAM Software locates the very specific areas that require machining time and attention to maximize efficiency.

Improved Consistency
CAM Programs that are packaged with CAD Software such as SolidWorks are typically the best in terms of consistency and ability to handle complex designs. While the CAD Software helps a machinist generate the part, the CAM Program tells a machine how to make it.

Proper Tips

Utilize Proper Cut Depths

Prior to running a contouring operation, an initial roughing cut is taken to remove material in steps on the Z-axis so to leave a limited amount of material for the final contouring pass. In this step, it’s pivotal to leave the right amount of material for contouring — too much material for the contouring pass can result in poor surface finish or a damaged part or tool, while too little material can lead to prolonged cycle time, decreased productivity and a sub par end result.

CNC Contouring planes

The contouring application should remove from .010″ to 25% of the tool’s cutter diameter. During contouring, it’s possible for the feeds to decrease while speeds increases, leading to a much smoother finish. It is also important to keep in mind that throughout the finishing cut, the amount of engagement between the tool’s cutting edge and the part will vary regularly – even within a single pass.

Use Best Suited Tooling

Ideal tool selection for contouring operations begins by choosing the proper profile of the tool. A large radius or ball profile is very often used for this operation because it does not leave as much evidence of a tool path. Rather, they effectively smooth the material along the face of the part. Undercutting End Mills, also known as lollipop cutters, have spherical ball profiles that make them excellent choices for contouring applications. Harvey Tool’s 300° Reduced Shank Undercutting End Mill, for example, features a high flute count to benefit part finish for light cut depths, while maintaining the ability to reach tough areas of the front or back side of a part.

CNC Contouring ball end mill

Fact-Check G-Code

While advanced CAM Software will create the G-Code for an application, saving a machinist valuable time and money, accuracy of this code is still vitally important to the overall outcome of the final product. Machinists must look for issues such as wrong tool call out, rapids that come too close to the material, or even offsets that need correcting. Failure to look G-Code over prior to beginning machining can result in catastrophic machine failure and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Inserting an M01 – or a notation to the machine in the G-Code to stop and await machinist approval before moving on to the next step – can help a machinist to ensure that everything is approved with a next phase of an operation, or if any redundancy is set to occur, prior to continuation.

Contouring Summarized

CNC contouring is most often used in 5-axis machines as a finishing operation for uniquely shaped or intricate parts. After an initial roughing pass, the contouring operation – done most often with Undercutting End Mills or Ball End Mills, removes anywhere from .010″ to 25% of the cutter diameter in material from the part to ensure proper part specifications are met and a fine finish is achieved. During contouring, cut only at recommended depths, ensure that G-Code is correct, and use tooling best suited for this operation.