Machining a part requires knowing the correct speeds and feeds for a cutting tool and material; a skill that can take years to master. What if a resource existed that made it possible for anyone to run a CNC machine and successfully cut a range of materials – from plastic to stainless steel to titanium?
10 years ago, I bought a benchtop CNC mill to develop a product. I needed to learn manufacturing basics to improve the odds of the business succeeding, but machining, CAD, CAM, and cutting tools were foreign topics to me. I soaked up every resource I could find in a pre-YouTube world and fell in love with machining.
Countless resources have since emerged that shorten the learning curve for manufacturing entrepreneurs: Autodesk Fusion 360, YouTube channels dedicated to CNC (including our own, NYC CNC), online and hands-on training classes, and the advent of affordable CNC machines like Tormach. Yet I continue to see people struggle with speeds & feeds – whether they were new to machining or working with a new material.
A light bulb went off in my head. Companies like SparkFun and Adafruit revolutionized the electronics world by offering video tutorials that helped newcomers successfully program embedded electronics devices, sensors, and physical computers. Their video tutorials and pre-programmed Arduino libraries meant that almost anyone, regardless of past experience, could design electronic devices without struggling to understand complex technical datasheets. The manufacturing world needed the same thing for Speeds & Feeds! Video tutorials backed with cutting and tool information with pre-programmed CAM operations to help anyone run a CNC machine and make parts. ProvenCut was born.
Each recipe would include:
- Video footage of the cut, allowing users to watch and listen as if standing next to a skilled machinist.
- Photographs of the cutting tool, the chips made during the cut, and machine setup.
- Links to purchase tools, tool holders, and raw material.
- Comprehensive cut data ranging from coolant to gage length to horsepower.
- A link to automatically open the cutting tool and CAM operation in Fusion 360.
Our machine shop, Saunders Machine Works, was well equipped to create speeds and feeds recipes, with over a dozen CNC machines in-house ranging from benchtop machines to Tormach CNC machines to a 20,000 lb HAAS UMC-750 5-Axis machine. Our success running NYC CNC, the leading CNC YouTube channel with over 300,000 subscribers meant we knew how to film machines and had a great audience to help kickstart ProvenCut.
ProvenCut launched in August 2019 and the response has been amazing. Feedback has ranged from, “You saved me hours of testing a new tool for stainless steel” to “ProvenCut is like watching High Definition TV after spending your whole life reading in plain text.”
ProvenCut is constantly expanding the number of CNC machines, recipes, and materials, as well as adding new types of CNC machines including lathes and turning centers as we reduce the barriers and allow anyone to succeed with CNC machining!