Getting Started With G-Wizard Estimator
Estimator is designed to save you time by making it easy to do feature-based cost estimation using the same Feeds and Speeds engine that's built into our G-Wizard Calculator. This page provides a written overview.
Watch This Video First
Everything you need to get started with G-Wizard Estimator including how to install, login, and how to create a simple Estimate.
Other resources to help include:
- Try our Help Desk. Just click the "Help" menu at the top of any CNCCookbook web page.
G-Wizard Estimator is in Beta Test
G-Wizard Estimator has not yet been formally released, so all you need to do to use it is have a valid trial or subscription of our G-Wizard Calculator software. Be sure you've also registered for G-Wizard Estimator on its home page.
Start with G-Wizard Calculator!
Since it uses so much shared technology with G-Wizard Calculator, we recommend you start by doing a Trial of G-Wizard Calculator if you're not already familiar with it. That's the easiest way to learn the CADCAM, Feeds and Speeds, and most of the Setup options for G-Wizard Estimator. Once you have mastered those concepts, the rest of GW Est is easy to add on.
Introduction to G-Wizard Estimator
Here's what G-Wizard Calcualtor looks like when you first start it up:
That screen shot assumes you haven't logged in yet, so it starts you on the Setup Tab. Once you login successfully, you can access the rest of the tabs.
To login, you'll need to use the Login Bar.
The Login Bar at the top has a bunch of handy features and buttons you'll refer to from time to time:
- Login Area: You can press the login button to logoff or change your login.
- Getting Started: This button takes you to this page.
- Version: This message area will tell you whether the version you're running is the latest or not and what that version is. If there is a newer version available, there'll be a button to take you to the download page.
- Feedback: This button lets you give us your feedback about G-Wizard Calculator. We love getting feedback, good or bad--we just need to know what you need to make GW a better product.
The last for little round buttons are grapical. Just let your mouse pointer hover over them to see a description of what they are:
- User Club: Takes you to our online forums where users can exchange information and get help.
- Support: Takes you to our online support site where you can file a trouble ticket, consult the FAQs, or vote on ideas for what features we should build next.
- Help: Takes you to an online help page that we think is relevant to the applet you're in. The list is in the column on the left with links.
- Tips: This pops up our Tip window which gives you tips on how to get more out of G-Wizard.
Tabbed Applet Overview
The Tab Cluster at the top of screen selects which applet is displayed in the Applet area.
G-Wizard Estimator includes the following Applets:
Those tabs include:
- Estimate: A list of operations needed to manufacture a part.
- CADCAM: The CADCAM Wizards (same as in GW Calculator) that can be used to generate feature based cost estimates.
- Feeds/Speeds: The Feeds and Speeds engine from GW Calculator that can be used to do ops based on arbitrary feeds and speeds
- Setup: The Settings and Properties for GW Estimator.
The Estimate page is the list of Operations (Ops) that make up an Estimate...
The Estimate page is the list of Operations (Ops) that make up an Estimate.
CADCAM Wizards are a unique feature to our G-Wizard Software Suite that provide the next generation of Feeds and Speeds. Their purpose is to radically simplify calculation of feeds and speeds while at the same time giving much more optimal answers. Whether you're a beginner or an expert CNC'er, CADCAM Wizards can give you a complete machining recipe for your CAM software that can dramatically reduce your cycle times and improve your results all while requiring a lot less data input than conventional approaches to Feeds and Speeds.
CADCAM Wizards are designed from the perspective of your CAM software instead of from the perspective of Feeds and Speeds thinking dating back to manual machining practices. They're designed to figure out everything you need to know to answer the questions your CAM software needs to have answered about feets and speeds, cut depth and width (stepover), and all sorts of other things. They're also the kicking-off point for estimating the cost to manufacture a part using G-Wizard Estimator.
The CADCAM Wizards appear on the Features tab in GWiz Estimator. Here is the CADCAM Pocketing Wizard:
CADCAM Wizards are designed to work hand in hand with your CAM software...
Conventional Feeds and Speeds starts with questions like what kind of tool you want to use and what cut depth and width would you like. CADCAM Wizard "thinks" like your CAM software, so it starts with which CAM operation you'd like to perform--pocketing, 2D profiling, Holes, Face Milling, and so on. When you've given it the basics, it tells you what it thinks the best cutter, cut depth, cut width, and other parameters would be. It also provides a detailed estimate of the time it thinks the operation will require.
While you may have purchased G-Wizard because it has the world's best Feeds and Speeds Calculator, don't overlook CADCAM Wizard, which can give you even more, and which is built on the very same Feeds and Speeds calculation engine. CADCAM Wizards can save you time and money.
G-Wizard's Feeds and Speeds applet is the most sophisticated Feeds and Speeds Calculator available in the market today, and GW Estimator uses the exact same module:
No other Feeds and Speeds Calculator offers this much depth of analysis...
No other Feeds and Speeds Calculator offers this much depth of analysis or this many features to help you figure the best Feeds and Speeds. Some of the key innovations at work here include:
- User-Definable Machine Profiles tell G-Wizard what your CNC machine is capable of.
- Large Materials Database with allows and conditions
- Support for Multiple Tool Cribs
- Extensive Support for Complex Tool Geometries and Many Different Tool Types
- Mini-Calcs Give You Help With Surface Finish, Interpolated Holes, Ramp Angles, and Plunge Milling
- Support for Through Spindle Coolant (TSC) and Programmable Coolant Nozzles (PCN)
- Exclusive Cut Optimizer Maximizes Your Cutting Parameters While Managing Tool Deflection Within Limits
- Extensive Support to Manage Machine Strengths and Weakness Including Spindle Power Curve, Rigidity Adjustment for Small Machines, Spindle Power, Axis Acceleration, and Axis Motion Limits, and More
- Extensive Features to Use Manufacturer's Recommended Data. Mfg's Data can be used on the fly or databased with the Tool Crib.
- In-Depth Calculation of Cutting Parameters Ranging From RPM and Feedrate to Details Such As Power Required, Material Removal Rates, Deflection, Torque Requirements and More
- Powerful Support for High Speed Machining Toolpaths
- Tips that Bring Important Information from Manufacturer's Data Sheets Straight to Your Specific Cutting Scenarios. G-Wizard Will Remind You of Everything from When to Use Climb vs Conventional Milling to When Parabolic Flutes are Needed for Hole Drilling.
- Our Exclusive Tortoise-Hare Gas Pedal Slider Lets you Decide Whether You Want Aggressive or Conservative Cutting and Whether to Emphasize Maximum Roughing Speeds or Focus on Tool Life and Surface Finish.
- Knowledge Based Machining Comes to G-Wizard in the Form of Our Cut Knowledge Base Which Lets You Track the Actual Results Your Shop is Getting So You Can Leverage that Information Over Time
The Setup applet lets you configure G-Wizard for your application, machinery, and shop's best practices:
Using Setup, you can tell G-Wizard:
- Units: What unit system would you like to use, Metric or Imperial?
- Machine Profiles: Tell G-Wizard the capabilities of each of your CNC machines.
- Tool Crib: Define Tool Cribs
- Files: See where all of your Preferences and Setup information are stored on your machine so you can back it up if you so desire
- Integrate: Integration options for CAM software
- Other: Other Setup options for G-Wizard
- About: Lots of useful information on About such as how many days of trial or subscription you have left on G-Wizard
What Should I Do Next?
There's at least one thing you can do to help make that smoother, and that is setting up Machine Profile for the different machine tools you'll be using. It's not hard to set up a Profile--just a matter of giving G-Wizard Estimator some basic specs on your machine such as spindle power, maximum and minimum rpms, and the like. To find out more about how to do that, visit our Setup Page. It's written for G-Wizard Calculator, but the two use exactly the same Setup. The other thing you'll learn to do is set G-Wizard's units to be either Metric or Imperial. The product includes full support for both systems.
If there's one thing we strive to do at CNCCookbook, it's to provide Helpful Resources. Here's a short list of links that may be useful to you:
- Install Page: From time to time we'll be releasing new updates to the software. You'll see an indication in the Login Bar when one is available. There'll be a button there you can click to go to the Install Page, or you can click the link on the left to get there.
- Email Newsletter: If you haven't already, be sure you sign up for the G-Wizard Calculator Trial. This will cause a series of emails to be delivered to you every few days that contain links to our best articles on how to get the most out of GW Calculator.
- CNC Blog: CNCCookbook has the most popular CNC related blog there is. We get over 2 million visitors a year checking out the information there. Every time there's any kind of update or tip or technique for any of our software, I write it up first as a blog post. You can get a digest of all the posts once a week by singing up. The articles cover all aspects of machining, but I have created categories that make it easier to find the subset of articles by topic. The two categories that will be full of information for G-Wizard are Feeds and Speeds and Software. It's worth your while to at least scan these and see what's available there.
- Feeds and Speeds Course: CNCCookbook has a free comprehensive course on all aspects of Feeds and Speeds that contains a wealth of knowledge as well as lots of examples on how to use G-Wizard to solve your problems. Even if you just read one article there a week you'll rapidly add to your store of useful machining knowledge.
- CNC Manufacturing Course: We also have a free course on CNC Manufacturing. It's a little higher level than Feeds and Speeds, but if you're using the G-Wizard Calculator, there's likely a lot of useful material there for you.
- G-Code Course: If you're in CNC and you're not comfortable with g-code, try our free g-code course. It'll get you up to speed quickly and painlessly.
Perhaps you should investigate Setup next...