Kirkpatrick Consulting
Honesty / Integrity / Attention to Detail

Providing CNC (Computer Numeric Control) Programming Services
To Dallas, Texas and the surrounding area.

Mission Statement Instruction Assistance
What is CNC? Engineering Projects
Kinds of CNC Machines About Kirkpatrick Consulting
Conversational Programming Experience
G-code Programming Contact Information
Cam Software Site Map
LISP Programming Useful Links

For those searching for specific CNC related topics, please use the feedback form to let us know your needs and we will gladly assist you.

Mission Statement

The mission of Kirkpatrick Consulting is to lend its knowledge and skills, especially regarding CNC (Computer Numeric Control) programming and machining, to members of the manufacturing community, businesses and individuals, to increase the quality of customer service and of manufactured goods across the industry.

Instruction Assistance

Kirkpatrick Consulting is currently assisting companies in the instruction and training of their employees in machining and CNC operation skills as well as CNC programming.

Instruction Points Include:

Shop Math (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Fractions, Trigonometry, Formulae)

Manufacturing Language (Terminology, Words, Phrases, Usage)

Blue Print Reading (Inch System, Metric System, Geometric Tolerancing and Dimensioning)

Manual Milling (Set Up, Cutting Tools, Feeds and Speeds)

Manual Lathes (Set Up, Cutting Tools, Feeds and Speeds, Threading)

CNC Mills (Set Up, Cutting Tools, Feeds and Speeds)

CNC Lathes (Set Up, Cutting Tools, Feeds and Speeds)

CNC Mill Programming (G-code, Standard Practices)

CNC Lathe Programming (G-code, Standard Practices)

Metrology (Measuring Instruments, Techniques)

Quality Procedures (Part Sampling, Recording)

Companies Assisted:

R. W. Smith Co. - Premier Specialty Grinding - Haas TL-1 CNC Lathe - Operation, Set Up, Programming

SEI Metalforms - Lagun CNC Mill - Anilam Control - Operation, Set Up, Programming

Gorman and Co. - Hydraulic and Lift Elevator Seals - Haas TL-1 CNC Lathe - Operation, Set Up, Programming

Polymer Products, Inc. - Custom Cast Polyurethane Manufacturer - Haas TL-1 CNC Lathes - Programming

API Prcision Machining, Inc. - Precision Lathe and Mill Parts - Production Runs and Prototyping - Aerospace, Commercial Manufacturing, Medical, Oil Field, and Telecommunication - Eagle, Hardinge, Leadwell, and Yam lathes - Eagle, Excel, Kira, and Kiwa mills - Powerstation CAD/CAM - Programming and Set Up

National Tooling and Manufacturing Association (NTMA) - North Texas Chapter - Manufacturing Trade Organization - Member Company Employee Training - Shop Math (Including Trignometry) - Blue Print Reading

Empire Precision Machining - Job Shop Machining - Okuma Mill - Programming

What is CNC?

CNC stands for Computer Numeric Control. More specifically, a machine (usually a machine used in manufacturing) that is controlled by a computer. The machine's computer converts a "machine program" (in reality, a parameter list) into digital numeric data and passes that data on to the machine. The data controls the machine's functions, movements, and actions.

Kinds of CNC Machines

Some examples of CNC machines are:

lathes (for turning round workpieces)
mills (for cutting flat surfaces, edges, slots, and drilling and tapping holes)
routers (for cutting sheet materials - similar to mills)
lasers (also for cutting sheet materials)

Conversational Programming

Conversational programming involves generating a "machine program" by utilizing prompts given by the machine tool interface. For example, if it were desired to drill a hole in an item, the drill command would be selected. The machine tool interface would prompt the user for the location of the hole, its diameter and depth, which tool number to use for the operation, and what type of material was being machined. Then the machine tool would determine the spindle speed (RPM) and the feed rate (how quickly or slowly to push the drill into the material) on its own. Then the information would be saved in the machine tool's computer as a "machine program". Once the item is mounted properly in the machine tool, the "machine program" could be executed by starting the cycle. Then the machine would load the proper tool and drill the hole in the location and to the depth specified. Conversational programming is usually done at the machine using the machine tool interface (control panel with CRT), but with the special software can be done at a PC to be loaded into the machine at a later time when needed.

G-code Programming

G-code programming requires a bit more skill on the part of the user and can be done either at the machine using the machine tool interface (control panel with CRT), or can be done at a PC to be loaded into the machine at a later time when needed. It is not usually required to have any expensive special software to do G-code programming on a PC. A generic text editor will do just fine. Although a serial cable, or network cable may be required to load the program if the machine is not equipped with a floppy disk drive. And machines without network capability will also require some generic software on the PC to be able to send the data to the machine. More...

CAM Software

CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacturing (or Machining). CAM software attempts to automate the generation of a "machine program" by making a "conversational programming" interface available on a PC. CAM software also attempts to make the "machine programming" process easier by allowing the user to view and electronic image that represents the item to be manufactured in the form of a drawing. Also during the programming process, instead of entering part feature information, the user is able to select part features using a mouse or other digitizing hardware directly on the computer monitor.

Kirkpatrick Consulting currently uses Powerstation Pro 2006 as its CAD/CAM platform of choice for generation of most of its CNC G-code programs for its client customers. Kirkpatrick Consulting has produced several post-processors for various CNC controls for milling machines with special features.

LISP Programming

LISP programming is mainly utilized inside the AutoCAD environment. LISP programs can be customized to provide the "conversational programming" interface inside AutoCAD to generate a "machine program".

Engineering Projects

The practice of engineering disciplines is not limited to college trained and degreed engineers. Some examples of Kirkpatrick Consulting engineering projects are:

Home Air Conditioning Project
Electric Vehicle Conversion Project
Automotive Wrench Project

About Kirkpatrick Consulting

R. David Kirkpatrick, d.b.a. Kirkpatrick Consulting, conceived and established the company in 1999 as a creative outlet for underused skills and to attempt to improve those skills for the betterment of a small part of the manufacturing world.

Kirkpatrick Consulting is currently seeking to provide contract CNC lathe, mill, and router programming, training, and consulting services to machine shops and manufacturing businesses that utilize CNC lathes, mills, and routers. Kirkpatrick Consulting has over 13 years of experience in machining and manufacturing. Kirkpatrick Consulting has CAD and CAM and machining experience with machine parts ranging in size from 0.118 inch diameter microwave contacts up to cast valve bodies weighing several thousand pounds. Kirkpatrick Consulting also has experience with tooling and fixture design as well as reverse engineering.

Kirkpatrick Consulting offers CNC programming services on a per machine program basis. Kirkpatrick Consulting also offers onsite support required for programming or machine set up labor for production runs, which incurs additional cost of on clock time and travel costs where required. Kirkpatrick Consulting can also assist with machining at your location of prototype parts and “one offs”, using your machines and tooling.

Kirkpatrick Consulting can design training packages and conduct training for machine operation, set up, and programming, as well as basic manufacturing skills, such as shop math and blue print reading. Kirkpatrick Consulting has experience with a variety of lathes, mill, and routers, equipped with controls, such as, Fagor, Fanuc, Haas, Homag, Mazatrol, and Seimens, and retrofits, such as Anilam, Centroid, and Servo II. Kirkpatrick Consulting can develop customized software for aiding in CNC programming.

As a contracted consulting service, Kirkpatrick Consulting is independent of normal payroll requirements and handles all of its own required taxes for federal withholding and social security and medicare. Kirkpatrick Consulting prefers to bill weekly, as projects are completed, with net due on receipt, but is willing to negotiate other terms if required by a client.

Kirkpatrick Consulting looks forward to assisting you in achieving your manufacturing goals.


Manufacturing experience includes, but is not limited to:

Expertise is in program optimization for production efficiency. Also working with engineering staff and management to increase product throughput and profits.

Experience with materials includes:

phenolic composites cold rolled steel
fiberglass hot rolled steel
kevlar composites stainless steel
vacuum formed plastics tool steel
polycarbonate plastics beryllium copper
solid plastics cast iron
plywood aluminum
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) exotic steels and alloys
mild steels

Manual machine experience includes:

Hardinge style lathes belt and disc sanders
engine lathes surface grinders
drill press

CNC machine experience includes:

2 axis lathes 4th axis rotary tables
3 axis mills 5 axis mills
3 axis routers 5 axis routers

Machine brands include:

Bridgeport Morbidelli
Cincinnati Mori Seiki
Clausing Motion Master
Haas Northwood
Hardinge Okuma
Homag Point
Leadwell Shoda
Maho Yasnac

Workholding includes:

typical clamping vacuum tools
vises magnetic
chucks gravity
collets inertia
vacuum tables

CNC programming (CAD/CAM) experience includes:

AutoCAD (up to 2000) RouterCIM
TekSoft WoodWOP
ASPAN Powerstation

Contact Infomation

For contact information, please visit the
contact information page by clicking here.
Or use the
feedback form by clicking here.

Useful Links

Material Weight Calculator - Javascript calculator for calculating the weight of regular shaped metals (Aluminum, Steel, and Stainless Steel) in pounds from known inch measurements.

Material Weight Spreadsheet - Also available, an Excel spreadheet calculator for calculating the weight of regular shaped metals (by name or number) in pounds from known inch measurements.

Air Conditioning Calculator - Javascript calculator for calculating the residential cooling needs in BTU and tons.

Javascript Calculator - Javascript calculator for basic math.
Javascript Calculator Installer - Installer for Javascript calculator for use on local machine.

Fagor 8055 controller user manual - CNC controller user manual for the Fagor 8055 controller used on some Motion Master 5 axis routers. (PDF file)


Web page designed and maintained by R. David Kirkpatrick d.b.a. Kirkpatrick Consulting

Last update October 11, 2007

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