What’s New from HSMWorks 2015

It’s that time again! SolidWorks released 2015, and HSMWorks is assuring that your best integrated CAM option fits right in with its 2015 release.

HSMWorks 2015

HSMWorks has always stood out as a company that did not follow every other CAM lead. The fact is that though HSMWorks does release a major version every year, they also stuff new features in the Service Packs as they become available. This means that HSMWorks users actually get goodies all year round. It is also worth noting that this is the 3rd major release since Autodesk acquired HSMWorks back in 2012.

So besides being able to run inside the latest SolidWorks 2015 release, here are my 3 favorite highlights for HSMWorks 2015.

High-end Roughing Strategy
If you have not had a chance to see Adaptive Roughing in action, you really owe yourself an opportunity to take it for a spin. The 2D Adaptive roughing strategy is available with the free downloadable HSMXpress version, and both the 2D and 3D versions have gotten some nice, new, shiny functions.
Roughing strategies have been becoming really popular, of course, because of cycle times, but also because they have significantly increased tool life with better toolpath algorithms.
In this version, the users have better control with a “Stay-down level” tab, taper helical ramps and a support function to avoid chatter and reduce tool wear.

More CPU Power
I love technology!
In this version, you get support for the latest Intel Xeon Processors, configurable up to 36 total processor cores in one system. (Everyone who wants one of those, raise their hand!)
There is a lot of software that can only use one core of your system. It’s like a bottleneck; all the data has to swim down this one core no matter how many you have on your system. HSMWorks is different: you can actually have the system processing toolpath on a roughing strategy while you are modifying or applying the finishing toolpath. The end result is less time wasted waiting on the computer.

Better visual performance for Simulation
I hope CAM developers never feel they are done with the simulation aspect of their software. This is the last step before code gets posted and if you have ever been the one who has to press the green button on a CNC machine, you know those machines move fast and do exactly what you tell them to do. Simulation is critical!
In this version, you get faster results in “Fast 3D Mode”, a favorite if you are doing those big toolpath calculations for molds and other complicated surface stuff. Also, the “Simulate” function that is available in HSMXpress has improved toolpath position and visualization.

Conclusion…
I think this is a great release with many more enhancements than mentioned here. The developing team is focused on making a great quality product that will strengthen users in manufacturing.
If you want to see more about this release check out cam.autodesk.com for links to download both the free HSMXpress 2015 and 30 day trial for HSMWorks 2015.

Check out this video from Autodesk CAM’s Youtube channel.

Why Integrated CAM and Free 2.5 Axis Milling

“With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it.” –Aristotle

Every single morning people are waking up with new ideas for greater and bigger things; things to be imagined, things to be designed and things to be created.

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Integrated CAM:
With integrated CAM you no longer sacrifice flexibility, performance and ease of use.
Integrated CAM has a continued workflow between your CAD and CAM. This assure that your designers, engineers and machinists has the best CAD tools available to design the parts, jigs and fixtures, and also has a robust CAM containing roughing and finishing strategies that assures high quality precision machined parts done right.

Free 2.5 Axis Machining:
The next generation in manufacturing is innovative problems solvers, and they demand high quality CAM tools that are also easy to use.
Why not provide a tool for everyone to see for themselves?. With full functional 2.5 Axis free downloads that show designers, engineers, and even veteran CNC programmers that integrated CAM not only makes sense, but you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

3 reasons for the Designers and Engineers.
• Seamless Workflow.
• Model Associativity.
• Managing fewer files.

3 reasons for the CNC Programmers and Machinist.
• Proven Multi-core CAM Technology.
• Adaptive Roughing Tools.
• Advanced Toolpath Strategies.

To get all above, one option is Autodesk CAM.
With Inventor HSM, Fusion 360 and HSMWorks, you have a tool that will take your design and let you create high precision parts the same day you install the software. It is simply flexible, high performance and easy to use yet powerful.

To learn more:
CAM for Inventor
CAM for SolidWorks
CAM for Fusion 360

You are in charge of your next design

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“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”- Steve Jobs.

Not all of us get to design the next sexy iPhone but that does not have to stop you from making better designs and innovate. If you stop and think about it, you have a great deal of influence on the projects you are working on.
Take for example a simple fixture design for your next CNC project. Could you pick a different material, re-use old parts, or something be 3D printed?.
What about function and handling, could you make it more operator friendly?
You have the power to design and innovate many things around you. What about the design of your department, your shop floor or the structure on the way to handle the next big project.
Designing the next cool consumer product or a drill fixture always has the possibility for change and improvements.

In the book Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. Tim Brown shares his many years of knowledge on how to inspire Innovation and the systems to transform organizations.

The power of Design Thinking.
There is always the old way to do things and it can defiantly be wise to listen to the old folks around as re-invinting the wheel seems silly, but with new materials and machines come new techniques.

Via Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation:
Technology still has not run its course. The communications revolution sparked by the Internet has brought people closer together and given them the opportunity to share perspectives and create new ideas as never before. The sciences of biology, chemistry, and physics have merged in the forms of biotechnology and nanotechnology to create the promise of lifesaving medicines and wondrous new materials. But these spectacular achievements are unlikely to help us reverse our ominous course. Just the opposite.
We need new choices.
A purely technocentric view of innovation is less sustainable now than ever, and a management philosophy based only on selecting from existing strategies is likely to be overwhelmed by new development at home and abroad.

It takes time to create the next big design.
Our culture is in a crazy emergency. With companies pressing their designers to get things created for the overnight 3D printing schedule or sample parts for the following morning meeting with the customer. We need to embrace patience and comeliness.

Via Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation:
One autumn day in 1940 the industrial designer Raymond Loewy was visited in his office by George Washington Hill, the president of the American Tobacco Company and one of the more colorful personalities in American business history. Hill offered Loewy $50,000 if he could improve upon the Lucky Strike package-a wager turned to Loewy and asked when it wuold be ready. “Oh, I don’t know, some nice spring morning I will feel like designing the Lucky package and you’ll have it in a matter of hours. I’ll call you then.”
Today we no longer feel that we must sit patiently and wait for some outrageous insight to strike us. Inspiration always involves an element of chance, but, as Louis Pasteur observed in a famous lecture of 1854, “Chance only favors the prepared mind.” Certain themes and variations-techniques of observation, principles of empathy, and efforts to move beyond the individual-can all be thought of as ways to preparing the mind of the design thinker ti find insight.

Its time to make thing better.
Tim Browns book is a great read. It will leave you in an innovative and inspiring mind.

Via Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation:
The field of innovation.
1. The best ideas emerge when the whole organizational ecosystem-not just its designers and engineers and certainly not just management-has room to experiment.
2. Those most exposed to changing externalities (new technology, shifting consumer base, strategic threats or opportunities) are the ones best placed to respond and most motivated to do so.
3. Ideas should not be favored based on who creates them. (Repeat aloud.)
4. Ideas that create a buzz should be favored. Indeed, ideas should gain a vocal following. however small, before being given organizational support.
5. The “gardening” skills of senior leadership should be used to tend, prune, and harvest ideas. MBAs call this “risk tolerance.” I call it the top-down bit.
6. An overarching purpose should be articulated so that the organization has a sense of direction and innovators don’t feel the need for constant supervision.

Learn how to use SolidWorks Configuration Publisher.

There is not many “How to..” on the subject of one of the best SolidWorks Assembly automation tools. The SolidWorks Configuration Publisher can be the tool that will assure your team is not making fatal mistakes when inserting parts and sub-assemblies into the main assembly.

In this video we are taking configurations starting with simple Windows commands such as Copy/Paste, through Excel Design Tables and finishing up with one of my favorite Assembly tools, SolidWorks Configuration Publisher. If you are thinking about using configurations, this video is for you.

cadcamstuff corner

cadcamstuff corner
SolidEdge University 2014 begins
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[Lars:ST7 is here! It is always great when new stuff arrives in CAD]

Some Improvements to Mastercam Design
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[Lars:Mastercam X7 gets some new Solid tools!]

5 Amazing things you should know about SolidWorks Electrical
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[Lars:This product is taking off. 3D and electrical is awesome]

Giant Lego Bridge in Germany
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[Lars:Honestly, this should be done everywhere]

Cloud Computing – A few Things to Think About
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[Lars:Some good Pro's and Con's from my friends at Engineering.com]

Advanced notes in SolidWorks drawings: Pattern Instance

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Want to stuff some sweet automatic pattern instance updates into your drawing notes?
Many times when people get to the point of creating a drawing they are stretched for time causing failing back to basic techniques and manually labor.
In this short video we are going to get some quick advanced drawing fun into our Solidworks notes. Getting your pattern instance into your drawings can safe you a lot of hassle when there is a design change.

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Like to see more SolidWorks drawing tips, check out this blog post.
http://cadcamstuff.com/4039/solidworks-drawing-tips-and-workarounds/

How to learn SolidWorks 2014

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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Gandhi

We have all been in situations where a new skill was required, and some are easy through trial an error. I for example will never forget the 1st time I had to change a car tire, it happened on a country road a late raining evening. I learned really quick by being focused on the least amount of steps and end objective.

CAD is different, not only are you dealing with more than 5 bolts and the decision of what is front and back. You are dealing with “best” practices and modeling techniques, hundreds of functions that all could be a productivity gainer in the right application.
Spending a lot of time by using “Good old” trial and error and poking around with out some supervision is just going to end up being costly very quickly.
As a certified SolidWorks instructor I do believe classroom training is the most effective. You can’t replace the interaction between instructor and student, questions can be answered and conversations can be directed and focused on what the student specifically does in their respected industry.
However there is many times where in class training is not possible or desired. Price can defiantly play a role, but also distance, schedules and deadlines can be key opponents. This is where online video training might become your best bet.
Infinite Skills has for years provided best in class video training. One of the reasons is because they make sure to stay up to date on new software versions and using 1st class instructors.

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Infinite Skills: Learning SolidWorks 2014.
1st of Infinite Skills has done the job yet again using an experienced, passionate instructor.
Dean Kerste is a Certified SolidWorks Expert who in the daytime is a college instructor with a Ph.D and in his spare time runs Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio SolidWorks User Group.
This gives you a truly SolidWorks guru who knows how to teach but maybe more importantly is passinate about what he teaches. That’s a delightful combination for a low priced highly useful training tool.

skitchDean Kerste has recorded over 7 hours of 112 timely sectioned SolidWorks videos.

Quick look…
It is obvious that the content of Learning SolidWorks 2014 will give you a solid start modeling using SolidWorks.
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As seen above the course is broken down into very manageable steps. Starting with a basic chapter that takes the student to a good starting place and then progresses into an Intermediate chapter with working files that can be downloaded.
These working files really enhances the learning experience as the student now get to get their own hands dirty. With the one function video training has over classroom training, the user can replay the training material as many times as desired.
Of course another great benefit is that you can dictate when the training is going on, resulting in pausing the video when the customer calls or the boss walks in the room.
skitchAs the student is getting deeper into modeling parts the benefits of the experienced instructor Dean Kerste is he is taking them from where to begin into the world of best design intent, the importance of CAD relations and how to to best edit a part (I have still yet to experience a design that did not have a revision at some point).
12 Each timely sectioned SolidWorks video takes you from the basics into SolidWorks Part modeling, SolidWorks Assemblies finally how to detail those SolidWorks Drawings.
3 And as a proof for the dedication and acquired 3D SolidWorks knowledge the student also receive a nice certificate, that if you where my boss for sure could expect me to bring at my next review.

So to recap with Infinite Skills, Learning SolidWorks 2014 you get:

* A Ph.D College Instructor teaching in your tempo at your time schedule
* Taking you from the beginning through 7 hours of SolidWorks training
* With working material that can be downloaded that lets you get your hands dirty
* At the end provides you with a certificate proving you went through the course

Conclusion…
As I said earlier, I believe that classroom training has many advantages, but sometimes it is just not possible or in the best interest for a company at that moment. With the price for these video lesson, the quality and the instructor there is not much to loose. Check out Learning SolidWorks 2014

cadcamstuff corner

cadcamstuff corner

Rhino 5 Service Release 7 Available
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[Lars:With 25 saves before it stops working, I think I need to review the trial version soon]

Mastercam Swiss Expert 2013 on a Tsugami S-327 5-axis machine
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[Lars:I could watch cool Swiss style machining videos on youtube all day long]

3D Printer Buyer’s Guide
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[Lars:My friends at CAPINC providing a "What to consider when purchasing a 3D printer"]

SolidWorks User Group Network
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[Lars:I failed to meet with Bobby Moore at SolidWorks 2014 and thank him for this great video]

Gallery: The engineering of U.S. Olympic Sochi bobsleds
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[Lars:As seen at SolidWorks World. The SolidWorks designed bobsled]

5 Productive SolidWorks Tips (REV-20)

5 SolidWorks Tips that may possible be helpful kick starting your 3D day.

1.To dimensions from tangent edges of an arc or circle, hold Shift and select the tangent edge closest to the desired placement.

2.You can create parts in the context of the assembly. This is known as top-down design.

3.If your default units are inches, you can enter metric values in value boxes (for example, enter 25mm). SolidWorks automatically converts the value to the default units.

4.You can copy all of the referenced files of an assembly to a new directory. Click File, Find Reference, Copy Files.

5.You can create a sketch point at the virtual intersection of two entities. Ctrl-select the entities and click Point(Sketch toolbar). To change the appearance of the point, click Tools, Options, Document Properties, Virtual Sharps.

5 Productive SolidWorks Tips (REV-19)

5 SolidWorks Tips that may possible be helpful kick starting your 3D day.

1.You can press the space bar to bring up the Orientation dialog box.

2.When dimensionsing, right-click to lock the orientation of the dimensions (inside/outside angle or horizontal/vertical/parallel). Then you can drag the value to position the text wherever you want without the orientation changing.

3.The entitity selection filter toolbar can be turned off/on by pressing F5, and active filters can be turned off/on by pressing F6.

4.In order to view multiple sheets in a drawing at once, go to Window, New Window, and then tile the windows. You can select a different drawing sheet in each window.

5.Use the filter field at the top of the FeatureManager design tree to search for features of a part, assembly, or drawing.