Autodesk add’s 5-Axis CAM into Inventor

Autodesk creates a Powerful CAD/CAM Bundle

5-AXIS INVENTOR HSM PRO

Inventor HSM Pro 2015

Many will agree that Inventor is super easy to use when it comes to 3D CAD. Many will also agree that CAD software is a decade ahead of most CAM software when it comes to power and user friendliness.
Autodesk is changing that by streamlining the workflow, giving the CNC programmer more control, and more power by utilizing latest technology, such as 64-bit multi-core machining strategies that significantly reduces toolpath calculations and in the end, the ease of use by bringing the machining power into Inventor.
With the release of Inventor HSM Pro, Autodesk is creating a true integrated design-to-manufacturing powerhouse. It is a package of powerful CAD and CAM. With this CAD/CAM bundle, you get a full license of Autodesk Inventor Professional and HSM’s 2.5D, Advanced 3D and 5-Axis Machining operations. One could argue that this is the best CAD/CAM package when it comes to price, workflow , ease-of-use, and making sure to shorten the time from the idea to the finished part.
Inventor HSM Pro Adaptive Milling
More details on CAD…
So what do you really get? besides all the powerful 3D CAD tools in a standard seat of Inventor, the Professional version includes Electrical system design/tube and pipe runs, Validate performance with simulation & FEA and Mold, and tool and die functions. This gives you a high end CAD packages that will not only let you create machinable parts faster, but also the power to create and design  all the reliable work holding and fixturing you as a CNC Programmer need.
More detail on CAM…
On the CAM side you will get 5-Axis Swarf and 5-Axis Contour. This is sitting on top of standard Inventor HSM that already have 5-Axis tilt build into its 3D toolpaths. All-in-all you get everything from 2.5D to Advanced 3D and all the way to 5 Axis milling toolpaths including the awesome Adaptive Clearing for roughing. All the toolpaths are placed right on the CAD model and are fully associative. Changes in the design are automatically reflected in the toolpath.

If you want more information and catch a trial of Inventor HSM Pro 2015, click here cam.autodesk.com

Check out this video

Link

Podcast Episode 3 – What happened at Autodesk University and Manufacturing News You Want to Know About


Listen to the Podcast!
What happened at Autodesk University and Manufacturing News You Want to Know About!

Show Notes:
Need to do some quick annotations, try Skitch
1

Autodesk University
Education
A360
Subscription
Inventor HSM Pro

Manufacturing News
Lenovo Thinkpad W550
Mastercam X8
Delcam Partmaker 2015

3 Quick HSMWorks Tips (REV-2)

A few HSMWorks tips that might make you CAM life even easier

Link to video

Welcome to Autodesk University Day -1(The day before the day)

People are streaming to Las Vegas for one of the hottest event of the year, Autodesk University.
Porsche
Now, I’m pretty excited, this is my first AU, but on top of that I have had the chance to spend most of the day behind closed door inside the exhibit hall.
Tomorrow night the exhibit hall will open up for 10,000 people who all are creating, designing and creating the world we are living in.
Here is a few images as we where setting things up for all of you, and if you have the time to stop by The MFG Spot I would love to say hello.
Hanging the glider
CAM Booth
5 Axis
Bike stand
Bike with Banner
Autodesk CAM
Cool Car
Hope to see you tomorrow!

3 Quick HSMWorks Tips (REV-1)

A few HSMWorks tips that might make you CAM life even easier

The design of your world is changing, are you going to change with it?

“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self…And to venture in the highest sense is precisely to become conscious of one’s self.”
-Søren KierkegaardThe design world cadcamstuff



If you are pretty set on holding on to your flip phone, and you are not going to improve your efforts at work because the tools you used in the past did the job just fine, this blog post is probably not for you.

I love the world we are living in. It is fast-moving and it seems like every day offers a new app or a software function you can’t picture living without. It’s change, and though change is good, many times it also can be overwhelming and a little frightening. Design and manufacturing companies are reinventing themselves every day. They are trying to be faster and more efficient; simply, to do more with less. This means that everything around us is changing faster than it ever has, and it has a cost: lots of information, choices and eventually pressure. Even the guy on the factory line is expected to reinvent and streamline processes in today’s world.
How are we supposed to handle all this stress and responsibility? We know that the company we work for has to use the latest software programs and machines. We understand that it has to adapt and move forward. The company has to follow that mission statement and fight for the vision to stay in business. But it is also time for us to change; the times where the boss told us to push the green button and end our shift at 5pm is gone. But it’s not just because we need to hold onto our jobs that we need to change; the human thought pattern has changed. As the companies we are working for are changing to streamline, working smarter and faster, we also have to reprogram ourselves, if not for anything else, to stay sane. The answer is to give ourselves a promotion. We need to “level up”, be welcome to management and leadership: management and leadership of ourselves.

In the book The E-Myth Manager: Why Management Doesn’t Work, and What to Do About It, Michael Gerber shares many tips and tricks, not just how to manage a business, but also how we can manage ourselves through change. See, the two entities have to follow one another; a business cannot change without the people changing.

The Problem: Why management doesn’t work, and what to do about it
The fact is that regular, good old management methods do not work in our fast moving world. There are some new twists: one is the technological revolution, which is forcing us all to do more, faster; the other is the aftermath of reengineering, which is forcing us to do more with fewer people. Our problem is that we are still focused on the old ways where we believe we work for a boss (or we might even call him an Emperor), instead of realizing we are working for ourselves. Lead yourself, manage yourself. This will make you a better and happier employee, and function better as a person.

Via The E-Myth Manager: Why Management Doesn’t Work, and What to Do About It:
Recognizing the myth of management, and the motivation of most managers, is a healthy step toward applying the entrepreneurial mindset to your job, that is: becoming an e-myth manager. But taking action and beginning to reinvent the work that you do is often the hardest step to take. The following rules will guide you in your quest to give up the drug of Emperor dependence. These are the rules that shape your life as an e-myth manager, and consequently, influence your relationship with everyone around you. I call them the Seven Rules of Management Independence. They are:

  1. Know what you want.
  2. Know you have the power to get it.
  3. There can be no causes other than your own.
  4. If you cannot manage yourself you cannot manage anything.
  5. There are no simple answers, only complex questions.
  6. Before it gets better it is going to get worse.
  7. These rules must become the defining principles of your life.

In the book, Michael Gerber (The Emperor) is having a number of meetings with one of his employees. Jack is hard at work for Michael’s company, doing what is asked of him. As many of us, he has pushed limits of his personal life to accomplish tasks that were beyond the duty of his job responsibilities. He gave up his time, often studying into the night and working long hours every day. But with an ever fast-moving world, full of changes, even the smallest bump in the road can turn to total unhappiness. When productivity is down in our department, profits are low, and the joy in our work is gone, it can hit us like a ton of bricks. Change becomes scary. The problem is that we many times have lost our way; we are living someone else’s vision.
Let us explore a few of Michael Gerber’s “Seven Rules of Independence”.

Rule 1: Know what you want…
Start to dream; the truth is that we all get so easily caught up in our daily routines. We need to start dreaming about what we want, dream about what our job should look like, how our family should be; dream about who we want to be as individuals. Then, write it down on paper. Writing it down makes it a vision; this vision is our honest desire.
Our new vision does not mean that we have to quit our jobs. (It might make us do just that; but if it does, everyone is better off anyway.) Our vision is what is going make us jump out of bed in the morning. And our vision can most certainly go hand in hand with the vision of the company we work for. In my company, Autodesk, vision is to be a leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software. If my vision was to spend as much time as possible outside in nature and I hated interacting with computers, that would not align very well with Autodesk’s vision, would it? But I love design and engineering; I am like a kid in a candy store when I get to play with the latest and greatest design software. My vision and Autodesk’s vision align. I know what I want, and Autodesk is the perfect partner in my vision.

Via The E-Myth Manager: Why Management Doesn’t Work, and What to Do About It:

You may be put off by the idea of having to know what you want, and it may take some a while to figure it out. But until you do, you will be no closer to owning your job, to managing your organization, or to increasing your enjoyment of what you do. To fulfill your potential, to be more than a mere reflection of someone else’s vision, it is absolutely essential for you to learn how to match the boss’ intensity, rather than reflect it. And the only way you can honestly do that is through the pursuit of your own vision.

Rule 2: Know you have the power to get it…
People hunger for purpose. Without our own, we are immediately distracted into the misguided belief that anyone’s purpose will do.
We do not want to wake up one day and say to ourselves, “Who am I? Where am I? What happened?” This does not mean that we should totally disregard our company’s strategies or goals; if we are going to keep working for our company, we should work on aligning our vision with our company’s vision. If we are willing to change, we have an incredible power to also change things around us.

Via The E-Myth Manager: Why Management Doesn’t Work, and What to Do About It:
Not only must you be certain of what you want for yourself, you must also be certain that you understand the importance of this statement: “Once you know what you want, only you can get it. You can’t delegate the responsibility for inventing your own life.”

Rule 3: There can be no causes other than your own.
[You have to read the book for this one]

Rule 4: If you cannot manage yourself, you cannot manage anything.
We have to start with ourselves. We have to create a relationship with ourselves as individuals; look at ourselves from above and change to who we want to be. We cannot control everything, but we can engage, connect and change our behavior.

Via The E-Myth Manager: Why Management Doesn’t Work, and What to Do About It:

So to manage oneself, it is necessary to think in terms of standards, and before you can think of standards you must first have a Vision for yourself. This Vision should encompass who you wish to become–Not who you are. But understand, if the person you see in your Vision is the same as the person you are, only doing something different, it is not a Vision, it is a dream. Bill Gates doesn’t dream about Microsoft, he envisions it. He envisions a Microsoft universe. Understand, I’m not talking about the content of Bill Gates’ Vision here; I’m talking about the scale of it. It’s the scale of one’s Vision that shapes one’s life. And so I bring you the idea that there are no small people, only small visions.

Conclusion…
The task can seem overwhelming. We get another design change thrown at our already overflowing calendar, or our boss asks us to solve a problem with the new piece of equipment. But if we are on the edge, and things are piling up a little too fast in our world, it might be a good time to take a break for a few hours and find a quiet place to dream; to create a vision and make the right things happen in our own world.

Podcast Episode 2 – Preparing for Autodesk University & Engineering and Manufacturing News.


Listen to the Podcast!
We are preparing for Autodesk University, and don’t miss the last couple of weeks news in Engineering and Manufacturing News!

Show Notes:
Need to control your social media stream, try Hootsuite.

Top 10 Reasons to attend Autodesk University. By Glenn Letham.
The ultimate rookie’s survival guide to Autodesk University. By Paul Munford.
Autodesk Labs
3D Hub partner with Autodesk Spark

Learning SolidWorks 2015. By Dean Kerste
Best What’s New SolidWorks 2015. By Dan Herzberg

Manufacturing is taking 3D Printing to the next level

3DPrinter Manaufacturing
3D printing has been around for a long time, but not until recently has this technology reached a level where traditional manufacturing facilities are taking it seriously.

The process called “Additive Manufacturing” builds layer by layer and has been seen only as a pure prototyping process until recently. With new materials, better accuracy, various sized platforms and reasonable pricing, it has come to a point where everyone can participate.
We are not talking about the hobbyist level, though we probably have to thank them for helping push the technology.  They are also, unfortunately, the ones who created a false impression that this is merely a fancy hot glue gun that makes toys.

Autodesk 3D PrintingOn the other end of the spectrum, you have Autodesk announcing that they are investing $100 million in 3D Printing companies over the next several years. They are also developing their own 3D Printer and 3D Printer software which is open source for everyone to tinker with. (More to come in another blog post about this.)





But what about manufacturing…
Yes: what about manufacturing? Is it just prototyping and a lot of hype? The answer is no, and actually, in a way, you might see “Good old American” manufacturing waking up to glory. This is just the beginning and it is super exciting because as consumers are being more demanding, designers and engineers are looking at manufacturing for help.
Here is an example:
A company is looking for a lot of 100 molded plastic parts. Traditionally you might decide that an aluminum mold would be preferred. The cost of material is not going to set you back too much, and it should hit your doorstep within a few days if you live in United States.
3D Print Mold
If you are productive, you might have spent those couple days gathering your tooling, and even started the process of programming the job in your favorite CAM program. You could, of course, also have chosen to use a 3D Printer, and have what you see in the picture above for less than $500, before the chunk of raw aluminum even gets delivered. This takes what traditional manufacturing might consider a 5 to 7 day turnaround down to 2 days, letting you keep your CNC machine cranking real parts, thus giving you an extra 3 to 5 days to work on a new project or, if you’re lucky, to work on your back-swing.

It is getting local…
This is really what excites me: you do not need to travel to some showroom or university to see this in action; local machine shops already have this technology.
One example is Staub Inc., located less than 20 minutes from me in the outskirts of “blue collar” Buffalo, New York. Mr. Tony Staub started as many manufacturing facilities around the country did: in a garage. And when he outgrew that, he moved into a Super Duper grocery store location. Over the last 20 years, Staub Inc. has built a high precision machine shop using the latest technology within traditional CNC machining. Adding an Additive Department is not about looking far into the future.  It is about offering the latest technology to existing and new customers, while finding use for, and exploring, this great resource.

Conclusion…
Manufacturing is taking 3D Printing inside the shop, and I guarantee you, my friend, THERE is where 3D Printing will reveal its true potential.  I love it!

Why CNC Operators are like Fighter Pilots!

Fighter pilot
So you might not get the regular CNC junkie to drop down and give you 20, but besides physical shape, I dare to say that a day in the shoes of a machinist can be just about as exciting.

First off it is noisy; some places you might even have to operate half in the dark, and night vision is not standard gear in most shops. Then there is the equipment: if you don’t think that the thrill of a F-15 compares*, you have never pressed the green cycle- start button on a multi-axis machining center that rapids at 1200 inches per minute and does Tool-to-Tool change in under 3 seconds. It can be scary, but awesome!

Tom Cruise made it look easy in Top Gun, but besides reflective sunglasses and leather jackets, there are rules and best practices in preparing for a dogfight.
Top Gun Logo

Have you ever seen a pilot take a walk around and inspect the outside of an airplane? or how about the notorious checklist performed between pilot and co-pilot? Flaps, check – fuel, check – landing gear, check. It must make them almost roll their eyes of boredom every time. But would you ever take off in a plane where you knew they hadn’t done that test?
Here is the lesson we can learn from fighter pilots: Just like we are expecting the best performance from pilots and their dedication to do the checklist prior to takeoff, we should do the same before hitting the green cycle-start button on our CNC machines.

CNC Operators Pre-flight check list.
Take the time to walk around the machine to assure that all safety equipment such as guards are intact and doors are closed. This might also be a good time to make sure there are no oil spills on the floor or objects blocking the path around the machine.
What about maintenance? Coolant and way-oil levels should be topped off if needed.

Just like pilots, follow the checklist in the same order every time, and you will most likely have a safe landing in the end.
With the machine powered up, we can prepare for operation.

  1. Always start with the tooling. Why? because if you always start at the same beginning, and follow the checklist, chances are you will not forget an item that will cause a crash. We do not have any parachute for this trip. Gather all the tooling needed for the job prior to installing in the machine, and take the time to inspect it carefully. A magnifying glass might be a handy tool to inspect cutting flutes on endmills.
  2. Insert tooling into clean tool holders, and input measurements into tool length and tool diameter offset pages in the machine control. Remember to stay focused; this is not the time to dance to the latest iTunes or eat a sandwich. It is many times at this early stage where people get distracted and insert a value in the wrong column.
  3. Work holding. Indicate and secure vise or fixture…”Check!”.
  4. Insert stock into vise or fixture. Make sure everything is wiped clean of dirt and chips, and then pay extra attention that everything is secured and located against stops. We do not want to see anything come flying out of here.
  5. Work offset is important. G54-G55 is standard, but if you did not write the g-code, or did not double check the code, this could be a mission-critical error. Now go ahead and pick up the part. Double check, and then check again before saying “Check!”.
  6. Now you can go ahead and load the program into the control. Here is an important step many people decide to skip. Most controls have a graphic simulation option, and though it is not as pretty as in your CAM system, it is not a waste of your time. At least make sure you have an updated setup sheet, and an idea about what this program is about to do. If in doubt, I order you do the next step.
  7. This step is up to the guy who is hitting the green button. If there is a crash, you can assure that the boss will ask if this step was done. You can a) dry-run the program safe above the part, or b) use single-block command and reduced rapids.

Take a step back. One deep breath. Circle back to the beginning and run through the checklist one more time in your head. Did you remember everything?


Now tighten that seat belt, put on those cool reflective sunglasses, and press that green cycle-start button for blast off!



I challenge you…
I challenge you to print this article (including the cool images) and hang it at the machine or leave it in the break room. If your CNC Superstar does not know how to stay focused and follow a checklist, he is not Top Gun.



*Honestly, I cannot compare, but if someone can arrange for me to get a trip in a F-15, I’m in.

Podcast Episode 1 – What’s New SolidWorks 2015 and HSMWorks 2015


Listen to the Podcast!
My quick take on what is really interesting in the What’s New documents for SolidWorks 2015 and my favorite CAM tool, HSMWorks 2015!

Show notes:
Buzz Aldrin visits Pier 9 and rides hoverboard

DMG MORI LASERTEC 65