You are currently browsing the cadcamstuff.com posts tagged: CADCAM


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.

SolidWorks EPDM is CAM Friendly!

Know all the bells of “SolidWorks Enterprise Product Data Management”(aka EPDM)?
This long fancy title does come with a lot of functions. Data security, Project creation, Rev control and so much more…Misconception is that this product is expensive and only for huge companies…However…
Came across this little manufacturing problem:
“CAM programmer is starting out another wonderful day creating code for a later run on B-shift. Upon verifying, simulating and post processing the heck out of the part he ends up with the g-code for the CNC machine. He saves this over the network to a folder on the manufacturing computer for the B-shift Operator to grab and run later that night.
Right before day-shift ends however, the shop floor supervisor gets notified about a design change causing re-programming needed. He never gets the information send through the right channels, and the end result is the B-Shift Operator runs 5 runs of the now obsolete g-code at a “boat anchor” price of $3500 a piece. Ouch!!”
Check out this video on how EPDM could have made this process a lot easier to avoid:

Conclusion…

I think that SolidWorks EPDM has a huge potential on the shop floor from as seen in the video. Keeping data in its right place, but also things like eliminate drawings with multiple Rev’s circling around.
If you are not familiar with SolidWorks EPDM, this little video is one of my favorites when it comes to a quick overview.

SolidWorks Bounding Box, Best Underrated 2013 Feature

The most underrated new feature in SolidWorks 2013, “The 3D Boundary Box!”.

If you missed it, don’t worry. No one will blame you even if you attended your SolidWorks resellers 2013 Rollout or you studied the “What’s New 2013″ found under the help drop down.Reason is that this feature has been camouflaged as an Weldment feature, but it is so much more.

If you are like me, cut lists, square tubing and welding takes 2nd place compared to the smell of coolant and chips slamming against the Plexiglas. The new bounding box feature found under SolidWorks Weldments might not seem like worth taking a look at…Well, Wrong!

SolidWorks had all the reasons to present this feature as a weldment. The example introduced was a quick way to update the description field in a weldment cut lists with Length x With x Thickness of a giving part and this is defiantly a cool function.

However for me this feature came as the answer to a function I know many CAD/CAM User have asked for “Give me my stock size” Well, here it is. Check out this short video where we will dive into the most underrated feature of SolidWorks 2013.

Using CAMWorks Material Library will make your life easier

Ever had one of those things on your to-do list that you know you should have done something about a long time ago?


Material Library…
There is a lot of cool things you can spend time learning about in CAMWorks. The material library might not be on your top 5. However there is most likely not a option in CAMWorks that can earn your money back quicker than spending a little time teaching your CAM what data you want applied when setting that CNC in motion.
A list of benefit of spending the next 10min getting familiar with this function could look like this:

1. By limited time spend you can comfortably forget about feeds and speeds when programing your standard parts
2. In conjunction with CAMWorks philosophy, you can teach the Material library how your do things in your shop
3. Picking a Material to machine and the software recognize what machine and conditions you are up against and adjust the feeds and speed accordingly
4. So easy to adjust that it silly not to use
5. Less experienced CAM programmer can easily trust on the software giving them good data

So lets jump in and see what can be done with this CAMWorks feeds&speed tool.

Nesting Super Powers in SolidWorks with CAMWorks Nesting

CAMWorks is handing out a helping hand to the fabrication community!
1st. thing that stands out to me is how easy this add-on is to use.
You have just finished your stress full design process, and getting things to actually result in something that can be cut on the Laser, Waterjet or speed through the Wood router seems like an impossible task. Well, CAMWorks Nesting might just be the tool that is going to prevent you from another late night fighting stock sizes and layouts.
Information…
http://www.camworks.com/products/CAMWorksNesting.aspx
The following information is from the website above and the 20min. webinar CAMWorks provided.
Sooo, it is probably most important to inform that this is fully integrated into SolidWorks, but also supports IGES, STEP, ACIS and Parasolids.
You can nest smaller parts inside larger parts if material availability allows it. Choose grain direction and use customizable material libraries.
Did I say the how easy it is to use, 2 taps…
More Information…
Material type and thickness’ are automatically extracted from your SolidWorks part, Assembly or Sheet Metal part.
Your Nesting parameters are saved right inside your SolidWorks file.
You can even use DXF files for your custom sheet sizes (A chance to play with your free 2D software DraftSight http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/overview/)
Need more info but really no time?…
 I created a 4min. video trying to get you the information you need. Go Go Nesting!

Conclusion…
Unless you really enjoy move things around to make thing fits, and really are not concerned about the whole “Time is Money” I think you owe yourself to take a look at this product.

DFMXpress=Your FREE Design For Manufacturing Consulting inside SolidWorks

It will happen, one day you will receive a part that is nearly impossible to manufacture. Not because the part is on the “top secret out of space” difficult level, but because something as simple as an unexperienced engineer/designer did not realize that there is some physics rules that apply to make a design that actually can be manufactured in a very competitive industry.
DFMXpress…
SolidWorks has a nifty tool that pretty quickly can run an analysis on you part, and provide you with some feedback on some possible manufacturing street bumps, or should I say stop the design in its tracks before its manufacturability becomes too costly.
DFMXpress belongs to the Xpress family that you will find right at top of your Tools dropdown menu right inside SolidWorks.
Who should use this…
This tool is seamlessly integrated into SolidWorks, and will give you an opportunity to apply some basic sets of rules for drilling, milling, turning, sheetmetal and even give you a thickness analysis of a injected plastic parts. This tool was created, fed and raised for manufacturing!
So this tool should defiantly be on the list of CAM programers who gets designs handed to them, and/or if you are one of those young unexperienced engineer/designers…well, this can safe you from having one of those grumpy machinest yelling at you.
What is some of the things it does…
Figuring out how to use it could not be more simple. In SolidWorks go to your Tools dropdown-> Select DFMXpress and when it open in your left panel, Go to the settings tab, select your application, and set your parameters.
DFMXpress has parameters like…
  • Hole Depth to Diameter Ratio.
  • Mill Tool Depth to Diameter Ratio.
  • Minimum Corner Radius (Turn Part).
  • Minimum % Bore Relief (Turn Part).
  • Hole Diameter to Thickness Ratio (Sheet metal).
  • Recommended Bend Radius (Sheet metal).
Help…
What really rocks is that if your start looking in the DFMXpress help section you will find what for many has been hard earned advice.
Conclusion…
I think we sometimes forget some of these tools excist. Tools that could improve the bottom line should get a fair trial or the result can be loosing parts to the scrap bin.
This being the Xpress version there is a big brother with more options and strength. We will visit DFMPro later for review.

How to add your custom strategy right into CAMWorks techdb


One of the awesome things about CAMWorks is that you can make it your own.
In this post we are going to do a step-by-step video on how you can create custom strategies, so you can easily throw your preferred toolpaths at your features. It is also talking about how you easily can control when CAMWorks is attacking hole diameters.

Be Prepared…
I always recommend that you do a backup of your technology database. As I stated in this video, How to save back your shop knowledge to CAMWorks TechDb I have never seen the database go corrupt, but I have made stupid alterations to my database that made a backup at hand priceless.

Get some strategy in…
Lets stuff some custom strategies and knowledge into that database, shall we?

HSMXpress Now Available – Free CAM for SolidWorks


It only took a few days for HSMWorks to follow CAMWorks adding another Xpress (“Light Version”) CAM solution to run inside SolidWorks.

I picked the following feature highlights from the HSMXpress section on HSMWorks website.

What is HSMXpress?
HSMXpress was created to show designers, engineers, and even veteran CNC programmers that integrated CAM not only makes sense, but you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

*HSMXpress requires SolidWorks 2009 or newer; and Microsoft® Windows XP®, Windows Vista®, Windows® 7 (General Release; 64-bit or 32-bit).

*Same 64-bit, Multi-core HSM CAM Kernel as HSMWorks.

*Industry leading toolpath quality for Basic Milling Machining including 2D Roughing and Pocketing, Drilling, Facing, Contouring, and more…

*Incredibly fast 64-bit JavaScript-based Post Processor System including many generic posts.

*All CAM data stored in your Part (.SLDPRT) or Assembly (.SLDASM) files.
(They have listed this twice so it must be important :-))

And from the HSMWorks email newsletter published by NexGenCam(A HSMWorks VAR).
It is fully functional. It includes all 2D Milling toolpaths, including our powerful 2D Adaptive Clearing technology. It will simulate, post process and transmit G-code to your machine and includes the most common CNC machine post processors.
If you have SolidWorks and agree to a simple and sensible licensing agreement you can use HSMXPress commercially, privately or in an educational institute. Learn. Have fun. Make money.

Conclusion…
As I stated in my CAMWorksXpress conclusion, this product is defiantly worth testing out if you are looking for some basic CAM.
As to compare HSMXpress vs. CAMWorksXpress well, HSMXpress is free…

(We have talked about HSMWorks here on cadcamstuff before. Check out this list if interested).

CAMWorks introducing an Xpress version


With LET’S GO MANUFACTURE! spelled out on CAMWorksXpress website I think you can say that the express lane has been paved for this CAMWorks “light” version.

I picked out the following FAQ’s from CAMWorksXpress website.

What is CAMWorksXpress?
CAMWorksXpress is the new and easy to use CAM package that offers seamless integration within SolidWorks and the flexibility to explore and utilize the highly powerful features required for machining your parts efficiently.

Is SolidWorks required to run CAMWorksXpress?
Yes. Currently CAMWorksXpress is available only as an add-in on SolidWorks.

What are the supported operating systems?
CAMWorksXpress is a Windows operating system based software program. It is designed to run on both 32-bit and 64-bit Vista and Win 7 operating systems running either SolidWorks 2010 or 2011.

Is there a demo/trial version available?
Yes, we offer free 30-days trial version (both 32-bit and 64-bit) of CAMWorksXpress. Before downloading the trial version, you need to register on our website www.camworksxpress.com . Click on the ‘Download free demo’ icon to access the free download of our powerful CAM software.

How do I get technical support for CAMWorksXpress?
We provide effective email support. For any technical assistance or query, write to us at support@camworksxpress.com

How can I buy CAMWorksXpress?
CAMWorksXpress can be purchased online. Visit our website www.camworksxpress.com, register and click on the link: ‘Buy Now’

And the price?…

Conclusion…
This product is defiantly worth testing if you are looking for some basic CAM. The website is set up to for fill some nice valid content with video tutorials, blog and a user forum.

MFG.com challenges you!

According to my trusted source, Wikipedia, it is estimated that there was spend more than 500 billion dollars on advertising in 2010. Now as a “middle aged man”(Also according to Wikipedia) I would like to believe that this expensive, but rather often simple propaganda are below my intelligence for having much effect.

I will have to admit that a casual flipping through one of my favorite trade magazines, the advertising agent did a fabulous job grabing my attention and fully direct it to their ad.

Can you make this part?
Well there I am, kids are screaming of hunger, the dog needs go outside, and I am sitting studying an advertising showing something that is suppose to pretend to look like a manufacturing quote, silently saying to myself, Sure I can!

So I decided to record a couple of videos. One creating this part in SolidWorks, and then follow up with one that machines that SolidWorks part using CAMWorks right inside SolidWorks. But before we go any further it might be in its place to discover who MFG.com is in case you are not familiar with this online tool. Explaining that the easiest and proably most accurate is to direct you to about MFG.com on their website.
Can you make this part using SolidWorks?

Can you make this part using CAMWorks?

Conclusion…
So that part was not that hard. Of course we could do that part in SolidWorks and CAMWorks. If the part had been too hard I would probably never went this far. The magic of good advertising :-).