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Better Way to Verify 5-Axis Machining— PowerMill add-on

PowerMill add-on

“Had we ordered the stock 25mm longer, we would have been in a position where the tool holder we decided on wouldn’t have got over the top of the part.”— Chris Northall, Delcam

Delcam’s PowerMill is a favorite when it comes to 5 axis CAM software, and after taking a look at Delcam’s Advanced add-on simulation software, I think this is the answer to CNC programmer and shop owner’s sleepless nights.

See, a CNC programmer has no fear making a few axis moves. However, it can become scary when you are responsible for assuring the 5-Axis are moving together, and it does not create a collision between machine, fixture/work-holding, material, tool holder, and tool.

Delcam 2

Most impressive might be the Dynamic machine control. You can drag and move the spindle away from collision area, and create better tool approach within the simulation. Because the simulation tool is driven together with Post processor, your code will update automatically.

The satisfaction of this simulation add-on might start with the creation of a quick crash report. You are wrong if you think people can pay attention to a simulation run-through that lasts longer than a few minutes. Not only is it time-consuming, but you can also easily miss that critical collision. Let software do some work for you. Now you can, within seconds, zoom in on details that need your attention. No more time wasted sitting with your nose to the screen through endless toolpath verification.

You can include the entire machine in your verification landscape. Travel limits are a pain when doing complex 5 axis machining— you have enough on your plate concentrating on the part itself. If surpassing the limits, the software will let you move the part on the table and, with a press of a button, update toolpath and code.

How about “Near Collision”? Yes, a collision is the ultimate price to pay, but if you are programming 5 axis you should have a safety factor in there. Anyone who has ever programmed a multi-axis machine will tell you that something like 10mm clearance is a good thing. So here the software will notify you about tight work spaces. The concern is not only when the cutter is engaged with the material but also if you clear your stock when changing tools.

Delcam 1

You don’t want surprises when running a 5 axis machine. It does happen; you get some funky axis moves, for example, when machining from positive to negative draft using a swarf cut. One could rely on years of experience, but for most, realization happens at the machine. Delcam has solved this by including an analysis graph that will show Axis rapids, giving you the option to assure that all axis are working incremental along each other.

Rumor has it that the Delcam people have been struggling to get the right name for their powerful simulation add-on. “VeriCL” does sound more marketable than “Advanced Simulation and Verification Software” but who cares about the name? The fact is that this tool will let you catch mistakes before you hit that green cycle start button on your machine.

Advanced Manufacturing is On Top at Autodesk University Next Week

mfg-industry-640x361
We are one week away from one of the biggest design and manufacturing events of the year. Autodesk are inviting all its customers to come and network, deepen their knowledge and sharpen their skills.

This event has a long list of manufacturing roundtables discussion, labs, and presentations.

Here is everything for any manufacturing junkie:
• Integrated CAM inside Inventor and Fusion 360.
• Delcam’s high-end PowerMill, FeatureCAM and ArtCAM.
• Composite solution with TruNest and TruLaser.
• Factory Design Suite: Raise your productivity with better plant layout.

Also, make sure you take a break from classes, and visit the exhibit hall. Here you will find live machining on the latest CNC equipment.

IM12857-R Advanced Manufacturing Roundtable Dec 1, 8:00-9:30am
Meet the Product Management Team for Autodesk, Inc., CAM Solutions, Fabrication software, Composite Solutions, and Factory Design Suite software.

MFG12188 – CAM for Students and Education Dec 1, 1:30-2:30pm
Autodesk CAM for Educators, Students, Classrooms, Student Clubs, Maker Spaces, Non Profits, Learn about Autodesk’s learning resources, and how you can take advantage of the free integrated CAD/CAM software.

CP11498 – Prototype Machining for Product Designers with Fusion 360 Dec 1, 3:00-4:00pm
This class presents several real-world examples using Fusion 360 software as a platform for making things using a Tormach PCNC milling machine. We will look in depth at case studies in rapid prototyping, mass customization, tool making, and specialty manufacturing.

MFG12189 – Bringing Machining in House – Where do I Start? Dec 1, 3:00-4:00pm
In-house manufacturing has never been more accessible. In this class experts will walk you through the process of selecting your first CNC (computer numerical control) machine, as well as covering selecting, tooling, and work holding.

IM12186 – High Efficiency Roughing Dec 2, 1:00-2:00
High Efficiency Roughing or HER is arguably one of the most talked about and exciting technologies (and machining techniques) to hit the machining world in the last decade. However, as vendors rush to define terms like high speed machining (HSM) and high efficiency machining (HEM), business owners and CNC programmers are left struggling to make sense of it all. This presentation is designed to educate attendees about high efficiency roughing and how this powerful machining strategy can reduce cycle time and help mold makers increase profits.

FB10373 – Introduction to Lathe Functionality Within Fusion 360 Dec 2, 3:00-4:00pm
Learn to extend the power of Autodesk, Inc.’s, fully integrated CAM Solution for Fusion 360 software. In this class you will see just how easily you can program a lathe part. This class is designed for users interested in lathe functionality for Fusion 360 software; and it will also focus on tips, tricks, and training so users can get the most out of CAM for Fusion 360 software, the integrated CAM Solution driven by the same kernel behind HSMWorks software and Inventor HSM software.

MFG12197 – FeatureCAM Hands on Milling, Turning and Mill Turn Dec 2, 3:00-4:00pm
Feature-based computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems enable users to automate their manufacturing processes to minimize the learning curve for new users, as well as help even the newest user to produce reliable toolpaths quickly and efficiently. Learn how Delcam’s FeatureCAM can automatically select the tooling as well as feeds and speeds required, enabling you to standardize your manufacturing processes.

FB9777 – Better CAD for CAM Dec 2, 4:30-5:30pm
Learn how to utilize Inventor software for manufacturing. Discover things to consider when you’re designing parts and you’re creating stock for castings and boolean operations for jigs and fixtures. Then bring your design into Inventor HSM software and machine like a pro.

MFG12193 – ArtCAM – Software for Artistist Rather than Engineers Dec 2, 4:30-5:30pm
Most CAD/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) tools are designed to enable engineers to design and manufacture products. From the very beginning ArtCAM software has been developed to enable artists and designer to create whatever they can imagine. ArtCAM is used in a variety of sectors from jewelry and coin minting, to the design and manufacture of architectural cornicing and facades. The common theme across these sectors is the desire to produce intricate artistic forms with incredible detail that can then be quickly and easily machined or 3D printed. This class will introduce you to the process that will enable you to take a simple 2D drawing and convert it into a complex decorative relief and machine it.

MFG12187-R – CAM Roundtable Dec 3, 10:00-11:30
Meet the members from the Technical and development teams behind the Autodesk CAM Products.

CP9779 – Are you Ready to Learn Inventor HSM, CAM Basics Dec 3, 1:00-2:00pm
We will not just show you how to set up and apply toolpath with Inventor HSM software, but also the important question of why we take the steps. This class will explain to a beginner in manufacturing how you generate your first good code for a CNC (computer numerical control) machine, why something is called WCS, and how to get cutter feeds and speed.

MFG12198 – Off-line Programming of Robots for Machining, Trimming, Polishing and Other Applications using PowerMILL Robot Dec 3, 1:00-2:00
Robots provide a unique platform for machining large volumes as well as for a vast range of other applications, including trimming, gluing, polishing, and the laying down of a huge variety of different materials. This workshop will introduce you to the basic concepts involved in creating the path as well as controlling the robot axis to drive your manufacturing processes.

MFG10365 – 3-Axis Machining and Beyond with Fusion 360 Dec 3, 3:00-4:00pm
This class is designed for existing users of the Fusion 360 3D CAD platform who are looking to take advantage of the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) capabilities. Topics covered will include workholding, multiple setups, multipart setups, 3+2 machining, setup sheet customization, and post processing.

Composites
DE12497 – Composite Manufacturing Solution for Optimum Material Nesting and Ply Layup
Dec 3, 2:45-4:00
During this two-part class, we will utilize Autodesk® TruNest Composites to show the complete process from import to nesting to NC part cutting of ply materials. Special focus will be given to optimal nesting for efficient material usage. During the second half, we will utilize Autodesk® TruLaser to perform laser projection for showing composite ply lay-up.

DE12498 – Automated Composite Manufacturing Dec 1, 4:45-5:45pm
This class presents an end-to-end solution for the automated composite manufacturing process. This class will cover advanced lay-up design strategies such as fiber placement, tape layering, and robotics lay-up which are utilized when programming automatic material layup equipment. High composite production rates will be covered through automated robotic material nesting and taping.

FB12940 – Composite Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Automotive Applications
Dec 1, 3:00-4:00pm
Presentation dedicated to composite applications in the automotive marketplace suitable for customers, resellers and the Autodesk automotive team as well.

AT12502 – Composite for Automotive: Design and Manufacturing of High-Performance Chassis for Sports Cars. Dec 2, 8:00-9:30am
Bercella will present a case study about utilizing composite design and manufacturing processes for critical parts such as the chassis, and other key components.


Plate / Sheet Nesting and Fabricating
FB12940 – Composite Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Automotive Applications
Dec 1, 3:00-4:00pm
Presentation dedicated to composite applications in the automotive marketplace suitable for customers, resellers and the Autodesk automotive team as well.

PM12500 – Advanced Solution for Heavy Plate Fabrication Dec 2, 2:45-4:00pm
Thick or heavy plate manufacturing presents its own set of unique challenges. This class utilizes Autodesk® TruNest to show workflows for manufacturing heavy, thick, plates with Oxy-fuel, plasma or waterjet CNC mills. We start with importing geometry and material properties, to automated optimal nesting all the way to generating CNC code for manufacturing.

FB12939 – Maximize Material Yield and ROI on Sheet Metal High-Production Volume
Dec 3, 3:00-4:00pm
Greenheck Fan, title and company, will present a case study about advanced manufacturing solutions for high production volume of sheet metal parts combining punching & laser cutting.

DE12497 – Composite Manufacturing Solution for Optimum Material Nesting and Ply Layup
Dec 3, 2:45-4:00pm
During this two-part class, we will utilize Autodesk® TruNest Composites to show the complete process from import to nesting to NC part cutting of ply materials. Special focus will be given to optimal nesting for efficient material usage. During the second half, we will utilize Autodesk® TruLaser to perform laser projection for showing composite ply lay-up.

Factory Design & Planning
IM12101 – Using FDS to Create Compelling Bid Packages Dec 1. 8:00-9:30am
Selling complex and customized equipment is challenging at best, and creating a compelling bid package is critical to winning more business. This class will show how to use Factory Design Suite software to accelerate the creation of a build proposal, how to create compelling content, and how to create a bill of equipment required for costing the proposal.

PM10277 – Factory Design Suite: Asset Development Checklist Dec 2, 8:00-9:30am
There are so many things to consider when developing assets for Factory Design Suite software. Creating functional assets for your factory layouts can be challenging unless you have a detailed checklist for asset development. This class will provide a step-by-step approach to developing fully functional assets. We will discuss everything from iProperties to Inventor iLogic software. Join us as we explore the process of asset development while examining each step on the checklist.

Podcast Episode 11 – Quick CAD Tip, 7 Skills Needed to be a top engineer & CAD News


Listen to the Podcast!
Quick CAD Tip, 7 skills needed to be… & CAD News!
Show notes:
CAD Tip: Start your CAD Design the right way
7 Skills Needed to Be a Top Engineer
CAD Professional’s Guide to Lightning-Fast R&D
Lawsuit Against Stratasys Claims MakerBot Knew Of Faulty Smart Extruders, Misled Investors
MakerBot opened its new, 170,000-square-foot factory
Massive Investment in GM Arlington Assembly Plant
Delcam Appoints Charles Jones as Industry Marketing Manager
BobCAD-CAM Releases v28 CAD-CAM Series
Develop3D Summer magazine
What you need to know about upgrading to Windows 10
How Fast Can A Ferrari Go On Autobahn? This Video Has The Answer

Podcast Episode 4 – CAD/CAM News and 5 Rookie CAD Manager Mistakes


Listen to the Podcast!
CAD/CAM News and 5 Rookie CAD Manager Mistakes!

 

 

 

Show Notes:
Looking for some great CAD/CAM reading material? Develop3D

5 Mistakes of a Rookie CAD Manager
Onshape, Why we started from Scratch…
SolidWorks World Keynote Speakers…
Delcam ships ArtCAM 2015 Pro

Free CAM:Delcam for SolidWorks Xpress

I guess it is alright being late to the party if you are the only one who knows there is one.
Delcam for SolidWork Xpress (DelcamXpress as I choose to call it) has been out since May 2013 but hasn’t gotten nearly the same attention as when HSMWorks released their free version back in 2011. With HSMWorks being bought by Autodesk one could question how long this product will be supported on the SolidWorks platform, and therefore a look at this 2.5 Axis Free CAM might be in its place.

1st thing to point out is that DelcamXpress does all its work in a SolidWorks Assembly mode. This gives you the option to also include fixture, vises, tables etc.
I also like to point out that the software easily takes you through the steps of selection your stock (Solid Body, Bounding Box, Bounding Cylinder, Selected Edges and Centered Block) and gives you really good options to select and control your pickup point(Work Coordinate, G54 etc).

Your selection for toolpaths is pretty basic. “Hole” and “Face” should be easy enough to understand.
“Side” is side milling, but also here you can select SolidWorks sketches as such you can borrow with “Convert Entities” and of course create your own.
“Feature” toolpath can be used to quickly select your cuts if the SolidWorks model has been created with machine intent. Such as a cut in SolidWorks is also directly a mill pocket.
Last one is “Setup” this option will let you create more than one setup (Have not tested to see if this could be used for an indexing move).

Creating toolpaths and navigating through the menus has a nice flow to it. The biggest thing is you are picking the same faces to machine as was created doing the design, by selecting those SolidWorks faces. No Import/Export into another software, conversion of data etc.

For my short dry-run all the normal parameters (or Attributes as Delcam calls it) for adjustments was found easy at hand, and the tool manager has a good starting point of tools with options to add your own.

DelcamXpress has similarities to the SolidWorks FeatureManager Tree. Easy to oversee and you can drag and drop operations.
Also worth to note that the stock removal simulation is pleasant to the eye.

DelcamXpress even has gouge protection as I might experienced once or twice :-)

Free learning tools are right at hand via the SolidWorks taskpane and Delcam’s yourtube channel. With a list of very useful videos getting you up quickly.
Conclusion…
I believe you get what you pay for most of the time, but it has been proven that plenty of people can get by with free CAM. I think that is awesome! So if you are tinkering around with things where this would be a fit, only a little learning time will be needed to be machining steel.
Another thought could be you are a standalone kinda CAM guy who would like to see what all of this integrated CAM is about.
All I can say is go download it. It is free http://www.delcamforsolidworks.com/xpress/

A quick look out on the CAD/CAM Web July09

man-reading
Update 7-16-2009 I mistakenly wrote you had to be a paying subscriber to access the Solidworks forum, that is not true!

A couple of cool CAD and CAM related places on the web you might enjoy along with a cup of coffee.

Delcam TV
A online TV station dedicated to show CAM software thundering G-code into cool shapes and make profitable companies. Is this cheap advertising ? Absolutely, but still a cool idea, and always good to get a sneak peak at what others are doing. DelcamTv

Real cost benefits from automated CAM/CAD
Sescoi (WorkNC) has put together a handy little 6 page pdf pointing out the benefits of CAM instead of programing at the machine itself. It was of course written with WorkNC in mind, but I will say you could replace WorkNC with any major CAM developer and it still would be true, ohhh and it contains a colorful chart that could come in handy when upper management are asking why the company are not eliminating your position and program at the machine.
benefits from CAM

New and improved Solidworks Forum
If you have not been there for awhile, Richard Doyle blogged about it here

Need to find a job?
Tenlinks announced that they are relaunching CADtalent.com, a job directory devoted to CAD, CAM and CAE professionals.

Mastercam Store
InHouse Solution has gotten there eStore up and running, books, shirts and pens are now available for purchase. Funny thing is that people have been screaming about this for years on emastercams forum, but either people have not realized it is now open, or when time is to show the wallet people got quite.
emastercam store

2D is for sissies
Talking about shopping, why not check out the new SWGeeks Store. Though the product has the Solidworks logo on it, I think everyone who works on a software that can extrude a solid would agree “2D is for sissies” and all the profits will go to the Orangewood Children’s Foundation, so there is no excuse.
swgeek.com

More coffee anyone?

A quick look outside the Mastercam world

We all know it can be hard finding the time to do much between shoveling snow and trying to pay the mortgage. That’s why it is nice when someone else will do the leg work for you, just sit back and spend a quick 5 minutes exploring what else is going on a couple of places outside the Mastercam world with a cup of coffee.
1st. thing should be reading Al Deans article in the Develop3D Magazine, Mr.Dean have spend a day at Delcam Headquarters and reports back with a good read, check it out.

For some reason when I start thinking of other Cad/Cam packages beside Mastercam, Siemens always comes to mind. Here is a couple of short videos for you to check out.

CAD Express 6 Feature Based Modeling

CAD Express 6 Model Edit


CAD Express 6 Roughing

Coffee is gone, time to get back to work, but 5 minute break……arhh don’t we all feel better now?