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cadcamstuff corner

cadcamstuff corner
SolidEdge University 2014 begins
Link
[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]

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]

SolidWorks kickstarts a busy CAD&CAM 2011 fall season

It seems like only a few days ago the hotdogs where sizzling on the grill, backyard bonfires, and the CAD/CAM world more or less asleep. But as we find ourselfs here in the middle of November the reality is that the wonderful world of Design, Engineering and Manufacturing has awaken and actually been pretty busy as of late.
Here is a quick recap…

September 1st. SolidWorks made there 2011 version available for download, and you could clearly see that the press and blogging community was hungry for some action.
In my opinion this 2011 version of SolidWorks do not introduce anything that is going to change things in the CAD industry. Understanding that every version can’t be great leaps into the future, I’m already looking forward to next years release. Yep thats right!…Already excited about 2012(SolidWorks people…please do not feel any pressure ;-) ).
Beside some new buttons, rearrange of functions, and new stuff like “de-feature” tool, I hope this version will prove to be a continued effort by SolidWorks to make a more reliable and stable product.
We will for sure become more familiar with SolidWorks 2011 here on cadcamstuff.com months ahead.
If you are looking for some good information for the new stuff for the 2011 version I would have to recommend you jump over to The SolidWorks Geek and read Alex Ruiz’s SolidWorks 2011 A geeks view …… or if you like me also enjoy listing to podcast on your daily commute. Check out Lou Gallo’s of The SolidWorks Heard2011 What’s New Where Lou Gallo goes through the “What’s New” pdf that comes with your software.


Not long after the release of SolidWorks 2011 both Jeff Ray~CEO of SolidWorks~and Jon Hirschtick~founder of SolidWorks~decided to do some blogging on the biggest topic of months prior SolidWorks World event. The subject The cloud!.
Personally I really like that SolidWorks is taking the approch to be involved in this future technology instead of playing passive for then possible later playing scratchy catch up.
But I honestly thought they where a further ahead with answers to some of the questions that seems to be repeated, such as security, user cost and reliability of service. These two easily digestible blog post are available on the SolidWorks blog. I truly recommend you take the time to read on the future to come. Jeff Ray, follow up on SolidWorks World and Jon Hirschtick, Platform Shift and Online Data


CAMWorks beta is up and running. Being in beta things are pretty tight in regards to what to come, but we do know that CAMWorks are going to be available with a payable option to attach Volumill for spicing some serious chip removal. VoluMill is a program that is essebtional for material removal operations such as pocket milling. VoluMill will calculate a constant load on your cutter and not only save on tool life but also decrease cycle time. I will defiantly be looking to get some more information to bring on VoluMill beside what is one there website, and when beta is over it could be fun to actual post some mill pocket benchmarks. Here is the press release from tenlinks Celeritive to Integrate VoluMill with Geometric CAMWorks


Earlier this month HSMWorks 2011 was released. I was lucky enough on my recent visit back to Denmark that Mark and Rene from HSMWorks took a couple hours out of there busy day to chat with me over a cup of coffee at there new location in northern Copenhagen. It is pretty evident that these guys are carrying a healthy dose of industry experience from there companionship a few doors down the hallway where the respected name of Cimco is on the door. It is pretty clear HSMWorks has been built on a solid foundation, and this product sets quality ahead of anything else. Most likly also why the company decided to annouce that there new lathe package is comming later this year, instead of rushing and stuffing an unfinsihed product in there HSMWorks 2011 release. Check out there press release here HSMWorks 2011 Released


MastercamX5 are on the streets. It hurts not having a finger on the pulse of the product that has been so much fun for me in the past, but I’m hoping to be able to provide some insight on this newly released version of one of the CAM worlds top products, if not from my personal experience, then maybe from someone else. Stay tuned for some MastercamX5 goodies until then I guess we have to live with the sample from Mastercam’s “What’s New” teaser.


And lastly I can not end this blog post without writing the word “Creo”. Does it sound like a breakfast cereal? well it might actually keep you full all the way through dinner. We are talking about serving up a bulk of programs including the name Pro/ENGINEER as one of the dishes in a new buffet named creo. Here is the link to the official site creo But if you really have the interest to read up on this chain restaurant I would recommend checking out deelip’s What exactly is Creo and Ralph Grabowski’s Project lightning=Creo Both guys did a fabulousness job covering this story.

Conclusion…
So it has defiantly been a busy couple of months on the CAD&CAM planet. Hopefully this pushing of new computer aided releases will push for better design, manufacturing and work in our respectful fields of expertise.

What you should know…..Export from Mastercam into Solidworks


More interested in export from Solidworks to Mastercam?

Same texts as in “What you should know…..export from Solidworks to Mastercam”, but different videos

There is days you could wonder if CAD sales people have practiced extra hard on keeping a straight inviting face when they claim that there CAD software can import and export any of there competitors formats as if it was an extension of there body.
Now, I’m not going to throw the CAD sales guy into the “used car salesman” category, he do not deserve that. To be fair, most CAD software will import what ever you throw at it, maybe just not to the standard you had expected. So before calling Tech support and either screaming in frustration or pleating for a better solution and maybe a comforting hug, lets look at the issue from a logical and practical side of things.

Import/Export
Converting CAD from one system to another should be compared to translating from Russian to Greek with a dictionary where more than a few pages are missing. If you are trying to import a ProE file into Solidworks you need to realize that you are importing one competitor into another, and therefor in this example Solidworks only have what ProE gives them to work with in the conversion process. This goes for every CAD manufacture, so until we get all our different CAD extensions converted into one standard (keep dreaming, scooter) you should treat you import/export with some natural caution.

System Tolerance
So it is understood that there can be complications with translating the CAD data from one format to another. How about the system tolerance set up by the IT guy or you as a CAD captain?

~Mastercams System Tolerance page~
So imagine some guy(gentlemen, if he actually end up being your costumer) draws up some geometry on his 3rd world waterjet software, then saves it as DXF, and through a couple of sales reps. and a CAD Manager it ends up on your desk. Do you trust that the discount software that comes with a machine that think it is accurate when operating within +/-0.1mm? I didn’t think so.
So what does this mean? well at least make sure that your templates and tolerances are set to proper scale. And again, you need some caution when dealing with incoming files.

Here is a couple of more things you might find interesting when exporting from Mastercam into Solidworks…
A video is worth a thousands pictures

Did my Mastercam file just turn dumb?

Some Mastercam curves can form a nice Solid

Looking to export from Solidworks to Mastercam?

What you should know…..Export from Solidworks into Mastercam


There is days you could wonder if CAD sales people have practiced extra hard on keeping a straight inviting face when they claim that there CAD software can import and export any of there competitors formats as if it was an extension of there body.
Now, I’m not going to throw the CAD sales guy into the “used car salesman” category, he do not deserve that. To be fair, most CAD software will import what ever you throw at it, maybe just not to the standard you had expected. So before calling Tech support and either screaming in frustration or pleating for a better solution and maybe a comforting hug, lets look at the issue from a logical and practical side of things.

Import/Export
Converting CAD from one system to another should be compared to translating from Russian to Greek with a dictionary where more than a few pages are missing. If you are trying to import a ProE file into Solidworks you need to realize that you are importing one competitor into another, and therefor in this example Solidworks only have what ProE gives them to work with in the conversion process. This goes for every CAD manufacture, so until we get all our different CAD extensions converted into one standard (keep dreaming, scooter) you should treat you import/export with some natural caution.

System Tolerance
So it is understood that there can be complications with translating the CAD data from one format to another. How about the system tolerance set up by the IT guy or you as a CAD captain?

~Mastercams System Tolerance page~
So imagine some guy(gentlemen, if he actually end up being your costumer) draws up some geometry on his 3rd world waterjet software, then saves it as DXF, and through a couple of sales reps. and a CAD Manager it ends up on your desk. Do you trust that the discount software that comes with a machine that think it is accurate when operating within +/-0.1mm? I didn’t think so.
So what does this mean? well at least make sure that your templates and tolerances are set to proper scale. And again, you need some caution when dealing with incoming files.

Here is a couple of more things you might find interesting when exporting from Solidworks into Mastercam…
A video is worth a thousands pictures

Flip, Flop Fly, my Solidworks part tipped over

Cover you solid with curves and arcs

Coming up…

What you should know…..Export from Mastercam into Solidworks coming soon~Yep what about the other way around.

3D love for the future of CAD/CAM

We take a lot of pride in what we do and with all this designing, engineering and machining we all know we are keeping the industrial world on its feet. Now the question is can we possible be asked to do more? Go green, Go paperless…..yeah whatever dude. Lets go for something a lot more fun and important.

For our second year we clear our brains from spinning endmills and lofted solids. From last years Orangewood children foundation on the west coast, Check out…
When being a Solidworks and Mastercam user cost you money
To ~Solidworks scholarship inflated~ MATCH School in Boston on the east coast.

The Mission Of: Match Charter Public High School
The MATCH Charter Public School prepares inner-city Boston students to succeed in college and beyond – including those who have no family history of college attendance. Courage, discipline, and perseverance are our core values, and we reverse underachievement through a combination of innovation, relentless personal academic attention, and an old-fashioned “no shortcuts” ethic.
Fact sheet…


Solidworks is involved…
Solidworks have establish an endowment and have contributed to this scholarship fund for the past 3 year.

Solidworks have also sponsored Match school first scholarship recipient in hosting Lut Celestin in her first internship while attending NorthEastern Univ..

Solidworks are also a sponsor of their annual fundraiser dinner which is help to offset the costs of extracurricular activities not covered by their regular funding; such as sports and clubs.

Jeff Ray (CEO of Solidworks) is an active committee member and contributes much of his time to this great school, which most recently added a middle school to extend their reach.

cadcamstuff.com…
As a single parent to 2 young girls I feel blessed that we survived the tough year of 2009. Business are picking up, overtime is on the agenda and having the opportunity to say that my family is joining the Solidworks family in donating to a great organization like Match school makes me proud.
Please consider to join us in this great cause and don’t forget donations are tax deductible ;-)
MATCH School donation site

Mastercam Feature Based Machining for real people.


With Mastercam Feature Based Machining the toolpaths are created using features from the solid, and the operations are automatically generated. This should result less programing time and also give less skilled programmers an advantage.

But does it work? the answer is yes, as long as you are gentle with the selection of parts. When it was first added to the Mastercam toolpath selection it was quickly judged as a incomplete enhancement that further more became a advertising joke when posted on youtube “So easy a 6 year old can do it“.

Now anyone with a little CAM knowledge and common sense, will realize that there is a lot more to programing CAM than throwing toolpaths around. But Mastercam Feature Based Machining menus are geared for easier understanding, and could give you the opportunity to have less skilled people programming rough operations for mold cavities, and prepping baseplates.

A example of a simple part could be a plate with some counterbored holes, tap holes etc.
This plate is modeled up in Solidworks2010, shot thin with holes right out of Solidworks Hole Wizard, and would be a candidate for Feature Based Drilling.

The new tree-style menus in Mastercam is defiantly preferable over the old “tap” style. There have been some discussion on the forums about the order of the tree, and I also believe they need a remodeling. But from a standpoint of ease, well I wish the direction for putting Walmart furniture together was this easy.

The menus for Selecting how to treat the different holes analyzed in the solid are pretty straight forward.

You have plenty control over how you want to entry/exit, material leftover and rough and finish your counterbores.

With settings and parameters set, it is time to let Mastercam grap some of that CPU you got there on your desk. You will see that Mastercam creates operations like if you had done it the “old fashion” way. Folders for the different drilling and circle milling operations, each containing the different tool sizes etc. (17 in this case).

In case of a change it is nice you now have the option to decide if you want to dick into the standard toolpaths parameters or conveniently select the FBM folder at the top of the Operation Tree and get back to the Feature Based Machining menu.

Conclusion
Feature Based Machining should not be forgotten as an option to quickly create less complex toolpaths in our everyday lifes. With these toolpaths options being promoted right along “Mastercam for Solidworks” you must believe that Mastercam is going to do there best in continuous improving them.

Get to the point…with MastercamX4

Creating points in Mastercam can be useful in any design that contains more than a couple of arcs and lines, or as if programming WEDM a necessity. MastercamX4 has some pretty nifty point tools that you might find handy in your daily master creations.
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Point Dynamic…
I’m finding myself having a lot of fun with anything called Dynamic in MastercamX4 :-) Clicking an entity on the screen and the dynamic arrow appears, letting you move the cursor along the entity (spline/line whatever) creating points or even perpendicular lines in relationship with the entity.
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The ribbon bar gives you some different tools such as offset, distance and the “Flip” button that I always have to click a couple of times, just because it is a nice function and kind of fun.
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Important!….Important!…
Important to point out for WEDM people that the thread and cut points are available in the lower attributes drop down box to be used with all the different point tools.
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Segments…
Need a certain amount of point along your entity? from one or the other edge? this would be your tool of selection.
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Endpoints…
A quick way to place endpoints on every entity, even circles…yep everything need a startpoint and endpoint, just like the circle of life.
15
Small Arcs…
You need a max arc size and then all your thread points are conveniently place in the center of your arc ~it is not magic…but almost~, it even let you toggle radius on or off.

And the point is…
That these functions may not rock your daily world, but one day ~And I am pointing at you~ you will use one of these function, because speed is your thing.

Mastercam Post are asking you the questions

Having your post asking you questions as it is processing code, and either using the data to trigger other functions in the post or a little more down to earth as we are going to do today, inputting the programmers name in the post header is an easy way to assure that each program is earmarked with programmers name and not becoming a ghost program no one dare to run or modify.
5

Lets open up our mpmaster with our favorite editor…

1
Insert your personal string…
The post processor can seems a little messy, but there is believe or not some order and I recommend you pick a clean area to add you stuff. The fact that I place mine above the “Error message” is not a coincidence, at anytime I need to find my string I can easily remember to search the keyword “Error” (Yep just one of those silly tricks).
So lets go ahead and insert our line number 539 and 540 string and comment.
2
Question format…
Searching through the post for the “Question format statement” you will see that the mpmaster post is already set up for 2 questions and I am going to insert “fq sprogna” as number 3 with the command asked by the post in between ” “.
3
pheader…
The pheader is where the post processor gets all the different information it inputs in the beginning of our NC code such as file name, program number, date and it is also here we want to throw in our question.
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Where is the answer…
So the question is asked by the post processor, now we need to tell where we want it to stick it in our output, and I picked right underneath “Time”.
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Conclusion…
The Post asking questions is defiantly a fan favorite between programmers at my work place. You could also ask questions like program cycle times and/or information to setup guy about stock pickup etc.
Tweaking your post to eliminate hand editing is most defiantly beneficial to the company in the long run, and adding bells like the post asking questions can only make the whole process more lean.

People will love your Mastercam Post comments

Time to have some code hitting the screen, check out the 3 intros if you missed them; Mastercam Post Processor Intro, Pick your Editor and Post for Mastercam and Post Debugging in MastercamX4.
If you want to make friends, make other peoples life easier. That is exactly what we are going to do today, even with out doing something really scary to our post and our code. Our post is going to translate some miscellaneous codes into our native tongue.
Find coolant on7
Make code easy reading…
There is no doubt that understanding code makes trouble shooting so much easier, and knowing what M09 does makes a better operator. Still you get the operator who’s vocabulary only contains the phrase “The machine did something weird, and I swear I did not do anything”. Adding comments in your post output might not make your operator litteraly learn code, but it might make the comnunication between programmer and operator easier, and even let less skilled operators run 1st piece on simpler parts.
Find coolant on
Find coolant call in post…
With the debug activated from previus post Post Debugging in MastercamX4 Press “Run” under Debug and let the post work itself to the M30. Now left click on the coolant on call “M08″ and notice the Post screen jump to “ptlchg_com”.
Find coolant on2
ptlchg_com…
So we know that our coolant is being activated in this string, we will open our mpmaster post in our editor and search for ptlchg_com.
Notice the line number 1777 this is the actual string, the other ptlchg_com are the post directing to this line. The way you can tell what is the actually string is it is all the way to the left and followed by a # and a comment.
Find coolant on3
*scoolantx…
Reading through ptlchg_com we end up with our M08 being a forced (the * tells us that) output in line (1) 3302. Anything between ” will be posted as is in the output, and anything in ( ) in NC gode will not be activated by the control, so having the post output (2) (COOLANT ON) is only a note, not a function!.
Notice (3) that I put #LARS in the end of my post line, this is simply a note to myself for future reference that I messed with this line. And of course remember to (4) save for this to take effect.
Find coolant on4
Note that coolant is off…
Left click on M09 and the Post window tells us that “pretract” is the string where this code is activated.
Find coolant on5
pretract…
Back to our editor and search for the string pretract, and as you start to scroll through the code, you will get 20 lines or so down…
Find coolant on6
Take care of M09 and M05…
“COOLANT OFF” and “SPINDLE OFF” in the same screen shot how convenient :-) . If you are using the downloaded mpmaster post from InHouse Solution it should be easy to fill in the blanks. Don’t forget to save before exiting out of the editor.
Find coolant on7
I hope this is helpful to you and others on the shop floor, and you could feks. also add other comments such as G43 (LENGTH OFFSET) or M03 (SPINDLE ON). The most important thing is that you are very careful with what you change, because these machines will only do what you tell them, also remember to backup your post before any changes. You might notice that I made all comments in CAPS, it is different from the machines how they like there letters. Haas don’t care but Fanuc will show gibberish.
Next blog post will be about your post processor asking you questions and insert your answer in the post….24 hours or so and it will be here.