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Autodesk releasing HSMWorks 2016 for SOLIDWORKS

Time to strengthen up your CNC toolkit. SOLIDWORKS 2016 is here for the design. To make it better, here is HSMWorks 2016 for manufacturing.
HSMWorks 2016

The standard for CAM companies is one major release a year. But, the Autodesk CAM development team sends updates out all the time; One of my favorite things. Making technology available when ready for users, and not some big one-year marketing release.
To see the long list and version history, go here:

The new functions within HSMWorks 2016 is right in my alley of Getting-Things-Done. Technology is great but in the end of the day it is about making good quality parts…faster.

Adaptive Shaft and Holder Clearance:
Calling it “Roughing Strategy” is not a fit for me. Adaptive clearing is so much more than just toolpaths that remove a lot of material quick. It is using a constant load on your cutter that can defeat the worries of breaking and chipping cutters.
The new Shaft and Holder Clearance secures the tool holder stays away from the work piece. Now you can use the shortest and rigid tooling without worrying.

You should chamfer as much as you can in your CNC machine, it is faster and will make your parts looking great.
The new 2D Chamfer function is one of those tools that you might use more than any other operation. Not only is it the HSMWorks ease-of-use, it looks ahead and trims toolpath that would gauge your part.
Just a note: If you have never gauged a part when chamfering — You’re either already using HSMWorks 2016 or just don’t chamfer enough.

Engraving has been a terrible experience in many CAM programs for too long. Pulling your hair out over some simple font on wood or metal.
HSMWorks 2016 has push standard engraving a step ahead of others with the new 2D Engraving. No more replacing the designers text with “stick” font or trim toolpaths. You can simply pick the text on your model, and with the variable depth cutting, end with the perfect result.

Work Coordinate System:
This has to be a user favorite. The everyday trouble of dealing with what plane/direction the designer uses to create the 3D model is gone. For CNC programmers things are pretty much set in stone out at the machine; the Z axis is the Z axis.
The new setup control “ Z-Axis and X-Axis” within the Job Setup has replaced the need for using the SOLIDWORKS coordinate system to set directions. Just try it; it’s brilliantly fast and easy.

Silhouette feature:
This is not new, as it was in the development release back in August. But, the function is so helpful that it need to be part of this write up.
Taking a complex shape and create a simple 2D boundary sketch that will let you create toolpaths fast. I bet this function could become a lifesaver some day.

CAD Tip: What you need to know about IGES and STEP files

Two CAD Tips this week! One might be the best tip I ever share; Round tripping your CAD files for better import!
Also sharing some background information on IGES and STEP files I think you will totally love.
Let me know what you think. Love your feedback!

CAD Tip: Model with All Features!

Great tip from @robcohee from twitter: Model the same part using different techniques. Extrude, Revolve, Sweep and Loft.
Let me know what you think. Love your feedback!

Autodesk’s HSM: Easy to use, Powerful & Free!

There is a CAM product that is easy to use. Making the move from programming your CNC machine by hand, or struggling with a CAM program that is difficult to use should not be a hard decision.
Autodesk’s HSM runs inside SolidWorks and Inventor; giving you the best CAD/CAM, and you will like that the standard 2.5 version is FREE!

Autodesk HSM

If you are already familiar with powerful CAD, the integrated CAM is going to shorten the learning curve dramatically. Many CNC Programmers are having a hard time getting code to the shop floor fast. With HSM’s ease-of-use, you will find that creating good code for your machine can be done faster, even on your first part.

Ever had to re-program a part because you did not trust old files? Don’t burn time and money this way. Working within the best CAD and CAM environment helps to keep your data organized. Having all your CAD and CAM data stored in one file has a huge benefit. There is less data to keep track of, and when you CAD file changes, your CAM toolpaths just updates. You do not have to re-program your part every time there is a design change.

Are you looking for growth and new customers? You can’t tell your customers what software to use, and you do not have to. Both Inventor and SolidWorks comes with the best importing tools, letting you convert IGES, STEP, Parasolid and another dozen types. Not only will you have great CAD tools for part, fixture and work holding designs, you might also experience getting the order just because names like SolidWorks and Inventor will tell your customers that you are on the cutting edge.

So when looking for a CAM product that is easy to use, FREE and runs inside Inventor and SolidWorks, you just need to click here

Autodesk Releasing HSMWorks 2015 R3

HSMW BAC 2_5_1
The Autodesk CAM development team has released HSMWorks 2015 R3. This release is adding up all the deleopment builds since the R2 release back in march. Counting over 50 new features, improvements and fixes.

Some examples include continued improvements to the free post directory, including a CAMplete APT and post for my new favorite Haas UMC-750. Also, rest machining has improved for both Milling and Turning. Further, there are new Simulation updates, making sure you can see what is going to happen before hitting Cycle Start.

Looking for a toolpath of a racecar? They have also worked hard on updates for Adaptive Clearing, a toolpath strategy you could never live without. This is the stuff that fills your CNC machinist heart with love.

One highlight is the Silhouette Feature. Check out this short video from Product Manager, Al Whatmough:

Getting the latest version is easy, just go here: HSMWorks 2015 R3
Now go update and create!

CAD Tip: Do you have a CAD Modeling Style? Should you?

Do you always model up you 3D models the same way? Should you use different styles? I use Revolve, High Roller Stacking and my favorite manufacturing style all the time.
What do you use?

Link to Video

Learn HSMWorks Faster with Bite-size Tutorials

Learning new software can be confusing and frustrating, but I think you will find HSMWorks the easiest CAM you will ever use. Installing the software and get up and running takes minutes, and you will find yourself ready to program your first part in no time.
If you don’t have HSMWorks, download your free CAM for SolidWorks here

This series shows the short, bite-sized “how” on learning HSMWorks. These videos are broken down into individual toolpaths and will not cost you more than 3-5 minutes of your time. Subscribe to this YouTube playlist as this short series will grow into a long list of “how”-type tutorials.




CAD Tip: Where do you locate your CAD Origin?

If ever taken a CAD class; you normally get told that your first sketch geometry should be connected with the origin. This results that the origin many times gets located in a corner. Is there a better way?

Link to video…

CAD Tip: Start your CAD Design the right way

For some reason we have no patience with getting lines and arcs created on our CAD system. Many times resulting in going down the wrong path with our design. Resulting in recreating way to many things. This week’s tip is to slow down and maybe make sure you think through a few questions before drawing your first lines.

YouTube Link

Podcast Episode 10 – Quick & Dirty Tip, A National Test for Manufacturing & CAD News

Listen to the Podcast!
Quick & Dirty Tip, A National Test for Manufacturing… & CAD News!

Show notes:
20 Google search tips
How good are your CAM skills? A National Test will find out
Welcome the AutodeskAEC podcast channel
Lawsuit against 3D Systems
Lawsuit against Makerbot
Makerbot at Sams Club
Autodesk’s update/upgrade to Fusion360
SolidWorks 2015 Service Pack 4.0 is available.
CAMWorks 2015 for Solid Edge ST8 is available.

Other news that did not make it:
Why the apple watch is flopping
How does a driverless car see the road
Here’s how the internet has almost run out of space
In-house manufacturing of the machined direct-drive drum pedal