Time to strengthen up your CNC toolkit. SOLIDWORKS 2016 is here for the design. To make it better, here is HSMWorks 2016 for manufacturing.
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: http://cam.autodesk.com/download/hsmworks/
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.
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.
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!
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.