Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quick Tips: HSMWorks toolpaths tips and tricks

Last week I wrote a quick post about being able to load a toolpath template into a new toolpath and it change to all the settings that were in the toolpath template.  The only thing you had to do was select a tool, and geometry and what not.
This week I posted a short youtube video showing some other tips and tricks that i found that are nice things to have in your back pocket just in case.  In the video we cover options in being able to view the tool while creating the toolpath, doing a compare and edit between the original toolpath parameter values and the current toolpath parameters, and lastly how to export all the parameters into a text document.

Here is the video embedded, but you can also visit my youtube page Link.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Fusion Edit Expression and parameter list

In the latest update over the weekend the ability to right click on an input value in a CAM toolpath and have the selection to edit expression was added.  This basically is to replace the process that I had laid out in the original edit expression post; however you can still use that method this just gives you a second path in which to customize how your fusion toolpaths initially work.
Even with this addition you don't have a complete way to find out what the parameters are that you can drive values from, so below is a short list of the parameters that can be used in the expressions.

Tool Parameters

Heights parameters

Passes parameters

Linking Parameters

Friday, July 24, 2015

Toolpath Templates - loading instead of create...

Quick tip for this Friday!

In all of Autodesk CAM products you are able to store toolpath templates, and then insert them into your setups.  But, what if you are in a toolpath already and realize that you want to use a template that you have stored.  do you really have to cancel out of the operation, and then go through the steps of inserting the toolpath template?  Well, in HSMWorks you don't have to.

Let's say I start a parallel toolpath, and I have some stored in the templates folder.  Hey, I'm going to pull info from the other toolpath template!  So, in the toolpath; right click anywhere on the Property Manager.
then this dialog will show up.
Click on the "Load Template" selection and then a dialog will show up with the templates that you have stored.

I select the Parallel HSMWorks template and hit open!
Now, all the property changes i made that were stored in the template have now been changed in my current toolpath.  The only thing that i have to do is pick the tool and I am good to go!

That is today's quick tip!
Hope it helps and until next time!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Writing expressions in Fusion CAM...

Fusion CAM is the only one out of the 3 that doesn't allow you to "edit expression" yet...or does it?

If you wanted to create an expression in an input variable on a toolpath; you can do this inside of Fusion CAM right now even without the right click option menu.

So, let's look at a toolpath and see how we can do this.

In Fusion, I pull up a basic 2.5 axis milling part that is programmed.  Now, I want to go in and edit my 2D Adaptive operation, and what we are going to look at is the optimal load value on the passes tab.

Now, with Optimal Load calculation I know that by default it is set to 40% of tool diameter, but what if I wanted to change this load calculation?
In working with the other programs I know that the parameters are the same throughout for how you can pull information from other variables.  So, with that if I am wanting to create and expression based on the tool diameter I know that the parameter name is tool_diameter.
In the optimal load input I am going to enter in: tool_diameter * .75.  I am effectively changing my calculation to be 75% of the tool diameter for my load.

Once I hit enter on the expression I can now come back and right click on that input and select make default.
Now, after I click okay, any time i create an Adaptive operation it will automatically default to this new expression, but you will only see the value rather than the equation.

This was a quick tip, so if you are interested I will create another post later listing some common parameter names that may be used in the expressions so you can customize away.

Hope this was a helpful tip!

And until next time...Have fun programming!

Entry position of tool in toolpath...

So, one question I get quite a bit is how to change the actual entry position of the toolpath to a certain edge or point.  Well, today's tip is going to show you how this is done (and that it is available in all 3 versions of Autodesk CAM.

So, for this I am going to show it in Inventor HSM (but remember that this feature is available in HSMWorks and Fusion 360 CAM.

With our part open I am going to highlight a 2d contour toolpath and you can see that the entry position defaults to start of the straight wall on the part. (see pic below)
Now, I want to move that entry position to be tangent to the larger diameter and on the edge that has the least amount of material being removed (see yellow arrow in pic).

To do this I am going to right click on my 2d contour toolpath and select edit.  Next, I am going to the linking tab of the toolpath and down at the bottom is a selection called Entry Position.
Select the Arrow button by Entry Positions and then select a point on the arc of the outer diameter.

Once selected you will then see a green dot appear at location that you selected.
Now, go ahead and click "OK" on the toolpath to generate with the new entry position selection.
This is what will now generate.

Now you can see that the entry position has now shifted to the point that i had selected.

Hopefully you find this tip helpful in your ventures of programming.

Until next!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Using DriveWorks and HSMWorks to automate parts and text...

This is a follow up of my post from yesterday.  I created a video showing some of the building of the driveworks functionality.
I also show the use of DriveWorks with Text on the part as well, and having a preprogrammed tracing toolpath.  Some pretty cool stuff.
Hope some of this is helpful.

Monday, July 13, 2015

DriveWorks and HSMWorks...

So, we know that in Inventor we can use ilogic to create some automated parts and assemblies to quickly and easily modify them, but in SolidWorks we have what is called DriveWorks.
Now, the standard DriveWorks that comes with SolidWorks is the Express version that is free.  now this is not as powerful as ilogic, but it will still do the trick to help us speed design changes or creation of parts for customers that just want little tweaks from a standard part.

So, in this I am not going to walk through the whole process (mainly because this would be one long post if I did).  But, I will show phases of it, and I will also be creating a video of me doing this as well.

Here we go!
I have a model with 2 solid bodies (i know you have probably seen this part before).  1 represents the finished product and the other represents the stock.  Now, the stock is driven by the dimensions of the finished part so you won't have to worry about the stock being wrong.

On the Evaluate Tab in SolidWorks you will find the DriveWorksXpress Wizard.  Click on this to get it going.  So, i went through and created the new database, and am to the point where I am capturing dimensions and features that are needed to drive this part.
Once I have the dimensions captured that I need the next step is to create the inputs that will define the form that is filled out.

The last thing to do is to build the rules that are going to drive the part.  So, in this case I am going to have all the inputs driving my dimensions so it is pretty easy working this one out.
the only other rule that you have to build is the naming of the part.  For this I just had it driven by the customer name which is one of the input values.
Now, I have a functional DriveWorks Build, but we are looking at the HSMWorks aspect as well.
So, in my CAMManager tab you can see that i have toolpaths already programmed for this part.  And the setup is setup to read the part and the stock solid that i built as well within the part.
Now, I can run my DriveWorks Form and see what happens.

Once I hit the create button you will see that the part has now been created with the new name and you can see in the image below that the toolpaths are still there and are now needing to be regenerated do to the changes in the model.
And now all I have to do is regenerate the toolpaths, post it out and I am good to go.

Later this week I will post another one regarding text and Driveworks with HSMWorks.
Hope you enjoyed this and helps to inspire some new creativeness.

Happy Programming!

Friday, July 10, 2015

HSMWorks and DriveWorks...Stay Tuned...

If you are a user of SolidWorks then you have the ability to do some automation with DriveWorks in your HSMWorks software.
Driveworks is a good tool to be able to automate the build of parts through dimensions driving your part files or assemblies.  But, what about it aiding you not only in part creation but with your toolpaths on those parts as well.  Well, stay tuned next week when i show how to use driveworks and its affect with HSMWorks!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How to create a 2nd Solid Body in a Part...Part 1

I am going to start a series that shows how to create a 2nd Solid Body in all 3 pieces of software because this is something that people don't take advantage of when using the different CAD softwares because some don't know how to do it and don't realize that you can define your own stock solid.

So, let's get started.

The first program we are going to look at is Inventor; and we are going to look at a part that I have modeled and then we will create a solid to represent a stock solid.

First, I have my model.

Now what I want to do is create a sketch on the XY plane; so, to do this i will go to my model browser and right click on the xy plane and select "New Sketch".

So, now it will start the sketch on the XY plane, and I am going to create a two point center rectangle and snap the center to the 0,0 point of the part.  Then i will place fillets on all 4 with a 3/4" fillet.
In the pic below you can see the sketch that i created.

So, once I have this sketch I can now create an extrusion feature.
Now, in this feature you will want to be sure to specify an Asymmetric extrusion because we are extruding a distance above the part and a distance below.  Keep in mind this may not always be the case, but in this scenario that is what we are doing because I am going to place the lower portion in a vise to mill on.
Then lastly you want to click on the "New Solid" button which is below the join, cut, and intersect selections.

Once you have your extrusion distances defined just click okay and there you have a second solid body to use as your stock selection.

Hopefully this is helpful and remember this can be utilized whenever you are milling a part that has stock that may have gone through a waterjet process or some other cutting process prior to machining.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Quick Tip: Changing Default Setup Sheet...

Quick Tip of the day is in HSMWorks for SolidWorks.
With HSMWorks you can easily change defaults to meet your requirements, but what about that Setup Sheet button on the CAM Ribbon?

We know that it defaults to an HTML document for the setup sheet, but what if you want to change it to default to the excel sheet processor?
Well, here is the Tip; you can change this too.
On your CAM Manager Browser; right click in the empty grey space.  Then go down to the Options and hover until it expands and then the first option is to Select Default Setup Sheet.
Pick on that selection and then a dialog box will launch to the post processors and then select the setup sheet that you want as your default.  below are images showing the steps and the 3 selections for setup sheets.

Hope this is a helpful tip!  

Happy Programming!