Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Quick Tip: Units in Expressions

When creating expressions within the Autodesk CAM products in the toolpath parameters.  Always remember that any decimal value that you put; if it is to be in inches, needs to have the "in" designation after the value.  This is because the product automatically defaults to mm value inputs in the expression dialog.

Friday, September 25, 2015

creating stock from stl file exported from simulation

Last week I showed the capability of exporting an .stl file out of the finished simulation of a job setup within Inventor HSM.  This week what i want to do is go through the steps in converting that from an .stl file into a part that we can actually use for the 2nd setup of a part.

Let's dive in and find out how to do this.

First Step: Run the stock simulation of a job setup that you have created.

With this right click on the simulated part or anywhere inside the graphics view.

Hover over Stock, and select "Save Stock" from the drop down list.  Now, a dialog for saving the file will popup and path it to the location that you want to save the file and change the name to what you want it to be.  For this example, I am going to put it on my desktop and name it CAM Mania Setup 2

Now, comes the fun part of converting the stl file.  In my post last week I posted the link to an app in the Autodesk App Store; and this was for a mesh enabler.  To do this conversion you have to have that app installed in Inventor.  (disclaimer: I believe it is only available to current subscription customers)
With all that said; we need to start a new part file in Inventor.  Here's the catch; if you start an Inch part then the imported stl file is going to blow up to a huge size because it was exported out in MM.
So, when starting a new part file be sure to start one using the metric part template.

Now, on the 3D Model tab of your Ribbon; on the Create panel pick the Import button.

Now, in the dialog that pops up you need to select the stl file that you saved for the stock.  You may have to change the file type to All types or just to STL files.
This will import the stl file into your current part.  Now, it doesn't create any surfaces or bodies at import it is just kind of empty space.  To change that; in the model browser, expand the parent that has the same name as the file that was imported.  This will allow you to see the "Mesh" selection of the feature.

Select the MeshFeature1 and then right click on it.  With the Mesh enabler installed you in that right click menu there is a selection called "Convert to Base Feature"; select this.
On the dialog that pops up go ahead and hit okay.  This dialog is just asking whether you want it to create a surface body or a solid body.  Frankly, I haven't had one yet that creates an actual solid body.  Now, that should have placed a Composite1 Parent in the browser and now there is a Surface Bodies folder with this composite in it.
The last step to this we are going to stitch the composite together so that it creates an actual solid body for us to use.
Still on the 3D Model tab and over in the Surface panel left pick on the Stitch command.

With the Stitch command active select on the surface or the surface in the graphics window.

at the bottom of the dialog hit the apply button and wait for it to convert.  Once it is converted you have a finished solid body that can now be used in an assembly or derived into a part to use it for a second setup and such.
Hope this is a helpful tip!
Happy Programming!

Friday, September 18, 2015

saving out simulated stock in Inventor HSM

Found a pretty awesome trick today within HSM.  And actually this capability is in Fusion and HSMWorks (I have verified this).

How many times have you done a stock simulation?  At the end of that simulation have you ever right clicked in the graphics window?  If you haven't here is a pic of what the right click menu at the end of a simulation looks like.
Notice anything interesting on that list?
look at the bottom of the list.

Now, if you are one of those that wishes they could export the stock out at the end of a simulation; then hang on to your seats!
If I hover over the Stock on the list i get another pop out list that gives me the option to Save Stock.

Now, the only save file type option available is .stl file; now luckily with Inventor (as long as you have a subscription) you have access to a mesh enabler to convert an .stl file into a composite surface then Stitching that composite together to create a solid body.

Next week I will cover how we can go about importing the stl file and the 2 steps it takes to create a solid body.

Here is the link to the mesh enabler addin: http://bit.ly/1W8VCej

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Multiple Setup Simulation

sitting in a hotel room prepping for a training class tomorrow and was looking at stock simulation of toolpaths created in the Autodesk CAM products (primarily Inventor HSM).  A lot of people will ask about continuing stock from previous setups and what not, and one thought that I wanted to pass along was the idea of stock simulating multiple setups.
Depending on the complexity or what have you of the part you are machining (if it derives from a block stock or if you can duplicate the setup and not change the stock just the orientation and stock point).
So, here is what you can do to stock simulate multiple setups.  First, in your part or assembly that you are programming; select all the setups that you have programmed.
Then in the CAM Ribbon; start the simulation command.  with this you will be able to simulate every toolpath and see the actual finished product because it will simulate through all toolpaths without resetting the stock.

Now, once you simulate through all the toolpaths you can turn on part comparison and get a complete comparison of the part to stock.

Hope this is a helpful tip and makes you think about this next time you do a stock simulation.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Interactive Post Processor...

So, recently I was shown the interactive.cps that comes with HSMWorks.  I have to say...this post processor is awesome!  and has tons of potential.
Basically the premise is that the interactive post has the ability to call an external form after you start the post process routine.  And it calls the form before the gcode is actually output.
Now, for one thing that I am doing is setting up a custom setup sheet for excel that when i post process it will call this form and then I just have 3 pieces of information that I am logging on it, but what this form allows you to do is create pulldown lists for selections, checkboxes, radio buttons and text boxes.
here is an example of what this looks like when posting:
Now, the inputs can be customized as I have done and later I am actually going to work this into the quoting post processors that I have been working on.

Even though this only ships with the HSMWorks product it can be used in HSM and Fusion alike.