Friday, October 23, 2015

Quicker way of creating a tool library

So, one thing i hear a lot is there a way to create a tool library faster?  My typical response is "no".  Typically you go through and create the tools for a specific material type they are going to be cutting, and then once you create that library you can export it and work with it in excel to modify for other material types.

One tool that i am working on right now is an excel form that would quicken this process for the initial library construction.
you will be able to fill out the general information in an excel sheet and at the click of a button it will start building a library with the information you give.
It is basically a template file that you can use to build the initial library with and then use as needed for other libraries.

the tool type, tool units, tool material and rotation direction are drop down menus in cell, and the rest is fill in the blank.  If you have a tapered shaft it will automatically build that information into the library template with the information you can see under the tool units info.  There is logic built in that says if the Larger diameter is greater than the smaller then it fills in the proper column with the string construction that will read into the library.

That is just a small insight into this tool.  If you like what you see and are interested in it or even have comments; I would love to hear some feedback.

Once it is completed I will make it accessible on the tool libraries page for download.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Building Tool libraries that you can access for HSMWorks and HSM...

I have recently started working with some guys from Mitsubishi Materials and their cutting tools.  I am building some tool libraries containing their tools and as I get them built will make them available on the Tool Libraries page that is now on the main page of my blog.

The first round of them will be available today and this library contains their Micro MVS drills that are through coolant and range in size from 1mm diameter to 2.9mm diameter.

Again, at the top of the home page of there is a horizontal bar that shows the 2 pages (Home & Tool Libraries).

Friday, October 9, 2015

Stock Save and Conversion in Fusion 360

Okay, so this post is for you fusion users who would want to save stock out and use it in a part and have it as a stock option.  or to just load it during a simulation of different operations.

So, select a CAM setup and run it through the whole simulation.  Once done right click in the graphics view, and at the bottom you will see Stock.  Hover over that and then select the Save Stock option.

It saves it as an STL file so you will have to do some modifications to it, but we will get to that in a minute.
Save it to a location that is easy to get to and make sure to remember the name.

Now, that you have it saved you can use the .stl file in other simulations by reloading it.
this can be done by right clicking in the simulation graphics window and hovering over Stock and selecting "Load Stock".

We now have an .stl file of our saved stock now what?
If you try to import it right now to Fusion you won't be able to do anything with it because it has too many vertices and triangles in the mesh.  So, now what?
Have you ever heard of Meshmixer?  It is a free software from Autodesk.

Download and install this program and then move on to the rest of the post.
Once you have the program open pick the import button in the main screen.  Then path to the .stl file that you saved out of your stock.
When the import is done hit Ctrl+A, to select the object.

Once selected and you get the menu on the left; hover over "Edit" and pick on Reduce.

Now, the fun part change the percentage to around 80%; then pick on accept and instantly go from 15K+ vertices to a little over 3,000.  We can now save and export this object out as an object file.
To do this go to File -> Export
path to where you want to store it for uploading to Fusion.

Now, go into Fusion and upload the object file that you just saved out.  Once uploaded open it up in Fusion.  When you first open up the imported object file you will notice that it imports as a mesh body.  To convert it to an actual solid that can be used expand the bodies folder and right click on the mesh body.
In the menu you will find an option called "Mesh to BRep".  Left pick on that option and then on the dialog that pops up hit okay and poof!  you have a new solid body.

This solid body is like all the rest you can sketch on it and create features if needed and such.

have fun playing around with this!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Component Pattern in Inventor HSM

In one of the last builds of Inventor HSM the developers add the awesome capability of performing a pattern of toolpaths based on parts in an assembly.
If you typically create assemblies of pallets full of parts or even multiple vises, and the parts on said pallets or vises are named the same then Component pattern is a great tool to use to help place all toolpaths from one part onto the other parts.

Now, keep in mind that when you use component pattern, if you really on each part being a different workoffset value then this won't do that.  Each part will be under the G54 or whichever offset number you give it.  and all locations will derive directly from the 0,0,0 point of your job setup.

Component Pattern is also only available when you are in an assembly.  Here is how you can go about creating a component pattern.
First select the toolpaths that you would like to have patterned.

Once selected, right click on one of the selected operations and then go down the list until you find "Add to New Pattern" and pick on that option.

Once in the pattern operation, pick on the pulldown list for pattern type and select the component pattern option.

With that pattern type selected you will see the options update within the pattern operation to a couple selection buttons.  The "Source" selection should be active, so all you have to do is select the part that you are wanting the toolpaths to be patterned to.  What this is doing is finding all parts in the assembly with the same name and applying those toolpaths to it.

Hopefully this is a helpful tip for those of you that use pallets or vises and such in your milling machines.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Add Network folder location for Tool Libraries

We know that with Fusion you basically have a networked tool library (in some form or fashion), but what about users in Inventor HSM and HSMWorks?  Do they have the option to create a networked library folder?  The answer is yes; you do have the ability to have a networked library folder.
When in the tool library dialog; on the left hand side that shows the tool folders.  Right click in the empty space and you should see an option pop up like in the image below.

Click on the add Library Folder, and a browse for folder dialog will pop open.  path to the network location that you want to store your tool library and create a folder if needed.

So, for this example I created a folder called "Tool Library" in my Documents folder.

Now, that creates a new location in which i can create tool libraries.  Now, this same thing needs to be done on the other users computers to where this path is setup in their tool library.  This time you won't have to create a folder; just select the one that you already created.
Now, once you do that if you have added any tool libraries or tools into that location then once you link that folder into another users Library then they will automatically see those tools populate inside their library.

Also, if a user is in the library while you are creating a tool and they need to see it.  They can either close the tool library and reopen it; or they can right click on the tool folder and select reload.

Hope this is a helpful tip for you guys out there, and keep in mind this is good for both HSMWorks and Inventor HSM.