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Jul
20
Tech Tuesday: 4 Axis Milling
Posted by Steven Soehl on 20 July 2021 07:48 PM

Tech Tuesday is a weekly blog that addresses some of the most common questions and concerns that I hear throughout the previous week from users of BobCAD’s CNC software. Both customers and future customers are more than welcome to leave a comment on what they would like to see covered for the following Tech Tuesday.

 

CAM software that helps job shop manufacture and program 4 axis jobs faster.

Ask yourself what can I program in 30 mins or less?

Keep reading this week’s Tech Tuesday to learn about 4 Axis tips that shave off programming time, cycle time or both!

Top 4 axis CAM software features that simply speed things up.

#1 – Probing

Speed things up by using a probe. If you’re machine has this option, use it! Incorporating probing cycles as part of your before, during or after cutting is one of the fastest ways to increase shop production. Touch off tools, pickup workoffsets, or inspect part features, use CAM software to program probing cycles adds simulation for visually checking probe motion, but also enables geometry selection to drive your probing cycles.

Mill 4 Axis Probing

 

#2 – Avoid Fixture Geometry

Fixture definitions go further than just simulation, use your fixture geometry as avoidance surfaces to eliminate unwanted toolpath creation. Program shorter cycle times by automatically avoiding fixtures when creating 3D toolpath.

Use fixture geometry in Mill 4 axis as avoidance surfaces to eliminate unwanted toolpath creation

 

#3 – Better Target Material

Use operation stock to define 3D boundaries for most of the mill professional toolpath operations. Create and select a 3D model as your stock or choose an STL exported from simulation. Operation stock is used to limit toolpath, allowing users to define “in 3D” what stock material to target during roughing, semi finishing or finishing operations.

BobCAD-CAM's 4 Axis Milling allows users to define “in 3D” what stock material to target during roughing, semi finishing or finishing operations

 

#4 – Cross Drilling

This 4 axis specific drilling operation uses the center of rotation to as an intersection limit to automate hole selection. Select your workpiece and let BobCAD find and program the holes on centerline. This drilling feature really speeds up 4 axis drilling.

The drilling feature found in BobCAD-CAM's  speeds up 4 Axis drilling

 

#5 Indexing

Clock your workpiece to “Align your Z axis” using index systems. Select reference geometry or pick a UCS (user coordinate system ) as the index location. Machining features child to an index system are normal to that index system. Allowing users to define one index position, and load multiple machining operations without having to define the index position for each and every operation.

Milling 4 Axis Indexing

 

#6 Wrapping Groups

Fast programming for profiles, pockets, holes, text features found on a diameter. Wrapping groups use axis substitution to “covert” standard 2 and 3 axis machining features to 4 axis code. Insert a wrapping group in the CAM tree and define the desired wrapped diameter.

Wrapping groups use axis substitution to “covert” standard 2 and 3 axis machining features to 4 axis code

 

#7 Toolpath Patterns

Make copies of your toolpath using toolpath patterns. Allowing users to program a machining feature(s) and make a pattern for the rest. Using BobCAD’s 3D rotate toolpath patterns users can make copies of their toolpath in multiple locations based on their pattern input. Toolpath patterns are limited to a single work offset, it’s the fast way to duplicate machining features.

BobCAD 4 Axis Milling Allows you to make copies of your toolpath using toolpath patterns

 

#8 Hole Recognition

Find and machine holes faster using Hole Recognition and the knowledge base that drive decision making for tools, settings, and operations. Drill Holes even faster but defining index systems in multiple locations, Hole Recognition will find and program hole features for every index system. This also works for multiple work offsets.

Find and machine holes faster using Hole Recognition

 
You bolted on a 4th Axis to your CNC mill to speed up production, yet why aren’t using it as much as you thought you would? Before you purchased your 4th axis, you were likely thinking of one or more production bottle necks.
 

Reduce part handling

Using my 4th axis, I can reduce setups. Instead of having to move the part around , I could use my 4th axis and index the part to position.

Produce more parts in a single setup

Using my 4th axis, I can build a custom fixture to hold more parts at a single time. Not only am I reducing part handing, I can program more parts at a time.

Using any one or combination of the features above will allow you to reduce part handling, reduce programming time and increase part processing.
 
Learn how to use the above features and much more with BobCAD’s live weekly training events. Click here for our training events schedule. Sign up and skill up with BobCAD!
 
Try BobCAD-CAM V33 today!


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Jul
15

In the BobCAD-CAM system when using the multi-axis features your machine must be properly defined. The calculations that must be performed for proper G-Code creation depends on an accurate definition of your machine’s kinematics. This document covers how to find the center of rotation for a 5-axis Table-Table machine with a tilt rotary unit so the machine parameters can be correctly defined.

There is a simple test you can use to find the necessary values and we will walk you through this process here in this document.

Overview of the required steps:

  • Locate 2 point locations on the rotary platter in 2 orientations of the tilt/rotary unit 90 degrees apart.
  • Using the CAD system, draw the 4 points and create the geometry that will show the center of rotation.

 

Step 1 –Locate the X Axis and Z Axis Positions of the 1st Point (P1)

The 1st point we need to locate is at the center of the face of the rotary platter. The following image shows the location of the point we are looking for.

Important Note: This document shows a tilt/rotary unit that when at Zero-Zero (both rotation angles at zero), location has the tilting axis sitting where the rotary is aligned to rotate around the X axis. If your zeroing your assembly at a different location, simply apply what you see here to your orientation.

To find this location on your machine, use a tool to touch the face of the platter to find your X axis component. Use the bottom of the tool to touch off the edge of the rotary platter then account for the radius of the platter to get the point at the center. We will call this P1

Locate the X Axis and Z Axis Positions of the 1stPoint

Note the X axis and Z axis positions of this point. (X, Z).

 

Step 2 – Locate the X Axis and Z Axis Positions of the 2nd Point(P2)

To find the 2nd point leave the tilting axis in the same position and locate the edge of the rotary platter making sure to stay in the same Y axis planeand X axis planeas shown in the following image. The Z coordinate should be the only difference.

find the 2nd point leave the tilting axis in the same position

Note the X axis and Z axis positions of this point. (X, Z).

 

Step 3 – Locate the X Axis and Z Axis Positions of the 3rd Point(P3)

To find the 3rd point you need to rotate the tilting axis to a position that will hold the rotary platter,so it is facingthe Z axis of the machine tool. The following image shows the location we are looking for.

find the 3rd point you need to rotate the tilting axis to a position that will hold the rotary platter

 

Step 4 – Locate the X Axis and Z Axis Positions of the 4th Point(P4)

Find the edge of the platter in the X+ direction so you are finding the same platter location as in Step 2 but now in this rotated position as shown in the image below.

find the 2nd point leave the tilting axis in the same position

Note the X axis and Z axis positions of this point. (X, Z).

 

Step 5 – Use the CAD system to find the center of rotation

Create 2 lines using the following point locations in the CAD system.
Line 1 –Use point P1 and point P3
Line 2 –Use point P2 and Point P4

These points represent the same two locations on your tilt rotary unit when the unit is in the two different positions. The following image shows an example of these points from a FRONT view. Your point locations will vary.

 Use the CAD system to find the center of rotation

 

Next we need to create lines that are perpendicular from these two entities at their midpoint. The lines should extend in the direction of the center of rotation.

create lines that are perpendicular from these two entities at their midpoint

 

Use the Trim Two option to trim the two perpendicular lines to each other. The intersection point of these two lines is the center of rotation. The following image shows the result of these steps.

Use the Trim Two option to trim the two perpendicular lines to each other

 

You can now measure the X dimension and Z dimension from a known point. In this example we have taken measurements from point P1 to the center of rotation.
Center X:________
Center Y:________

Try BobCAD-CAM V33 today!
 
BobCAD-CAM has provided CAD-CAM CNC Software products to the global manufacturing industry for over 30 years. BobCAD-CAM software can be found to increase CNC productivity for many applications in aerospace, automotive, production manufacturing, mold making, general machining, woodworking as well as the medical manufacturing industry, consumer products, musical instruments, custom fabrication, defense industry and many others due to the products ability to automatically generate NC programming code for such a wide variety of CNC controllers. BobCAD-CAM software is also found in educational institutions throughout the world as well as independent hobby home use. Products include machining technology for 2, 3, 4 & 5 Axis CNC Milling, Routing, Waterjet, Plasma and Laser machines as well as 2 Axis CNC Lathe. BobCAD-CAM is modular allowing shops to start off at a reduced technology level and add technology as it is needed including an add-on, BobART, for artistic machining. Unique technology includes adaptive high-speed machining multiaxis milling and routing which is a first in the world of CAD-CAM software. BobCAD-CAM also provides a variety of quality training products that include regional and online training classes or private sessions tailored to specific applications. Professional certification and multi-tiered support solutions are available. Contact BobCAD-CAM directly for more information at 877-262-2231 or 727-442-3554


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Jul
13
Tech Tuesday: Advanced Roughing
Posted by Al DePoalo on 13 July 2021 09:10 AM

Tech Tuesday is a weekly blog that addresses some of the most common questions and concerns that I hear throughout the previous week from users of BobCAD’s CNC software. Both customers and future customers are more than welcome to leave a comment on what they would like to see covered for the following Tech Tuesday.

 

CAD CAM Software Make CNC Programming Easier

Shops of all sizes are pushed to setup jobs faster, rough stock quicker, and do it in less time.
 
How can CNC Software help you reduce setup times, and program faster? Keep reading this week’s Tech Tuesdays to learn about features you can start using today for faster tomorrow.
 

CAM Tree Templates

Save your CAM Tree for future jobs
 

CAM Tree Template

 
CAM Tree Templates allows users to save a previous job’s CAM Tree and use on future projects. Huge time saver for those shops that standardize their workflow. Capture and reuse settings like, stock setup, zero position, tools, Machining Features, operations, and settings is made easy with CAM Tree Templates.
 

Optimize Your Setup

Change Jobs Faster
 
Where possible, using a standard setup reduces time. There is no one size fits all, but where you can standardize working holding, you’ll get an instant productivity boost.
 

Change Jobs Faster

 
Subplate fixtures, zero point work holding, modular work holding systems and other quick change setups provide the much needed flexibility that helps to get parts out the door faster! Reduce the guesswork and standardize your setup.
 
A standardized setup could be as simple as always establishing a standard work offset location, to the type of jaws you use. Creating consistency in your process is the goal to achieve streamline workflows.
 

Probing

Automate for efficiency
 

Probing Automate for efficiency

 
One of the most popular options for new cnc machines purchases is a probe setup. Automating touching off tools, picking up your work offset, adjusting tool offsets, and inspecting parts are some of the power play moves cnc probing brings to the table. If your machine has a probe, use it, if it doesn’t get one and use it! CAM software makes programming cnc probes easier, the same way it makes creating g-code easier. Speed things up by using your geometry to drive probing cycles.
 

Advanced Roughing

Your go to roughing strategy for 3D models
 

Advanced Roughing go to roughing strategy for 3D models

 
What makes Advanced roughing such a powerful toolpath operation? Not all toolpaths are created equal, nor do they all recognize stock. Many of BobCAD Mill Professional toolpath operations are stock aware, which is a huge benefit, especially when roughing. Using the defined stock geometry and the selected workpiece, users can speed up part programming by automatically targeting where the material is.
 
Want to eliminate toolpath that requires plunge moves?
 
Entry
 
BobCAD’s Advanced Roughing operation has toolpath features that simply make programming easier. Using the leads entry settings users can uncheck center cutting tool. This option will eliminate toolpath created in locations that requires the tool to plunge into stock requiring a center cutting tool.
 

Advanced Roughing operation has toolpath features that simply make programming easier

 
Automatic toolpaths like Advanced Roughing streamlines workflows by reducing geometry perpetration typically needed to target stock, like creating boundaries or “capping surfaces” to avoid tools plunging into part features.
 

Target Flatlands

 
If you model has multiple level “shoulders” how can you ensure they are targeted during the roughing process?
 
Machine Flatlands
 
With this option turned on, additional toolpath will be created on the flat areas of your parts.

Additional toolpath will be created on the flat areas of your parts

 

High Speed Machining

Increase throughput with faster cutting feeds.
 
This widely adopted toolpath technology is designed to speed up tool motion, one way it accomplish this is by trochoidal toolpath motion (smooth toolpath transitions) controlling tool engagement. How else can CAM software help speed things up.
 
Adaptive Clearance
 
Use the links adaptive clearance settings to reduce or eliminate tool up /down retracts for reposition Using the retrack threshold you can force the tool to reposition while keeping the tool down, verse having a clearance move.
 

Fixture Selection and Avoidance

Avoid fixtures without using boundaries.
 
Holding your stock and avoiding clamps / fixtures is made a much easier process when using advanced allowance.
 
Allowance
 
Using advanced allowance, you can select part features you want to leave custom amounts on stock on, or avoid all together. Part geometry selection is used to leave additional stock, and Fixture geometry selection is used to avoid. Use the check box for use setup fixture to avoid your CAM Tree selected fixture.
 
Fixture Geometry
 
Try Advanced Roughing in BobCAD-CAM V33 today!
 
BobCAD-CAM has provided CAD-CAM CNC Software products to the global manufacturing industry for over 30 years. BobCAD-CAM software can be found to increase CNC productivity for many applications in aerospace, automotive, production manufacturing, mold making, general machining, woodworking as well as the medical manufacturing industry, consumer products, musical instruments, custom fabrication, defense industry and many others due to the products ability to automatically generate NC programming code for such a wide variety of CNC controllers. BobCAD-CAM software is also found in educational institutions throughout the world as well as independent hobby home use. Products include machining technology for 2, 3, 4 & 5 Axis CNC Milling, Routing, Waterjet, Plasma and Laser machines as well as 2 Axis CNC Lathe. BobCAD-CAM is modular allowing shops to start off at a reduced technology level and add technology as it is needed including an add-on, BobART, for artistic machining. Unique technology includes adaptive high-speed machining multiaxis milling and routing which is a first in the world of CAD-CAM software. BobCAD-CAM also provides a variety of quality training products that include regional and online training classes or private sessions tailored to specific applications. Professional certification and multi-tiered support solutions are available. Contact BobCAD-CAM directly for more information at 877-262-2231 or 727-442-3554


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Jun
29
Tech Tuesday: CAM Libraries
Posted by Steven Soehl on 29 June 2021 08:48 AM

Tech Tuesday is a weekly blog that addresses some of the most common questions and concerns that I hear throughout the previous week from users of BobCAD’s CNC software. Both customers and future customers are more than welcome to leave a comment on what they would like to see covered for the following Tech Tuesday.

 

CAM Libraries

BobCAD-CAM has CAM libraries for every facet of your milling and turning parameters. Our CAM libraries aid the everyday machinist by storing and providing quick access to programming critical data. Create new, edit and call from the Tool, Holder, Adapter, Thread or Material libraries.
 

CAM libraries found on BobCAD-CAM's CAM software aid the everyday machinist by storing and providing quick access to programming critical data

 

The Tool Library

The Tool Library contains all of the available system tools based on the main categories Drill, Mill, Lathe, Laser, Plasma, and Waterjet. This dialog box is used to add, delete, and modify tools. You can also load tool information from a previously saved file. On the left side of the dialog box is a list of the supported tool types. The right side contains the tool parameters list for each tool.
 

The Tool Holder Library

The Milling Tool Holder Library is used to create and modify tool holders and arbors. Each category on the left specifies a tool holder type, and each arbor that belongs in that category is shown on the right. The holders/arbors can be associated with a tool for simulation purposes.
 

The Adapter Library

The Adapter Library is used to define all adapters that are available in the system for mounting lathe or mill tools (live tooling) to the turret of a mill turn machine (or lathe with live tooling).
 
Adapter Library is used to define all adapters that are available in the system
 
The definition of an adapter in BobCAD-CAM is a device that is used to mount either lathe or mill tools to the lathe turret of a mill-turn machine. The adapter is attached to a turret station and one or more tools are attached to the adapter. An adapter may also be called the tool holder or tool mounting block (also known as VDI or BMT tooling). Adapters can hold one or more tools in one or more orientations on the physical machine. Each adapter either holds static lathe tools or it is used to drive live (mill) tools.
 

Thread Library

The Thread Library contains all of the available system tap thread sizes. This dialog box is used to add or modify the tap thread parameters. You can create new tap groups to define a custom set of threads or the thread sizes that you most frequently use. This help topic explains the layout and use of the Thread Library dialog box.
 

Stock Material Library

The Stock Material Library contains all of the information for the available stock materials. You can create and modify the Material Groups which contain multiple Material Types. Material Types can also be created, modified, and added to the Material List. The Material List groups the materials by grade and lists them in alphabetical order.
 
The feeds and speeds for each Material Type are fully adjustable, and these parameters are set in the Stock Material Feeds and Speeds dialog box which is displayed when you click Add Material or Modify Material in the Stock Material Library dialog box.
 
All jobs contain a Stock Material item in the tree that defines the stock material from which the part is cut. The selected material type is used for automatic feeds and speeds calculations in the CAM Wizards.
 
Try CAM Libraries options in BobCAD-CAM V33 today!
 
BobCAD-CAM has provided CAD-CAM CNC Software products to the global manufacturing industry for over 30 years. BobCAD-CAM software can be found to increase CNC productivity for many applications in aerospace, automotive, production manufacturing, mold making, general machining, woodworking as well as the medical manufacturing industry, consumer products, musical instruments, custom fabrication, defense industry and many others due to the products ability to automatically generate NC programming code for such a wide variety of CNC controllers. BobCAD-CAM software is also found in educational institutions throughout the world as well as independent hobby home use. Products include machining technology for 2, 3, 4 & 5 Axis CNC Milling, Routing, Waterjet, Plasma and Laser machines as well as 2 Axis CNC Lathe. BobCAD-CAM is modular allowing shops to start off at a reduced technology level and add technology as it is needed including an add-on, BobART, for artistic machining. Unique technology includes adaptive high-speed machining multiaxis milling and routing which is a first in the world of CAD-CAM software. BobCAD-CAM also provides a variety of quality training products that include regional and online training classes or private sessions tailored to specific applications. Professional certification and multi-tiered support solutions are available. Contact BobCAD-CAM directly for more information at 877-262-2231 or 727-442-3554


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Jun
22
Tech Tuesday: Reporting
Posted by Al DePoalo on 22 June 2021 12:10 AM

Tech Tuesday is a weekly blog that addresses some of the most common questions and concerns that I hear throughout the previous week from users of BobCAD’s CNC software. Both customers and future customers are more than welcome to leave a comment on what they would like to see covered for the following Tech Tuesday.

 

Reporting

BobCAD-CAM has many reporting options to view and modify information to machining jobs efficiently. Documenting your programming process with live feedback as you fine tune your toolpath features are available in many forms. CAM Tree Flyouts, Setup Sheets, Tool Assignment , Gouge and Collision Reports, Move Operation and Sequence Statistics: all created automatically and easily accessible at any stage of machining.
 

CAM Tree Flyouts

New CAM Tree Flyouts are useful in changing certain parameters about any operation in the CAM Tree. They provide a way to quickly view information you may be looking for easily. They also provide a way to edit some values without the need to open a dialog and search for them in that dialog. CAM Tree Flyouts help customers save time viewing and editing necessary information about the cutting feedrate, spindle RPM, and other data in every operation created in BobCAD-CAM.
 

CAM Tree Flyout

 

Setup Sheets

Setup sheets created in BobCAD are useful to print out for other members of a company for pertinent information about a machining job. Certain important information in a setup sheet includes total cycle time, number of tools, tool assignment for each operation, and cycle time for each individual operation. Setup sheets are possible for all types of jobs: milling, turning, mill turn, laser, plasma, waterjet, and wire EDM.
 

Setup Sheets

 

Tool Assignment

The Tool Library contains all of the available system tools based on the main categories Drill, Mill, Lathe, Laser, Plasma, and Waterjet. This dialog box is used to add, delete, and modify tools. You can also load tool information from a previously saved file. On the left side of the dialog box is a list of the supported tool types. The right side contains the tool parameters list for each tool. Taking the time to create all of the tools in your shop can greatly speed up the process of creating milling features. You can then add the tools to the Tool Crib to quickly create the equivalent of the tool changer for each job. The Tool Crib tool list can be saved to a file for repeated use.
 

Gouge and Collision Reports

Gouge and collision reports allow customers the way to avoid the tool and tool holder gouging into the stock. These reports also help you check surfaces on the 3D models within the workspace. There is now a fixture option to make sure every tool avoids the fixture within the machining job as well. Within the machining simulation, there is also a report showing if there are any gouging or collisions in each operation. These features provide the option to define extra tool clearance values that are applied in addition to the selected Gouge Check settings and avoid all gouging and collisions.
 
These reporting options can be very helpful in making the most of your BobCAD-CAM software program.
 
Try these new Reporting options in BobCAD-CAM V33 today!
 
BobCAD-CAM has provided CAD-CAM CNC Software products to the global manufacturing industry for over 30 years. BobCAD-CAM software can be found to increase CNC productivity for many applications in aerospace, automotive, production manufacturing, mold making, general machining, woodworking as well as the medical manufacturing industry, consumer products, musical instruments, custom fabrication, defense industry and many others due to the products ability to automatically generate NC programming code for such a wide variety of CNC controllers. BobCAD-CAM software is also found in educational institutions throughout the world as well as independent hobby home use. Products include machining technology for 2, 3, 4 & 5 Axis CNC Milling, Routing, Waterjet, Plasma and Laser machines as well as 2 Axis CNC Lathe. BobCAD-CAM is modular allowing shops to start off at a reduced technology level and add technology as it is needed including an add-on, BobART, for artistic machining. Unique technology includes adaptive high-speed machining multiaxis milling and routing which is a first in the world of CAD-CAM software. BobCAD-CAM also provides a variety of quality training products that include regional and online training classes or private sessions tailored to specific applications. Professional certification and multi-tiered support solutions are available. Contact BobCAD-CAM directly for more information at 877-262-2231 or 727-442-3554


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