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SolidCAM2008 R12 The Leaders in Integrated CAM

Power and Ease of Use - the winning combination

SolidCAM2008 R12
What’s New

©1995-2008 SolidCAM

WWW. S O L I DC A M . C O M All Rights Reserved.


SolidCAM2008 R12
What’s New

©1995-2008 SolidCAM

All Rights Reserved.


Document number: SCWNENG08002
Contents

Contents

1. General

1.1 New User Interface for Operations 12


1.2 Support of the 3D Connexion SpaceNavigator 13
1.3 Operation summary in SolidCAM Manager 14
1.4 Summarizing the part data in the tool sheet documentation 15
1.4.1 Definition of tool sheet parameters 15
1.4.2 The output PDF file 16
1.5 Opening of PRT files by double-clicking 18
1.6 3D geometry selection 19
1.7 Templates 20
1.7.1 Operation Template 20
1.7.2 Process template 26
1.7.3 Manage Operation/Process Templates 29
1.7.4 Defaults & Settings 32
1.8 Defining Transform position by picking on the model 36
1.9 Automatic synchronization and calculation 37
1.10 Changing the tool and tool data directly from SolidCAM Manager 39
1.10.1 Changing tool 39
1.10.2 Changing tool data 40
1.11 Support of SolidWorks 64-bit 41

2. Geometry

2.1 Closing geometry chains by extending chain entities 44


2.2 Geometry modification for specific operation 46
2.3 Automatic closing of open geometries for Pocket operations 52
2.4 Synchronization when design model configuration changes 53
2.5 Changing the sequence of drill positions 56

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3. Tools

3.1 End Mill / Bull nose mill / Ball nose mill 59


3.1.1 End mill 59
3.1.2 Bull nose mill 60
3.1.3 Ball nose mill 60
3.2 Drill tool 62
3.3 Bore tool 63
3.4 Center drill tool 64
3.5 Chamfer drill 66
3.6 Dove tail mill 67
3.7 Taper tool 68
3.8 Engraving tool 71
3.9 Face Mill tool 72
3.10 Lollipop mill 73
3.11 Reamer tool 74
3.12 Slot tool 75
3.13 Spot Drill 76
3.14 Tap tool 77
3.15 Thread Tool 78
3.16 Taper Thread Tool 79
3.17 Choosing the tool type 80
3.18 Tool Units 81
3.19 Angular dimensions 83
3.20 Rough tools 84
3.21 Link to the Vardex software for thread milling tool selection 86

4. Milling

4.1 3D Depth type in Profile Milling 88


4.2 Contour 3D operation 90

6
Contents

4.3 T-Slot operation 93


4.3.1 Second offset number 93
4.3.2 Technological parameters 94
4.4 Face Milling Operation 96
4.5 Vertical zigzag passes in Profile operation 104
4.6 Equal step down in Profile and Pocket operations 106
4.7 Final cuts machining in Profile and Pocket operations 108
4.8 Wall Draft angle in Profile and Pocket operations 110
4.9 Profile floor machining 112
4.10 Pocket Wall finishing 114
4.11 Open Pocket machining 115
4.11.1 Open Pocket Geometry definition 115
4.11.2 Open pocket machining parameters 116
4.12 Adjacent tool paths connection in Profile operations 119
4.13 Complete Z-level in Pocket operations 121
4.14 Movements between cutting passes 122
4.15 Minimal machined area in Floor Constant Z machining 123

5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

5.1 Drill Recognition operation 126


5.1.1 Geometry definition 127
5.1.2 Drill Depth definition 133
5.1.3 Technological parameters 138
5.2 Pocket Recognition operation 139
5.2.1 Geometry definition 139
5.2.2 Geometry modification 146
5.2.3 Milling Levels 148
5.2.4 Technological parameters 149
5.3 Using color information in AFRM 150
5.4 Dividing deep holes for machining from both sides 152

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6. High Speed Machining (HSM)

6.1 Boundary definition by faces selection 154


6.2 Helical Machining strategy 156
6.3 Offset Cutting strategy 158

7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

7.1 User interface enhancements and new parameters 162


7.1.1 Sim. 5-Axis Operations 162
7.1.2 Geometry 163
7.1.3 Tools 165
7.1.4 Levels 166
7.1.5 Tool path parameters 168
7.1.6 Link 170
7.1.7 Default Lead In/Out 171
7.1.8 Tool axis control 172
7.1.9 Gouge check 174
7.1.10 Roughing 180
7.1.11 Motion limit control 183
7.1.12 Miscellaneous parameters 184
7.2 HSS Operation (High Speed Surface machining) 185
7.3 Sim. 5-Axis Sub-operations 186
7.3.1 Swarf Milling 187
7.3.2 Impeller Roughing 196
7.3.3 Wall finish 203
7.3.4 Impeller Floor finish - curve control of tilt 208
7.3.5 Impeller Floor finish - surface control of tilt 213

8. Turning

8.1 Partial machining 220


8.2 Interoperational movements 227
8.2.1 Interoperational tool movement optimization 227
8.2.2 SolidCAM Settings 228
8
Contents

8.2.3 Part Settings 229


8.3 Rest Material calculation for Milling Drilling operations 230
8.4 Generation of the Material boundary solid 231
8.5 Tool direction and imaginary tool nose 232
8.6 TX/TZ parameters for Machine Simulation 235
8.7 Clamp and Material boundary synchronization 236
8.8 Envelope calculation enhancements 238
8.9 Turning geometry definition by picking model entities 239
8.9.1 Associativity and Geometry Synchronization 242
8.10 Rough turning at angle 243

9. Mill-Turn

9.1 CAM-Part definition 247


9.1.1 CNC-controller definition 247
9.1.2 Coordinate System definition 248
9.1.3 Stock and Machining boundary 251
9.1.4 Clamp definition 251
9.1.5 Target definition 251
9.2 Existing CAM-Parts conversion 252
9.3 Additional Turning Coordinate Systems 254
9.4 Pre-processor customization 257
9.5 Post-processor customization 258
9.5.1 Milling post-processor adaptation 258
9.5.2 Turning post-processor adaptation 259
9.5.3 Turn-Mill post-processor adaptation 261
9.6 Geometry wrapped around axes for 4-axis machining 263

10. Wire Cut

10.1 Improvements of the 4-axis Geometry definition 266


10.2 Sharp corner machining in Profile and Angle operations 271

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11. Simulation

11.1 SolidVerify support in Machine Simulation 274


11.2 Machine Simulation for Turning, Turn-Mill and Mill-Turn 275
11.3 Fixtures support within Machine Simulation 276
11.4 Solving self-intersections and noise problems in solid verification 278
11.4.1 Checking and fixing self-intersections 278
11.4.2 Rounding of input data 279
11.5 Improving the simulation performance in the SolidVerify mode 280

10
General 1
1.1 New User Interface for Operations

SolidCAM2008 R12 offers you a new enhanced interface for milling and turning
operations.
Operation name Template
Technology

Geometry parameters Info

Tool parameters
Machining levels
parameters
Technological parameters

Link parameters
Parameters page
Miscellaneous parameters

Parameter illustration

Operation buttons

In the new interface the single-page dialog box of the previous interface is divided
into a number of pages, each handling a specific set of parameters (e.g. Geometry,
Tool, Levels, Technology, etc.). The list on the left side of the dialog box enables you to
switch between the different parameters pages.

You may switch between the new and the


previous single-page interface by using the
User Interface page of the SolidCAM Settings
dialog box. To work with the single-page
interface, choose Single-Dialog. To switch
to the multi-page interface, choose Multi-
dialog. In this mode, you may also set a
keyboard shortcut for switching between
pages in the multi-page dialog box; click
on the Switch Items Hotkey box and press a
required key or a combination of keys you
want to use as hotkeys for switching.

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1.General

1.2 Support of the 3D Connexion SpaceNavigator

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the support of SpaceNavigator 3D mouse by


3Dconnexion (www.3dconnexion.com).

This device enables you to rotate, pan and zoom the CAD model during all the stages of
the CAM-Part definition. Using the SpaceNavigator enables you to significantly speed
up the geometry definition process and simplifies the model and tool path viewing
during such simulation modes as: HostCAD, Rest Material, SolidVerify, RapidVerify
and Machine Simulation.

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1.3 Operation summary in SolidCAM Manager

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the possibility to


obtain the summary of a specific operation directly
from the SolidCAM Manager, without opening of the
operation.

The Info command located in the right-click menu,


available on a specific operation in the SolidCAM
Manager, displays the Info dialog box.

This dialog box displays the summary information of the selected operation: Tool
information (diameter,corner radius, taper angle and lengths); Operation Tool data (feeds
and spin) and Levels (Upper level, Depth and Step down).

The icon located in the title bar enables you to pin/unpin the Info
dialog box.

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1.General

1.4 Summarizing the part data in the tool sheet documentation

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with an advanced option to summarize the CAM-Part
information by generating a tool sheet documentation in PDF format.

1.4.1 Definition of tool sheet parameters

The Tool Sheet command is available for the


complete CAM-Part (in the right-click menu
available on the CAM-Part header) or for separate
operations (in the right-click menu available on the
operations). The Tool Sheet Extra Parameters dialog
box is displayed. This dialog box enables you to
manage the content of the documentation PDF
file.

In this dialog box, you can attach a logo file (in BMP format) to your tool sheet, define
your own variables and values that will be inserted into the tool sheet, add comments
and notes relative to your part, and decide whether you need the full version of the
information sheet or only particular sections, such as Operations summary or Tool
Table.

The Show Last Tool Sheet command enables you to display the last generated tool sheet
for the current part, instead of generating it anew. The Tool Sheet Extra Parameters
dialog box is displayed so that you can define which sections of the last tool sheet you
want to display.

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1.4.2 The output PDF file

The output PDF file consists of the following sections:

Main page

This section summarizes general information about the CAM-Part, including its picture
and the comments and notes you have added.
Comment entered
in the Parameters field Part name

Company logo

Part picture
Part definition

Part notes

Part properties

Tool table

This section displays the list of the tools used for


the operations of the current CAM-Part, with their
parameters and illustrations.

16
1.General

Operations summary

This section summarizes the operations defined for the current CAM-Part.

Fixtures

This section shows how the part must be fixed on


the CNC machine table.

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1.5 Opening of PRT files by double-clicking

In the previous versions of SolidCAM, it was only possible to open a PRT file by using
the SolidCAM submenu in the main menu of SolidWorks, i.e. to open a CAM-Part file,
you needed to load SolidWorks, click SolidCAM, Open, and then choose the required
file from the CAM-Parts browser. SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a time-saving
possibility to open a PRT file by double-clicking on the file name in any location where
it is saved.

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1.General

1.6 3D geometry selection

In previous SolidCAM versions the Select/Unselect radio button was used in dialog
boxes for 3D geometry selection (solids, surfaces and faces). This radio button switches
the system between selection and unselection modes.

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with an improvement


of the selection/unselection of the 3D geometry.
This improvement is based on automatic toggling
between modes: a click on the model entity selects
it, while the next click on the selected entity clears
the selection.

The Select/Unselect radio buttons are therefore


removed from the relevant dialog boxes (3D Geometry
dialog box, 3D Box dialog box, Select faces dialog box
etc.)

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1.7 Templates

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the functionality of templates that is useful for
simplifying the repetitive tasks in the CNC programming. SolidCAM enables you to
save the operation data as a template and load it into a new operation of the same type.
SolidCAM enables you also to specify the default operation template that is used for
each newly created operation of the appropriate type.

SolidCAM enables you also to define and use a Process Template, which is a template
of a series of operations that executes a specific machining task.

1.7.1 Operation Template

SolidCAM enables you to create an operation template by saving an already defined


operation. The saved template can be later used for a new operation definition. The
saved template data does not include the geometry which must be defined after loading
the template. The saved template can optionally include the tool data.

The Template section is added into each SolidCAM Operation dialog box. This section
provides you with the following functionality:

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1.General

Save Template

The button enables you to save all the


data (except the geometry) of the current
operation as a template.

The Template Manager dialog box is displayed.


This dialog box enables you to choose the
name for saving the template. The template
is saved in the location defined by the
SolidCAM Templates Directory parameter in
the Part Settings dialog box (see topic 1.7.4).

The Operation Templates table displays all the


Operation Templates located in the SolidCAM
Templates Directory and their types.

The Include tool data check box enables you to include the tool data in the saved
template.

Type the name in the Template edit box and click on the OK button to confirm. If
a template with the defined name already exists in the current location, SolidCAM
displays the following warning message:

When you confirm this warning by the Yes button, SolidCAM overwrites the existing
template with the new one. When you press the No button, the Template Manager dialog
box is activated again providing you with the possibility to choose a different name for
the template.

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SolidCAM enables you also to save
an existing operation as Operation
Template from the SolidCAM
Manager, using the Create Template
command from the right-click menu
available on single operations.

This command displays the Template


Manager dialog box which enables
you to save the template data as
described earlier.

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1.General

Load Template

The button enables you to load a specific


template into the current operation. The
Template Manager dialog box is displayed.

This dialog box offers you the templates


located in the SolidCAM Templates Directory
determined by Part Settings (see topic 1.7.4).

The Template Manager dialog box displays


only the templates whose type is suitable for
the current operation.

Choose the necessary template and click on the OK button to confirm the operation.
When the template is loaded, all the current operation data are substituted with the
data from the template.

When a template is loaded into the operation, its name is


displayed in the edit box in the Templates section. A tool tip
message is available when you place the mouse cursor over
the edit box; the tool tip message displays the full name of
the loaded template.

When any of the operation data is modified after a template


is loaded, the template name in the edit box is marked by an
asterisk sign (*).

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SolidCAM enables you also to create a
new operation from an existing template,
directly from the SolidCAM Manager using
the Add Operation from Template command
from the right-click menu available
on the operations header or on single
operations.

This command displays the Template


Manager dialog box which enables you to
choose an existing template as described
earlier. In this case the Template Manager
dialog box displays all the templates
existing in the SolidCAM Templates Directory
regardless of its type.

When the dialog box is confirmed by the


OK button, SolidCAM inserts the chosen
Operation Template into the SolidCAM
Manager tree.

The inserted operation is incomplete since


the operation has no defined geometry
and no tool (if the initial Operation
Template used for the operation creation
had no tool). The incomplete operations
are marked with red color.

Since the incomplete operation has


no geometry, its tool path cannot be
generated. In order to completely define
the operation, you have to define its
machining geometry and tool (if necessary).

During the creation of a new operation from an Operation Template, SolidCAM


assigns the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position #1) for the newly created operation.
During the operation editing this Coordinate System can be changed.

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1.General

Tool search

When an operation template is loaded, SolidCAM checks the existence of the tool data
in the template; if the tool data was saved in the operation template, the tool search is
performed according to the following rules:

• When the operation template uses a tool defined as Permanent, the tool search
for this tool is performed using the tool number only. At the first stage, the
tool search is performed in the Part Tool table. If the tool with the defined
number is not found in the Part Tool Table, SolidCAM performs an additional
search in the Current Tool Table. If a tool with the defined tool number is
found in the Current Tool Table, it is copied into the Part Tool Table and chosen
for the operation. If the tool is not found in the Current Tool Table, SolidCAM
displays the following error message:

When you confirm this message with the OK button, SolidCAM returns you
to the operation dialog box in order to define a tool.

• When the tool in the operation template is not defined as Permanent,


SolidCAM performs the tool search using the tool parameters. The tool
parameters used for the tool search are defined in the SolidCAM Settings in
the Tool search page. The tool search is performed in the Part Tool table. If
a tool with the same definition as in template is not found in the Part Tool
Table, SolidCAM performs an additional search in the Current Tool Table. If a
suitable tool is found in the Current Tool Table, it is copied into the Part Tool
Table and chosen for the operation. If a tool is not found in the Current Tool
Table, a new tool with the parameters defined in the template is created in
the Part Tool Table. SolidCAM automatically assigns the first not used tool
number for the new created tool.

When you load a template containing tool data into an operation that already
has a defined tool, SolidCAM displays the following message:

When you confirm this message, SolidCAM replaces the tool already defined
in the operation with the tool defined according to the template.

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1.7.2 Process template

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to define and use a Process Template, which is a template
of a series of operations that executes a specific machining task. Such capability enables
you to store a complete sequence of operations as a Process template and apply it for
the machining of similar cases.

Define Process Template

To create a Process Template, select in the


SolidCAM Manager all the operations intended
to be included in the Process Template and
choose the Create Template command from
the right-click menu available on single
operations.
This command displays the Template Manager
dialog box which enables you to save the
chosen operations as a Process Template.

This dialog box displays all the existing Process


Templates in the SolidCAM Templates
Directory; the Process Templates names are
listed in the Template Folders section under
the Process Templates header. The sequence
of operations comprising the template is
displayed in the Operation Templates table.

26
1.General

The Include tool data check box enables you to include the tool data into the saved
Process Template.

To save the selected operations as a new Process Template, type the name in the
Process Template edit box and click on the OK button to confirm the operation. If
a Process Template with the defined name already exists in the current location,
SolidCAM displays the following warning message:

When you confirm this warning by the Yes button, SolidCAM overwrites the existing
Process Template with the new one. When you press the No button, the Template
Manager dialog box is activated again providing you with the possibility to choose a
different name for the Process Template.

The Template Manager dialog box


provides you with the capability to
create an empty Process Template
and copy to it a number of Operation
Templates from different Process
Templates. See topic 1.7.3 for more
details.

Use Process Templates

SolidCAM enables you to insert the Operations


Templates contained in a Process Template
into a CAM-Part, converting them into regular
SolidCAM Operations. To insert a Process
Template into the CAM-Part choose the Add
Process Template command from the right-click
menu available on operations header or single
operations in the SolidCAM Manager.

27
This command displays the Template Manager dialog box which enables you to choose
an existing Process Template to be inserted.

During creation of a new operation from the Process Template, SolidCAM displays
the CoordSys selection dialog box, which enables you to choose the Coordinate System
to be used in the created operations.

The inserted operations are incomplete; this means that the operations have no defined
geometry and no tool (if the initial Operation Template used for the operation creation
had no tool). The incomplete operations are marked with red color.

Since the incomplete operations have no geometry, their tool path cannot be generated.
In order to completely define the operation, you have to define the machining geometry
and tool (if necessary) for each operation.

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1.General

1.7.3 Manage Operation/Process Templates

The Manage Templates command located in the SolidCAM


menu enables you to manage your Operation Templates and
Process Templates using the Templates Manager dialog box.

The Templates Folders section contains Templates and Process Templates.

When the Templates header is selected, all the Operation Templates located in the
SolidCAM Templates Directory are displayed in the Operation Templates table.

All the Process Templates located in the SolidCAM Templates Directory are listed under
the Process Templates header. When a Process Template is selected, all the Operation
Templates included into this process are displayed in the Operation Templates table.

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SolidCAM enables you to manage
the Process Templates with the
right-click menu which is available
on the Process Templates header or
single Process Templates. This menu
provides you with the following
commands:

• New Process Template. This


command enables you to
create a new empty Process
Template.

• Rename. This command


enables you to rename an
existing Process Templates.

• Delete. This command enables you to delete an existing Process Template.

SolidCAM enables you to manage Operation Templates with the right-click menu
which is available on the Operation Templates in the Operation Template table. This
menu is available for the standalone Operation Templates located in the SolidCAM
Templates Directory and for Operation Templates included into Process Templates.

30
1.General

The menu provides you with the following commands:

• Create Process Template. This command enables you to create a new Process
Templates; the current Operation Template is added to this process.

• Copy. This command enables you to copy the current Operation Template
into the clipboard.

• Paste. This command enables you to paste the Operation Template from the
clipboard. The Operation Template is inserted into the chosen location (either
into the active Process Template or as a standalone Operation Template into
the SolidCAM Templates Directory).

• Edit.This command enables you to load the chosen Operation Template


for editing. When a template is loaded, SolidCAM displays an appropriate
operations dialog box with the template data.

SolidCAM enables you to edit all the parameters and options of the template,
except the geometry and coordinate system.

The button enables you to save the template data using the Save template
dialog box.

• Delete. This command enables you to delete the active Operation template.

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1.7.4 Defaults & Settings

SolidCAM Settings

The Templates and Defaults page is added to the SolidCAM Settings dialog box.

This page enables you define the default location of the Operation Templates/Template
Groups and to specify the default templates that are used for each new operation.

SolidCAM Template Directory

The SolidCAM Template Directory section enables you to define the default
location for SolidCAM Operation Templates/Template Groups. You can
define the path by typing it in the combo-box or by using the Browse
button. In case the chosen folder does not exist, SolidCAM displays the
following message:

• The Create button enables you to create the folder with the
specified location and set it as the SolidCAM Template directory.

32
1.General

• The Browse button displays the browser dialog box that enables
you to choose another location for the SolidCAM Templates
directory.

By default, the Templates directory location is ..\Tables\Metric\Templates for


Metric units and ..\Tables\Inch\Templates for Inch units.

Operation default templates

The Operation default templates section enables you to assign default


templates for operations.

The templates are divided between four tabs:

• The 2.5D Milling tab contains the 2.5D milling operations.

• The 3D Milling tab contains the 3D milling operations.

• The HSM tab contains the HSM operations.

• The Sim. 5-Axis tab contains the Sim. 5-Axis operations.

Each tab contains a table


that enables you to define
the default templates of
each SolidCAM operation.
When the default template
use is activated for a specific
operation, the Template
column enables you to use
the suitable template with
the combo-box. When the
template use is activated for
an operation type, each new
operation of this type will
be started with the data of
the specified template.

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Templates activation/deactivation

When user deactivates template use for an operation, the Template column
combo-box is disabled.

When you activate template use for an operation type, SolidCAM searches
in the SolidCAM Template Directory for suitable templates of this type. The
combo-box is filled with the names of the found templates; the first of
them is automatically chosen. In case of absence of suitable templates,
SolidCAM deactivates the use of templates for this operation.

Changing SolidCAM Template Directory

When you change a SolidCAM Template Directory, SolidCAM performs a


search for suitable templates for all the operations with the activated default
template use. When a template for some operation is not found, SolidCAM
deactivates the default template use. Found templates are inserted into the
related combo box. The first found template name is displayed.
The templates search is not performed for the operations where
the templates use is deactivated.
Creating templates sets (working style)

Consider a folder containing a set of templates. This set contains only one
template for each specific operation; all the operations are thus covered
by templates. This set is customized for a specific application (e.g. Mold
machining). Consider an additional folder containing a set of templates for
another application.

By switching between these folders for SolidCAM Template Directory,


SolidCAM switches templates for all the operations. This enables you to
quickly choose a templates set for a specific application.

34
1.General

Part Settings

SolidCAM enables you to customize the default and templates settings for a specific
CAM-Part using the Templates and Defaults page of the Part settings dialog box.

During the CAM-Part definition the Part settings for Templates and Defaults are copied
from the SolidCAM Settings.

The behavior of this page is similar to the behavior of the Templates and Defaults page
of the SolidCAM Settings dialog box.

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1.8 Defining Transform position by picking on the model

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to define the positions for operations transformation
by picking on the model. This functionality is implemented for Move and Translate by
List options.

When you choose the Move item from the Transform menu in SolidCAM Manager, the
Move Operations dialog box is displayed. This dialog box enables you either to define
the move position by entering the offset values along the axes or to define the move
position by picking on the model.

To define the move position by


picking on the model, activate the
Move Operations dialog box and click
the necessary position on the design
model. The coordinates of the
picked position are displayed in the
offsets edit boxes.

The picked positions are not associative to the solid model.

The behavior of the


Translation list dialog box
is similar; the coordinates
of the picked position are
displayed in the Offsets value
edit box. The Enter button
enables you to confirm the
picked position and includes
it into the positions list.

The picked positions are not associative to the solid model.

36
1.General

1.9 Automatic synchronization and calculation

In previous versions, SolidCAM provided you with the possibility to automatically


perform the synchronization check. During this check the unsynchronized geometries
and operations based on them are detected. SolidCAM2008 R12 provides the additional
capability to perform the synchronization and tool path calculation automatically for
detected unsynchronized operations.

The Synchronization page of the SolidCAM Settings dialog box has two new options. The
Automatically synchronize geometries and Calculate operations after the synchronization
options are added under the Check synchronization always option (this option enables
you to perform the synchronization check automatically).

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Automatically synchronize geometries

The Automatically synchronize geometries option enables SolidCAM to perform the


geometries synchronization automatically.

This option is enabled only when the Check synchronization always option
is chosen.

When the Automatically synchronize geometries option is activated, SolidCAM performs


the synchronization check and then automatically synchronizes all the unsynchronized
operations and geometries. When the synchronization fails for certain operations or
geometries, SolidCAM marks the operations/geometries with an exclamation mark
and deletes the operations tool paths; such operations are marked with the asterisk.

Calculate operations after the synchronization

The Calculate operations after the synchronization option enables you to automatically
perform the calculation of the synchronized operations.

This options is enabled only when the Automatically synchronize geometries


option is activated.

When the Calculate operations after the synchronization option is activated, SolidCAM
automatically calculates all the synchronized operations; the operations marked with
the exclamation mark are not calculated.

38
1.General

1.10 Changing the tool and tool data directly from SolidCAM Manager

1.10.1 Changing tool

In previous SolidCAM releases, changing the tool for


a particular operation could be performed only via
the operation dialog box. SolidCAM2008 R12 enables
you to change tools directly from SolidCAM Manager.
The Change Tool option is added into the right-click
menu available on the operation entries in the tree.

This option displays the Tool dialog box that contains


the parameters of the current tool and enables you
to choose another tool for the operation.

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1.10.2 Changing tool data

In previous SolidCAM versions, the data of


the tool used in a particular operation could
be edited only via the operation dialog box.
SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to change the
tool data directly from SolidCAM Manager.
The Change Tool data option is added into the
right-click menu available on the operation
entries in the tree.

This option displays the Operation Tool Data


dialog box that enables you to edit the data
related to the current tool. The All checked
operations as selected one check box enables
you to define the listed tool parameters in all
operations identically to the first operation.

40
1.General

1.11 Support of SolidWorks 64-bit

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with complete support of the 64-bit version of
SolidWorks working under the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

41
42
Geometry 2
2.1 Closing geometry chains by extending chain entities

The Curve option commonly used for geometry chains selection enables you to select
a continuous geometry chain by picking its successive entities. During the geometry
definition SolidCAM detects the gaps between selected entities and provides you with
the capability to close them, taking into account the Gap Minimum and Gap Maximum
parameters defined in the SolidCAM Settings.

If the detected gap is smaller than the Gap Minimum tolerance, SolidCAM automatically
closes the gap by extending/shortening chosen entities up to their virtual intersection
point. If the gap is greater than the Gap Minimum tolerance but less than the Gap
Maximum tolerance, SolidCAM displays a prompt message asking you if you want
to close the gap. When you confirm, SolidCAM automatically closes the gap by
extending/shortening chosen entities up to their virtual intersection point; if you
cancel, SolidCAM does not close the gap and unselects the last entity.

When the gap is larger than the Gap Maximum tolerance, SolidCAM does not accept the
chosen entity and displays a warning message.

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the Curve + Close


Corners option of the chain geometry selection. This
option enables you to close the gaps between successive
chain entities irrespective of the Gap Minimum and Gap
Maximum values.

44
2. Geometry

When a gap is detected between two successively selected entities, SolidCAM continues
the chain by virtually extending the selected entities, according to the direction of the
first entity, up to a virtual intersection point between the two entities.

First selected entity

Next selected entity

In case several possible intersection points exist, the point closest to the
last vertex of the first selected entity is chosen.

If an intersection point cannot be found by extending


either one or both selected entities, the following message
is displayed.

Splines and arcs are extended by lines tangential to the arc/spline at its end point.

Associativity and synchronization

When the model used for the geometry definition is modified, SolidCAM enables you
to synchronize the geometry with the updated model. During the synchronization
SolidCAM handles the gaps areas (closed using the Curve + Close Corners option) by
regenerating the extension of the chain elements so as to close the gaps.

45
2.2 Geometry modification for specific operation

SolidCAM enables you to share geometries between a number of SolidCAM operations.


SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the additional capability to modify a shared
geometry, specifically for each operation; this includes assigning different values to the
geometry Extension, Offset and Define Start. The geometry modification also includes
choosing which geometry chains are active in the operation (in case of multiple chain
geometry). The modification is relevant only for the current operation and does not
affect other operations where the geometry is shared. The geometry modification is
supported for the Profile, T-Slot and Translated Surface operations.

The Geometry button is added to the Modify section of the Technology page of the
operation dialog box.

This button displays the Modify Geometry dialog box. This dialog box
enables you to perform the geometry modification for the current
operation.

Tool side

The Tool side option enables you to define the tool


position relative to the geometry. For more details about
this option, refer to SolidCAM Milling User Guide.
46
2. Geometry

Chains

This section displays the list of all the geometry chains participating in the
current geometry. The check box, located at the side of the geometry chains
in the list, enables you to include/exclude the chain from the geometry of
the current operation.

A right click menu is available on the elements of


the list. This menu enables you to perform the
following actions:

• Check all. This command enables you


to check all the chains.

• Uncheck all.This command enables


you to uncheck all the chains.

• Invert check states.


With this command the state of the check
boxes of all the chains will be reversed.

• Reverse. This command enables you to reverse the direction of


the chain.

• Reverse All. This command enables you to reverse the direction


of all the chains.

47
Extension

The Extension section enables you to define the extension for the selected
chain. The Start and End parameters define the start and end extension
lengths. The extension is performed tangentially to the chain entities at the
start and end points of the geometry chain. The start and end elements are
determined according to the chain direction.
Start extension
End extension

Geometry chain

When a negative value is defined, SolidCAM shortens the chain by a


distance, measured along the chain elements.

SolidCAM enables you to define the Start and End parameters either by
typing in the values or by picking on the model (when the focus is placed
in the edit box).

The Apply to all button enables you to apply the extension, defined for the
selected chain, for all the chains of the geometry.

48
2. Geometry

Modify offset

The Modify offset section enables you to define the offset for the selected
chain. Machining is performed at the specified offset.
Geometry chain

Modify offset

Modified chain

SolidCAM enables you to define the Modify offset parameter either by


typing in the value or by picking on the model (when the focus is placed
in the edit box).

The Apply to all button enables you to apply the Modify offset, defined for
the selected chain, for all the chains of the geometry.

The direction of the Modify Offset Negative Offset


for the open contours is defined Geometry Chain
according to the chain direction.
A positive Modify Offset value
offsets the chain to the right side Positive Offset

(according to the chosen chain


direction). A negative value
offsets the chain to the left side
(according to the chosen chain
direction).

49
For closed contours, a positive Modify Offset value offsets the geometry
to the outside; a negative Modify Offset value offsets the geometry to the
inside.
Positive Offset
Geometry Chain

Negative Offset

The Take 1/2 from selected offset option enables you to offset the chain by
half of the defined offset value.

In the part shown below the central pads should be machined by a single
straight cutting pass, located at the middle of the pad. After defining the
geometry at the edge of the pad, the geometry is offset using the picked
position at the opposite edge and the Take 1/2 from selected offset option.

Modified geometry

Picked offset position

Geometry

50
2. Geometry

Define Start

The Define start section enables you to shift the start position of the closed
chains. For open chains, this section is disabled. The shifting of the start
point is defined as a percentage of the chain length. SolidCAM enables
you to define the start position shifting either by typing in the Shift value or
by picking the position on the model.

The Apply to all button enables you to apply the Shift value defined for the
selected chain for all the closed chains of the current geometry.

The Auto next button enables you to define the start points successively,
for all the closed chains, by picking the positions on the model. When this
mode is activated, the first closed chain is highlighted, enabling you to pick
the start position for it. When the position is picked, SolidCAM switches
to the next closed chain and so on. The Resume button enables you to
finish the Auto next definition of the start positions.

The Set default button enables you to return the start position of the
current chain to its initial state. When the Apply to all check box is activated,
the Set default button returns the start positions of all the chains to their
initial state.

51
2.3 Automatic closing of open geometries for Pocket operations

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the possibility to automatically close the open
geometry chains for Pocket operations.

When you confirm an open chain definition for a Pocket operation in the Geometry
Edit dialog box with the button, SolidCAM displays the Close Chain message box.

When you confirm this dialog box with the OK button, SolidCAM closes the chain
with a line connecting the start and the end points of the chain. The Mark line as open
edge check box enables you to mark the connecting line as an open edge to perform
Open Pocket machining (see topic 4.11).

Selected chain

Connecting line

When you click on the Cancel button, SolidCAM returns to the geometry definition
and enables you to close the chain manually, by the model element selection.

52
2. Geometry

2.4 Synchronization when design model configuration changes

In previous SolidCAM versions, SolidCAM provided you with a constant link between
the geometry and the design model configuration which was used for the geometry
definition (parent configuration). With such a link, switching between configurations of
the design model does not affect the defined geometry; the geometry can be updated
(through synchronization), only in case the parent configuration is modified.

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with an additional functionality that enables you to
synchronize the geometry, when the configuration changes; SolidCAM discontinues
the link between the geometry and its parent configuration and establishes a new
link between the geometry and the new current configuration. Such functionality
enables you to automatically update SolidCAM geometries according to the current
configuration of the design model.

This functionality enables you for example to perform, in a single CAM-Part, the
machining of a family of similar parts, based on a single design model and managed by
configurations. The geometries of this CAM-Part are automatically updated for each
current configuration, providing you with an updated tool path.

SolidCAM Settings

The Synchronization when


design model configuration
changes section is added to
the Synchronization page of
the SolidCAM Setting dialog
box. This section enables
you to define SolidCAM
behavior in case when the
configuration is changed.

The SolidCAM Settings are


used as the default for the
Part Settings of each newly
defined CAM-Part.

53
Part Settings

The Synchronization page is added to the Part Settings dialog box. This page enables
you to define SolidCAM behavior in case when the configuration is changed for the
current CAM-Part. The Synchronization when design model configuration changes section
provides you with the following options:

The Keep the geometry associative with the parent configuration option enables you to
keep the link between the geometry and the parent configuration. SolidCAM always
keeps the geometry linked to the parent configuration (the configuration used for the
geometry definition). When you switch between the model configurations, this does
not affect the geometry; synchronization is required only in case when the parent
configuration is changed.

54
2. Geometry

Geometry
Geometry

Configuration #1 Configuration #2

The Associate the geometry with the current configuration option enables you to establish
the link between the geometry and the current configuration and perform the
synchronization according to the current configuration.
Geometry
Geometry

Configuration #1 Configuration #2

After such synchronization the geometry is linked to the current configuration until
you switch to another one.

55
2.5 Changing the sequence of drill positions

In previous SolidCAM versions, editing the sequence of drilling positions was possible
only in the operation dialog box. SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to change the order of
positions in the sequence by dragging and dropping them in the list section of the XY
Drill Geometry Selection dialog box.

56
Tools 3
SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a number of new tool types (see the illustration
below). Also SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a number of improvements to
the existing tool types to better describe the real tools (e.g. adding the Arbor diameter
parameter).
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58
3. Tools

3.1 End Mill / Bull nose mill / Ball nose mill

The End/Rough Mill tool type, used is previous SolidCAM versions, is reclassified into
three separate tool types: End mill, Bull nose mill and Ball nose mill, according to the
Corner radius value.

3.1.1 End mill

A tool of this type is defined by the


parameters shown in the image. Note Arbor Diameter
that the Corner radius parameter, used for
the tool definition in previous versions,
is not used any more for the End Mill tool
definition.
Total
length
The cylindrical tool arbor is added to Outside
the tool definition. The arbor diameter Holder
and length are defined by: Arbor Diameter Shoulder Length
Length Cutting
and (Total Length - Shoulder Length). The
Length
Shoulder Length should be greater than or
equal to the Cutting Length, and equal to
or less than the Outside Holder Length.
Diameter

When a new tool is created, the default value of the Arbor Diameter is equal to the
Diameter value. The default value of the Shoulder Length is equal to the Cutting Length.

59
3.1.2 Bull nose mill Arbor Diameter

A tool of this type is defined by the


parameters shown in the image. The
Corner radius of a tool of the Bull nose
mill type should be in the range from 0
Total
to half the Diameter value. Length
Outside
The cylindrical tool arbor is added to Shoulder Holder
Length Cutting Length
the tool definition, same as for the End
Length
mill tool.

Diameter Corner Radius

3.1.3 Ball nose mill

A tool of this type is defined by the Arbor Diameter


parameters shown in the image.

The of a tool of the Bull


Corner radius
nose mill type is equal to half
the Diameter
value and cannot be changed. Total
Length
The cylindrical tool arbor is added to the Outside
Shoulder Holder
tool definition, same as for the End mill Length
Length Cutting
tool. Length

Diameter Corner Radius

60
3. Tools

Tools conversion

SolidCAM automatically converts tools of the End/Rough Mill tool type, created with
previous SolidCAM versions, into one of the three tool types described above. The
tools conversion is performed according to the Corner radius value:

• Tools with zero Corner radius are converted into End mill tool type.

• Tools with Corner radius equal to half the Diameter are converted into Ball
nose mill type.

• Tools with Corner radius in the range from 0 to half the Diameter value are
converted into Bull nose mill type.

When an existing tool (created in a previous SolidCAM version) is converted into


End mill / Bull nose mill / Ball nose mill tool, the value of the Arbor Diameter is defined
as equal to the Diameter. The value of the Shoulder Length is defined as equal to the
Cutting Length.

61
3.2 Drill tool

The cylindrical tool arbor is added to Arbor Diameter


the tool definition. The arbor diameter
and length are defined by: Arbor Diameter
and (Total Length - Shoulder Length). The
Shoulder Length should be greater than or
equal to the Cutting Length, and equal to
Total
or less than the Outside Holder Length. Length Shoulder
Outside
Length Cutting Holder
Length Length
When a new tool is created, the default
value of the Arbor Diameter is equal to
Angle
the Diameter value. The default value of
the Shoulder Length is equal to the Cutting
Length. Diameter

During the conversion of tools defined in previous SolidCAM versions, the tool arbor
is added with the following values:

• Arbor Diameter is equal to the Diameter value.

• Shoulder Length is equal to the Cutting Length.

62
3. Tools

3.3 Bore tool

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides this


Arbor
new tool type for boring using Diameter
the Drill operations.

The image illustrates the


parameters used for the Bore tool Total
Outside
definition. Holder
Length
Diameter
Length
Shoulder
Length

Corner Radius

Cutting Angle
Length
Parameter limitations

• Corner Radius should be equal to or less than the Cutting Length.

• Angle should be greater than 0° and less than 90°.

• Cutting Length value should be equal to or less than the Shoulder Length
value.

• Shoulder Length value should be equal to or less than the Outside Holder Length
value.

• Outside Holder Length value should be equal to or less than the Total Length
value.

63
3.4 Center drill tool

This new tool type is used for center


drilling in Drill operations. Arbor
Diameter

The image illustrates the parameters


used for the Center drill tool
Shoulder
definition. Angle
Total
Outside Length
Holder
Length
Cutting
Length
Angle

Tip Diameter Tip


Length

When this tool is used in combination with the Use chamfer option,
SolidCAM calculates the drilling depth according to the following
formula:

Drilling depth = Tip length + Arbor Diameter /2 + cotan(Shoulder angle / 2)

Arbor diameter

Cutting length
Shoulder angle
Chamfer Diameter

Drilling depth

Tip Diameter Tip length


Chamfer Diameter

64
3. Tools

Parameter limitations

• Tip diameter should be less than the Arbor Diameter.

• Tip Angle should be greater than 0° and less than 180°.

• Shoulder Angle should be greater than 0° and less than 180°.

• The length of the conical part defined by Tip diameter and Tip angle should
be equal to or less than the Tip length value. The length of conical part can
be calculated with the following formula: Cone Length = Tip diameter / (2*tan(
Tip angle /2))

• Tip length should be equal to or less than the Cutting Length value.

• Cutting Length should be equal to or less than the Outside Holder Length
value.

• Outside holder length should be equal to or less than the Total Length value.

65
3.5 Chamfer drill

This new tool type is used for Arbor Diameter


chamfering.

The image illustrates the parameters used


for the Chamfer drill tool definition.
Total
Parameter limitations Length Outside
Shoulder
Holder
Length
• Angle should be greater than 0° Length Cutting
Length
and less than 180°. Angle

• Cutting Lengthshould be equal


to or less than the Shoulder Diameter
Length value.

• Shoulder Length should be equal to or less than the Outside Holder Length
value.

• Outside Holder Length should be equal to or less than the Total Length value.

66
3. Tools

3.6 Dove tail mill

This new tool type is available for dove Outside


tail slot machining. Arbor Holder
Diameter Length
The image illustrates the parameters used
Shoulder
for the Dove tail tool definition. Length

Parameter limitations
Total Angle
• Angle should be greater than 0° Length
and less than 90°. Cutting
Length
• Corner radius should be equal
to or less than half the Diameter
value.

• Cutting Length should be equal


Corner Radius Diameter
to or less than the Shoulder
Length value.

• Shoulder Length should be equal to or less than the Outside Holder Length
value.

• Outside Holder Length should be equal to or less than the Total Length value.

67
3.7 Taper tool

The cylindrical tool arbor is added to Outside


the tool definition. The arbor diameter Holder
and length are defined by: Arbor Diameter Arbor
Length
and (Total Length - Shoulder Length). The Diameter
Angle
Shoulder Length should be greater than or
equal to the Cutting Length, and equal to
or less than the Outside Holder Length.

The image illustrates the parameters used Total


Length Shoulder
for the Taper tool definition. Length Cutting
Length
Tools conversion
Cone
Length
During the conversion of existing tools, Diameter
the tool arbor is added with the following
values: Tip Corner
Diameter Radius
• Arbor Diameter is equal to the
tool Shank Diameter

• Shoulder Length is equal to the Cutting Length + (Outside Holder Length – Cutting
Length)/2

Arbor Diameter

Shank diameter
Total
Total Length
length Outside
Outside Holder
Holder Length
Length Diameter

Cutting Shoulder
Length Length
Cutting
Cone length
Length
Corner
Corner Taper angle Taper angle
radius
radius
Diameter Tip Diameter

Old definition New definition


68
3. Tools

In previous SolidCAM releases the flutes were considered to be only on the conical
face (flutes length and cone length were defined by the Cutting Length value). In
SolidCAM2008 R12, the cone length and flutes length are defined by separate parameters.
The Cone Length is determined by the Diameter, Taper angle and Tip diameter parameters.
The Cutting Length parameter defines the length of flutes. The flutes can be located at
the conical and cylindrical faces of the tool.

You choose one of the check boxes, at the side of the Tip Diameter and Cone Length
edit boxes, in order to define the taper tool using either the Tip diameter or the Cone
Length.

When the Tip Diameter check box is selected, the Cone Length check box is unselected
and the relevant edit box is disabled; the Cone Length value is thus automatically
calculated.

When the Cone Length check box is selected, the Tip Diameter check box is unselected
and the relevant edit box is disabled; the Tip Diameter value is thus automatically
calculated.

69
Note that the Tip Diameter is the diameter of the virtual intersection of
the conical shape with the bottom plane.

Tip Diameter

Parameter limitations

• Tip diameter should be less than the Diameter value.

• Angle should be greater than 0° and less than 180°.

• Corner Radius should be equal to or less than half the Tip Diameter value.

• Corner Radius should be less than the Cone Length value.

• Cutting Length should be equal to or less than the Shoulder Length value.

• Shoulder Length should be equal to or less than the Outside Holder Length
value.

• Outside Holder Length should be equal to or less than the Total Length value.

70
3. Tools

3.8 Engraving tool

This new tool type is used for


engraving. Arbor Diameter

The image illustrates the parameters


used for the Engraving tool Total
Length
definition. Outside
Diameter
Holder
Shoulder Length
Length

Cutting
Length
Angle

Tip Diameter Corner Radius


Parameter limitations

• Tip diameter should be less than the Diameter value.

• Angle should be greater than 0° and less than 90°.

• Corner Radius should be equal to or less than half the Tip Diameter value.

• Corner Radius should be less than the automatically calculated Cone Length
value (the Cone Length is calculated using the Diameter, Tip Diameter and
Angle values).

• Cutting Length should be equal to or less than the Shoulder Length value.

• Shoulder Length should


be equal to or less than
the Outside Holder Length
value.

• Outside Holder Length


should be equal to or less
than the Total Length value.

71
3.9 Face Mill tool

This new tool type is used for Arbor Diameter


Total Length
facing.

The image illustrates the parameters Shoulder Outside


used for the Face Mill tool definition. Length Holder
Length

Note that the Cutting Length edit box Cutting


Length Angle
is disabled, this edit box displays
the automatically calculated Cutting
Tip Diameter
Length value.
Diameter

Parameter limitations

• Tip diameter should be less than the Diameter value.

• Angle should be greater than 0° and less than 90°.

• Corner Radius should be equal to or less than the Cutting Length value.

• Corner Radius should be equal to or less than half the Tip Diameter value.

• Shoulder Length should be equal to or less than the Outside Holder Length
value and greater than or equal to the automatically calculated Cutting Length
value.

• Outside Holder Length should be equal to or less than the Total Length value.

72
3. Tools

3.10 Lollipop mill

The cylindrical tool arbor is added to


the tool definition. The arbor diameter Arbor Diameter
and length are defined by: Arbor Diameter
and (Total Length - Shoulder Length). The
Shoulder Length should be greater than or
equal to the Cutting Length, and equal to Total
Length Outside
or less than the Outside Holder Length. Holder
Length
The image illustrates the parameters used Cutting Shoulder
Length Length
for the Lollipop mill definition.

Diameter
During the conversion of existing
tools, the tool arbor is added with
the following values:

• Arbor Diameter is equal to


the tool Shank Diameter

• Shoulder Length is equal to


the Cutting Length

Parameter limitations

• Cutting Length has to be


equal to or less than the following value: (Diameter+sqrt( Diameter^2-Arbor
Diameter^2 ))/2

• Cutting Length has to be equal to or less than the Shoulder Length.

• Shoulder Length has to be equal to or less than the Outside Holder Length.

• Outside Holder Length has to be equal to or less than the Total Length value.

73
3.11 Reamer tool

The cylindrical tool arbor is added


to the tool definition. The arbor Arbor Diameter
diameter and length are defined by:
Arbor Diameter and (Total Length -
Shoulder Length). The Shoulder Length
should be greater than or equal to
the Cutting Length, and equal to or Total Outside
less than the Outside Holder Length. Length
Holder
Length
Cutting
The image illustrates the parameters Length
used for the Reamer tool definition.

During the conversion of existing


tools, the tool arbor is added with Chamfer Length
the following value: Diameter

• Arbor Diameter is equal to


the Diameter

Parameter limitations

• Chamfer Length should be equal to or less than the Cutting Length value.

• Cutting Length should be equal to or less than the Outside Holder value.

• Outside Holder should be equal to or less than the Total Length value.

74
3. Tools

3.12 Slot tool

The Shank Diameter used in previous Arbor


Diameter
SolidCAM versions, is renamed into
the Arbor Diameter in SolidCAM2008
R12, to be consistent with the other
tools. Total
Length Outside
Holder
The image illustrates the parameters Length
used for the Slot tool definition.

Cutting
Corner Radius Length
Diameter

75
3.13 Spot Drill

This new tool type is used for center Arbor Diameter


drilling and chamfering.

The image illustrates the parameters


Diameter
used for the Spot Drill definition.

Total Outside
The Cutting Length edit box is Length Holder
disabled. This edit box displays the Shoulder
Length
Cutting Length value, automatically Length
calculated by SolidCAM according Angle
to the Diameter and Angle values.

Parameter limitations
Cutting Length
• Angle should be greater
than 0° and less than 180°.

• Shoulder Length should be equal to or greater than the automatically calculated


Cutting Length value.

• Shoulder Length should be equal to or less than the Outside Holder Length
value.

• Outside Holder Length should be equal to or less than the Total Length value.

76
3. Tools

3.14 Tap tool

The cylindrical tool arbor is added


to the tool definition. The arbor
diameter and length are defined by:
Arbor Diameter and (Total Length -
Arbor Diameter
Shoulder Length). The Shoulder Length
should be greater than or equal to
the Cutting Length, and equal to or Total
less than the Outside Holder Length. Length Outside
Holder
Length
During the conversion of existing
Chamfer Cutting
tools, the tool arbor is added with Length Length
the following values:

• Arbor Diameter is equal to


the tool Thread Diameter
Tip Diameter
Diameter
• Shoulder Length is equal to
the Cutting Length

77
3.15 Thread Tool

The Shank Diameter used in previous Arbor


SolidCAM versions, is renamed into Diameter
the Arbor Diameter in SolidCAM2008
R12, to be consistent with the other
tools.

The image illustrates the parameters Total


used for the Thread tool definition. Length
Outside
Holder
Length Shoulder
Length

Thread Diameter Thread


Cutting
Length

78
3. Tools

3.16 Taper Thread Tool

The Shank Diameter used in previous Arbor


SolidCAM versions, is renamed into Diameter
the Arbor Diameter in SolidCAM2008
R12, to be consistent with the other
tools.
Total
The image illustrates the parameters
Length
used for the Taper Thread tool Outside Angle
definition. Holder
Length Shoulder
Length

Thread Diameter Thread


Cutting
Length

79
3.17 Choosing the tool type

The process of the tool type definition in SolidCAM2008 R12 is as follows: when you
start a new tool definition, SolidCAM displays the Tool Type dialog box in order to
choose the tool type.

For an existing tool, the tool type can be changed with the Change Tool type command
from the right click menu as shown.

80
3. Tools

3.18 Tool Units

In previous SolidCAM versions, the tools in the tool library were saved without the
units data. When a tool was loaded into a CAM-Part, its dimensions were interpreted
according to the CAM-Part units; therefore it was impossible to use tools with different
units than the units of the CAM-Part.

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the possibility to assign units data for each tool in
the tool library. The tool library can store tools of different units. Such functionality
enables you to use tools, defined in different units than the units of the CAM-Part,
without converting the tool parameters into the CAM-Part units. You can choose the
units for the tool diameter values and tool lengths separately.

The Mm/Inch radio buttons are also added to the Default Tool data page. These radio
buttons enable you to define the units used for the speed/feed definition. In the Part
Tool Table, these radio-buttons are disabled; the units of the CAM-Part are used.

81
When a tool library created in a previous SolidCAM version is loaded in SolidCAM2008
R12, the Assign Units dialog box enables you to assign units for tools.

82
3. Tools

3.19 Angular dimensions

In SolidCAM2008 R12, the button is added to each angular dimension edit box.

When the button is clicked, the angle is displayed in the degrees/minutes/seconds


format. The edit box becomes disabled.

When the button is clicked again, the edit box becomes enabled, with the angle
value in decimal format.

83
3.20 Rough tools

In previous versions, SolidCAM provided you with a separate tool type to define rough
end mill tools. SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to define rough tools of all the following
types:

• End mill • Bull nose mill

• Ball nose mill • Face mill

• Taper mill • Slot mill

• Drill • Bore

• Dove tail mill

The Rough check box is added to the Tool topology page for the tools of types listed
above; this check box enables you to mark the tool as suitable for rough milling.

84
3. Tools

The Rough tools only and Do not


display rough tools options are added
to the Range dialog box. These
options enable you to handle rough
tools during the tools sorting.

The Rough tools only option enables


you to display only rough tools in the
tools list.

When the Do not display rough tools


option is activated, the tools marked
as Rough are not displayed.

85
3.21 Link to the Carmex and Vardex thread milling tool libraries

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a link to the Carmex (www.carmex.com) and Vardex
(www.vardex.com) thread milling tool libraries. This link enables you to choose the
appropriate thread milling tool from the Carmex or Vardex library and import it for
use inside the SolidCAM Thread Mill Operation.

The installations of the Carmex (Carmex_Setup.msi) and Vardex


(VardexTMGen11.0.26-Full.exe) tool libraries are located in the /Util folder under the
SolidCAM installation directory.

To import a tool from the Carmex or Vardex thread milling tools library, choose the
Carmex or Vardex item from the standard tables list for Thread Mill and Taper Thread Mill
tools.

The Carmex or Vardex tool library


wizard is launched. The wizard
guides you through the steps to
define the parameters of the tool
you are looking for, selects a number
of tools from the library that fit
these parameters and enables you to
choose one of these tools. When the
tool is chosen, it is imported into the
SolidCAM tool library.

86
Milling 4
4.1 3D Depth type in Profile Milling

In the previous versions of SolidCAM, you could


define the depth for the variable-depth profiles only
manually with the Define depth option. SolidCAM2008
R12 provides you with the new 3D option for
machining 3D profiles. This option facilitates
the depth definition by determining the depth-
change points automatically according to the model
geometry.

To define the profile depth with this option, choose


the 3D option in the Depth type area of the Profile
Operation dialog box.

With the 3D option, the Operation


Upper Level at each point along the
profile, is defined automatically by Profile Depth
the 3D Profile varying depth.

88
4. Milling

The Delta Z parameter enables you to


offset the Operation Upper Level in
the Z-axis direction.
Delta Z

If you want to edit the depth-change points defined automatically with the Profile 3D
option, choose the Define depth option and click on the Pick button.

The depth-change points are displayed on the model. The Define depth dialog box
displays the data of these points and enables you to edit the profile depth definition by
picking points manually on the model.

89
4.2 Contour 3D operation

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the new Contour 3D operation which enables you
to utilize the power of the 3D Engraving technology for the 3D contour machining.
In this operation SolidCAM enables you to prevent the gouging between the tool and
the 3D contour.

The Contour 3D operation performs the machining of the defined 3D contour geometry
using the following technology parameters:

Tool reference

This option enables you to define the point on


the tool which is in contact with the machined 3D
contour.

• Tip. With this option, the tool tip is in


contact with the 3D contour; SolidCAM
prevents the gouging between the tool
and the 3D contour. Note that the tool
axis always crosses the geometry.

90
4. Milling

• Center.With this option, the tool center


is in contact with the 3D contour. In
this case, SolidCAM does not check
the gouging between the tool and the
contour.

Technology

When the Tip option is chosen for the Tool Reference definition, SolidCAM provides
you with the following technology parameters:

Type

This option enables you to perform the semi-finish and/or finish of the
3D contour.

• Semi-finish performs the machining of the 3D contour in several steps


along the Z-axis. The vertical distance between two steps is defined by
the Step down parameter.

• Finish will machine the 3D contour to its final dimensions in one step
down.

• Both is used to machine the 3D contour first with a semi-finish cut


and then with a finish cut.

91
Step down

This value defines the vertical distance between two successive steps
during the Semi-finish machining of the 3D contour.

• From Upper level.With this option, SolidCAM performs a number of


horizontal semi-finish passes at each down step, from the Upper Level
up to the defined Contour depth.
Upper Level

3D Contour geometry

Contour depth

• From surface. SolidCAM performs a number of 3D semi-finish passes


at each step down, from the chosen 3D contour to the defined Contour
depth.
3D Contour geometry

Contour depth

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4. Milling

4.3 T-Slot operation

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new type of Milling


operation that enables you to machine slots in vertical walls
with a slot mill tool.

The definition of the T-Slot Operation is mainly similar to the regular Profile operation,
except for a number of parameters related to the milling of the ceiling face of the
slot.

4.3.1 Second offset number

At the stage of the tool data definition, a


new parameter related to the tool offset
is available. The Second offset number
parameter defines the register number of
the upper cutting face offset, in the offset
table of the CNC machine. This option
enables SolidCAM to automatically take
into account the minor size differences
between the defined tool and the one
actually used for cutting the workpiece, if
there are any. You may choose not to use
this option by clearing the check box.

93
4.3.2 Technological parameters

Ceiling offset

For rough machining of the slot, you can define the offset
for the ceiling as well as for the walls and the floor.

Ceiling
offset

You may choose to remove this offset with the finish pass by
selecting the Ceiling check box in the Finish section.

Cutting depth overlap

This parameter defines the overlap of each two adjacent tool


paths, in both the rough and finish machining of the slot.

Cutting depth
overlap Cutting depth
overlap

94
4. Milling

Cutting direction

For both rough and finish cuts, you may define the direction of machining. The slot
can be milled from top to bottom or from bottom to top.

95
4.4 Face Milling Operation

In previous SolidCAM versions, face milling


(the machining of large flat surfaces with
face mill tools) was performed by utilizing
the Clear strategy of the Pocket Operation.
SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new
Face Milling Operation which includes the
functionality of the Clear strategy and new
advanced functionality.

To create a new Face Milling operation, choose the


Face command from the Add operation submenu. The
Face Milling operation dialog box is displayed.

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4. Milling

Geometry definition

SolidCAM enables you to define the geometry for the Face


Milling operation with the Face Milling Geometry dialog box.

Name

This edit box enables you to define the geometry


name.

Geometry is based on:

This section enables you to choose the method


of the Face Milling geometry definition.

• Model. With this option a rectangle, located at the XY-plane and surrounding
the Target model, is generated and chosen for the Face Milling geometry.
The rectangle chain is displayed in the Chains List section.
Face Milling Geometry

97
• Faces. This option enables you to define the Face Milling geometry by face
selection. The Define button and related combo-box enable you either to
define a new faces geometry with the Select Faces dialog box or to choose an
already defined geometry from the list. When the model faces are selected,
SolidCAM generates a number of chains surrounding the selected faces.
These chains are displayed in the Chains List section.
Face Milling Geometry

Selected faces

• Profile. This option enables you to define the Face Milling geometry by a
profile. The Define button and related combo-box enable you either to define
a new profile geometry with the Geometry Edit dialog box or to choose an
already defined geometry from the list. The defined chains are displayed in
the Chains List section.
Face Milling Geometry

98
4. Milling

Chain List

This section displays all the chains chosen for


the Face Milling geometry.

The Merge button enables you to merge all the Face Milling geometry
chains into a single chain. The Separate button enables you to divide a
merged chain into its initial separate chains.

Separate chains Merged chain


Modify

This section enables you to offset the chain


currently selected in the Chain List section. The
Apply to all button enables you to apply the
specified offset value to all the chains.
Offset

99
The definition of the Face Milling Operation is mainly similar to the regular Pocket
operation, except for a number of parameters related to face milling.

The Technology page of the Face Milling Operation dialog box provides you with the
following parameters:

Technology

SolidCAM enables you to choose the following technologies for the face milling:

• Hatch

With this strategy the machining is performed in a linear pattern. The Data
button displays the Hatch data dialog box which enables you to define the
hatch parameters.

The Hatch parameters used for the Face milling


are similar to the parameters used for the Hatch
strategy of the regular Pocket operation.

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4. Milling

During face milling the tool path is extended over the edges of the
machined face. The Extension section enables you to define the extension
both along the tool path (the Along section) and across the tool path (the
Across section). The extension can be defined either by percentage of the
tool diameter (the % of tool diameter option) or by value (the Value option).

Extension across
the tool path

Extension along
the tool path

• Contour

With this strategy the machining is performed


in a number of equidistant contours. The Data
button displays the Contour data dialog box which
enables you to define the contour parameters in
the same manner as for the Contour strategy of
the Pocket Operation.

The Contour parameters used for Face milling are


similar to the parameters used for the Contour
strategy of the regular Pocket operation.

101
Similar to the Hatch strategy, the Contour tool path can also be extended
over the machined face edges. The Extension section enables you to define
the extension of the tool path, same all around. The extension can be
defined either by percentage of the tool diameter (the % of tool diameter
option) or by value (the Value option).

Extension

• One Pass

With this option, SolidCAM performs the face


milling in one pass. The direction and location of
the pass is calculated automatically, taking into
account the face geometry, in order to generate
an optimal tool movement with the tool covering
the whole of the geometry.

The Data button displays the One Pass data dialog


box which enables you to define the machining
parameters.

102
4. Milling

The Extension section enables you to define the tool path extension over
the face edges. The extension can be defined either by percentage of the
tool diameter (the % of tool diameter option) or by value (the Value option).

Extension

The Overlap section enables you define the tool overlapping between two successive
passes. This section is enabled for Hatch and Contour strategies only.

Offsets

The Offsets section enables you to define the value of the Floor offset, the machining
allowance that is left unmachined on the face during the rough machining.

The Finish check box enables you to remove the remaining offset with the last cut (if
the check box is selected) or leave the offset unmachined for further operations (if the
check box is unselected).

Sort cut order

The Complete Z-level option enables you to define the order of the machining Z-levels,
in case more than one face is machined. The behavior of this option is similar to its
behavior in the Pocket Operation.

103
4.5 Vertical zigzag passes in Profile operation

In previous SolidCAM versions the linking of the


profile machining passes, located at successive
Z-levels (defined with the Step down parameter), was
performed by rapid movement up to, at and down
from the Clearance level. At the end of each pass the
tool performs a retreat movement to the operation
Clearance level, a horizontal movement at rapid feed
to the beginning point of the next pass and then
descends to the Z-level of the next pass. With this
method SolidCAM keeps the same cutting direction
(either climb or conventional) along the whole tool
path.

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the possibility to


connect the passes, located at two successive Z-levels,
directly from the end of a pass to the beginning of
the next pass. With this connection method the
machining is performed in a zigzag manner; the
machining changes to the opposite direction from
one pass to the next.

The Depth cutting type section is located in the


Technology page of the Profile operation dialog box.
This section enables you to switch between the One
way and Zigzag options.

When the One way option is chosen, the cutting passes are oriented in the same direction
and connection between them is performed through the operation Clearance level.

When the Zigzag option is chosen, the tool path is performed in a zigzag manner, with
the tool path direction changing from one pass to the next.

The Zigzag option cannot be used together with the Clear offset
technology.

104
4. Milling

Lead in and Lead Out

When the Lead In/Out strategies are used Movements defined by Lead in strategy
together with the Zigzag option, SolidCAM
calculates the lead in/out movements for
all the cuts according to the direction of
the first cutting pass, irrespective of the
direction of the other cutting passes. During
the tool path linking, SolidCAM connects
the cuts (containing lead in and lead out
movements) in a zigzag manner and changes
the direction of all even cuts to the opposite.
Therefore only for odd cuts, the Lead in
strategy is used for the lead in and the Lead
Out strategy is used for the Lead Out. For
even cuts the Lead In strategy is used for the
Movements defined by Lead out strategy
Lead Out and the Lead Out strategy is used
for the Lead In.

Tool side and compensation

When the Zigzag option is used, the


Tool side combo-box defines the tool
location for the first cut. For each
successive cutting pass, the tool
position, relative to the geometry
direction, is changed.

When the compensation is used


for the tool path linked using the
Zigzag option, SolidCAM takes into
account the machining direction
and the changes in the tool position,
relative to the geometry direction,
for each successive cut. The different
compensation commands are used
in the GCode output for even and
odd cuts.

105
4.6 Equal step down in Profile and Pocket operations

In previous SolidCAM versions, the


machining of the Profile and Pocket Step down
operations started from the Upper level
and continued on a number of successive
Z-levels till the operation Depth (modified Last cut depth

with the Floor offset and Delta depth


parameters). The distance between two
successive Z-levels was determined by the
Step down parameter. If the machining
depth was not divisible exactly by the Step
down parameter, the depth of the last cut
was less than the Step down parameter.

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the Equal step down option that enables you to
keep an equal distance between all Z-levels. With this option you have to specify the
Max. Step down parameter (instead of the Step down parameter).

106
4. Milling

According to the operation Depth (modified with the Floor offset and Delta depth
parameters), SolidCAM automatically calculates the actual step down to keep an equal
distance between all passes, while making sure not to exceed the specified Max. Step
down value.
Max. Step down

Actual
step down

107
4.7 Final cuts machining in Profile and Pocket operations

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the option to divide the depth to be machined
into two regions, each with its own Step down, with the second region, close to the
depth bottom, having the smaller Down step.

The Final cuts button is added to the Technology page of the Profile/Pocket Operation
dialog box.

This button displays the Final cuts dialog box. This dialog box enables you to define
the parameters of the Final cuts machining.

When the Final cuts used check box is activated, the option is used.

The Number of steps parameter defines the number of Final cuts.

The Step down value defines the distance between two successive Final cuts.

108
4. Milling

When the Final cuts option is used, the check box on the
Final cuts button is activated.

When the Final cuts option is activated, SolidCAM performs the machining with the
operation Step down from the Upper level till the depth calculated according to the
following formula: Depth - Number of cuts * Step down.

From this depth, the machining is performed in a number of cuts, determined by the
Number of cuts/ Step down parameters in the Final cuts dialog box. The machining in
such manner is performed till the full operation depth.
Step down

Step value

Final Cuts

109
4.8 Wall Draft angle in Profile and Pocket operations

In previous SolidCAM versions, it was possible to perform Profile and Pocket


operations on vertical walls only.

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to perform the machining of walls inclined with a
constant draft angle along all the geometry.

The Wall draft angle button is added to the Technology


page of the Profile and Pocket operation dialog boxes.
This button displays the Wall draft angle dialog box.

When the Wall draft angle check box is activated in the


dialog box, the inclined wall machining is performed.

The External wall angle parameter defines the draft angle of


the wall; the angle is measured from the Z-axis direction as
shown.

The Islands wall angle parameter defines the draft angle


of the island walls. This parameter is relevant only within
the Pocket operation; the angle is measured similar to the
External wall angle parameter.

110
4. Milling

For the inclined wall machining, each cutting pass located


at a specific Z-level is generated according to the specified
External/Island wall angle parameter.

The External corner type option enables you to define how


the cutting passes will be connected during the external
corners machining. The following possibilities are available
for two possible types of corners in the geometry model:

If the geometry model has sharp corner there are two options for creating tool path at
the corner:

• Sharp Corner. With this option the tool Geometry


path is calculated in such a way so as to
perform the machining of a sharp corner.

• Conical fillet.With this option the tool path Geometry

is calculated in such a way so as to perform


the machining of the corner with a conical
fillet; the radius of the tool path rounding
increases from one pass to the next.

If the geometry model has filleted corner there is one option for creating tool path at
the corner:
Geometry
• Cylindrical fillet.
The tool path is calculated
in such a way so as to perform the
machining of the corner with a cylindrical
fillet; the radius of the tool path rounding
is the same for all the cutting passes.

111
4.9 Profile floor machining

In previous SolidCAM versions, the Profile operation enabled you to define a


machining allowance in XY direction (Wall offset), leaving it unmachined during the
profile roughing and removing it during the finishing passes (within the same operation
or within another Profile operation).

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the possibility to define a similar allowance in
the Z-direction (Floor offset). This Floor offset is left unmachined during the profile
roughing and removed during the finishing.

The Floor offset parameter is added to the Offsets section,


located on the Technology page of the Profile operation dialog
box.

The Floor offset parameter is available only when the Rough section is
activated.

When the Floor offset is specified,


SolidCAM performs the machining Step Down
by the Z-levels defined with the Step Profile Depth
down parameter. The machining
is performed up to the Floor offset
from the Profile depth.

The Clear offset section enables you


to define the parameters of the Clear
offset machining for the roughing
and finishing passes.
Floor offset

112
4. Milling

The use of the Clear offset option for the Profile


finishing enables you to perform the machining of
both the Wall and Floor offsets. In this case, SolidCAM
performs first the machining of the floor area and
then the walls.

The floor area is machined with a single cutting pass


at the Profile depth. This cutting pass is calculated
using the Clear offset strategy (with the specified
Offset and Step over parameters) and taking into
account the specified Wall offset.

Wall offset

Offset
Step Over

The wall finishing is performed from


the Upper level till the Profile Depth in
a number of steps defined with the
Step down parameter.

Step Down

Profile Depth

113
4.10 Pocket Wall finishing

In previous SolidCAM versions, the Single Finish pass


pocket walls finishing was performed
with a single cut at the whole Pocket
depth.

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you also


to perform the finishing of the walls
in a number of successive cuts, with
the distance between them defined
by the Step down parameter.

Finish passes

The Depth section is added to the Finish section of


the Pocket operation dialog box.

This section enables you to choose how the wall


finish will be performed: either at the whole depth
(Total depth option) or in a number of steps at each
step down (Each step down option).

The options of the Depth section are available only when the wall finishing
is performed in the operation (the Wall or Floor option is used for the
Finish).

When the Wall draft angle option is used in the operation, the Depth options
are disabled and the Each step down option is used for the Wall finishing.

114
4. Milling

4.11 Open Pocket machining

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the functionality to Open Pocket


perform the machining of a pocket with a combination of
open edges and closed walls. This functionality generates
optimized tool path and lead in movements.

4.11.1 Open Pocket Geometry definition

SolidCAM enables you to define the geometry for the


Open Pocket Machining by defining open edges on the
conventional Pocket geometry.

Closed edges Pocket geometry

Open edge

The Mark open edges command is added to the right click menu
available on chain items in the Chain List section of the Geometry
Edit dialog box. This command displays the Mark Open Edges
dialog box. This dialog box enables you to mark the open edges
on already chosen pocket chains by picking on them.

The Mark as section of the dialog box enables you to choose the
selection mode. When the Open option is chosen, picking a pocket
geometry edge marks it as open. When the Wall option is chosen,
picking a pocket geometry edge marks it as closed (wall). With
the Toggle option, picking a closed edge marks it as open and vise
versa.

115
The Select section enables you to choose the selection method. When the Single entity
option is chosen, SolidCAM enables you to pick single entities in order to mark them
in order to mark them as open/closed. When the From/To entities option is chosen,
SolidCAM enables you to mark a segment of the pocket geometry by picking the start
and the end entities.

The CAD Selection button enables you to perform the selection using the CAD tools.

4.11.2 Open pocket machining parameters

The Open Pockets section is added to the Technology page of


the Pocket operation dialog box. This section is enabled only
when the pocket geometry contains open edges.

During the Open pocket machining the tool path is extended


beyond the open edges. The Extension section enables you
to define the overlapping between the tool and the open
edges; the overlapping can be defined either by percentage
of the tool diameter (the % of tool diameter option) or by
value (the Value option).
Open edge

Extension

The Use profile strategy option enables you to perform


the Open pocket machining in a Profile manner. The
tool path at a specific Z-level consists of a number of
equidistant profiles starting from outside the model
(at the distance defined by the Extension parameter).
The tool moves in parallel offsets to the pocket
geometry.

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4. Milling

The One way/Zigzag options enable you to define the tool path direction and linking.

• With the Zigzag option, the tool finishes one profile pass and then directly
moves to the next pass. The machining is performed without leaving the
material, thus constantly switching between climb and conventional milling.

• With the One way option, the tool finishes one profile pass, then rapidly
moves (G0) to the safety distance and then to the start of the next cutting
pass. The cutting direction (either climb or conventional) is preserved for
each cutting pass.

The Approach from outside option enables the tool to approach from outside of the
material in the open pocket areas, if possible. Such an approach enables you to decrease
the tool loading when plunging into the material. This option enables SolidCAM to
perform the approach movement from an automatically calculated point outside of
the material. The tool moves to the necessary depth outside of the material and then
plunges into the material.

The Descend to cutting level with Rapid option enables you to avoid vertical non-
machining movements outside of the material performed with the working feed by
direct rapid movement down to the cutting level.

117
When this check box is selected, the tool descends from the Clearance level outside of
the material directly to the cutting level (defined with the Step down parameter) using
the Rapid feed. Then the horizontal movement into the material is started with the
working feed.

Upper level

Rapid movement

Cutting level

When this check box is not selected, the tool descends from the Clearance level down to
the Safety distance with Rapid movement. From the Safety distance, the tool descends
down to the cutting level (defined by the Step down value) with the defined feed and
starts the horizontal cutting movements into the material with the working feed.

Upper level

Rapid movement

Safety distance

Feed movement

Cutting level

The Descend to cutting level with Rapid check box is available only when the
Approach from outside check box is selected.

118
4. Milling

4.12 Adjacent tool paths connection in Profile operations

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the Adjacent tool paths connection option for the
Profile operation. This option enables you to choose the connection method for adjacent
cutting passes generated using the Clear offset method with Zigzag option.

The Adjacent tool paths connection section is added to the Links page of the Profile
operation dialog box.

The following options are available to define the passes connection:

• Linear. With this option, the tool


movement from one cutting pass to the
next, is a straight line connecting the end
point of the first pass to the start point
of the next pass.

119
• Rounded. With this option, the tool
movement from one cutting pass to the
next is an arc, tangential to the adjacent
cuttings passes. The arc connects the
end point of the first pass to the start
point of the next pass.

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4. Milling

4.13 Complete Z-level in Pocket operations

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new Complete Z-level option which enables you
to define the order of the machining Z-levels during the machining of several pockets
within a single Pocket operation. The option is located in the Technology page of the
Pocket operation dialog box.

When the Complete Z-Level check box


is not selected, SolidCAM machines 1 5
all the Z-levels of the first pocket 2 6
and then starts the machining of the 3 7
next pocket.
4 8

When the Complete Z-Level check


box is selected, the machining is
1 2
performed by the Z-levels; SolidCAM
removes material at a specific Z-level 3 4
in all the pockets and then moves to 5 6
the next Z-level. 7 8

121
4.14 Movements between cutting passes

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new Keep tool down option that enables you to
reduce unnecessary rapid tool movements upto, at and down from the Clearance level,
during machining with Profile, Pocket, Pocket Recognition and Face Milling operations.
This option is added in the Link page of the operation dialog box.

Clearance level
If the Keep tool down check box is not selected, then after
the machining of a specific Z-level, the tool retracts up
to the Operation Clearance level. At this level the tool
horizontally moves to the start position of the next cut
and then descends to the next Z-level.

If the Keep tool down check box is selected, then after


the machining of a specific Z-level, the tool directly
moves to the start position of the next cut (without
retreating up to the Clearance level) and then descends
to the next Z-level.

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4. Milling

4.15 Minimal machined area in Floor Constant Z machining

In the Constant Z floor machining of 3D models, SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with
the possibility to define the minimal tool path segment length that will be machined.
The Min. cut area option is added into the Constant Z flat floor machining section of the
Constant Z Semi-Finish and Constant Z Finish dialog boxes.

123
124
Automatic Feature
Recognition and
Machining (AFRM) 5
5.1 Drill Recognition operation

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the new


Drill Recognitionoperation that combines
the power of automatic hole feature
recognition and the interactive control by
the user of the machining technology. This
operation provides you with two significant
advantages versus the current Drilling
operation:

• The Drill Recognition operation


performs powerful drill feature
recognition and automatic
Drill geometry creation using
SolidCAM AFRM module
functionality.
• While the Drilling operation enables you to define only one set of Milling
Levels parameters (Upper Level, Drill Depth, Delta Depth) that is common for all
the drill positions, the new Drill Recognition operation enables you to handle
separate sets of Milling Levels for each drill position. The initial values of the
Milling Levels sets are automatically recognized from the model and they can
be edited by the user.

The Drill Recognition operation dialog box enables you to define the geometry and the
technological parameters of the operation.

126
5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

5.1.1 Geometry definition

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to define the geometry for the Drill Recognition operation
using the AFRM functionality. The geometry used for the Drill Recognition operation is
automatically recognized on the Target model. Therefore the Target model should be
defined in the CAM-Part before you define the Drill Recognition operation.

The geometry definition is performed using the HR Drill


Geometry Selection dialog box. This dialog box provides
you control over the parameters of the drill recognition
and enables you to select the specific hole features that you
want to machine in the current Drill Recognition operation.
The hole recognition is performed on the Target model in
a direction parallel to the Z-axis of the Coordinate System
chosen for the operation.

The major steps of the HR Drill Geometry selection are


follows:

• Choose the model configuration used for the


recognition.

• Set the selection filter options (Hole type, Hole


diameter, Hole Upper level and Hole Height).

• Perform the holes recognition and generate the


recognized holes tree.

• Choose from the holes tree those holes that you


want to include in the operation geometry.

• See a preview of the machining sequence.

Following is a detailed explanation of the all the sections and


parameters of the HR Drill Geometry Selection dialog box.

127
Name

This edit box enables you to define the geometry name.

Configuration

This section enables you to select the SolidWorks model configuration to


be used for the geometry definition.

Hole type

This section sets the recognition filter that filters the hole features according
to their type.

The Through check box enables you to recognize the through hole features.
The Blind check box enables you to recognize the blind hole features.

When both of these check boxes are unselected, hole recognition


cannot be performed and the Find Holes button is disabled.

Hole Diameter (d)

When this section is activated, SolidCAM


enables you to filter the hole features according
to the Hole Diameter. With this filter, only the
hole features with the Hole Diameter within the
specified range are recognized.

The From and To values enable you to define the diameter range either by
typing in the values or by picking on the solid model. When the cursor
is located in the From/To edit box, SolidCAM enables you to specify the
diameter value by picking either a specific cylindrical surface or a circular
edge in the solid model. When a cylindrical surface / circular edge is
picked, its diameter is calculated and inserted into the relevant edit box (the
previous value is removed). The edit box becomes pink. When you remove
the automatically determined value, the edit box becomes white.

128
5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

The Thread only option enables you to recognize only hole features with
threads. When this option is checked, the From and To values define the
range of the Thread diameter values. When the Thread option is active the
From and To values can be defined by picking either a specific cylindrical
surface, cosmetic thread or circular edge in the solid model.

Hole Upper level (u)

When this section is activated, SolidCAM


enables you to filter the hole features according
to the Upper Level. With this filter, only the hole
features with the Upper Level within the specified
range are recognized.

The From and To values enable you to define the Upper Level range either
by typing in the values or by picking on the solid model. When the cursor
is located in the From/To edit box, SolidCAM enables you to specify
the Upper Level value by picking the solid model. When a model point
is picked, the Z-value of the picked position is calculated and inserted
into the relevant edit box (the previous value is removed). The edit box
becomes pink. When you remove the automatically determined value, the
edit box becomes white.

Hole height (h)

When this section is activated, SolidCAM


enables you to filter the hole features according
to the Hole Height. With this filter, only the hole
features with the Hole Height within the specified
range are recognized.

The From and To values enable you to define the Hole Height range either
by typing in the values or by picking on the solid model. When the cursor
is located in the From/To edit box, SolidCAM enables you to specify the
Hole Height value by picking the solid model. When a model point is picked,
the Z-value of the picked position is calculated and inserted into the
relevant edit box (the previous value is removed). The edit box becomes
pink. When you remove the automatically determined value, the edit box
becomes white.

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Found holes Undo/Redo

This section provides you with the Undo/Redo buttons that enable you to
go back/forward to a specific choice of holes, found with a specific set of
filter parameters.

Options

• Find Holes

The Find holes button performs the holes recognition and filtering of
the recognized holes according to the criteria described above. The hole
features matching the specified filter criteria will be displayed in the Holes
Tree list.

Actually, the holes recognition is not performed each time when


you click on the Find Holes button. When the holes recognition
is performed the first time for a specific Z-axis direction, the
recognized holes data is stored in the database and can be used
for further geometry definition. When you click on the Find
Holes button, SolidCAM retrieves the data from the database,
according to the filter settings, and checks the synchronization
between the data and solid model. If the data in the database is
not synchronized, a new holes recognition process is performed
and filtering is re-applied.
• Preview

The Preview button displays the current drill geometry (based on selected
items in the Holes Tree) and the initial machining sequence. Click on the
Resume button to return back to the geometry definition.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

Holes Tree

In the Holes Tree list, the hole features are classified


into Shapes and Groups. A Shape contains all the
hole features with the same topology; within a
Shape, the Groups include all the hole features
with the same parameters: shape dimensions,
upper level and height.

The check box at the side of each item in the


Holes Tree list enables you to select/unselect this
item to participate in the current drill geometry.
When a Group or Shape is selected, all the hole
features belonging to them are selected. The
selected items are highlighted on the model.

The right-click menu is available on the items in


the list.

The Select All command enables you to select all the recognized hole
features to participate in the drill geometry.

The Unselect All command enables you to clear the selection from all the
hole features in the list.

The Show hole command displays the Hole Picture


and Hole Parameters dialog boxes.

The Hole Picture dialog box provides you with a


schematic image of the selected hole feature.

The Hole Parameters dialog box displays


parameters of the selected hole feature. This
dialog box displays the common hole feature
data and the specific parameters of the hole
feature segments.

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Synchronization

Synchronization in case the model changes

During the synchronization check, SolidCAM checks the correspondence


between the holes included in the geometry and the updated solid model.
If a mismatch between the holes location is found, SolidCAM marks this
geometry as “not synchronized” and enables you to synchronize it. During
the synchronization, SolidCAM updates the holes locations. If the location
of a hole included in the geometry cannot be updated from the model (the
hole is missing), SolidCAM excludes this hole from the geometry. If all
the holes are excluded from the geometry, SolidCAM marks this geometry
with an exclamation sign; such geometry requires manual editing and re-
definition.

Synchronization in case of Coordinate system change

When the Coordinate System used for the geometry definition is changed,
SolidCAM tries to recalculate all the hole features included in the geometry,
according to the updated Coordinate system position and orientation.

When the axis of a hole, included in the geometry, is not parallel to the
Z-axis of the updated Coordinate system, SolidCAM excludes this hole
from the geometry. If all the holes are excluded from the geometry,
SolidCAM marks this geometry with an exclamation sign; such geometry
requires manual editing and re-definition.

When the parallelism between hole axis and Z-axis of the Coordinate
System is preserved after the CoordSys update, SolidCAM recalculates the
hole center coordinates according to the updated origin.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

5.1.2 Drill Depth definition

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to perform the machining of a number of identical


drills, with different depths and located at different levels, within a single operation.

After the geometry for the Drill Recognition operation is defined, the Depth Edit dialog
box enables you to edit the Milling Levels parameters (Upper Level, Drill Depth, Delta
Depth) for the each drill separately.

Holes Tree

The Holes Tree section displays the list of all the drill instances
chosen for the geometry. All the drills in the list are structured
by groups. Each Group has the same Upper level, Drill Depth,
Delta Depth and Drill type.

Each drill instance in the list is accompanied by the X- and


Y- coordinates of the drill positions.

133
Each Group in the list is accompanied by the following information enclosed in
parentheses: Upper level, Drill Depth, Delta Depth and Drill type.

The initial values of the Drill depth and Upper level parameters are recognized on the
Target model. The 0 value is used as default for Delta depth. The Cutter tip option is used
by default for all the Drill type definitions.

All the list entries can be selected. When some entry is selected, the relevant parameters
are displayed in the Upper Level, Drill Depth, Delta Depth and Drill type sections. The
selected group/drill instances are highlighted on the solid model.

The right-click menu is available on each item in the list.

This menu provides you with the following commands:

• Restore Data from Model. This command enables you to restore and assign to
selected item (either group or single drill instance) the Upper Level and Drill
Depth recognized on the Target model. The Delta Depth value is restored to
0. The Drill type option is restored to the Cutter tip. When the Restore Data
from Model command is applied, SolidCAM checks the Holes tree items and
reorganizes them into groups according to the changed parameters.

• Restore Data from Model to All. This command restores the Upper Level, Drill
Depth, Delta Depth and Drill type data for all the drill instances in the list. When
the Restore Data from Model to All command is applied, SolidCAM checks the
Holes tree items and reorganizes them into groups according to the changed
parameters.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

Upper Level

The Upper Level section enables you to set the value of the
Upper level and apply it for a single hole, group or all the
holes.

The edit box displays the value of the Upper Level of the selected item (group or hole).
The edit box enables you either to type in the value or pick the value directly from the
model (when the focus is placed in the edit box). SolidCAM enables you to pick planar
faces parallel to the XY-plane of the Coordinate System, model vertices and sketch
points. When a model is picked, the Z-value of the picked position is displayed in the
edit box. The edit box becomes pink. Such pink background means that the parameter
is defined associatively to the solid model. When the edit box value is typed in, it is not
associative to the model; in this case a white background is used.

The Apply button enables you to apply the defined Upper level value to the selected
list item (group or drill instance). When a new Upper Level value is applied, SolidCAM
checks the Holes tree items and reorganizes them into groups according to the changed
parameters. SolidCAM checks all the groups to find a group with identical Upper Level,
Drill Depth, Delta Depth and Drill type parameters. If such a group is found, SolidCAM
adds the updated drill to this group. In case of absence of a suitable group, a new
group is created; the updated drill instance is added to this group.

The Apply button is disabled until you change the value in the edit box.

The All check box enables you to apply the updated Upper Level value for all the drill
instances.

Drill Depth

The Drill Depth section enables you to define the value of


the Drill depth and apply it for a single hole, group or all the
holes.

The edit box displays the value of the Drill Depth of the selected item (group or hole).
The edit box enables you either to type in the value or pick the value directly from the
model (when the focus is placed in the edit box). SolidCAM enables you to pick drill
faces or edges. SolidCAM determines the depth of the picked drill according to the
defined Upper Level and displays the value in the edit box. The edit box becomes pink.
Such pink background means that the parameter is defined associatively to the solid
model. When the edit box value is typed in, it is not associative to the model; in this
case a white background is used.
135
The Apply button enables you to apply the defined Drill depth value to the selected
list item (group or drill instance). When a new Drill depth value is applied, SolidCAM
checks the Holes tree items and reorganizes them into groups according to the changed
parameters. SolidCAM checks all the groups to find a group with identical Upper Level,
Drill Depth, Delta Depth and Drill type parameters. If such a group is found, SolidCAM
adds the updated drill to this group. In case of absence of a suitable group, a new
group is created; the updated drill instance is added to this group.

The Apply button is disabled until you change the value in the edit box.

The All check box enables you to apply the updated Drill depth value for all the drill
instances.

Delta Depth

The Delta Depth section enables you to set the value of the
Delta Depth and apply it to a single hole, group or all the
holes.

The edit box displays the value of the Delta Depth of the selected item (group or hole).
The default value for the Delta Depth parameter is 0.

The Apply button enables you to apply the defined Delta Depth value to the selected
list item (group or drill instance). When a new Delta Depth value is applied, SolidCAM
checks the Holes tree items and reorganizes them into groups, according to the changed
parameters. SolidCAM checks all the groups to find a group with identical Upper Level,
Drill Depth, Delta Depth and Drill type parameters. If such a group is found, SolidCAM
adds the updated drill to this group. In case of absence of a suitable group, a new
group is created; the updated drill instance is added to this group.

The Apply button is disabled until you change the value in the edit box.

The All check box enables you to apply the updated Delta depth value for all the drill
instances.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

Drill type

The Drill type section enables you to define the Drill type
option that will be chosen for a single hole, group or all
the holes. The Drill type option enables you to choose the
diameter on the conical part of the drilling tool that will
reach the specified drilling depth during the machining. With
the Drill type option you can deepen a drilled hole in order to
obtain a given diameter at the specified drill depth.

The following options are available:

• Cutter tip. The drill tip reaches the defined Drill depth.

• Full diameter. The drill reaches the defined Drill depth with the full diameter.

• Diameter value. The drill reaches the defined Drill depth with the drill cone
diameter specified by the Diameter value parameter.

For more information about the Drill type options, refer to the SolidCAM
Milling User Guide.

The Apply button enables you to apply the defined Drill type to the selected list item
(group or drill instance). When a new Drill type option is applied, SolidCAM checks the
Holes tree items and reorganizes them into groups according to the changed parameters.
SolidCAM checks all the groups to find a group with identical Upper Level, Drill Depth,
Delta Depth and Drill type parameters. If such a group is found, SolidCAM adds the
updated drill to this group. In case of absence of a suitable group, a new group is
created; the updated drill instance is added to this group.

The Apply button is disabled until you change the current Drill type option.

The All check box enables you to apply the updated Drill type option for all the drill
instances.

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5.1.3 Technological parameters

The technological parameters used for the Drill Recognition operation definition are
identical to the parameters used for the Drilling operation definition.

For more information about drilling technological parameters, refer to SolidCAM Milling
User Guide.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

5.2 Pocket Recognition operation

SolidCAM2008 R12provides you with the Pocket Recognition operation which enables
you to recognize the pocket features on the solid model and perform their
machining.

5.2.1 Geometry definition

The automatically recognized geometry for the Pocket Recognition operation consists
of planar faces and the loops of the through pocket features.
Through pockets

Planar faces

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The Select Faces dialog box enables you to define the parameters of the pocket feature
recognition.

The major steps of the Pocket Recognition geometry selection are follows:

• Choose the model configuration used for the recognition.

• Set the selection filter options for Through Pocket and Circular Pocket.

• Set the selection mode (Solid body, Face, Through pocket chain.

• Perform the pocket recognition and generate the faces tree.

• Choose from the faces tree those faces that you want to include in the
operation geometry.

Following is a detailed explanation of the all the sections and parameters of the Select
Faces dialog box.

Name

This edit box enables you to define the geometry name.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

Configuration

This section enables you to select the SolidWorks model configuration to


be used for the geometry definition.

Through Pocket

If this section is activated within the Solid body selection modes, SolidCAM
performs also the recognition of through pocket features.

Through pockets

Only the through pocket features where Upper loop


the upper loop is similar to the lower loop
are recognized. SolidCAM rejects from
the selection the through pocket features
that cannot be machined with the current
Coordinate System position. Lower loop

141
Circular Pocket diameter filter

If the Circular Pocket diameter filter section is activated within the Solid body
selection modes, SolidCAM enables you to select circular pocket features
according to their diameter. All the circular pocket features with a diameter
larger than the specified Min. Diameter value will be selected; circular pocket
features, with diameter less than the specified Min. Diameter value, are
rejected. Using this option enables you to avoid the machining of drills
that will be machined with other operations (Drilling, Drill recognition
etc...).

The Min. Diameter parameter defines the minimum diameter either by typing
in the value or by picking on the solid model. When the cursor is located in
the Min. Diameter edit box, SolidCAM enables you to specify the diameter
value by picking either a specific cylindrical surface or circular edge in the
solid model.

When the Circular pocket diameter filter section is not active, all the recognized
circular pocket areas (suitable for the current Coordinate System) will be
selected.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

Selection mode

The Selection mode section enables you to set the mode of the geometry
selection. The following selection modes are available:

• Solid Body. This mode enables you to perform automatic recognition


of the pocket features on the picked solid body. With this mode,
SolidCAM recognizes all the planar faces with the surface normal
vector oriented parallel to the Z-axis of the current CoordSys. Planar
faces that cannot be machined with the current CoordSys position
(undercuts) are rejected from the selection. All the through pocket
areas are recognized (according to the Through pocket option state).
Z

Selected faces

Undercut face
(rejected)

• Face. This mode enables you to pick single planar faces. When a face is
picked, SolidCAM checks the parallelism between the surface normal
vector of the picked face and the positive direction of the Z-axis of the
current CoordSys. If they are not parallel, the face is not selected. The
undercut faces that cannot be machined with the current CoordSys are
also rejected. With the Face option, the selection is working in toggle
mode: the first click on a face selects it, the next click on the selected
face removes it from the selection.

143
• Through pocket chain. This mode enables you to select the through pockets
by picking one of the edges of the lower loop of the pocket area. When the
edge is picked, SolidCAM automatically chooses the complete geometry of
the through pocket. The lower loop is highlighted on the model. With the
Through pocket chain option, the selection is working in toggle mode: the first
click on an edge selects the loop, the next click on an edge of the already
selected loop removes it from the selection.

Model Appearance

The Transparency option enables you to display the selected solid bodies in
transparent mode.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

List of recognized elements

This section displays the list of all the recognized model elements that are
included in the geometry of the Pocket Recognition operation. Each model
element is accompanied by its Z-level value enclosed in parentheses. When
an element is selected in the list, it is highlighted on the solid model.

The right-click menu is available on the list items.


The Unselect command enables you to remove
the current item from the selected geometry.
The Unselect All command enables you to clear
the selection.

End of process of the geometry definition

When the Select Faces dialog box is confirmed, SolidCAM automatically generates a
number of pocket contours to perform the optimal machining of the selected faces
and through pockets.

For example in the part shown below, SolidCAM generates the contours shown below
from the selected planar faces.

The machining is performed in the following sequence. At


first stage the upper face is machined. At the next stage the
pocket is machined up to the height of the central pad. From
this height, the pocket with island is machined up to the final
pocket depth.

145
5.2.2 Geometry modification

After the geometry is defined, it can be shared between a


number of Pocket Recognition operations. In each such
operation, SolidCAM enables you to perform a specific
geometry modification. The modification is relevant only for
the current operation and does not affect other operations
based on this geometry.

The Modify button, located on the Geometry page, displays


the Geometry Modify dialog box which enables you to define
the parameters of the geometry modification.

Through pocket

This section enables you to modify the depth of the through pockets with
the specified Delta value. When a positive Delta value is applied, the through
pockets will be deeper by the specified Delta value.

Machine floor fillets

The Machine floor fillets option enables you to control the machining of the
fillets between the floor and walls of the pocket features.

When this option is activated,


SolidCAM generates a multi-
level pocket geometry, evenly
distributed along the Z-axis.
The machining of this geometry
performs the rough machining
of the fillets.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

The Number of Steps button enables you to display the Fillet Step number
dialog box. This dialog box enables you to control the parameters of the
multi-level geometry generation and provides you with the information
about the Maximum Fillet Radius found in the geometry.

This dialog box enables you to specify


the range of the fillet radii and assign for
each such range the number of steps;
SolidCAM generates such a number
of evenly distributed Z-levels. At each
level, a closed contour is automatically
generated.

Transparency

The Transparency section enables you to apply the transparency for the
solid bodies used for the geometry definition.

Preview

The Preview button enables you to display the modified geometry on the
solid model. The Resume button enables you to return from the preview
state to the dialog box.

List of the geometry elements

This list displays the geometry elements participating in the current


geometry. Each element in the list is accompanied by the following
information in the parentheses: Z-level at which the element is located,
radius of the adjacent fillet (if any) and diameter of circular pockets. The
check box, located at the side of the geometry elements in the list, enables
147
you to exclude the current element from the geometry of the current
operation. When the check box is activated, the element will be machined
by the current Pocket recognition operation.

A right-click menu is available on the elements


of the list. This menu enables you to perform
the following actions:

• Check all. This command enables


you to check all the elements of the
list.

• Uncheck all.This command enables you to uncheck all the


elements of the list.

• Invert check states. With this command the state of the check
boxes of all the elements will be reversed.

5.2.3 Milling Levels

The page enables you to control the machining level parameters: Start Level,
Levels
Clearance level, Safety distance, Upper level, Step down.
These parameters are similar to
the parameters of the regular Pocket Operation.
Note that the Pocket depth parameter is absent; it is automatically recognized from the
solid model, specifically for each pocket feature.

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5. Automatic Feature Recognition and Machining (AFRM)

5.2.4 Technological parameters

Most of the technological parameters used for the Pocket Recognition operation are
similar to the technological parameters of the Pocket operation.

For more information about technological parameters, refer to SolidCAM Milling User
Guide.

Following is the explanation of the specific parameters of the Pocket Recognition


operation.

Final Cut

When this option is activated, SolidCAM generates only the finish path
for the floor area of the pockets; rough machining will not be performed.
Since the Floor offset parameter is disabled, machining will be performed
only at the specified pocket depth.

149
5.3 Using color information in AFRM

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to use the color information from the model for the
technology definition in the AFRM module.

During the hole features recognition, SolidCAM recognizes the color of the hole
feature segments. The color information is displayed in the Show data dialog box.

During the conversion of the hole feature segments into machinable hole feature
segments the RGB color is converted into a number of Float type and assigned to
the hr_segm_color variable. This variable can participate in the conditions defined
in the Technology Database in order to choose the necessary technology solution.

Assigning color value to a variable

Choosing the Color definition command displays the Select Color dialog box.
This dialog box enables you to assign the color value to the
variable.

The color button enables you to choose the color from the Color
dialog box.

Click on the Pick face button and then pick on the model face. The color of the
picked face will be captured and displayed in the dialog box. The Float value of the
color and its RGB values are displayed in the relevant edit boxes. When the dialog
box will be confirmed with the OK button, the Float color value will be assigned to
the variable.
5.4 Dividing deep holes for machining from both sides

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with new functionality for machining cylindrical
through holes with depth significantly greater than a normal cutting length of a
tool. Such holes are divided into two halves so that they can be approached by the
tool from both sides and are machined with an overlap equal to 10% of the entire
hole depth.

Overlap

To divide a hole, right-click on its entry in the


Features page of the HR Manager and choose
the Divide Hole Segment command from the
menu.

Divided holes can be joined. The Join Hole


Segment command in the menu enables you
to join the divided segments.
High Speed Machining
(HSM) 6
6.1 Boundary definition by faces selection

SolidCAM2008 R12 HSM Module provides you with new method of the boundary
definition which enables you to define the boundary by faces selection similar to the
Working area definition for the 3D Milling Operation.

To use this mode of boundary definition, switch to the Created manually option in the
Boundary type section and choose the Selected faces option in the combo box.

Click on the Define button to start the boundary definition. The Selected faces dialog
box is displayed.

Name

This section enables you to define the boundary name and the tolerance
that is used for the boundary creation.
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6. High Speed Machining (HSM)

Drive faces

This section enables you to define Drive faces – the set of faces to be
milled. The tool path is generated only for machining of these faces. The
Define button displays the Select faces dialog box which is used for the
faces selection. The Offset edit box enables you to define the offset for the
Drive faces. When the offset is defined, the machining is performed at the
specified offset from the Drive faces.
Check face

Drive face
Drive faces offset

Check faces

This section enables you to define Check faces – the set of faces to be
avoided during the generation of the tool path. The Define button displays
the Select faces dialog box which is used for the faces selection. The Offset
edit box enables you to define the offset for the Check faces. When the
offset is defined, the machining is performed at the specified offset from
the Check faces.
Check faces offset
Check face

Drive face

For more information about the Select Faces dialog box, refer to SolidCAM Milling User
Guide.

155
6.2 Helical Machining strategy

SolidCAM2008 R12 HSM Module provides you with a new Helical Machining strategy.
With this strategy, SolidCAM generates a number of closed profile sections of the
3D Model geometry, located at different Z-levels, similar to the Constant-Z strategy.
SolidCAM then joins these sections in a continuous descending ramp in order to
generate the Helical Machining tool path.

The tool path generated by the Helical Machining strategy is controlled by two main
parameters:

156
6. High Speed Machining (HSM)

• Step down. This parameter defines the distance along the Z-axis between two
successive Z-levels, at which the geometry sections are generated. Since the
Step down is measured along the Z-axis (similar to the Constant-Z strategy),
the Helical Machining strategy is suitable for steep areas machining.

• Max. Ramp angle. This parameter defines the maximum angle (measured from
horizontal) for ramping. The descent angle of the ramping helix will be no
greater than this value.

Max. Ramp Angle

Step down

157
6.3 Offset Cutting strategy

In previous versions, SolidCAM was offering you the Morph Machining strategy, where
the tool path is generated between two Drive curves, that define the shape of the tool
path.
Tool path
SolidCAM2008 R12 HSM Module
Drive curve
provides you with an additional
Offset Cutting strategy. This strategy
is a particular case of the Morph
Machining strategy; the Offset Cutting
strategy enables you to generate a
tool path using a single Drive curve.
The tool path is generated between
a Drive curve and a virtual offset
curve, generated at the specified
offset from the Drive curve.

The Curve section in the Drive boundary page enables you to define the Drive curve
used for the tool path definition.

158
6. High Speed Machining (HSM)

The Clear direction section enables you to specify the direction in which a virtual offset
of the Drive curve is created. SolidCAM enables you to generate the offset in Right,
Left or Both directions from the Drive curve.

Left
Drive curve

Right

The Cutting direction section enables you to determine how the machining is performed.
If the Along option is chosen, the machining is performed along the drive curve. The
tool path morphs between the shapes of the drive curve and the offset curve, gradually
changing shape from the first drive curve to the offset curve. When the Across option
is chosen, the tool path is performed across the drive curve; each cutting pass connects
corresponding points on the drive curve and offset curve.

Along Across

159
The Clear offset parameters located at the Passes page enable you to define the offset
distance used for the virtual offset curve calculation. SolidCAM enables you to define
separate values for the Left Clear offset and Right Clear offset.
Tool path

Drive curve

Left Clear Offset

Right Clear Offset

160
Sim. 5-Axis Machining
7
7.1 User interface enhancements and new parameters

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a number of enhancements of the Sim. 5-Axis
operation user interface. These user interface enhancements are intended mainly to
group parameters in a more logical manner. Also a number of new parameters and
options have been added.

7.1.1 Sim. 5-Axis Operations

In previous versions, SolidCAM


offered you three types of Sim.
5-Axis Operations to perform 3-, 4-
and 5-Axis machining.

In SolidCAM2008 R12 the Sim.


5-Axis operation performs both
simultaneous 4- and 5-Axis
machining. The Sim. 5-Axis (3-Axis)
operation of the previous version
has been renamed as HSS (High
Speed Surface machining) and set as a
separate operation (see topic 7.2).

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

7.1.2 Geometry

The Geometry page provides you with the following sections:

• Pattern. This section enables you to define the machining strategy.

• Geometry. This section enables you to choose the geometry necessary for the
chosen strategy.

• Area. This section enables you to define the machining area.

The Sorting section, existing in previous versions, is moved to the


Tool path parameters page (see topic 7.1.5).

The Round corners option is moved to the Area section from the Tool
path parameters page.

For more information about Geometry page parameters and options, refer to SolidCAM
Sim. 5-Axis User Guide.

163
Margins

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new option for the Margins definition for the
Full, start and end at exact surface edges method of the Area definition.

The Add tool radius to margins enables you to expand the cutting area, defined by
margins, by the tool radius distance.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

7.1.3 Tools

The Tool page provides you with the following sections:

• Tool data. This section enables you to define the tool for the operation.

• Spin. This section enables you to define the spindle spin speed.

• Rate. This section enables you to define the feed rate for the operation.

• Rapid move parameters. This section enables you to specify the feed rate
used for rapid movements. This option is moved from the Change Feed Rate
According to Surface Radius dialog box.

The First cut feed rate scale percentage option is moved to the Tool page
from the Misc. Parameters page.

For more information about Tool page parameters and options, refer to SolidCAM Sim.
5-Axis User Guide.

165
7.1.4 Levels

The Levels page provides you with the following sections:

• Clearance area. This section enables you to define the Clearance area, which is
the area where the tool movements can be performed safely without gouging
the material.

• Levels.This section enables you define the Retract and Safety distance to
approach and retract from the part.

For more information about Levels page parameters and options, refer to SolidCAM
Sim. 5-Axis User Guide.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Several new options are added to the Clearance area section:

Plane

This option enables you to define the Clearance


User-defined vector
area by plane. The plane orientation is defined
by a vector normal to the plane. In previous
versions, SolidCAM enabled you to define this
vector as one of the Coordinate System axes (X,
Y or Z). SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with
an additional capability to define the plane by
an arbitrarily-oriented vector (the User defined
direction option).

The Direction dialog box enables you to define the direction


vector by its coordinates (dX, dY and dZ parameters). Using
the button, SolidCAM enables you to pick the start and end
points of the vector directly on the solid model.

Cylinder

This option enables to define the Clearance area


as a cylindrical surface enclosing the Drive surface.
In previous versions, SolidCAM enabled you to
define the cylinder axes only parallel to one of the
Coordinate System axes (X, Y or Z). SolidCAM2008
R12 provides you with an additional capability to
define the cylinder axis by an arbitrarily-oriented
vector (the Parallel to user defined direction option).

The Direction dialog box enables you to define the


direction vector by its coordinates (dX, dY and dZ
parameters). Using the button, SolidCAM enables User-defined vector
you to pick the start and end points of the vector
directly on the solid model.

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7.1.5 Tool path parameters

The Tool path parameters page provides you with the following sections:

• Surface quality.This section enables you to define the parameters that affect
the surface finish quality.

• Surface Merge edge distance.This section enables you to control the merging
of the tool path segments, generated for separate surfaces, into the operation
tool path.

• Advanced options for surface quality.


This section enables you define the
Chaining tolerance parameter which defines the tolerance of the initial grid
used for the tool path calculation.

• Sorting. This section enables you define the order and direction of the cuts.

• Tool contact point.This section enables you define the point on the tool
surface that contacts with the drive surfaces during the machining.

For more information about Tool path parameters page parameters and options, refer to
SolidCAM Sim. 5-Axis User Guide.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Scallop

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new Scallop


parameter, added to the Surface quality section. This
parameter enables you to define the cusp height of
the machined surface.

The Scallop parameter is available only


when a Ball Nose Mill tool is chosen for
the operation.
Scallop

The Scallop parameter corresponds to the


Max. Step Over parameter. When a Scallop is defined,
SolidCAM automatically updates the Max. Step Over
value according to the chosen tool diameter and
the Scallop; vise versa, when the Max. Step Over is
redefined, SolidCAM automatically recalculates the
Scallop value.

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7.1.6 Link

The Link page provides you with the following sections:

• First entry.This section enables you to define the first approach of the tool
to the cutting area.

• Last exit.This section enables you to define the last retreat of the tool from
the cutting area, after the machining.

• Gaps along cut. This section enables you define how the tool moves in the
gap areas along the cutting passes.

• Links between slice. This section enables you define how the tool moves
between cutting passes.

• Links between passes. This section enables you define how the tool moves
between cutting levels.

For more information about Link page parameters and options, refer to SolidCAM Sim.
5-Axis User Guide.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Links between passes

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to choose two different linking options for large and
small movements between cutting levels. The maximum size of movements to be
considered as small can be specified by a Value.

7.1.7 Default Lead In/Out

The Default Lead In/Out page provides you with the following sections:

• Lead In parameters.
This section enables you to define the parameters used
for the approach movements.

• Lead Out parameters. This section enables you to define the parameters
used for the retreat movements. The Same as Lead In option provided in
SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to use the defined Lead In strategy for the Lead
Out definition.

For more information about Default Lead In/Out page parameters and options, refer to
SolidCAM Sim. 5-Axis User Guide.

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7.1.8 Tool axis control

The Tool axis control page provides you with the following parameters and sections:

• Output format.
This parameter enables you to choose either 4-Axis or 5-Axis
output format for the operation.

• Max angle step.This parameter enables you to define the maximal allowed
angle change between the tool axes at two consecutive tool positions.

• Tool axis direction. This section enables you to choose the tool tilting strategy.
The tool tilting strategy enables you to define the orientation of the tool axis,
during the machining relative to the surface normal.

• Limits. This option enables you to limit the tool tilting along the tool path.

For more information about Tool axis control page parameters and options, refer to
SolidCAM Sim. 5-Axis User Guide.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Orthogonal to edge curve

This new option is added to the list of Side tilt definition options available when the
Tool axis direction is set to Tilted relative to cutting direction (in the Parallel to curve and
Morph between two curves strategies). With this option, the plane of the side tilting is
orthogonal to the edge curve at each cutting position.
Tilt angle at side
of cutting direction
Tilt angle at side
of cutting direction

Edge curve
Edge curve

Rotary axis
SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new option which
enables you to define the tool axis orientation when the
4-Axis output is chosen. The Point tool to rotary axis option is
added to the 4th Axis dialog box (this dialog box is available
with the Rotary axis button, when the 4-Axis output is used).

With this option, the tool is oriented in such


a way that its axis is intersecting the rotary
axis. When this option is activated, all other
options defining the tool axis orientation are Rotary axis
not available.

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7.1.9 Gouge check

The Gouge check page provides you with the following parameters and sections:

• Clearance. This parameter enables you to define the clearance offsets for
arbor and tool holder in order to get a guaranteed clearance gap between
arbor, tool holder and workpiece.

• Gouge pages. SolidCAM enables you to define four different sets of gouge
checking parameters. In each set you have to choose components of the tool
holding system and model faces to check the possible collisions between
them. You also have to define the strategy how to avoid the possible collisions.
Combining these sets, SolidCAM enables you to choose different strategies
for avoiding the different types of possible collisions.

For more information about Gouge check page parameters and options, refer to
SolidCAM Sim. 5-Axis User Guide.

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Moving tool away

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a number of


new retract options available for the Move tool away
strategy of the gouge checking. With these options,
SolidCAM enables you to define the direction of
the retract movements performed when possible
collisions are detected.

Retract tool opt. in XY, XZ, YZ plane

With this option, the retract movement is performed in the chosen plane,
similar to the Retract tool in XY, XZ, YZ plane options; the differences are in
the direction of the retract movements in the chosen plane. The contact
points, at which collisions are detected, are projected on the chosen
plane and connected into a contour. This contour is offset outwards by a
distance equal to the sum of the tool radius and the Stock to leave values.
This option enables you to perform the retract movements in optimal
directions, generating the shortest tool path.

Retract tool in user-defined direction

This option enables you to define the direction of


the retract movements by a vector. The Direction
dialog box (available with the Select button) enables
you to define the direction vector by its coordinates
(dX, dY and dZ parameters). Using the button,

175
SolidCAM enables you to pick the start and end points of the vector
directly on the solid model.

Retract movement

Retract direction vector

Retract along tool contact line

With this option, the retract movements are performed along the contact
line between the tool and the drive surface.

Contact line

Retract movements

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Advanced options for Use lead/lag and side tilt angles mode

With the Use lead/lag and side tilt angles mode (available for the Tilting tool away with max
angle strategy), SolidCAM enables you to use a combination lead/lag tilting and side
tilting to avoid possible collisions. SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a number of
advanced options for this mode.

The Optimize parameters dialog box is available with


the Advanced button located in the Use lead/lag and
side tilt angles dialog box. This dialog box provides
you with the following options and parameters
enabling you to optimize the tool tilting:

Optimize with following order

This section enables you to define a number


of the optimization preferences and set
their priority. The preferences are ordered
in the list from the highest priority (top of
the list) to the lowest priority (bottom of
the list).

• Stay close to initial tool orientation.


This option enables you to perform an
optimal tool tilting with a minimum angular deviation from the initial tool
orientation.

• Respect tool axis angle limits in cut direction.


With this option, SolidCAM tries
to keep the tool orientation in the cutting direction in the specified limits.

• Keep tool axis as vertical as possible. With this option, the tool is oriented as
vertical as possible.

• Minimize rotary axis moves. This option enables you to minimize the rotary
axis movements.

• Minimize tilt axis moves. This option enables you to minimize the tilting axis
movements.

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Fix axis (Rotary, Tilt, Both)

With this option, SolidCAM enables you to fix the CNC Machine axes
during the tilting movement, used to prevent collisions.

Re-optimize for

This slider enables you to perform re-optimization of the tilting movement,


used to prevent collisions. During the re-optimization, SolidCAM smooths
the tilting movements.

Leaving out gouging points

With this option, SolidCAM enables you to avoid possible


collisions by the tool path trimming. SolidCAM2008 R12
provides you with the following trimming options:

• Do not trim tool path.


With this option, only
the colliding segments of the tool path are
trimmed out.

• Trim tool path after first collision. With this


option, SolidCAM trims the whole cutting
pass, after the first detected collision.

• Trim tool path before last collision.


With this
option, SolidCAM trims the whole cutting
pass, before the last detected collision.

• Trim tool path between first and last collision.


With this option, SolidCAM trims the
cutting path between the first and last
detected collisions.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Report collisions

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new strategy of gouge avoiding. With the Report
collisions option, SolidCAM checks only for collision between the tool and the check-
faces, without trying to avoid the collision; a warning message is displayed.

Using the simulation, you can check the collision areas and choose the appropriate
method to avoid gouging.

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7.1.10 Roughing

The Roughing page provides you with the following parameters and sections:

• Avoid air cuts using following stock definition.


This section enables you to
trim the cutting passes to the pre-machined or casting stock faces to avoid
unnecessary air cutting.

• Multi passes. Using this option, SolidCAM enables you to perform the
machining with a number of roughing and finishing passes generated from
the initial cutting pass in the direction of the surface normal.

• Depth cut. Using this option, SolidCAM enables you to perform the machining
with a number of roughing and finishing passes generated from the initial
cutting pass in the direction of the tool axis.

• Plunge. Using this option, SolidCAM enables you to perform 5 axis machining
using plunging technology.

• Morph pocket. This option enables you to perform 5 axis pocket machining.

• Area roughing. With this option, the roughing tool path is generated inside
the initial tool path. For example, the floor area between impeller blades can
be machined using this strategy, if the initial tool path describes the left and
right side of the area limitations.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

• Rotate.
This option enables you to create a circular pattern of the tool path
around a specific axis.

For more information about Roughing page parameters and options, refer to SolidCAM
Sim. 5-Axis User Guide.

Avoid air cuts using following stock definition

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the possibility to


shrink/expand the stock model used for avoiding air cuts.
The defined Shrink/Expand value enables you to define the
3D offset by which the stock model will be modified.

Rotate

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with enhanced functionality to control the linking and
trimming of the tool path generated with the Rotate option.

The Apply stock option enables you to trim the tool path with the stock model either
before or after the rotation.

• Before rotation. With this option, SolidCAM generates the initial tool path,
trims it with the stock model and then performs the rotation. In this case all
the tool path instances are trimmed with the same stock.

• After rotation. With this option, SolidCAM performs trimming after the tool
path rotation. In this case the stock used for the trimming is updated after
each rotation instance.
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The Apply linking option enables you to link the tool path either before or after the
rotation.

• When the Before rotation option is chosen, SolidCAM generates the initial tool
path, links it and then performs the rotation. In this case the link movements
in all the rotated instances of the tool path are the same.

• When the After rotation option is chosen, SolidCAM applies linking after the
tool path rotation. It is recommended to use this option with the collision
control activated to avoid possible collisions in the link movements.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

7.1.11 Motion limit control

Using the parameters located on the Motion limits control page, you can optimize the
calculated tool path, according to the kinematics and special characteristics of your
CNC machine.

• Angle pairs.A 5-axis vector of the tool axis can always be mapped into two
different angle pairs. This section enables you to choose the necessary angle
pair.

• Angle control. These parameters enable you to control the angular tool
movements of the calculated tool path.

• Interpolation for distance. Using this option, SolidCAM enables you to perform
interpolation for the linear tool movements.

• Use Machine Limits. With this option, SolidCAM enables you to use the
machine limits defined within the machine definition to limit the tool path
movements in both translational and rotational axes.

• Control definition.This section enables you to define the angle limits for
the output tool paths, in order to generate a tool path compatible with the
angular limits of the specific CNC-Machine controller.

For more information about Motion limit control page parameters and options, refer to
SolidCAM Sim. 5-Axis User Guide.
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7.1.12 Miscellaneous parameters

The Misc. parameters page enables you to define a number of miscellaneous parameters
and options related to the 5 axis tool path calculation.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

7.2 HSS Operation (High Speed Surface machining)

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the HSS operation which enables you to use Sim.
5-Axis Machining strategies to perform 3-Axis Machining.

This operation provides you with the same interface, strategies, options and parameters
as Sim. 5-Axis operation.

Since the tool in 3-Axis Machining has a constant orientation (parallel to the Z-axis)
and cannot be tilted, the Tool axis control page is not available. In the Gouge checking
page, the Tilting tool away with max angle strategy which uses the tool tilting to avoid
collisions are also not available for the HSS operation.

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7.3 Sim. 5-Axis Sub-operations

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a number of Sim. 5-Axis sub-operations dedicated
for specific Sim. 5-Axis machining tasks. Such sub-operations provide you with a
subset of the parameters and options, relevant for the chosen technology. Using such
sub-operations provides you with quick programming of specific Sim. 5-axis tasks.

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the following Sim. 5-Axis sub-operations:

• Swarf Milling

• Impeller Machining

• Roughing

• Wall finish

• Floor finish - curve control of tilt

• Floor finish - surface control of tilt

The Technology section of the Sim. 5_axis operation enables you to switch between the
Standard Sim. 5-Axis operation and sub-operations.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

7.3.1 Swarf Milling

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the Swarf


Milling Sim.5-Axis sub-operation. The Swarf
Milling strategy provides you with a number of
advantages during steep areas machining. With
Swarf Milling machining is performed by the tool
side. The contact area between the tool and the
workpiece is a line, therefore a better surface
quality can be achieved with a minimum number
of cuts.

Geometry

The Pattern section enables you to define the strategy of the swarf machining.
SolidCAM offers you the following strategies:

• Parallel to curve.This strategy enables you to perform the machining of


the Drive surface along a lead curve; the generated cuts are parallel to each
other.

• Parallel to surface. This strategy enables you to generate the tool path on the
Drive surface parallel to the specified check surface.

For more information about these strategies, refer to SolidCAM Sim. 5-Axis User Guide.

187
The following geometries should be defined for the Swarf Milling sub-operation:

• Wall surfaces. This section enables you to define


the surface where the machining will be performed
(Drive surface). The Surface offset edit box enables
you to define the offset for the Wall surface. The
machining will be performed at the specified
distance from the Wall surfaces.

• Edge curve. This section enables you to define the


guide curve for the Parallel to curve strategy. The
machining is performed along this curve; the
generated cuts are parallel to each other. Generally
for Swarf Milling the lower edge of the Wall surface
is used for the edge curve definition.

• Edge surface. This section enables you to define the


guide surface for the Parallel to surface strategy. The
machining is performed parallel to this surface; the
generated cuts are parallel to each other. Generally
for Swarf Milling the surface, that is adjacent to the
lower edge of the Wall surface, is used for the edge
surface definition.

• Floor Surfaces. This section enables you to define


the Floor Surfaces that will be avoided during the
machining. The Surface offset edit box enables
you to define the offset for the Floor surface. The
machining will be performed at the specified
distance from the Floor surfaces.

• Check Surfaces. This section enables you to define


the Check Surfaces that will be avoided during the
machining (e.g. clamping). The Surface offset edit
box enables you to define the offset for the Check
surface. The machining will be performed at the
specified distance from the Check surfaces.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Tool path parameters

For Swarf Milling definition, SolidCAM provides you with a number of tool path
parameters.

The Surface quality section enables you to define the parameters that affect the surface
finish quality.

Cut tolerance

The Cut tolerance parameter defines the tool path accuracy.

Distance

The Distance parameter enables you to define the maximal distance between
two consecutive tool path points.

Number of cuts

The Number of cuts parameter defines the number of cutting passes. By


default, SolidCAM offers you to perform the Swarf Milling in one cutting
pass. When the Number of cuts parameter is greater than 1, the Max. Step
Over parameter enables you to define the distance between two adjacent
cutting passes.
189
The Cut control section enables you to define the order and direction of the cuts.

Cutting method

The Cutting method option enables you to define how the cuts are
connected. SolidCAM provides you with three possibilities: Zigzag, One
Way and Spiral. When the One Way or Spiral options are chosen for Cutting
method, SolidCAM enables you to define the direction of cuts using the
Direction for one way option. SolidCAM enables you to choose either Climb
or Conventional direction for the cutting passes.

Start point

The Start point option enables you to define a new position of the start
point of the first cut.

For more information about Tool path parameters of the Swarf Milling refer to SolidCAM
Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Tool Axis control

The following parameters enables you to control the tool axis orientation during the
Swarf Milling.

Output format

This parameter enables you to define the Output format of the current
Sim. 5 axis operation. For Swarf Milling sub-operation, either 4-Axis or
5-Axis format can be used.

Max. Angle Step

The Max. Angle step parameter enables you to define the maximal allowed
angle change between the tool axes, at two consecutive tool positions.

Lag angle to cutting direction

The Lag angle to cutting direction parameter enables you to define the tool
tilting in the direction of the cutting pass.

191
Side Tilt definition

The following options are available for the side tilting definition for the
Swarf Milling.

Follow surface iso direction. With this option, the direction of


the side tilting
is chosen according to the direction of the U- and V-vectors of the drive
surface.

Orthogonal to cutting direction at each position.With this option, the plane


of the side tilting is orthogonal to the tool path direction for each cutting
position.

Use spindle main direction. With this option, SolidCAM uses the spindle main
direction vector definition as the reference for the side tilting direction.
The side tilting is always performed in the direction defined by the spindle
main direction vector.

Use user-defined direction. With this option, SolidCAM enables you to


specify the reference vector that determines the side tilting direction.

Use tilt line definition. This option enables you to define the direction of the
side tilting by user-defined lines.

Orthogonal to edge curve. With this option, the plane of the side tilting is
orthogonal to the edge curve at each cutting position.

Limits

With this option, SolidCAM enables you to limit the tool tilting along the
Swarf Milling tool path.

For more information about Tool Axis Control parameters of the Swarf Milling refer to
SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Gouge check

SolidCAM provides you with the following parameters that enable you to perform the
gouge check for Swarf Milling:

Side Tilt Collision Control

With this option, SolidCAM performs the gouge checking between all
the tool components (Tool holder, Arbor, Tool shaft and Tool tip) and the
Drive surface (Wall surface). The Tilting tool away with max. angle strategy is
automatically used to avoid the possible collisions by tool tilting in the side
direction.

Clearance

The Clearance section enables you to define the clearance offsets for
arbor, tool holder and tool shaft in order to get a guaranteed clearance gap
between tool components and workpiece.

For more information about Gouge check parameters of the Swarf Milling refer to
SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

193
Roughing

SolidCAM provides you with the following options to control the rough Swarf
Milling:

Avoid air cuts using following stock definition

With this option, SolidCAM enables you to trim the Sim. 5 axis passes to
the pre-machined or casting stock faces, to avoid unnecessary air cutting.

When this option is chosen, SolidCAM will calculate the Updated Stock
model after all the previous operations. SolidCAM automatically compares
the updated stock model with the operation target geometry and machines
the difference between them.

Multi passes

Using the Multi passes option, SolidCAM enables you to perform the
machining with a number of roughing and finishing passes. During the
tool path calculation, SolidCAM generates the initial cutting pass located
on the drive surface and then creates a specified number of roughing and
finishing passes at different specified offsets in the direction of the surface
normal for the roughing and finishing.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Depth Cuts

The Depth cuts option enables you to perform 5 axis rough and finish
machining similar to Multi passes option. Using the Multi passes option,
SolidCAM generates roughing and finishing passes in the direction of the
surface normal, independent from the tool orientation. The Depth cuts
option enables you to perform roughing and finishing cuts in the direction
of the tool axis.

For more information about Roughing parameters of the Swarf Milling refer to SolidCAM
Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

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7.3.2 Impeller Roughing

The Impeller Roughing sub-operation enables you to perform the Sim. 5-Axis Rough
Machining for impeller parts.

Geometry

SolidCAM enables you to define the following geometries for the Impeller Roughing
sub-operation:

• Right. This section enables you to define the right wall surface of the impeller
blade.

• Left. This section enables you to define the


left wall surface of the impeller blade.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

• Floor. This section enables you to define the


floor surface between the impeller blades.
The Surface offset edit box enables you
to define the offset for the floor surfaces.
The machining will be performed at the
specified distance from the floor surfaces
of the impeller.

• Check surfaces. This section enables you


to define the check surfaces that will be
avoided during the Impeller Roughing.
Generally, the wall surfaces of the blades
are used for the check surfaces definition
for the Impeller roughing.

The impeller roughing is performed using the Morph between two surfaces machining
strategy. SolidCAM generates the morphed tool path on a Floor surface, enclosed by
two Wall surfaces. The tool path is generated between the wall surfaces and evenly
spaced over the Drive surface.

The check surfaces are used to perform the collisions control and avoid the unnecessary
contact between tool components and blade surfaces. SolidCAM performs the gouge
checking between all the tool components (Tool holder, Arbor, Tool shaft and Tool tip)
and the Check surfaces. The Tilting tool away with max. angle strategy is automatically
used to avoid the possible collisions by the tool tilting in the side direction.

Drive Surface Collision Control

This option enables you to perform an additional collisions control


between the tool tip and the tool shaft components and the Floor surface
(Drive Surface). The Retracting tool along tool axis strategy is used to avoid
the possible gouges.

Advanced

SolidCAM enables you to define a number of advanced options relevant for


the Morph between two surfaces strategy used for the Impeller roughing.

For more information about Geometry parameters of the Impeller Roughing refer to
SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.
197
Tool path parameters

For Impeller Roughing definition, SolidCAM provides you with a number of tool path
parameters.

The Surface quality section enables you to define the parameters that affect the surface
finish quality.

Cut tolerance

The Cut tolerance parameter defines the tool path accuracy.

Max. Step over

The Max. Step over parameter defines the maximum distance between two
successive cutting passes applied over the Floor surface.

The Cut control section enables you to define the order and direction of the cuts.

Cutting method

The Cutting method option enables you to define how the cuts are
connected. SolidCAM provides you with two possibilities: Zigzag and One
Way. When the One Way option are chosen for Cutting method, SolidCAM

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

enables you to define the direction of cuts using the Direction for one way
option. SolidCAM enables you to choose either CW or CCW direction for
the cutting passes.

Cut order

The Cut order option enables you to define the sequence of the cuts.

For more information about Tool path parameters of the Impeller Roughing refer to
SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

Tool axis control

The following parameters enable you to control the tool axis orientation during the
Impeller Roughing:

Output format

SolidCAM enables you to use only the 5 Axis output format for the Impeller
Roughing sub-operation.

199
Max. Angle Step

The Max. Angle step parameter enables you to define the maximal allowed
angle change between the tool axes at two consecutive tool positions.

Lag/Tilt angles

To define the tool axis orientation for the Impeller Roughing, the Tilted
option is used. With this option, SolidCAM
relative to cutting direction
enables you to define the tool tilting relative to the cutting direction, using
the following angle values:
Lag angle to cutting direction

The Lag angle to cutting direction parameter enables you to define the
tool tilting in the direction of the cutting pass.
Tilt angle at side of cutting direction

The Tilt angle at side of cutting direction parameter enables you to define
the tool inclination in the plane orthogonal to the tool path direction for
each cutting position. The Tilt angle at side of cutting direction parameter
is measured relative to surface normal.

Limits

With this option, SolidCAM enables you to limit the tool tilting along the
Impeller Roughing tool path.

For more information about Tool Axis Control parameters of the Impeller Roughing refer
to SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Roughing

SolidCAM provides you with the following options to control the Impeller
Roughing:

Avoid air cuts using Updated Stock model

With this option, SolidCAM enables you to trim the Sim. 5 axis passes to
the pre-machined or casting stock faces, to avoid unnecessary air cutting.

When this option is chosen, SolidCAM will calculate the Updated Stock
model after all the previous operations. SolidCAM automatically compares
the updated stock model with the operation target geometry and machines
the difference between them.

Depth Cuts

The Depth cuts option enables you to perform roughing and finishing cuts
in the direction of the tool axis.

201
Rotate

The Rotate strategy enables you to perform the machining of identical


elements of the impeller, arranged in a circular pattern. Instead of adding
a separate operation and defining the same parameters for each of these
elements, you can have the same tool path repeated a given number of
times by rotation around a specific axis.

For more information about Roughing parameters of the Impeller Roughing refer to
SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

7.3.3 Wall finish

The Impeller Wall finish sub-operation enables you to perform Sim. 5-Axis Rough
Machining of the wall surfaces of the impeller blades.

Geometry

SolidCAM enables you to define the following


geometries for the Impeller Wall finish sub-operation:

• Blade.This section enables you to define


the wall surface of the impeller blade.

• Floor. This section enables you to define the


floor surface between the impeller blades.
The Surface offset edit box enables you to
define the offset for the floor surfaces.
The machining will be performed at the
specified distance from the floor surfaces
of the impeller.

The machining is performed using the Parallel to surface strategy. With this strategy, the
tool path is generated on the Wall surface, parallel to the specified Floor surface.

203
Area

The Area option enables you to define the cutting area on the Drive surface
(Wall surface).

Side Tilt Collision Control

This option enables you to perform an additional collision control between


the tool tip and the tool shaft components and the Blade surface. The Tilting
tool away with max. angle strategy is used to avoid the possible gouges.

Advanced

SolidCAM enables you to define a number of advanced options relevant


for the Parallel to surface strategy used for the Impeller Wall finish.

For more information about Geometry parameters of the Impeller Wall finish refer to
SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

Tool path parameters

For Impeller Wall finish definition, SolidCAM provides you with a number of tool path
parameters.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

The Surface quality section enables you to define the parameters that affect the surface
finish quality.

Cut tolerance

The Cut tolerance parameter defines the tool path accuracy.

Distance

The Distance parameter enables you to define the maximal distance between
two consecutive tool path points located at the cutting pass.

Max. Step over

The Max. Step over parameter defines the maximum distance between two
successive cutting passes applied over the Wall surface.

The Cut control section enables you to define the order and direction of the cuts.

Cutting method

The Cutting method option enables you to define how the cuts are connected.
SolidCAM provides you with two possibilities: Zigzag and One Way. When
the One Way option is chosen for Cutting method, SolidCAM enables you to
define the direction of cuts using the Direction for one way option. SolidCAM
enables you to choose either CW or CCW direction for the cutting passes.

For more information about Tool path parameters of the Impeller Wall finish refer to
SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

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Tool axis control

The following parameters enable you to control the tool axis orientation during the
Impeller Wall finish:

Output format

SolidCAM enables you to use only the 5 Axis output format for the
Impeller - Swarf wall sub-operation.

Max. Angle Step

The Max. Angle step parameter enables you to define the maximal allowed
angle change between the tool axes at two consecutive tool positions.

206
7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Side tilt definition

With this option, SolidCAM enables you to define the direction of the side
tilting. For Impeller Wall finish, SolidCAM automatically uses the side tilt
angle calculated with the following formula: 85°-Tool Taper Angle. For the
tools which have no conical parts (e.g. End Mill), the side tilt angle is 85°.

The following options are available to define the direction of the side
tilting:

Follow surface iso direction. With this option, the direction of


the side tilting
is chosen according to the direction of the U- and V-vectors of the drive
surface.

Orthogonal to cutting direction at each position. With this option, the plane
of the side tilting is orthogonal to the tool path direction for each cutting
position.

Orthogonal to cutting direction at each contour. The direction of


the side tilting
is determined by an orthogonal line to a tool path segment. SolidCAM
approximates the orthogonal vectors in all the tool path positions and
calculates a single orthogonal vector instead of all the tool path positions
vectors.

Use spindle main direction. With this option, SolidCAM uses the spindle main
direction vector definition as the reference for the side tilting direction.
The side tilting is always performed in the direction defined by the spindle
main direction vector.

Use user-defined direction. With this option, SolidCAM enables you to


specify the reference vector to determine the side tilting direction. The side
tilting is always performed in the direction defined by user-defined vector.

For more information about Tool Axis Control parameters of the Impeller Wall finish
refer to SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

207
7.3.4 Impeller Floor finish - curve control of tilt

The Impeller Floor finish - curve control of tilt sub-operation enables you to perform the
finish machining of the impeller floor surfaces. The tilting curve used for this sub-
operation enables you to define the tool axis orientation.

Geometry

• Right. This section enables you to define


the right wall surface of the impeller
blade.

• Left. This section enables you to define the


left wall surface of the impeller blade.

208
7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

• Floor. This section enables you to define the


floor surface between the impeller blades.
The Surface offset edit box enables you to
define the offset for the floor surfaces.
The machining will be performed at the
specified distance from the floor surfaces
of the impeller.

The impeller floor machining is performed using the Morph between two surfaces
machining strategy. SolidCAM generates the morphed tool path on the Floor surface,
enclosed by two Wall surfaces. The tool path is generated between the wall surfaces and
evenly spaced over the floor surface.

• Tilt curve. The Tilted through curve strategy


is used for the impeller floor machining.
The tilting curve is used to define the tool
axis orientation during the machining.
The tilting through curve is performed
using the From start to end for each contour
option. With this option, the tool tilting is
calculated for each tool path position; the
tool axis is tilted to the corresponding point on the Tilt curve. The tool tilting
changes gradually from the start point of the Tilt curve to its end point.

Drive Surface Collision Control

This option enables you to perform additional collision control between


all the tool holder components (tool tip, tool shaft, arbor and holder) and
the Floor surface. The detected collisions are reported.

Advanced

SolidCAM enables you to define a number of advanced options relevant


for the Morph between two surfaces strategy used for the Impeller floor
machining.

For more information about Geometry parameters of the Impeller Floor finish - curve
control of tilt refer to SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

209
Tool path parameters

For Impeller Floor finish - curve control of tilt definition, SolidCAM provides you with a
number of the tool path parameters.

The Surface quality section enables you to define the parameters that affect the surface
finish quality.

Cut tolerance

The Cut tolerance parameter defines the tool path accuracy.

Max. Step over

The Max. Step over parameters defines the maximum distance between two
successive cutting passes applied over the Floor surface.

The Cut control section enables you to define the order and direction of the cuts.

Cutting method

The Cutting method option enables you to define how the cuts are connected.
SolidCAM provides you with two possibilities: Zigzag and One Way. When
the One Way option is chosen for Cutting method, SolidCAM enables you to
210
7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

define the direction of cuts using the Direction for one way option. SolidCAM
enables you to choose either CW or CCW direction for the cutting passes.

For more information about Tool path parameters of the Impeller Floor finish - curve
control of tilt refer to SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

Tool axis control

The following parameters enables you to control the tool axis orientation during the
Impeller Floor finish - curve control of tilt:

Output format

SolidCAM enables you to use only the 5 Axis output format for the
Impeller Floor finish - curve control of tilt sub-operation.

Max. Angle Step

The Max. Angle step parameter enables you to define the maximal allowed
angle change between the tool axes at two consecutive tool positions.

211
Limits

With the Limits option, SolidCAM enables you to limit the tool tilting along
the tool path.

For more information about Tool Axis Control parameters of the Impeller Floor finish -
curve control of tilt refer to SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

212
7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

7.3.5 Impeller Floor finish - surface control of tilt

The Impeller Floor finish - surface control of tilt sub-operation enables you to perform the
finish machining of the impeller floor surfaces. The tilting direction is defined relative
to the drive surface normal.

Geometry

• Right. This section enables you to define the


right wall surface of the impeller blade.

• Left.This section enables you to define the


left wall surface of the impeller blade.

213
• Floor. This section enables you to define the
floor surface between the impeller blades.
The Surface offset edit box enables you to
define the offset for the floor surfaces.
The machining will be performed at the
specified distance from the floor surfaces
of the impeller.

The impeller floor machining is performed using the Morph between two surfaces
machining strategy. SolidCAM generates the morphed tool path on a Floor surface,
enclosed by two Wall surfaces. The tool path is generated between the wall surfaces and
evenly spaced over the floor surface.

Side Tilt Collision Control

This option enables you to perform collision control between the tool tip
and the tool shaft components and the Floor surface (Drive Surface). The
Retracting tool along tool axis strategy is used to avoid the possible gouges.

This section also enables you to define


the Check surfaces that will be avoided
during the Impeller machining. Generally,
the wall surfaces of the blades are used
for the check surfaces definition for the
Impeller machining.

When the Check surfaces are defined, SolidCAM performs an additional


collisions control between all the tool holder components (tool tip, tool
shaft, arbor and holder) and the Check surface. The Tilting tool away with
max. angle strategy is automatically used to avoid the possible collisions by
the tool side tilting.

Advanced

SolidCAM enables you to define a number of advanced options relevant


for the Morph between two surfaces strategy used for the Impeller floor
machining.

For more information about Geometry parameters of the Impeller Floor finish - surface
control of tilt refer to SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

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7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Tool path parameters

For Impeller Floor finish - surface control of tilt definition, SolidCAM provides you with a
number of the tool path parameters.

The Surface quality section enables you to define the parameters that affect the surface
finish quality.

Cut tolerance

The Cut tolerance parameter defines the tool path accuracy.

Max. Step over

The Max. Step over parameters defines the maximum distance between two
successive cutting passes applied over the Floor surface.

215
The Cut control section enables you to define the order and direction of
the cuts.

Cutting method

The Cutting method option enables you to define how the cuts are
connected. SolidCAM provides you with two possibilities: Zigzag and One
Way. When the One Way option are chosen for Cutting method, SolidCAM
enables you to define the direction of cuts using the Direction for one way
option. SolidCAM enables you to choose either CW or CCW direction for
the cutting passes.

Cut order

The Cut order option enables you to define the sequence of the cuts.
SolidCAM provides you with three possibilities: Standard, From Center Away
and From outside to center. With the Standard option, SolidCAM performs
the machining from one side of the drive surface and continues to the
other side. With the From Center Away option, the machining starts from
the center of the drive surface and continues outwards. With the From
outside to center option, the machining starts from the drive surface edges
and continues inwards.

For more information about Tool path parameters of the Impeller Floor finish - surface
control of tilt refer to SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

216
7. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Tool axis control

The following parameters enables you to control the tool axis orientation during the
Impeller Floor finish - surface control of tilt:

Output format

SolidCAM enables you to use only the 5 Axis output format for the Impeller
Floor finish - surface control of tilt sub-operation.

Max. Angle Step

The Max. Angle step parameter enables you to define the maximal allowed
angle change between the tool axes at two consecutive tool positions.

217
Lag/Tilt angles

To define the tool axis orientation for the Impeller Floor finish - surface
control of tilt, the Tilted relative to cutting direction option is used. With this
option, SolidCAM enables you to define the tool tilting relative to the
cutting direction using the following angle values:
Lag angle to cutting direction

The Lag angle to cutting direction parameter enables you to define the
tool tilting in the direction of the cutting pass.
Tilt angle at side of cutting direction

The Tilt angle at side of cutting direction parameter enables you to define
the tool inclination in the plane orthogonal to the tool path direction for
each cutting position. The Tilt angle at side of cutting direction parameter
is measured relative to surface normal.

Limits

With this option, SolidCAM enables you to limit the tool tilting along the
Impeller Floor finish - surface control of tilt tool path.

For more information about Tool Axis Control parameters of the Impeller Floor finish -
surface control of tilt refer to SolidCAM Simultaneous 5-Axis User Guide.

218
Turning 8
8.1 Partial machining

SolidCAM2008 R12 offers you a new functionality that supports rough, semi-finish and
finish machining of long turning parts. In long turning parts the machining of the
whole geometry all at once might cause problems due to the deformation of the
workpiece under the cutting tool. The new functionality provides the capability to
machine the geometry partially by dividing it into several sub-geometries.

The new Partial machining option in the Modify geometry section of the Technology page
of Turning Operation dialog box enables you to machine the profile in segments.

When you choose this option and click


on the Data button, the Partial machining
dialog box is displayed.

The Data button is available


only when the Rough or
Profile option is chosen
for the Work type, and the
Geometry and Tool are
defined.

220
8. Turning

Select profile

The Select profile section enables you to choose the chain for which the
Partial machining will be used; choose the chain by the number in the
combo-box. The Next profile button enables you to automatically switch to
the next chain in the geometry.

First point/Second point

The First point and Second point sections


enable you to define the profile segment
which will be machined by the operation
and the parameters of the tool approach/
retreat movements.

The generated partial cutting pass is performed between the first and
second points; the cutting pass direction is determined according to the
Profile direction option state.

First
point Second
point

SolidCAM automatically generates the approach and retreat passes at


the First and Second points according to the machining direction. In the
illustration above, the approach movement will be performed at the Second
point and the retreat movement at the First point.

The approach/retreat passes consist of an arc, tangential to the partial


machining geometry, at the First/Second point and a line connected to the
arc. The line direction is automatically chosen according to the Tool type,
Tool tip angle and Safety angle parameters.

221
Point location

This section enables you to define the location of the First/Second points.

• The Pick button enables you to select the approach and


retreat points directly on the model geometry. The Pick
First point/Pick Second point dialog box is displayed. When
the point has been picked, SolidCAM calculates the
Distance along axis and Diameter values for the picked point
and displays it in the Partial machining dialog box.

• Distance along axis. This field displays the distance from the CoordSys to the
First/Second point along the Z-axis. In case when the Pick option was used,
the value is calculated automatically. It can also be used as an alternative to
the Pick option to define the First/Second point locations. Even if the Pick
option was already used, you can edit the value received from the model and
thus change the First/Second point locations.

• Diameter. This field displays the value of the part diameter, at the specified
location, and is calculated automatically according to the geometry and the
Distance along axis value. When there are several Diameter values for a single
Distance along axis value, SolidCAM chooses the maximal Diameter value
determined.
Diameter Diameter

First
point Second
point

CoordSys
Z
Distance along axis

Distance along axis

222
8. Turning

Approach/Retreat Parameters

SolidCAM provides you with the following parameters enabling you to define
the approach/retreat passes:

• Radius. This field defines the radius of the approach/retreat arc, which is
tangential to the profile at the First/second point.

• Line length. This field defines the length of the straight line tangential to the
arc. The direction of the approach/retreat lines, connected to the approach
and retreat arcs, is chosen according to the Tool type.
Approach
Retreat line
line length
length Retreat Approach
radius radius

First
point Second
point

The scheme below illustrates the approach line direction for an External
Rough tool.

Approach line
direction

First
point

Second
point

223
The scheme below illustrates the approach line direction for an External
Groove tool.

Approach line
direction

First
point

Second
point

When the approach/retreat lines are located inside the Material boundary
of the pre-machined stock, SolidCAM automatically extends them till the
Material boundary.

Approach
line length

First
point

Second
point

224
8. Turning

• Modify point to avoid collision.


This check box enables SolidCAM to perform
automatic modification of the defined Start/Finish point according to the
geometry. The point modification enables you to avoid possible collisions
during approach/retreat movements.

The image below illustrates the not modified Second point.

First
point

Second
point

The possible collision during the approach movement can be avoided by


the automatic point modification.

First
point

Second
point

225
Modify contour to avoid collision

The Modify contour to avoid collision check box enables you to perform the modification
of the partial machining geometry.

When this check box is activated, SolidCAM


performs the geometry modification Not modified contour
according to the tool shape. The modification
enables you to avoid the possible collisions
between the tool and geometry during the
machining. During the geometry modification,
the machining geometry is changed in areas
where the possible collisions are detected.
The geometry is changed taking into account
the tool shape.
Modified contour
The Modify contour to avoid
collision check box affects on the
finish and semi-finish only, when
the Profile option is chosen for
the Work type. When the Rough
option is chosen, the geometry
modification is automatically
performed, irrespective of the
state of the Modify contour to
avoid collision check box.

The Show button enables you to display the machining geometry and the updated
partial geometry between the First and Second points, with the tangential arcs and
connected lines.

When you click either on the Show button or on


the OK button, SolidCAM checks the position
of the First/Second points on the geometry; if
these points are defined outside of the geometry,
a warning message is displayed.

226
8. Turning

8.2 Interoperational movements

In previous SolidCAM versions, all the tool movements between turning operations
were performed through a position that is located outside of the CAM-Part. This
means that when the cutting passes of a specific operation are completed, the tool
moves to the point mentioned above and from there continues to the start position of
the next operation (if tool change is not performed). Such behavior causes a number
of unwanted extra tool movements.

SolidCAM2008 R12provides you with the capability to optimize the interoperational


movements between turning operations in order to shorten them.

8.2.1 Interoperational tool movement optimization

When the interoperational turning tool movement optimization is activated for the
current CAM-Part, the optimization is performed as described below.

When the cutting passes of a turning


operation are completed, the tool
moves to the operation end position.
From this point the tool moves
directly to the start position of the
next turning operation in the shortest
possible route.

227
During this movement a check for possible gouges is performed. If a gouge is detected
during the interoperational tool movement, the tool path is modified so that the gouge
will be avoided.

The optimization of the interoperational tool movements is performed


between two successive operations that use the same tool.

8.2.2 SolidCAM Settings

The Milling levels page in the SolidCAM Settings dialog box is renamed into Interoperational
tool movements.

The new group Movements between


turning operations: is added. This
group contains the Optimize check
box. The check box defines the
default status of the optimization
use for each new CAM-Part and can
be customized for a specific CAM-
Part with the Part Settings.

The Optimize check box is disabled


when a CAM-Part is loaded.

228
8. Turning

8.2.3 Part Settings

The Milling levels page in the Part Settings dialog box is also renamed as the Interoperational
tool movements. This page is available for Milling, Turning, Turn-Mill and Mill-Turn
CAM-Parts.

The new Movements between turning operations: group is added. This group contains
the Optimize check box. This check box enables you to control over the optimization of
the interoperational turning tool movements within in the current CAM-Part (Turning,
Turn-Mill or Mill-Turn). The status of the check box is for a new CAM-Part is determined
by the Optimize check box in the SolidCAM Settings dialog box (see topic8.2.2).

229
8.3 Rest Material calculation for Milling Drilling operations

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the functionality of automatic turning rest material
calculation for the Drilling operations performed by the rotating tool (Milling Drilling
operations). The Rest material update is performed in the same manner as for Turning
Drilling operations.

For each Drilling operation SolidCAM checks the direction of the tool movement. If
this direction is coincident to the Z-axis of the Turning Coordinate System, the Rest
material is updated according to the operation.
Drilling operation

Updated Rest material

230
8. Turning

8.4 Generation of the Material boundary solid

In previous versions, SolidCAM was automatically generating the updated Material


boundary after each turning operation. The Material boundary, generated after a
specific turning operation, was used for the automatic rest material calculation for
the succeeding operation. SolidCAM was also enabling you to generate a sketch in the
CAM-component of the CAM-Part assembly, containing the Material boundary after
a specific operation. SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the additional functionality to
generate a revolved solid feature that represents the Material boundary after a number
of turning operations.

The generated solid body can be used as input stock for an additional CAM-Part that
continues the machining, starting from this stock. This functionality is needed in case
you have a turning machine and a milling machine and you want to complete a part that
has both turning and milling operations.

The Generate Material boundary as solid


command is added into the right-click menu
available for single operations.
Material boundary
sketch

Material boundary
revolved feature

The Generate Material boundary as solid


command generates a revolved feature in
the CAM-component. The revolved feature
is based on sketch of the Material boundary
obtained after the chosen operation.

If a previously generated revolved feature


already exists in the CAM-component,
SolidCAM updates it to represent the
Material boundary for the chosen operation.

231
8.5 Tool direction and imaginary tool nose

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to define the application direction for the turning tools.
In addition to the application direction definition, SolidCAM provides you with the
possibility to define the imaginary nose point of the tool that will be used for the
tool nose compensation; this replaces the previous Origin definition (the necessary
conversion for already defined CAM-Parts in previous versions is done automatically
by SolidCAM2008 R12).

The Application direction section located in the Topology page of the Part Tool Table
dialog box enables you to set the application direction for the current tool.

The first check box enables you to choose the major direction for
the tool from the list. SolidCAM provides you with the following
values for the major application direction.

In addition to the major application direction, SolidCAM


enables you to perform the fine tuning of the application

angle with the second edit box. This edit box enables you
90º to define the value from 0° to 89°. When the upper limit
270º
is exceeded, the next major tool direction is chosen.

180º

232
8. Turning

The Origin Pos button displays the Tool positions dialog box, which enables you to
define the location of the imaginary tool nose point.

The Tool positions dialog box enables you to choose the location of the imaginary tool
nose point according to the major application direction.

When this dialog box is loaded, SolidCAM offers you several 2 6 1


possible locations for the imaginary nose point suitable for the
current major application direction. The imaginary nose point
0,9
is defined by choosing a point on the illustration in the dialog 7 5
box; the number written at the chosen point is sent to the post-
processor.
3 8 4

233
For example, when the 90° is chosen for the major application direction, the following
possibilities (marked by circles) are available to define the imaginary nose point:

2 6 1

0,9
7 5

3 8 4

If the defined application direction (e.g. 150°) is between the major application
directions (0°,90°, 180°, 270°), SolidCAM takes the defined major application direction
(in this case: 90°) for the imaginary nose point definition.

The automatically generated image displays the actual location of the imaginary nose
point that is chosen, relative to the tool geometry.

The Define delta from center option enables you to define the location of the imaginary
nose point, by the Z- and X- delta distances from the tool radius center.

234
8. Turning

8.6 TX/TZ parameters for Machine Simulation

SolidCAM2008 R12 introduces two new tool


Spindle
parameters that are defined for Machine
Simulation: TX and TZ.

The TX parameter defines the X-distance from


the CNC-machine spindle to the imaginary tool
nose point.

The TZ parameter defines the Z-distance from TX


the CNC-machine spindle axis to the imaginary
tool nose point.

These parameters are defined in the Topology


TZ
page of the Part Tool Table dialog box.

235
8.7 Clamp and Material boundary synchronization

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the functionality that enables you to establish
associativity between Material boundary and Clamp and the design model; the associativity
is available if the Material boundary and Clamp are defined using sketches.

To establish the associativity and obtain the possibility to perform the


synchronization between the Material boundary / Clamp and design model,
the sketches used for the Material boundary / Clamp definition should each
contain one closed contour, marked as non-construction geometry.

When Material boundary / Clamp are defined on sketches (the 2D Boundary mode of the
Material boundary definition), SolidCAM saves the name of the sketch and associates
it to the defined geometry; the sketch name will be used during the synchronization.

Synchronization

The Synchronize command is available in the right-


click menu on the CAM-Part header. This command
enables you to perform the synchronization of the
Material boundary / Clamp geometries.

During the synchronization SolidCAM retrieves the


relevant sketch, by its name saved in the geometry,
and generates the chain for the closed contour,
retrieved from this sketch.

If the relevant sketch is not found, the Material


boundary / Clamp geometry remains the same; the
synchronization is not performed.

If the chain suitable for the Material boundary / Clamp cannot be created, SolidCAM
leaves the Material boundary / Clamp unchanged; a warning message is displayed. In this
case you have to repair the sketches and perform the synchronization again.

236
8. Turning

When new suitable chains are created, SolidCAM checks the Clamp chain and Material
boundary chain for common boundaries or intersection (since in SolidCAM the clamp
and material boundary must either intersect or have a common boundary). If common
boundaries or intersection are found, SolidCAM substitutes the current Clamp and
Material boundary with the new chains; if there are no common boundaries or intersection,
the Material boundary / Clamp geometry remains unchanged (synchronization is not
performed); a warning message is displayed. In this case you have to repair the sketches
and perform the synchronization again.

237
8.8 Envelope calculation enhancements

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new enhanced method for the envelope
calculation. In the new method, SolidCAM determines the type of the model faces
used for the envelope calculation. For regular model faces, like cylinder and cone,
SolidCAM uses an analytical algorithm which generates envelope segments relevant
for this type of face. For complex B-spline surfaces, SolidCAM generates the envelope
segment related to this surface using the facetted model of the surface; the facets are
generated according to the Facet tolerance parameter specified in the Part Data dialog
box.

The Facet tolerance parameter defines the accuracy of triangulation; smaller tolerance
values increase the precision of the envelope generation but increase the envelope
calculation time.

238
8. Turning

8.9 Turning geometry definition by picking model entities

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the capability to define the geometry for turning
operations, on the generated envelope/section, by picking the model entities such as
faces, edges and vertices. When model entities are picked, SolidCAM automatically
defines the geometry on the envelope/section segment corresponding to the selected
model elements.
Geometry
With this method of the turning
Envelope
geometry definition, SolidCAM
enables you to choose two entities
(faces, edges, vertices, origin and
sketch points) on the solid model.
The selected entities are projected
on the envelope/section in the
defined direction. The envelope/
section segment, enclosed between
the points determined by the model
entities projection, is chosen as the Selected faces
geometry chain.

The Define button, in the Geometry page of the operation dialog box of the Turning,
Grooving and Threading operations has two options:

• On Profile. This option enables you to define the turning geometry by


wireframe geometry selection using the Geometry Edit dialog box. This is the
default option that was available till now.
239
• On model. This option enables you to define the turning geometry by the
model entities selection using the Geometry selection on model dialog box.

Geometry Name

This option enables you to define the name of the geometry.


SolidCAM offers you a default geometry name that can be
edited.

Envelope/Section side

Determines the side of the envelope/section where the


geometry will be defined, by projecting the selected entities.
SolidCAM enables you to choose the External, Internal, Left or
Right side of the envelope/section. Also SolidCAM enables
you to use the following combinations of sides: External + Left,
External + Right, Internal + Left and Internal+ Right. The illustration
below shows the result of the projection of the same faces on
the external and internal parts of the envelope.
External Envelope

Internal Envelope

Selected faces

Current selection

Enables you to pick the model entities (faces/edges/vertices) for the


geometry chain definition.

The Start edit box enables you to choose the start entity for the envelope/section
segment definition. To choose the model entity you have to place the focus on the
edit box (the edit box is highlighted) and then pick the model entity; the picked model
entity name is displayed in the edit box.

240
8. Turning

When the Start entity is defined, the focus is automatically moved to the End edit box.
This edit box enables you to select the end entity for the envelope/section segment
definition.

When both of the Start and the End entities are defined, SolidCAM determines the
envelope/section segment and highlights it.

The Start/End extension edit boxes provide you with the capability to extend the defined
envelope/section segment. The extension is performed by the specified distance,
tangentially to the geometry at the start/end points.
End extension

Geometry
Start extension

Selected faces

Chain List

The Chain List section enables you to manage the defined geometry
chains.

• The Accept button enables you to confirm the current


chain. The confirmed chain will be displayed in the chains list.

• The Reject button rejects the current chain selection.

• The Reverse button reverses the direction of the current chain.

The management of the geometry chains is performed with the


right-click menu available in the chains list, similar to the Geometry
Edit dialog box.

241
8.9.1 Associativity and Geometry Synchronization

When the geometry is defined, SolidCAM saves the tags of the selected model
entities; these tags are used to perform the geometry synchronization in case of model
changes.

When the model is changed, SolidCAM enables you to perform the synchronization of
the Target model. During the Target model synchronization, SolidCAM regenerates
the envelope/section.

During the synchronization check for Initial Geometry


the geometries, SolidCAM compares
the geometry with the regenerated
envelope/section; if they are not
exactly the same, SolidCAM enables
you to perform the synchronization.
During the synchronization, SolidCAM
determines the model entities used
for the geometry definition according
to the saved tags. With these entities, Initial model
SolidCAM automatically determines Initial Geometry
the envelope/section segment and
updates the geometry according to the
regenerated envelope/section.

Updated model

Synchronized Geometry

Updated model

242
8. Turning

8.10 Rough turning at angle

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the capability to perform rough turning at an
angle to the X-axis. Such capability enables you to optimize the cutting passes for the
machining of inclined revolution faces like a cone.

Rough angle

The Rough angle section in the Rough dialog box enables


you to define the angle between the X-axis and the cutting
passes.

243
244
Mill-Turn 9
SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new type of CAM-Parts named Mill-Turn. This
type is intended for the programming of Mill-Turn CNC machines, especially 5-axes
milling CNC machines with turning capabilities (e.g. DMU FD-series of DMG).

This Mill-Turn functionality provides you with a number of significant advantages


compared to the current Turn-Mill type:

• The Mill-Turn module provides you with the full functionality of the Coordinate
System definition, identical to the SolidCAM Milling.

• The Turning mode of the Coordinate System enables you to use the same
coordinate system for milling as well as for turning without additional
definition.

• In stock definition, you can define the Stock in the same manner as in
SolidCAM Milling and the Material boundary in the same manner as in
SolidCAM Turning.

• The Mill-Turn module enables you to perform Milling, Turning and Mill-Turn
operations with the same post-processor.

• Using the Mill-Turn module, you do not need to learn new rules; you just work
in regular milling and can add turning operations as needed.

It is recommended to use the new Mill-Turn type for all Mill-Turn machines (instead
of the current Turn-Mill type) and for Turning machines where you need support for a
second Coordinate System for turning. All current parts of Turning or Turn-Mill type
can be automatically converted by SolidCAM2008 R12 to Mill-Turn type.

246
Mill-Turn

9.1 CAM-Part definition

A new Mill-Turn item is added into the New submenu of the SolidCAM menu in order to
create Mill-Turn CAM-Parts.

The Mill-Turn Part data dialog box is displayed. This dialog box enables you to choose
the CNC-machine controller, define coordinate system, stock/material boundary,
target etc.

9.1.1 CNC-controller definition

Choosing CNC-controller is the first step in the Mill-Turn CAM-Part definition. The
CNC-Controller edit box displays all the controllers suitable for Mill-Turn.

The new MILL_&_TURN_FULL type of CNC-Controllers is added to the controller


definition file (MAC-file). The machine_type = MILL_&_TURN_FULL command in the
MAC-file enables you to turn on the support of Mill-Turn machines.

247
9.1.2 Coordinate System definition

SolidCAM2008 R12 Mill-Turn module enables you to define the coordinate systems in
the same manner as in SolidCAM Milling.

The Machine Coordinate system #1 (Position #1) can be used for turning operations as
well as for all the milling operations. In the Turning mode, SolidCAM uses the Turning
Coordinate System created by rotating of the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position
#1) around the Z-axis. The turn_home_x and turn_home_y parameters in the controller
definition file (MAC-file) define the orientation of the X- and Y-axes of the Turning
Coordinate System respectively relative to the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position
#1):

For example:
turn_home_x = 0.0 1.0 0.0

turn_home_y = -1.0 0.0 0.0

With such parameters definition, the X-axis of the Turning Coordinate System is
codirectional to the Y-axis of the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position #1);
the Y-axis is codirectional to the negative direction of the X-axis of the Machine
Coordinate System #1 (Position #1).

Y X

Z
Z
Y
Machine Coordinate Turning Coordinate
System #1 System
(Position #1)

The Turning Coordinate system is used for the definition of the turning operations,
Material boundary and Clamp.

If the turn_home_x and turn_home_y variables are not specified in the


controller definition file, the axes of the Turning Coordinate System
are collinear to the respective axes of the Milling Coordinate System
(turn_home_x = 1.0 0.0 0.0; turn_home_y = 0.0 1.0 0.0)

248
Mill-Turn

CoordSys Data

In the Mill-Turn module, facial and radial machining is performed using the same
Coordinate System. But since the part levels used for facial milling are measured along
the Z-axis whereas those used for radial milling are measured around the Z-axis, the
CoordSys data must be defined separately.

The Facial and Radial tabs are added into the CoordSys Data dialog box so that two
different sets of levels can be defined.

The Facial tab contains a set of machining levels describing the planes parallel to the
XY-plane and located along the Z-axis.

CoordSys
X

Part Lower Level Z

Part Upper Level

Clearance level
Tool Start Level

Tool Z-level

249
The Radial tab contains a set of machining levels describing the virtual cylinders
situated around the Z-axis.
Tool Z-level

Tool Start Level


Clearance level
Part Upper Level

CoordSys

Part Lower Level

250
Mill-Turn

9.1.3 Stock and Machining boundary

SolidCAM enables you to define both of the Stock and Material boundary for Mill-Turn
CAM-Parts. The stock definition process is similar to the stock definition in SolidCAM
Milling. The Material boundary definition process is similar to the Material boundary
definition in SolidCAM Turning. The Turning Coordinate System (see topic 9.1.2) is used
for the Material boundary definition.

The Material boundary definition is obligatory in order to enable the use of turning
operations in the Mill-Turn CAM-Part. For the Mill-Turn CAM-Parts containing only
milling operations the Stock and Material boundary definition is optional.

The defined stock model is used in the SolidVerify simulation mode. If the stock model
is absent, and only the Material boundary is defined, it is used instead of the stock for
the SolidVerify simulation.

9.1.4 Clamp definition

SolidCAM enables you to define the clamp (the Main Spindle/Back Spindle buttons) for
Mill-Turn CAM-Parts. The Clamp definition process is similar to the Clamp definition
in SolidCAM Turning. The Turning Coordinate System (see topic 9.1.2) is used for the
Clamp definition.

The Clamp definition is obligatory in order to enable the use of turning operations
in the Mill-Turn CAM-Part. For the Mill-Turn CAM-Parts containing only milling
operations the Clamp definition is optional.

Optionally, SolidCAM enables you to define the Fixture, similar to Fixture definition
in SolidCAM Milling. During the SolidVerify simulation, the Clamp is displayed for
Turning operations; for Milling operations, the Clamp is hidden and the Fixture is
displayed.

9.1.5 Target definition

SolidCAM enables you to define the Target model for Mill-


Turn CAM-Parts. The Target model definition process
is similar to the Target model definition in SolidCAM
Turning.

The Target section of the Mill-Turn Part Data dialog box, enables you to choose Envelope
or Section to be generated during the Target model definition. When the None option
is chosen, SolidCAM does not perform the Section/Envelope generation.
251
9.2 Existing CAM-Parts conversion

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to convert existing CAM-Parts of the Milling, Turning
and Turn-Mill type into the Mill-Turn type. To convert a CAM-Part you have to choose
in the Part data dialog box a new Mill-Turn CNC-Controller.

The following message is displayed informing you


about the CAM-Part conversion. The message enables
you to choose one of the following options:

• Continue. With this option, the CAM-Part will be converted to the chosen
Mill-Turn CNC-Controller.

• Backup&Continue. With this option a backup copy of the CAM-Part is created


and the CAM-Part is converted to the Mill-Turn type.

• Exit. This option aborts the conversion.

Conversion of Milling CAM-Parts

During the conversion of Milling CAM-Parts into Mill-Turn, SolidCAM keeps all
the Machine Coordinates Systems and related positions existing in the initial Milling
CAM-Part preserving their location and orientation unchanged in order to provide
seamless conversion of the geometries and operations. In addition to this, SolidCAM
automatically generates the Turning Coordinate System. It is created according to the
position and orientation of the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position #1) taking
into account the turn_home_x and turn_home_y parameters defined in the controller
definition file (MAC-file).

Conversion of Turning CAM-Parts

During the conversion of Turning CAM-Parts into Mill-Turn, SolidCAM automatically


generates the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position #1) according to the position
of the Turning Coordinate System. The axes orientation is defined according to the
turn_home_x and turn_home_y parameters.

All the turning operations defined in the initial Turning CAM-Part are kept
unchanged.

252
Mill-Turn

Conversion of Turn-Mill CAM-Parts

During the conversion of the Turn-Mill CAM-Parts, SolidCAM considers the Machine
Coordinate System #1 (Position #1) of the Turn-Mill CAM-Part as Turning Coordinate
System and automatically generates the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position #1)
according to the position of the Turning Coordinate System. The axes orientation is
defined according to the turn_home_x and turn_home_y parameters.

All other Machine Coordinate Systems defined in the Turn-Mill CAM-Part (Mac #2
used for sim. 4-axis operations, Mac #3 used for indexial milling operations and Mac
#4 used for milling operations in back spindle) are converted into positions of the
Machine Coordinate System #1.

All the operations and geometries are converted and assigned to the relevant positions
(converted from the Machining Coordinate Systems of the initial CAM-Part).

SolidCAM does not enable you to convert into Mill-Turn the Turn-Mill
CAM-Parts defined using the Projections mode of the Coordinate System
definition.

Conversion of Mill-Turn CAM-Parts from one CNC Machine to another

During the conversion of a Mill-Turn CAM-Part from one CNC Machine to another,
SolidCAM converts the Machine Coordinate System #1, preserving the orientation of
the Turning Coordinate System defined in the initial CAM-Part, according to the values
of the turn_home_x and turn_home_y parameters specified in the controller definition
file (MAC-file).

All the operations and geometries are converted and assigned to the relevant positions
(converted from the Machining Coordinate Systems of the initial CAM-Part).

253
9.3 Additional Turning Coordinate Systems

SolidCAM enables you to define a number of Turning Coordinate Systems that can be
used for the machining of parts using the back spindle or for the machining of parts
from both sides, using the main spindle.

When a new Machine Coordinate System is defined according to the conditions listed
below, the Turning Coordinate System is automatically created for this Machine Coordinate
System according to the values of the turn_home_x and turn_home_y parameters
specified in the controller definition file (MAC-file). The following conditions should
be maintained:

• The Z-axis of the additional Machine Coordinate System should be collinear


to the Z-axis of the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position #1); it can be the
same or in the opposite direction.

• The origin of the additional Machine Coordinate System should be located on


the Z-axis of the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position #1).
Y

Z
Y

X X

Machine Coordinate
System #2 Z
(Position #1)
Machine Coordinate
System #1
(Position #1)
In the illustration above the Turning Coordinate System will be created for the
Machine Coordinate System #2, since the origin of this Coordinate System is
located on the Z-axis of the Machine Coordinate System #1 (Position #1) and
the Z-axes are collinear. The Turning Coordinate System is created according
to the turn_home_x and turn_home_y parameters.

254
Mill-Turn

If the additional Machine Coordinate System is intended to be used for turning, the
Back Clamp should be defined. All the turning operations defined with this Machine
Coordinate System will use the Back Clamp.
Main Clamp

Back Clamp

Machine Coordinate Machine Coordinate


System #2 System #1
Position #1 Position #1

The additional Machine Coordinate System can be used to perform the operations using
the Back Spindle. In this case the Back Clamp describes the geometry of the clamping
device mounted on the back spindle.
Main Clamp

Machine Coordinate
System #1
Position #1
Main Spindle machining

Back Clamp

Machine Coordinate
System #2
Position #1

Back Spindle machining


255
The defined Machine Coordinate System can be also used to perform the machining
of the CAM-Part from both sides, using the Main Spindle. In this case, the Back Clamp
describes the geometry of the clamping device mounted on the main spindle used for
the back side machining.
Main Clamp

Machine Coordinate
System #1
Position #1
Front side machining in Main Spindle

Back Clamp

Machine Coordinate
System #2
Position #1
Back side machining in Main Spindle

256
Mill-Turn

9.4 Pre-processor customization

As described before, any Milling, Turning or Turn-Mill pre-processor file (MAC file) can be
converted into Mill-Turn by setting the machine_type parameter to MILL_&_TURN_FULL.
The turn_home_x and turn_home_y parameters should be defined to set the orientation
of the Turning Coordinate System.

In addition to these parameters, the num_axes = 5 parameter should be defined in order


to provide you with all the possibilities of 5-axis machining.

In Turning and Turn-Mill pre-processors a number of parameters should be defined


to provide you with the support of the indexial 5-axis milling. For example, the
_5x_rotary_axes and tilt_axis_dir parameters should be defined. The _5x_rotary_axes
parameter defines the linear axes which provides you with the possibilities to perform
rotation around them. The tilt_axis_dir parameter enables you to specify the direction
in which the tilting is performed.

In Milling pre-processors, a number of the parameters affecting on the turning should


be defined. For example the turn_common_proc parameter which enables you to control
the generation of the common geometric points procedure for several cycles and the
turning_cycle / groove_cycle parameters which determine whether the machine has a
turning /grooving cycles.

257
9.5 Post-processor customization

SolidCAM enables you to adapt any Milling, Turning or Turn-Mill post-processor for Mill-
Turn Machine.

9.5.1 Milling post-processor adaptation

To adapt a Milling post-processor for Mill-Turn, the Turning functions should be added
to the post-processor. For example, to add support for turning cycles in the post-
processor, the @turning function should be added. The @turn_change_tool function
should be added to support changing of turning tools.

For more information about turning functions, refer to GPPTool User Guide.

Some of the functions used in Mill-Turn post-processors (e.g @line, @rapid_move or


@arc) are common for Milling and Turning. In this case, you can customize the GCode
output for this functions according to the machining type (either milling or turning).

In the example below different GCode output is performed for milling and turning
operations in @line function.
;-------------------
@line
gcode = 1
{nb,[‘G’gcode]}
if job_machine_type eq milling
{[‘ X’xpos:coord_f], [‘ Y’ypos],[‘ Z’zpos], [‘ F’feed]}
else ; turning
{[‘ X’xpos], [‘ Z’zpos], [‘ F’feed]}
endif
endp
;-------------------

In the example above different formats are used for the xpos output in Milling and
Turning. For Milling, the coord_f format is used, for Turning, the default xpos_f format
is used.

258
Mill-Turn

9.5.2 Turning post-processor adaptation

To adapt a Turning post-processor for Mill-Turn, the Milling functions should be added
to the post-processor. For example, to add support for 4- and 5-axis output in GCode,
the @line_4x and @line_5x functions should be added. The @home_data / @tmatrix
functions can be modified or added to support indexial 5-axis machining.

For more information about Milling functions, refer to GPPTool User Guide.

Some of the functions used in Mill-Turn post-processors (e.g @line, @rapid_move or


@arc) are common for Milling and Turning. In this case, you can customize the GCode
output for this functions according to the machining type (either milling or turning).

In the example below, different GCode output is performed for milling and turning
operations in @arc function.
@arc
if job_machine_type eq milling
call @arc_mill
else ;turning
if arc_direction eq CCW then
gcode = 3
else ; CW
gcode = 2
endif
{nb, [‘G’gcode] ‘ X’xend:xpos_f ‘ Z’zend}

if arc_size >= 180 then


radius = -radius
endif
{‘ R’radius, [‘ F’feed]}
endif
endp

;-------------------

@arc_mill
skipline=true
;-- arc plane --
if change(arc_plane) then
if arc_plane eq XY then
gcode = 17
endif
if arc_plane eq YZ then
gcode = 18
endif

259
if arc_plane eq ZX then
gcode = 19
endif
{nb,’G’gcode, ‘ ‘}
endif

if arc_direction eq CCW then


gcode = 3
else ; CW
gcode = 2
endif
if change(gcode) then
{nb,’G’gcode}
else
{nb,’ ‘}
endif
{[‘ X’xpos:coord_f] [‘ Y’ypos] [‘ Z’zpos]}

if arc_size eq 360 then


if arc_plane eq XY then
{‘ I’xcenter_rel, ‘ J’ycenter_rel}
endif
if arc_plane eq YZ then
{‘ J’xcenter_rel, ‘ K’ycenter_rel}
endif
if arc_plane eq ZX then
{‘ K’xcenter_rel, ‘ I’ycenter_rel}
endif
else
if arc_size >= 180 then
radius = -radius
endif
{‘ R’radius}
endif
endp
;-------------------

In the example above, the @arc function contains the condition which enables you to
customize the GCode output for Milling and Turning. The @arc function defines the
format for Turning GCode output. For Milling, the @arc_mill function is called from
the @arc function.

The method of the postprocessor programming described above, enables


you to modify the @arc function in a Turning post-processor by adding
conditions that define different actions for milling and turning. The
@arc_mill function can be obtained by copying the contents of the @arc function from
a Milling post-processor
260
Mill-Turn

9.5.3 Turn-Mill post-processor adaptation

To adapt a Turn-Mill post-processor for Mill-Turn, the @home_data / @tmatrix functions


should be modified in order to support work with Coordinate Systems in Mill-Turn.

The example below illustrates the @tmatrix function from a Turn-Mill post-processor.
This function provides you with different handling for different Machine Coordinate
Systems. For example, for the Machine Coordinate System #2, the @tmatrix function
enables you to orient the tool to perform the simultaneous 4-axis milling.
@tmatrix
if job_machine_type eq milling
if part_home_number <> pre_part_home_number
if mac_number eq 1
{NB,’#101=’rotate_angle_z}
{nb,’ G91 G28 X0’}
{nb,’G90’}
if rot_axis_type eq axis4_none
{nb,’G69’}
{nb,’M212’}
{nb,’G0 B0. C’rotate_angle_z}
{nb,’M210’}
else
{nb,’G69’}
{nb,’M212’}
{nb,’G0 B0. C’rotate_angle_z ’ Y0’}
endif
endif
if mac_number eq 2
{NB,’#101=’rotate_angle_z}
{nb,’ G91 G28 X0’}
{nb,’G90’}
if rot_axis_type eq axis4_none
{nb,’G69’}
{nb,’M212’}
{nb,’G0 B90. C’rotate_angle_x}
{nb,’M210’}
zpos = znext
ypos = ynext
change(xpos) = false
call @rapid_move
change(ypos) = false
change(zpos) = false
xpos = xnext
else

261
{nb,’G69’}
{nb,’G0 B90. C’rotate_angle_x ’ Y0’}
change(ypos) = false
change(zpos) = false
xpos = xnext
endif
endif
if mac_number eq 3
{NB,’#101=’rotate_angle_z}
{nb,’ G91 G28 X0’}
{nb,’G90’}
call @home_data2
endif
pre_part_home_number = part_home_number
endif
endif
endp

The @tmatrix of Mill-Turn post-processor provides you with the same handling for
Positions of all the Machine Coordinate Systems. This function defines the Position
location and orientation relative to the Machine Coordinate System.
@tmatrix
{nb, ‘G69’}
{nb, ‘G49’}
{nb, ‘G91 G28 X0’}
{nb, ‘G28 Y0 Z0’}
{nb, ‘G90’}
{nb,’M108’}
{nb,’G0 B’rotate_angle_y,’ ‘chuck_axis rotate_angle_z}
{nb,’M107’}
{nb,’G68 X’,shift_x, ‘ Y’shift_y, ‘ Z’shift_z, ‘ I0. J1. K0.
R’rotate_angle_y}
endp

262
Mill-Turn

9.6 Geometry wrapped around axes for 4-axis machining

In the previous Turn-Mill module, the definition of geometry for 4-axis machining
required an additional Coordinate System suitable for radial milling. The Mill-Turn
functionality enables you to perform radial milling using the same Coordinate System
as for facial milling.

For Profile geometry, the Wrapping mode of the geometry


definition in the Geometry Edit dialog box offers you the
choice of axis around which the geometry is wrapped.

Profile geometry
wrapped around Z Z

263
For Around 4th axis drilling geometry, the similar option is
added into the Around 4th Axis Drill Geometry Selection dialog
box. It enables you to choose the axis around which the
drilling centers are located.

Drilling geometry
wrapped around Z Z

264
Wire Cut 10
10.1 Improvements of the 4-axis Geometry definition

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the number of improvements of the geometry
definition for the 4-Axis Operation.

The enhanced 4 Axis Geometry Edit dialog box enables


you to define the geometry for 4-Axis Operation.

Defining the Upper and Lower profiles

The Chains Selection section enables you to define


two chains describing the Upper profile and the Lower
profile of the 4-Axis geometry and manage them.

SolidCAM enables you to choose either Manual or


Auto mode for the chains definition.

With the Manual mode the following options are


available:
• Add chain

This button enables you to define the


new chain using the Chain options dialog
box.
• Delete chain

This button enables you to delete a chain


from the current geometry.

Click on the chain you want to delete


The confirmation message is displayed:

Confirm the message with the Yes button.


The chain is deleted from the geometry.

266
Wire Cut

• Replace chain

This button enables you to update a chain in the current chain geometry.

Click on the chain you want to replace. The confirmation message is


displayed.

Confirm the message with the Yes button. The old chain is deleted and you
can define a new chain using the Chain options dialog box.
• Edit chain

This button enables you to edit an existing chain.

Click on the chain you want to edit. The confirmation message is


displayed.

Confirm the message with the Yes button. The Chain options dialog box is
displayed. You can reverse the chain or undo the selection steps to modify
the chain.

267
The Auto mode enables you to Selected face
define the Upper and Lower profiles
by picking on the solid model Defined chains

face.

When the face is picked, SolidCAM


automatically determines the closed
loop of the picked face and all the
faces adjacent to this loop.

The first chain is defined


automatically on the closed loop
of the selected face. The second Adjacent faces
chain is defined automatically on
the opposite edges of the faces
adjacent to the picked face loop.

If only one loop is determined for the face, SolidCAM automatically defines the
geometry chain along the edges of this loop. If the picked face contains more than
one loop, they are highlighted; you then have to choose the necessary loop for the
chain definition by picking and the chosen chain is highlighted.

The Reject button enables you to delete the chains defined by faces picking.

Defining the Connect points

Connect points are the pair of points Connect points


situated on the Upper and Lower
profiles of the 4-Axis geometry. The 3
line connecting these points provides
smooth transition of the profiles.

When both of the Upper and Lower


profiles are defined, SolidCAM
automatically generates a number of 1
3 2
connect points pairs on the profiles
and connects them.

1 2

268
Wire Cut

SolidCAM enables you to define new connect points and manage existing connect
points using the Single connection and Connection sections.

The following buttons are available:


• Add point

This button enables you to add a pair of connect points. Click on the
first chain to define the location of the first connect point, and then click
on the second chain to define the location of the corresponding second
connect point. The pair of points and the connecting line are added.
• Delete point

This button enables you to delete a pair of connect points (on the upper
and lower profiles) by picking on one of them.
• Edit point

This button enables you to move a connect point to a new position on


the upper or lower profile. Click on a connect point on one of the chains
and then click on the same chain to specify a new location for the connect
point.

The Connection section provides you with the following commands:

• Reset. This command enables you to regenerate the original connect points.
This command is available only for chains defined with the Manual mode.

• Delete All.
This command enables you remove all the connect points from
the Upper and lower Profiles.

Defining the Start point

The Start Point button located in the Start points section, enables you to add the
pair of start points on the Upper and Lower profiles. In these points SolidCAM starts
machining the workpiece.

269
Defining the Insertion point

This option enables you to define the point where the wire is inserted into the workpiece.
The following options are available for the insertion point definition:
• Manual

The Definebutton enables you select the insertion point. The Pick insert
point dialog box is displayed enabling you to pick the point location.

• Auto

SolidCAM automatically defines the insertion point at the normal to the


first chain element at its start point. The Normal value defines the normal
distance from the start point of the chain to the insertion point.

Spline approximation

SolidCAM enables you to define the Spline approximation tolerance for the chain
selection.

For more information about the Spline approximation refer to the SolidCAM Wire Cut
User Guide.

270
Wire Cut

10.2 Sharp corner machining in Profile and Angle operations

In previous SolidCAM versions, the Fillet for last


cut option provided the possibility to add a radius
to sharp corners, without changing the geometry
of the machined part. SolidCAM2008 R12 introduces
an additional option for machining of corners; the
Looping option is added in the Profile/Angle Operation
dialog box under Fillet for last cut. This option enables
you to obtain sharp corners, by adding a loop at each
corner.

271
272
Simulation 11
11.1 SolidVerify support in Machine Simulation

In previous SolidCAM versions, the Machine Simulation mode provided you with the
capability to simulate the tool path and CNC machine motions during the machining.
SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with an additional capability to perform the solid
verification of the material cutting process using the SolidVerify mode, integrated into
the Machine Simulation. With this functionality, SolidCAM enables you to display the
stock model and perform the simulation by dynamic subtraction of the tool solid
model (using solid Boolean operations) from the stock solid model.

The Full Machine verification option is


added to the Machine Simulation page
of the SolidCAM Settings dialog box.

When this option is activated, the


solid verification is performed in the
Machine simulation mode.

274
Simulation

11.2 Machine Simulation for Turning, Turn-Mill and Mill-Turn

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with the support of the Machine Simulation mode for
Turning, Turn-Mill and Mill-Turn modules.

With this functionality turning operations can be verified as well as milling


operations.

For more explanations on the CNC-Machine definition for the Machine Simulation
refer to SolidCAM Turning User Guide.

275
11.3 Fixtures support within Machine Simulation

SolidCAM2008 R12 enables you to display the fixtures defined for the CAM-Part in the
Machine Simulation.

To use this functionality, you have to add the fixture into the CNC-Machine
definition.

Since the fixture is clamping the workpiece


on the CNC-Machine table and these
components are always moving together, all
the coordinate transformations are the same
for workpiece and fixture. Therefore you
do not need to define a separate coordinate
transformation for the fixture; you can use
the existing transformation of the workpiece.
The fixture definition should be added to
the CNC-Machine definition tree under the
Workpiece transform.

In the CNC machine definition tree, right


click on the workpiece_transform coordinate
transformation item and choose the Add
Geometry command from the menu.

276
Simulation

This command enables you to define the geometry of the fixture.

The Element properties dialog box is displayed.

Define the ID of the fixture geometry. Use the built-in name Fixture for the ID definition.
This name is hard-coded in SolidCAM and cannot be changed.

Click on the Browse button and choose the fixture.stl file, containing the fixture model,
from the CNC-Machine folder. During the specific part simulation this file will be
overwritten with the STL-file of the actual fixture used in the CAM-Part.

If you have no fixture.stl file, you can create it by copying and renaming
any other *.stl file. In this case the content of the STL-file is not important,
because it will be overwritten with the relevant data during the simulation
for every CAM-Part.

277
11.4 Solving self-intersections and noise problems in solid
verification

11.4.1 Checking and fixing self-intersections

Many problems occur in solid verification (SolidVerify, RapidVerify and Machine


simulation modes) if the solids used (Machined Stock model, Target model and
Fixture) are not topologically valid. In particular, solid verification is likely to encounter
problems with solids that contain self-intersections – that is, solids which contain pairs
of polygons which overlap each other, or individual polygons whose edges cross.

Self-intersections can be encountered in the following cases:

• The model (Stock, Target or Fixture) is based on a SolidWorks assembly or


sub-assembly containing a number of components.

• The model (Stock, Target or Fixture) is based on a SolidWorks part containing


a number of disjointed solid bodies.

• The model (Stock, Target or Fixture) is based on a SolidWorks part with


corrupted geometry (gaps, self-intersections etc.).

Such self-intersection problems can be solved during the Stock/Target/Fixture model


definition.

The Check and fix button in the


Self-intersections section of the
Stock model/Target model/Fixture dialog box enables you to check
the model for self-intersections and, if they are found, fix them.

When the self-intersections are detected, the following message


is displayed; confirm it with the Yes button to fix the self-
intersections.

Note that the process of self-intersection fixing


can take a long time to complete, depending on the
complexity of the model.

278
Simulation

11.4.2 Rounding of input data

During the facetting of Stock and Target models, the coordinates of facets generated
by SolidCAM are often calculated as numbers of the float type with many digits after
the point. These numbers cause problems during the SolidVerify simulation, such as
self-intersections and gaps in model.

SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with a new functionality that enables you to avoid
such problems. The Automatically remove noise from input data check box added to the
Updated Stock & SolidVerify page of the Part Settings dialog box enables you use a smart
rounding algorithm that removes the noise in facet coordinates so that the model is
displayed properly.

Note that the process of rounding can take a long time to complete.

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11.5 Improving the simulation performance in the SolidVerify mode

To improve the quality of the SolidVerify simulation performance with different


graphic adapters, you can choose the software/hardware OpenGL acceleration
options. Additionally, SolidCAM2008 R12 provides you with possibility to use hardware
acceleration provided by your graphic adapter.

To use this option, click Settings, General in the


SolidVerifysimulation menu. In the OpenGL rendering
section of the General Settings dialog box, click
Hardware and select the Use advanced hardware
acceleration check box.

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