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SOLIDCAM - THE LEADERS IN INTEGRATED CAM

The complete integrated Manufacturing Solution inside SolidWorks

SOLIDCAM 2010
WHAT‘S NEW

www.solidcam.com
SolidCAM 2010
What’s New

©1995-2010 SolidCAM

All Rights Reserved.


Document number: SCWNENG10001
Contents

Contents

1. General 9
1.1 Managing SolidCAM settings 10
1.1.2 Loading the settings 11
1.1.3 Resetting the settings to default values 12
1.1.1 Saving the settings 10
1.2 CAM-Part synchronization settings 14
1.2.1 Synchronization of CAM geometry with design model 14
1.2.2 Synchronization of design model with original model 16
1.3 Managing warning messages and prompts 17
1.4 Deleting Coordinate Systems in CoordSys Manager 18
1.5 Simultaneous display of tool path for multiple operations 19
1.5.2 Displaying the tool path for all CAM-Part operations 20
1.5.1 Displaying the tool path for several selected operations 19
1.6 Browsing to last opened location 21
1.7 Removing unused CAM-Part data 23
1.8 Simulation and GCode generation for not calculated operations 25
1.9 Facet tolerance for Coordinate System definition 26
1.10 Templates 27
1.10.1 Common template parameters 27
1.10.3 Renaming templates 30
1.10.2 Template filtering 28
1.11 Closing the Machining Process from SolidCAM Manager 31
1.12 Simulation interface improvements 32
1.13 Warning about hardware key expiration 33
1.14 Support of 64-bit computing 34
1.15 SolidCAM controls in SolidWorks environment 35
1.15.1 SolidCAM tab in SolidWorks CommandManager 35
1.15.2 SolidCAM toolbars in SolidWorks environment 40

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2. Geometry 43
2.1 Loop geometry selection 44
2.1.1 Marking external loops as open pocket edges 44
2.1.2 Primary and secondary loop selection 45
2.2 Chains filtering by Z-Levels 47
2.3 Browsing geometries 48
2.4 Defining the direction of geometry chains 50
2.5 Geometry definition and synchronization for Drill Recognition
operations 51
2.5.1 Definition of geometry 51
2.5.2 Synchronization of geometry 53

3. Tools 55
3.1 Cutting Length improvements 56
3.1.1 Definition of cutting length according to operation
machining length 57
3.1.2 Tool filtering 57
3.2 H Length improvements 58
3.2.2 H Length 59
3.2.1 Holder overhang length 58
3.3 Spin and Feed definition improvements 60
3.3.2 Assigning the work material to the CAM-Part 61
3.3.3 Defining the sets of cutting conditions for different
tools 61
3.3.1 Defining the work material 60
3.4 Visual tool check in Part Tool Table 66
3.5 Turning tool holder definition and visualization 68
3.5.1 Choosing the tool holder 68
3.5.2 Defining the tool origin position 70

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Contents

4. 2.5D Milling 71
4.1 Drill Recognition improvements 72
4.1.2 Complete hole group 73
4.1.1 Minimize hole cycle 72

5. Turning 75
5.1 Selecting geometry on envelope 76

6. High Speed Machining (HSM) 81


6.1 HSM Rough machining module 82
6.2 Constant Z and 3D Corner offset combined strategy 83

7. High Speed Surface Machining (HSS) 87


7.1 Stock definition improvements 88

8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining 91


8.1 Start point definition improvements 92
8.2 Tool path linking definition improvements 93
8.2.2 Home position definition 94
8.2.1 Separate Approach/Retract and Linking definition 93
8.3 4-Axis output format for Sim. 5-Axis sub-operations 96
8.4 Axial offset technology for 5-Axis Engraving 98
8.5 Stock definition improvements 99
8.6 Motion limits control definition improvements 101
8.7 Multi-Axis Drilling operation 102
8.7.1 CoordSys page 103
8.7.2 Geometry page 104
8.7.4 Levels page 107
8.7.7 Miscellaneous parameters page 116
8.7.6 Motion limits control page 115
8.7.5 Technology page 113
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8.7.3 Tool page 106
8.8 Sorting of cylindrical drilling patterns 117
8.9 HSM to Sim. 5-Axis tool path conversion 127

9. Simulation 133
9.1 External Simulator in SolidCAM 134
9.2 Turning tool holding system in Machine simulation 137

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General 1
1.1 Managing SolidCAM settings

SolidCAM provides you with settings that


enable you to customize the SolidCAM
environment.

In previous versions, these settings were


stored in the Windows registry. When
user reinstalled SolidCAM on the current
computer or migrated to another one,
the SolidCAM settings customized by the
user were lost and the default SolidCAM
settings were installed. There was no
possibility to save the SolidCAM settings
externally in a file and then load them to
substitute the existing settings.

SolidCAM 2010 offers the new functionality that enables you to save the SolidCAM
settings as an external file and then load the saved file into SolidCAM. Furthermore,
SolidCAM 2010 enables you to reset the customized settings to their default values.

1.1.1 Saving the settings

The Save button enables you to save the SolidCAM settings in a file. When you click
on this button, the Save As dialog box is displayed.

The default location is the SolidCAM User directory displayed in the browser. The
default file name SolidCAM_Settings.screg is used.

When you click on the Save button in the


dialog box, all the customized settings are
stored in the settings file.

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1. General

1.1.2 Loading the settings

The Load button enables you to load the


SolidCAM settings stored in the previously
saved file. When you click on this button,
the Open dialog box is displayed.

The default location is the SolidCAM User


directory displayed in the browser. All the
settings files located in this or other location
are available to be chosen.

When a settings file is chosen and the Open


button is clicked, SolidCAM displays the
following message:

When the message is confirmed, SolidCAM loads the settings file. During the loading,
SolidCAM overwrites the parameters values with the values stored in the settings
file. When the loading is successfully completed, the SolidCAM Settings dialog box is
updated and displays the updated parameters values.

Load options

The Load Options section provides you with the choice of parameters to be loaded:

• When the SolidCAM Settings only option is chosen, only the parameters that
can be edited in the SolidCAM Settings dialog box are loaded.

• When the Complete SolidCAM environment option is chosen, the whole


branch of current SolidCAM version that can be edited in the Registry Editor
is loaded. This complete environment includes additional items not available
within SolidCAM Settings e.g. last used positions of some SolidCAM dialog
boxes.

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1.1.3 Resetting the settings to default values

When launched for the first time,


SolidCAM creates a set of settings stored
in the SolidCAM branch of the Windows
registry. These settings are available in
the SolidCAM Settings dialog box and
can be customized. In previous versions
these settings could not be reset to their
default values.

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with the


possibility to reset the customized
SolidCAM Settings to their default values.

The Reset Page and Reset All buttons are


added to the SolidCAM Settings dialog
box.

• The Reset Page button enables you to reset all the parameters of the current
settings page to their default values. When you click on this button, the
confirmation message is displayed:

When this message is confirmed, SolidCAM resets all the settings of the
current page.

• The Reset All button enables you to reset all the parameters of the SolidCAM
settings to their default values. The confirmation message is displayed:

When this message is confirmed, SolidCAM resets all the settings to their
default values.

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1. General

CAM-Part settings can also be reset to their default values in the similar manner. The
Reset Page and Reset All buttons are added to the Part Settings dialog box.

During reset, the CAM-Part settings parameters, that are based on parameters in
SolidCAM Settings, inherit new values from the SolidCAM Settings. The CAM-Part
Settings parameters, that are based on the hard-coded values, are reset to their default
hard-coded values.

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1.2 CAM-Part synchronization settings

In previous versions, the synchronization


settings were available only at the system
level in SolidCAM Settings. The same
settings were used for all the CAM-Parts.

In SolidCAM 2010, the synchronization


settings can also be customized for each
CAM-Part. The synchronization options
have been added into the Synchronization
page of the Part Settings dialog box.

1.2.1 Synchronization of CAM geometry with design model

Check synchronization always

The synchronization check is performed automatically each time you click on the
SolidCAM Manager tree.

• Ask before synchronization check

When this check box is selected, after every change in the part or in the
assembly and rebuild, SolidCAM will prompt you, before checking the
synchronization of the geometries with the model or sketches.

When this check box is not selected, the synchronization checking will be
performed without any prompt to the user.

• Synchronize automatically

This option enables you to perform the synchronization of geometries


automatically.

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1. General

When this check box is selected, the synchronization check is performed,


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

This option is available only when the Check synchronization


always check box is selected.

• Calculate operations after the synchronization

This option enables you to perform the calculation of the synchronized


operations automatically. When this check box is selected, SolidCAM
automatically calculates all the synchronized operations. The operations
marked with the exclamation mark are not calculated.

This option is available only when the Automatically synchronize


geometries check box is selected.

Check synchronization on user demand

In this case, SolidCAM will not check the synchronization automatically. The Check
Synchronization item in the Operation and Geometry right-click menus is enabled, and
you can choose it to start the synchronization.

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1.2.2 Synchronization of design model with original model

Every time the CAM-Part is opened, SolidCAM automatically checks the


correspondence of the dates of the CAM-Part and the original SolidWorks design
model. When the date of the original SolidWorks model is later than the date of the
CAM-Part creation, this means that the SolidWorks original model has been updated.
You can then replace the SolidWorks design model, on which the CAM-Part is based,
with the updated SolidWorks design model.

The Ask user to find original model option defines the sequence of
SolidCAM operations in case the original model is not found in the location specified
in the CAM-Part. This option enables you to display the browser window to look for
the original model.

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1. General

1.3 Managing warning messages and prompts

There is a number of messages in SolidCAM that are displayed in response to specific


user input, such as warning messages, confirmation prompts and so forth. These
messages are displayed each time a particular action is performed (for example, deleting
operations), and it might be quite time-consuming to close them every now and then.

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with the possibility to control the visibility status of the
most frequently displayed messages.

The Don’t ask again check box added to each of these messages enables
you to avoid displaying the message, after it appears on the screen for
the first time.

When the message box is confirmed, the message will not be displayed
until you switch this option back on in SolidCAM Settings.

The CAM Messages page added into the


SolidCAM Settings dialog box enables you
to handle the visibility of all frequently
displayed messages by selecting the
relevant check boxes in the Activate
following messages section.

Each message box is controlled by the


relevant check box. When the check
box is cleared, the message is not
displayed, and confirmation of the event
is performed automatically. When the
check box is selected, the confirmation
message is displayed.

The status of the check boxes, defined in the CAM Messages page of the SolidCAM
Settings dialog box, is stored.

By default, after SolidCAM has been launched for the first time, all the check boxes in
this page are selected, which means that all the confirmation dialog boxes are displayed.

The Activate prompts to calculate operations section contains the list of operations that
need confirmation before re-calculation of already calculated operation. When the
check box is selected for the specific operation, the confirmation message will be
displayed before this operation is re-calculated.
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1.4 Deleting Coordinate Systems in CoordSys Manager

In previous versions, you were able to delete unused Coordinate Systems one by one
or by groups of selected Coordinate Systems. When a group of Coordinate Systems
was selected in the CoordSys Manager dialog box, SolidCAM provided you with the
Delete command available in the right-click menu.

When this command was chosen, SolidCAM deleted


all selected Coordinate Systems one by one. For each
Coordinate System the confirmation message was
displayed:

In case of deleting a large number of Coordinate


Systems, such confirmation messages could be
inconvenient.

In SolidCAM 2010, deletion of multiple Coordinate Systems using the same command
in the right-click menu is accompanied with only one confirmation message:

When this message is confirmed, all the selected Coordinate Systems are removed.

If some of the Coordinate Systems cannot be removed, SolidCAM displays the


following message:

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1. General

1.5 Simultaneous display of tool path for multiple operations

In previous versions the display of tool path of separate operations in SolidCAM


Manager was toggled using the check box located to the left of the operation entry,
causing the tool path display one operation at the time. This meant that in order to
view the tool path for a number of operations or for all operations of the CAM-Part,
user had to turn on display of the tool path for all the operations, one by one.

provides you with the functionality to display the tool path for all the
SolidCAM 2010
CAM-Part operations or for a number of selected operations simultaneously.

1.5.1 Displaying the tool path for several selected operations

Each operation entry in SolidCAM Manager has a related tool path visibility check box,
which can be selected to display the tool path of the corresponding operation.

When several operations are selected in SolidCAM Manager,


clicking on this check box related to one of the selected
operations changes the tool path visibility status for all the
selected operations.

After the click, the check boxes of all the chosen operations become selected, and the
tool path of all these operations is displayed on the model.

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When one of the tool path visibility check boxes related to selected operations is
clicked again, the tool path display and the check boxes are cleared.

1.5.2 Displaying the tool path for all CAM-Part operations

The tool path visibility check box has been added to the
Operations header in the SolidCAM Manager tree. Using this
check box, you can control the tool path visibility status for
all the operations defined for the CAM-Part.

When this check box is selected, SolidCAM displays the tool


path for all of the operations, and the tool path visibility
check boxes are selected for all of the operations.

When this check box is cleared, SolidCAM clears the tool path display and the tool
path visibility check boxes are cleared for all the operations.

When a CAM-Part contains operations with different status of the tool path visibility,
the tool path visibility check box related to the Operations header has solid black fill.

When the mixed tool path visibility check box related to the Operations header is
clicked again, it is cleared; the tool path display and all the related tool path visibility
check boxes are cleared.

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1. General

1.6 Browsing to last opened location

SolidCAM enables you to display the browser dialog box when you choose one of the
following commands:

• Open. This command displays the browser dialog box that enables you to
load a CAM-Part.
• Delete. This command displays the browser dialog box that enables you to
delete a CAM-Part.
• Add Directory. This command is available from the Calculate CAM-Parts dialog
box and enables you to choose the location where the CAM-Parts intended
to be calculated are located.
• Save As. This command displays the browser dialog box that enables you to
save the current CAM-Part in a different location and with a different name.
• Change model reference/Browse. The Browse button is available in the Change
Model Reference dialog box. The browser dialog box available in this case
enables you to locate the model that will be chosen as the reference model.

In previous versions, in all cases above, the


browser dialog box was loaded with the
default location defined in the User directories
page of the SolidCAM Settings dialog box.

If the machining project you were working with was located in a different folder, you
had to browse between directories to find the necessary file or location, which was
inconvenient in some cases.

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with the functionality that stores the last used location
when the browser dialog box is used. When the browser dialog box is displayed next
time, SolidCAM automatically displays the stored location as the default one. Such
behavior enables you to save time spent on browsing for the necessary CAM-Part.
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The Return to the latest used directory option is added in the CAM-Parts dialog box.

When this check box is not selected, SolidCAM uses the directory defined in the User
section as the default location when the browser dialog box is
Directory for CAM-Parts
displayed.

When this check box is selected, each time you try to open a CAM-Part using the Open
command in the SolidCAM menu, the browser dialog box is displayed with the last
location chosen in this browser.

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1. General

1.7 Removing unused CAM-Part data

SolidCAM Parts can occupy a large amount of disk space, especially when they include
a lot of data such as updated stock model files, unused geometries, NC files, etc. Some
of these data might not be used in the CAM-Part, but they are still located in the
CAM-Part folder causing undesirable increase of the CAM-Part size.

SolidCAM 2010 introduces a new functionality


that enables you to perform the cleaning of
the CAM-Part data. The cleaning operation
automatically removes unused geometries,
updated stock model files (which can be
automatically recalculated), and any other unused
data saved in the CAM-Part.

The Cleanup CAM-Part command is added


to the right-click menu available on the
CAM-Part header in SolidCAM Manager.

When this command is chosen, the Cleanup


CAM-Part dialog box is displayed.

This dialog box enables you to define the options of the CAM-Part cleanup.

• Remove GCode files. When this check box is selected, SolidCAM removes
all the GCode files from the CAM-Part folder. The files to be removed are
determined according to the GCode Files Extension parameter specified in the
MAC file used in the current CAM-Part.

• Remove Updated Stock model files used for simulation.


When this check box is
selected, SolidCAM removes all the Updated Stock model files used for the
SolidVerify simulation (*.stf).

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• Remove Updated Stock model files used for rest material calculation.
When this
check box is selected, SolidCAM removes all the Updated Stock model files
used for the rest material calculation (*.stfrm).

• Remove unused geometries. When this check box is selected, SolidCAM


removes all the geometries that are not used in the operations of the current
CAM-Part.

• Remove unused tools. When this check box is selected, SolidCAM removes all
the tools located in the Part Tool Table that are not used in the operations of
the current CAM-Part.

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1. General

1.8 Simulation and GCode generation for not calculated operations

In previous version, when you performed simulation or GCode generation for an


operation that was not calculated previously, SolidCAM displayed the following error
message:

After the message confirmation, you had to calculate the operation by clicking on the
Save & Calculate button in the operation dialog box. After the calculation you had to
click on the Simulate button for tool path simulation or on the GCode button for the
GCode generation.

SolidCAM 2010provides you with a time-saving solution for the cases when the
simulation/GCode generation is needed for non-calculated operation.

When you click on the Simulate or GCode button in the dialog box of an operation that
was not previously calculated, the following confirmation prompt is displayed:

When you click on the Yes button, SolidCAM performs calculation of the operation
tool path and then continues to simulation or GCode generation (according to your
initial request).

When you click on the No button, SolidCAM closes the message box and returns the
focus to the operation dialog box, enabling you to perform calculation manually.

The Don’t ask again option enables you to automatically choose the Yes option, without
displaying this prompt, next time a similar situation occurs.

The visibility status of this confirmation prompt can be controlled using the relevant
check box in the CAM Messages page of the SolidCAM Settings dialog box (see topic
1.3).

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1.9 Facet tolerance for Coordinate System definition

During the CoordSys definition, SolidCAM


generates the model box surrounding the
model. Model facets are used in the process
of model box generation. In previous
releases of SolidCAM the faceting was
performed with a hard-coded tolerance of
0.01. This value could not be changed, which
sometimes resulted in issues of inaccurate
triangulation that resulted in imprecise
CAM-Part levels values related to the model
box (e.g. 49.99 instead of 50).

To avoid this problem, SolidCAM 2010 has


added a possibility to customize the facet
tolerance used for the CoordSys definition.

The Facet tolerance for levels measuring parameter is added in the CoordSys definition
page of the SolidCAM Settings dialog box.

This parameter enables you to define the tolerance for faceting that will be taken into
account during the model box generation in the process of CoordSys definition. The
default value of the parameter is 0.01.

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1. General

1.10 Templates

1.10.1 Common template parameters

SolidCAM enables you to insert a process template that contains a group of operations
into the CAM-Part. In previous versions, at the stage of insertion, SolidCAM displayed
a dialog box that enables you to define the Coordinate System that would be common
for all operations in the process template.

The geometries used in the process template


operations had to be defined separately for each
operation, after the process template insertion
- even if there was a common geometry for
several operations it had to be defined again for
each operation.

In SolidCAM 2010, the process template


insertion functionality is improved by adding
the following parameters: Geometry, Upper level
and Lower level. These parameters are common
for all the operations contained in the process
template.

When you choose the Add Operations from


Process Template command in the right-click
menu on the Operations header in the SolidCAM
Manager tree to insert a process template into
your CAM-Part, the Template Manager dialog box
is displayed with the list of process templates
available for insertion into the CAM-Part.

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When you choose a process template from the
list and confirm the dialog box, the Template
Common Data dialog box is displayed. This dialog
box enables you to define a Coordinate System, a
Geometry and Upper/Lower levels to be common
for all the operations contained in the process
template.

The CoordSys combo box enables you to define the common Coordinate System for
all the operations contained in the process template. The combo box enables you to
choose the relevant Coordinate System from the list. The button enables you to
define a new Coordinate System using the CoordSys Manager dialog box with the entire
SolidCAM functionality of Coordinate System definition and management.

The Geometry combo box enables you to define the common geometry for all the
operations contained in the process template. The combo box enables you to choose
the relevant geometry from the list.

The Upper Level and Lower Level edit boxes enable you to define the common
machining levels values for all the operations contained in the process template. The
corresponding buttons enable you to pick the levels on the model.

The defined geometry and levels data will be used only in the operations
in which these data are relevant.

1.10.2 Template filtering

When you have a large number of


templates stored in your database, it
might be difficult and time-consuming
to navigate through the whole list and
choose the necessary ones for particular
machining tasks.

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with the


possibility to filter the defined templates.

In the table of the


Operation Templates
Template Manager dialog box, a filter row
is added for defining the filter for the
table items.
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1. General

Template filtering can be performed by entering the first letters in the Name/Operation
type/Technology cell and then clicking on the corresponding button.

SolidCAM displays all items that include these letters at the beginning.

Template filtering can also be performed by selecting items in the table as filtering
criteria. Click on any row in the table to select a template. The Name, Operation type and
Technology cells will be automatically filled according to the template you have selected

as a potential criterion for filtering. Then click on the button in the column you
want to consider as the filtering criterion (Name, Operation type or Technology).

Filtering is performed according to the specified filter of the selected column.

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To reset the defined filtering, click on the button at the bottom of the Template
Manager dialog box. The results of the previous filtering are displayed in the table until
you click on this button.

1.10.3 Renaming templates

When you define a template and save it in your templates database, you may not pay
close attention to proper naming of the newly defined template. Afterwards you may
find it difficult to locate the required template, navigating between a large number of
templates with similar or non-meaningful names. SolidCAM 2010 provides you with the
possibility to rename the defined templates.

The Manage Templates command located in the


SolidCAM menu displays the Template Manager dialog
box that enables you to manage the existing templates.

The Rename option is added into the template managing


menu available by right-clicking on the templates in the
table.

When you choose this option, the template name in the list becomes available for edit,
and you can rename it.

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1. General

1.11 Closing the Machining Process from SolidCAM Manager

When there is a Machining Process open for the CAM-


Part you are currently working with, its name appears
in parentheses in the Machining Process header of the
SolidCAM Manager tree. SolidCAM 2010 provides you with
the possibility to close this Machining Process directly
from SolidCAM Manager.

The Close command has been added into the right-click


menu available on the Machining Process header. When
you choose it, the current Machining Process gets closed.

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1.12 Simulation interface improvements

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with enhanced interface for SolidVerify, VerifyPlus, Rest
Material, RapidVerify and SolidVerify for 3D simulations. The appearance of icons and
controls on the simulation toolbars has been modified.

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1. General

1.13 Warning about hardware key expiration

In previous versions, SolidCAM did not notify users in advance about the expiration
of their license, therefore its termination was unexpected, and it took a certain amount
of time for its renewal.

In SolidCAM 2010, when your license is about to expire (10 days and less left), the
following warning message is displayed:

This message is displayed once a day during the whole mentioned period of time.

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1.14 Support of 64-bit computing

In previous versions, SolidCAM had a 32-bit functionality that was available for both
32-bit and 64-bit platforms.

Designed to take full advantage of the increased RAM capabilities of 64-bit systems,
SolidCAM 2010 supports 64-bit computing, so that the calculation and simulation of
large parts will be further accelerated.

SolidCAM 2010 includes two separate installation packages for 32-bit and 64-bit versions
of operation systems.

34
1. General

1.15 SolidCAM controls in SolidWorks environment

In the current release, SolidCAM controls have been added into the SolidWorks
environment for enhancement of the user interface.

1.15.1 SolidCAM tab in SolidWorks CommandManager

In the SolidWorks CommandManager, the SolidCAM tab appears when SolidCAM is


activated.

The SolidCAM tab contains the following buttons:

• About SolidCAM

This button displays the dialog box that contains the information about
the SolidCAM software. This button corresponds to the About SolidCAM
command in the SolidCAM menu.

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• New CAM-Part

This button displays the list of available


SolidCAM modules such as Milling, Turning,
Mill-Turn, and so forth. This button corresponds
to the New command in the SolidCAM menu.

• Calculate CAM-Parts

This button displays the


Calculate Parts browser
that enables you to
calculate the CAM-parts
stored in the specified
location.

This button corresponds to the Calculate CAM-Parts command in the


SolidCAM menu.

• Open CAM-Part

This button displays the


CAM-Parts browser that
enables you to open a CAM-
Part stored in the specified
location.

This button corresponds to


the Open command in the
SolidCAM menu.

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1. General

• Copy CAM-Parts

This button displays the Copy


Parts dialog box that enables you
to copy parts from one location
to another.

This button corresponds to the


Copy command in the SolidCAM
menu.

• Delete CAM-Parts

This button displays the


Part to delete dialog box
that enables you to delete
CAM-Parts from the
specified location.

This button corresponds to


the Delete command in the
SolidCAM menu.

• Template Manager

This button displays the


Template Manager dialog box
that enables you to manage
the operation and process
templates.

This button corresponds


to the Manage Templates
command in the SolidCAM
menu.

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• Load Tool Library

This button displays the Load


browser that enables you to load
the tool library to be edited.

This button corresponds to the


Edit Tool Library command in the
SolidCAM menu.

• SolidCAM Settings

This button displays the


CAM Settings dialog box that
enables you to manage the
settings of the SolidCAM
software.

This button corresponds


to the SolidCAM Settings
command in the SolidCAM
menu.

• Technology Database

This button displays the


Technology Database dialog
box that enables you to
manage the SolidCAM
technology database.

This button corresponds


to the Technology Database
command in the SolidCAM
menu.

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1. General

• Hardware Key info

This button displays the Hardware Key Info dialog box that enables you to
get the hardware key info.

This button corresponds to the Hardware Key Info command in the


SolidCAM menu.

• CAM Views

The CAM-Views toolbar contains buttons that enable you to manage the
model views related to the orientation of the selected CoordSys position.

• Exit

This button enables you to exit SolidCAM.

This button corresponds to the Exit SolidCAM command in the


SolidCAM menu.

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1.15.2 SolidCAM toolbars in SolidWorks environment

The following SolidCAM toolbars have been added into the SolidWorks window:

SolidCAM General

This toolbar contains the general buttons corresponding to the commands in the
SolidCAM menu and the CAM-Views toolbar (see topic 1.15.1).

SolidCAM New

This toolbar contains buttons that enable you to activate the available SolidCAM
modules: Milling, Mill-Turn, Turning, Turn-Mill, Milling STL, and Wire Cut.

This toolbar corresponds to the New command in the SolidCAM menu.

40
1. General

SolidCAM New Tool Library

This toolbar contains buttons that enable you to start the definition of a new
SolidCAM Tool Library (Milling, Turning, or Mill-Turn).

This toolbar corresponds to the Create Tool Library command in the Tool Library
submenu of the SolidCAM menu.

SolidCAM Tool Library Options

This toolbar contains buttons that enable you to manage the existing Tool Libraries
and the related features such as Tool Types, Tool Holders, and so forth.

This toolbar corresponds to the Tool Library command in the SolidCAM menu.

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42
Geometry 2
2.1 Loop geometry selection

2.1.1 Marking external loops as open pocket edges

In previous versions, the Faces mode of geometry selection has been added to the
Chains Selection dialog box. This mode enables you to define the wireframe geometry
by selecting loops of model faces.

In SolidCAM 2010, an improvement to the Faces mode has been made by adding the
possibility to mark all edges of the loop as open edges, for use within Pocket operations.

The check box is added in the


Mark all edges of the loop as open
section of the Chains Selection dialog box. This check
Loops filter
box enables you to automatically mark all the edges of the external
loop of the selected face as open. Such loops will be treated as
open pockets, and the tool will machine over the open edges.

This check box is available only for Pocket operations.

44
2. Geometry

2.1.2 Primary and secondary loop selection

In previous versions, SolidCAM enabled you to define the wireframe geometry by


loops of model faces using the Chains Selection dialog box. With this dialog box, you
could choose a single loop on the model using the Host CAD functionality and define
the wireframe geometry on it.

In SolidCAM 2010, a new loop selection functionality has been


added to facilitate the process of single loop selection for
geometry definition.

The Loop option is added to the Chain section of the Geometry


Edit dialog box. When this option is chosen, SolidCAM enables
you to select a loop by picking one of its edges.

In this mode, all the controls of the Chains list section are
disabled until a model edge is picked. When a model edge is
selected, two faces to which this edge belongs are determined,
and their loops are highlighted. The first determined loop is
considered to be the primary and is highlighted with yellow
color. The second loop is considered to be the secondary and
is highlighted with cyan color.

45
When you click on the Accept chain button, the primary loop (highlighted with
yellow color) is chosen and displayed in the Chains list section; the closed geometry
chain is defined on this loop; the secondary loop is rejected.

You can make a loop primary by clicking on it. In such a way


you can switch between both loops to choose the loop to be
used for the chain definition.

46
2. Geometry

2.2 Chains filtering by Z-Levels

In previous versions, the chains selection filter could be defined by


picking the Z-level on the solid model, and SolidCAM determined
all the chains found at this level.

In SolidCAM 2010, the chain filtering functionality has been


enhanced by adding the possibility to define the range of Z-levels
as a filtering criterion.

The From and To edit boxes enable you to define the range of
Z-levels. The range can be defined by typing the values in the edit
boxes as well as by direct picking on the solid model when the
cursor is placed in the relevant edit box; the Z-coordinate of the
picked position is displayed in the edit box.

47
2.3 Browsing geometries

In previous versions, SolidCAM enabled you to define a new geometry for an operation
or to choose an existing geometry from the combo-box. When there is a large number
of geometries defined in the CAM-Part, navigating through this list and choosing the
right ones for operations was cumbersome.

SolidCAM 2010 provides an improvement to this functionality by enabling the user to


visualize the geometries during the selection process.

The button has been added into the Geometry section of the SolidCAM operation
dialog box.

Clicking on this button displays the Browse Geometries dialog box that lists all the
geometries of the type suitable for the chosen operation.

48
2. Geometry

When a geometry is chosen in this dialog box, it is highlighted on the model.

49
2.4 Defining the direction of geometry chains

In SolidCAM 2010, the geometry selection functionality has been improved and provides
you with control over the chain direction, during the picking of the first chain entity.
SolidCAM determines the start point of the picked entity closest to the picked position.

The direction of the picked first chain entity is defined automatically from the start
point to the picked position.
Start point
Direction

Picked position

Geometry chain

50
2. Geometry

2.5 Geometry definition and synchronization for Drill Recognition


operations

2.5.1 Definition of geometry

Automatic and manual geometry definition

In previous versions, the hole recognition process in Drill


Recognition operations was performed automatically according to
the user-defined filtering criteria. The resulting set of holes could
only be manually modified by excluding some hole features.

In SolidCAM 2010, a manual geometry selection mode has been


provided in addition to the existing automatic mode. The manual
mode can be useful in cases when the geometry has to be defined
only for individual holes.

The Auto and Manual radio buttons have been added into the
Options section of the HR Drill Geometry Selection dialog box.

The Manual option enables you to define the


geometry for Drill Recognition operations by
picking the specific hole features directly on
the solid model. When this option is chosen,
the filtering capabilities are disabled.

In the Manual mode, a hole feature can be selected by picking its


face or edge. When a face/edge is picked, SolidCAM checks in the
HR database to which hole feature the selected entity belongs and
adds the determined hole feature to the Holes Tree list.

These two modes can be combined, but note that if you use the Auto mode after the
Manual mode, the selections made in the Manual mode will be cleared.

Defining geometry by color

SolidCAM 2010 introduces a new parameter that enables you to perform geometry
filtering according to the color of the hole faces.

The Color section is added to the HR Drill Geometry Selection dialog


box. This section can be enabled by selecting the corresponding
check box.
51
• Define

This button enables you to choose the color for filtering. The standard
Color dialog box is displayed. This dialog box enables you to choose the
color from the basic palette or to define a new one.

• Pick from model

This button enables you to define the color by


picking the faces of the hole features.

When the color is defined using either of the two buttons, SolidCAM determines its
RGB components and displays them in the Red/Green/Blue edit boxes. The chosen
color is accepted, and when you click on the Find Holes button, SolidCAM will add all
holes with the specified color properties into the geometry.

In case of hole features consisting of several segments with different colors, the holes
recognition is performed according to the color of the hole top segment regardless of
the color properties of the lower segments.

Note when the process of holes recognition takes place for the first time,
a holes database is created containing all the colors of the hole features. If
you change the colors after the holes recognition, these changes will not
take effect until the next time you perform holes recognition.

52
2. Geometry

If the color parameter is chosen by picking the color of a model entity, then this
color parameter becomes associative with the solid model. If the color is defined by
choosing from the Windows palette, there is no associativity.

Removing recognized holes from the list

In the right-click menu available on the items in the Holes


Tree list, the new Remove/Remove All options have been
added. You can remove a single hole or a group of holes
(Shape/Group) from the list using these commands.

2.5.2 Synchronization of geometry

In SolidCAM 2010, the functionality of geometry synchronization has been improved.


When you define the geometry using the filters and then change it manually, these
changes are taken into account during the synchronization.

After the synchronization, SolidCAM includes in the geometry the previously selected
holes (automatically and manually) and the new holes added in the process of model
change (if there are any) that meet the criteria of the filtering initially used for drill
recognition.

SolidCAM does not include in the geometry the holes that were removed manually
and those whose diameter has been changed such that they do not match the filtering
parameters.

Example:

The geometry has been defined by filtering the holes according to the diameter.
The following changes were then made:

• One of the recognized holes is removed manually from the list;

• A hole with a different diameter is selected manually;

• A new hole that meets the flittering criteria is added to the model.

After the synchronization, the geometry contains the holes chosen by filtering
except for the removed one, the hole that was selected manually and the newly
added hole.

53
54
Tools 3
3.1 Cutting Length improvements

Definition of certain milling tools


includes several length parameters:
Cutting Length, Outside Holder Length,
Shoulder Length, and Total Length.
These length parameters are defined
for the following tools:
• End Mill;
• Bull Nose Mill;
• Ball Nose Mill;
• Taper Mill; Outside Total
Holder Length
Shoulder
• Drill; Cutting
Length
Length
Length
• Tap tool;
• Reamer.
Diameter

When a new tool of one of these types was created in previous versions, SolidCAM
automatically assigned hard-coded default values to these parameters. Since the default
values were generated without consideration of the machining depth, the default tool
length could be unsuitable for machining in certain operations, e.g. the Cutting Length
value could be smaller than the operation machining depth. In this case, customization
of the length parameters was required.

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with improvements in the length definition functionality.
Whenever a new tool, of the types listed above, is created in a SolidCAM operation,
its Cutting Length is automatically assigned the value of the machining depth in this
operation. SolidCAM enables you also to display, only the tools in the tool library, that
are suitable to the Cutting Length parameter.

56
3. Tools

3.1.1 Definition of cutting length according to operation machining


length

When a new tool, of one of the types mentioned above, is created in an operation,
SolidCAM determines the cutting depth of the operation and uses it for the definition
of the Cutting Length parameter value of the tool.

The depth is determined as follows:

• For Face Milling, Profile, Pocket, Drilling, Thread Milling, and Slot (with constant
section) operations, the Depth parameter is defined directly in the operation
interface.

• For Drill Recognition and Pocket Recognition operations, the Depth parameter is
automatically determined as the depth of the deepest hole/pocket machined
in the operation.

• For Contour 3D, 3D Milling, 3D Drilling, 3D Engraving, HSM, Slot (with shaped
section), T-Slot, Translated Surface, Sim 5-Axis and HSS operations, the Depth
parameter cannot be automatically determined – the default hard-coded
value is used for the new tool length definition.

When a tool is defined in the CAM-Part environment (with no operation open), the
hard-coded value is used for the Cutting Length definition.

3.1.2 Tool filtering

SolidCAM 2010 enables you to perform the


tool range filtering by the Cutting Length
parameter. The Cutting Length section is
added to the Range dialog box.

The From value enables you to define the


lower limit, and the To value enables you to
define the upper limit of the Cutting Length
range. Only the tools with the Cutting Length
within the specified range will be displayed
in the tool table as a result of filtering.

To automatically define the lower limit


value using the cutting depth of the current
operation, click the From button.
57
3.2 H Length improvements

The H Length parameter is available for


each milling tool. This parameter defines Spindle

the distance from the tool tip to the spindle


end face and is used for locating the tool
in the spindle unit in the SolidCAM Machine
simulation.

Generally, the distance controlled by the


H Length parameter depends on the chosen
tool holder and the tool overhang from Tool Holder H Length
holder (controlled by the Outside Holder Outside
Holder
Length parameter). The chosen holder Length
defines the distance between the holder end
face and the spindle end face. The sum of
this distance and the Outside Holder Length
provides the exact value of the H Length.

In previous versions, the default value of H Length (100) was hard-coded and its
definition did not depend on the holder type and the tool overhang from spindle.

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with the following improvements in the process of
H Length definition:

3.2.1 Holder overhang length

The Holder overhang length edit box has been


added to the Tool holders dialog box. This
parameter defines the suggested distance
between the tool adaptor end face and the
end face of the spindle. This parameter is
defined for each tool adaptor component of
the tooling system defined in SolidCAM.

Holder Overhang
Length

58
3. Tools

3.2.2 H Length

In the Part Tool Table dialog box, a check box has been added to the H Length parameter
edit box. This check box enables you to define the H Length parameter value either
automatically or manually. When the check box is not selected, the H length edit box is
disabled; in this case the automatically calculated H Length value is used and displayed
in the edit box. When the check box is selected, the H Length edit box is enabled, and
you can customize the H Length value.

When a tool holder is chosen, the value of the H Length parameter is recalculated as
the sum of the Outside Holder Length, the Holder Overhang Length and the length of the
chosen tool holder extension.

If one of the tool holding system components or the value of the Outside Holder
Lengthparameter is changed, the value of the H Length parameter is recalculated.

59
3.3 Spin and Feed definition improvements

In previous versions, the spin and feed defaults were defined according to the used
work material and tool material.

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with improved functionality enabling the user to assign for
each tool a table, containing different sets of spin and feed defaults, to be used with
different work materials and different CNC-machines.

3.3.1 Defining the work material

SolidCAM enables you to define and manage the list of work materials to be machined.

The Speed and Feed Defaults item in the Tool Library submenu of the SolidCAM menu
has been renamed into Work Materials.

When you choose this item, the Work Material


dialog box is displayed.

This dialog box displays the list of available


work materials and enables you to set the tool
related parameters for each of them. You can
edit the list by adding new items and/or deleting
the existing ones.

60
3. Tools

3.3.2 Assigning the work material to the CAM-Part

The Work Material section of the Part Data dialog box enables you
to choose the work material for each machining project. The list
displays all the work materials defined in the Work Material dialog
box (see topic 3.3.1).

3.3.3 Defining the sets of cutting conditions for


different tools

Each tool library in SolidCAM is accompanied by a database


containing the feed and spin data for the tools.

For each tool, several work materials can be assigned. Such


assignment means that the tool can perform machining of the
assigned work material.

For each work material, several sets of cutting parameters can


be defined. Each set can be adjusted to a specific CNC-Machine
through a cutting data correction table.

The Cutting Conditions button has been added to the Default Tool Data page of the Part
Tool Table dialog
box.

61
This button displays the Cutting Conditions dialog box that enables you to define sets of
cutting parameters relevant for machining of different work materials by the current
tool (Sets sub-table). Also this dialog box enables you to specify the correction data for
a different CNC-Machines (Corrections sub-table).

When the work material is chosen from the Work Material list, SolidCAM displays the
Sets sub-table that contains a number of cutting condition sets relevant for the chosen
work material. For each such set, several sets of correction data for different CNC-
Machines, are displayed.

If no cutting condition sets are defined for the specified material, you can create a new
set and fill it with the cutting parameters data.

Managing sets of cutting conditions

You can add, edit and remove the sets of working conditions using the buttons at the
bottom of the Sets section of the Cutting Conditions dialog box.
62
3. Tools

• The Add button enables you to define a new set of cutting conditions. This
button displays the Cutting Condition dialog box that enables you to define a
set of cutting parameters for machining of the specified work material by
the current tool.

• The Edit button enables you to edit the existing sets of cutting conditions in
the Cutting Condition dialog box.

• The Remove button enables you to remove the existing sets of cutting
conditions from the table.

When one of the rows listed in the Sets sub-table is marked with a selected check box,
this means the following: when this tool will be chosen for machining of a CAM-Part
with specific work material, the corresponding parameters will be used by default.

63
Adjusting the cutting parameters to a specific CNC-machine

The Corrections sub-table enables you to adjust the defined cutting conditions for use
on a specific CNC-machine. The buttons at the bottom enable you to manage the
defined corrections.

• The Add button enables you to add a


new set of corrections. This button
displays the CNC-Machine Definition
dialog box that enables you to define a
set of corrections. These corrections
will be applied to the default
parameters for machining of the
current material, by the current tool,
on a specified CNC-machine. The
correction is defined as percentage
from the original default value.

• The Edit button enables you to edit the existing sets of corrections in the
CNC-Machine Definition dialog box.

• The Remove button enables you to remove the existing sets of corrections
from the table.

The check sign, marking one of the rows listed in the Corrections sub-table, indicates
the current active CNC-Machine correction.

The CNC-Machine chosen for the current CAM-Part is marked by default (if it was
added to the corrections table), otherwise the Default correction set is marked (this set
is automatically added to each corrections sub-table).
64
3. Tools

When you have defined cutting conditions for tools in your Part Tool Table and then
you change the CNC-machine in the CAM-Part definition, the following prompt is
displayed:

If you confirm this prompt, the feed and spin data in the Part Tool Table are updated
according to the corrections of the newly chosen machine (if these are defined), or are
changed to values specified in the Default corrections set.

Note that the feed and spin data are updated only in the Part Tool Table. If you want
to update these parameters in the particular operation, you can perform this update
by entering the tool data from the operation dialog box and clicking on the Reset
according to Part Tool Table button.

To update the data for multiple operations, right-click on the operation entry in
SolidCAM Manager and choose Change Tool Data; in the Operation Tool Data dialog box
click on the Reset according to Part Tool Table button.

65
3.4 Visual tool check in Part Tool Table

In previous versions, the tools contained in the Part Tool Table could be previewed using
the Show button that displayed the selected tool in a separate window.

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with additional functionality of visual tool check – a tool
preview is provided directly on the solid model.

When the Part Tool Table dialog box


is displayed with a tool selected,
a half-transparent image of the
selected tool follows the cursor
that moves over the model. The
tool image can be dynamically
zoomed and rotated together
with the model.

66
3. Tools

This functionality can be enabled by selecting the Enable visual tool check check box
in the Miscellaneous page of the SolidCAM Settings dialog box.

The visual tool check is available only for Milling tools.

67
3.5 Turning tool holder definition and visualization

SolidCAM 2010 introduces a new functionality of turning tool


holders definition and visualization in Machine simulation. With
this functionality, SolidCAM 2010 also enables you to define the
correct position of the tool on the CNC-machine.

3.5.1 Choosing the tool holder

SolidCAM enables you to define tool holders in the Part Tool Table
using STL files.
The Holder tab has been added
into the Edit page of the Part Tool
Table dialog box.

This page enables you to choose


the tool holder, preview it and
define its positioning on the
machine.

Use STL holder

When this check box is selected,


the holder use is enabled for the
chosen tool.

Holder name

This field displays the name of the currently chosen holder.

Holders folder

This field displays the path to the holders storage location. The Browse button enables
you to browse to the directory where the holder files are saved.

Global Holders

This list displays a number of tool holders existing in SolidCAM Holders Table, stored in
the default Tables directory (see SolidCAM Turning User Guide).

68
3. Tools

A right-click menu available on the items in this list enables you to manage the available
holders:
• Copy holder to local

This option enables you to copy the selected


tool holder to the Local Holders list.

• Copy all holders to local

This option enables you to copy all the tool


holders displayed in the list to the Local
Holders list.

• Add holder

This option creates another holder entry in the Holder name field and
enables you to add a tool holder to the Global Holders list.

• Remove holder

This option removes the selected holder from the list.

• Remove all holders

This option removes all the holders from the list.

• Edit holder

This option enables you to edit the tool origin position coordinates for the
selected holder. The edit boxes in the Tool origin position CS section become
available.

Tool origin position CS

This section displays the XYZ coordinates of


the tool coordinate system origin, relative to the
tool position coordinate system, used for the
positioning of the tool on the CNC-machine
(station_transformXXXX). These coordinates can be
edited using the Edit holder option available in the
right-click menu on items in the Global holders list.

69
Local Holders

This field displays the list of holders chosen for use in the current CAM-Part.

3.5.2 Defining the tool origin position

In the Topology tab of the Edit page of the Part Tool Table dialog box, you can define
the coordinates of the tool origin position. The Origin Pos Z and Origin Pos X (formerly
Extension and Side offset respectively) parameters define the coordinates of the tool
origin position relative to the Tool origin position CS (see topic 3.5.1).

70
2.5D Milling 4
4.1 Drill Recognition improvements

4.1.1 Minimize hole cycle

In previous versions, the GCode of Drill Recognition operations contained a separate


GCode cycle for each machined position, which resulted in long GCode files.
SolidCAM 2010 provides you with the capability to shorten the GCode file by grouping
similar drilling positions under the same Gcode cycle - the holes that have the same
Upper level and Depth data are grouped under a common single Gcode cycle.

The Minimize hole cycle check box


is added into the Drill cycle section
of the Drill Recognition Operation
dialog box.
When this check box is not
selected, a separate GCode cycle is
generated for each drilling position
of the machined geometry. For
example,

(DR-DRILL-R7-T3 - DRILL-HR)
(-------------------------)
X35.85 Y35.85 Z10.
G98 G81 Z-96. R2. F33
G80
G0 X509.85
X509.85 Y35.85 Z10.
G98 G81 Z-96. R2. F33
G80
G0 X35.85 Y459.85
X35.85 Y459.85 Z10.
G98 G81 Z-96. R2. F33
G80
G0 X509.85
X509.85 Y459.85 Z10.
G98 G81 Z-96. R2. F33
G80

72
4. 2.5D Milling

When this check box is selected, SolidCAM groups the drilling positions with the same
Upper level and Depth under common GCode cycle. For example,

(DR-DRILL-R7-T3 - DRILL-HR)
(-------------------------)
X35.85 Y35.85 Z10.
G98 G81 Z-96. R2. F33
X509.85
X35.85 Y459.85
X509.85
G80

4.1.2 Complete hole group

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with the additional capability to sort holes by groups, in
which the Upper level and Depth data are the same.

The Complete hole group check box is added into the Sequence of drill positions section
of the Drill Recognition Operation
dialog box.

When this check box is not


selected, the holes are drilled one
by one, according to the chosen
sorting method.

73
When this check box is selected, the holes are sorted by groups, according to the
specified sorting method; the drilling order within each group is determined according
to the sorting method.

74
Turning 5
5.1 Selecting geometry on envelope

In the process of Target model definition, SolidCAM enables you to generate the
envelope of the model. The envelope sketch is located in the CAM component of the
CAM-Part assembly. SolidCAM enables you to define geometries on the envelope
sketch.

Turning geometry can be


defined by selecting wireframe
elements (the Wireframe mode)
or by picking solid model entities
such as faces, edges and vertices
(the Solid mode).

When the Solid option is chosen,


clicking on the Define button
displays the Geometry Selection
on Model dialog box that enables
you to define the geometry on
the envelope by selecting model
entities.
In previous versions, geometry definition was governed by
the choice in the Envelope side section of the dialog box. The
segment of the envelope used for the geometry definition
was determined between the start and the end entities picked
on the model, on the chosen side of the envelope.

External envelope

Internal envelope

Selected faces

76
5. Turning

In SolidCAM 2010, the geometry definition mechanism has been facilitated.

The previously available envelope side definition is not


relevant any more and has been removed. The new interface
offers you two modes of geometry definition: Automatic
selection and Manual selection, which are mutually exclusive
and can be enabled by selecting the corresponding check
boxes.
• Automatic selection

This mode enables you to automatically select


the chain on the envelope by picking two model
entities. When the Start and End entities are
picked, SolidCAM projects their boundaries
onto the envelope and determines the envelope
segment between the picked entities, going
counterclockwise from the start entity to the
end entity.

End entity Geometry chain

Start entity

Geometry chain

Start entity
End entity

77
• Manual selection

This mode enables you to define the geometry


chain manually by selecting the model faces.
When the faces are selected, SolidCAM projects
their boundaries onto the envelope and selects
the envelope segment for each selected face,
and then joins these segments into the geometry
chain.
End face
Start face

The Faces section lists the selected model faces.

Close gaps

The Close gaps options enable you to close the gaps determined between
the chosen envelope segments:

• The Line from larger diameter option enables SolidCAM to close


the gap by a horizontal line from the point of larger diameter to
the vertical line passing through the point with smaller diameter.

• The Line from smaller diameter option enables SolidCAM


to close the gap by a horizontal line from the point of smaller
diameter to the vertical line passing through the point with larger
diameter.

78
5. Turning

• The Direct connection option enables SolidCAM to close the


gap by connecting the end points of the envelope segments by a
line.

Extensions

The Start extension and End extension edit boxes provide you with the
possibility to tangentially extend the defined envelope 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

When model faces are selected, the Chain list section enables you to confirm or reject
the resulting chain.

79
80
High Speed Machining
(HSM) 6
6.1 HSM Rough machining module

In production of prismatic parts generally using 2.5D Milling operations, machining


of 3D surfaces is often required (e.g. fillets).
SolidCAM High Speed Surface Machining (HSS)
module brings the capabilities and surface quality
of 3D Finishing to 2.5D users. But in many
cases there is a need to remove large volumes
of material. For these purposes, SolidCAM 2010
introduces the new HSM Rough module that
provides the you with power and productivity
of high speed roughing.

The new HSM Rough module includes the


following operations: Contour Roughing, Hatch
Roughing and Rest Roughing.

The HSM Roughoperations are available in the


SolidCAM Manager tree.

When the HSM Rough operation is chosen, the


HSM Roughing operation dialog box is displayed.
In the Technology section, you can choose the
type of roughing operation.

For more information about SolidCAM HSM


Roughing operations, refer to the HSM Machining
User Guide book.

82
6. High Speed Machining (HSM)

6.2 Constant Z and 3D Corner offset combined strategy

In previous versions, the option to integrate two machining strategies in a single HSM
operation was introduced by adding the Constant Z combined with the Horizontal, Linear
and Constant step over machining.

The current release offers the combination of the Constant Z strategy supplemented
with the secondary 3D Corner offset strategy.

These two combined machining strategies share the Geometry, Tool and Constraint
boundaries data. The technological parameters for calculation and linking of tool path
passes are defined separately for the Constant Z and 3D Corner offset strategies.
83
The Constant Z Passes page defines the parameters of the Constant Z machining
strategy, which is used for semi-finishing and finishing of steep model areas.

The Pencil Passes page defines the parameters of the Pencil milling strategy, which is
used for removing material along internal corners and fillets with small radii that was
not reached in previous operations.

84
6. High Speed Machining (HSM)

The Corner Offset Passes page defines the parameters of the 3D Corner offset machining
strategy, which is used in order to machine all the internal corner radii to size.

Two Link pages, which are located under the Constant Z Passes and the Corner Offset
Passes pages, define the linking of the tool path for each of these strategies.

In the Link page for Corner Offset Passes, the Machining order tab enables you to define
the order in which the Constant Z and Corner offset passes will be performed. The
default option is Constant Z first.

When the tool has finished performing the passes of the first machining strategy, it
goes up to the Clearance level, then descends back to the machining surface to continue
with the next strategy.
85
86
High Speed Surface
Machining (HSS) 7
7.1 Stock definition improvements

In previous versions, the stock parameters were defined at the Roughing page of the
High Speed Surface Machining Operation dialog box along with the other features used
for rough machining such as Multi-passes, Depth cuts, etc. In the current version, in
order to clarify and facilitate the definition of these groups of parameters separately,
the Roughing page interface has been changed.

In the Roughing page of the High Speed Surface Machining Operation dialog box, the new
Stock definition button has been added.

This button displays the Stock definition dialog box that contains the stock-related
parameters previously available at the Roughing page.

88
7. High Speed Surface Machining (HSS)

Ignore segments shorter than

This new option enables you to exclude the segments that are shorter than the specified
tool path length.

When this check box is selected, the segments whose length is smaller than specified
are excluded from the tool path.
Tool
diameter Segment
length

Check box is not selected Check box is selected


The length of the tool path segments can be defined as a percentage of tool diameter
or as a value.

89
90
Sim. 5-Axis
Machining 8
8.1 Start point definition improvements

In previous versions, the start position for the first cut was defined by specifying the
coordinates of the point where machining was supposed to start.

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with the additional possibility to define the start point
position via the vector of the surface normal.

The Start point by section has been added into the Start point parameters dialog box. The
Positionand Surface normal direction options have been added into this section.

The Position option enables you to define the start point by specifying the coordinates
of the position. This option was available in previous versions.

When the Surface normal direction


option is chosen, the start point is
located at the intersection of the
tool path with the vector specified
by user-defined XYZ coordinates.
Vector coordinates can be set by
numeric values, or the direction
can be picked on the model using
the button.

Start point

Surface
normal

Vector

92
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

8.2 Tool path linking definition improvements

8.2.1 Separate Approach/Retract and Linking definition

In previous versions, the approach/retract parameters and linking parameters were


defined in the same Link page of the 5-Axis Operation dialog box. In the current version,
in order to clarify and facilitate the definition of these groups of parameters, the Link
page has been divided into two tabs: Approach/Retract and Links.

93
8.2.2 Home position definition

SolidCAM 2010 introduces a new Home position option for tool path linking that can
be applied to the first entry and last exit links. Home position is a point from which
the first rapid movement of the tool starts during the approach and to which the tool
eventually returns after the retreat.

The Start from home position check box has been added into the First entry section in the
Approach/Retract tab of the Link page of the 5-Axis Operation dialog box.

The Return to home position check box has been added into the Last exit section in the
Approach/Retract tab of the Link page of the 5-Axis Operation dialog box.

The Home position section has been added into the Approach/Retract tab of the Link
page of the 5-Axis Operation dialog box.

When the Start from home position check box is selected, the machining is performed
as follows:

The tool is positioned at the specified Home position, with the tool axis parallel to the
Z-axis of the Coordinate System. It then performs its initial rapid movement to the
Clearance area/Retract distance/Safety distance level or to the start point of the first
cutting pass (depending on the First entry setting), where it gets tilted according to
the defined Tool axis control parameters. From that point it performs the approach
movement to the drive surface (or directly starts machining the latter in case of the
Direct option chosen for First entry).

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8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

When the Return to home position check box is selected, the machining is performed
as follows: after the last cutting pass, the tool returns to the Clearance area/Retract
distance/Safety distance level (depending on the Last exit setting) or directly to the
Home position (in case of the Direct option chosen for Last exit).

Home position

Clearance area

Retract distance Retract distance

Safety distance Safety distance

The Home position section enables you to define the coordinates of the home position.

This section is available when at least one of the check boxes mentioned
above is selected.

95
8.3 4-Axis output format for Sim. 5-Axis sub-operations

In previous versions, Sim. 5-Axis sub-operations intended for specific machining


tasks, such as Cavity machining or Turbine Blade machining, were available only with
5-Axis output.

In SolidCAM 2010,the possibility to generate 4-Axis output has been added into the
Output format combo-box of the Toolpath parameters page of the operation dialog box,
for the following sub-operations:
• Cavity machining

• Turbine Blade machining

96
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

• Engraving

• Electrode machining

97
8.4 Axial offset technology for 5-Axis Engraving

SolidCAM enables you to offset the tool


path along the tool axis. The Axial offset
parameter defines the offset value. Each
point of the tool path (including the
start position) is shifted in the tool axis Axial offset
direction. The gouge control takes out all
the gouges that result from this shift.

The Damp option enables you to smooth the tool path so that vertical jumps in the
tool path are avoided. When this check box is not selected, the resulting tool path
exactly follows the defined edge curve. When this check box is selected, the tool path
is smoothed, and therefore does not contain sharp jumps.

In SolidCAM 2010,the Axial offset and Damp options have been enabled also for the
Engraving sub-operation. The Axial offset option and the Damp check box have been
added in the Toolpath parameters page of the Engraving dialog box.

98
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

8.5 Stock definition improvements

In previous versions, the stock parameters were defined at the Roughing page of the
5-Axis Operation dialog box, along with the other features used for rough machining
such as Multi-passes, Depth cuts, etc. In the current version, in order to clarify and
facilitate the definition of these groups of parameters, the Roughing page interface has
been changed.

In the Roughing page of the 5-Axis Operation dialog box, the new Stock definition button
has been added.

This button displays the Stock definition dialog box that contains the stock related
parameters previously available at the Roughing page.

99
Ignore segments shorter than

This new option enables you to exclude the segments of the tool path that are shorter
than a specified length.

When this check box is selected, the segments whose length is smaller than the specified
value are excluded from the tool path.
Tool
diameter Segment
length

Check box is not selected Check box is selected

The specified length can be defined as percentage of tool diameter or as a value.

100
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

8.6 Motion limits control definition improvements

In previous versions, SolidCAM enabled you to use the machine limits defined within
the machine definition to limit the tool path movements for translational and rotational
axes. This option could be turned on (machine limits used for both translational and
rotational axes) or off (no machine limits used).

In SolidCAM 2010, this feature


has been improved by adding
more possibilities for machine
limits use.

Instead of the previously


available check box that toggled
the use of machine limits, a new
combo-box has been added into
the Machine limits section of the
Motion limits control page of the
5-Axis Operation dialog box.

In this combo-box, four options


of machine limits use are listed:
• All limits

When this option is chosen, SolidCAM uses the


machine limits defined in the machine definition for
both translational and rotational movements.
• Translational limits

When this option is chosen, SolidCAM uses the machine limits defined in
the machine definition for translational movements.
• Rotational limits

When this option is chosen, SolidCAM uses the machine limits defined in
the machine definition for both rotational movements.
• No limits

When this option is chosen, all the machine limits defined in the machine
definition are ignored.
101
8.7 Multi-Axis Drilling operation

In previous versions, SolidCAM provided you with


basic capabilities of drill machining in Drilling and
Drill Recognition operations. These operations
enabled you to machine multiple drills, using a single
Coordinate System.

In cases of drills with different orientations (on


multiple sides or on a free-form surface), the use of
these operations was cumbersome since a separate
Coordinate System was needed for each drilling
direction; the Coordinate System definition often
required some modelling and sketching.

SolidCAM 2010 introduces a new Multi-Axis Drilling operation that enables you to
machine a series of drills that have different orientations.

When you choose the Multi-Axis Drilling


command from the Add operation menu in
the SolidCAM Manager tree, the Multi-Axis
Drilling Operation dialog box is displayed.

This dialog box enables you to define the parameters of the Multi-Axis Drilling
operation.

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8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

8.7.1 CoordSys page

This page enables you to define the Machine Coordinate System for the Multi-Axis
Drilling operation.

In the Multi-Axis Drilling operation, you have to choose only the Machine Coordinate
Systems. The multi-axis drilling tool path positions and tool axis orientation at each
tool path position are generated relative to the Machine Coordinate System. The tool
path is generated in the 4/5-axis space, relative to a Machine Coordinate System. The
Machine Coordinate System is defined relative to the center of rotation of the machine
(CNC-machine origin).

You can choose an existing Coordinate System from the list or click on the Define
button to define a new one using the CoordSys Manager dialog box. This dialog box
enables you to define a new Coordinate System directly on the solid model.

When the Coordinate System is chosen for the operation, the model is rotated to the
selected CoordSys orientation.

For more information on the Coordinate System definition, refer to the SolidCAM
Milling User Guide book.

103
8.7.2 Geometry page

This page enables you to define


the geometry data for the
Multi-Axis Drilling operation.

You can choose an existing


geometry from the list or click
on the Define button to define a
new one. When the geometry is
chosen, the Show button enables
you to display it on the model.

Geometry definition

When you click on the Define button, the 5X Drill Geometry Selection dialog box is
displayed.

Geometry definition is not available if the Target model is not defined.

• Name

This section enables you to define the name of the


geometry.

• Configurations

This section enables you to switch between


SolidWorks configurations and choose the relevant
configuration for the geometry definition.

• Model features

This section enables you to define the mode of


geometry selection (Auto/Manual), the filtering of
drills and the direction of drilling.

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8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Auto

When the Auto mode is chosen, clicking on


the Find Holes button enables SolidCAM to
find automatically all the drills present in the
solid model.

You can filter the drills by selecting the Use


filter check box and clicking on the Filter
button. The Filter dialog box is displayed. It
enables you to filter the drills by Hole type
(Blind/Through) and setting the Hole diameter
and Hole height range.

Manual

When the Manual mode is chosen, you can select the drills manually
by picking the hole faces on the solid model. The Use filter option
and the Find Holes button are unavailable.

The Show highlighted drills direction option enables you to display the
direction of drilling by surface normals for the specific highlighted drills
in the list.

The Show all drills direction option enables you to display the direction of
drilling for all drills in the list.

The Reverse by model selection option enables you to reverse the direction
of specific drills by selecting their faces on the model.

• Drill Positions

This section lists all the drills found in the model.

The Reverse button enables you to change the direction of the drill or
a group of drills selected in the list.

The Reject button enables you to remove the selected drill or a group
of drills from the list.

For more information on drilling geometry definition, refer to the SolidCAM Milling
User Guidebook.
105
8.7.3 Tool page

This page enables you to define the tool for the Multi-Axis Drilling operation and to
set the cutting parameters (feed and spin).

The following tool types are compatible with the Multi-Axis Drilling operation:
• End Mill

• Bull Nose Mill

• Ball Nose Mill

• Drill

• Center Drill

• Chamfer Drill

• Spot Drill

• Reamer

• Bore

• Tap

• Taper

106
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

8.7.4 Levels page

This page enables you to define the machining levels for the Multi-Axis Drilling
operation.

Clearance area
The Clearance area is the area where the tool movements can be performed safely
without contact with the material. The tool movements in the Clearance area are
performed with rapid feed.

Depending on the part shape, you can choose different clearance area types:

• Plane

This option enables you to define the Clearance


area by plane. The tool performs a retract
movement to the Clearance plane, and then a
rapid movement in this plane.

Clearance area

SolidCAM enables you to define the


location and the orientation of the
Clearance plane.

107
• Cylinder

This option enables to define the Clearance


area as a cylindrical surface. The tool performs
a retract movement to the Clearance cylinder,
and then performs a rapid movement along the
cylinder surface.

Radius

SolidCAM enables you to define the location, orientation and radius of the
Clearance cylinder.

• Sphere

When this option is chosen, the Clearance area


has a spherical shape. The tool performs a
retract movement to the Clearance sphere and
then a rapid movement along the sphere surface.

Radius

SolidCAM enables you to define the location and radius of the Clearance
sphere.

For more information about the Clearance area definition, refer to SolidCAM 5-Axis
Milling User Guide book.

108
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Levels

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

Retract distance

In the Clearance area, the tool


rotates to the final orientation for Clearance area
the first cut. After the rotation,
the tool performs a rapid descent
movement to the level specified
by the Retract distance parameter.
The Retract distance is measured Retract distance

from the start position of the


drill.

Safety distance

After the descent movement to


the Retract distance level, the tool
Clearance area
starts the approach movement
to the material. The approach
movement consists of two
segments. The first segment is
Safety distance
performed with rapid feed up
to the Safety distance. From the
Safety distance level, the approach
movement is performed with the
cutting feed.

109
Depth edit

This button displays the Depth Edit dialog box that


enables you to choose the drills to be included in the
geometry and modify the geometrical parameters of
the chosen drills.

• Holes Tree

This section displays the list of all drills


chosen for the geometry. All the drills in the
list are structured in Groups. Each Group has
the same Delta start, Drill depth, Delta depth and
Depth type data displayed in parentheses.

When one of the items of the list is selected,


the relevant parameters are displayed in the
Delta start, Drill depth, Delta depth and Depth
type sections. The corresponding drills are
highlighted on the solid model with the arrow
indicating the machining direction.

The Reverse button enables you to reverse


the direction of the chosen drills.

The right-click menu is available on each item


in the list:
Reverse

This command enables you to


reverse the direction of the chosen
drills.

Reverse All

This command enables you to reverse the direction of all drills


included in the geometry.

110
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Restore Data from Model

This command enables you to restore the default parameters


recognized on the Target model for the selected item (a group
or a single drill). When this 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 enables you to restore the default parameters


for all the drills in the list. When this command is applied,
SolidCAM checks the Holes Tree items and reorganizes them
into groups according to the changed parameters.

Restore Reverse from Model

This command enables you to restore the default direction of


the selected item (a group or a single drill).
Restore Reverse from Model to All

This command enables you to restore the default direction of


all of the drills whose direction was previously reversed.
Select All/Unselect All

These commands enable you to toggle the selection of all


recognized drills.

• Hole Diameter (D)

This section enables you to set the diameter value and apply it to
selected drills.

• Delta Start (ds)

This section enables you to change the Z-value of the default drilling
start point recognized on the Target model. When a positive value is
entered, the start point is moved upwards from the default position.
When a negative value is entered, the start point is moved downwards
from the default position.

111
• Drill depth (d)

This section enables you to define the value of the drilling depth and
apply it to selected drills.

• Delta depth (dd)

This section enables you to set the offset for the cutting depth and
apply it to selected drills.

• Depth type

This section enables you to define the Depth type for selected drills.

You can define the diameter on the conical part of the drilling tool
that will reach the specified drilling depth during the machining. You
can also deepen a drilled hole in order to obtain a given diameter at
the specified drill depth.

The following options are available:


Cutter tip

The tool tip reaches the defined drilling depth.

Full diameter

The tool reaches the defined drilling depth with the full
diameter.

Diameter value

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

The Apply button, in each of the sections described above, enables you to
apply the defined parameter to the selected list item (a group or a drill).

The All check box enables you to apply the updated values to all the items
in the list.

112
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

8.7.5 Technology page

This page enables you to define the technological data for the Multi-Axis Drilling
operation.

Sequence of drill positions

This section enables you to define the order of the drilling


sequence. The Sort sequence by list provides you with the
following modes of drilling positions sorting:

• Default

Sorting is not performed. The drills are machined


in the initial order provided by the Multi-Axis
Drilling geometry.

113
• Distance

Drills are sorted by the shortest


distance. When this option is
used, SolidCAM minimizes the
length of the necessary tool
movement. Machining of the
first drill is performed at the
first point defined in the drilling
geometry. Then the nearest
drilling instance is chosen, i.e.
the one that is located at the
shortest distance from the
previous drilling position.

• Line

This option enables you to define the direction of machining of the


sequenced drilling positions by line.
For more information about the line definition, refer to the SolidCAM
Milling User Guide book.

• Advanced

This option enables you to sort the drilling positions for machining of
linear, circular and cylindrical drilling patterns.

The button displays the Advanced


Sorting dialog box.

The Linear tab contains the sorting


methods appropriate for machining of
linear drilling patterns.
The Circular tab contains the sorting
methods appropriate for machining of
circular drilling patterns.
The Cylindrical tab contains the sorting
methods appropriate for machining of
cylindrical drilling patterns (see topic
8.8).

114
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Drill cycle

This section enables you to define the drilling cycle that will be used in the current
operation. For more information about the drilling cycles, refer to SolidCAM Milling
User Guide book.

8.7.6 Motion limits control page

This page enables you to optimize the calculated tool path according to the kinematics
and special characteristics of your CNC-machine.

For more information about the Motion limits control parameters, refer to the SolidCAM
Sim. 5-Axis Milling User Guide book.

115
8.7.7 Miscellaneous parameters page

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

For more information about these parameters, refer to the SolidCAM Sim. 5-Axis Milling
User Guide book.

116
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

8.8 Sorting of cylindrical drilling patterns

In previous versions, advanced sorting of the drilling positions was available for linear
and circular patterns (see topic 8.7.5). In SolidCAM 2010, with the introduction of the
new Multi-Axis Drilling functionality (see topic 8.7), the new Cylindrical sorting option is
provided.

Cylindrical sorting is available only


for Multi-Axis Drilling operations.

The Cylindrical tab has been added into the


Advanced Sorting dialog box. This tab contains
the sorting methods applicable to cylindrical
drilling patterns.

For the ordering of drilling positions by all of


the cylindrical sorting methods, SolidCAM uses
the center point around which the cylindrical
pattern is defined. For each position of the
chosen geometry, a radial vector passing through
the cylinder axis and the drilling position is
determined. SolidCAM then determines the
angle between this vector and the X-axis at the
center point. The Z-coordinates of the drilling
positions also serve as a criterion for sorting.

Circular pattern

This section contains the following Z-levels


parameters:
• Start angle

This parameter enables you to


define the angle at which the
start position will be chosen.
This angle is defined according
to the positive direction of the
Z
X-axis at the pattern center.
X
Radius Angle

117
The Pickbutton enables you to define the Start
angle by picking a point on the model. The Pick
angle point dialog box enables you to pick the
position on the model and displays the coordinates
of the picked position.

When the position is picked and the dialog box is confirmed, SolidCAM
determines the direction vector from the pattern center towards the
picked position. SolidCAM automatically calculates the angle between the
direction vector and the X-axis at the pattern center and displays the angle
value in the Start angle edit box.

• Tolerance

During the cylindrical sorting, SolidCAM classifies the drilling positions


into groups of those located at the same angle.

The Tolerance value determines if drilling positions belong to the same


angle group. For each group of drilling positions located at the same angle,
SolidCAM determines the start position; each additional drilling position
to be included into this group must be located at the angle that is within
the angular tolerance (calculated automatically according to the specified
tolerance) from the angle of the start position.

Change sorting center

By default, the pattern center is automatically


defined at the origin of the Coordinate System
used in the current operation. The Change sorting
center button enables you to change the pattern
center location by picking on the model. The Pick
center point dialog box enables you to pick the
center position and displays the coordinates of the
picked point.

118
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Cylindrical sorting methods

The following methods are available for advanced Cylindrical sorting:

SolidCAM determines the drilling position with


the minimal Z-coordinate (the farthest from
the center position) and located at the angle
maximally close to the specified Start angle value.
This position is accepted as the start position.
From this position, SolidCAM performs the
machining of all the drilling positions located at
the same angle. The machining is performed in
the increasing order of Z-coordinates.

When all the drilling positions located at the current angle are machined, SolidCAM
moves to the drilling position with the minimal Z-coordinate located at the next angle
increment in the clockwise direction. At this angle, the machining is performed in the
same manner.

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the maximal Z-coordinate (the closest to
the center position) and located at the angle
maximally close to the specified Start angle value.
This position is accepted as the start position.
From this position, SolidCAM performs the
machining of all the drilling positions located at
the same angle. The machining is performed in
the decreasing order of Z-coordinates.

When all the drilling positions located at the current angle are machined, SolidCAM
moves to the drilling position with the maximal Z-coordinate located at the next angle
increment in the clockwise direction. At this angle, the machining is performed in the
same manner.
119
SolidCAM determines the drilling position
with the maximal Z-coordinate (the closest
to the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions located at the same angle. The
machining is performed in the decreasing
order of Z-coordinates.

When all the drilling positions located at the current angle are machined, SolidCAM
moves to the drilling position with the minimal Z-coordinate located at the next angle
increment in the clockwise direction. At this angle, the machining is performed in the
increasing order of Z-coordinates.

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the minimal Z-coordinate (the farthest
from the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions located at the same angle. The
machining is performed in the increasing
order of Z-coordinates.

When all the drilling positions located at the current angle are machined, SolidCAM
moves to the drilling position with the maximal Z-coordinate located at the next angle
increment in the clockwise direction. At this angle, the machining is performed in the
decreasing order of Z-coordinates.

120
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the maximal Z-coordinate (the closest
to the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions located at the same angle. The
machining is performed in the decreasing
order of Z-coordinates.

When all the drilling positions located at the current angle are machined, SolidCAM
moves to the drilling position with the maximal Z-coordinate located at the next angle
increment in the counterclockwise direction. At this angle, the machining is performed
in the same manner.

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the minimal Z-coordinate (the farthest
from the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions located at the same angle. The
machining is performed in the increasing
order of Z-coordinates.

When all the drilling positions located at the current angle are machined, SolidCAM
moves to the drilling position with the minimal Z-coordinate located at the next angle
increment in the counterclockwise direction. At this angle, the machining is performed
in the same manner.

121
SolidCAM determines the drilling position
with the maximal Z-coordinate (the closest
to the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions located at the same angle. The
machining is performed in the decreasing
order of Z-coordinates.

When all the drilling positions located at the current angle are machined, SolidCAM
moves to the drilling position with the minimal Z-coordinate located at the next angle
increment in the counterclockwise direction. At this angle, the machining is performed
in the increasing order of Z-coordinates.

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the minimal Z-coordinate (the farthest
from the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions located at the same angle. The
machining is performed in the increasing
order of Z-coordinates.

When all the drilling positions located at the current angle are machined, SolidCAM
moves to the drilling position with the maximal Z-coordinate located at the next angle
increment in the counterclockwise direction. At this angle, the machining is performed
in the decreasing order of Z-coordinates.

122
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the maximal Z-coordinate (the closest
to the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions with the same Z-coordinate. The
machining is performed in the clockwise
direction.

When all the drilling positions of the current Z-level are machined, SolidCAM moves
to the drilling position located at the angle maximally close to the specified Start angle
value at the next Z-level, and the machining is performed in the same manner.

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the minimal Z-coordinate (the farthest
from the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions with the same Z-coordinate. The
machining is performed in the clockwise
direction.

When all the drilling positions of the current Z-level are machined, SolidCAM moves
to the drilling position located at the angle maximally close to the specified Start angle
value at the next Z-level, and the machining is performed in the same manner.

123
SolidCAM determines the drilling position
with the maximal Z-coordinate (the closest to
the center position) and located at the angle
maximally close to the specified Start angle
value. This position is accepted as the start
position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions with the same Z-coordinate.
The machining is performed in the
counterclockwise direction.

When all the drilling positions of the current Z-level are machined, SolidCAM moves
to the drilling position located at the angle maximally close to the specified Start angle
value at the next Z-level, and the machining is performed in the same manner.

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the minimal Z-coordinate (the farthest
from the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions with the same Z-coordinate.
The machining is performed in the
counterclockwise direction.

When all the drilling positions of the current Z-level are machined, SolidCAM moves
to the drilling position located at the angle maximally close to the specified Start angle
value at the next Z-level, and the machining is performed in the same manner.

124
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the maximal Z-coordinate (the closest
to the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions with the same Z-coordinate. The
machining is performed in the clockwise
direction.

When all the drilling positions of the current Z-level are machined, SolidCAM moves
to the closest drilling position located at the next Z-level, and the machining of the
next Z-level is performed in the opposite direction.

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the minimal Z-coordinate (the farthest
from the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions with the same Z-coordinate. The
machining is performed in the clockwise
direction.

When all the drilling positions of the current Z-level are machined, SolidCAM moves
to the closest drilling position located at the next Z-level, and the machining of the
next Z-level is performed in the opposite direction.

125
SolidCAM determines the drilling position
with the maximal Z-coordinate (the closest
to the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions with the same Z-coordinate.
The machining is performed in the
counterclockwise direction.

When all the drilling positions of the current Z-level are machined, SolidCAM moves
to the closest drilling position located at the next Z-level, and the machining of the
next Z-level is performed in the opposite direction.

SolidCAM determines the drilling position


with the minimal Z-coordinate (the farthest
from the center position) and located at the
angle maximally close to the specified Start
angle value. This position is accepted as the
start position. From this position, SolidCAM
performs the machining of all the drilling
positions with the same Z-coordinate.
The machining is performed in the
counterclockwise direction.

When all the drilling positions of the current Z-level are machined, SolidCAM moves
to the closest drilling position located at the next Z-level, and the machining of the
next Z-level is performed in the opposite direction.

126
8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

8.9 HSM to Sim. 5-Axis tool path conversion

In some machining cases, there is a need to perform machining of 3D parts using the
Sim. 5-axis capabilities. For example, HSM machining of deep cavities requires the use
of long tools, which can cause tool breakage; the same cavities can be machined using
a tool of smaller length while tilting this tool to follow the same tool path.

To convert an HSM operation into Sim. 5-axis, add


a new operation in the SolidCAM Manager tree and
choose the Converting HSM to Sim. 5-Axis option
from the right-click menu.

The Convert HSM to Sim. 5-Axis


dialog box is displayed. This
dialog box enables you to define
the parameters of the convert
operation.

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The Convert HSM to Sim. 5-Axis dialog box contains the following pages:

Source operation

This page enables you to choose


the original operation that
will be converted and define
a number of the conversion
parameters.

In the Source operation


section, you need to choose
the operation to be converted
from the corresponding
combo-box. The Disassociate
button cancels the connection
between the source operation
and the converted one.

The source operations for conversion can be of the 3D Milling and HSM types.

The Conversion data section enables you to specify the Cut tolerance parameter; this
value defines the tool path accuracy (see SolidCAM Sim. 5-Axis Milling User Guide).

Tool

This page enables you to define the tool and the related parameters such as feed and
spin for the operation.

To convert a 3-axis
operation (3D Milling
or HSM) into a Sim.
5-axis one, a tool of
the Ball-nosed mill
type must be used in
the source operation.

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8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

Levels

This page enables you to define the machining levels for the operation.

Tool axis control

This page enables you to define the orientation of the tool axis during the Sim. 5-axis
machining.

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Gouge check

This page enables you to avoid the tool gouging of the selected drive and check
surfaces.

In this page, SolidCAM enables you to define the parameters of automatic collision
avoidance for Sim. 5-axis tool paths by tool inclination. The advantage of automatic
collision avoidance is to free the user from manual choice of tilting angles: you only
need to specify the desired tilting angle, the maximal angle allowed, and whether tilting
will occur in areas where no collisions are detected.

A new 3-axis to 5-axis conversion option is added for the Tilting tool away with max. angle
strategy in the Gouge tabs available in the Gouge check page of the Converted dialog
box.

The Advanced button displays the Collision


avoidance by tool tilting dialog box that
enables you to define the following tilting
parameters.

• Maximum tilt angle

This parameter defines the maximal angle of tool tilting allowed to avoid
collision. When this value is found not sufficient to avoid collisions, the
tool returns to the Clearance level, and the system searches the remaining
calculated tool path for gouge-free passes that can be performed according
to the angle limitation. If no possible passes are found, machining is not
continued.
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8. Sim. 5-Axis Machining

• Desired tilt angle

When this check box is selected, the Desired


tool is tilted to the preferred angle tilt angle
specified in the related edit box, when
a collision is detected. When this value
is not sufficient to avoid collision, it is
increased up to the specified Maximum
tilt angle value.

When this check box is


not selected, the system
automatically calculates the tool
tilting angle in the range from 0˚
up to the specified Maximum tilt
angle value.

• Tilt for collision free zones

When this check box is selected, the tool is also tilted to the specified
Desired tilt angle, in areas where no collisions are detected.

When this check box is not selected, the tool sticks to its initial axis
defined for the 3-axis tool path while machining the collision-free
areas.

Tilt for collision free zones Tilt for collision free zones
check box is selected check box is not selected

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Motion limits control

This page enables you to define the parameters related to kinematics and special
characteristics of the CNC-machine.

Miscellaneous parameters

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

For a more detailed explanation of the Sim. 5-Axis operation parameters pages, refer
to SolidCAM Sim. 5-Axis Milling User Guide.

When the converted operation is saved and calculated, the source operation is
suppressed in the SolidCAM Manager tree.
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Simulation 9
9.1 External Simulator in SolidCAM

SolidCAM 2010 provides you with a new External Simulator for simulation of operations
in a separate window, in parallel to continued working in SolidCAM.

For example:

• Continue adding new operations


while a SolidVerify simulation of the
previous operations is working in the
background.

• Building updated stocks, which takes


a considerable amount of time in case
of large and complex parts.

The External Simulator window is displayed when


you choose the Simulate External command from
the right-click menu available on the Operations
header of the SolidCAM Manager tree.

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9. Simulation

When the External Simulator window is displayed, all the


operations included in the simulation (and the related items
such as geometries, coordinate systems, and so forth) are
marked by the lock icon in SolidCAM Manager; this locking
means that these operations cannot be edited, deleted
or recalculated. Also new operations cannot be inserted
between the locked operations.

However you can continue adding new operations, after the


existing ones, while the simulation is running.

Show SolidCAM Manager

When this check box is selected, the


Operations header of the SolidCAM
Manager tree along with the
simulation control panel is displayed
in the left portion of the External
Simulator window.

When this check box is not selected,


the External Simulator window
displays only the graphic area of the
simulation, with the control buttons
above it.

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Run as main process/Run as background process

Since simulation is a process that takes up a lot of system resources, you may need to
indicate the priority of the External simulator as a secondary task (while SolidCAM is
a main task).

When the Run as main process option is chosen, the External simulator uses system
resources, regardless of the other processes, on as-needed basis; SolidCAM might
then run slower.

When the Run as background process option is chosen, SolidCAM has higher priority
than External simulator in terms of using system resources; therefore you can continue
working with the CAM-Part while the simulation is running.

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9. Simulation

9.2 Turning tool holding system in Machine simulation

SolidCAM 2010 enables the display of the turning tool holding system in the Machine
simulation mode.

To display the tool holder in Machine simulation, you need to define it in the Machine
definition tree.

Holder definition for machines with rotary turret

In SolidCAM 2010, the rotary turret feature is


supported in turning tool holding system.

In case of machines with rotary turret, a


number of tools can be mounted on the rotary
turret with the possibility to switch between
tools when necessary. Each tool has its slot in
the turret, and the tool number corresponds
to the number of the relevant coordinate
transformation that represents this tool
position in the CNC-machine definition.

137
To enable the visualization of rotary turrets in the Machine simulation, you need to add
the following items into the CNC-machine definition:

1. TRAxX

Add a new rotational axis to one of the


translational axes (depending on the
type of machine). This is the rotational
axis of the rotary turret. Name it TRAxX,
where X is the number of turret from the
turrets table (for example, TRAx1). The
TRAx name is hard-coded in SolidCAM
and cannot be changed.

Add a geometry to this axis and name


it Drum_Turret. The geometry file is the
model of the rotary turret saved in STL
format.

2. station_transformXXXX

Add a new transformation to the TRAxX


axis. This is the coordinate system of
one of the tool positions on the rotary
turret. Name it station_transformXXXX,
where the XXXX characters stand for
the following: the first character is
the number of turret from the turrets
table; the second character (a letter) is
the tool position (A, B, C etc...) defined
in the Part Tool Table; and the last two
characters define the tool number in
the Part Tool Table (for example, station_
transform1A01). The station_transform
name is hard-coded in SolidCAM and
cannot be changed.

You can add as many station_transformXXXX items as you need according to


the number of tool positions on your rotary turret.

138
9. Simulation

3. adaptor_transformXXXX

Add a new transformation under the


station_transformXXXX item. This is
the coordinate system defined as the
Tool origin position CS in the Part Tool
Table. Name it adaptor_transformXXXX,
where the XXXX characters stand for
the following: the first character is the
number of turret from the turrets table;
the second character (a letter) is the tool
position (A, B, C etc...) defined in the
Part Tool Table; and the last two characters
are the tool number defined in the Part
Tool Table. The adazptor_transform name
is hard-coded in SolidCAM and cannot
be changed.

You must add as many adaptor_transformXXXX items as you need according


to the number of tool positions on your drum turret.

Add a fixture to this item and name it TH_adaptorXXXX (the XXXX will be
inherited from the parent item in the tree). The fixture file is the model
of the tool holder saved in STL format and defined in the Part Tool Table.

4. holder_transformXXXX

Add a new transformation under the


adaptor_transformXXXX item. This is
the coordinate system that is used for
correct positioning of the tool. Name
it holder_transformXXXX, where the XXXX
characters stand for the following: the
first character is the number of turret
from the turrets table; the second
character (a letter) is the tool position
(A, B, C etc...) defined in the Part Tool
Table; and the last two characters are
the tool number defined in the Part
Tool Table. The holder_transform name is
hard-coded in SolidCAM and cannot be changed.
139
You can add as many holder_transformXXXX items as you need according to
the number of tool holders you are using.

To the holder_transformXXXX item you can attach all the tool elements (such
as arbor, shaft, flute, and so forth) and define their kinematic relationship
with the CNC-machine components.

Holder definition for machines without rotary turret

In case of machines without rotary turret, only one tool at a time can be mounted on
the holding system.

To enable the visualization of tool holders in the


Machine simulation, you need to add the following items
into the CNC-machine definition:

1. station_transform

Add a new transformation to the axis that is


responsible for the tool movements. This is
the coordinate system of the tool position.
Name it station_transform. This name is
hard-coded in SolidCAM and cannot be
changed.

140
9. Simulation

2. adaptor_transform

Add a new transformation under the


station_transform item. This is the
coordinate system defined as the Tool
origin position CS in the Part Tool Table.
Name it adaptor_transform. This name is
hard-coded in SolidCAM and cannot be
changed.

Add a fixture to this item and name it


TH_adaptor. The fixture file is the model
of the tool holder saved in the STL
format and defined in the Part Tool Table.
The number of these fixtures must be
the maximal number of tools supported
by the magazine of your machine.

4. holder_transform

Add a new transformation under the


adaptor_transform item. This is the
coordinate system that is used for
correct positioning of the tool. Name it
holder_transform. This name is hard-
coded in SolidCAM and cannot be
changed.

To the holder_transform item you can


attach all the tool elements (such as
arbor, shaft, flute, and so forth) and
define their kinematic relationship with
the CNC-machine components.

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2.5D Milling High-Speed Surface Machining (HSS) High-Speed Machining (HSM)

Indexed Multi-sided Machining Simultaneous 5 - axis Machining Turning and Mill-Turn up to 5 axis

Wire EDM iMachining Service and Support

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