Did you know that CAM-POST can simulate the cutting of in-process stock?

Material removal simulation can be used to verify the cutting motions of an NC program, showing the effect of the tools as they cut the stock material (called the “in-process” stock). Many CAM systems provide tool-path and in-process stock simulation; however the tool motions are calculated in “part” space, without regard to the axes available on the CNC machine.

In particular, rapid motions are simulated in the CAM system as straight lines with a constantly changing tool axis as shown below, whereas positioning motions on the CNC may cause the tool to curve through space with respect to the part due to rotary axis motion or the independent positioning of axes.

A CAM system simulation can therefore give a false sense of security when used to validate NC programs on machines with rotary axes. CAM-POST can simulate the actual motions that will occur at the machine, based on the rotary axes configuration of the machine and CNC rapid positioning settings. When CAM-POST is linked to a Virtual Machine model of the CNC and includes a Material Removal Simulation license, then a complete simulation of machine and cutting process can be obtained. In many cases this can eliminate the requirement to use Control Emulator CERUN to verify the NC program using MCD based simulation.

But did you know that CAM-POST (and CERUN) can accurately simulate the cutting process using just a Material Removal Simulation license, without having to use a Virtual Machine model? You can do this by simply selecting “Enable Material Removal Simulation” in the launch panel Simulation settings.

When the post-processor or control emulator is run with material removal simulation only, a dynamic model of the machine is created based on QUEST questionnaire responses. This model ensures that the simulation respects the orientation and pivot offsets of the machine’s rotary axes. The simulation also respects the rapid positioning behavior of the CNC as specified in QUEST responses. Rotary axis motion will cause the tool to curve through space as it would appear in the CNC if viewed from the perspective of the part.

ICAM provides Manufacturing Extractors that gather tool, part, stock and fixture information from the CAM system so as to simplify the simulation process. Extractors are available for CATIA, Mastercam, PTC, TopSolid and Siemens NX.

Benefit to User
Material Removal allows NC programmers to compare the processed stock model to the original CAD / CAM design. Inside ICAM’s Virtual Machine environment, material removal computes in-process stock geometry to identify excess material, inaccessible areas and rapid-motion collisions at any time during the post-processing and verification phase.

For more information or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Phil at TechTipTuesday@icam.com