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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    - Get more toolholders. Whatever time you're losing in HSM, you're probably doubling by going out and having to break down and set up a bunch of tools.

    - Standardize tooling/feeds/speeds. Sometimes being efficient isn't about optimizing speed, it's about optimizing the entire process. Same with setups. The shorter the run of parts, the higher the probability it is that most folks spend WAY more hours chasing down cycle time efficacy than they would have had just going with sub-optimal programming and getting shit done.

    - Start using templates.
    You've got some great points, thanks for that.
    And, I have a vague idea, but explain more about templates?


    Quote Originally Posted by tjd10684 View Post
    Here is an idea I'm talking about make a tool crib for each machine in HSM use conservative feeds and speed for the tools. Then when you need to use a different machine rather than overriding everything duplicate the entire setup and change the tools to the ones you have in the crib for that machine. This will update you speed and feed for each tool to get close for each op. You can certainly still tweak it further but then you will not mess up anything for the other machines.
    That's an interesting idea. I'd need to try it and see how quick it is, but yeah I suppose most of my problem at the moment is managing the tool cribs. I've done some work with it but the more I think about it the more I realize that optimizing the tools would be a huge benefit for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Deal View Post
    I just bought solidworks with their CAM professional. I can't really compare it to much since I don't know too much about any CAM systems. I did use fusion360 and it's CAM. The solidworks CAM, which comes from CAMworks, is quite a bit different. It uses a database to govern how it generates toolpaths based on its feature recognition. This is tweakable so as you see what it does vs what you need it can be optimized. One problem with it I have found so far is that for the moment it is kind of an orphan product because even though CAMworks has been around and has a support network I am not a CAMworks customer I am a solidworks customer and nobody at solidworks seems to know much yet. I find I learn best when i learn stuff the hard way so I don't mind for now. I think this will change as the user base increases.
    Quote Originally Posted by len_1962 View Post
    SW2018 now includes CAM 2.5 axis, it is basically like FeatureCAM but it is inside SW instead of a standalone. Has a tech database that can be setup to cut the way you want and remembers.

    its been around along time since it is CAMWorks.
    So CAMWorks is alright? I hear it has really good feature recognition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlockwood View Post
    pretty sure it works fine, though its been awhile since I touched Xpress.
    Yep me either................like sense 2011

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    @Jrill

    what version of SW and Xpress are you on??? SW 2011, 2012.....2017? Xpress2011. 2012....2016?

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    I think it's 2017? It keeps getting updated with the autodesk updater, so I'm assuming it's the most current it can be regardless of year?

    I'm using Inventor LT 2016

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrill View Post
    And, I have a vague idea, but explain more about templates?
    There are two kinds of templates, and I use the hell out of both of them.

    Operation Templates are sort of the official template in HSM Works jargon, and it's a set of common operations you set up and save out (speeds, feeds, heights, stock to leave, etc). It can be one operation or a whole bunch of operations you use often.

    Tip - Template in Inventor HSM - YouTube

    That quick video shows a spot/drill/tap template. My GoTo template is one I have set up for quickly prototyping parts that fires off a 3D adaptive with a 3/8" rougher, a rest machining 3D adaptive with a 1/4" tool, a final 3D adaptive rough with a 3/16" tool as well as a quick finish face operation. I fire that template off and if the part doesn't need the smaller tools to rough, I just delete them from the job.

    Fixture Templates are more of a technique than they are an official thing in HSM Works. Lockwood has a solid YouTube video about them here: HSMWorks How-To: Using templates- but not THOSE templates. - YouTube

    My GoTo prototyping fixture template has my Talon jaws set up with a piece of stock who's size I can quickly change, the floor of my part set up as a plane, and a couple of coordinate systems preset for G54. I open it up, change the size of my stock to something appropriate, drop my part in to the stock with a few constraints, go to the job I already have set up and update the Model, hit rebuild. In about 45 seconds, I've got everything set up to rough out a part and all I need to focus on is finishing operations.

    If a part is within the bounds of the stuff I normally make (fit in your hand camera parts, all in 6061), these techniques let me go from model to making chips in 10-15 minutes. Again though, it's all about the overall process - this is the result of focusing on a the kind of parts I typically make, keeping a set of about 10 tools always ready in the Robodrill, and planning ahed with both Operation and Fixture templates. All the feeds/speeds are dialed in to be extremely conservative, since I don't care about runtime at all and I want massive reliability out of this process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrill View Post
    I think it's 2017? It keeps getting updated with the autodesk updater, so I'm assuming it's the most current it can be regardless of year?

    I'm using Inventor LT 2016
    So you are not using SolidWorks? and it doesn't get updated from the autodesk site

    You are throwing us off because HSMXpress is for SolidWorks HSMXpress

    the other is call Inventor HSM Express - Inventor HSM Express

    so which one are you using?

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    Have you tried Mastercam? 2.5D is super simple. I think they might even sell the 2.5 axis package, call up Cimquest your local re-seller. 2.5K is super simple and cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrill View Post
    So CAMWorks is alright? I hear it has really good feature recognition.
    Been using it for 11+ years and I can say it does the job I need with little issues I can't solve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnrs View Post
    Been using it for 11+ years and I can say it does the job I need with little issues I can't solve.
    +1
    Been using it for about the same time, and although it has it's quirks, it does the job for me. Key is getting your Tech Database tailored to how you work. Once you do, setting cutting parameters for tool paths requires very little intervention, and will be good most of the time. Feature recognition is either awesome or useless, depending upon part topography. Works well with basic pocket/slot/holes. Often doesn't give you what you want if features intersect each other. If not, you can roll your own. 2018 is supposed to see order of operations better. I've not been able to install it yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnrs View Post
    Been using it for 11+ years and I can say it does the job I need with little issues I can't solve.
    Quote Originally Posted by rainman View Post
    +1
    Been using it for about the same time, and although it has it's quirks, it does the job for me. Key is getting your Tech Database tailored to how you work. Once you do, setting cutting parameters for tool paths requires very little intervention, and will be good most of the time. Feature recognition is either awesome or useless, depending upon part topography. Works well with basic pocket/slot/holes. Often doesn't give you what you want if features intersect each other. If not, you can roll your own. 2018 is supposed to see order of operations better. I've not been able to install it yet.
    That's interesting. We looked at Camworks for solid edge two years ago and it looked pretty nice. Can you give me a ballpark figure of how much it was or if there's a subscription so I could try it out for a while?

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    Quote Originally Posted by len_1962 View Post
    So you are not using SolidWorks? and it doesn't get updated from the autodesk site

    You are throwing us off because HSMXpress is for SolidWorks HSMXpress

    the other is call Inventor HSM Express - Inventor HSM Express

    so which one are you using?
    I didn't realize the names were different like that. I'm using Inventor HSM Express for Inventor LT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    There are two kinds of templates, and I use the hell out of both of them.

    Operation Templates are sort of the official template in HSM Works jargon, and it's a set of common operations you set up and save out (speeds, feeds, heights, stock to leave, etc). It can be one operation or a whole bunch of operations you use often.

    Tip - Template in Inventor HSM - YouTube

    That quick video shows a spot/drill/tap template. My GoTo template is one I have set up for quickly prototyping parts that fires off a 3D adaptive with a 3/8" rougher, a rest machining 3D adaptive with a 1/4" tool, a final 3D adaptive rough with a 3/16" tool as well as a quick finish face operation. I fire that template off and if the part doesn't need the smaller tools to rough, I just delete them from the job.

    Fixture Templates are more of a technique than they are an official thing in HSM Works. Lockwood has a solid YouTube video about them here: HSMWorks How-To: Using templates- but not THOSE templates. - YouTube

    My GoTo prototyping fixture template has my Talon jaws set up with a piece of stock who's size I can quickly change, the floor of my part set up as a plane, and a couple of coordinate systems preset for G54. I open it up, change the size of my stock to something appropriate, drop my part in to the stock with a few constraints, go to the job I already have set up and update the Model, hit rebuild. In about 45 seconds, I've got everything set up to rough out a part and all I need to focus on is finishing operations.

    If a part is within the bounds of the stuff I normally make (fit in your hand camera parts, all in 6061), these techniques let me go from model to making chips in 10-15 minutes. Again though, it's all about the overall process - this is the result of focusing on a the kind of parts I typically make, keeping a set of about 10 tools always ready in the Robodrill, and planning ahed with both Operation and Fixture templates. All the feeds/speeds are dialed in to be extremely conservative, since I don't care about runtime at all and I want massive reliability out of this process.
    Those were thought provoking and helpful, thanks. Unfortunately I have Inventor LT, so I can't do assemblies... not sure if there's a workaround for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrill View Post
    Those were thought provoking and helpful, thanks. Unfortunately I have Inventor LT, so I can't do assemblies... not sure if there's a workaround for that.
    Well then I would get Fusion 360, it will give you all the stuff everyone has been suggesting for free or the minimum cost of $300 per year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrill View Post
    That's interesting. We looked at Camworks for solid edge two years ago and it looked pretty nice. Can you give me a ballpark figure of how much it was or if there's a subscription so I could try it out for a while?
    Don't know, but what I'd suggest is going on their web site and looking up who your local VAR is. I'm sure they can help you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrill View Post
    That's interesting. We looked at Camworks for solid edge two years ago and it looked pretty nice. Can you give me a ballpark figure of how much it was or if there's a subscription so I could try it out for a while?
    I am not sure what the cost is since we have 3 license seats with different packages for each. I would say this and if you are serious of a new cam package research several packages and request demos from the vendors. If they come to your facility for a demo send them a part you make and a sample of the code you use in your machines. When they present your part in the demo will give you a better feeling if this software package will or will not work for you.


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