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03-20-2017, 06:31 AM #21
03-20-2017, 07:03 AM #22
While it will depend a bit on the kind of work you do I wouldn't recommend farming that kind of work out. If it is going to get set up for production runs or repeating jobs that makes more sense. If I didn't have the ability to make changes to any of my programs it would drive me nuts. I'm not good at just looking at code and making changes, I always run it through my Cam. I'd be really unproductive if i couldn't do that when I wanted.
We just got a 5th on one of our machines and I had to get by with one day of training just to get a few jobs out of the way. It was surprisingly simple to merge 3x programs into an efficient 3+2 program. I am working with SolidCam now to get a good 5x post, but until that's all dialed I'm confident in my ability to piece them together old fashioned.
Will you be doing simultaneous 4/5 axis? If so I would still think the best play is going to be getting your own seat and learn it well.
03-20-2017, 10:22 AM #23
Forgive my ignorance as I'm not a shop owner, but if the price of the machine, tooling and cad/cam software is too much, wouldn't it be best to wait until you can afford it all?
Farming it out just doesn't seem to be the best way to go IMO.
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03-20-2017, 10:50 AM #24
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03-20-2017, 11:03 AM #25
G-code will be very similar to any other Fanuc/Mitsubishi style 5 axis, just with a some Mazak specific codes. But the bulk of it is the same.
My last shop used to outsource some parts to outside contracting programmers. It always sounds better in theory, in practice you're still making lots of little tweaks or sending stuff back and forth to get it right. It maybe saved 50% of the work.
03-20-2017, 12:27 PM #26
03-20-2017, 12:40 PM #27
buy a machine that uses ISO standard g code and post wont be an issue... and for multiaxis, non-conforming machines, then a post should be included in the purchase or there is no purchase. that simple. They have to program it with something when they build it. no reason they cant give you that.
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03-20-2017, 01:37 PM #28
And yes, I've done it too.
Some times ya just gotta...business logic be damned!
So figure out what you can do with the software you have.
Yoke makes a good point; you can still capitalize on a lot of the 5 axis advantages without splashing out for something like Hypermill.
Our 5 axis machine does mostly 3+2 work and HSMWorks is just grand for that.
In fact, in the year and a half it's been on our floor we've NEVER been asked to cut an impeller or any of the other weird full simultaneous 5 axis stuff you see at the machine tool shows or on Youtube.
I think Keith ran a swarf toolpath maybe 3 times; mostly just to see if HSMWorks could do it and how it would turn out compared to a conventional tapered contour toolpath.
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03-20-2017, 01:40 PM #29
Also, what do you mean by fancy stuff? If you are looking at doing adv technology mfg, or molds, etc then investment shouldn't be an issue for you. That first contract should allow you to pay for 'any' CAM package, twice or more perhaps
...so look for that contract first, and then decide on the CAM package that you (your customer, in fact) needs
03-20-2017, 01:56 PM #30
BobCAD-CAM can do 3+2,4+1, and full simultaneous 5 axis. It may be possible to just upgrade your current seat to add the capabilities you need.
Last edited by SeanDa; 03-20-2017 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Add name and title
03-20-2017, 04:54 PM #31
Caught me sneaking around in here I see.
Yes, and I discussed some of this with you guys.
What got me though is that when going to 5 axis, your rep told me we were going outside of Bobcad to a German outfit...and the words I was hearing was that basically... I'd be starting out scratch so far as my Bobcad investment was concerned.
Now what did we blow over there...5-6 grand?
I can't remember.
Bobcad has done well by me, but I figure if I am going to have to start from zero, I may as well hit industry standard.
We had V25, Mill and lathe, upgraded to V28 for same... 2 months later V29 comes out...
No, I wasn't ready to shell for it though.
Anyway, leads back to why I started the thread.
What is the point, really... of throwing the money all over, and can I successfully go outside for those odd jobs that do require 4+1 complexity, blends, curves and all that and win?
I am already burnt out on talking to software salesmen.
So.. I figured it was time to bounce it off the boys.
03-20-2017, 08:15 PM #32
You are correct, we do use a company for our MultiAxis toolpaths, which is ModuleWorks. This is also the company the develops the 3x Pro toolpaths. They are used widely in the industry, and if you go to their website, you will see the list of company's that contract with them, one being MasterCAM. I can understand not wanting to upgrade, when you may not require using those capabilities but every once in awhile. If there is anything that I can do to assist you, as far as from the siftware perspective, please feel free to send me a PM.
03-20-2017, 10:58 PM #33
My sincerest apologies for my previous remarks.
But I can't keep throwing money at software. It isn't there.
Bobcad is great, and I am still getting used to it, but now I am trying to get into a machine that is beyond the capability of my issue of Bobcad.
I have pretty much decided I need to focus on getting the equipment at this point.
So, I am going to do everything I possibly can with Bobcad, and I will just have to do a work-around on the goofy parts that require more advanced softwares.
That is pretty much all there is to it.
If I go waltzing out and buy software, well...it doesn't appear to me there will be a machine here to use it on.
Last edited by snowshooze; 03-21-2017 at 12:06 PM.
03-21-2017, 04:08 AM #34
Seriously, I didn't mean to run the company on it for five years. Stick it on a laptop that's not connected to the internet and try a few out. I can never tell doodly from the sales literature. According to the brochures they are all God's Gift to Mankind, but some people like one program, other people like another. Personal taste.
But I agree, back there in the Home of the Brave and Land of the Free you really do have to worry about who is looking over your shoulder ... not a good idea for everyone, for sure.
03-21-2017, 07:02 AM #35
I apologize if I said something to upset you. As far as being up the job, as I stated we can do 3+2,4+1,and simultaneous 5 axis, in which we use industry standard toolpath. As far as coming clean, could you please elaborate as to what you would like to know or for me to say. I would be more than happy to assist you with anything within my power.
03-21-2017, 12:09 PM #36
03-21-2017, 12:48 PM #37
Contrary to consensus so far - it is common practice in some environments to create machine tool programs without being anywhere near the machine - sometimes not even the same country.
Unfortunately, the costs of doing this successfully will outweigh what you are willing to invest. The programmer needs to have your post. The programmer needs to have the exact machine settings - every parameter - in the controller, and you need to not change them - or keep revision control if you do. Second, you both need -good- simulation software that knows all of these things, can simulate straight from the G-Code, and your machine settings, and verify the end product. The programmer would also need to have your tooling library. Issue you setup sheets based upon your work holding devices and tool holder library.
It goes far beyond just having a machine that reads standard G-Code. That's the easy part. It's also hard to get a post from some machine tool suppliers. We have some machines without a post for NX, for which we had to roll our own. Others just needed so much modification, we may as well have written it from scratch. You have to know that the post your programmer is using is verified for your machine. Then, once the program is delivered to you -you- need to verify it in -your- software before running it in the machine.
You'll also lose the ability to fine tune a lot of particulars on some more capable machines, like corner deceleration, surfacing options, etc. The programmer would have to know a whole lot about the machine before being able to successfully program it. Without the person being intimately familiar with your shop and machine.
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03-21-2017, 07:38 PM #38
03-21-2017, 07:47 PM #39
03-21-2017, 09:19 PM #40