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CamWorks doesn't select correct tool based on material

typoknig

Plastic
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
I have a CamWorks tool crib which I want to contain tools used for cutting both aluminum and steel. In the TechDB I ONLY have aluminum feeds and speeds programed on the tools used to cut aluminum and I ONLY have steel feeds and speeds programed on the tools used to cut steel. It doesn't appear to matter if the aluminum tools have higher or lower station numbers than the steel tools, CamWorks ALWAYS picks the steel tools. I have the correct material (6061 T6) selected in the SolidWorks Feature and in the CamWorks feature tree for the stock material.

I know I can create multiple tool cribs to get at around this problem (one for aluminum, one for steel), but I don't see why CamWorks gives users the ability to specify material types in both the Tech DB and in the CamWorks feature tree if it is just going to ignore them. Am I missing something?
 

Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
I have a CamWorks tool crib which I want to contain tools used for cutting both aluminum and steel. In the TechDB I ONLY have aluminum feeds and speeds programed on the tools used to cut aluminum and I ONLY have steel feeds and speeds programed on the tools used to cut steel. It doesn't appear to matter if the aluminum tools have higher or lower station numbers than the steel tools, CamWorks ALWAYS picks the steel tools. I have the correct material (6061 T6) selected in the SolidWorks Feature and in the CamWorks feature tree for the stock material.

I know I can create multiple tool cribs to get at around this problem (one for aluminum, one for steel), but I don't see why CamWorks gives users the ability to specify material types in both the Tech DB and in the CamWorks feature tree if it is just going to ignore them. Am I missing something?

If I am understanding correctly, you have your speeds and feeds set like in the image attached by material?

So do you have lets say the same 1/2" tool saved in T1 (Aluminum) and T10 (Steel)?

If that's how you have it set up, that may be the problem, that isn't telling it which tool to grab from the tool crib based on the operation, just the speeds and feeds from that tools material settings.
 

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Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
I have a CamWorks tool crib which I want to contain tools used for cutting both aluminum and steel. In the TechDB I ONLY have aluminum feeds and speeds programed on the tools used to cut aluminum and I ONLY have steel feeds and speeds programed on the tools used to cut steel. It doesn't appear to matter if the aluminum tools have higher or lower station numbers than the steel tools, CamWorks ALWAYS picks the steel tools. I have the correct material (6061 T6) selected in the SolidWorks Feature and in the CamWorks feature tree for the stock material.

I know I can create multiple tool cribs to get at around this problem (one for aluminum, one for steel), but I don't see why CamWorks gives users the ability to specify material types in both the Tech DB and in the CamWorks feature tree if it is just going to ignore them. Am I missing something?

I think what you need to do to get it to do what you are looking for, the easiest way would be to create two tool cribs.

Another time consuming way would be to go into your TechDB - Features & Operations and under Feature Condition set your Stock Material and below select the tool you want it to use.

Untitled-1.jpg
 

typoknig

Plastic
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
If I am understanding correctly, you have your speeds and feeds set like in the image attached by material?

So do you have lets say the same 1/2" tool saved in T1 (Aluminum) and T10 (Steel)?

If that's how you have it set up, that may be the problem, that isn't telling it which tool to grab from the tool crib based on the operation, just the speeds and feeds from that tools material settings.

I only have 2 tools in my TechDB which have multiple material types (a spot drill and a chamfer mill), and yes, those do appear with "Default", "Aluminum", and "Low Carbon Alloy Steel" like the picture you attached of the cutting parameters dialog.

All my other tools however, only have a single material for listed for them. As a concrete example, I have a 3/4" 3 flute ZrN carbide end mill which only has "Default" and "Aluminum" and I have a 3/4" 4 flute AlTIN carbide end mill which only has "Default" and "Low Carbon Alloy Steel", but CamWorks always picks the 4 flute end mill regardless of my material settings in the SolidWorks Feature Tree or the CamWorks Feature Tree.

CamWorks isn't exactly bug free, so I guess this is just another one to add to the pile :/

Really wish there was a better CAM solution that would integrate with SolidWorks.
 

Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
I only have 2 tools in my TechDB which have multiple material types (a spot drill and a chamfer mill), and yes, those do appear with "Default", "Aluminum", and "Low Carbon Alloy Steel" like the picture you attached of the cutting parameters dialog.

All my other tools however, only have a single material for listed for them. As a concrete example, I have a 3/4" 3 flute ZrN carbide end mill which only has "Default" and "Aluminum" and I have a 3/4" 4 flute AlTIN carbide end mill which only has "Default" and "Low Carbon Alloy Steel", but CamWorks always picks the 4 flute end mill regardless of my material settings in the SolidWorks Feature Tree or the CamWorks Feature Tree.

CamWorks isn't exactly bug free, so I guess this is just another one to add to the pile :/

Really wish there was a better CAM solution that would integrate with SolidWorks.

I don't think its a bug. The way you are trying to do it makes sense but I don't think it is designed to work that way. To get it to do what you are trying to do, you need to do it how I responded in my second response within the features and operations.

Image attached, I have quite a few of my operations set up and have selected the tool, I verified within my tool crib the Tool ID to make sure within my Tech DB operations settings I have it grabbing the correct tool based on the Tool ID and have Stock Material settings as well. I did this the same for some of my 3FL endmill operations for aluminum and copied the operations and changed the tool and settings for a 4FL for steel and it does what you are trying to accomplish no problem. Its time consuming but it works.

I've tried other CAM softwares, IMO CAMWorks for me is the best software for me. The only other software I would consider a change to is Siemens NX. But if you do some digging you'll find that a majority of the CAM software out there license their tool paths from ModuleWorks or MachineWorks, so essentially behind the scenes they are doing the same thing and the only difference is what you see on your screen. So the "better" CAM software is going to be what you are comfortable and familiar with and can easily navigate. Untitled.jpg
 

typoknig

Plastic
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
I don't think its a bug. The way you are trying to do it makes sense but I don't think it is designed to work that way. To get it to do what you are trying to do, you need to do it how I responded in my second response within the features and operations.

Humm, well if it isn't a bug it is a short sighted design at the least. The material choices essentially don't do anything as it is; they are basically just labels. IMO it is a big limitation for a top shelf CAM software since so much can be automatically determined based on material selection like optimal tool flute numbers, optimal tool coatings, feeds and speeds, coolant requirements, etc.

I don't doubt that the way you are suggesting will work. Messed with it about today and I think it will, but it seems like quite a bit more work than just making two tool cribs, so that is how I'm going work around this issue for now since there really isn't an optimal solution.

I've tried other CAM softwares, IMO CAMWorks for me is the best software for me. The only other software I would consider a change to is Siemens NX. But if you do some digging you'll find that a majority of the CAM software out there license their tool paths from ModuleWorks or MachineWorks, so essentially behind the scenes they are doing the same thing and the only difference is what you see on your screen. So the "better" CAM software is going to be what you are comfortable and familiar with and can easily navigate.

Yeah, I've spent some time with HSMWorks and EdgeCAM and a little less time with MasterCAM, but they all have their pitfalls. While I could write an essay on the shortcomings of CAMWorks, it is currently the least offensive option available. I didn't know that most CAM softwares obtained their tool paths from common sources. I'll keep that in mind if I ever go shopping for CAM software again.
 

Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
Humm, well if it isn't a bug it is a short sighted design at the least. The material choices essentially don't do anything as it is; they are basically just labels. IMO it is a big limitation for a top shelf CAM software since so much can be automatically determined based on material selection like optimal tool flute numbers, optimal tool coatings, feeds and speeds, coolant requirements, etc.

I don't doubt that the way you are suggesting will work. Messed with it about today and I think it will, but it seems like quite a bit more work than just making two tool cribs, so that is how I'm going work around this issue for now since there really isn't an optimal solution.



Yeah, I've spent some time with HSMWorks and EdgeCAM and a little less time with MasterCAM, but they all have their pitfalls. While I could write an essay on the shortcomings of CAMWorks, it is currently the least offensive option available. I didn't know that most CAM softwares obtained their tool paths from common sources. I'll keep that in mind if I ever go shopping for CAM software again.

I defiently agree with you it's a short sighted design that should be sent in for an enhancement for improvement, it's a more efficient way to define what you are trying to do for sure.

So when I program a part, my created operations selects, say a 1/2" end mill based on my operations tool selection that I defined and within that selection it pulls my speeds and feeds based on material selected defined in the tools feeds and speeds parameters of the TechDB.

Yeah check out MachineWorks.com and ModuleWorks.com you can see all the partners that license tool paths from them. I've been using CAMWorks for over 10 years and when I went on my own and was in the market for CAM software I did quite a bit of research, some of the software does develop some of their own stuff or has features only they have, but most the tool paths are licensed and at the end of the day if one said software implements the tool paths terribly or names, labels switches or settings that don't make sense it can make it hard to create the tool path you are looking for, that's one thing I do like about CAMWorks, to me its user friendly and laid out nicely, and of course being its integrated in SolidWorks is a huge plus, and that's a reason why I'd only go to NX, they have a great CAD side as well and integrates well.
 








 
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