CAMworks. Beware!!! - Page 3
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 102
  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Valencia, CA, USA
    Posts
    339
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BadBeta View Post
    I can see that martin_05 likely has posted this in a frustrated state, but that in itself doesn't make it invalid. (Just a bit more colorful with some attitude). Still I value his post and info quite highly - indeed I'd like to hear about similar bugs and annoyances in all other programs as well. Maybe we should start a thread with Top 5 pro's and con's of CAM programs?
    That is probably a fair statement. And thanks for proposing that we don't shoot the messenger.

    Let me give you a little more context. I am not a Machinist. Let's please not hold this against me either. Officially, I am an Electrical Engineer who specialized in Robotics way back when. And --also way back when-- I published a couple of papers on robotics, control, design, etc. What I do now isn't related to robotics, but my prior life had me doing it all: circuit design, software design, mechanical design, manufacturing, troubleshooting and making the darn things work. I'll just say that I am very well rounded in the five or six hats that I end-up wearing in the course of doing business.

    Wearing a bunch of hats makes you appreciate good tools because what you need most is to be effective in the various tasks you encounter. An example of this would be the transition from using AutoCAD to SolidWorks. Huge improvement in productivity, capabilities and throughput, among other things.

    My approach to all things is generally to see just how effective I can be in getting a job done. And, again, I appreciate good tools whether they be physical tools or software tools. Anything that gets in my way or is a pain to use is either modified or replaced. I'm sure we all have stories about the bargain drill (or whatever) that we bought that turned out to be a very expensive way to save money.

    About a year and a half ago, if not two, we needed to get a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) tool to work out several complex fluid flow problems for a new design. I looked around and purchased the integrated SolidWorks Flow Simulation tool. It's about $12K by the time you get done with it.

    So...you buy a tool like that and, at the very least, expect to be able to do your work. Except that, in this case what followed was a nightmare that lasted about a year and a half with Flow Simulation crashing and not allowing us to do our work. The projects in question got delayed by at least six months during the battles I had to fight with SW and VAR support to try to figure out what was going on.

    And, yes, during this time I was called all kinds of names. Perhaps not directly, but some of the stuff on this thread isn't new to the experience. Things like "Oh, you just need training" or "You haven't been using it long enough" or "There's something wrong with your shop-built computer" or "Maybe it's your video card".

    Anyhow, after pounding away for well over a year and a half I finally got SW to spend some time with me one-on-on and even send an engineer to our office to experience first-hand what the issues I was talking about. Finally, after a year and a half, they got it. And now I am not the crazy newbie that they and the VAR painted me as. There are about ten bug fixes on the way that have my name, sweat, blood and tears all over them.

    Now they want me to present a paper on Flow Simulation at the next SW conference! :-)

    So...I just got off that rollercoaster ride and start using CAMworks... And, what you do you know? It is, as they say, "deja-vu all over again". I have been documenting bugs and problems for well over a week now. Which means that I have not been doing my work. And, frankly, this business of being an unpaid troubleshooter is getting old pretty quick.

    The frustrated state you picked-up on is very real and it is the combination of just having spent over a year battling another software company and now seeing that I may have to do the same with this other tool. Just about the worst thing someone can do is call me a "newbie" and discount what I say based on that. I am a very capable engineer across a number of disciplines. I don't bitch for sport. I bitch because I run into walls that are there and, for the most part, are real. At the same time I am very humble in accepting the fact that I could always be wrong and there's always something to be learned. In fact, posted in this list in hopes that someone would say: "Martin, you are doing it wrong, let me tell you how you use this thing to get your work done."

    The fact that someone has learned to work with crappy software does not mean that there are no problems. It just means that they are not willing to raise hell to make sure that the crappy parts are fixed and they just live with whatever is thrown at them. I, for the most part, don't have that luxury. If I pay good money for a tool it is because I need the productivity boost...I don't need another project.

    Believe me, I WANT TO BE WRONG...because, in the end, I just want to do my job...not THEIR job.

    -Martin

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    1,248
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    80

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris59 View Post
    You quoted me but you missed my point. I said "Do you honestly think that MasterCam, SurfCam or FeatureCam or... whatever, don't have their quirks/bugs? Really?"
    I actually think I got your point - programs have bugs? My point was simply that the nature and severity of those bugs are rather important. It was not my intention to compare Windows to CAM systems, but rather to illustrate that even massively distributed computer programs (as such) have bugs - but the worst ones are usually caught and fixed before unleashing them on the customers.

    And yes, CAM programs and their interfaces to different controls and machines is certainly not plug and play. The curious thing about this crash bug though it that the program is fully aware of it long before it even reaches post.

    While there is little to do about bad posts, I also think that a good CAM program should catch and warn about user error in the programming itself. Rather like a spell checker on steroids. To err is human, and to err in CAM can be expensive...

    On a more general note though, this forum should have some kind of CAM programs review and comparison going. Finding dependable third-party information about CAM programs is difficult. This site has enough users of most programs to possibly add up to some balanced views. (Likely needs moderating though - there will always be fanaticals both ways where program discussions take place).

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    1,248
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    80

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
    Believe me, I WANT TO BE WRONG...because, in the end, I just want to do my job...not THEIR job.
    Well, you sound rather reasonable to me. (Then again I'm certifiable not crazy - somehow that doesn't comfort people... ). And I've had my discussions with Solidworks too, so I think we can share some frustrations there !

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    9
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
    The fact that someone has learned to work with crappy software does not mean that there are no problems.
    I love this line as it applies to sooo many programs I've used.
    Also, well said (the whole post).

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    7,606
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    254
    Likes (Received)
    1582

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BadBeta View Post
    On a more general note though, this forum should have some kind of CAM programs review and comparison going. Finding dependable third-party information about CAM programs is difficult. This site has enough users of most programs to possibly add up to some balanced views. (Likely needs moderating though - there will always be fanaticals both ways where program discussions take place).


    Beta, while it's a good idea, just imagine how long would it take for it to become an all out brawl?
    It would work in one way by someone posting about the capability of his/her software of choice, but it will inevitably get mixed up with someone else buttin' in and say no, it doesn't do this or that.
    Having said that tough, an honest discussion about the capabilities or lack thereof would have saved me $2K 3 years ago.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    12,714
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1708
    Likes (Received)
    2862

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by scudzuki View Post
    Now ya just gotta elaborate on that one... JB? Do tell...

    Joe
    We're referring to an infamous internet personality named Jo:n Ban:qu:er. (the colons are added so this won't show up in a google search. Speak of the devil and all that.) I can't describe it, but if you look for old posts by him here, or just google his name, you'll have material that will keep you entertained for days. He's been banned here under a half dozen identities, and is banned from most forums on the web for his lunatic trolling and flame baiting, all on one subject - CAD/CAM software. If you look on usenet in alt.machines.cnc there's a treasure trove right there. He has or did have a blog somewhere. He got punched out at a trade show somewhere and later on at a software demo somewhere it happened again and his brief case fell open and all that was in it was some slices of cold pizza. That's the pizza reference. There are others who know the story better than I.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    1,248
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    80

    Default

    Seymour, I too totally see that coming. That is why I think it would need serious moderating. One thing is the usual headbutting, but in a thread like that you would also get more or less disguised program representatives and VARs actively trying to get off topic.

    But the need for such a thread is there. Maybe not a thread as such, but a sticky subject where answering and arguments are not allowed - just simple lists of poster kind of use and pro's and con's as per posters opinion. Obvious wrongs can be complained about to the moderator for removal, and postings could possibly be sorted on programs for better overview. Not ideal, but certainly a lot better than nothing.

    It might help to enlighten potential buyers, keep the worst marketing drivel away, and hold the developers more accountable for the errors of their ways. (As well as the effective joy some bring).

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    7,606
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    254
    Likes (Received)
    1582

    Default

    Beta

    If you look at some of the latest posts I've made about FeatureCAM, Iwas trying to just that. Not knocking one vs. the other, rather describe how FC does it.
    I'm sure others have ways to describe how their sw. does the same things, but I doubt many would stand up and say theirs don't do this or that.
    Could be wrong tough...
    Of course, some if not all of the extra capability comes at the cost of complexity and a steeper learning curve. From the outset one would be hard pressed to judge which suits them better, a more capable albeit setting-intensive software, or one that is my-way or highway but simple.

    Dangerous bugs however are another story. FC has one that I know of and I think is being worked on, the rest of them are more like pesky little things that only damage your nerves.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Valencia, CA, USA
    Posts
    339
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BadBeta View Post
    But the need for such a thread is there.
    Maybe the best idea is to have a sticky thread per CAM package with the stipulation that you must upload a video showing the issue as well as upload a file that any other user and/or evaluator of the package can utilize to try to reproduce the problem.

    The only kind of reply that would be tolerated might be one where a user, the CAM company or a VAR offers a solution to the problem if one exists. The person posting the answer would also be required to upload a video showing the solution in action as well as the design file that on can use to verify what is being claimed.

    Yet another kind of post is the type where the CAM package produces code that does something at the machine level that is not right or is unsafe. Again, the poster must upload a video showing the operations that led to producing the code, a video showing the machine in operation and the CAD files that readers could use for verification.

    That's a lot of work for the poster, but it is probably the only approach that can keep such a thread fair, reasonable and away from derailing into an ugly mess.

    -Martin

  10. #50
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Miami Florida
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default The problem is fixed.

    Martin.

    I do not have time to make a video.
    When I first started reading this discussion I thought you just did not know what you are doing. I down loaded your zip file, and sure enough the spiral
    lead in just was not there.
    I did a rebuild on the AFR and it came up with two new programs.(rough, and contour)
    Made the program just like yours and all three spiral lead ins where there.
    It all looks OK.
    I am running CamWorks 09 sp1. I do not know what sp you are running.
    There is a CW 09 sp 1.3
    Let me know if you are running sp 1.3. I will not down load it if you are.

    I know it helps to vent on this forum, but the problem will not get fixed unless
    you put in a CAMWorks Enhancement Request.

    Thanks for trying to make things better.
    A.J.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Valencia, CA, USA
    Posts
    339
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by a.j. View Post
    Martin.

    I do not have time to make a video.
    When I first started reading this discussion I thought you just did not know what you are doing. I down loaded your zip file, and sure enough the spiral
    lead in just was not there.
    I did a rebuild on the AFR and it came up with two new programs.(rough, and contour)
    Made the program just like yours and all three spiral lead ins where there.
    It all looks OK.
    I am running CamWorks 09 sp1. I do not know what sp you are running.
    There is a CW 09 sp 1.3
    Let me know if you are running sp 1.3. I will not down load it if you are.

    I know it helps to vent on this forum, but the problem will not get fixed unless
    you put in a CAMWorks Enhancement Request.

    Thanks for trying to make things better.
    A.J.

    Thanks for looking at that file.

    The problem is that AFR has issues too! Right now it is very dangerous to use a mixture of AFR and manually created CAMworks features. What happens is that if you change the geometry of the model by, say, editing a dimension in a sketch that changes the width of the part slightly, AFR features will break.

    I had one case where I had this small part with a pocket. In the pocket there's a boss that is counterbored and drilled. I needed to change the width of the part by from 3.000in to 2.900 inches so we could make it using bar stock and not worry about the width. As soon as I did that and rebuilt the CAMworks portion of the design broke. The counterbore was off center by a very large amount.

    The only option at that point was to rebuild all the CAMworks features, which really means that you have to start over if you have any customized settings at all -- which always sees to be the case-- like special feeds/speeds, entry strategies or roughing options.

    Believe me, I've been beating the crud out of my VAR. I think at this point I've chewed through one support engineer who this week opted to gracefully exit from my path. Now I am on with another guy. To be frank, I am not sure how long I'll put up with this. I just came out of a "bad relationship" with Flow Simulation that consumed months of my time...

    I'll see if I can throw together a model to show the AFR issue. Much like you, I don't have the time to document this stuff and real parts can't really be uploaded to a public forum. Barring taking the time to document with demo parts it is very difficult to demonstrate some of the issues. That, I think, is one reason some of these guys get away with these problems. Most of us are so busy with real work that we figure out any possible way to work around the issues and move on.

    I am running the absolute latest SPs on everything. I am not on that computer right now and I don't remember what they are. It is running under Vista 64 (another pile of crud) mainly because we needed to switch to a 64 bit system in order to work around some of the issues with Flow Simulation. The system is an i7 965 Extreme Edition overclocked to 4GHz and has 12GB of memory (hopefully soon to be 24GB).

    -Martin

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    47
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Martin,

    Do you dry run your programs? I was taught to always dry run every program I post every time--> Paying special attention to the Z moves (single block). I understand that the camworks program posted some very disastorous moves but I do think the broken end mills/possible machine damage could have been avoided.

    Maybe my training was "old school" but I don't like to depend that heavily on the post processor/cam package being completely bug free. More often then not the programmer/setup person has an opportunity to catch issues like this.


    Dudley

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    1,248
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    80

    Default

    For me at least dry-running is totally out of the question timewise.

    One the major reasons for having a CAM program in is to get it right the first time around and reduce faulty humans as an error source.

    If a CAM program changes the human input and thereby creates a potential disaster then its simply not on my shopping list. It is there to help, not to be a major risk factor on its own.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    3,164
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1526
    Likes (Received)
    1694

    Default

    Agreed. I haven't even heard anyone mention dry running a program in a dozen years now. It may have been a viable strategy for proving out short programs that took only a couple minutes to run, but would then be run over and over to make a million parts. Some of the programs I generate will run six or seven hours, but may only be run twice, some only once. I'll be damned if I'm going to sit there and watch a cutter cut air for six hours. That's why I paid the big bux for software, and I expect that software to do its job, flawlessly.

    Dennis

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    47
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    I guess it is a matter of the type of work you are doing. 3d profiling or mold work I understand would not be the type in which it would be worth it to dry run.

    My cycle times never run that long so most of the time running through the program once with the feedrates turned way up is worth it to verify that everything is right.




    Dudley

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    757
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    74

    Default

    We have our own set of problems with CamWorks, but they mostly derive from an inherited lack of skill on our part. One guy way back when sat down and fiddled around until he got the TechDB and post processors to work, after a fashion. Then he taught another guy, who taught another guy, etc.... with the result that we end up doing a lot of workarounds. I do some pretty extensive edits to the code we output, if only to make it simpler for the operators to read and understand. Glad I took those manual programming classes, they're paying off, but at the same time I just know that most of this stuff could be fixed permanently with a few basic changes to how we've got the software set up. I took the manual home and am learning to edit the TechDB. Implementing small changes a little at a time, with results I'm pretty happy with. My problem is that alot of our engineering guys are "institutionalized" to the way things have been done, and are deathly scared to make any fundamental changes. It'll come around, though.

    I value threads like this a great deal because as I'm digging through this stuff it's a big help to know what to watch for.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    riverside, ca, usa
    Posts
    336
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    31
    Likes (Received)
    79

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
    Thanks for looking at that file.

    The only option at that point was to rebuild all the CAMworks features, which really means that you have to start over if you have any customized settings at all -- which always sees to be the case-- like special feeds/speeds, entry strategies or roughing options.
    Actually, just recreate the broken features. Then right click on "nc manager" in the feature tree. Select "associate features" and then match new feature to broken feature. Click "associate" and then choose "replace" at the prompt. Operation tree will have operations without toolpath but with all customization. Generate new toolpath and check that everything looks ok.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Jupiter, Florida
    Posts
    233
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    87
    Likes (Received)
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BadBeta View Post
    One the major reasons for having a CAM program in is to get it right the first time around and reduce faulty humans as an error source.

    If a CAM program changes the human input and thereby creates a potential disaster then its simply not on my shopping list. It is there to help, not to be a major risk factor on its own.
    I agree. The problem here is that you have one guy with problems that can be solved. Just like you have problems with any CAM system you are learning. I know you can rapid into the part if you don't use the CAM system properly (ask me how I know). That's why you use the simulation. Is the OP really saying CamWorks is alone in this? Crazy.
    I have posted that one thing I like about CamWorks is the fact that I can post a program and be confident that the machine will do what the CAM simulated. Every time.
    An open mind is desirable when learning new things. CamWorks, like other CAM systems, requires you to do things the way it wants. Not the way you think it should work.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    1,248
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    80

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris59 View Post
    CamWorks, like other CAM systems, requires you to do things the way it wants. Not the way you think it should work.
    I think the trick here is finding a program that does indeed work the way you think it should work. Different programs for different people!

    That said, I still think any and all programs that knowingly rapids into stock, and happily shows that in simulation, should have something fixed.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    3,164
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1526
    Likes (Received)
    1694

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris59 View Post
    ... Is the OP really saying CamWorks is alone in this? Crazy.
    No, the problem in the original post was that the OP generated a good program with a G01 Z move into the stock, then without changing anything else, replaced the Z move with a helical ramp. When the software found the ramp wouldn't clear an island, it replaced the ramp with a G00 rapid to the full depth of the pocket. That's my definition of a bug. The software should have at least defaulted to G01, or preferably skipped the pocket altogether. Those two strategies are the choices in MasterCAM. Either will be spotted in the toolpath simulation. Neither by itself would have caused a crash, although skipping the pocket could cause a crash further down the road. That's why I normally run MC set to "If ramp doesn't fit, plunge" (G01).

    I am now pretty confident of MC's toolpath simulation; from experience I've learned that if it shows a gouge, the NC file will produce a gouge, no matter what I THINK it should be doing, so that is a warning to go back and see what I really did. The simulation can be run at up to maybe 100X the machine speed, so surfacing program that will run six hours can be viewed in less than four minutes, and will leave evidence of gouges as red areas on the graphic, which is actually better than just running the cutter in the air over the part.

    I still typically dial the speed of the machine down after a tool change and watch the first Z move to be sure the tool stops where expected, to confirm I didn't screw up a tool height offset, but watching the tool go endlessly back and forth is both non-productive and boring, and likely won't reveal the really hidden problems anyway.

    I still say that any software that replaces one, or a series of linear interpolations with a rapid into the part has a serious bug that should be fixed by the vendor for free.

    Dennis


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •